Archives for the month of: August, 2020

Just yesterday I posted a video yesterday on my Facebook page which shows Elizabeth jumping rope.

The rope is being twirled for her, and she starts jumping then keeps jumping and starts turning in a circle.

It really is a cool video and truly made my day. For those that do not know, Elizabeth has global dyspraxia and sensory processing disorder ( SPD). This means that the motor planning Elizabeth needed to performed to accomplish this task took a lot of work. Those with dyspraxia, need to have skills broken down into small steps and practiced over and over again.

Elizabeth has practiced and accomplished the jumping part of this skill few years ago. However, it is the jumping and turning that require so much more motor planning, knowing where your body is in space and sequencing of steps to do it. I was proud of her, but the most important thing is that she was proud of herself. She came in after doing it with her friend and therapist and said” Come on out Mom, there is something you have to see.” . When she was done and we were all screaming, she put her hand up for high fives.

I love the pride she feels in herself.

Is this a skill that others have learned earlier in life? Yes

Is it a skill that for others has come easily to them? Yes

The thing is, we celebrated it because it was HER success. We celebrated it because it happened WHEN it happened for her.

NO COMPARISONS MADE.

She accomplished it.

The thing about our special needs children is that what they learn, how the learn and when they learn is THEIR way. And that is ok.

It is not their way as compared to others. It is simply their success.

When the new school year arrives, in whatever form it takes, knowing that no matter what goals you have for your child, try not to compare. If the goals are still the same as last year, do not get discouraged. It is on your child’s pace.

If your child completes a skill or learns a new task or says a bunch of new words…..it is all a success.

I offer this out today because after I posted the video, I started thinking of the journey that has been her life and the times I got down about goals she was doing that others her age had done a long time prior and I wanted to encourage those who are facing a school year filled with so many emotions already to not let discouragement be one of them.

In my opinion, any time is really the right time.

I wish everyone a peaceful week. And please wear a mask! I do for my mom and others who could get really ill.

Michele Gianetti

I have written a great number of blogs during this pandemic. I have talked about how things were for us and how Elizabeth handled things both emotionally and the actual activities of the day.

I wrote about the fear we had, the happy time together and much more

In the Spring, I wrote about the feelings about reopening and all those emotions and how we taught Elizabeth how to “re-enter” the world. Such as how to maintain social distance, why she needs to sanitize her hands and put on and take off her mask.

I am sure there were many more areas covered but that is an overview.One of the biggest things we had to do was to teach Elizabeth how to put on and take off her mask properly. With her issues of global dyspraxia and sensory processing disorder (SPD) this was a the first thing on the To-Do list. So the dyspraxia makes it hard for her to do the motor planning needed to get the mask on her face while the SPD makes it hard work for her to be okay with the sensation of a mask on her face.

It is a lot of work for her and for all the others with special needs.

So now when we go places she knows to take her purse and in it she puts a mask, a small sanitizer and we review the rules of social distancing. So all will be well right?

Well…..here is how it really goes….. at least for us.

Elizabeth puts her mask on in the parking lot of the grocery store but due to her dyspraxia and the hard work it is to judge pressure from say the difference between a gentle touch and one with more oomph.

So as I watch she puts the one ear loop on and the PULLLLLLLLLS the other ear loop so strongly across her face and head that she has now no real hope of it hooking on the second ear as it could now hook on her ear if we moved her ear to the back of her head.

So down goes mask 1. I pull our a spare one ( from my stash in the car)

We try again and I am doing a hand over hand to help her gauge the amount of pressure needed to pull it over her ear. We accomplish this well.

Yeah! We get out of the car to head into the grocery store and start shopping. A few aisle in I see…

The ear loop drops off her second ear….kid you not.

So before I could sanitize my hands to help her with her mask as I had already touched a number of store items. She reaches up and again PUULLLLLLSSSSSS the earloop and we now have the same thing happening that took down mask 1. (GULP, she didn’t sanitize her hands…mental note to self-ADDRESS THIS LATER)

But we are in a store.

With a cart full of food.

With contaminated hands.

So now I sanitize again, fix her mask again.

Which now requires her looking almost upward to keep it in place. ‘I suggested that we hurry to get the last few items and head home and get her out of this horrible mask issue-thing we have got going on.

As we are hurrying, I notice Elizabeth reaches in front of a few people to get the item she needs. GULP! I NEED TO TAK TO HER ABOUT THIS AGAIN.

We are in check out and she goes to help me unload the cart and I look at her and her mask is now down around her upper lip. And because I was hurrying it probably was like that for the last few aisles. GULP- ANOTHER THING TO ADDRESS!

I didn’t want her to touch it because her hands are worthy of a good scrub at this point. We are in line, with people behind us, in front of us and the overall feeling was ..WE NEED TO GO.

A good 10 minutes later we are headed into the car…and FINALLY we get in. she puts her hands out to sanitize them, proceeds to rip off her mask and stuff it in her purse “For later”

That last one needs a “GULP” as well.

That trip was a bit of reality wasn’t it, the overall picture was good right? Mask, sanitize, social distancing…..all of which were talked about and she did know them and put a mask on without it causing anxiety. Good for us!

But the reality is REALLY telling…these things she did showed to me that the explanations of what we need to do, really need to go deeper into the why of it. I need to go back and REALLY tell her why you don’t touch your mask, why you wait instead of cutting in front of someone. Why you wash the mask instead of putting it in your purse.

I think each child may require a bit more teaching to cope with real life situations than say, just the often heard “social distancing” It almost has to be broken down to different scenarios to make the teaching of these really important things to our special needs child successful.

And let me honest, it is critical we are successful

Mask 1 and mask 2 are no longer with us after this store trip …it is okay to smile at this.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Please wear a mask! I do for my mom and others who could get REALLY ill

Michele Gianetti

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