Behind starburst eyes

Some things you just can’t Google

There are times when I get caught up in ensuring that Mr.C is “on-track” or “at grade level” with his peers. I get fixated from time to time on the lists lit up upon my computer screen of all the things our local school board says he should know at this time. Lists of facts and figures, books they have chosen, grammatical rules and scientific theories. But no where in their reams of pages does it speak of morals, attitude, creative thinking, leadership skills, ingenuity or honour.

When I get caught up on what he does or does not know academically, I remind myself of the following:

I am not here to create a robot that can spout facts or scientific theories verbatim, but lacks the ingenuity to put them to productive use when he needs or even wants to do so.

I am not here to force him to memorize plots and dialogues, but lacks the critical thinking skills to grasp the significance of some of the literary works of art we currently have access to as a society in general.

I am not here to ensure he conforms to someone else’s standards, but lacks the honour and strength of character to stand up for what is right when what is wrong is being accepted as the status quo.

What I AM here to do is to teach him to (eventually) be a good man. To be the type of person others will be proud to call their friend, their ally. To be someone with enough courage to stand up for what is right, even when he’s forced to stand alone to do so. To be a man of honour, of integrity, to be a man of  ingenious leadership abilities, even when he’s only leading himself along his own path.

Don’t get me wrong, I DO teach him academics, but if it takes him a bit longer than some piece of paper says to learn about the periodic table of elements or the correct placements of commas I’m okay with that. Why, because he’s learning SO much more right now, he’s learning how to become the man he will be for the rest of his life.

Plus if he forgets the standard conversion rate of ATP to ADP he can Google it, but when it comes to things like strength of character well there are some things you just can’t Google 😉

Leave a comment »

#HAWMC Day 7: Why I write about Autism

#HAWMC Day 7: Why I write about Autism. Tell us why you write. How long have you been writing? What impact has it made on your life? Write for 15-20 minutes without stopping.


I write because if more people understand Autism than there will be less times that parents are ostracised and called out for their supposed flaws as parents. (Such as this)

I want to help show the parents of children that have just been diagnosed the beauty and wonder of parenting that still awaits them! I really am “Happy in Holland” and I don’t wish for different children. Instead I get my butt researching and thinking and planning on how to best help them to have a life they define as happy.  I’m going to repeat that, because I think that right there is a huge issue. I want them to have a life they define as happy. Nowhere do I say I want them to create the life I deem as happy, because it’s not about me, it’s about them. Just as my life isn’t about what my parents deem as a happy life, it’s about what my spirit says is personally fulfilling, and my children deserve the same right to choose their own happiness, as does every other person on this planet!

I write to help other parents see that they don’t need to feel helpless in their childrearing of Autistic kids; they can research and plan and create methods and ways to enrich their children’s lives and help them to access their fullest potential all without demeaning, or shaming them or their natural neuro-pathways. Such as ensuring their cortisol levels are decreased through regular physical activities so they have less overloading and meltdowns. Or making behavioural therapy plans while their waiting for ABA, or creating a sensory room, or finding ways such as massage or the creation of “nests” to make going to sleep easier for them.

I write about my sons’ health, about their “condition” because I want the world to understand the path they walk in this life. I want to share the beauty and wonder they bring to me, and to so many people around them. I want for others to see that yeah they’re different, but it’s beautiful and special and amazing and so incredible. I write about Autism because too many negative stereotypes exist and I can’t change them without shining a light on what Autism really is. What Autism really means and why neurodiversity desperately needs to be accepted by our society.

Leave a comment »

#HAWMC Day 5: Superpower day

#HAWMC Day 5“Superpower Day. It’s a bird, it’s a plane it’s….you! If you had a superpower – what would it be? How would you use it?”

assistance,business,businesswomen,capes,metaphors,people,rescues,superheroes,conceptsI’ve been thinking of this one all day, picking a superpower and discarding it as I think of all the problems it would cause instead of help. It’s gone like this:

“I know! I’d be telepathic!” But then I’d think of how difficult it is at times to have people say outright what they think is poor parenting when one of my boys is having a meltdown, never mind hearing them just think it. And so I decide, no that won’t do.

