As everyone is busy adjusting to the new school year, it is easy to see all the things that you want to do for your child, all the things you want your child to learn, all the skills you want your child to master.

Trust me! I know that feeling and at times I still feel that way. It’s like you want to make sure to get it all in, teach it all, help them as best and most that you can.

Especially since each start of a school brings to light the emotions that come with seeing just what other children your child’s age are doing or just what academic levels other children your child’s age are doing.

As well as being a marker of time, of another year coming, another year passing etc.

But something that I think I want to share, something I had to learn and relearn and probably relearn again can from a dear therapist, Mary. She was one of our first therapists and is still on the journey with us today.

It is something that helps me when I just want to do that last thing with Elizabeth or teach that last item to her.

Here is the story that maybe someone might need to read today.

We have a beloved therapist who has worked with Elizabeth and has become a dear friend to me, since Elizabeth was 2 years old. And if you do the math that is over 13 years.  I would need to do a series of blogs if I would try to explain the level of gratitude and awe that I feel for these therapists-turned-friends, who have impacted our lives.

This beloved therapist once told me “more is not always better”,

I really cannot remember what things or activities I was currently trying/doing with Elizabeth that warranted the comment.  I may have had (read sarcasm here) a time when I pushed Elizabeth to do all the things I had on our, or better said, MY “to-do’ list.  Hard as that is to believe, I MAY have been doing too much.   I say this with a bit of humor, but in truth I have been know to want to help Elizabeth learn things, do things, teach her things, all at once. I think if I am being truthful, I wanted somehow to make it all ok for her.

But what has helped me be be aware of this thinking, this mindset were those words….after hearing them, I sat there kind of stunned, thinking ” How can that be the right way?” “Shouldn’t we be trying to help her catch-up?”

 I was stopped in my tracks and really had to take a moment to let it sink in, as our therapist continued to explain it to me, from the perspective of her experience and how Elizabeth might be feeling, it started to make sense.  And dare I say after thinking, analyzing, and finally accepting this new philosophy, it felt freeing.  Just think, I could be happy with one success, one new thing, we did not have to hold onto the burden of doing it all, all the time.  

I try to remember those words, as at times, I still think “let’s do this, then we will work on that, then a few minutes of something else.” It is then that I hear her words in my head, I take a pause, and then re-evaluate my goals for the moment.

I, like those of you with special needs children, know that we are always trying the best for our child, but sometimes what we feel is best, may not actually be so for our child, I try to remember, ANY success, is success, and ANY achievement is an achievement.

End of story.

I offer out these words and way of thinking, as today I had to remember them….AGAIN! As I was telling Elizabeth all the things that we needed to do on her check list today.

I tossed out my list of things I thought I HAD to do, and replaced it with two things instead.  

She will love and learn from the two things we will be doing, that SHE picked.

Yes, that advice truly is one to try to live by.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of I Believe In You