Archives for category: Parenting

I ask the above question because life changes the best laid plans.

For us, we are officially in week two of our fall schedule. I know we could have started ours, (Elizabeth’s and mine) earlier but decided to begin at the same time as Michael, her brother.

So that brings us to week two. And I must say that what Elizabeth and I had planned on paper looks a bit different in real life. Elizabeth is home now due to COVID instead of being in her college program for those with special needs. Part of what really works for her is to have a written schedule for the week and also one for each day. Nothing set in stone, just a gentle flow of what is or should I say, should be expected each day. Her sensory processing disorder ( SPD) can make transitions anxiety producing, so seeing what is scheduled helps with that.

Our schedule was to include work time each day, yoga one morning a week, our walk, cooking on Monday, time to work on her Etsy account each morning and then whatever activity she has in the afternoon, as she has a few virtual therapies.

So, how is it going?

Well…?

I found out that we need to walk first thing in the morning. It takes us about and hour or so to do the 5 miles along with the getting ready and getting home part. So that is a big hunk of time. And if not done then, she either doesn’t feel like it or there isn’t time later. The walk is so calming and quite enjoyable, so we are making it a priority for her.

Then she eats breakfast and starts to relax which is a good thing but also makes transitioning to our Etsy or worktime a big push. And just maybe we haven’t done work this past week…..

I found out that cooking everyone Monday with her is fun as long as Michael doesn’t have basketball practice and I need to take him. If so, then I need to cook earlier in the day and at that time, she is on a virtual class…..so just maybe we need to be more flexible and pick A day, not necessarily Monday.

I learned that I make a very uncreative teacher. If the assignment says type this. I say “Elizabeth, let’s type this” to which she says a whole bunch of things, some positive others not so much. (These assignments come from her tutor.) I learned I need to review the work we need to do ahead of time to present it in manageable chunks.

I learned that putting anything on the schedule past 6pm is basically making the decision NEVER TO DO IT. Yep, I learned that one well. Who knew that that lovely open time of the day was a really bad time for Elizabeth? I thought with her being off, she would be less tired and ready to roll and we could space out the things we want to do. So it is a definite no-go at that time, and trust me, I got the message.

I also learned that working in her room is not ideal, as is working at the den table. It is oddly, the kitchen table that is the unique fit. Not too loud, not too quiet. So again, it is learning where your child will focus best and you will find us at the kitchen table moving forward.

As I said, we are in week two and made a few adjustments from last week and I think it is a bit better than last week, not all the way, just better. I think that by understanding that this whole thing is new to us all, we can allow ourselves the wiggle room to adjust and adjust until things settle in the best way for our child.

I also learned I need to pick up a few supplies for her learning as in I am not sure who took all the pencil grips?! So I will be taking an inventory of what we need. So it you find you need something, maybe take a look at our site to see what fits your needs.

I am writing this at 5:50 in the morning as I love to get up early and workout and get somethings done, I am watching the weather and it is 44 degrees outside, and I am thinking our walk is going to be a cold one today and I also know we will be walking early because I learned it is what works best for the flow of our day.

After all, it is all a learning process for us with our special needs children and they and we are all a work in progress.

I hope everyone has a peaceful week. Please wear a mask! I do for my mom and others who could get really ill

Michele Gianetti

As I watched Elizabeth interact with her therapist the other day, I was happy to see her talk, react and share her opinion on the plans for their session.

I thought about how she was when she was young…without a voice. This was and is due to her global dyspraxia and its effects the muscles of her mouth.)

Or when she was in elementary school and just learning to talk…still without a strong voice.

Gaining her voice, with hard work, has given her the ability to communicate.

The ability to communicate helped her learn and strengthen her ability to be an advocate for herself.

….like she was doing with her therapist.

There are two kinds of advocacy, in my opinion. Self advocacy, like we just talked about and then the kind of advocacy that we do as parents and caregivers for our special needs children.

When we speak up for them when they don’t have a voice.

When we stand up for their goals and make sure their teachers know how they work.

When we join the education team around an IEP ( Individualized Educational Plan) table and push for the things we know our child not only needs but deserves.

That is advocacy.

And that kind of advocacy requires communication.

OPEN communication with any and all people who will be working with your child. In these uncertain times, communication is even more important.

If your child is struggling with a goal, or having a tough time with something at school….communicate with the teacher.

If your child’s IEP needs adjusted….communicate with the teacher.

If you need help teaching a skill to your remote learning special needs child…communicate this.

We are all team members for our special needs children….there should NEVER be an US and THEM philosophy.

Only a team approach to helping the child succeed.

And now more than ever does this need to be true.

I take my hat off to all those in the educational field for being asked last Spring to do the near to impossible on a days notice and for again, being asked to educate and care for our children during a pandemic.

Communication can only make the team stronger.

Find your voice for your child.

The support that they get from that will help them to grow and learn to communicate in their own way.

Just like Elizabeth and her therapist.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Please wear a mask! I always do, for my mom and others who could get really ill.

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