Stalen’s Store

Stalen’s Way is pleased to present Stalen’s Way Gift Store.

Stalen is 8 years old, amazing, autistic and non-speaking. He loves to tell jokes and self-published a joke book, “Jokes Are For Everyone!” earlier this year. You can find it in his store!

From author to entrepreneur, this is another empowerment project to show Stalen that he is capable and he can do anything.

Stalen loves his store and loves to choose inventory, help prepare and process each and every order. Every order is stamped with Stalen’s hugs and smiles, from the stickers adorning the envelopes to the thank you card signed by Stalen.

Stalen is practicing lots of skills as he helps with the store including literacy, math and increasing his independence. We are always planning for the future and it is hoped that one day Stalen will be able to completely run the store on his own.

The money from the store will be used for Stalen’s community projects and his care.

Thank you all for your support.

Hugs & Smiles

Stalen and Chrystal

You can find Stalen’s Way Gift Store at


Being Stalen’s Mom

When I became pregnant in 2014, I was beyond excited to become a Mom. Time passes so slowly when your waiting with extreme anticipation. People told me things like sleep now and your life is going to be changed forever. But, no one told me how much I was going to love my baby. Nothing and no one can prepare you for those first seconds in the delivery room when you see your baby for the very first time. Time stands still as you examine every finger and toe, and realize their is nothing more exquisite or perfect than your child. There are rare times in life when you may witness magic on earth and that moment is definitely one of those times.

On April 12, 2015 at 12:11pm I embarked on the greatest journey with purpose of my life-to be Stalen’s Mom. I believe that everything happens for a reason and that many of my experiences and education up until that point were all foreshadowing and necessary for the challenge of motherhood that stood before me.

Yet, despite all of those things I’m still not sure how I go so lucky. My boy is amazing in every way. He has given me some of the best moments of my life purposefully woven with love, joy and struggle.

Every story has a hero.

Someone that inspires you to see the world differently, in a new light. Someone who makes you want to do better, try harder and to be a better person.

In my story, my son Stalen is that hero.

Stalen was diagnosed with autism when he was 21 months old. In the past 8 years he has taught me so much about love, growth, strength and perseverance. It changes you deep in your core when you watch a person struggle and fight every day for progress and skills that come easily for many. It is heart breaking when that person is your own child. Yet, he never shows signs of growing tired, becoming weary or giving up. He only knows how to fight.

Stalen has helped me discover an inner strength and a strong voice that I didn’t know existed. While some may claim to lose themselves in motherhood, I may have found myself with a renewed purpose. He reminds me to always look fo the good even if you have to dig deep to find it. I admire him wholeheartedly for the amazing boy that he is.

He really has opened up my eyes to the true potential and immeasurable value of every human being. I now see the world clearer in vibrant beautiful colors because of him.

He doesn’t care what you look like, what your wearing, or what you do. He cares about the connection that exists between your heart and his. While he may lack the words to verbally express love, he feels it deep within his soul cascading from his head to the tip of his toes. In turn, his love shines on you from his wide smiles, twinkling big eyes and tight squeezes.

Stalen appreciates the simple things. He doesn’t care about presents, the most popular toys or tv shows. He appreciates your time and being present in the moment with you.

He was amazing in my dreams before he was born, he was exquisite at birth when we met for the first time and he continues to be beyond amazing each and every day since. I’m not quite sure what I did to deserve him but I am lucky enough to be his Mom.

I’ve never been lucky in anything in my life. But, I’ve nailed it with this kid.

Even on the hard and difficult days there is no place else I’d rather be than right there in the thick of it with him.

I’m not just lucky, but honoured and proud to be Stalen’s Mom. It’s a role that I take very serious and embrace every day. I will continue to strive to be the very best mom that I can be for him.

That’s Not the Case For Us

Without any hesitation I can say that my son has made me the mother I am today.

He has made me strong and brave as he has allowed me to come along with him as he faces his challenges in the same way.

He has increased my awareness that everyone is beautifully different and capable.

He has helped me to find the joy in each day.

He has shown me an appreciation for the simple things.

He has taught me the importance of kindness, patience, and understanding.

He has shown me that words and actions do matter, especially those directed towards someone else.

He has taught me that there is more than one way to communicate and more than one way to do most anything.

