I know I told her.

Not once.

But probably five times.

Yet she asked again.

Difficulty with short term memory.

A hidden sign of her 


I cannot believe she remembered that one thing.


One small thing.

Another hidden sign of her disorder

I know just how complex Elizabeth is “wired” and at times I also know how many times, to this day, I am reminded of these hidden things. And to be honest, I am still surprised by what she will both remember or struggle to remember.   For those who do not know our story, Elizabeth is my daughter who has special needs.  She has global dyspraxia and sensory processing disorder (SPD).

Her dyspraxia has these hidden signs I just told you about ( and more) and her SPD makes her remember how she last felt about an event/skill etc.  For example, she will tell you how great a trip was and she can’t wait to go again or how afraid she was when she fell on her scooter.   Because of that negative association, she will be VERY resistant to trying it again.

So you can see just how complicated it can be to teach a skill, reinforce it, end on a good note and then do it again until the skill is mastered.  This goes for events as well, not the mastery of an event, just the emotional component associated with it.

Let me explain. Last summer Elizabeth watched her sister, Emily, work very hard for a test she was to take for medical school.  Emily was stressed as she studied and Elizabeth watched her have all these feelings.  Day in and day out for the month of June last year, Emily studied. And Elizabeth was feeling the stress.

So now it is almost June again; which is coming quickly right?

And guess who is remembering last year?  And every emotion she felt with and for her sister?   You know who.

As I said, the association from last year has been made and remembered.

So amazing and interesting, is it not?

I share this story because it is an honest peek into our world and the different ways her disorders and struggles impact us, sometimes when we least expect it.  I wanted others to know how strong the SPD can be especially for strong emotional things like this.

Maybe our story will help someone who may have a child like Elizabeth and/or may not have experienced things like this yet.

I am glad that she and I can make time to talk it through and that she is someone who likes to talk to me or rather listen (as I like to talk).

We are working our way through this together.

And amazingly, at the same time, working to remember what is on our schedule for the day.

I love her, am in awe of her and still learning things about her even now.

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