#Review: #Ontario #Science Centre – #ScienceOfRock

After our drive into Toronto, which was relatively painless I might add, the kids got really excited when we finally pulled into the parking lot at the Ontario Science Centre. My daughter is CRAZY about science so she was really looking forward to this excursion all week, telling everyone we were going.

Entering into the exhibit park of the Ontario Science Centre was a HUGE ruler that represented a ton of time, with fossils and rocks that were discovered to be about each time frame. My daughter literally mauled the dinosaur fossil along this ruler.

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We weaved through various areas until we found the Science of Rock exhibit.

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We checked out the different displays that went through recent decades of music, which included the popular and new instruments and bands for each era.

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Then we found the interactive areas and had LOTS of fun!

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The kids even let me “play” too…my daughter insisted on taking the photo (sorry it’s a bit fuzzy but my daughter is still learning how to take photos):

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Considering how much “video mixing” my son does on Youtube, it’s not surprising he gravitated towards the music mixing board.

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We also found an exhibit that was all about the human body. My daughter was so excited to see all the skeletons.

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There is an exhibit all about electricity too. My son gravitated towards the train (what is it about kids with Autism and trains?!).

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My daughter was chosen from the audience for the electricity demonstration…mainly because she has the PERFECT hair for the demonstration.

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They also found a static ball, which they were fascinated with…until they went to hold hands afterwards and my son got quite the shock (he was fine…just surprised).

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We had lunch there. I was impressed that there were different “stations”, which reduced the line ups. The food prices were comparable to movie theatre prices so it cost about $20 to feed the three of us. My daughter felt the macaroni was a bit dry, but my son and I enjoyed the pizza. It even took my daughter a while to eat the MONSTER-sized cookie! It was the size of her head!

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She even wanted a picture of our hands, with the entrance stamps:

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My daughter asked me to quote her about going to the Ontario Science Centre:

It was awesome! I really liked the skeleton. It was really cool and fun. I even got to rock climb. I loved playing the drums and singing, and I really liked the cookies and garlic bread.”

When I asked my (limited verbal) son if he had fun that day, he proudly said “yes!”. I asked if he wanted to go back and he said “yes!”.

We had such a great day that the kids can’t wait to go back again. Four hours went by in a flash, and I was able to keep my son on task or within easy reach, without being worried about him taking off. There was so much cuteness throughout the day, starting in the parking lot just to get inside. ;)

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Meghan and her children were given free admission in exchange for this review. All opinions are her own.

 

My Son’s #SpecialOlympics Day was Special for #Mom Too!

About a month before the end of school, a Special Olympics day was held in town. I didn’t know what to expect but I was really excited…probably more than I should have been, but it was the first time my son and I got to attend with his class because he had been in IBI therapy for previous years.

I was amazed at the sheer number of children and schools that were in attendance. My son is fortunate to be in an Autism-specific class so my man and I met them at the school that was hosting the event. It was hard to find parking! None of the spots in the school’s parking lot were available so we had to park a few blocks away. We found my son’s class, under a little pop-up sunshade. Apparently all other students were gathered in the school’s auditorium for Opening Ceremonies. With the hundreds of children, personally, I think my son’s class was smart NOT going in there!

Soon, we heard bagpipes as all the students were starting to file out of the school to the field.

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Each of the children had “passports” to get stickers at each activity. Needless to say, the kids loved choosing stickers for each one!

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One of the activities was a race for each class. The volunteers overseeing the race lined all my son’s class and explained that they will count to three then everyone run. They counted down, and all the kids ran…past the finish line and all the staff and parents started chuckling…no one had told our kiddos to stop at the finish line, so they just kept on running! LOL! The volunteers ran after them and told them all to stop. It was so cute!

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There was also beanbag toss, “javelin” (with a pool noodle) and ball throw:

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I was amazed at the shear numbers of children, and everyone’s different abilities, both visible and invisible to the eye. It was wonderful to see all the helpers (both school staff and volunteers for the day) supporting all these children to have fun for the day.

A quick shout out to my son’s amazing teacher…I LOVE this picture of her with one of my son’s friends. I think it perfectly shows how much she loves her job, and her kindness towards our kiddos. I wish I could clone her for EVERY single one of our kiddos on the Autism Spectrum!

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New #Printables Page

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Have decided to add a new Printables Page to my blog, where I can share print-items I find useful for myself, the kids and/or our home. Would love to hear from you whether you find the printables useful and/or if there are items you would like to use. I’m hoping this will be a very interactive part of my blog.

 

First set of printables include Summertime activities:

  • in the community
  • inside fun
  • let’s get outside

 

Enjoy!

 

My Little Man “Won” at the #ToothDoctor

Last week, my son was *supposed* to have a molar removed and xrays of his mouth done while he was asleep. Years ago, going to the dentist was VERY stressful for him but then I discovered that bringing along his Spiderman weighted blanket really helped with his stress levels. I would also prep him by reading a social story about doing to the dentist. We were referred to a dentist in town who understands how to work with kids with Autism so his staff would also schedule the appointment for when there weren’t many other kids in the office at that time.

 

A few months ago, my son kept sticking his fingers into his mouth, which is odd behaviour for him. I got him to open his mouth so I could look inside…one of his molars was black, on the inside part of it. Eek! I told him we would go to the dentist and that the dentist could help. It was the easiest appointment at the dentist…forever now known as the “tooth doctor”‘ as my son says. He gave us a prescription for antibiotics (THAT was interesting to get in my son three times per day!), and referred us to a sleep dentist to have the molar removed.