He has taught me that it is okay to have hard days and bad days.

He has shown me an appreciation for things that I used to take for granted like the warmth of the sun, the tickle of the wind and grand adventures.

He has shown me the power of hope, love and positive thinking.

He has taught me that you can still go through hell and smile.

I’m an improved version of who I once was.

He has made me better. He pushes me to be the best version of myself every day.

I read a quote recently and it said,

“ men are what their mothers made them”.

But, that’s not the case for us.

World Autism Day!

Today we celebrate all the amazing autistics that we know. Thank you for making our world better and brighter. 🙏 ☀️ ✨

We also celebrate our amazing boy and the bright light he shines into this world. We are so thankful for him, his sense of humor, his unique loves and interests, his smile, his love, and the beautiful soul that he is.

🎶 Everywhere I go, I’m gonna let it shine. 🎶

Public Washrooms

I want to share with you a great source of stress for me…..

public washrooms

My son Stalen is almost 8 years old, he is autistic and non-speaking. He also has several medical complexities. He requires assistance to go to the bathroom. He also has an ileostomy bag which has specific care and maintenance procedures. Public washrooms are also a great sensory challenge for him because of the noise of toilets flushing and hand dryers-another reason why he requires assistance.

The challenge with public washrooms are that many are not friendly or inclusive to a mother accompanying her 8 year old son. Most public washrooms are clearly labelled with signage and separated by sex.

What bathroom do we choose?

Do I just swiftly walk into the men’s washroom with him and hope for the best?

Do I put him through the humiliation-stares, glares, snickers and comments that taking him into the female washroom may warrant.

You may think that it’s no big deal but many people are cruel, confrontational, and think they have the right to police others especially if they think your “breaking the rules”.

Taking my son to the bathroom should not be an exercise in public shame and humiliation for us.

What will the future hold for us if/when he requires washroom assistance as a tall teenage boy and as a grown man?

I am so thankful for those places that offer a “family washroom” option or have come up with a creative way to make their washrooms more inclusive and accessible to individuals with a caregiver. We just need more inclusive washrooms.

I want to live in a world where everyone, (including individuals who require caregiver assistance) can go to the washroom with dignity, free from judgement and discrimination.

….I don’t think I’m asking for too much.

I am not ashamed of Autism

I will never be ashamed that my son is autistic. It’s one of the many parts of him that contribute to making him the amazing boy that I love and adore.

No one could ever take over the space in my heart that he fills with his spins, squeals, smiles, jokes and flaps. These things are mixed in amongst deep love, hope and faith.

There is no room for shame here.

I’m not ashamed of autism and you shouldn’t be either because it’s not about a diagnosis.

It’s about the person.

My son brings so much more to this world than autism. He is smart, funny, charming, handsome, witty, kind, brave, loving.

I would hate for anyone to miss out on the positive bright light that he shines because they are consumed by the negatives.

Don’t miss out on something that could be amazing just because it could also be difficult.

Autism may look hard and challenging on the outside.

But, HE lives it every day from within.

Why would I punish him with shame for a life circumstance that he has absolutely no control over?

I will always take my son into the community.
I will always encourage and support him.
I will always hope for progress for him.
I will always advocate for him.
I will always walk beside him.
I will always ensure that he is treated with respect and dignity because he is a human being and deserves to be treated as such.

I will always be his dance partner even when there is no music.

As I watch this bright, brave boy climb mountains and shatter nevers, I feel nothing but pride and gratitude because he’s mine and I am blessed beyond measure to be his Mama.

In the Community….

Stalen just stopped by Autism Connections Fredericton and donated $100 from the proceeds of his book ”Jokes Are For Everyone!”

Autism Connections Fredericton is one of our favorite places and they have provided so much support, encouragement, and programming to us over the years. They do amazing things in our community!!! ❤️

Stalen is waving hi from Oromocto & Surrounding Area Food Bank

Stalen stopped by and donated $100 to the Food Bank from the proceeds of his joke book, “Jokes Are For Everyone!”

The Oromocto & Surrounding Area Food Bank helps so many individuals and families in our community. Thank you for the important work that you do!

Stalen also donated $65 to sponsor a Christmas dinner for a local family from his book sales.

Way to go Stalen! Keep spreading your kindness in the community.