As a mother, I will never give up on my child. As a mother of a child who has autism, I will never give up hope.
I look into his eyes and I see all the potential that he has to offer to this beautiful world and I just know that one day the world can see what I see.

Follow my blog as I share my life and my experiences as a person who loves someone with autism.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

‘G’ is for Good

We got Bryce’s first report card from his new school today. Very excited to share it with you all. It’s a heavy read but it’ll give you an idea what Bryce’s education and progress in a public school is like.

Bryce doesn’t get letter grades. He will never get the standard ‘A’ or ‘B’ grade to identify his performance. In the past, his report cards would be notes just reflecting and referring to his Individual Education Plan (IEP), which was a great way to see what progress Bryce made and what we needed to work on.

This report describes Bryce’s learning progress based on prescribed learning outcomes for each grade level. It is intended to inform about learning successes and to guide improvement efforts when needed.

Bryce got G’s for Language Arts (Reading, Writing, and Oral Language), Mathematics, Science, Physical Education, Fine Arts, Music, Health and Career Education. ‘G’ is for Good, which is the ‘highest’ Individual Effort letter grade.

Here’s a breakdown of what ‘G’ represents:

Responsibility: All assignments turned in on time; student is ready to work and learn.
Cooperation: Works well with other students and teacher(s)
Independence: Self-directed learner, takes appropriate initiative

Bryce got MR (Meeting Requirements) in Daily Physical Activity.

Since ‘G’ is the highest grade he can get, so I guess you could say it’s just like getting an ‘A’. I am personally not a fan of letter grades in any form that summarize a students progress because it is too generalized and non-specific. I really enjoy getting Bryce’s report cards though because like I said, it is a heavy read, and gives me a way better understanding on how Bryce is doing in school. His report card continues:

Structured Written Comments on Behaviour, including information on attitudes, work habits, effort, and social responsibility:

Bryce has made a great start in grade six. His sunny personality makes him very popular with his classmates who jump at the opportunity to work with him. He is able to stay focused on his tasks for extended periods of time, and he enthusiastically participates in group activities. He is especially excited when it is his turn to lead the class in fitness routine.

The comments below reflect the progress Bryce is making in relation to the goals set out in his IEP. What Bryce is able to do:

  • identify of lower and upper case letters
  • match upper to lower case letters
  • identify letter sounds (receptive & expressive)
  • sequence a 4-step picture set ~ puts them in order and tell the story using ‘First, then, next and last’
  • identify numbers 1-5 and match these to a number line, count forwards, backwards, and correctly sequence the numbers without the number line
  • identify numbers 6-10 and match these to a number line, count forwards, backwards, and correctly sequence the numbers without the number line
  • sort cutlery (big spoon, little spoon, fork and knife) and identify each piece by name (expressive and receptive)
  • call by name 90% of his classmates
  • sort non-identical objects into categories
  • follow a stepped sequence for bathroom and hand washing routines

The areas requiring further attention or development and goals we are working on:

  • being more independent on brushing his teeth
  • sight words eg. A, and, away, big and blue and once mastered we will move onto the rest. We are doing 5 words at a time, if too much we will take it down to 3 words.
  • topical conversation (find a topic and write 3 most important things and share them with classmates)
  • finding out about someone (ask whomever what they like to drink, eat, play, etc) and getting him to ask them in full sentences
  • numbers and number sequencing #1-10, matching, counting forward and backwards and expressive labels
  • we are still working on sequencing cards. He has to put them in order then tell the story.
  • 1 to 1 correspondence (give me number) and Bryce has to give teacher the correct number asked for
  • safety signs

Ways to support learning at home and at school. Parents can help with at home:

  • have Bryce to put the cutlery away at home and as he’s doing that get him to say what each piece is to keep up with his daily life skills
  • review letters and letter sounds
  • practice sorting games on iPad
  • encourage him to use full sentences

We are so proud of Bryce! Everyday he just amazes us!

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Everything’s changing

I was walking next to Bryce in the hallway, and couldn’t help but notice how tall he is right now.

When did this happen?! He’s up to my shoulders!

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Walk Now for Autism Speaks 2012

Today we walked for our son.

