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, March 31, 2013

Breaking Tradition

Our Easter morning traditionally is an Easter egg hunt, our annual Easter Egg Smashing competition, and a very delicious breakfast. It’s usually raining or muggy outside preventing us from going to any Easter family festivities, but today the sun was out so we decided that it was time for a change in our tradition. By the way, Bryce was the winner of the Easter Egg Smashing competition again.

I quickly searched online for events going on in our community and came across Easter in Queen’s Park. Petting farm, balloon animals, crafts and face painting, magician and jester, and concession services. It was local and one of the few events around our area that was free admission, but I was sold at ‘petting farm’.

It was off to Rainbow Playland in Queen’s Park.

We immediately headed to the petting farm and saw bunnies!

And baby chicks!

A couple hens and a rooster!

A handful of little baby piglets!

Then one of the volunteers announced it was feeding time and all of the animals, not behind a fence or in a cage, came running to the trough.

It was a great opportunity to be able to actually pet something at the petting farm so we took advantage of it.

After the petting farm we walked around for a bit and checked out a couple of the craft booths as we made our way to the edge of the park where Mr. and Mrs. Easter bunny were located for pictures. Unfortunately, the line up was ridiculously long but I wanted a picture of Bryce with the Easter bunnies.

I hope this is a new tradition we will be able to maintain. It was really nice being able to go out as a family and into our community and take part in the Easter events. It’s not something we have been able to do before and I’m already looking forward to next year... to reclaim my title of the Easter Egg smashing champion that is!

Happy Easter!

Thanks for reading,

Where NOT to hide your Easter Eggs

Celebrating Easter with a traditional Easter Egg hunt in your own home? Here are some tips of where NOT to hide your Easter Eggs.

Not to hide your eggs: In plain sight.

Hiding your eggs in plain sight (like in front of your television) not only makes it too easy to be found, but it makes the hunt end way too quickly and that means less time to brew your first pot of coffee.

Not to hide your eggs: in the dishwasher.

Forget about how unsanitary hiding your eggs in the dishwasher can be, but what if it was never found and you forgot about it? We’re talking scrambled eggs!

Not to hide your eggs: in messy areas.

Chances are you will be taking pictures of this momentous occasion and you will look back at photos from this day of hiding eggs in pure regret for not hiding the mess as well!

Not to hide your eggs: in the bathroom.

Ok! Now we’re concerned about the sanitation of the eggs and the sanity of person who was in charge of hiding the eggs. (xox Daniel)

Not to hide your eggs: in, around, or on top of the kitty litter box.

... REALLY??!!!

We hope you all had a beautiful time with your loved ones this Easter!

From our family to yours, Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Art of Easter Egg Decorating

Step one. Boil eggs.

Step two. Lay out supplies.

Step three. Test product to ensure quality and yumminess.

Step four. Using a crayon, draw on remaining eggs you did not devour in previous step.

Step five. Create gradient effects, beautiful contrasts, and colourful transitions by dipping the egg into different cups of coloured dye and/or take the easy way out and just put the whole egg into one colour as seen in picture below.

Step six. Place eggs back into egg carton and refrigerate until ready to consume.

This concludes the art of Easter Egg decorating by Bryce.

Happy Easter!

Tanaya, Daniel, and Bryce

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Greetings from Hawaii... I wish!

Bryce’s Special Education Assistant (SEA) went to Hawaii over March Spring break and came back with a gorgeous tan and a Hawaii souvenir t-shirt for Bryce. I thought it was really sweet of her to think of Bryce and get him something during her trip.

It just shows so much more how much she cares and I just wanted to share how thankful we are for her.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, March 15, 2013

So far so good!

We got Bryce’s second report card from his new school today. A lot of it looks familiar comparing it with his first report card, but we know he’s made progress and we couldn’t be more proud of him!

Just a reminder: 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 again 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) again in Daily Physical Activity.

Since ‘G’ is the highest grade he can get, I guess you could say it’s just like getting an ‘A’. I have mentioned before how I am not a fan of letter grades in any form as it just summarizes a students progress and it is too generalized and non-specific. I really enjoy getting Bryce’s report cards though because it 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 continued to make excellent progress this term. He is well liked by all his peers, and he enjoys interacting with them throughout the day. He continues to be very cooperative and to be able to stay focused on tasks for extended periods of time.

