Archives for posts with tag: Motherhood

Many years ago we started behavior modification with Elizabeth.

Elizabeth and I had talked about why we were doing this.

It was to help her remember important things that we wanted her to remember to do each day. The list could include things like:

Did you put your dishes in the sink?

Did you remember to hang up your towel in the bathroom?

Did you tell mom about your day in sentences?

And sometimes they included:

Did you use your emotion’s chart to talk and not yell?

Did you act appropriately in school?

So you kind of get the idea. It was a way to reinforce good thinking and behavior and shape away the behaviors that were not desired. We used to talk each night and made a chart with the list of the above questions on it.

But we added something else to the conversation. For every positive thing Elizabeth did she would be given a bead. At the end of the daily chat, she would string the beads on a piece of plastic string ( more substantial to hold). This would work her fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, and focus. The reward of the efforts was a nice long necklace.

We would then count them each night. So we would work on counting. Sometimes by 2’s then 5’s then 10’s

And when she got to an agreed upon number, she would pick a reward coupon.

These coupons were made by the two of us and included things like:

-Extra TV

-Extra dessert

– A trip to the video store.

Pretty much anything that is valued at the time.

We did this behavioral modification routine for a long, long time. She loved it and it helped her hand work, talking and behavior. It was a big success for her.

So with that story and its goals in mind, I came across this great little toy that could help with the same kind of system. At least in my opinion, because the second I saw it, I could picture Elizabeth working with it each night. And using it to reach our goals.

It is called  

Read the rest of this entry »


I cannot believe it is school time. I know I have said it before but I still feel I need to say it again.

But Michael is starting school in one week. And Elizabeth? She starts the next part of her journey after high school, in three days.

So as I have been organizing school supplies and back-to-school clothes, I have been replaying the memories of Summer in my head.

I see the good things we did.

The fun things we did.

The new things Elizabeth did.

The fun things Elizabeth did.

I am using these last few days to kind of catalog the memories of our Summer.

One great part of the summer was our vacation. We had the most wonderful time together. We always do, but what separated this year from years before, was how organized, calm and mature Elizabeth was the whole time.

Trust me, those who are raising a child with special needs, know that to see maturity and a sense of calm, is a really huge thing.

There were years that it was a struggle for Elizabeth to go on a trip, let alone, relax and have fun.

But this year was her best trip yet. And was pretty great! Wonderful, actually.

So I am categorizing these memories.

I do it for the sake of my own heart. I want to remember them all. To hold them dear and to make sure I never forget.

And this brings me to the thing I have been thinking about this week.

That there are many times we need to simply enjoy the successes.

That we need to take a moment, just a moment, to REALLY see the good things that occurred.

Because Sometimes:

We know we are seeing growth.

We know we are hearing new words.

We know we are seeing new things attempted.

But do we really take the time to see them?

For those who are raising a special needs child, the littlest of successes can make our hearts soar for a long time. For example, I can remember one summer when Elizabeth pretended to have a tea party in the baby pool of our swim club. She was about four years old. To others, it was something that their child simply did. The other moms would nod, take the cup of “tea” and smile. But it was so different for me, I was smiling ear to ear, and I relished watching Elizabeth perform each task. For me, I wanted to get on the microphone at the pool and announce to everyone “Elizabeth wants to have a tea party and she is

doing it! By herself!”

The thing is, even if I had done that, so many of the other moms there would not have understood. Because unless your child has special needs, you really and truly cannot.

But I watched her with rapt attention as she

-Poured the tea

-Pretended to add sugar

-Pretended it was hot and she waited to “drink” it.

I was thrilled watching her do this! And my heart soared at the imaginative play I was seeing. I held onto this memory because at this point in her life, most things were pretty hard work for her.

So it is the little things we hold onto.

So, if I can offer, let yourself really see.

And take those memories and tuck them tightly in so they will be remembered. They can be a strength to you when you are low. When things are NOT going well.

And they are there for you to see that all the hard work is so very worth it.

So as I go back to my thinking, and remembering,

I hope that you will allow yourself the same gift.

To really see.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.


%d bloggers like this: