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.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas at Canada Place

This Sunday, we visited the port of Vancouver and the Vancouver Convention Centre at Canada Place to have breakfast with Santa. Our first stop of the day was to visit the Olympic cauldron. Bryce was so excited to see it.

We took this amazing picture of Bryce alone with the Olympic cauldron.

It was quite cold out this morning so we headed on over to the Vancouver Convention Centre, our destination for this mornings activities.

We we’re greeted in the lobby by some entertainers, a piano choir, and a few of the event sponsors. We lined up at the registration tables to pickup our tickets while enjoying the festive atmosphere and entertainment.

We took the opportunity to snap a picture of Bryce with Salty the Seagull, mascot of the Port of Vancouver, one of the event sponsors.

We made our way to our seats and treated ourselves to some beverages. There was hot coffees, teas, orange juice and water.

Next CTV’s News Weathercaster Kate Gajdosik introduced us to the events VIP: Santa.

After the introductions and a brief shout out to the event sponsors and the itinerary for today’s festivities we partook in the wonderful breakfast buffet. We enjoyed croissants, scones, muffins, pancakes, waffles, scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, and other scrumptious breakfast staples.

While enjoying our breakfast buffet we were treated to some of Vancouver based talented children entertainers. First up was Music with Marnie. Marnie is seen here hopping with her cousin from Australia who was visiting for Christmas.

Then it was onto some educational and inspirational singing from Bobs & Lolo.

To finish off the entertainment we had the energetic singing and dancing of ShowStoppers.

It was finally time to see the big guy. Bryce let Santa know what he wanted for Christmas and we took our picture with Santa!

We want to thank Canada Place, the port of Vancouver, and the Vancouver Convention Centre for a wonderful and memorable experience for us at the 4th Annual Breakfast with Santa presented by The Real Canadian Superstore.

Thank you for reading,

Friday, December 17, 2010

I love someone with autism

Do you love someone with autism? Tell us your story on our Facebook page for a chance to win an ‘I love someone with autism’ package!

The prize:

  • ‘I love someone with autism’ coffee mug
  • ‘I love someone with autism’ 100% cotton pre-shrunk white t-shirt (large)
  • ‘I love someone with autism’ tote bag

So like us on Facebook, post your story on our wall, and tell us who you love with autism!

We will select a winner and announce it on our Facebook and Twitter on New Year’s Day 2011.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Another gingerbread man blog

Tonight my brother-in-law and sister-in-law were babysitting Bryce while Daniel and I attended a Christmas party. There is a very small handful of people we know that can ‘handle’ Bryce in everyway that makes Bryce (the good, the bad, and even the ugly). Having friends and people you can lean on is so important. Sometimes you feel so alone.

Anyways, here’s a gingerbread man Bryce made while he was at my brother-in-laws and sister-in-laws.

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

An Autism Christmas Poem

An Autism Christmas Poem

An Autism Christmas Poem
by Cindy Waeltermann

Twas the Night Before Christmas
And all through the house
The creatures were stirring
Yes, even the mouse

We tried melatonin
And gave a hot bath
Asleep early for Christmas? unlikely path

The children were finally
All nestled in bed
When visions of Christmas
Ran through my OWN head

Did I get the right gift?
The right colour and style?
Would there be a blank stare
Or even, maybe, a smile?

Friends and family come
But they don't understand
The pleasure she gets
Just from bending her hands.

“Just make her stop it,” some say
“Just tell her “no”,
“You must learn to be tough...”
On and on they go...

We smile and nod
Because we know deep inside
The debate is moot
Let them all take a side

We know what it’s like
To live with the spectrum
The struggles, triumphs
achievements and regressions.

But what some don't know
And what some don't see
Is the joy that we feel
Over simplicity.

She said “hello”!
She ate something green!
She looked me in my eyes
She did not cause a scene!

She peed on the potty!
Who cares if she's ten;
She stopped saying the same thing
Again and again!

Some others don’t realize
Just how we can cope
How we bravely hang on
At the end of our rope

But what they don't see
Is the joy we can’t hide
When our children with autism
Make the tiniest stride

We may look at others
Without the problems we face
With envy, with wonder,
Or even distaste,

What we want them to know
What’s important to see
Is that children with autism
Bring simplicity.

We don't get excited
Over expensive things
We jump for joy
With the progress work brings

Children with autism
Try so hard every day
That they make us proud
More than words can say.

They work even harder
Than you or I
To achieve something small
To reach a star in the sky

So to those who don't get it
Or can't get a clue
Take a walk in our shoes
And I'll assure you...