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

  • sight words A, and away, big & blue in groups of 3 per time
  • one to one correspondence, give me #1, 2 & 3
  • letter sounds A-Z
  • sequencing the Tree & Ladybug story using words first, then, next & last (watch the video here)
  • #1-15 matching, counting forwards, backwards (watch the video here), sequencing & expressive
  • knows all classmates names (receptive & expressive)
  • daily living skills (bathroom & brushing teeth)

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

  • doing all sight words together (A, and, away, blue & big)
  • one to one correspondence #4
  • sequencing the Butterfly story
  • #16-20 matching, counting forwards, backwards, sequencing & expressive
  • finding out about someone (using sentences)
  • topical conversation again using sentences
  • using sentences & own words when asking for something
  • under / on & in / out

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

  • get Bryce to sound out words
  • get Bryce to ask for things even though you know what he wants
  • putting the cutlery away
  • play games on the iPad (sorting, letters, etc)
  • asking Bryce if the cup is under or on the table for example
  • non identical sorting

So far so good!

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Then and Now: His closet

Then (July 9th, 2010): Bryce would only wear one outfit every single day. The infamous ‘Yellow/Brown’ t-shirt with a pair of blue jeans. Anyone remember his big meltdown of 2010 when I had to wash it?

Now (March 14th, 2013): Bryce’s closet is full of all sorts of t-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, and a couple pair of jeans. He picks what he wants to wear and has no problem with variety anymore.

It’s crazy how much difference a few years can make!

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Just a little off the top

Bryce got a haircut and we shared pictures on our Facebook page, but we just HAD to make a hair-cut dedicated blog post. Ya know, to show his future wife and kids how his mommy and daddy documented most of his life and posted it online for all to see.

I do own clippers to do it myself, but I felt Bryce is at that age that buzz-cuts aren’t his look anymore (cause, frankly, despite all the different pieces the clippers kit comes with, it always ends up being a buzz-cut). I let the hair dresser do her thing, but I did mention that I wanted it a little heavier at the top so it could be styled.

Here’s the results:

I only ever go to Chatters for Bryce’s hair cuts. The staff is pretty good with him. I don’t ask for anyone by name, but I do always request someone who has patience. It always works out.

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Let me start off by saying that sending Bryce to this school was the best decision we have ever made as parents. This school is absolutely incredible and a breath of fresh air. I love the staff. LOVE! I have the outmost respect for his Special Education Assistant (SEA). She is amazing. (I’m not just saying that knowing she’ll read this... I’m saying it because it’s true. – Hi Ms. J!)

As a parent of a child with special needs, one thing I can tell you that sucked the most, at least for me, was the Individual Education Plan meeting. We sit down with Bryce’s teachers, principal, and staff and set goals for him. I have blogged about this in the past about how I’m not a huge fan of the IEP itself, saying that it’s just a piece of paper that gets filled in, revised once or twice a year through a meeting, and then gets filed until next revision. Bryce is in grade 6 now. I’ve been to over a dozen of these meetings and at the end of each school year I’m impressed, satisfied, maybe content with Bryce’s progress.

I bite my tongue, because today was the first time I saw progress, actual progress, and the goals from the IEP not only being met, but completely exceeding my expectations. I am proud. Beyond proud. So proud!

Today Bryce had student-led conferences where he showed me all that he has learned in school so far. It was the first one this school year.

Bryce showed me how he does math. He had a pile of numbered cards and had to arrange them in order and count it. Here’s a little video showing Bryce counting backwards. He’s kind of quiet (don’t know where he gets that from?!) so you may have to turn up your volume.

Bryce also showed me how he learns to tell a story in sequences using 4 cards that have pictures on them and he has to put those in order and then tell the story using, ‘first, then, next, and last’. Here is the story of the fruit bowl.

Going back to math related work, Bryce showed me how he is learning to count another way. His SEA requests a certain amount of whatever the object is by saying, “Give me X number please,” and Bryce has to put it in her hand and count it.

These may seem like little things, but when your child is barely verbal, almost 11, and has a disability that limits the things we take for granted everyday, this is huge.

I’d like to thank Ms. J for all her hard work and commitment. She is an incredible asset to my sons education, and I am very, very thankful. Thanks Ms. J!

Thanks for reading,

Monday, March 4, 2013

Thanks for all the love!

Bryce and I were sick in bed for two weeks straight with a really nasty flu that was going around. It really took a beating on us. We just started eating solid foods again over the weekend. It was exhausting! Bryce missed a lot of school too.

But we’re back to normal, whatever you want to classify that as. And just wanted to thank everyone for there get well messages on Facebook and Twitter.

I also wanted to give a quick little shout out to Pink Shirt Day that was Wednesday, February 27th, 2013. We were sick in bed, but rocking our pink shirts! Hope everyone else was rockin’ pink that day too!

Thanks for reading,