Archives for the month of: September, 2018

Can you tell me when you first learned to catch a ball?

I am going to guess that you cannot.

Maybe you can tell me an age range but probably nothing more specific.

In my opinion, it is because you “just learned” how to.  With an intact neurological system, learning these motor skills happens without much extra effort. You watch, imitate, do it a few times and voila…a skill is achieved.

Not so much when there is a special need involved.

Elizabeth has Dyspraxia and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).  Her Dyspraxia makes learning these motor skill challenging.   In fact, with the disorder, motor skills need to be broken down into steps, explained, practiced and repeated. Over and over again.

For every skill.

At least this was how it was for Elizabeth.

So back to the learning to catch thing.  I remember when she learned to catch a ball. It was courtesy of a pretty great lady, who I have mentioned before, Miss Liz.

She teaches Gymster’s classes.  These classes are taught to preschools in our area as well as the special education classes in our school system.

And it was Miss Liz, who taught the skill to Elizabeth.  It took patience and practice!

If you are trying to teach your special needs child  how to catch or even a typically developing child.

It all starts with the hands in the right position.  Some good eye contact on the ball and practice.

But one thing that helps a great deal is a nice grip-able ball like the E-Z grip balls.  They will most definitely help your child to succeed in strengthening motor skills while boosting his or her confidence.

There are 6 easy grip balls in a pack. Each one is a nice bright color, but what  makes them special is their bumpy texture and grippy feel.  They “stick” nicely to your hands when you go to catch them. For those with sensory issues, they are not overly so as not to be offensive.

So that is one great feature, the other is that because of their texture, they give some nice sensory input and help with sensory development. Also, you could use the Easy Grip Balls to massage feet, hands or arms as a therapy tool.

The E-Z Grip Balls are an easy, fun fit for a sensory bin and will do their job when it comes to learning how to catch.

For the record, Elizabeth learned how to catch in elementary school and truth be told, I cannot tell you when I learned how!

I wish everyone a peaceful week..

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





So I know Elizabeth is 21 years old.

I know that she is in a college program and doing well.

I also know that we communicated all the information about her disorders of Dyspraxia and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) to those working with her.

But what I also know is that due to her special needs, the work done at the beginning of the year, is just that….a beginning.

She came home from her first day at college telling me that things were a bit “crazy” that day, but she had a good day.

We talked about the things that made it crazy. All of these crazy things she said were in line with a typical first day of really anything new.

But it’s just this kind of evaluation that I know will be part of each day and all events of the year.

I have learned early on in this journey with Elizabeth, that no matter how much you communicate, no matter how much you advocate for your child and pretty much no matter how much you feel like you did everything you can for them to succeed for the new year, you will still need to evaluate and analyze.

Quite often.

The communication- Are the daily sheets coming home? Are they filled out well.

The activities- Is your child in the resource room too much? Are they following the things you agreed on?

The school work- Are the accommodations in place? Are they being followed?

And more…

But something else that I realized early on in our journey is that these things we evaluate and analyze are simply going to be part of our life and journey and to see them not as things I HAVE to do, but to see them as things that I NEED to do to help my daughter succeed.

So I look at her daily sheets and we talk.

I look at her work and we talk.

I text and email those who work with her and we talk.

I know that what I do for her matters and makes the journey so much smoother.

Seeing what you need to do in the right light is what I learned early on and what I just wanted to share today.

I had someone say to me, just the other day ” I don’t know how you do it, Michele”  and truthfully, those words were ones that  hurt  years ago.  But now when I hear them, I think….

I know how I do it.

I do it because it is our journey.

It is her life.

And I know about all of us who love a special needs child, we would do ANYTHING, EVERYDAY, because we know it matters.

I hope someone could use these thoughts today.

I wish everyone 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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