• anxiety,  apps,  autism,  exercise,  mental health,  mindfulness,  motherhood

    Thoughts from the treadmill

    J has finally, FINALLY recovered from the last two weeks of being really sick, and I thought for sure that we’d be back on track with behaviours and motivation. Apparently, that was wishful thinking. Lately it seems like it’s getting harder to determine if J’s behaviours fall into the “anxiety” category or “I’m a 17 year old boy and just want to be a punk sometimes” category. Throw in illness, changes in schedule, changes in semester, or anything else, it starts to get even more difficult to parse those things out. It’s downright frustrating as a parent (and I sense for J too), and I’m realizing more and more the…

  • anxiety,  apps,  autism,  home strategies,  mental health,  mindfulness

    The power of mindfulness

    Two years ago, I was in Canada visiting family. I was staying at my Aunt and Uncle’s cottage, and during the downtime I thumbed through a stack of Macleans magazines and came across this article about mindfulness practice in the public school classroom. It wasn’t the first time I had come across mindfulness practice and children. A few months earlier I had seen a call for autistic teens to participate in a mindfulness study at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. I decided I needed to know more about this mindfulness business since I continued to see more articles on mindfulness associated with the spectrum, so that fall I decided to take a class…

  • apps,  family,  mindfulness

    Learning How To Breathe

    Today the morning routine started out great. J woke up calm, ready to run, ready to eat breakfast, ready to work (middle school starts later in the morning this year, so we’re able to fit in a fair bit of studying and extra practice in the mornings). W had eaten breakfast and was dressed practicing the piano. It was all going great until 8:30, when W couldn’t find her play script and two minutes later realized that it was an orchestra day and she needed to be at school early. After a mad scramble to find her script, we packed up everything and were out the door in minutes when…

  • apps,  reading

    What’s on our iPad: Reading Comprehension Edition

    I used to think that we are all inherently good or bad at things. But after hearing Temple Grandin speak in Fargo a few years ago explain her strengths and weaknesses in math (how she was terrible at algebra and fantastic at geometry), it made me see “subjects” and “challenges” in a whole new way, and it helped me understand J a little bit better. J is an amazing speller–he always has been. Before he could really talk, he could spell words, not just easy words like “cat” and “dog.” He could spell “dinosaur” and “Hy-Vee-Food & Drug” and “Old Navy” and “octagon.” When he was three. He loves grammar and…

  • apps,  autism,  family,  mindfulness,  travel

    When Family Can Help You Settle Your Glitter

    I feel like the summer is flying by and we’ll be starting school again in no time. I was talking to a co-worker last week and we both decided that the fourth of July is the halfway mark of summer. After that it’s just a fast downhill descent to the beginning of fall semester. That means J will be soon starting grade seven and I’m not ready for that. We’ve got so many things to learn and work on before that happens. We’ve been working on handwriting, but I want that to be at a better place before school starts. We’ve been working on reading comprehension but not as much as I’d like.…