As I talked about in a few previous blogs, we are changing the focus of our time and work for Elizabeth. Due to COVID and her not going to her college program for special needs, it was her words and thoughts that turned into the new plans. How great is that!

Elizabeth is my daughter with special needs, she has global dyspraxia and sensory processing disorder (SPD). She did not talk until 5 years old. So anytime those words flow, even now, we get so excited and proud. So her telling us all that she did about the goals SHE wants was simply wonderful.

As I said last week, I learned a few things about implementing her goals and so now we have adjusted a bit, still a work in progress, but it has been a better week than last. Truly it is a day to day sort of thing, isn’t it?

But as I was looking for something for her yesterday, I remembered it was in the basket of her “stuff” in my husband’s office. Now this basket contains different pens, grips, sensory stuff, a slant board for writing and more. Items we used in the not so distant past.

But here is the thing, even though we may have used those things not so far back, they seem to not fit what we are doing now. Which is interesting to me. It is like adaptive items seem to cycle in and out of what is currently used for us.

So now as I look at that basket, I will have to sort through it all and see what we can use now, with Elizabeth’s new goals in mind. And what we will need to store away in another area for another time.

I think as our special needs children grow and change, we need to remember 5 simple rules to follow:

  1. It is so important to revisit their “stuff” and see what is used, what isn’t, what we can store away and what we can perhaps donate.

2. It is important to know that even though what once was an amazing thing in their life, may have served its time…for now.

3. It is a good thing to schedule a time to review their sensory boxes, or “stuff” More isn’t always better…so pick what works and decide what to do with the rest.

4. It is a good thing to have them help you if possible because their input is important and can be a good jumping off point to conversation. I like when Elizabeth tells me what she remembers about using a certain item.

5. It is important to know how fast and often our children are changing and that our best laid plans will always need adjusting. I like to have a plan. Elizabeth taught me that my plan will be changed often. I learned I can do that.

My plans for today include dumping out the basket with Elizabeth near me and taking a bit of a walk down memory lane with her.

Then when we are done, I can look up and rejoin current life and her current needs.

We are all a work in progress.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of
“I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey”