Archives for the month of: December, 2016

“I mean ‘Jingle Bells.’ You know, Santa Claus and ho-ho- ho and mistletoe and presents to pretty girls,” Famous words from now over, 50 yr old “Charlie Brown Christmas” In the quote Lucy sums up what Christmas means to her, and we all know she ends up learning the true meaning of Christmas and singing around a seriously nice Christmas tree. But to all of us, this wonderful holiday time means different things. I know some friends who have quiet holiday traditions and I know some others who do some very fancy dressing for their parties.


We May All Need Her This Time of Year



Along the same point, I have friends who shop all day every day for presents to “ find the perfect one” and I have THAT friend (and she knows who she is) that shops in July for Christmas! (On a personal sidebar here, she does have to spend a lot of time finding hiding places for these early gifts and that point brings me some comfort in a bit of a jealous way.) Me? I am a big list maker….not one or two lists…..NOPE, think five or six. And I

Me? I am a big list maker….not one or two lists…..NOPE, think five or six. And I absolutely love the feeling of checking things off of them. So I approach the holidays by writing down any and all things. For me doing this allows me to keep the pace at normal busy and not ramp it up to holiday frantic. I really cannot function under frantic because Elizabeth cannot function under frantic…and let’s face it, my being frantic can only lead to one result and that is it spreading to everyone else in the family. So I try to avoid The trickle down of emotions.

So I make those lists.

One for presents…
One for food to buy…
One for calls to make…
One for plans at school…
One for family or holiday parties…. And truthfully probably more but you get the idea.



Though We Can Think of Someone with a Much Longer List

It’s the last two that I have to work on more than the others because I need to be aware of how any and all of the plans will work with Elizabeth and her sensory needs.


For example, as I am typing this a segment for a local Christmas open house is on our local morning show. It looks so festive and fun so going would be a nice Christmas-y thing to try. But with regard to Elizabeth’s needs I would have had to think about:

Space- Will it be crowded at certain times?

Lighting- Will it be dark in any rooms?

Timing- How long do we think we will stay?

Your child’s sensory needs will be different from mine and so on. So once you understand your child and their sensory needs , you can plan activities and events. You can even put on your “sensory goggles” and look at each invite or activity through them to see what you can and probably shouldn’t try ( at least for now). With the “goggles” on, you can see all the things you can do, things you need to modify and the things you would not wish to attempt.


-make those lists

-organize the wonderful holiday season.

-plan those outings

-look forward to making memories

– And Be sure to check them twice!

But don’t forget the goggles!

Our beautiful Christmas memories are too many to count and too wonderful to put into words. And I wish the same for you and your families.

And remember the words of Linus “That’s what Christmas is all about”
-Michele Gianetti


We Hope Your Tree is As Bright!



Merry Christmas!  This is one of most meaningful and beautiful times of the year.  

The lights, the sounds, the smells!  For most of us, the season would not be the same without them.  But for those with Sensory issues, those same things can make them feel stressed or even trigger a meltdown.

We have a number of Christmas season, with all their unique stresses, under our proverbial belt, with Elizabeth.  And armed with these life experiences I have to say that managing your child’s sensory needs will most definitely help to make the holiday much smoother, happier and memorable.

Some children need stimulation when they are stressed, others, like Elizabeth need a quiet space.  Knowing what your child needs and how to provide it is critical.

I thought to start I would share some ideas of how to help you and your child succeed.

-When Elizabeth needs a break, she heads to her room upstairs.  She gets on the floor and uses her Senseez cushion  as a calming tool.  She covers herself with a heavy quilt and listens to music. To have this kind of break will help her reset and when she is ready to come down she does.  

-When Elizabeth needs stimulation, and I know when she does because she heads downstairs to her swing or her net swing.  She is looking for the motion of the swing and the twisting of the net swing.  She can’t always do this as this would require bringing our basement with us everywhere( it is okay to smile here).  Something to consider is a toy called a Bilibo.  This is a very cool toy that serves all the above purposes.  And better than that it is so easy to take with you, that you could offer it out to your child at anyone’s house and they could get the movement they need.

– While Elizabeth has never done this, my beautiful son Michael does and this is chew…
ryan_disc_chew_sit_cropped_5b398289-4bfe-4f2f-9580-8af52cdb1dd2_largechews on his shirt, his pencil top and I am sure he would chew on his binder if her somehow could.  If your child does this an appropriate toy to give them the sensation they are looking for is crucial.  How much better to have a
Chewigem to offer them, then keep
reminding them to take their shirt out of their mouths.

-My last thought for this blog is that if your child needs to really block out those offensive noises you can offer them a quiet space, but really how many are there during a family gathering or out during the holidays?  


Boomer Phelps during the 2016 Olympics

But something to consider if using noise dulling headphones.  Anyone who watched Michael Phelps this summer saw baby Boomer sporting the same headphones I am talking about.  EarBanZ are something to consider if your child is one who needs this quiet often

It is better to assess your child’s needs early in the season, then you can plan what you will take and not take to parties or gatherings. Have tools in your toolbox will help make the holidays memorable for the best reasons.

Michele Gianetti  Visit Michele at!

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