I love that expression!

Not because we are out playing football and not because any of us actually are punters. But because it means you simply have to be flexible in life and have a plan B.

Or C

Or D

For those who have special needs in their lives, we can find ourselves sometimes at plan AA, if it is an especially tough time.

I think having a child with special needs makes you so adept at being flexible.

I did not start our flexible at all. I LEARNED how to do it with time and experience. So many experiences taught me that it did not matter if I thought I could do all the errands AND then meet my friend to have a play date. I quickly learned that maybe just the errands would get done.

Because all that activity was too much for my daughter, Elizabeth to handle. Elizabeth is my beautiful daughter who has special needs. She has global dyspraxia and Sensory Processing Disorder ( SPD)

And when she was young, I NEVER knew just how much of an outing she could handle, but I would find out in the long line at the grocery store and have to hold her and unload or leave the store with her crying.

We never knew exactly what she liked or didn’t like until we DID and usually in a NOT good way.

But as life has gone on and the years have passed we have learned flexibility and how to plan things in a way that always allows for a plan B.

Like the time 3 years ago, we went to this wonderful Christmas event. Prior to COVID, it was so crowded and loud and Elizabeth was handling things great. Until she wasn’t.

Until the moment when the tour guide said that we needed to walk through this cool room with spinning lights and and music. It was kind of dark and well, if you know Elizabeth, you know that the dark if her ENEMY!

So as much as we encouraged her, her yelling out to the guide “I am not going through that” made us be flexible and go to our plan B.

Yep, we have learned!

So flash to current day and we are now close to 2 weeks away from the time she is set to begin her training at the nursing home. See previous blogs for the full details, but suffice it to say that worker shortages and COVID made the place put a hold on her training.

This was fine and we adjusted her schedule as we waited.

But then Elizabeth started to verbalize how nervous the place made her. That it was overwhelming and too much to learn right away.

So I checked with her job coach who said that even she was struggling to keep it all straight in the kitchen and that if they could train her SLOWLY and one thing at a time, she could do it and be fine.

But as we all know, not all things bend our kids way and the nursing home, is wonderful, but they simply can’t do that. So it is training with a job coach one or two more times and then she would be there mostly on her own.

So with all the onboarding we did, fingerprints and drug test, job coaching and the like….

We have to punt on this one.

Exercise the flexibility we have done so many times before.

And let the nursing home know that her feelings have changed and why.

I think they will understand that for now, we need to hit the pause button again. The difference is we are doing it not them

Do we have a plan B?

Yes we do and I will share that with you soon!

I wish everyone a peaceful week!

Michele Gianetti author of Elizabeth Believes in Herself