Archives for category: Therapy

I can’t start off this week’s blog without nodding to the topics covered by the last two weeks. How are we all doing? Me? I am doing better. Writing about it. Talking about it. Praying about it…not in that order…has helped me gain reserves back.

Not fully. But so much better. It helps that Spring is starting to show itself here. And we are enjoying the mid 40’s with some nice walks and fresh air. ( hey, we were -15, so 40 is a heat wave!)

I hope you have all found a way to strengthen yours as well.

But I wanted to write about something that I was thinking about for our families. Especially those who have a special needs child who is at the age where they can be vaccinated for COVID.

I started to think about it for Elizabeth as she will soon be able to get the vaccine. Which one? Not sure. But our plan is to vaccinate her. For those who don’t know, we all had COVID last April during the first wave.

And it was scary.

At that time, no one really knew the way to treat or what medications would really help.

Our time that we had it went so slowly as we kept checking the date on the calendar to get to day 14…the date we were then told was the “end”

So now a year later, we have the option of vaccination. One that we plan to take for Elizabeth. I know that it is a personal decision but for those who are thinking about it. I started to plan out a how to tell Elizabeth about it.

I mean a social story of sorts…tailored to her age of course. But one that covers all the steps that will happen as you go in for your vaccine. As well as what to expect right after….30 minutes after…and then any side effects.

What you say and how much you say of course depends on your child. You know them best. So you would tailor the information to fit your child’s needs, age etc….

I have to say that the 15-30 minute wait that is required could be a challenge for an anxious Elizabeth. Her SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) could really raise her anxiety and make sitting a while a lot of work. So we will need to prepare for that. Maybe bring headphones for her to listen to music to.

But telling her what to expect is really key for her success. So the more she knows about how the experience will go, the better for her. I know everyone is different, so again, this is just me talking.

I know that there are required forms to fill out…I may try to get those done ahead of time, if possible. This way I can carry them in instead of sitting and filling them out. That would only increase Elizabeth’s anxiety.

I also know that there could be a wait in line. She needs to know to expect that as well.

And then the actual shot. How can I help her prepare best for the feeling it brings. Sore arm? I need to be the one to watch her for any reaction but she needs to know to tell me if she feels anything. So I need to go over what that anything looks like….for the 15-30 minute wait.

Then it helps is she knows she MAY feel a bit off in the next day or two. I do not know about your children, but Elizabeth simply hates to feel ill. So it is important that she knows if she does feel ill it is only for a day or so and due to the vaccine working….she also needs to be able to ask for Tylenol if she needs to .

Again, I feel that prepping before hand as best you can, decreasing anxiety and increases the chance of good success.

Another thing to go over is the WHY of the vaccine. I had a nice talk with Elizabeth about why we would like her to get the vaccine when she can. She is an adult, so the conversation was geared in that direction.

I know that the choice everyone’s to make. But if the vaccine choice is one you are making. I thought it might be helpful to think of some of these things. The vaccine experience is not really the same as any other shots our children have had, so it helps to be that little bit ahead if you can.

I wish everyone a peaceful week. And please wear a mask.

Michele Gianetti author of Elizabeth Believes In Herself.

So last week’s blog was about needing a break.

I have to say that this week was marginally better for me.

By marginally better I mean congratulations to me for getting through that pile of stuff on our kitchen table and for successfully making dinner each night this week ( without asking them why cereal won’t work) as well as not caring Michael forgot his lunch this week! ( little successes, people!)

But I have to admit that although there are marginal gains in my week, I can so see that the building up of reserves takes a lot more than it takes to lose your reserves. It seems that a few moments each day in meditation or in prayer can quickly be undone by dealing with a customer service person who requires you be on hold for 35 minutes to ask a question that takes only one, so the work is real.

But this week, I will say that I was watching a morning news program and they were talking about the need for us all to find the “nugget of positivity” in a day. That LITTLE thing that you can “hold onto” in this world that has gone crazy.

I don’t know what it was about hearing this but it really brought home to me that fact that the entire world is probably feeling like raising their hands if they need a break. And truly, why not?!?! And that is for the typical person….

Now enter into the mix our special needs children. The ones we work so hard for each day. The ones who can simultaneously make you hug the heck out of them and scream at the same time. They are such treasures but can take so much of our reserves as we help them navigate life. But these beautiful children are so intuitive, aren’t they? They can sense things in others that we cannot. They can sense our feelings/emotions. That is a gift they have…..

The reserves are running low….I get home from taking Michael to school the other day and I get in the garage to look up and see Elizabeth at 7:34 am smiling at me in the door. Her smile makes my heart happy. But I am feeling like I could use just a bit more time to be “quiet” before she and I begin our day together…just a moment to take a few breaths before we get started on her goals and plans for the days. Elizabeth reaches out to hug me good morning. She senses I could use the hug.

The reserves are running low as the load of laundry looks suspiciously like the EXACT same laundry I put away yesterday but then I look up and see Elizabeth folding the towels and bopping around the bedroom putting away socks and items. She is sensing again.

The reserves are running low as I see ANOTHER load of dishes in the dishwasher to put away. I marvel at just how many dishes one family can make in a day. I look up to see Elizabeth and hear her ask ” Do you need some help Mom?” I said yes and off she went to help.

She has done so many of these pretty great things this week. I think she is partly concerned that I am seriously depleted and also because she knows that she can help and make things go smoother in the house. She senses it…

She suggested we “get a coffee”

” Let’s head to the library” she suggests

“We might as well get out for a bit” She says as we talk about picking up lunch.

I have to say I am grateful for who she is. A beautiful person who is so intuitive.

Very grateful.

I am proud of her ability to sense the change in the color of my heart. ( Elizabeth can see the color of your heart related to your emotions. Red is mad, green is sad and more) and judge what to do..

She has told me mine was purple (frustrated) and green.

Probably pretty true. Getting more pink ( happy) but true for now.

I think my telling you all this is to say that this week was not magically all better than last…. Better…. but not all the way. But how nice to see my Elizabeth not only knowing she can help and being happy and proud to do so.

We work so hard for these beautiful children each day. How wonderful to see that the love we give to them is something they learn and can give to others as well.

Please take care of yourselves! The road is long and it is ok not to be ok.

I wish everyone a peaceful week, myself included.

Michele Gianetti author of “I Believe In You”

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