“Let’s see, we can do math on Monday….mostly your budget and then on Tuesday we can practice writing checks and typing.”

“What do you think Elizabeth? How about art time on Friday and then we can have your singing therapy on Wednesday.”

Those areactual conversations I have had with Elizabeth. I think they were helpful in planning her weeks and for the most part she was happy with the plans we made together each Sunday for the week ahead.

With her special needs of global dyspraxia and sensory processing disorder (SPD), she finds open time and no schedule to be stressful and anxiety producing. (Her words, not mine.)

So it is with that in mind, we work together to plan the schedule for the week. Ok, so maybe the plan is made together but the content offerings are all me. You see I visualize Elizabeth’s needs like these little pots on the stove all simmering around. And every so often they need stirred.

Every so often they need attention to stay current because with her dyspraxia, any skill needs practiced to stay current. If not, for her, the skill gets rusty and is harder for her to do. I suppose it is like that for all of us but there is an added twist for her. Because once a skill gets rusty, she can get frustrated trying to do it and then it leads to a bit of a stressful moment as she feels bad she can’t, then feels mad and then feels bad about herself.

So to help her in this thing called life and especially with the pandemic, those pots got stirred..

A lot.

Which was good and great and all that.

Until just recently, I got a little bit of a wake up call and it came right after she had a telehealth with our beloved therapist, Mary.

I was told that Elizabeth started off the conversation with her by getting angry and telling Mary “I am not going to college this fall and I am sad and mad.”

Ok, I thought great start, great feelings.

Then Mary told me that is was when she asked Elizabeth what she wanted to learn or work on, that she got such great thoughts….

Thoughts I didn’t know were there.

Elizabeth told Mary she wanted to work on her handwriting ” I hate how it looks.”

and read better. ” I don’t like to struggle”

and type better. “I want to use 2 hands more.”

and do yoga. “It makes me relaxed.”

and more art. ” I love doing art, and I am proud of myself for it.”

I told Elizabeth I loved her words and thoughts and that we can try to put them into plans for August. Her plans were not in the pots I was stirring, maybe parts of them but I made the mental plan to take all MY pots off the stove and replace them with HER pots.

Her plans.

From her thoughts and feelings.

I have known from the days when she was little that although she was non verbal, crying and trapped in her disorders, she was in there trying to communicate.

Now she does, a lot.

And I am proud of her.

It will be fun to turn the focus to her goals!

Always believe in your child and know that so much is inside of them.

I wish everyone a safe and peaceful week.

Please wear a mask. I do, for my mom and other’s who could get very ill

Michele Gianetti