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.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Can you fit into a size 12 and a half pair of sneakers?

“The more you know about autism, the more you can accept it.”

I had the privilege of receiving a copy of a book that I sincerely believe every child (and parent) should own. The Autism Acceptance Book: Being a Friend to Someone with Autism by Ellen Sabin. This book teaches the lifelong lesson ‘everyone is different and that is what makes us all unique and special’.

The Autism Acceptance Book: Being a Friend to Someone with Autism by Ellen Sabin

The AUTISM ACCEPTANCE Book: Being a Friend to Someone with Autism is an interactive, educational and character-building book that introduces children to the challenges faced by people with autism while also supporting their personal journey toward appreciating and respecting people's differences. The 62-page spiral-bound book offers educational information, conversation-starters, and engaging exercises that invite children to “walk in someone else's shoes” as they learn to treat others the same ways they would like to be treated themselves.

Their is a lot of information out there that tells you all about autism. You can even Google ‘autism’ and you will find days upon years of material to read and educate yourself from, but in the end there is no amount of time, no amount of professionals, no amount of life experiences that can prepare you as a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, a grandparent, or a friend, for autism.

I think I speak on behalf of every parent of a child with autism out there when I say this: While I strongly believe people should need to educate themselves about autism, I also believe people need to accept autism.

Autism is a growing problem that afflicts thousands of children every year. Children with autism face many challenges and obstacles. These children will have an easier time navigating the world if the people in their lives take the time to understand them better.

Children who do not have autism live in a world full of people who are different from each other in all sorts of ways. It isn't always easy for children to understand and accept people that seem different or behave in ways they find unfamiliar. When children learn more about people with autism, they will be supporting their peers, making new friends, and strengthening their own character.

Let’s embrace being different!

Thanks for reading,

The AUTISM ACCEPTANCE Book: Being a Friend to Someone with Autism by Ellen Sabin
Buy this book:,,, Barnes&Noble

Sunday, May 30, 2010

It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it

6.  Addiction and Substance Abuse
10. AIDS
12. Alcoholism
15. Alzheimer's
22. Arthritis
23. Asthma
26. Autism

This is a list of some common illnesses and diseases alphabetically which are diagnosable. Autism was 26 on this list and that was just up to “Au”. There are too many illnesses and diseases for everybody to be aware of or support them all.

The toughest part about having a child with autism is that the majority of people don’t care. People see your child acting out or behaving outside the expected “norm” and automatically think that it is from a lack of parenting or discipline. The reality is that parents of children with autism probably spend more time talking, demonstrating, encouraging good behaviour and disciplining bad behaviour than parents of “typical developing” children.

So why is it so challenging raising awareness for autism? And why is it that most people don’t care?

Autism is only a statistic until if affects someone you love. People in mass don’t care because it doesn’t affect them, it’s true. For example, myself, I don’t have anyone in my life that is affected by MS. I don’t spend my time researching MS, being able to know the symptoms and being able to identify them. Although I sympathize with people with MS and understand that it would be devastating in many cases to the individual and their families, but I know that there is no way I could actively participate and donate funds to every single cause out there.

So it truly is a tough job ... but somebody did it for diabetes, and somebody did it for cancer, and we’ll continue to do it for autism.

Hopefully we can raise awareness, raise acceptance, and sympathy, inspire researchers to develop more treatments, inspire governments to support our children under Medical Service Plans, and in all hope raise donations to help treat the reason we do this everyday of our lives.

We may only be making a small ripple in this big ocean but with your support we can make a tidal wave.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

The More You Know

We were at the mall today and we walked past a jewelry store and something caught my eye. It wasn’t the sparkling diamonds that lured me to investigate the counter, it was a blue puzzle piece sticker. There was a little display of this heart shaped jewelry that you can buy and a portion of the proceeds would go to Autism Speaks organization. The sign had a little footnote that said “1 in 150 children have autism”.

