#Workshop – #Financial & #Family #Support for #Autism, #HamONT

Back to School 3

Excited to announce the first of a new workshop series being held in Hamilton, ON called “Financial & Family Support for Families Affected by Autism”. It’s being held on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at St. John United Church, Hamilton ON, doors opening at 6:30pm.

The first workshop is called “Getting Ready For Back To School, and Finances“. More information: 2014 August – Financial & Family Support – online rsvp.

Speakers will discuss:

  • Back to School: preparing financially and emotionally – by yours truly… 😉
  • RDSP – Melissa Greaves, Primerica
  • Budgeting – Christine Lasebnik, Primerica

Please join the Facebook group created specifically for this workshop series: Autism – Family & Financial Workshops.

Many Faces of #Autism – Episode 2: Vimi

Thank you so much to Vimi for sharing her story of her family, which includes herself, her husband, and three children. Her middle child (her son) has Autism.

Quick promo for Episode 2 (I love that her baby squealed during this promo!):

The interview:

Thank you Vimi and her family!

World #Autism Awareness Day FAQs – Day 2

Autism 21

Question from one of my friends when I invited them to ask questions on my personal Facebook:

I want to know just how wide is the diagnosed spectrum?”.

Well, the saying “When you’ve met one person with Autism, you’ve only met one person with Autism” is true. Some children are considered to be low-functioning, some high-functioning, and some in between, all in comparison to other kids without Autism of the same age. So the width of the Spectrum is frankly, huge…but always presents characteristics and behavioural traits that lead specialists to diagnose that child with Autism. The definition of Autism according to Wikipedia is:

“as a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired

social interaction and communication,

and by restricted and repetitive behaviour”


Common characteristics that parents initially present to their family doctor include some and/or all of the following:

  • no eye contact
  • don’t point using their index finger
  • using someone else to point
  • start talking and stop
  • line up items such as toys, etc
  • toe-walking
  • stimming (repeated body movements such as hand flapping, rocking, head butting)
  • unusual responses to people or attachments to objects
  • resistance to changes in routines
  • sensitivities (hyper- or under-) to things like sounds, tastes, etc

More information is available on the Autism Ontario website.


When we started on this journey, we approached the doctor when my son was 18months old, saying that he had been talking but stopped (whereas his sister started a bit later but kept on talking), didn’t make eye contact with anyone but me, used his father and I’s hands to point to items, and was lining up all his toys. It took another 2 years to get official diagnosis, where he was classified as “severe” but for those who know my son in person, they are amazed as this. He’s a happy little boy, with a smile that lights up the room, can work his way around Youtube like no one’s business, has made amazing developmental leaps in the last couple of years, is a funny dancer, and best of all…is talking! He doesn’t speak the way other 7, almost 8 year old little boys do, but his speech is one of the sweetest sounds I’ve ever heard…primarily because I’ve waited so long to hear it.

Fill In The Blanks Friday – 11/18

1.   A nervous habit I have is  hmmm…I’m not sure. I used to crack my knuckles when I was nervous, but that was when I was a kid/teenager. Now, I’m not sure what I do when I’m nervous. I guess I don’t find myself in many situations where I am nervous. Thinking back, I think I flap my hands to release some tension but that’s just a couple flaps…and only in front of someone I trust to show that nervousness to.

2.   Something that makes me sad is  when my daughter mentions that she misses our dogs that passed away. She’s said it a few times recently, and then she seems to move past it quickly enough, but it makes me sad every time.

3.  Today I am thankful for  being able to volunteer in my daughter’s Grade 1 French Immersion class.  Since I’m one of the only parents of the kids in her class who is fluent in French, I was able to work with 6 of her classmates individually on their counting assignment booklets. It was a great afternoon!

4. My favorite room in my house is  my bedroom. All earthtones, pillows, photos, books, etc. It’s a very calming room…when the kids and I aren’t wrestling in there of course. 😉

5.  I can’t stand  when people think they know everything about how to manage kids with Autism because they met someone once who had Autism. I can’t remember who said it but “when you meet someone with Autism, you have met only one person with Autism”.  There’s a reason it’s called “Autism Spectrum Disorder.

6.  If I had an extra $100 to spend on whatever I wanted today I would  replace some very worn down articles of clothing I own. Our clothing budget is basically zero so, whenever I can allocate money towards clothing, it goes to the kids’ needs rather than my own.

7.  The last person I hung out with was  my man. My days are filled with tons of appointments, school bus schedules, and being taxi to get my son to IBI so I don’t have much time to “hang out” with people unless they come to me in the evenings.  When I do have free time, I usually spend it with my man.