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When I am talking about Elizabeth, so many times I say to people ” We are working on it”.  It can be in reference to a skill, or a task or even remembering the steps to complete something.

I use that phrase a great deal when I talk about Elizabeth because she has special needs, specifically Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and Global Dyspraxia.  These special needs affect her life each and everyday, and because life is challenging for all of us and more so for her.

For Elizabeth, learning to read essentially means memorizing the English language.  I am told by her therapists that she memorizes words and instead of sounding out a new word, will essentially replace it with a word she knows that either starts with the same letter or looks like the word in questions.   This makes for some interesting sentences for sure.  Learning the new word, she then adds to her memorized list.  It is a hard way to read but it shows once again, how smart and hard working our special needs children are.

Another thing that she “works on”‘ is not losing her place as she is reading.  Sometimes she will read a sentence, pause and then reread it again.  She did this when she was young and found that using a pencil to help guide her eyes helps.  I know this is because Dyspraxia can affect the eye muscles used for tracking thus making this skill hard for her too.

We started looking into the use of a color and how it affects reading ability and comprehension.  As it turns out, the use of color does appear to help in these areas.  So we used one of those plastic binder separators, cut to a smaller size, in the color blue, to use as she read.  I have to say, it seemed to lessen the work that reading was for her.  I know we used it a great deal when she was in elementary and middle school.

I think making our own, way back in the day, was a great help but there are many options now to lessen the struggle to read for your child.  The one I like a great deal is called the EYE LIGHTER

This little reading device is deceptively simple.

It is about 6 inches long and a bit over an inch wide, and looks like a ruler.

The Eye Lighter comes in four colors: green, yellow, blue and purple, all of which are see through. Colored, but see through.

The cost is pretty small as well.

You use it like a ruler to follow the sentence you are reading but instead of the desired sentence being above the ruler it is in the middle of the EYE LIGHTER.  The desired sentence is then highlighted by the device and is to be easier to read.  Another thing is that the Eye Lighter makes it easier to follow the words and sentences instead of using a finger or pencil.  This makes it a great learning tool for a school bag or a sensory bin.

Order one today, especially if your child is showing signs of struggling with reading, it might be a good fit!

I hope the new year started off well for everyone!!

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of “I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey” and “Emily’s Sister

 

 

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We do the countdown to zero and then officially another year is in the books. And the new year stands before us all bright, shiny and fresh.

What will the year bring?  What will we do with this fresh new start.  So many of us participate in that yearly ritual called NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS.  You know those things we promise to change, not do or add to our lives.  It is a way that we acknowledge this new start.

I am not really one of those people who do these resolutions,I think earlier in my life, I may have subscribed to these as I promised to always do my homework early, and to watch how much chocolate I was eating. They did not last long as I loved to watch too much T.V. and I absolutely love chocolate.  But you get the idea.

I think as I have gotten older, I have stopped participating in this because life gets more complicated and that one and only day to change things just is not enough.  Life requires switching, adjusting and planning all year.

Now flash to the day Elizabeth entered our live.  She is our daughter with special needs of Sensory Processing Disorder and Global Dyspraxia.  She did not talk until the age of five or walk until way over two years old.  She challenged us in so many ways, ways that we did not know existed.  Life with Elizabeth required changing and adjusting on a near to daily basis.  Sometimes, even hourly.

Resolutions may be a good thing for some but  those who have a special needs child in their lives know that life’s needs and changes cannot wait until the calendar say:

January 1

We need to think about our child’s needs each day.  Adjust to their current moods and emotions.  Promise ourselves we do a certain thing tomorrow.  It is like our resolutions happen each day and almost are required to happen everyday.

I love watching television on January 1st because so many of the topics involve how people will make this “THE BEST YEAR EVER”  be it by eating better, working out more or managing life’s challenges better.  It is funny but the perspective I have about what makes the year the best ever is so very different than most. I can include the stuff mentioned but also includes: Will Elizabeth do well in school? Achieve more independence? or Master a new skill?  These are some of the inherent questions and evaluations that go through my mind as I look to a new year.

Having a child with special needs changes all things and at times like this, the difference is felt even more so.   So for those who tune into the “Rocking Eve” show this week, know that you are not alone when you wonder about how the new year will go or how well the last year went.  I am with you.

I know that our individual journeys are very different but they do share the same goal to do the very best for your child each and everyday.  And those days become years. And those years are marked by the celebrations we will all see and go through in a few days.  But knowing you would do anything in the world for your special child, will fuel you to face another year with the strength to adjust, work and plan to make the year all that it can be!  I know I will.

I wish everyone a peaceful start to 2019!

Michele Gianetti author of “I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey” and “Emily’s Sister

 

 

 

 

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