I went in for toothpaste only and as I was walking around the store, I see….

SCHOOL SUPPLIES!

An aisle filled with fresh, new, ready for the new year school supplies.

I had so many emotions right away with the leading one being disbelief that my brain now needed to think of the new year already. Truth be told, we just finished cleaning out Michael’s binder from last year let alone think of buying a new one.

I know my reaction is pretty great because one of the big markers I used as a reminder to do a mid summer check in was the arrival of these ever loving school supplies. So true to form, my mind went over the big points for Elizabeth as I mentally did my mid summer check in.

So here is what I thought about:

Activities-

Are the things we are doing so far furthering the goals ( remember the ones from the IEP) we set in early June? Do we need to add, lessen or slightly tweek these activities to hit certain skills. Now is the time to ask yourself if the art lessons are really working for your child or would another experience be a better fit?

Therapy success/struggles

What has been gained so far? What new skill or action can your child do that they could not before? Or perhaps what are the skills that they are really struggling with this summer in therapy. Maybe using scissors is really a big struggle for your child. A mid summer check helps you see where more effort might be needed to help your child succeed.

New things done

Now is the time to write them all down. EVERY. LAST. ONE and celebrate them. This list will really help you convey to the school all the nuances of your child’s summer!

New words said

Again, write down EVERY. NEW. SOUND. AND. WORD. SAID. These are all hard fought victories and deserve celebration and recognition. Also, the speech therapist at the school will appreciate knowing about these gains!

Things to note

I usually think about any thing that Elizabeth does that is different. Such as did she show anxiety to a new experience or did she handle something she could not have before. With her special needs of global dyspraxia and sensory processing disorder ( SPD), these fears and anxiety can change often and it is helpful to note things for future reference.

Things to work on

I know this sounds similar to the first but I usually address this point after I have done the others and I really think about what we need to accomplish. For example, I know that working on cutting better is more important for her this year due to her internship at a preschool than the another skill. Each child is so different and each year is different, so what you thought at one point may not be what you think now.

This mid summer check in allows you to assess your child, their activities and their needs and adjust while summer is still going strong. I am such a big proponent of remembering that you cannot get this time back, so make the most of any and all experiences!

It also allows you to celebrate the good, the successes and the hard work of your special child because we know how hard they work each day!

Happy mid summer!

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