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About CaitlinC

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    Hive Mind Worker Bee

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    Music, reading, education, family, travel (mostly armchair at the moment).

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  1. Shelving books/preparing books for circulation in a library? As a teen, I found those jobs soothing without being isolating.
  2. I'm sorry, I don't know about free parking at hotels. The parking situation in Montreal depends on the area and time of day. Downtown will cost about $25 a day in a parking lot. There are lots of paid parking spots but the more central you are, the more likely you will have to drive around to find something. You just need to be persistent, something always turns up. Btw, I agree with everything Hornblower had to say. Definitely tank up in the States. Gas is supposedly $1.23 a litre (1/4 gallon) today in Montreal, but in my neighbourhood it's $1.30.
  3. Can't help you with the border questions, but I wouldn't bring too much food. There are a wide range of grocery stores to suit all budgets and since you've been to Qc City before, you know that there are many wonderful bakeries and places where you can buy wonderful cheeses, charcuteries, bread etc! Please don't bring much food, even if budget is a concern. It's possible to live well here (including street food, poutine, "steamies" (hot dogs with mustard, cole slaw and onion) without breaking the bank. I'm not sure, but you might find that some alcohol is more expensive (namely wine). Beer might not be so bad, you can buy it in "dépanneurs" (convenience stores). In Quebec City, I can recommend the Restaurant Parmesan on rue St-Louis. As the name suggests, the food is Italian and one of the owners even makes the smoked salmon and prosciutto. And the decor is something else. There's a very fun vibe there. For a relaxed morning reading the paper and munching on croissants dunked in café au lait, I can recommend Paillard on rue St Jean. For a more formal and substantial brunch, there's Ciel! Bistro, a revolving restaurant at the Hotel Le Concorde on Cours General de Montcalm which we also really liked. I'm sure the dinner menu is very good too but we chose brunch as the less expensive option. For things to do, we loved our guided tour of the Citadel, the musée nationale des beaux arts du Québec, shopping at Simons (Quebec department store chain, near Paillard), just wandering the streets, taking the funicular etc. We didn't have time for the Musée de la Civilization but I'm sure it's worth checking out. Outside Quebec City, there's the Chutes Montmorency, which I haven't seen but my daughter did on a school trip and loved. It's tougher to focus on things in Montreal because the city is that much larger. It is definitely worth going to Mont Royal for a walk, especially on a weekend when everybody is out and about. People watching is a big thing, and can continue in the myriad of cafés on rue St Denis, Parc, St Laurent ("The Main") or anywhere in the Plateau. If you're really hungry, fresh squeezed orange juice, bagels and blintzes at Beauty's on rue Mont-Royal is great. There's usually a line-up, but they're efficient at getting people in and out. If you have read Mordecai Richler, you can explore the neighbourhood that he immortalized in his books. I'm afraid that this is not the most beautiful time of the year in Montreal if you're coming now, so please forgive us the dirty grey (remnants of) snow, brown grass and bare tree branches. I don't know where you live, but perhaps your conditions are similar so hopefully you won't be disappointed. (also, Quebec City is colder than Montreal). Even so, it's worth just walking around various areas and exploring where your fancy takes you. Old Montreal is cool (including Pointe à Callière museum). Downtown there's the McCord museum across from McGill University and its campus, not to mention the underground shopping. The aforementioned Plateau is worth exploring, also Outremont and Westmount (for a bourgeois vibe). My family enjoyed a recent trip to the Musée SaintGabriel in Pointe-Saint-Charles. There's a more bohemian feel in Verdun and neighbouring St Henri. I think I've gone on enough! If you have specific questions, particularly about Montreal, feel free to pm me. I haven't even touched on some of the wonderful national parks around the city where you could enjoy hiking. Enjoy your trip!
  4. Instead of debating finer points of this and that, I wish that everyone, the posters and the lurkers, would get off WTM for five minutes and contact your politicians (do it again if you've already done it) and tell them in no uncertain terms to do something about the proliferation of assault weapons in the hands of civilians. And then keep at them. And encourage others who are also heartsick to do the same. Start a groundswell movement on that one, simple point. It won't solve everything, but it would be an excellent start, surely?
  5. Thanks Pen. Yes, once the dust has settled and we have some experience with the meds, I think I'll talk to him again about whether he would like to pursue an evaluation and some of the possible interventions and approaches. I so appreciate everyone's thoughts, experiences and suggested resources. I may not have responded individually, but I will be following-up on the links and no doubt re-reading your responses. You are an amazing group.
  6. Thank you. I didn't know that about SLPs, that's very interesting. Just got back from my DS's music lesson. His teacher is amazing - he explains things so well, makes it fun, and seems to really get him. He's made a lot of progress. I wish it were possible to clone him and convince his double to be that amazing therapist that I'll be looking for. Anyway, for now, he's getting music therapy. :-)