That even 10 minutes
Into the walk
You’ll look at us all
With respect, even shock.

You will realize
What it is we go through
And the next time you see us
I can assure you

That you won’t say a thing
You'll be quiet and learn,
Like the years I learned to
When the tables were turned.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


So the other day we asked you for help for finding a certain shirt for Bryce. One of our Facebook friends came through and found something similar. We bought it. Bryce loves it. (So far so good!)

While it doesn’t replace his old ‘yellow/brown’ it definitely is a close match and he hasn’t mentioned the loss of his old shirt since getting the new one. So to our friend, (you know who you are!) thank you so much for your help!

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, December 12, 2010 #1 Most Wanted... T-Shirt

If you’re familiar with our previous blogs, you will likely have seen Bryce in his favourite shirt. He fondly refers to it as ‘yellow/brown’. He would wear this shirt every single day.

Even on days when Bryce was asked to wear something different, to school for example, he would always have the yellow/brown shirt in his backpack just in case. Accompanying the t-shirt was his favorite blue pants that we’re also a fashion must-wear for him. The problem was, he outgrew his favourite pants and favourite shirt.

One afternoon he told us he wanted new pants, and a new shirt. We were so excited, we ran to the store, let him pick out his new pants and a new shirt, and disposed of the old ones right there on the spot. Out with the old in with the new as they say!

Subsequent to that, if you recall when he went shopping with me, he wanted another new shirt and new pants so we spent hours finding a new t-shirt. Since then, we’ve purchased many t-shirts, but he still misses his old shirt.

Everyday he is asking if we can get him his yellow/brown. Whenever we are in Walmart (where yellow/brown was thrown out) he can’t focus on anything other than that shirt. Despite how the t-shirt has become a distraction, Bryce has found comfort and familiarity with it.

We would love to have Bryce open up presents on Christmas day and discover a new yellow/brown of his own that fits!

Unfortunately, we’ve spent hours upon hours scouring stores, thrift shops, and even online to locate a new yellow/brown to no avail.


Brand: Cherokee
Color: Light brown (almost yellow) with dark brown sleeves


REWARD TO ANYONE WITH INFORMATION THAT LEADS TO AN ARREST or information to where we can get the same shirt in a size small or 6x.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Graham Cracker Gingerbread House

Yesterday Bryce’s class made graham cracker gingerbread houses. It’s a very fun, inexpensive holiday project (and yummy too!)

Here’s what you will need to make your own:

  • Single serving milk carton, emptied and washed (this acts like the foundation for the structure)
  • White icing (store bought, use the recipe below, or your own recipe)
  • Graham cracker squares (8 per house)
  • An assortment of candies to decorate with
  • 8x10 cardboard covered in tin foil (optional) (to make the gingerbread house on)

1 Batch of Royal Icing recipe

2 egg whites (large size)
3 3/4 cups icing sugar
5 ml water

In an electric mixer, mix the water and egg whites with 3 cups of icing sugar. Beat at low speed for 3 minutes, and then beat at high speed for 2 minutes. Keep a damp cloth over the bowl to prevent hardening.

There are a ton of different icing recipes but the one listed above is what we used (and it worked out pretty well.)

If you’ve made a gingerbread house, take a picture of it, like us on Facebook and post it on our wall! We’d love to see it!

Thanks for reading,

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Beat Cares and so do we! woke up this morning and headed down to Brentwood Town Centre and donated 5 Bubble Blowers to The Beat Cares Holiday Toy and Food Drive. Donations go to The Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau, The Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society and The Salvation Army to help local families in need for this holiday season.

We met The Beat 94.5 radio personality, Kid Carson from The Kid Carson Show (we’re big fans of the show by the way!!) and Bryce blew some bubbles for him and the crew. The energy was amazing, and we wish them a ton of success this year!

The Beat Cares Holiday Toy & Food Drive

We challenge everyone who loves someone with autism to donate $50 in new unwrapped toys, non-perishable foods, or monetary to any organization collecting these types of donations in your area to help families in need this holiday season!

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya, Daniel, and Bryce

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Annual Ornaments

You can expect a lot of Christmas blogs throughout December. Daniel and I are both December babies, and we are big fans of the holiday season. Today I wanted to tell you about one of the traditions that I grew up with and have passed down to my family: Starting an ornament collection for Bryce. We buy a tree ornament every year for him.

Sometimes the ornament tells a story, or it’s something from that year that Bryce really enjoyed, whatever the reason, each ornament means something special to us, and we hope that it continues to be something special for Bryce as he gets older, enough for him to pass it onto his family.

