• autism,  empathy,  exercise,  family,  mental health,  mindfulness,  motherhood

    Lessons from the long run

    When I was pregnant I was aware of every single little change in my body at every single stage of my pregnancy. I took prenatal vitamins. I read up on and kept track weekly of what was going on with my body and what was going on with the baby growing inside of me. I figured out really quickly what exact foods and smells would trigger nausea and vomiting. I knew exactly which foods would help a little with the nausea: limes and carrots (I was in my first trimester of pregnancy with J during my last semester in college and so I would carry bags of baby carrots to…

  • 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…

    Comments Off on Thoughts from the treadmill
  • family,  mental health,  mindfulness,  motherhood

    Let’s talk “neurotypical” stress

    This time of year is a stressful time of year. And right now I’m not talking about autism stress. Steve and I have been talking about the next few weeks and the things that are stressing us out. It’s funny. As “neurotypicals” I find that we talk about stress in a very different way than when we talk about J’s stress. We talk about it in the abstract. It’s something to dance around or endure. We use vague words like “busy” or “responsibilities”  or “I’m just stressed out.”  And as a writer, I feel like I should know better. I should be using my words better, because when I describe…

    Comments Off on Let’s talk “neurotypical” stress
  • family,  milestones,  mindfulness,  motherhood

    This is our life right now

    I have a favourite coping strategy and it goes sort of like this: “Give yourself (insert number of days or weeks). This crazy will be over in (that number of days or weeks) and then life will be manageable again and you’ll be able to do get to that list of things you really want to do.” It’s not a good coping strategy. It’s living in survival mode. I feel like a lot of my life is run in a constant rush or whirlwind or copious amounts of stress and I feel like I’m just hanging in there by the skin of my teeth. But sometimes I’m good and I…

  • 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…

  • cross-country,  mindfulness,  motherhood

    Full Catastrophe Living

    The turn of events this week are all because of one teeny tiny mistake. I thought J would picture this week in the exact same way as I pictured this week. I do this sometimes. I remove me and J from the world for a little bit, we work hard on hard things together, and then I expect us to end up at some better place I’ve created in my mind. I’m not shooting for the stars or anything. Just a small, positive change. One step forward instead of three steps back. That’s all. No Disney inspirational movie making plot here. I’m just looking for baby step progress. This is how I saw this week and…

  • Early Intervention,  Education,  middle school,  mindfulness,  motherhood,  strategies

    Prepping for an IEP

      J’s IEP is coming up this week. It’s something I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember.  I have binders full of Assessments, Evaluations, Re-Evaluations, Progress Reports, IFSPs (an IEP for kids under 3), IEPS (an Individual Education Program once a child turns 3),and behavioral  assessments. I even have copies of “my rights” as a parent of a child with disabilities from three different states. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a parent without all of these binders. To just send your kids off to school and collect report cards a couple of times a year. Over the years, I’ve learned some things…

  • 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,  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.…

    Comments Off on When Family Can Help You Settle Your Glitter