As a mother of a child with special needs, I have spent so much of Elizabeth’s life thinking about places we are going and how to make them work for her. People we are going to meet and do they already know how to talk to her ( just like everyone else) or do they understand her trepidations.

For those who don’t already know, my daughter Elizabeth has special needs. She has global dypraxia and SPD (sensory processing disorder). Both of these disorders affect her life daily and make life hard work. There are days when her disorders “show” themselves more than others and days when doing well known tasks almost appears to be completely new, almost as if they were never learned. That is what makes the challenges so great. When Elizabath was young, it was her SPD that really affected her life.

Her SPD has made her afraid of so many things so very early on in life,  I am sure so many people just thought she was a very unfriendly, cranky child.  They would try to talk to her or reach out to her to try something and then Elizabeth would respond in a way lead by her fear…she would pull away and cry.

Her dyspraxia, now the bigger piece in her world, would, when she was young, make doing something even if she wanted to too difficult, so the word “NO” would be heard or if not heard.  The head shaking back and forth and the pulling away generally got the point across.

And trust me, it is not like I could not understand how it would all seem/look to a person who would encounter Elizabeth for the first times.

So back to what I was saying…..I spent a lot of time planning and thinking and evaluating…  I still spend time and think I always will on these lovely thoughts, just maybe  less as time goes on due to therapies and maturity on Elizabeth’s part ( and probably mine too!)  but for a person who has devoted such brain space to this, it is always so wonderful when you realize in certain places it will be okay. When you have been there enough to know you can relax and enjoy.  Or you have a group of people with whom all is okay. So again, you get the chance to relax.

But one of the best things is to find a NEW person or group of people who just get your child, who listen when you tell them how she “works” , who listened when you told them how to talk to her ..who just “GET IT”  that is a wonderful gift and one that is treasured beyond measure.

 My newest person in our life is our newly met art teacher.  Elizabeth LOVES art. She has always loved it and I am sure some previous blogs I have written have told you all about it. So we were able to recently meet a person who will do virtual art lessons for Elizabeth. Actually her first lesson is tonight. But it was the conversation that she and I had prior that let me know “she got it” She talked about motor planning, overload and “talking things through” with Elizabeth.

I

DID

NOT

HAVE

TO

That was just wonderful.

I will let you know how this goes!

But to those who are raising a child with special needs, you know how great this feeling is.  I hope everyone meets someone this week who just “GETS” your child.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of Elizabeth Believes in Herself