It was the 5th Annual Vancouver Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada at Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We had a booth in the resource fair, where we shared our story and sold our bubble blowers by donation with $1 from each proceeds benefiting the event. The day was full of laughter and smiles. Huge shout out to our Facebook friends who stopped by our booth to say Hello! Always a pleasure!

Oh, and of course, we blew bubbles!

Can’t wait till next year!

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya

Check out our Facebook Page for more pictures that we took.

For more pictures from the event, please visit Vancouver Walk Now for Autism Speaks Facebook page.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bubbles, Autism Awareness, and Giveaways!

Tomorrow marks B.C.’s 5th Annual Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada event at Lumberman’s Arch in Stanely Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We were invited to take part again this year at the Resource Fair, and of course we accepted!

Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada

We will be blowing bubbles, raising autism awareness, and sharing our lives and experiences as people who love someone with autism. Be sure to come check us out at our booth! Oh, did I mention we will have bubble blowers on hand?! Donate $10 and get a bubble blower! $1 of each proceeds benefits Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada!

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya

P.S. We have a couple goodies to giveaway EXCLUSIVELY to our Facebook fans so be sure to follow us on Facebook!

Friday, September 7, 2012

First Week of Grade 6 in a New School.

Like I mentioned in a dozen or so blogs ago, Bryce’s old school only went to grade 5, and we didn’t think he was ready to go to a ‘high school’ type setting like middle school, so Bryce is in a new school this year that goes up to grade 7, like the typical elementary schools do.

Day one. The first day of school I was really nervous for him. New school. New students. New teachers. New SEA’s. New introductions. Almost feeling like we’re starting over. Oh, did I mention new students??! Well, a lot of my fears were set aside when we met Bryce’s full-time one-on-one SEA worker. She’s really nice. She’s new to the school as well. Her first question to me was asking if there was anything she needed to know about Bryce. I must of talked my ear off for an hour giving her a long list of things I thought she may want to know, everything from stimming, to what he likes to do for fun, to how often he uses the bathroom. I know, I know, a little too much to take in, but she was really patient and seemed to tolerate me so far. I think we’ll get along just fine. Both seem to be on the same page, and that’s extremely important.

Bryce’s grade 6 teacher seems very nice too. He immediately impressed me on the first day of school where he was playing a game with the class to get over that introductory stage of getting to know peoples names and included Bryce in it asking the class if they remembered Bryce’s name, his SEA’s name, and even my name. It seems small, but it meant a lot to me. I got this vibe from his classmates that Bryce would be accepted without question.

Day two. First full day of school. I was thinking about staying for a third of it, or an hour even, but after bumping into Bryce’s SEA at Walmart before school started, I had this incredible sense of calmness, and decided to just let him be and I knew that he’d be just fine. I picked him up after school right on the dot, so anxious to see him and find out how his day went. I was informed that he was excellent and had a great day. YES!

Day three. Bryce’s SEA created a communication book, probably the best one I’ve ever used before, and I was just so appreciative of it. Again, something small, meaning so much. It just made it so easy to find out how Bryce did, what he did, and let me know anything that I may need to know. But that’s not all. I get to communicate back writing down when he went to bed, when he woke up, what he did at home, etc, so Bryce’s SEA can get a feeling of how her day with him may be based on those factors. Great idea, right? I know. I was very impressed too.

Day four. The first week of school and there’s already an event!? School picnic. What a brilliant idea! The whole school gathered together and laid blankets on the grass and each brought something for their little 4-5 premade groups. Bryce was in charge of chips, but because another kid in his group was going to bring chips, I figured I’d get some Tim Horton donuts instead. Yeah, Bryce was the hit of the picnic, of course. Can never go wrong with Timmies.

What a week! It went by so quickly. I am so happy and impressed with this school so far, and it’s only been 4 days! I can’t wait for Monday!

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya

Thursday, August 30, 2012

B.C.'s 5th Annual Walk Now for Autism Speaks

Walk Now for Autism Speaks Join us for British Columbia’s 5th Annual Walk Now For Autism Speaks!

