Trouble navigating the disability system?


Our Disability Benefits Navigator allows you to quickly find what you might be missing:





Some early reading sites of interest to parents


Starfall is a free public service site designed to motivate children to read with phonics.  The site is kept up-to-date and there are a huge variety of free activities for children to use on their home computer. features animated free reading and writing and learning for kids. Children can even have their own stories published.  The quality is high and the stories are engaging.

The Reading Rockets project is comprised of PBS television programs and online services offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read and why so many struggle. There are lots of ideas and resources for parents here aimed at early and emerging readers.

Learning Disabilities Online is a good place to start learning about Learning Disabilities and ADHD.  It is an American site so some strategies are not applicable in Canada but the site has a huge resource list of links to organizations, free on-line resources and supports.

do2Learn has a wide variety of free resources supporting students with special needs including instruction on bus safety and facial expressions, picture cards, schedulers and print activities.  The site is well-maintained and easy to use.

Learning Tools 4 All contains many free digital text-to-speech tools in one place and supports to help you choose the best one for you and your child.  The site is on a Wiki model and may be a bit hard to use for some people.

What do do when someone has a seizure


During a Convulsion
A person falls, their body becomes rigid, muscles jerk, and breathing may become shallow.
What should you do?
• Stay calm. Most seizures last less than five minutes.
• Do not restrain the person during the seizure.
• Protect the person from injury. If possible, ease the person to the floor. Move hazardous objects out
of their way.
• As soon as possible, gently roll the person onto their side.
• Loosen anything around their neck and remove their eyeglasses.
• Check for medical identification: a medical bracelet or necklace.
• Do not put anything in their mouth. A person cannot swallow their tongue.
• Afterwards, talk gently to comfort and reassure the person. Stay with them until they are re-oriented.

Other Seizures
Not all seizures are convulsive. A person may stare blankly, and appear dazed and unresponsive. They may walk in a purposeless and clumsy manner. These seizures usually last less than five minutes.

What should you do?
• Stay with the person. The person may be unaware of their actions.
• Move hazardous objects out of their way.
• Do not restrain the person during their seizure.
• Gently guide the person away from any danger.
• Afterwards, talk gently to reassure the person. Stay with them until they are re-oriented.

When should you call 911?
• When a seizure lasts longer than five minutes.
• When you find someone in a convulsion and you are unsure how long the seizure has lasted.
• When seizures repeat without full recovery between them.
• If the person appears confused for more than 20 minutes after a seizure.
• When a seizure has occurred in water.
• If the person is injured, pregnant, or has diabetes.

For more information, please contact the BC Epilepsy Society at
604-875-6704,, or
First Aid for Seizures

How to Avoid BPA in water bottles


How to identify and Avoid BPA (Bisphenol A)



BPA or Bisphenol A is a chemical found in plastics and which can behave similar to estrogen and other hormones in our bodies. Unlike phthalates, which are found in soft plastic products, BPA is found in hard plastics, like baby bottles. BPA is also found in other plastic containers, such as plastic water bottles.

You can identify plastics made with BPA by looking for the plastic identification number "7" inside the recycling symbol on their label.

The use of BPA has become controversial, as there is a concern that BPA can leach out of plastic and into baby formula, juice, food, and other substances inside plastic containers made with BPA.

Find more information and more links at:


See also these recent Vancouver Sun Articles:

Feds Designate Bisphenal Toxic

Younger Canadians have more BPA in their systems

91% of Canadians exposed to BPA

BPA Found in cash register receipts




Shopping tips for Back-to-School



Check out these Canadian links on shopping for Back-to-School:


Globe & Mail, A lesson in back-to-school budgeting


Parent Central:  How to contain back-to-school shopping–how-to-contain-back-to-school-shopping


New Westminster NewsLeader:


WalletPop Canada: Six Tipsfor back-to-school



Summer Camp fun!


There are many possibilities for children of all abilities to enjoy summer camp.  The best-known one is the Easter Seals Summer Camp, but there are many more options for both day and overnight camp opportunities. 

ACT BC‘s Summer Camp List is one of the most comprehensive for children with special needs. 

Also find complete listings of  BCCA accredited camps at the BC Camping Association website.  They have a good list of hints and tips, including this one, "…the people who direct the camp are far more important than the equipment, buildings, and facilities advertised."

Many Disability-centred non-profits also sponsor summer camps for children with specific disabilities.  Check out the organization that supports your child’s disability and see what they may be offering this year.  For example the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC offers funding for children with CP to attend camp and the Canadian Cancer Society has Camp Goodtimes for children and teens living with cancer.

Resources for Parenting Younger Children


Attachment Parenting Canada

This website provides parents with evidence-based information regarding how to best deal with their children

Unfortunately, the BC chapter does not currently have any contact persons on its website.


BC Family Resource Programs

106-2590 Granville St, Vancouver, BC, V6H 3H1

Phone: (604) 738-0068, Fax: (604) 738-0058

This website introduces you to community based family resource programs. It mainly seeks to strengthen and empower families within their communities. It aims to help families offer children the best for optimal development.


Children First

This is a website that aims at helping BC families with small children through a number of initiatives. Although it does not provide direct services, it can help families get services that are identified by community planning.


Empathic Parenting

This is a Canadian-based website that provides information and advice on how to best parent your child. It also offers a FREE online parenting course and has links to other useful websites.


Fussy Baby

This website is quite useful to any parent of a small child. It contains information about fussy babies and offers useful tips to parents as to how they can handle their fussy baby. This website has a discussion forum for parents and others who deal with fussy babies. It also connects you to other websites that might be of use to you.


The Natural Child Project

This is a great website for any parent. It offers a lot of advice and information about raising healthy children

Toys R Us Catalogue for Children with Exceptional Learning Needs


This is a good place to start when you are thinking about purchasing a  toy for a child with exceptional learning needs.  You might find just the right thing or it might give you some inspiration or ideas for your search.


Before hiring a live-in or live-out caregiver, questions to be asked….


I just learned about a new service by the Minister of Labour.  Its called the Employer’s Advisor and the EAO helps with registration and claims if you are the employer.  In fact, call them before you contact WCB and they will walk you through the process.  Here’s what I learned:

The role of the Employers’ Advisory is to provide advice, education, assistance and representation to employers on WorkSafeBC issues. As we are independent from WorkSafeBC we can advise employers on a confidential basis about issues that they may be facing. We can provide expert advice on all areas of WorkSafeBC: Prevention (Occupational Health and Safety); Claims; and Assessments. We can assist employers with submissions or representation including attending hearings. We also provide education seminars to employers. As discussed, our services are at no charge, we are indirectly funded by the Worker’s Compensation system.

Our website for our course listing and other information is:  Our main contact number for businesses is: 1-800-663-8783.

Next time you are thinking about WCB coverage, call this number first.  BTW, there’s an article about hiring caregivers in The Tax Detective’s Useful Links.  If you are considering bringing in a live-in caregiver, this is a must read.  Caregiver Conundrum 

Looking for a Support Worker?


The B.C. wide website  Support Worker Central, "Where individuals or families can create job profiles & connect with freelance workers"  For more information, go to