Archives for the month of: February, 2020

I have had people ask me how did we do it? Meaning life with a special needs child.

I have had people look at me with sadness in their eyes and say they feel sorry for us, with all the work it takes to raise a special needs child.

I have had pity shown ( which for the record, I hate).

I have had relief shown.  They are almost saying “Phew” when they leave and can go back to their own neurotypical children.

I think most of us who have a special needs child can relate to the myriad of emotions others have shown to us.

From tough looks at the grocery store:  We got them when Elizabeth and her sensory processing disorder ( SPD) made the experience simply too much for her system and a screaming meltdown was the result.

To the irritation shown by others: Maybe because “I let her get away with THIS kind of behavior”

And on and on.

I have to tell you a phrase I use ALOT when it comes to Elizabeth.

We refer to her as a gift.

And we frequently say ” The gift of Elizabeth” when we talk about a perspective that we have because of life with her that maybe others do not. Or when she stops all of us to have us watch the sunset or when she steps over drama and hugs you.  Trust me, there are countless other examples.

Do I wish Elizabeth did not have her global dyspraxia and SPD?

To be honest, yes and only because SHE wouldn’t have to work so hard to be in the world each and everyday.  And because she wouldn’t have to carry around anxiety.  And because she could simply live in a world that only bends so far for her.

But I could never and would never wish her to be different because she is amazing and has taught and continues to teach us so much….she is a gift.  We all know just how amazing our special needs children are.

I was in a store the other day, one in which you pack your own groceries.  My oldest child, Emily was with me.  Upon entering the store, we could hear the screams of a young child.  The screams grew louder by the minute.  When we were in line, the young child was reaching for the mom, red faced, out of breath and frantic.  The mom was so stressed and was apologizing to everyone for her child’s screams but she could not calm him.

When she was done, she was attempting to pack up her groceries and the screams continued.

I mentioned Emily that I would help this mom pack, no one else in the store  offered…..the gift of Elizabeth.  I KNOW what she was feeling.

But it was Emily who went over first and helped this appreciative mom…..the gift of Elizabeth.  Emily’s heart has been touched by life with a special needs sister.

The Gift of Elizabeth.

We are all in this life together and to use the gifts we have to help and support each other is another amazing gift of our special children.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of :

I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey

Emily’s Sister

Elizabeth Believes In Herself: The Special Journey Continues



“An artist”

This was the answer to the question, what do you want to be when you grow up, posed to Elizabeth many years ago.

I remember the person who asked it saying something like “That is great.”

If I am being honest, at the time we were so knee deep in her therapies, work at home, social skills as well as advocating for her with the school, that I know I had the thought that that was a nice goal, maybe it would help her fine motor skills,  but seriously, we need to do so many other functional things first.

Yes, I looked at it solely as therapy.   Probably because I was working from the space that was focusing on goals, and what needed done.

Elizabeth is my beautiful daughter with global dyspraxia and sensory processing disorder ( SPD).  Both of her disorders affect her life each and every day.  At this time I am speaking of, her sensory issues were so great and they impacted her life, learning and any and all social situations.  So thinking about her being an artist just did not sway me when the other things we needed to do  were STARING US IN THE EYE.

Suffice it to say, we did the necessary work  while  she was in elementary and middle  school…

Each day.

Each week.

Each year.

“An artist”

Again, her answer to what she wanted to be when asked as she entered high school.  She also indicated other areas she likes which we have been growing with internships and experiences since. But she wanted to take an art class in high school which turned into 2 which turned into a gold medal for her artwork in the school’s art show.

We were so proud.

She then go immersed in her college program and art took a back seat.  She continued to work on her internship and goals for her life but no art.

Until a new friend, actually a famous artist himself, said after I showed him some pictures on my phone of her work: “She has a gift, Michele.  You need to grow it.”

I asked her again if she wanted to take art lessons.

To which she said “I would love to.”

We hunted around and found a wonderful teacher.  To give Elizabeth one-on-one attention because with her disorders, she needs to be understood as well as have that attention.

She loved it and currently takes one lesson a week.

Last week her artwork  earned $300.00 for  The Walnut Grove, which is the all-inclusive playground in our area.

She was the featured artist.

She was so proud of herself and we were probably more so.

She became the artist she wanted to be so many years ago.

I know many professionals tell us to pick a path for our children but I have always countered with, why do I pick her path when she is the one who has to do it and I want her to love what she does.

Just like everyone else gets to.

She is still working on her internships and finding her path, but I can tell you she became what she wanted to be.

“An artist”

Our special children are amazing.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of:

I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey

Emily’s Sister

Elizabeth Believes In Herself: The Special Journey Continues





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