“I know! I’d be able to alter someone’s molecular structure with a simple touch!” But then I think of how I wouldn’t change my boys because I see the gift they are to me and to the world itself. And so I decide, no that won’t do.

“I know! I’d be able to teleport!” But with my sense of direction I’d just teleport to the wrong places all the time. And so I decide, no that won’t do.

“I know! I’d control the weather!” But then I think of all the times I’ve been in awe of a rainbow suddenly appearing, or laughed at walking through a random rain storm with the kids, but if I could control it, I’d miss the randomness that made those moments what they were. And so I decide, no that won’t do.

“I know! I’d have a siren’s voice!” Then I could sing songs that soothed instantly when either boy was having a meltdown. But then I think of how I won’t always be right beside them as they travel along their paths and giving them the tools to calm themselves are more important for them than just taking the upset away from them for them. And so I decide, no that won’t do.

Finally, I decide that if I could have any superpower it’d be be time travel. So I could go back to the me of a decade ago offer these words upon paper to be read all the times when it seemed that the world was against me and against my parenting, and against my beautiful boys.

Dear New Momma Me: There will be times when you want to cave and listen to what others say is the right way to parent, not because you agree, but because you are not battle hardened yet, and all you want is a life of love and acceptance for yourself and your child/ren. But you mustn’t! It will be hard to go against the grain and parent based on intuition, based upon the bond you have with your child, but it’s what’s right; for them and you. The times you will bitterly regret are the times you didn’t fight, the times you chose to cave to other’s opinions of what is best for your child. They are a part of you before they are a part of the rest of the world, and the bond they share with you is like no other bond that can ever be made or felt between two souls. Listen to your heart, for it beat for the both of you at one time, to tell you what is right and best for your child.

Leave a comment »

#HAWMC Day 4: “Theme song”

#HAWMC Day 4“Theme song. Imagine your health focus or blog is getting its own theme song. Think “Eye of the Tiger” for Rocky Balboa. What would the lyrics be? What type of music would it be played to?”


So I totally read this wrong the first time around, it’s a darn good thing I re-read everything for that exact reason! I originally thought it as pick an already existing song, which would be “Let Me Be Myself” By Three Doors Down. (Lyrics can be found here) 

But since the prompt is actually asking for my own health focus’ theme song, I would say that the lyrics would be about:

The haunting sounds of a mandolin would weave the tale of finding the strength to travel through an unknown place, for I see the struggling steps my boys take each day in a world that sees their way of thinking as foreign.

Bitter-sweet notes played upon a violin about the struggle of trying to balance who they are with who society insists they be for acceptance.

It would speak of the moments when their spirits were worn see-through thin from the hyper-vigilance  they must enlist in all social settings to ensure their actions and words say what they want others to hear.

It’s chorus would be filled with cello’s sawing out sweet notes of love and unconditional acceptance, for nothing has ever or ever will be more perfect to me than my children exactly as they are, no pretences or false gestures of conformity will ever be required by me.

Dramatic pauses highlighted by an increased tempo upon resuming the words for all the times they pause to translate the pictures in their heads into words others will understand.

The same mandolin would have it’s haunting notes transformed through tempo to show the brilliance and capabilities they innately posses if they’re just allowed to be who they are.

And at the end of it,  all of the instruments would harmonize together to make the sweetest, uplifting, get up and dance because you just can’t resist the sound kind of moment because that is what they do to my heart each and every day.



Leave a comment »

Today’s #HAWMC Prompt: Create a “Keep Calm” Poster‏

For today’s prompt I made the following poster:



I made it based on this post.

Leave a comment »

Easy = Right…Right?

There have been times during our homeschooling journey that I wanted to quit, I wanted to walk down the street a mere two blocks and sign Mr. C up for public school. There were times when I seriously contemplated it, I would write lists in my mind of pros and cons. All because at times it was oh so hard to homeschool. During times of stress, family issues, illness, and during pregnancies I struggled with homeschooling. In part I struggled because I was still trying to do it the way I’d learnt in school (small amounts of several subjects 5 days a week) in part I struggled because I worried about how much he was learning and at what pace, in part I struggled because I wanted to be able to do as much with him as I had when he was an only child.

