Vision Therapy

I have previously talked about vision therapy and how we discovered that our son needed this type of therapy. We have now completed two sessions of 12 weeks each and I am happy to say that he has now finished for the time being!

This therapy is very intensive. You not only have to attend the therapy session each week, but you have to commit to doing homework exercises every single day. It takes a lot of time and patience and you have to make sure you follow through with everything they ask you to do otherwise it will not work.

This therapy is sometimes hard to explain. Our son did get glasses just before he started this therapy, not because he can’t see but because the type of lenses that are in his glasses improve depth perception as well as other areas that need to be addressed. The tools used by the therapy center are really cool. The center has 4 different rooms with different things in them and each week you rotate to the next room to work on activities.

Some of the things that our son worked on in therapy was eye tracking, spatial judgement and fixation through a variety of exercises. These areas all improved tremendously with the process. I used to think in public school that he didn’t want to play some of the sports but through this therapy I realized that he could not judge where a ball was and it made it hard to participate in some of these activities.

I am really proud of the hard work that he has put into this entire process and I was lucky enough to be able to see these sessions in progress and understand what each exercise was trying to achieve and it made it easier for me to facilitate the homework. It was really quite fascinating!

I’m glad that our son is now better able to not only see better but being able to participate in activities including school without so many struggles. Being paired up with the right vision therapist who was understanding and able to work with him understanding his strengths and weaknesses was truly an amazing experience.

If you are a parent or relative of someone who has autism, you may want to consider checking this out!


Being Organized

turned off laptop computer

Are you organized? Do you need to be organized or is your organization just a big mess? What are your thoughts of people on the autism spectrum and organization?

Let me tell you how it works in our house. I am extremely organized not because I want to be but because I have to be. My husband is organized only in his “messy, unorganized” way, if you know what I mean. When you look at his home office, there are piles of papers and things strewn across the desk. He doesn’t even own a wallet, he just has a bunch of cards tucked into his pocket. One time when I had to get into our older vehicle, I literally couldn’t put my feet on the floor because there were coffee cups and receipts and whatever on the mat and you couldn’t even see the floor.

Well both of our children take after each one of us. Surprise, surprise. Remember that both of our kids are on the spectrum and I don’t know if that has anything or not to do with being organized.

In our house, living with autism, requires one to be organized. You cannot even begin to imagine all of the paperwork that goes along with having autism. I am meticulous about files and keeping things properly labelled because if I don’t and I need to find something, I will never be able to retrieve it. It is super-important to be organized.

Another thing when living with autism, is that organization makes things easier for the person with ASD. They need to see things more visually. This is how they will process things. They need to perhaps have lists of things they can check off or things need to be labelled so that they know where these things are located. For example, our daughter has a label maker and the drawers of her dresser are labelled as to where the clothes go – not our idea but hers. It makes things easier for her. She also has bins on her bookshelf and they are all labelled with what is in each bin so that she can easily find something.

Our son is not necessarily focused on labels, but he does have a place for everything. His clothes are neatly in his dresser and his backpacks go in the same place every single day when he comes home from school. He likes to ensure his cutlery is properly placed before he starts eating his dinner.

Both of our children are different but they both function very well with some type of organization. For me, I have lots of things labelled in the kitchen – like spices, flours and lots of other things to make it easier to cook. I find that this helps me as well as helps all of us when we are looking for things.

No matter what, if any, type of organization works for you, it seems that the brain of someone on the spectrum demands something that makes sense for that individual.

As for my husband, well, I think I will just leave him be……….

I would love to hear what works in your house.


Does your teen do chores or help out around the house? Do you think it works different if your child or teen has autism? There are probably varying opinions on this topic whether your child has autism or not because each person is just different and so is each home.

For our family, we have tried many things in the past to get buy-in from our children in order to help out around the house but also to teach them about some of life’s lessons.

Let me tell you that for us tying chores to allowance did NOT work. We tried with both of our children but I think with both of them being on the autism spectrum, money held little meaning or value for them.

When our daughter was much younger (before she was diagnosed with autism) we used a chart where she would get a check mark for each chore she completed and then once she had so many check marks (I think it was 10) but I can’t remember she would be able to buy a stuffed animal (meaning we would buy it for her.) That worked for a little while until she got bored with that.