A sales woman came up to the counter and asked me if she could help me and I told her that I was just reading about their advertisement. I was sort of waiting for her to tell me a little bit more about it, but when she didn’t I then carried on the conversation and asked her how much of the proceeds go to Autism Speaks. She said she didn’t know but told me that jewelry they sold for a cancer organization received $25.00 from each purchase. I said that was great and then pointed out that the information on the pamphlet was outdated and it’s now 1 in 110 children and then lifted up Bryce’s hand as I was holding it and said that my child was one of them.

Now I know I may be looking a bit too much into this, as she was just a sales person and not a representative for Autism Speaks, but it sort of bothered me how little she knew about something their company was supporting. I mean she could of lost a sale because of the lack of knowledge she had regarding the cause. I don’t know why, but it really made me a little angry.

Then it got me thinking. I have never seen anything about autism let alone autism awareness anywhere in my area (aside from WAAD). In fact, I don’t know if it’s because we’re not huge socialite people, or if we have to know some secret knock for some secret autism society in our area, but we have honestly never heard of any autism support groups in our area and never see autism ribbons magnets car bumpers.

Isn’t autism supposed to be this huge epidemic? Isn’t it supposed to be more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes, and pediatric AIDS combined? You’d think there would be more awareness and support coming from something that is labeled as an epidemic.

I’m not expecting everybody to know everything there is to know about autism. I still don’t know everything there is to know. I’m learning everyday. But the more you know about autism, the more you can accept it. The more people we can support, the more we can all learn.

It wasn’t until we decided to join the online community earlier this year that we finally felt like we were not alone. In the beginning of Bryce’s diagnosis, it would of been nice to have what I have now: the beautiful hearts all around us from the autism online community.

So thank you to all those people and organizations that connect people who can relate to one another and promote awareness like:

Facebook pages Artists and Autism and Autism Mothers
Facebook groups Autism Support and Autism Awareness and Join if you know somebody with autism
Other social networks The Autspot and Autism Support Network

And these are just to name a few. You honestly have no idea how much we appreciate the amount of time and energy you put in for our children, for us, and how truly grateful we are that you support us and spread awareness.

Nothing is more frustrating than not having somebody you can talk to.

The More You Know

Thanks for reading,

Friday, May 28, 2010

My 10 Commandments

The Ten Commandments for Parents of Children with Disabilities:

1. Take one day at a time, and take that day positively. You don’t have control over the future, but you do have control over today.

2. Never underestimate your child’s potential. Allow them, encourage them, and expect them to develop to the best of his or her abilities.

3. Find and allow positive mentors: parents and professionals who can share with you their experience, advice, and support.

4. Provide and be involved with the most appropriate educational and learning environments for your child from infancy on.

5. Keep in mind the feelings and needs of your spouse and your other children. Remind them that this child does not get more of your love just because he gets more of your time.

6. Answer only to your conscience: then you’ll be able to answer to your child. You need not justify your actions to your friends or the public.

7. Be honest with your feelings. You can’t be a super-parent 24 hours a day. Allow yourself jealousy, anger, pity, frustration, and depression in small amounts whenever necessary.

8. Be kind to yourself. Don’t focus continually on what needs to be done. Remember to look at what you have accomplished.

9. Stop and smell the roses. Take advantage of the fact that you have gained a special appreciation for the little miracles in life that others take for granted.

10. Keep and use a sense of humour. Cracking up with laughter can keep you from cracking up from stress.

More children are diagnosed with autism, making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes, and pediatric AIDS combined. More parents and families will be looking for the same encouragement, assistance, and answers that we are. Please embrace them, share with them, and support them in anyway and every way.

Feel free to click on the graphic below to save or print ‘My 10 Commandments’ for your own use. (PDF file)

My 10 Commandments

Thank you for reading,

This is a revised version of a blog post written by Voices 4 Autism.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A little off the top

Bryce’s hair was getting long so tonight I pulled out my clippers and took a little off the top... bottom... well, his whole head really. He’s not the biggest fan of getting his hair cut, but he is a lot more relaxed than he was compared to his first hair cut.