But mostly my struggle came from a very mistaken idea I’d somehow become convinced was true…

I was convinced that it had to be easy if it was right, and if it was hard it must be wrong. Only life doesn’t work that way, children and parenting doesn’t work that way. Sometimes the best parts only happen because of all the hard that happens first.

It’s through the struggles that we grow as people, and it’s through the successes of surpassing some of those very same struggles that our greatest triumphs and joys occur.

With changing how many subjects we do each day we’re able to go much deeper into each one which balances out how often we’re doing them.

As for how much he’s learning, I believe he’s doing wonderful, I know what the current curriculum is for our region, I keep him apace of it, but I don’t make him stop learning because he’s “supposed” to wait until Grade X to learn something. Add in the fact that I still get to do tons of social skills learning with him by homeschooling him, seeing how far he’s progressed in the last 6 years and I know he’s learning more than enough to help him succeed in obtaining his version of happiness come adulthood.

I look at moments like the one that occurred the other day (And So a hero is born) and I know that I’m still doing just as much with him, because I’m teaching him something even more valuable than even math or grammar, I’m teaching him to be a good person. That dear readers is powerful beyond measure for his future, for his own happiness, and for his eventual contributions towards the betterment of society.

So while some days or weeks might be filled with hard it’s okay, because as I look at who he is as a person I can see that where parenting and homeschooling are concerned hard isn’t always wrong, and easy isn’t always right, sometimes hard = right.

Leave a comment »

And so a hero is born…

At the YMCA today Mr. C went to his homeschool group while Mr. N and Miss. G played in the gym. After it was over I stayed in the gym with them while my mom went to the program area to get Mr. C. He came into the gym and both siblings rushed to hug him as if he’d been gone for years instead of the hour it had been. Miss. G was trying her best to throw the basketball into the net. It didn’t really work, in fact it didn’t work even a little for her, she’d hold the ball above her head and try with all her might to throw it high, but it’d only go an inch or two above her head and then come bouncing down. Mr. C watched her and cheered her attempts on for a couple of minutes, but then he walked towards her and scooped her up. I watched Miss. G’s face light up with glee as Mr. C carried her on top of his shoulders towards the net so she could try and get the ball in the basketball net. Written upon her face was the sure and deep truth that he was her hero as clearly as if she’d said the words aloud, and my heart sang from being blessed to see this moment between them.

We hadn’t gone to Monday’s homeschool group in awhile, see it ends at 2:30 p.m, which is exactly when Joy would be picked up from the Y’s daycare. While my heart lurched and tears sprung to my eyes as the hands showed it was indeed that time, I’m glad I went. I would have missed out on the giggles as Miss. G raced across the gym to get the ball over and over, I would have missed out on Mr. N’s proud exclamations of “look at me, look what I doing!” as he tried to balance on his stomach on a basketball. I would have missed watching Mr. C and Miss. G bonding, and I would have missed the moment he stopped being just her brother and became her hero too.


1 Comment »

Dear Parent of an Autistic Child

I was recently asked what advice would I tell a parent of child recently diagnosed with Autism, while each person is unique and each set of circumstances are different this is what I would have liked to have known when my eldest was first diagnosed:

Dear Parent of an Autistic Child,

You have just been told that your child is autistic, and I’m sure you have a great deal of questions swirling around in your mind. Some might be questions such as: What exactly does this mean for your child? How will you tell others? Will your child be accepted by their peers? How can you best help your child to thrive and grow? What types of treatments should you utilize for your child? And so on, and so on…

I don’t have all of the answers, in fact no one does, not even the specialists and doctors have them. The only person with the best chance of having most of the answers is you. I know you probably don’t feel that way right now, but it’s the truth. No one will know your child better than you, no one will love your child the way that you do, and no one will be as devoted to their wellbeing and happiness as you are.

Research all you can about Autism, learn everything you can about what it really is. The more you understand about Autism the more you can make informed decisions about what is truly best for your child. If a type of treatment or medication or anything gives you a bad feeling, respect your intuition as your child’s parent! Just because _____ worked for so and so doesn’t mean it’s right for your child, and that’s okay. Remember that each person is unique, there is no one single way to parent!