Do you buy an ornament every year? What’s your favourite ornament? Like us on Facebook and tell us about it on our page.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Santa goes Green

Santa’s got a big problem.
Melting ice caps, global warming, surfing reindeer! The North Pole is going green this Christmas, and everyone but Santa is excited. He doesn’t want to give up things like TV, Christmas lights, heat in his workshop, and gas for his sleigh. Rudolf, that red nosed reindeer, has an idea that might help.

Tonight was the annual Winter Concert at Bryce’s school, and the theme this year was ‘Going Green’.

Songs included: Merry Merry Christmas, The Greenhouse Effect, Turn Off the Pump/Plug in the Sleigh, Power to the People, Recycle the Fruit Cake, It’s Our World, We’re Going Green, and Ring the Bells.

And while the songs were far from traditional, the concert still had the elements of Christmas like Santa, Rudolf, and elves, and it had a great message: Going green!

Bryce loves music, and singing, but to memorize the song his class sang and the actions, and to be able to handle the lights and sounds on top of everything else, it was just really amazing to see. We were so proud of Bryce!

Thanks for reading,

Like us on Facebook and watch the video of Bryce’s performance.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Help families in need this holiday season is donating 5 Bubble Blowers to The Beat Cares Holiday Toy and Food Drive and we challenge everyone who loves someone with autism to donate $50 in new unwrapped toys, non-perishable foods, or monetary to any organization collecting these types of donations in your area to help families in need this holiday season!

The Beat Cares Holiday Toy & Food Drive

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya, Daniel, and Bryce

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Marketing Food Products to Children

I thought I would share some of my observations I’ve noticed lately with Bryce.

Bryce is a very visual person. He enjoys sketching, colouring, and drawing on the computer.

What I’ve noticed is when we are shopping, the majority of his purchasing decisions are based on the food packing. It’s obvious companies want to make their products as visually appealing for marketing purposes, especially when stacked next to other products on store shelves.

Some examples are:

We purchase a particular brand of fruit snack for school because it has a cartoon lion running through the grass on the box. Bryce will grab it off the shelf and ask to put it in the cart, calling it ‘Lion grass’ for school.

During Halloween we purchased a box of Doritos to hand out to children who were trick-or-treating. The leftover became a snack for Bryce at school. Bryce would ask for ‘ghost’ whenever he wanted Doritos as a snack. The ghost was from the Halloween theme on the box. When in the store recently we asked Bryce if he wanted Doritos for a snack, and he said “No,” instead he wanted a ghost.

He also loves products based on colour, for example, he prefers eggnog over milk because it’s yellow. Even if you mix a little eggnog with a majority of milk, he is excited that the colour of the milk is still yellow.

There are other examples, but I’ll get to the point I am working toward.

I looked at the packaging in the store for the Gluten Free, Casein Free food products. On all (using a very broad brush here) of the packaging the marketing concept is clear. Gluten Free. Healthy. In almost all cases the product packaging was marketing to the adult, The niche consumer for this would be attracted to the healthy nature of the products, and of course the premium prices.

For a majority of items certainly the buying decision would be made by us, but for products designed for consumption by kids why wouldn’t they market to the kids?

I was thinking it would be nice if (with a few product exceptions I’ve seen) manufacturers of smarter, healthier food products marketed their product to Bryce, that he would make better decisions when choosing items for himself. Unfortunately for us a giant orange on the box, or a picture of the product with the words Gluten free doesn’t support Bryce with making good decisions.

If all food products we’re purchased based on their nutritional facts it would be nice, but unfortunately we live in a world where companies marketing to the kids are selling to the kids.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Breakfast with Santa

Breakfast with Santa presented by The Real Canadian Superstore is on Saturday, December 18th and Sunday, December 19th from 8:30am to 11:30am at the Vancouver Convention Centre at Canada Place. Tickets are available online .

Breakfast with Santa

Highlights of this event include:

Bobs & Lolo

Join Bobs & LoLo on a musical adventure for all ages! Dive in now to dance, sing and play along in an exciting world filled with music, movement and make-believe.

Music with Marine

The Music with Marnie Band puts on an interactive, high energy, musical extravaganza for all.


ShowStoppers is a dynamic group of young performers who love to sing, dance and entertain!

Emceed by CTV News Personality Kate Gajdosik, face painting, promotions, and giveaways from Port Metro Vancouver, Air Canada Vacations & Sandals, The Vancouver Sun, Vitamin Daily, Yoyomama, The Beat 94.5/QMFM, Starbucks and more!

We will be having breakfast with Santa on the Sunday. Hope to see you there!

Thanks for reading,