He used to be really sensitive when it came to touching his head, especially around his ears and when he was getting his hair cut we’d feel obligated to give an overly generous tip to the hairstylist for having to put up with us for an extra twenty or thirty minutes longer than her usual appointments because of all the squirming Bryce did.

We’d usually go to the same stylist and after learning more about Bryce, she figured out tips and tricks to make the haircut a bit more enjoyable for him. She’d let him hold the clippers and feel what it felt like when it was turned on, and let him touch the part that cuts the hair so he realized it wasn’t his mortal enemy. She’d also talk him through everything she was doing, and in the end he’d get a sucker candy.

After a couple of times going to the salon and realizing that I liked his hair shaved around the same length, I figured I could buy a clipper kit and do it myself, plus it would be paid off after two hair cuts and save us money too.

Now, I am no hair stylist, but I think I did a pretty good job. You be the judge!

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Down by the Seashore

Bryce’s class had a field trip to Belcarra Regional Park to learn about the seashore with GVRD naturalists. We learned mostly about crabs, barnacles, and starfish and even had the opportunity to step out onto the muddy beach and turn over rocks to discover even more creepy crawlies. Despite the typical Vancouver rainy weather, Bryce seemed to enjoy it.

If you’re in the area and into the wearing rubber boots and discovering what is living under the rocks down by the seashore, I highly recommend you visit this place.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Vancouver Aquarium (extras)

Just wanted to share some pictures that we took from the Vancouver Aquarium on May 15th, 2010. Bryce really enjoyed watching the jellyfish. See exclusive video footage of Bryce with the jellyfish on our Facebook Page.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Compassionberry Awareness!

We wanted to step out and commend the amazing work done by Holly Robinson Peete on behalf of the HollyRod Foundation on this years Celebrity Apprentice.

For those of you who don’t watch the show, Holly raised over $500,000 for her charity which helps families in the autism community access affordable treatment and compassionate care.

Holly has a son with autism, and was very driven to not only raise an incredible amount of money to support families of children with autism, but to help promote autism awareness on national TV and convenience stores across America.

So congratulations to her, her charity, and for an amazing job promoting awareness.

The final task on The Celebrity Apprentice was to come up with a new Snapple flavour and all the marketing and campaigning behind it. HollyRod Foundation’s mission is what inspired their new Snapple flavor.

Compassionberry Tea

If you’re going to purchase a Snapple, why not purchase Compassionberry Tea to continue to raise funds for families in need of autism treatment like ourselves.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Bubbles Make Him Smile Origin

At the time this video was taken, there was a very limited amount of communication with Bryce. He didn’t know how to tell us that he was happy, or sad, or even scared. But every time we blew bubbles, he would smile, and it let us know that he loved them.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Facebook Page

We have created a Facebook Page! Facebook Like us for exclusive content available only on Facebook!

Thanks for reading,

Monday, May 17, 2010

Yoga for Autism

The Yoga Studio presents Yoga for Autism on Sunday, June 20th, 2010 at 10:00am to 11:30am.

Yoga for Autism

The Yoga Studio is located in downtown Squamish, British Columbia, Canada. Squamish is 45 minutes north of Vancouver on the way to Whistler, just off of the sea-to-sky highway at 37776 2nd Avenue on the 2nd floor. Click here for directions provided by Yahoo! Maps.

This 1 and a half hour class will be taught by Kimberly Beck in honour of her nephew, Bryce, who has autism.

Registration is at the door by donation and all proceeds will go to the Bubbles Make Him Smile Therapy Fund.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hockey Sunday

Every Sunday, as long as it is not raining, Bryce goes with us to the park for Hockey Sunday. Bryce doesn’t play hockey, but he does get some rides around the outdoor lacrosse box on skates. The park has a play area for the kids, swings, slides, play centers, ropes, all the normal park stuff. The park also has a spray park that operates during the summer months. Bryce loves to go to the park, and he is well aware of the routine on Sundays. We have a nice breakfast, and then he gets his shorts and shirt and jacket on. Then he reminds us its time to go by telling us to get the stick (hockey stick). He loves running and playing like all children. It’s not always perfect, and its challenging for him in social situations, but he’s made a few friends at the park that he plays with.

