Archives for posts with tag: fun

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






When your child has special needs, seeing them achieve even the smallest of things can make your heart soar.

In our case, it did not actually make our hearts soar but leap a bit. You see, the skill she showed off to us was the ability to open a medicine bottle… the one with a safety lid!

She was sitting on my dads lap, and he had health issues so his medicine bottled (closed) was sitting on the middle of the kitchen table.  Elizabeth reached for it and shook it etc. But then to our surprise…opened it!

I know that this  one skill has many motor planning parts to it as well as gauging pressure on the lid to get it to open.  So once we grabbed the bottle from her we could then be in awe of her new skill.

It was a skill that she learned in her occupational therapy.  She was in this therapy from such an early age due to her special needs of Dyspraxia and SPD ( Sensory Processing Disorder). I can remember how she learned this skill and  it involved many sessions in therapy  as well as follow-up activities at home.

One of the ones that we used at the beginning of teaching this skill were these cool plastic nuts and bolts. The were big, colorful and inviting.  This toy helped her use both hands at the same time to accomplish a task.  Which for someone with Dyspraxia can be a hard thing to do because crossing midline, in any activity, can be challenge.  This toys helped her work on her fine motor skills and of course,  learn the twisting motion which led to her ability to look directly into a bottle of my Dad’s prescription medication, as I just shared.

I know how it is to want your child to do something right away.  But I have learned that it takes steps and practice.  So this toy I am going to tell you about would be one to consider as a beginning of teaching these bilateral hand skills.

It is called the  Tots First Chunky Pegs.  It checks off everything on the list:

-The pegs are big

-They are colorful

-They are inviting.

The idea of the toy is that the child picks up a peg, stacks on one similar in shape and build small towers with them.  There is a board that holds them all and on this board is where the building can take place.  The tops of each peg is a shape some are circle, square, triangle and star as well as ones that are 4 and 6 sided.

They are also in great colors of green yellow, orange, purple and blue.

+  So right away, I can see putting these on the kitchen table with some on one side of the child and some on the other and having them use BOTH hands to put them together. And BOTH hands to take them apart

+  I can see having the pegs on one side of the child and the board on the other and having the child CROSSS MIDLINE to put the pegs on the board.

+ I can see having them stack all the same color ones together and then use BOTH hands to take them apart.

+ Or putting them into a pile and counting them by color, shape or size.

And then of course, there is the one where they just get to play with it the way they wish.

In any event, it looks simple and says on the box it is for ages 12 months and up, but I can see some great things to do with them.  Maybe a nice idea for some “work” during  a quiet time.

Or put them in a plastic container to tuck into a sensory bin to have in your “arsenal” of sensory toys.  Especially if your child has a sensory diet that includes quiet activities and they like this kind of thing.

All things learned start with the first step toward the goal and toys like this make taking the first step kind of fun.

Just watch out for those medicine bottles once your child gets rolling.

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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