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


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.


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

I have had people ask me how did we do it? Meaning life with a special needs child.

I have had people look at me with sadness in their eyes and say they feel sorry for us, with all the work it takes to raise a special needs child.

I have had pity shown ( which for the record, I hate).

I have had relief shown.  They are almost saying “Phew” when they leave and can go back to their own neurotypical children.

I think most of us who have a special needs child can relate to the myriad of emotions others have shown to us.

From tough looks at the grocery store:  We got them when Elizabeth and her sensory processing disorder ( SPD) made the experience simply too much for her system and a screaming meltdown was the result.

To the irritation shown by others: Maybe because “I let her get away with THIS kind of behavior”

And on and on.

I have to tell you a phrase I use ALOT when it comes to Elizabeth.

We refer to her as a gift.

And we frequently say ” The gift of Elizabeth” when we talk about a perspective that we have because of life with her that maybe others do not. Or when she stops all of us to have us watch the sunset or when she steps over drama and hugs you.  Trust me, there are countless other examples.

Do I wish Elizabeth did not have her global dyspraxia and SPD?

To be honest, yes and only because SHE wouldn’t have to work so hard to be in the world each and everyday.  And because she wouldn’t have to carry around anxiety.  And because she could simply live in a world that only bends so far for her.

But I could never and would never wish her to be different because she is amazing and has taught and continues to teach us so much….she is a gift.  We all know just how amazing our special needs children are.

I was in a store the other day, one in which you pack your own groceries.  My oldest child, Emily was with me.  Upon entering the store, we could hear the screams of a young child.  The screams grew louder by the minute.  When we were in line, the young child was reaching for the mom, red faced, out of breath and frantic.  The mom was so stressed and was apologizing to everyone for her child’s screams but she could not calm him.

When she was done, she was attempting to pack up her groceries and the screams continued.

I mentioned Emily that I would help this mom pack, no one else in the store  offered…..the gift of Elizabeth.  I KNOW what she was feeling.

But it was Emily who went over first and helped this appreciative mom…..the gift of Elizabeth.  Emily’s heart has been touched by life with a special needs sister.

The Gift of Elizabeth.

We are all in this life together and to use the gifts we have to help and support each other is another amazing gift of our special children.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

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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