I can’t start off this week’s blog without nodding to the topics covered by the last two weeks. How are we all doing? Me? I am doing better. Writing about it. Talking about it. Praying about it…not in that order…has helped me gain reserves back.

Not fully. But so much better. It helps that Spring is starting to show itself here. And we are enjoying the mid 40’s with some nice walks and fresh air. ( hey, we were -15, so 40 is a heat wave!)

I hope you have all found a way to strengthen yours as well.

But I wanted to write about something that I was thinking about for our families. Especially those who have a special needs child who is at the age where they can be vaccinated for COVID.

I started to think about it for Elizabeth as she will soon be able to get the vaccine. Which one? Not sure. But our plan is to vaccinate her. For those who don’t know, we all had COVID last April during the first wave.

And it was scary.

At that time, no one really knew the way to treat or what medications would really help.

Our time that we had it went so slowly as we kept checking the date on the calendar to get to day 14…the date we were then told was the “end”

So now a year later, we have the option of vaccination. One that we plan to take for Elizabeth. I know that it is a personal decision but for those who are thinking about it. I started to plan out a how to tell Elizabeth about it.

I mean a social story of sorts…tailored to her age of course. But one that covers all the steps that will happen as you go in for your vaccine. As well as what to expect right after….30 minutes after…and then any side effects.

What you say and how much you say of course depends on your child. You know them best. So you would tailor the information to fit your child’s needs, age etc….

I have to say that the 15-30 minute wait that is required could be a challenge for an anxious Elizabeth. Her SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) could really raise her anxiety and make sitting a while a lot of work. So we will need to prepare for that. Maybe bring headphones for her to listen to music to.

But telling her what to expect is really key for her success. So the more she knows about how the experience will go, the better for her. I know everyone is different, so again, this is just me talking.

I know that there are required forms to fill out…I may try to get those done ahead of time, if possible. This way I can carry them in instead of sitting and filling them out. That would only increase Elizabeth’s anxiety.

I also know that there could be a wait in line. She needs to know to expect that as well.

And then the actual shot. How can I help her prepare best for the feeling it brings. Sore arm? I need to be the one to watch her for any reaction but she needs to know to tell me if she feels anything. So I need to go over what that anything looks like….for the 15-30 minute wait.

Then it helps is she knows she MAY feel a bit off in the next day or two. I do not know about your children, but Elizabeth simply hates to feel ill. So it is important that she knows if she does feel ill it is only for a day or so and due to the vaccine working….she also needs to be able to ask for Tylenol if she needs to .

Again, I feel that prepping before hand as best you can, decreasing anxiety and increases the chance of good success.

Another thing to go over is the WHY of the vaccine. I had a nice talk with Elizabeth about why we would like her to get the vaccine when she can. She is an adult, so the conversation was geared in that direction.

I know that the choice everyone’s to make. But if the vaccine choice is one you are making. I thought it might be helpful to think of some of these things. The vaccine experience is not really the same as any other shots our children have had, so it helps to be that little bit ahead if you can.

I wish everyone a peaceful week. And please wear a mask.

Michele Gianetti author of Elizabeth Believes In Herself.