It’s really great, because I love playing hockey on Sundays and Bryce really loves playing at the park. It’s a tradition and Bryce looks forward to it.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Thank You, Kim!

I just wanted to take a moment to thank my sister-in-law, Kimberly Beck, for her generousity.

Recently she taught a yoga class ‘A Taste of Thai Yoga’ and donated a portion of her proceeds to the Bubbles Make Him Smile Therapy Fund, for her nephew, Bryce. Kimberly is an amazing person and is very passionate about everything she puts her heart into.

Thank you so much, Kim!

Thanks for reading,

Vancouver Aquarium (sneak peak)

Lately Bryce has been really into jellyfish, so today we decided to go to the Vancouver Aquarium. The very first place we hit up was the West Coast exhibit where the jellyfish could be found. Bryce was so ecstatic to see them! We saw the beluga whale session, a dolphin show, saw a ton of different fish and aquatic life, and even watched the BBC Planet Earth in 4D show, but we were mainly there to visit the jellyfish. We took a bunch of pictures and video but here’s just a sneak peak of a jellyfish and Bryce.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, May 14, 2010

Comments, Questions, Concerns?

Have a comment, question, or concern? Please contact us or scroll down to the bottom of any of our posts to Post a Comment. We’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Kindergarten Apps

We aren't into using pictures to label things for Bryce but when offered their ABA based flash cards, problem solving, and receptive language apps for free in April in honour of Autism Awareness month we decided to give them a try.

We use the apps to increase Bryce's vocabulary and the realistic graphics make identifying the items really easy. We also have the option to turn off features allowing us to have control and change our goals with each app.

These apps are available on iTunes for 99 cents (and some are free):

  • Alphabet
  • Zoo Animals
  • Healthy Habits
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits & Nuts
  • Actions
  • Which Does Not Belong?
  • Vehicles
  • Musical Instruments
  • Things You Eat
  • Emotions
  • Things You Wear
  • Receptive Combined
  • Things You Play With
  • Sports
  • Which Go Together
  • What Rhymes?
  • Shapes
  • Receptive Identification
  • Earth Science
  • Receptive by Function
  • Receptive by Class
  • Receptive by Feature
  • Famous Places

Kindergarten Apps

I highly recommend these to anybody wanting to begin or increase communication with their child.

Thanks for reading,

Should you buy that app? Five tips for decoding an iTunes app listing

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Patience is a Virtue

Sometimes the stares hurt. People looking at us as if we're bad parents because when Bryce is upset and frustrated and can look like a temper tantrum gone bad.

Lately when Bryce is upset and can't find a way to express his anger or tell us what's wrong he resorts to screaming. This deafening scream draws a huge amount of attention and that's when all the stares start to pierce us.

Sometimes we can find out what's wrong and calm him down, but for the times we can't he just shuts us out. Sometimes it can be hard to ask him what's wrong or ask him to stop screaming because it's difficult for him to communicate in normal circumstances so when he's upset it's just impossible.


We're not bad parents, we just have a lot of patience.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Backyardigans

Bryce loves The Backyardigans. It’s a CGI 2 series from Nickelodeon and Nelvana, features musical adventures that help kids develop their imaginations and express themselves creatively as they sing and dance along with five new TV pals: quick-moving penguin Pablo; mellow moose Tyrone; thrill-seeking, purple-spotted creature Uniqua; lady-like hippo Tasha and Austin, the new kangaroo on the block. Everyday at 4pm PST this show airs on Treehouse channel and Bryce is up front ready to watch it.

The Backyardigans

Their is not a lot of things that Bryce expresses much interest for so when we saw him getting into this we encouraged it and even bought him all the DVDs that were available. With that said he has memorized all the song and most of the dialogue and usually recites it as he's watching it.

I have to admit I don't mind sitting through an episode or two. It is really a cute series and I highly recommend it for any child.