  7. He's not very clear about why he thinks he may be autistic. When the conversation is on an emotional subject, it can be hard to get him to discuss it, even if he's raised the issue himself. He tends to be a feeling avoider, although I would describe him as quite passionate. We have had discussions around how autism is a spectrum on the spectrum of human experience, that anxiety and ADHD symptoms can be quite similar in appearance etc. Like a lot of kids these days, he's quite well informed on the panoply of diagnoses out there. That being said, when he was younger, an autistic child joined his class and he noticed her stimming and said that sometimes he wanted to do that too. I have never actually seen him do that in any situation though, even in unguarded moments. He is also fairly sensitive to sounds. This is something that has diminished as he gets older, but is still present. But I think that the thing that triggered it recently is the social difficulties that he sometimes has with his peers. He can be quite judgemental and irritable with them and in one instance, was told that he was just like someone's autistic cousin. I would say though that that was something that confirmed his own self-doubt rather than a revelation. I'm still trying to process all this (what can I say, I'm a plodder :-) ), but I will say that he is not obviously autistic. I'm not saying that he isn't, but it's not something that was flagged by the psychologist who saw him in grade 2, nor the neuropsychologist who saw him in grade 5, nor has anyone around us (friends, teachers, coaches etc.) suggested that we should investigate further. He had OT for about a year for his dysgraphia, but at a clinic that treats autistic children and nothing was said there. The fact is that I could probably prepare a list of autistic-type behaviours (avoiding eye contact, occasionally missing social cues) and a list of attributes/behaviours that suggest not. He's also quite mature, serious, curious and can be, when he's relaxed, quite charming and non-irritable and is able to meet new people and make friends quickly with kids who have common interests (but since he has a very broad range of interests, and then certain well defined passions, this isn't all that difficult for him). I think that he can be very perceptive. (Actually, I just looked back at the neuropsychologist report and I see that she assessed his abilities in critical and social judgment as high average.) At this point, I am leaning towards starting the medication to see if that will bring the anxiety down a bit. For the posters that suggest physical activity, he has increased his physical activity somewhat in that he does curling on the weekends. I do encourage walks outdoors. He needs to be encouraged in that direction though, he does not like to move. I'm definitely not going to push therapy at this point. As several people have pointed out, he has to be motivated and I can see that this is especially true for a teen. Meanwhile, I will read through the materials that I've been directed to here and look into the sorts of resources that we have available locally and try to get a handle on what he actually needs.
  8. I'm looking for the EF (executive function?) piece. He has (occasional) talk therapy already, and that's one of the things that lead him to the psychiatrist for evaluation. It came out in therapy that he thinks he's autistic. His psychologist thought that we should treat the anxiety first before or instead of going down the road of assessments for autism. That's interesting that the CBT could be done like that. I was under the impression that it had to be intense. Definitely, something that could be done in tandem on an occasional basis, or at home on-line would appeal more to him. He seemed to be getting stressed over the thought of having to add one more thing to his plate, which I understand.
  9. On the role of the psychiatrist, I think that she does or has in the past done CBT with her patients, but actually what I meant, and it is somewhat poorly phrased, is that he won't be getting therapy in conjunction with the medication (because he isn't open to it at this point) ie. I wasn't disturbed by her, it's the idea of him taking meds without learning strategies in conjunction with them. When we were in the office with the psychiatrist, it all made sense, but once we got home and I started thinking about it, well that's when the doubt started seeping in. So I'm very grateful for all your feedback. It's given me food for thought and reassurance. Thanks
  10. In addition to the ideas above, if it's possible to get together on a regular basis with someone (student, teacher) from France for a coffee or whatever for gentle conversation. Also, watch French films with subtitles. Whatever strategy(ies) you choose, ramp up the immersion shortly before your trip.
  11. Hi, My ds (ADHD inattentive, dysgraphia) has been seen by a psychiatrist for assessment on his levels of anxiety. They have always been there, but with the teen years they have really ramped up. His anxiety affects his learning (ex. his neuropsychological report of 2013 notes that anxiety interferes with his executive functioning) and his social interactions. After four sessions with him, the psychiatrist, who is considered the top specialist in the city for children/teens anxiety floated the idea of medication (Prozac) with him (the age of consent where we live is fourteen, he's going on fifteen). He is very keen to try the medication. I am not thrilled with the idea (he is already on Concerta) but not adamantly opposed either. The problem as I see it is that the psychiatrist will not give him therapy in conjunction with the medication. He is not particularly open to the idea and the psychiatrist told us that this is very common in teens. She did say that sometimes taking the meds can make the individual more open to therapy, but not always. She made the point that teens' schedules are very full and that fitting in intensive CBT, which is what is needed for it to work, is very difficult. She told me privately that his anxiety is very, very high. She also told us that untreated anxiety can lead to depression (something I can attest to having lived it myself and I am not actually that anxious a person, it was mostly situational). Boy am I ever sorry that we did not tackle this before the teen years. I guess I didn't really appreciate how anxiety was contributing to his issues. I am wondering if anyone would be willing to share some btdt stories of coming to terms with anxiety for the first time in the teen years, and thoughts on medication without CBT therapy? He does occasionally talk to a psychologist but she isn't specialized in CBT. (Please don't quote as I may delete certain parts of this message for privacy) Thank you so much.
  12. Hi, There is an overwhelming amount of material available for the hyperactive type, but not as much for inattentive. There was a mom, Tess Messer, who kept a blog that was quite good: She isn't keeping it up anymore, but the articles are still there and may be worth a perusal. (there's a lot of references to scientific research which she's read and summarizes) ... (Edited for privacy)
  13. Thank you so much! I did think a magic recipe was a bit of a stretch :-) , but having a method all written out for us is the next best thing. I will definitely incorporate oral chanting into the routine. I will also take a look at the notebook chart, which looks like it could be a good all-in-one quick reminder. Many thanks!
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