Sunday, September 30, 2012
Lumberman’s Arch – Stanley Park
2099 Beach Avenue
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Walk Now for Autism Speaks is a family-friendly FUNdraising event for the entire community! Come out and enjoy a playland of activities for children of all ages. Slides and bouncy houses, sand/water/bubble stations, crafts and face painting, mascots, music and other entertainment, special guests, and more!

Our goal is to raise $300. British Columbia’s goal is $300,000.

Please show your support and help us reach these goals!

Donate or Join Team BubblesMakeHimSmile.com here:
http://www.walknowforautismspeaks.ca/team/BMHS2012

For more information about the event please visit: http://www.walknowforautismspeaks.ca/

We will be blowing bubbles with our bubble blowers at this event!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

More Tests...

You’ve helped us before and we’re asking you for your help again.

We are currently raising funds for two more tests Bryce’s naturopathic doctor has recommended.

  • Food Sensitivity Test - $300.00
  • RBC (Red Blood Count) Essential Elements - $240.00

The Food Sensitivity Test will provide us with some insight if Bryce has any food sensitivities that may explain some of his recent Organic Acid Profile Test results. The RBC Essential Elements test is an alternative to a Hair Toxic Mineral Analysis to test for Heavy Metals.

At the moment we are a little over half way towards the goal of $540.00 which is the total cost of these two tests.

Please donate to the Bubbles Make Him Smile Therapy Fund.

Thank you for your consideration and contribution,
Tanaya, Daniel, and Bryce

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The evolution of art

It’s not very often that I am quick enough to save Bryce’s drawings that he makes on our computer before he erases everything and starts over, but I have a years worth of his artwork and wanted to share them with you. These were made by Bryce using a program called Kid Pix Deluxe 4 (best drawing program ever). If you follow our blog you may notice some familiar images like drawings of Olympic torch carriers, scenes from one of Starfall.com’s stories ‘Robot and Mr. Mole’, Wii Sports Resort Swordsplay gladiators, and of course, wrestling rings.

Without further ado, please enjoy the evolution of some of Bryce’s art from August 2011 to August 2012.

Bryce has been really into using Kid Pix a lot more lately, and he has recently discovered the ‘Save’ feature, so we will share more art too! Check out more of Bryce’s art on our Facebook page.

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Blowing bubbles at Walmart

A huge shout out and thank you to our local Walmart Supercenter for letting us set up a table outside their entrance to blow bubbles and sell our bubble blowers! We had so much fun!

Partial proceeds benefited the Canadian Red Cross, a non-profit, humanitarian organization dedicated to improving the situation of the most vulnerable in Canada and throughout the world. Their mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world. The Canadian Red Cross provides a wide range of assistance to millions of people in Canada through health services, injury prevention (such as water safety and first aid), violence and abuse prevention, and by responding to and preparing for disasters. They also help the world’s most vulnerable populations, including victims of armed conflict and communities destroyed by devastating disasters, through their international programs.

To learn more about the Canadian Red Cross please visit their website: http://www.redcross.ca

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Organic Acid Profile Test results

Thanks to your donations to the Bubbles Make Him Smile Therapy Fund we were able to raise money for Bryce’s Organic Acid Profile Test. This test provides an accurate evaluation of intestinal yeast and bacteria. Abnormally high levels of these microorganisms can cause or worsen behavior disorders, hyperactivity, movement disorders, fatigue and immune function. It was a test that our naturopathic doctor, Dr. Tasreen Alibhai, highly suggested we get done for Bryce.

The results are in, and believe me when I say, it’s A LOT to take in. Unfortunately we were late for our appointment with Dr. Alibhai to discuss the results in full detail, and had to reschedule that, but I figured I’d share the results anyways, not fully understanding them myself. She mentioned a list of supplements which I’ll go into more details after our rescheduled appointment. She also briefly mentioned a couple more tests she’d like for us to do: a Food Sensitivity test ($300.00) and a Red Blood Count Essential Elements test ($240.00).

I honestly can’t even pronounce half of the jargon used in this test, but Dr. Alibhai did add some notes to bring attention to some of the more important results, like Bryce having a high level of arabinose (yeast), something about a low oxalate diet, scribbles about vitamins, and made note about low protein.