Thanks for reading,

Monday, May 10, 2010

My Mama has an Artistic Heart

My Mama Has An Artistic Heart
by Bryce with help from his SEA

My Mama has an artistic heart
And she shares that heart with me.

With a smile
Mommy says:
“It feels like a sunny kind of day.
Let’s celebrate!”

And we do.

We grab our pencils
and off to draw we go.

And afterward
we go to KFC
and then play games.

And I know
I’ll always remember that
my Mama has an artistic heart
And she shares that heart with me.

a poem written by Bryce with help from his SEA

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful wife. Thanks for all the little things you’ve done throughout the year that didn’t get recognized.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mother’s out there! And a special Happy Mother’s Day shout out for mother’s of children with autism; Never lose hope!

Love Daniel & Bryce

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Follow our blogs as we share our lives with you and our experiences as people who love someone with autism. Blogs are written by Bryce’s mom (Tanaya) and dad (Daniel).

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, May 7, 2010


I love it when Bryce comes home from school with artwork that he’s made. Here are some hummingbirds that came home with him the other day.Check out Bryce’s Portfolio to see more of his artwork from school.

Thanks for reading,

A Grand Night At The Grand Villa (closed)

Grand Villa Casino has generously donated $250 to the Bubbles Make Him Smile Therapy Fund, and a dinner and hotel package for us to raffle off that we have named ‘A Grand Night At The Grand Villa’. This wonderful prize includes:

  • One (1) $100 Gift Certificate to EBO Restaurant, offering a wide variety of aromatic dishes expertly prepared by their esteemed chefs. Combined with an exotic harmony of stylish d├ęcor, EBO creates a seductive and exciting dining experience.
  • One (1) complementary one night stay in a Delta Room at the Delta Burnaby Hotel (an estimated $200 value)

Prize valued at over $300!!

These gift certificates can only be used at the Grand Villa Casino in Burnaby (Vancouver), BC, Canada and expire December 31st, 2010.

Tickets can be purchased by Tanaya or Daniel in person:

1 ticket for $2 or 3 tickets for $5

All proceeds of this raffle will go to the Bubbles Make Him Smile Therapy Fund.

A winner will be announced on Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 through our website and contacted via phone or e-mail to confirm address to be mailed the prize through registered mail.

A huge and special thanks to the Executive Leadership Team at Grand Villa Casino for providing a Grand Night At The Grand Villa!

Thanks for reading,

A Grand Night At The Grand Villa

Have a Grand Night At the Grand Villa Casino: An incomparable gaming, dining and entertainment experience awaits you at the Grand Villa Casino.

About Grand Villa Casino:

An incomparable gaming, dining and entertainment experience awaits you at the Grand Villa Casino. And you’ll receive a welcome that befits our Guest of Honour at the Lower Mainland’s newest and largest gaming facility. Lose yourself in a soothing atmosphere created by rustic, golden hues and the majestic marble columns that evoke the sophisticated charm of an Italian Villa. The spacious gaming floor, spread over two levels, is alive with the energy of over 50 gaming tables and 1000 slot machines. With 100,000 square feet of gaming space, two bars, restaurants and a show lounge, Grand Villa Casino will be your preferred destination for an unrivalled entertainment experience.

About EBO Restaurant:

East of BOundary, where local ingredients find a fresh direction. Experience new boundaries at EBO. Share the Passion. EBO possesses symmetry and harmony between Executive Chef, Vintner, and local food producer - sharing the same passion for quality, creativity and local sustainability. The Room Eclectic and sleek with warm rich colours. Lose yourself in a cozy banquette or dine in a semi private table enclosed with silk sheer curtains.

EBO is 100% Oceanwise - only serving the freshest of ingredients.

EBO Restaurant

About Delta Hotel:

Unwind amidst contemporary sophistication. Our Delta Rooms welcome you with attention to detail, rich hues and plush fabric. Flat screen televisions, generous work stations, full length mirrors, high definition movie options and Delta Sanctuary bedding compliments the sleek furnishing and artwork.

