Archives for the month of: January, 2023

We are working our way into another conference night…the last one of the year. It is a big one because what is talked about here and how the goals are being met sort of set the stage for the IEP meeting and goals for the following school year. So, any concerns you have, goals you wish were achieved or changes you desire are all points to cover.

The way that the school calendar works, in my opinion, is that by the time you get to February, the year is pretty much done. This is in terms of big changes that you might request for your child. Such as testing to be done, an IEP meeting to review and implement changes.


Because this all takes time. Time to fill out the paperwork, to wait for the testing to start, time for the tests to be fully completed and then the time to schedule and attend the meeting to discuss the results, THEN the implementing begins.

For an IEP meeting? This takes time to schedule, plan for, attend, make changes, approve changes and then implement.

Now add in Spring break, and the fact that schools end somewhere in late May to early June and you can see that any REAL changes may not take root until the following year.

This doesn’t mean those changes are not requested or that you don’t ask for those meeting. NO! You absolutely do. But with the understanding of how it all may play out.

But in the interim time, the advocacy you do for your child will make the difference in the way the rest of the year will look for your child and their goals.

This is why explaining, talking, explaining and repeat…is okay to do.

Often. (And don’t feel bad doing it)

I have learned on this journey with Elizabeth.

It is just like sharing their IEP narrative, if you have one, except you are doing it verbally. ( and okay, sometimes, I give some written things too!)

Explain and talk!

For me,

1.I would explain Elizabeth again. Disorders, how they affect her and her day…all of it again.

2.How she is doing in our opinion this year. What do we really see at home or with emotions she is having from a tough school day.

3.What might need changed in school. Maybe she needs more transition time maybe a buddy to help her

4.What may be too challenging or not challenging enough. In terms of actual goals or just events in the day. Maybe gym is too challenging or maybe they aren’t including her enough.

5.What I can do at home to help both Elizabeth and the school advance her success. It helps the school so know you are part of the team and that indeed it is a TEAM effort

6. Her disorders in detail and how they are being affected by the school year stress. Not always will they know how disorders will affect our children because they may not have had them all year before.

The important thing is to have them understand your child..fully at the beginning, middle and end of the year.

And to know they can come to you with any questions or concerns right away.

It feels good to fully represent your child and who they are AND it really is critical to keep explaining.

Maybe you will be waiting for testing or changes on an IEP but there are things that we can do to help our children maximize their school day all to help them grow and achieve to the best of their abilities.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of Elizabeth Believes In Herself


When I first had Elizabeth, I was in awe of all that curly hair and those amazing blue eyes. (thank you for the genetic gift from my husband) She really was an absolutely gorgeous baby.

And then she would cry.

And cry.

But we always went places and did life with her, but we knew she would cry or have a meltdown when her sensory processing disorder (SPD) would show itself.

It was hard.

But something I did was to make sure that outwardly all was in great order for her before we left the house. We did her pretty curls, picked cute outfits and made sure her face was clean.

ALWAYS! even when we went to the park?

In fact, she used to smell so good going to first grade with her perfume that one of the teachers actually asked me what she was wearing.

We wanted the world to see the beautiful child that we knew she was. Inside and outside. And we didn’t want her disorders to be the thing that was noticed the most. And we also wanted any and all who worked with her to know that she was LOVED, alot!

It was always hard to see her cry or break down in public and look at the pitying faces of those in the store or line with us. But it was equally or even more hard for me/us to keep things in good order for her.

With her special needs of dyspraxia, she would spill, eat not so neatly and have smudges on her face. We would be quite hyper alert to all these things.

So as time passed, we have watched Elizabeth grow and mature and succeed in her life. We taught her so many life skills, but the one thing that was hard to do for me and it stems back to these previous things that I shared with you, is to let the natural consequences happen for her.

I still want to run interference, to save her from say, the looks if she is has a stain on her shirt or to make sure she is up and organized for the day, to make sure she eats breakfast. To make sure that her schedule is completed for her, so that she doesn’t miss something. To just help make life a bit easier and smoother for her because she has to work so hard at it everyday.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t DO all these things, I am the reminder to HER to do them, But it is like they are still in my mind.

Now flash to current day, she is 24 years old. She is capable beyond words but also needs supports to be this capable. And yet, the reminder girl ( me) has not be able to relinquish this job.

I want to.

I try to.

But somehow, I can’t and it probably has to do with the fact that Elizabeth is conditioned to know I will be there to remind, help or if we are PRESSED for time, do for her.

But I have learned this year to allow natural consequences to occur.

Yep, small natural consequences as this will, I was told, teach her better than any words I can say about the importance of any of the above things.

It happened with breakfast as she didn’t listen to her timer, I did not run interference, and she got up late. So she had a protein bar for breakfast. Not a big fan favorite of hers but it got the job done.

The next day, guess who was up and ready?

So, I am a work in progress to pull back and let these small natural consequences occur.

I have to say that as the weeks went on, it is NOT easy to allow these to occur. I mean do I want to see Elizabeth go out of the house with her hair not brushed or a stain she forgot to wipe off? No!

Not at all.

And also, there are times that doing it quickly and on my time is what has to happen because of other things going on in life. It is kind of a self preservation thing. Being “trained” to be so hyper aware of Elizabeth’s needs, makes it hard to deprogram this setting.

I am working on the above goal

Is it easy? For me? 100% NO IT IS NOT.

But is it important for her next level of growth? 100% YES IT IS.

I see that so clearly now.

I see so much growth, happiness and pride in her as she sees all she can do without THE REMINDER PERSON. She is capable, smart and strong.

So for those of you who run so much interference that you actually get a training heartrate going. ( Me, included) Just give it a think. Maybe it is time to see if this might be a fit for you and your special needs child/young adult.

I am with you if you are scared, but I see the results and they are so sweet to watch.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of I Believe In You

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