A new post I wrote for SpecialNeeds.com:
Last week, my daughter had her first knitting class and she LOVED it!
Until now, my kids have only attended classes or groups if they are offered by groups that can manage my son’s needs. My daughter has bugged me for years about joining swimming, gymnastics, knitting, etc classes. Each time, I would tell her that I would look into it, and hope the topic didn’t come up again. I grew up doing A LOT of extra-curricular activities: ballet, skating, soccer, band, orchestra, etc. I was never home directly after school other than to grab my skates. 😉
In reality, so many thoughts went through my head each time she asked about extra curricular activities:
- How can I afford extra curricular activities on my single income?
- What other costs will be needed (uniforms, team snacks, etc)?
- Are you going to stop growing for a couple of months so we can maybe get through one season in the same pair of footwear/clothing?
- Who can I trust with my wonderful child?
The biggest barrier though was: What will I do with my son…
Read the rest of my post here: SpecialNeeds.com/GuiltofExtraCurriculars
My post on SpecialNeeds.com:
For the first time in the 5 or so years I’ve been attending Autism-specific Support Groups, I attended one recently where I actually felt supported and understood when I left…and what’s even more amazing is that both my man AND my ex-hubby were there (awkward, and completely unplanned). I used to attend a Support Group that was for all special needs that was supportive and, ironically, the only families who attended all ended up having at least a diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum.
My experience with Support Groups for the Autism community prior to this meeting is that primarily parents of teenagers/adults with diagnosis are able to attend. I found myself sitting in a room filled with parents complaining about how little support they received 15/20/25+ years ago. Needless to say, as a parent of newly diagnosed child with Autism, this wasn’t very supportive, and hadn’t been my experience thus far.
See the rest of my post here: SpecialNeeds.com/SupportGroupWhereIFeltSupported
My other posts on SpecialNeeds.com: SpecialNeeds.com/Meghan
(Guest post on SpecialNeeds.com)
A few years ago when I was married, we invited a number of other families over for a “get to know you” type of BBQ as we all met at a 10-week course, in the beginning of our journey of learning about Autism. As we went from family to family, one family surprised me. They had received diagnosis within the last 6 months, and they were still trying to figure out how to tell their immediate family members. These same family members even babysat occasionally so would have obviously been familiar that there were “issues” with this family’s two boys.
Honestly, it took almost everything I had to remain composed during this discussion. The parents were highly educated, well respected, and employed in enviable jobs. They had the ability to understand what Autism is, and how to access programs and services to support their sons’ Autism diagnosis. Yet, they were worried about how their family would treat their kids, and especially how they would be “labeled” at school.
See the rest of my post here: http://www.specialneeds.com/children-and-parents/autism/autism-nothing-be-ashamed
Posted today on SpecialNeeds.com:
Because I’m an extrovert to the core, I’m naturally a “joiner”. I’m part of Parents’ Council for both of my kids’ schools, Autism-related support groups, special needs-related support groups, moms groups, etc. As a result, my schedule can get pretty filled between those groups, appointments for my son, field trip chaperoning for my daughter, being taxi-driver to ensure my son gets to IBI, etc.
I’ve seen groups that are well managed, others that are still growing, and others that have it so down pat that they are amazing! So, I thought I would compile a list of things I really like that groups put in place to help their members.
To communicate with your group:
- have a Facebook group
- keep a current membership list (this will look different for any group as some have fee-based memberships, others are just attendance-related)
- have an email distribution list…
Click here to view the entire post.
I am honoured to be posting on Special Needs.com. Such a wonderful online publication! Here’s part of my post:
Recently, within a few days, two of my friends confided in me that they are starting to think one of their kids (two different families) may be on the Autism Spectrum, and then they asked how I knew my son had Autism. I’ll admit that my ex-husband (we were married at the time) was the one who brought it to my attention when the kids were 18months old. I was surprised. At the time, I had recognized that our son seemed to catch whatever bug was going around and took longer to recover from a cold or the flu than his twin sister (not symptoms of Autism, for the record), but otherwise, I hadn’t noticed anything.
The kids’ dad pointed out that our son:
- Didn’t point using his index finger
- Had stopped talking (he had started talking before our daughter, and then stopped)
- Didn’t respond to his name
- Didn’t make eye contact with anyone
Being a new mom of 1.5 year old twins and working full time where a 40-hour week was a “light week”, honestly, I hadn’t noticed any of these symptoms. I didn’t have time to sleep/pee/eat, let along think?! I was also almost offended by him saying our son didn’t make eye contact. Our son made eye contact with me all the time!
See the rest of the post here: http://www.specialneeds.com/children-and-parents/autism/battle-autism-diagnosis