Category Archives: Families

Sensory Play

As an educator I found myself frequently volunteering to wash the dishes at the end of the day, it was the perfect stress reducer for me and gave me the opportunity to reflect on my day. Sensory play is not only important for children but for adults too!

Sensory pic 1

Three personal sensory bins with moon sand to allow children easy access and choice. These bins have lids to allow them to stack for easy storage in an accessible area to promote independence. – Fairview Child Care.

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Ready for School? Language and literacy can help

First Words logo.jpgAs a parent, you are your child’s most important teacher. In fact, you have been preparing your child for school from the day that they were born. Everything you have done so far provided the foundation for your child to grow and learn throughout their lives! As a speech language pathologist, I understand the value of language in a child’s academic journey. But as a parent of three wonderful girls, I whole-heartily share the same concern every single parent has: Will my child be ready for school? Will he make friends? Will she know who to go to when she is hurt?  Whether you are this easy-going parent or “that mom” who follows the school bus to school (not that I would know anything about this personally!), when the first day of school suddenly arrives, we all wonder how our little one will fair off.  We all want our children to succeed, especially at school.  Today, we will talk and share about what we can do at home to get our child ready for kindergarten.  Continue reading

Angelia’s Journey

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2017

Angelia is currently ten years old and entering Grade 5. Up to July 2017, she attended The Children’s Village at Bridlewood. My grand-daughter is a curious, creative, energetic, enthusiastic and affectionate child who also has special needs. She has several diagnoses: ADHD, LD and ASD. Labels aside, her challenges include social skills, staying on task, emotional regulation and transitions. Using language to express her needs, wants and to carry on conversations is also difficult for her. Most children learn these skills easily; however Angelia requires extra time to learn these. Without the support from our resource consultant from Children’s Inclusion Support Services (CISS) and the dedicated teaching team of the child care program who implemented the recommended strategies, Angelia would not have been able to continue to attend. I also believe that CISS and the teaching team have played a major role in helping her to grow and develop into the child she is today. Continue reading

A Family’s Letter of Appreciation

Inclusion Poster 18 x 24This morning, Madame Paule Mercier, supervisor at Aladin Childcare Services Inc. – Sainte-Anne showed me the new “Inclusion” poster that Children’s Inclusion Support Services (CISS) created to explain the renaming from “integration” to “inclusion”. Besides liking the great photos of our son Emanuel (as well as our dear friend Elise), the poster and photos really speak to how everyone benefits and is enriched by an inclusive environment. My take is that “integration” implied doing things because one had to do them for legal/political reasons, whereas “inclusion” implies doing things because everybody wins and everybody benefits. Continue reading

How families walk the financial tightrope of caring for children with medical complexity

Amy recites expenses with the precision of an accountant. There was the HEPA filter to purify the air in her home: $1000. An American Sign Language (ASL) kit: $1500. A plasma car: $80.

These are all necessary to accommodate Amy’s three-year-old son, Wyatt. Wyatt was born with brainstem dysgenesis, a rare condition where blood flow to the baby’s brain is disrupted during pregnancy. Because of his condition, Wyatt has a host of respiratory, nervous and muscular problems that require special accommodation. Continue reading

Clothing Rituals: Moving from Season to Season

Does your child have difficulty with change of clothing between seasons e.g. moving from shoes to boots, long sleeves to short, coat to just a tee shirt?  This can be a common characteristic in children with Autism and those with sensory processing difficulties. It can be the result of tactile sensitivity; the child is particular about the clothes he wears, finds tags and seams itchy or irritating, may not like having his sleeves pushed up, and likes only loose or tight clothing, socks and shoes or bare feet. Some children have difficulty tolerating touch to their skin and find that they can only tolerate certain clothing. It may also be the result of an intolerance to change in routine, transitions, or type of clothing. Some children are rigid and ritualistic because their world is confusing and overwhelming. The rituals and routines are their attempts to control their world in order to cope with it. Continue reading