Monday, 28 April 2014


On any given day, my living room looks an awful lot like this....

 ....only it's way more spread out and diffuse- I would need a wide angle lens to fit it all in and that just isn't in the budget!

So this blog is a place where I try to be open and honest, and give you a bit of a glimpse inside our lives. I think that it is important to share ideas and insights, and help people where and whenever I can. It's also a place for me to admit to my many parenting mistakes. I don't so much like admitting to them I'd far rather just sweep them under the carpet and pretend they don't exist. But they do. In multitudes. Parenting is a learning process and it doesn't always come easily. Even if we had instruction booklets for each kid we wouldn't have the time to read them, would we?

You are probably wondering how Lego, occupational therapy and fine motor skills somehow add up to a  parenting mistake, aren't you?

A long time ago in therapy (Owen was about 5 at the time) he was given the task of assembling a car by reading the instructions in little manual. He had a terribly difficult time with it but he kept at it-  of course the end result wasn't exactly what was pictured. The therapist was gently suggesting that it was a skill he may never develop. At the time it bothered me immensely because I knew that he really wasn't a "car" type kid- we've got hundreds of them laying around because cars are one of my stepson's favourite things in the world. Owen has always been more interested in "people" toys. One of his first favourite games was to use spoons as characters- even before he was verbal he would put them face to face and make interesting intonations with his voice. But thinking that maybe he needed some extreme help in the area of putting together Lego cars we set to work on practising that skill.

Perhaps not one of my finer moments. Oy.

If you aren't interested in something, it makes it super hard to learn. I sort of gave up after a while because while I know it was great for him to work with Lego for his fine motor skills I didn't want him to think of it as torture. It REALLY IS an amazing tool for so much learning- problem solving, hands on technology, literacy, math, lateral thinking, construction design.... soooooo many things... I'm barely scratching the surface of it's educational benefit.....

So I took a step back. And I let HIM find a passion. Mario? MAAAAARIO!! THIS-

Which then changed to THIS-
Which grew into this-
 And then turned into this-
Which transformed into THIS-
So what I learned through this process is something I already knew, but sort of ignored in a moment of weakness- we learn better and far faster if we have passion in the subject. Our imaginations and brain capacities ARE NOT LIMITED if we are provided with opportunity. And we don't all follow the same path. For Owen, (since he loves computers and Mario to the moon and back) we first introduced the larger concept of pixels. Oh my Heavens the boy thinks in PIXELS! Then he spent a lot of time reading about all of the different inceptions of Mario over the years. He can not only build them, but he can tell you which one is which. I had NO IDEA that 8-bit Mario looked different than 32 bit Mario and I am still struggling to grasp who is who! The picture below should give you a good idea of just how many Mario's we've seen over the last 2 years. I haven't taken a picture of every single one I just don't have the space on the hard drive!

And he still has no interest in building cars! :)

This  post is part of  #TherapyThursday, which I hope gives you a glimpse inside our lives.  Care to join me in raising awareness of Special Needs?  Post a blog, picture or tweet about it using the hashtag #TherapyThursday.  Feel free to post a link below in the comment section!  Remember that there are many different types of therapy- Occupational, Physical, Feeding, Speech Language and Behavioural to name a few.  I hope it will serve as yet another way to spread awareness of special needs!