I watched as Elizabeth worked so hard to tell her brother about her day.

She told him in a few sentences about her day.  And I loved watching her do this. But I could see that she was working pretty hard to get it all out.

And  as I watched this, I started to think about how much work her days are.

All day.

Everyday.

I don’t often let it in, these true feelings of how much work her life is.  If I did, I would literally drop to my knees.  Instead, I have adopted the attitude that we can and will do anything.  That we will try hard. That she is succeeding.  That we push her to try each day.

But on the days that I let it in, like this one.  I just start thinking…

Wow, her life is really hard work from the beginning of the day to the end. From self care, functioning at college, managing her anxiety at the prospect of new things, and keeping her focus in classes.  It all requires work.

My beautiful daughter was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder ( SPD) and Global Dyspraxia at the age of two years old.

She did not talk until the age of five.

And when she did talk, there were many misarticulations.

She began speech therapy at the age of two and a half years old. I knew nothing about speech work.  But I learned…

I learned how hard and long learning to talk, for Elizabeth, would be.

I  learned that the gains that would be made would be small, slow and would require a great deal of work.

I  learned  that with Global Dyspraxia, these misarticulations can become habit so quickly and once a habit is formed, it is so very hard to break.

I  learned how important good follow up at home was to making any real speech and language gains.

This speech work was in addition to all the other work we did, such as OT, behavioral modifications and a sensory diet.

I am happy to say that even with all this hard work, somehow, Elizabeth has maintained a kind personality.  One that is pretty easy to be around.

I start to think “would I be this kind if I had such work each day?” or “would I be able to put my feet on the floor each morning if I knew how much work the day would be?”

So I am sharing these thoughts with you.  Because those reading this blog truly know how life with a special needs child is.

You know there are days when you really take that hard look at your child and stand in awe of them and all they face.

There are moments when you let it all in.

I continued to watch as Elizabeth finished telling her brother about her day and he asked her a question or two which she answered.

I was taken back to the time when she could not answer and only cried.

And I, too, let this feeling in.

And I found myself so grateful for her being where she is in her life’s journey. And for once again, knowing that all the work we did was so very worth it.

Are we done?  Not by a long shot.

But right now, simply feeling and being grateful is enough.

I hope my thoughts helped someone who might need to read them.

I wish you all a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti

author of “I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey” and “Emily’s Sister”

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