Yes, I understand. The code word is…………

Yes, We did put the code in but my daughter put in the code for our old security system, not this current one.

Yes, we are all fine.

This is a small excerpt from my actual conversation with the nice policeman at 8:15 am this past Saturday morning.

Three guesses who this conversation was about?

And it all started with Elizabeth heading out to the garage to get an iced tea from the refrigerator out there. Which typically doesn’t usually require disarming the security system but because it was early in the morning, it did.

And so began the fun of the morning.

So after the nice policeman left, and we had all calmed back down from the fun of the 1,000,000 decibel alarm going off, Elizabeth and I had a nice talk about:

Letting us know when there is a problem/not just remaining motionless: This is so related to her disorder of Dyspraxia. It is not that she doesn’t KNOW what to do, it is the initiation of the action that is the struggle for dyspraxics. Since her Dyspraxia makes it hard for her to act on something (especially when she is anxious), we have taught her about having a “Go to” person. Who is the person she will “Go-to” when needed. But this did not happen.

What to do if this happens again: As we all know, life is full of teachable moments and for those who have a child with special needs there are even more of those moments. So she and I talked this through as well.

Why did you not tell us that it started going off: I was in the basement with earbuds in and on an exercise machine. So, I was of no use, but her dad and brother were upstairs getting ready with music on. So the couldn’t hear the initial alarm beep either. Because after the initial beep comes the million decibel alarm. So there is some time to catch this.

So after talking through all the above, Elizabeth left for work and I was left with a heavy heart. In fact, my beloved friend (neighbor across the street) who actually called us to see if we were all okay when she heard our house alarm go off, was the one I cried to when I heard her voice. For some reason certain things hit me so hard. And I start down the rabbit hole called what will Elizabeth do if we weren’t here and what will she do when we aren’t?

UGH, it is quite the rabbit hole.

But then after I got the tears out, I started thinking that, like all things, there is a gift to this situation.

And the gift is that we need to recognize that this skill, this new code, this what do you do if/when are things that we have not worked on in a great while.

Why? I am guessing with COVID that we didn’t have to work on these as we were always together.

And now we do.

And like other skills that haven’t been done in a while, they need to be practiced again and sometimes retaught.

And that it isn’t a failure it is just that they haven’t been worked on or done in a while.

I thought about how little I actually practiced the new code with her and that saying you have a go to person but not just what that means now, in this current situation, doesn’t help enough.

It really is okay to say that sometimes the rust needs kicked off these skills and the wake up call or should I say, ALARM for us was this past Saturday.

So maybe it is reading or typing or remembering how to zip a coat. Whatever the skill, task or action that your child knew but that is now a struggle for them, try not to feel bad. Maybe see it as a rusty skill.

And nothing more. Just something that needs a little time and effort to get it working smoothly again.

I am speaking to me as much as I am speaking to you when I say this.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of Elizabeth Believes in Herself