Category Archives: Families

Tommy Des Brisay’s Journey: Finding Inclusion through a celebration of strengths

IMG_3514_cropped.jpgOur son Tommy runs fast. So fast he was selected as a Paralympic Tokyo 2020 hopeful, and represented Canada at the World Para Athletic Championships 2017!

Twenty-seven-year-old Tommy is a proud, happy autistic runner, Disney enthusiast and YouTube personality! His hometown running and road racing community warmly embraces him. He trains with the Ottawa Lions Track Club where he has friends who share his love of running. He’s also part of a thriving online community of Disney fans, and those who share a bond in Autism. Continue reading

The Modern Classroom: Are They Really Learning at School?

boy-child-childhood-207653.jpgJust like everything else in our world, classrooms have evolved quickly in recent years. Where the chalkboard once stood, there is a smart board or projector. Where there once were textbooks, there are chrome books and iPads. Where there once were rows of individual desks facing the front, there are now clumps of desks, standing desks, clipboards and beanbag chairs. The physical components that have changed are just one aspect of the new classroom environment. The modern classroom is different than it was even 10 years ago. Read on to discover an explanation to some of the ways your child’s classroom may have changed since you were in school.
Continue reading

Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness – The Benefits for children

Yoga.jpg

Pairing a hyperactive child with a quiet, slow form of exercise, may sound counterintuitive and even disastrous, but it turns out yoga can be incredibly helpful for children with challenging behaviours or special needs. Mindfulness is also good for children as it can help them improve their ability to pay attention, to calm down when they are upset, and to make meaningful decisions.

Continue reading

Safe and Secure Relationships – Part 3 of 3

child-cute-enjoyment-1257099.jpg

Creating Safe and Secure Relationships in early learning environments results in children who are confident and curious to learn, more able to problem solve and have increased levels of frustration tolerance. Safe and Secure Relationships are essential and are the foundation in reducing behavioural challenges in all age groups. When a child is treated with empathy, they gain a sense of belonging that leads to positive relationships and optimal learning. Further, when children are treated with empathy they learn how to be empathetic towards others. Continue reading

Attachment is the Work of Both the Caregiver and the Child

AttachmentWhat is a secure attachment?
A biologically based (innate) connection children feel to their parent or caregiver on whom they rely to help them feel safe, cared for, and protected. Attachment is the deep and lasting connection that children form with the people they depend on for care and protection. The work of attachment does not belong to the child. It involves caregiver as protector and the child needs to feel confident that the caregiver will protect them. Children form different kinds of attachment (e.g. secure or insecure) depending on how well their needs are met.

Different types of attachment:

  • Secure attachment – Caregiver reacts quickly and positively to child’s needs-
  • Insecure/Avoidant attachment – Caregiver is Unresponsive, uncaring, dismissive
  • Insecure/Ambivalent – Caregiver Responds to child inconsistently
  • Insecure/Disorganized – Caregiver is abusive or neglectful; responds in frightening or frightened ways

Continue reading

Letter to you, my perfectly imperfect daughter…

Your birth on April 18th 2015 was the happiest day of my life. You know, less than a year before your arrival, you had a big brother but he had the wings of an angel. So when I held you in my arms for the first time, it was both a relief and the culmination of a big dream; becoming a mother. You arrived 4 weeks earlier than expected after nearly 23 hours of labor.

JulieBenoit

Photo credit: Jessica Côté

When I saw you for the first time, I was ecstatic but this little voice inside my heart and my head was telling me that something wasn’t right. I guess we can call it intuition. When I changed your diaper for the first time, I noticed right away this little malformation on your skin in your lower back. I didn’t waste any time; I spoke to your doctor and from then on, a range of specialists entered your life and you have had to undergo a whole battery of tests that caused you to suffer more often than not. All the doctors seemed worried but nobody knew what was really going on so we were referred to different specialists. Continue reading

Screen time in Young Children: Information for Early Childhood (0-6) Professionals

Target Audience: This article is for professionals in child care, health, education looking for information about overuse of technology in young children (aged 0-6).

Dave’s Story, Part 1

Owen_1Dave is a 5-yo at your childcare centre. He can be very gentle and kind at times, but lately he’s been aggressive and wanting to fight with the other kids. You suspect he watches a lot of superhero movies, and he often comes in dressed like a superhero.

You can see that he has a lot of technology in his life. When his dad picks him up, you see his dad on his cellphone in the car prior to coming in. When dad comes in, Dave wants his dad’s cellphone, which dad gives to him on the way out. In the parking lot, you see that Dave is going to be watching videos on his way home…

How would you help Dave’s dad, in order to help little Dave?

Continue reading