So to sort of dove tail on last week’s blog, I wanted to share how we went about making the plans for Elizabeth’s summer.

Elizabeth is going to soon be 24 years old and for those who don’t know, she has special needs. She has SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) and global dyspraxia. Both disorders can make life hard work. Some days are better than others and some days are simply the kind when I wish it was time to go to bed and start again tomorrow and I look at the clock and see it is 9:30 am! So as I was saying to my one dear friend, Elizabeth’s disorders can show themselves greatly or sometimes practically not at all. So when they do, I go back to my tools for helping her navigate them.

That is why planning out schedules requires us both to keep several things in mind. We need to always run the schedule through the filter of More is not always better

That is one of the things I talked about last week and it is one of the biggest tools I use.

So when Elizabeth and I talked about her goals for summer and what things were available, we both agreed that she is busy each day but that there is built in down time for each day. We have learned early on in her life that her nervous system requires time to “relax” I know a nervous system doesn’t actually do that, but because hers is working hard all the time to navigate life and adjust for changes that our systems do automatically, she is fatigued when her work/activity/job is done. So she needs a break.

A break of her choosing. And this is the other thing we talk about. She lets me know when she is taking her break. For example on Monday she is helping to teach gym classses to preschool children until 11:30 am. She told me “I will come home, eat lunch and relax a bit.” and yes, she says relax a bit. It is cute and I am not sure where she picked that up from. She also works at a local catering place in town, so that goes into the morning schedule 3 days a week too.

But then we talked about keeping her goals from before that included typing, reading and cooking. So we tucked those into the afternoons post break as they are low stress and sort of relaxing in their own right.

She loves to exercise, so that goes in the spot for after dinner and the days we walk our 5 miles gets put into the schedule as well.

It is a carefully crafted schedule and one that she worked with me on planning.

This is definitely a schedule that will be much fuller than we have had in a long time, so we may have to adjust if it is more that she actually desires. But that will be determined after it gets underway.

So the advice I gave on the previous blog was the same advice I follow to this day.

It starts with understanding your child and their needs and putting into their day the supports they need at the current time.

I hope everyone is enjoying their start to summer and good luck as you plan yours.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

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