Organic Acids Test – Nutritional and Metabolic Profile
Intestinal Microbial Overgrowth
(Click the graphic to view it in a bigger format)

Organic Acid Profile Test results 

Organic Acids Test – Nutritional and Metabolic Profile
Oxalate Metabolites, Glycolytic Cycle Metabolites, Krebs Cycle Metabolites, Neurotransmitter Metabolites, Pyrimidine Metabolites, Folate Metabolism
(Click the graphic to view it in a bigger format)

Organic Acid Profile Test results 

Organic Acids Test – Nutritional and Metabolic Profile
Ketone and Fatty Acid Oxidation, Nutritional Markers
(Click the graphic to view it in a bigger format)

Organic Acid Profile Test results 

Organic Acids Test – Nutritional and Metabolic Profile
Indicators of Detoxification, Amino Acid Metabolites, Bone Metabolites, Indicator of Fluid Intake
(Click the graphic to view it in a bigger format)

Organic Acid Profile Test results 

Like I said, it’s a lot to take in. I don’t know where to start, and I hope that the rescheduled appointment to discuss the results will clear up a lot of my questions. And it looks like we have a lot more fundraising ahead of us for these next tests our naturopathic doctor is recommending.

Just so we’re all on the same page here, I just wanted to say that we are not trying to cure autism. We are treating it. If there is anything not harmful that I can do to help my son so that he is able to be the best he can and will be and make his life just 0.000001% easier, then I’m going to do whatever it takes to make that possible. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for my son.

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wrestling themed birthday party

We celebrated Bryce’s birthday this past weekend with a birthday party at Club Aviva. Club Aviva is a gymnastics facility that includes an in-ground foam pit, in-ground trampolines, in-ground 30 feet TumbleTrak, and three above-ground trampolines. They also have all of the traditional gymnastics apparatus including bars, beams, vault, as well as a double-mini trampolines and an 80 feet rod floor for trampoline gymnastics, and a variety of smaller scale equipment for preschool gymnastics. It was the perfect place to host Bryce’s wrestling themed birthday party.

More specifically, the theme was World Wrestling Entertainment since Bryce is really into wrestling and all things related right now. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an ounce of any WWE decorations at any of the party supplies stores I went to and wasn’t about to pay a hefty shipping fee to find things online. We were only going to be in the party room for an hour just for food, cake, and opening up presents so I didn’t feel like we needed a ton of decorations, so my main focus was just the cake and balloons.

We got Bryce’s wrestling ring cake custom-made at a local bakery. We added three black candles that we got at a dollar store on every corner to make the posts and stringed theme together with red ribbon for the rope.

I got black balloons from a dollar store, a helium tank and Elmer’s Paints paint pens from Walmart and painted the WWE logo on them myself. They turned out really nice and authentic. Just a side note, but the paint is really light, so the possibilities of customizing your own balloons is endless.

Ok, onto the good stuff. Club Aviva’s birthday parties are 2 hours long with 60 minutes being play and 60 minutes designated for food, cake, and opening up presents time. The first hour you spend 20 minutes at 3 different stations. The first area is a gigantic bouncy castle slide apparatus. This thing was insane! The kids were just flying up and down it, and Bryce really enjoyed it too.

Next was Bryce’s favourite part: the trampolines. There’s a huge foam pit where you can swing off a rope or jump from a trampoline to get into. Bryce gave the rope a try, but he wouldn’t let go. It was really cute to see all his friends cheering him on and encouraging him to let go, but he just wasn’t ready for it, but he had a ton of fun on the trampolines.

The last area was free-play with a smaller bouncy slide, a rope swing, some balancing beams, and a gymnastics floor to use as you pleased. I considered it a cool-down, because at this point, all the kids were pooped out, including me!

The last hour is food, cake, and presents in your own personal little dining hall and kitchen. Bryce’s cake looked amazing, and he kept looking at it with a huge smile. It made my day.

We appreciated everyone who took the time out of their busy summer to come celebrate Bryce’s 11th birthday with us. We had a blast and hope you did too!

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya