So we begin…Elizabeth has re-entered the world a bit more.

Slowly,

The way she told us she needed it to.

Her sensory processing disorder ( SPD) and global dyspraxia make all this re-engagement very challenging and honestly, quite anxiety producing. I told you all about this in the previous blog.

I spent some time thinking about it all and I really thought about how dyspraxia affects a person, how much motor planning they do all day to function in the world. How they have to think and plan actions and sequences for the world they know.

NOW, the world they know or better said, KNEW, is now completely different. This means that they have to relearn it all.

Again.

Step by step

And repeat.

I can completely get how overwhelming that would be.

So we began the process of planning for her first official outing with a friend, one that was not just a walk or workout here. She knew this all before, but it is all changed now.

We talked about the corona-virus and that it is still here and we need to be safe.

She picked out a mask to wear ( pink tie dyed, of course).

She put a small sanitizer in her purse.

She told me why she can’t hug a friend, or shake hands and that she will remember social distancing.

I love that she repeats the phrase but I know that her actually doing that will be contingent on others reminding her, so I can see already the need to remind those with her to remind her (I actually wrote this down to remember in the fall for when and if her college program starts because I know she will need this type of support).

In any event, the concepts of it all are ones she gets. And that is important to grasp the concepts because then you can insert the supports that help them implement them.

So after all the prep work, she was ready to go.

And then she paced around and told me again, she was nervous. If I am being truthful by this time of it all, I was ready to say ” Come on Elizabeth, you know you will be fine” but I stopped myself because I know that I still feel lots of emotions day to day.

Finally her friend drove up.

Got out and with a mask on greeted Elizabeth.

Elizabeth put on her mask with help from me..thank you dyspraxia ( and that reminds me that we need to both work on her learning how to put it on independently as well as remember to write this down for fall as well).

And then out she went…

The world opened up a bit more…safely…..for her on Sunday.

2 hours later, she returned.

Hot, happy and all was well.

The world can be so challenging for our special needs children and now is even more so. So a gently won success is wonderful.

I hope your week is peaceful.

I wear a mask for my mom and others who can get very ill.

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 we all close the books literally and figuratively on the school year, we can all breathe a sigh of relief as so many of us were not ready to have the responsibility of so much of our child’s learning land in our laps. We were not prepared to have all that added to our realm of responsibility.

For those with neurotypical children, the challenge of remote learning was real and required a great deal of work, but when you have a child with special needs the work is simply that much greater. Maybe or maybe not in workload, but for sure in the fact that maybe one child will thrive on a zoom call while for another that screen can create anxiety which will shut down any learning right away. One child will be able to work well with mom as the teacher, while another will always do better with someone other than their parents ( Elizabeth!).

Maybe your child’s teacher was readily available for help and maybe not.

Maybe your child’s therapist tried to do a session via zoom and it worked but what about when it didn’t…what then?

We were all challenged to help our special needs children succeed during this time so much so that I know I have forgotten some of the tricks we did to help Elizabeth navigate something or some of the feelings she had about these video calls, such as why she gets anxious or had trouble transitioning. I know I thought I would remember it all for sure but well…..there was a lot going on….so that is my excuse.

As I write this, there is a lot going on in the world. Corona cases are on the rise yet the swim club in our neighborhood was packed today. The experts predict one thing about the virus one day and the next day, something else.

So with all this going on I something came to mind to me and that is the importance of taking a few moments to write down just what your experience was with your child and remote learning. There may be a chance that remote learning is part of your child’s school year next year and you want to be able to convey as accurate picture of your child’s strengths and struggles. Because by doing that, you will help the school help your child. So maybe take a few moments and think back to day one and…

Write down:

-What worked well.

-What they liked to do.

-What caused stress.

-What emotions you saw.

-What they really struggled to do.

-Any behaviors that were present.

-Any changes in other parts of their days ( sleeping , eating etc)

Anything else that you think the school might need to know.

If you think about it, you, me, WE as parents and caregivers of these individuals with special needs are really the ONLY source of information, true first hand information about our children’s lives and feelings during this quarantine. So having good notes will help everyone moving forward.

Because we don’t know how the fall will look, being prepared and good advocate for your child can only be a good thing.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

I wear a mask for my mom and others who could get very ill.

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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