Most young families look forward to summertime – a holiday and a break from the old routines. For those who have young children with autism, going on a vacation may be simply out of the question because of the disruption to routines, travelling to a strange place, or visiting with relatives the child is unfamiliar with. Throw in a special diet into the mix and travelling becomes even more difficult. You have to avoid restaurants and take your own food everywhere.
Parents of special needs children or adults need respite care to get a much-needed break from the stresses of their parenting situation. Most parents find it difficult to find good, reliable childcare – to leave their child with someone who may not have the experience in dealing with the problems of autism. Young people such as high school students can struggle with the demands of difficult behaviors. The job requires someone with maturity and experience.
Mother’s Day is on Sunday, May 9th. It’s an occasion when we celebrate and recognize what mothers mean to us and the difference they have made in our lives.
The Winter Olympics wrapped up on Sunday in
The Christmas holidays were something I always enjoyed throughout my childhood and young adult life. It’s that time of year to recognize people you care about by giving a gift or a card. Family and friends get together to socialize. Routines can go by the wayside for a couple of weeks.
Our autism community was in the headlines again last week over the tragic death of James Delorey in
The start of the school year is an anxious time for parents, especially if their child on the spectrum is attending a new school. Even if a child is returning to the same school there may be changes such as a new teacher, aide or classroom or program adjustments.
Setting aside time just for yourself is not something any mother does readily. We know we’re supposed to look after ourselves but that usually comes after childcare, a job outside of the home, housecleaning, grocery shopping, meal preparation and running errands.
My husband and I have been cycling with our children since they were babies. We used the chariot carts attached to our bikes for years to take them safely riding with us. We tried for several years to get them to ride their own bikes independently.
I am often asked the question when is the best time to start toilet training and how does a parent know when their child is ready to be trained. Personally, I think the summer can be a great time to start because school is finished and there are fewer day to day demands on the child. The less people involved in the toileting process, the easier it is. If you are a family that stays at home for the summer or just takes a short holiday, the summer break can be an ideal time to start. Both of my children were toilet trained over the summer – Julia at age 6 and Marc at age 9.
Although the hobby of scrapbooking is very popular right now, I must thank my 91 year-old mother-in-law for the conceptualization of this item. Many years ago when my children were young and we visited her in Scotland, my mother-in-law pulled some scrapbooks out of a drawer that she had made. The pages were covered with pretty bits of ribbon and stickers, portions of greeting cards, pictures from magazines – any attractive piece of paper that came her way. She had a box where she collected these items until the “mood came on her” and she would make a scrapbook. Most of these scrapbooks she donated to hospitals for children to look at, but some she kept for little visitors and grandchildren.
Nothing causes more exasperation to an already stressed out parent of a child with special needs than the child who makes mealtimes a disaster! In my 25 tears as a pediatric occupational therapist, and a mother of three children, I know firsthand how developing socially acceptable eating and drinking skills promotes quality of life.