 

We met with that dentist. He’s an elderly gentleman with a very calm voice, so my son really liked him. The molar removal was booked for a month later…which was last week. I explained what I could to my son for a few days leading up to it and every morning, he would ask “tooth doctor today?”. “No hunny, it’s on Thursday”. He was excited to go!

 

I had to get some patches from the pharmacy to numb the back of his hands so they could put an IV in. He was sssoooooo good at not playing with them or trying to remove them.

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He was so happy to see the tooth doctor that he actually ran from the car into the building! We waited in the reception area for about 15 minutes, and he was surprisingly still with these patches on. I was so proud of him!

 

We went into the room and got him all set up with his Spiderman weighted blanket on his lap. All the ladies thought he was so cute in his Spiderman hat, tshirt and blanket. :)

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Then they started attaching sticky things with wires coming out of them to three parts of his chest. He didn’t like these. They also put a blood pressure cuff on him to try to get his blood pressure. He did that the initial appointment and squirmed a bit but having the other items on him this time too, he wouldn’t stay still…and one of the new staff members had the guts to tell me “you know, it’ll go faster if he sits still”. By then, I’ve been wrestling with him, trying to keep him still and stopping him from pulling all the wires off of him that I snapped at her…and I won’t apologize for it. I had already reminded them all that he has Autism, so this time I looked her squarely in face and told her “if you are planning on staying in this type of a job, you are going to have to figure this one out…it’s Autism. You’re lucky he’s even sitting. You had better learn something”. I’ll admit I paid no attention to her the rest of the time.

 

The tooth doctor came in and although my son was stressed a bit, he calmed down and moved the tooth doctor’s hand towards his mouth. Thankfully, the tooth doctor acknowledged “yes, we’re going to pull that yucky tooth out”. My son calmed down a bit…until the tooth doctor tried putting an IV in my son’s hand. All hell broke loose! The five staff tried holding my son down, while I was literally on top of him, trying to keep him on the chair, and trying to help keep his arm still, while calmly telling him over and over again that he was ok, the tooth doctor needed to do this to pull his tooth, mommy is here, that I love him, etc. The whole time, I was thinking “please don’t knock the dentist over and break his hip!”.

 

The tooth doctor gave up on that hand and went to the other. Same thing. Then he tried moving towards the inside of my son’s elbow…my son freaked out even more. After that, the tooth doctor gave up. My son now has a referral to the local university, where they can give him the sleep gas first, then do the IV that’s needed. I’ll have to tell them though that it’ll have to be out of him before he wakes up, or he’ll just pull it out.

 

He saw the tooth doctor in the hallway when we were back at reception for me to sign some paperwork…and he ran over and gave the tooth doctor a hug! Apparently, no hard feelings! :) In the car, he said “school please” so we went home, had some breakfast (he had to fast beforehand) while I packed a lunch for him, and before taking him to school, he said “bandaid please”…Spiderman, of course. :)

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When he got to school, he was a bit confused because he thought we were there to pick his sister up, not understanding that it was only 11:30. The teachers and helpers were very kind and let him have his choice of activity to help ease him into being at school…he chose the indoor swing they have. So slipped out, telling them to call me if he was too disruptive…and the next time I saw him was at the end of school.

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#PanicAttacks are NOT a sign of weakness!

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A couple of weekends ago, a very dear friend to me had his first ever full blown panic attack…while in my car. I pulled the car over, he opened his door, and “fell” out onto the parking lot. He was flashing back to when he was a passenger in an accident 8 years ago, when the vehicle he was in was hit by a drunk driver. He was so disoriented that he started walking home, while swerving all over the sidewalk and almost into the 2-lane each way busy street. Thankfully, I was able to convince him to sit down in the grass, in the shade as it was really hot. Because his mind was playing tricks on him, sitting in the grass was confusing him even more because his previous accident had been in the middle of winter. But at least he was safe.

 

It took almost two hours from when the panic attack started to getting him in the car and back to his home. Took another two hours to bring his blood pressure down, calm him and get some food and drink in him because of the amount of adrenaline going through him. He was actually having *physical* symptoms as part of this panic attack…where the two body parts that had been injured in the first car accident actually swelled up so I put ice packs on them. I kept calmly letting him know that it wasn’t 8 years ago. That he was safe.

 

He was mixing up timeframes, between the accident from 8 years ago in the middle of winter to the day this happened…on a hot sunny day, so that was confusing him even more. When I was finally able to get him to retain that he was having a panic attack, he kept saying that he’s stronger than that. Strength has nothing to do with panic attacks. You can still be the strongest person on the planet and a panic attack can take you down in the matter of seconds.

 

In my early to mid 20s, I had panic attacks on a very regular basis so I was able to recognize it in someone else. I always hated when people around me would tell me “just breathe”. Gee, thanks. Like I hadn’t already been trying to do that, while I’m hyperventilating! The best thing someone could do was hug me, tell me I was ok, and look after whatever stuff (ie: purse, etc) I may have on me at the time.

 

The irony of the timing of my friend’s panic attack is that I had just submitted an assignment the night before for my “Abnormal World of Psychology” course about mood disorders, including panic attacks…which I got 100% on so apparently my experience and my textbook learnings “worked” in a real life situation AND an academic paper!