Delta Hotel

Prize generously donated by the Grand Villa Casino.

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, May 6, 2010


The other day Bryce had a kinked neck and asked for a band-aid. I tried to explain that a band-aid wasn’t going to help him but he insisted so I put a band-aid on his neck and it seemed to ease his mind. He associates band-aid’s with owwie’s and boo-boo’s. Sometimes he even asks me to kiss it better because, like most mother’s, that’s something you always said to your kid to make the pain go away, or at least make your child feel better.

It’s crazy because now Bryce may have this idea implanted in his head that whenever he gets hurt, or is in pain, that mommy can fix it with a kiss and a band-aid.

I guess it’s sometimes hard to say things to Bryce to make sure he understands it fully. Is he memorizing what is said like is he associating certain phrases or things with certain meanings and that’s how he knows? Like if he actually knows the alphabet or because of the way the song is sung that it must be the alphabet he is singing. He’s practically on a robotic queue to say “thank you” every time I ask him “what do you say?”.

In the end though, I’ll still kiss away his boo-boo’s and help him mind his manners.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Proud 'Mom'ent

Yesterday Bryce was presented with a Certificate of Recognition from his teacher at school.
 Certificate of Recognition

They had an assembly for the recognition and all the selected students who were recognized for something in their class were called up to the stage and shook hands with their teacher and the principal. When Bryce’s name was called he was a little hesitant to go up, making some of his frustrated, confused, and scared sounds. His SEA took him by the hand and walked him to the front of the room to join the other recognized students. And although a roar of giggles and stares arouse from the other students and some of the parents watching the event, I didn’t let it bother me, because Bryce being recognized for that moment was all that mattered to me.

After he got his certificate I waved for him to come to me and he ran down the middle of the isle in-between the other students and into my arms. I gave him the biggest hug and kiss he had ever felt. I’m so proud of him.

Thanks for reading,

Monday, May 3, 2010

Music Monday

Music Monday is an annual event that brings together thousands of students, musicians, parents and community members across the country to celebrate the gift of music in our lives, on the same day at the same time. On the first Monday of May schools all across Canada sing the theme song to celebrate Music Monday.

Music Monday

Today Bryce had an assembly at school to celebrate this event. I had never heard of this day before, but I absolutely love the concept and love the song.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Never to graduate?

We we’re happy when we originally told that our school board would be developing an integrated classroom plan for Bryce, and that he would attend class with the regular student body.

Although a struggle, A LONG struggle, we we’re finally able to get Bryce a Supported Educational Assistant (SEA) to attend class with him and assist with his learning. The long struggle is certainly a post for another day, and there is some discussion in parts of the Bryce’s Story if your interested.

As part of attending elementary school we assumed he would be able to graduate, even accepting he may have to repeat grades or may learn at a much slower pace.

During our very first meeting with the school, we we’re presented a document prepared by the school, that all in all basically said, your son will never graduate. The plan is to teach life skills necessary to use in day to day life, but there would be little focus on academics, and he would not be working on the same curriculum as his classmates.

This was very upsetting and disappointing for us…

We see how much potential Bryce has, and how intelligent he can be. Watching other videos from teenagers with autism about their experiences growing up, being ‘trapped’ inside and unable to communicate and relate to the external world.

We can only dream that reaching our funding goal for HBOT will change Bryce’s life so significantly that he can graduate… An activity that every developing child should have the opportunity to do. I have so much hope that the treatment will allow Bryce to be released from his shell, to expand out and share his interests and talents with the world. It’s disappointing that the medical community in large part accepts a standard of care for autism, as a do-nothing standard of care. We know from statistics that only 30% of children that receive the treatment are significantly impacted and that 25% of children see almost no improvement. But imagine if Bryce is in the 30%? We can. That is why we appreciate all the donations we have received, and are so very thankful to all those in the future that will donate to help us reach our goal.

We can’t wait to post the daily videos of Bryce’s progress in the treatment, and we have to remain hopeful that it WILL change Bryce’s life!