Archives for the month of: August, 2022

I know that for anyone who has followed our story and Elizabeth’s life you know that she and her sister are very close. They love each other very much and really “get” each other. Even with Elizabeth’s special needs, Emily got her. Through the therapy for her dyspraxia, and sensory issues (SPD), Emily got her.

I can see that when Elizabeth has one of her stressful moments, Emily becomes The Elizabeth whisperer and helps her with her emotions and then kind of lets the rest of us in on what is going on.

Or when Emily is having one of her stressful moments, Elizabeth will give her one of her big hugs, read the color of Emily’s heart and help her and us know what is going on. Such as “Emily’s heart is red, she is really mad right now about…..”

They still get on each other’s nerves, which is a normal sister, sibling thing.

But they love each other so much so when it was time for Emily to move for her residency, it was a tough tough thing. Emily had a lot of months she was in and out due to obligations for her medical school training, which was hard as well but there was a point that Elizabeth knew she was coming back.

Then came the time that Emily moved for a year and now for 3. It was a slow and big transition for us all but especially for Elizabeth.

But I am happy to say that it feels we are on the other side of the mind-numbing emotions and are hitting a bit of a stride in terms of staying connected with Emily. Such as texts, video chats etc.

And when I say stride, I mean as in the past month or so.

So good for us! Right?

Right!

Sort of, actually,

Because last Sunday I see Elizabeth hugging her brother, Michael, and sort of tearing up. I hear her say “I’m going to miss you, buddy.” and Michael responds that he will miss her too on his first day back to school as a junior, but “I will be back tomorrow night.”

I love those last words so much, but it kind of got me thinking of the time, in a mere two years, when Michael cannot make that statement to Elizabeth and how that will be for her.

UGH! is the punch in the gut feeling I got with that one.

I hate that sometimes life shows you just how much it is changing on one hand and in the same glance you can see just how much it did not on the other. By this I mean, we have and are working so hard for Elizabeth to find her path in the world and at the same time, she is STILL the one hugging the people who are moving past her to the bigger phases of their life.

It is weird, not settling and kind of hard on the heart.

I know we will continue, as we all do, to work for and with our children with special needs but sometimes life just comes by and taps you on the shoulder and hands you a bit of reality.

I feel as if sharing the story, is giving an honest image of the emotions that run around this house at any given time!

I love that my children love and enjoy each other, so the takeaway gift will be that piece. The emotions will be the things we will work with and through as time goes on.

I wish everyone a peaceful week,

Michele Gianetti author of I Believe In You

In our school system, the first day of school is on Monday. Which means that this weekend takes on a whole new meaning when Monday is THE BIG FIRST DAY!

I know for Michael he will be a bit nervous for his first day, as is normal. But my guess is that he will be approaching it differently due to his age, the fact that he has friends in all his classes and that he has been running with the Cross-Country team all summer all make the first day less emotional. It is like he has been with the school most of the summer.

Now, flash back with me to when Elizabeth was headed back to school. At any age or any year.

Before we head down this riveting story, for those who don’t already know, Elizabeth is my beautiful 25-year-old daughter with special needs. She has SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) and Global Dyspraxia. These disorders affect her life each and every day.

So back to the story,

This weekend, the one RIGHT before the start of school, would be the toughest one for Elizabeth. There would typically be a hyperfocus on the change that is coming. She would be anxious, and that anxiety would grow until she was so nervous inside that ANY challenge to her would elicit an irritated response. When she would be asked to do anything, it was like her brain had no space left to figure out how to do it, because it was all being used up in thinking about the new start coming her way.

Now, keep in mind, at this point we had already done the check list that included

Visiting the school

Talking to the new teachers/Intervention specialists

Sending info about Elizabeth, her summer etc (Our Introduction letter)

We made schedules for Elizabeth to know what was coming first, next, last in her morning.

Truly we had done it all.

And then it gets to the point that the ONLY thing that will actually help the anxiety about the upcoming change is to GET there.

I used to say this “I can’t wait for the first day of school to start FOR Elizabeth” I would say this NOT because I wanted school to actually start as I love my kids home, but for her the START of school would END the mass of feelings she had.

And it was the truth because of all the groundwork we laid, and the truth is for our beautiful children with special needs, we have to do this kind of groundwork for them. But the truth is she would come home exhausted from all the days of stress, content because it really was ok.

I offer this story out to those families who may be in this exact space with their child today. Just know that sometimes no more words, plans or charts can make it better.

Sometimes they just need to get there. Maybe this helped someone somewhere today.

I wish everyone a peaceful week,

Michele Gianetti author of Elizabeth Believes in Herself

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