As our teens have grown, we again have done different things to try to get them to participate in helping out around the house. Now, we don’t call them chores, we just call it helping out which seems to work a little better but it’s always hit or miss depending on the “child” and how busy they are at any particular time.

For our son, it seems to give him confidence to help out and be in control of a particular task and although I would like him to do more, I am very happy with the progress he is making in this area. He has done things like laundry, sweeping, doing dishes, emptying the dishwasher, to name a few. His growth in this area has just happened over the last couple of years.

For our daughter, I must admit that it is very difficult to get her to help out with anything, including keeping her own space neat, tidy and garbage and dishes free! But, I am not giving up just yet. She has made a little progress in occasionally helping out with the laundry and with making herself or retrieving food from the kitchen when she is hungry so I will say this makes me very happy!

This is still a work in progress for our entire family, but we will continue to work on this and hopefully come up with some more creative ideas that will carry our children to create a life of independence for themselves.

I would love to hear your ideas of what has worked for your children!

Free time

We all have some free time, but do we take advantage of it? What do we do in our free time? Is it screen time? Is it book time? Is it just staring into space time? (don’t laugh as I do this sometimes!)

For different people “free time” can mean different things. I also like to think about free time as down time – time that is different from the regular structure of our day-to-day routine and stresses that we all go through. No matter your age or stage of life you are at, this time is sacred and important for all of us.

I always feel that I don’t have enough free time, but as I look at the course of my day and what I do, I realize that I do have free time available to possibly be doing something more constructive or self-care than I actually do. If I stopped looking at my phone, that would give me more free time than I actually need!

For people on the autism spectrum, free time is very important. Since structure is so important in the course of their day, it is just as important to have some time to do the things that they want to do – whatever that may be and whatever that may look like.

Sometimes I can get frustrated with both of our children as I may not understand why they are doing something (or why they are not for that matter), but then I have to take a step back and realize that they are allowed to have that time where they do whatever they want to do. It’s not my place to dictate what they do in that time, just as I wouldn’t want someone to dictate to me what I do in my down time. It has taken me years to figure this out though, so I hope if you are reading this, it doesn’t take you as long as me to figure this out!

I have realized that as I watch our children, how much calmer and centered they are when they have this time to do whatever they want. I notice a lot of stress, tiredness and tenseness, especially after a long day at school and when they come home each of them copes differently and wants to do different things to get relaxed and forget about their day or perhaps just to have a break from their day. In the past I never realized how important these breaks were for our children.

I believe that for people on the autism spectrum, that have to work sometimes 100 times harder to achieve simple goals, need to be able to take advantage of their free time and they need this time to be able to get back to things that they want to, or things that need to get completed. For our children, they can’t function well unless they take their rest breaks or have the down time to re-connect to people as people in general are exhausting for them.

I have to remind myself every day of the importance of this time and I have to be aware when trying to deal with each of our children that I don’t contribute to some sort of anxiety and stress by not respecting their time.

What will you do with your free time today?


It’s funny how we can get so caught up in today that things from the past can easily slip our mind. We can get so comfortable in the present and where we forget about how far we have come.

At times when I think about the current struggles that our family faces, I get so caught up in the moment as I’m trying to figure out how to navigate the daily moments that I forget about yesterday and how far we have come.

Sometimes it can be the simpliest things, like just being able to not have to worry if our kids were alone in the cottage or the house and what they might be doing and having to have them in our sight all of the time. With autism, there is always a safety concern and in both of our children it manifests in different ways. In the last little while though, we have been able to feel more confident that even if something goes wrong, they will be able to figure out a solution.

It’s amazing that at one point when we used to leave our cottage we would have to give ourselves an extra hour because our son would be so upset over the fact that he had to go (because he loves it so much) that he would cry and get upset and refuse to get into the car. We had to have a promise of something fun to do when we got home just to appease him. This actually went on for quite a long time and was very exhausting. We even had to have a calendar to show him exactly when he would be coming back up.

This was many years ago now and as I think back I realize how far we have come! I am so grateful for the growth we have experienced.

There were times when I thought our son would never sit still, he was everywhere getting into everything and he didn’t stop! Now if you see how calm he is and able to sit for long lectures at school. He has completely grown so much in this area.

For our daughter as well, the small changes and improvements that I have seen, make me believe that anything is possible if you just give it enough time anything is possible.

Remembering where we were and how far we come is so crucial so that we don’t get caught up too much in the challenges of today as we know that these soon will be lost in tomorrow.