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Well big news is we got the mini muffins in our grocery order.  Which leads me to say we learned we can do okay with grocery delivery, meaning that the substitutions are not that bad for now.

That is one thing we learned, among many, during this long quarantine.

We also learned that a schedule is important not only to Elizabeth, who has special needs, but to us all as it gives us a sense of grounding during the day.

We learned that taking time to be alone when needed is hugely important and something that needs to be honored.

We have learned that each day is very similar to the one before but that that fact can actually be a bit of a comfort when the world seems so very out of control

But one of the things we learned has to do solely with Elizabeth.

Now she has been working very hard to “be ok” during this pandemic.  She and I have made time to talk about her feelings and keep her busy while not overdoing since her sensory processing disorder (SPD) can show itself in increased anxiety when she is overly tired or stressed by outside things.  So it is, for us, a balancing act.  One thing that has helped her is that we have scheduled some video visit times with her therapists, friends and workouts and the happy thing we learned is that

Elizabeth does really well with these things:   zoom gatherings, Google duo and Facetime. I have actually had the therapists talk to me about how nicely she maintains focus, follows commands and really engages well.

I have to say this is a pleasant finding…a gift of this time.

I have talked to a friend of mine who has a daughter with special needs as well and she told me that she her daughter verbalized how happy she was that she was home more and that she does want to be busy “like before”  what makes this so wonderful is that the these feelings were well thought out and told to my friend.  And my friend, said that she is going to have more conversations about this with her daughter when the time comes for them to face a schedule.

That was a gift of this time for my friend.

My other friend had the time to help her special needs daughter learn to ride her bike.  A motor skill that was very off putting.  Now she can ride!

In a time where so much is challenging, emotions are strong in many directions, finding gifts  lifts the heart.

I know that the fact that we are caring how we are ordering mini muffins tells you just how different our lives are from before but being given these lifts to the heart help.  Maybe your eyes will find a gift as well.

I hope that you do.

And that you are safe.

Michele Gianetti author of:

I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey

Emily’s Sister

Elizabeth Believes In Herself: The Special Journey Continues

 

 

As I typed this number, I paused because I can’t believe it is that high.

The changes this week are that we are out of mini muffins, the weather decided to go back to winter in Ohio as it was snowing and the governor closed the schools for the remainder of the year, meaning my son, Michael, will be off until September.

So a rather big week.

Ohh, and there was one more thing.  The school has decided to move to a pass fail system instead of grades.  Three guesses which 14 year old is pretty happy?

So all this focus on school and grades reminds me that Covid or no Covid, we are entering into the season that invokes many an emotion and it is

IEP season

Typically we all know what that means but with all the changes and the situating in place, the usually required meeting will be challenging.

So once you find out how your school system is planning on accomplishing this either by calling them or emailing your child’s intervention specialist, you can begin to plan.

I always recommend rereading your child’s IEP and seeing where gains were made and where your child struggled and make notes as you go.  The thing here is that for most, the school year was interrupted and so much of the assessments are not done, which puts things into a gray area.

Maybe your child’s teacher is using their last assessments to base future IEP goals or they may add in the work that your child completes during their remote learning.  But the question that stands out is will these assessments be accurate for your child needs?

It is a tough time for an IEP and made tougher because of the lack of assessments during day to day encounters.

I feel that the parent’s observations will take on a huge role in planning the IEP because YOU see your child everyday and currently witness their successes or struggles with each and every assignment.  YOU see how long they can maintain concentration for and when they have had enough.  YOU see how they can or cannot process they assignments given.

YOU are now the one who has become an educator as well as parent.  With these two things combined, YOU are a wealth of information for the intervention specialist.

Reread the IEP-

I cannot stop myself from repeating this because I feel so strongly about it.  Knowing goals and where your child stands is critical when you are talking about future plans

Take notes- 

Write down what you see, hear and notice for your child.  Write down their emotions and meltdowns.  Write down pretty much anything that helps the school see how they are handling their work as well as the remote learning aspect of it.

Think about next year-

One thing that has been noted is that the broad swipe that wiped away the school year did not really take into account those with IEPs and special needs.  Because remote learning is not easy to do and for those with special needs it can be really anxiety producing.  Let alone, the anxiety it produces for the parents/care givers as they deal with that and with trying to prevent regression of skills.

Now might be a good time to think about how to best address your child’s needs if remote learning becomes a part of school for next year.  We don’t know if that will be the case or weather it will be a small part of their day but the fact is, being prepared is always better than not being prepared.

I hope everyone is safe and staying strong.  I know I am working hard on the last one some days!! Stay home if you can!

Michele Gianetti author of

I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey

Emily’s Sister

Elizabeth Believes In Herself: The Special Journey Continues

 

 

 

 

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