There will be days that are beyond hard, they will stretch you to your mental and emotional limits and beyond until you feel like just breathing is a struggle. The catch to that is that it isn’t because your child has Autism that times will be difficult, it’s because you’re a parent in general now. Each parent will face challenges they aren’t sure how to overcome, each parent will struggle to know and do what is best for their child, that’s just a part of parenting. There will also be moments of such great joy that you will wonder if your heart is going to burst from them.

Above all remember that your child is just that; your child. They are still the same child that you held and cuddled and loved before their diagnosis. They are still capable of a full life filled with happiness if they are just given the right tools and opportunities. At it’s core, that is what parenting is about; loving your child unconditionally and giving your child the specific tools and opportunities they specifically need to create the life they find personally fulfilling.


A Mother of 2 Autistic Sons


Blurry Pictures and Clear Signs

CAM01152  I read another’s blog post today. It can be found here. What I got from it was that it was about his fears for his Autistic daughter’s future after watching two girls from the same grade not even notice her during a morning walk. As well as his hopes for his daughter’s future after attending a dinner filled with Autistic young adults.

It struck a cord with me because there are moments when I worry for my boys. I worry sometimes as I watch other children surpass them socially, I worry as I see news reports of an 11 year old Autistic girl who didn’t respond being tasered by police when found walking nude along a free-way. (Full story found here) I worry when I think of the only time Mr. C was in school (preschool) and his teacher told him he wasn’t good, that he was lacking and so many other things that tore at his fragile self-esteem which lead me to taking him out of there and choosing homeschooling instead because I didn’t want to risk him having more teachers like that. I worry when I start to think of the world as it is right now in regards to acceptance and the lip service that is often given, but real efforts not.

I was still thinking of it when I was getting Mr. N out of the bath (juice, play-doh, and stickers make one huge mess lol) as I closed the bathroom door behind us, for the first time he noticed something I’d forgotten was there; a blue index card I’d written that says “You are perfect exactly as you are” Originally I’d written it and put it on the outside of the bathroom door for the 3 children quickly getting older and noticing the media’s messages about superficial images. But he pointed at it and asked what it said. I read it to him and he smiled and said “Awe” and I asked him who it was about, he told me me it was about him, that it was his… He was right. He IS perfect exactly as he is, all of my children are, and instead of being worried about their future I’m more determined than  ever to ensure I help to change the world’s perception of Autism so that people will be more open to truly seeing them. To talk and write and do whatever it takes to help create the world I want for them, one where they and others are valued as they are, one where diversity is embraced, one where others see the value they can bring to a friendship and try to cultivate them, one that sees my boys and all people as perfect exactly as they are.



Nation Swell

My Facebook feed often has different videos in it, and this was one that I felt compelled to share. It’s about a doctor that treats homeless people, not in a shelter, but out on the streets. For the last 22 years he has been going out 5 nights a week and offering health care to homeless individuals including providing antibiotics, inhalers, cold medicine, splints, bandages and more should he feel the patient needs them.

At one point in the video he says that he can see himself in them, that they are just people and that he too could have been homeless if for different circumstances. He then says at the end “Everybody matters, we need to look out for the people that are the most ostracized” Here’s the thing, according to Canadian Alliance on Mental Health and Mental Illness 66% of homeless persons in Toronto, Ontario have a diagnosis of a mental illness. Furthermore, according to them 1/3 of homeless persons are without a home directly due to their mental or physical illness preventing them from obtaining and or keeping housing for themselves. This makes me angry, why because he’s right, and most of society isn’t paying enough attention to the simple fact that we as a society should be helping one another in constructive ways. It also points to me at least to the disparities in what is needed for those with various mental illness diagnosis’s to thrive compared to what resources are actually readily available and easily accessible. It points to me to at least to the fact that mental illnesses or disorders or whatever word you want to use are still stigmatized and this makes me want to talk more about things like Autism, it makes me want to be louder about my real life with my kids, to be so loud for as long as it takes to stop the stigma, to push for better services (not just for Autism, but all persons not classified as “neuro-typical”)
Be loud with me, and together we can change the stigmas attached to not being neuro-typical, we can change our society one step at a time, because we ARE our society. Just as Dr. Withers has been changing it with his nightly walks.


Dr. Wither’s video can be found here:

The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health page that I mentioned can be found here:


Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: