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So how is it going in our world for Elizabeth this week
Well?!?! Today is a good day.
But the three previous days, not so much. You see the topic of a new school year was brought to the forefront of her mind because we had to have a conversation about the meeting for her college program that was scheduled for Tuesday of this week. We just found out about the meeting so it was a small surprise for us all and it sort of brought home the idea that school really was coming.
We had talked about the start date for school and it seemed like her anxiety was fairly in check. But this surprise really tipped her anxiety over the top.
And as a result, her anxiety went really high.
For her currently, the anxiety shows itself in her being absentminded or distracted. She becomes disorganized and seems to forget how to do the smallest of tasks because the anxiety makes her dyspraxia worse for the moment. Her sensory issues show themselves when she is nervous as well and that shows itself in her “not wanting to do anything” and by anything, she means anything that is at all challenging. You know someone is really working hard to keep it together when making cookies is stressful. Her tone of voice is sharp as well.
Even though we are 22 years into this journey with our beautiful Elizabeth, I can still find myself amazed at how great her two disorders readily show their faces..again. Sometimes I think it feels like they lay in wait for their moment back into the spotlight and then BAM! There they are.
I do know that I am so very grateful for knowing all I do about her disorders and how Elizabeth works because we know what to do to help her work her way through any heightened anxiety. I have to say it is not easy work but we know the things we need to do to help her.
We did what we know to do, we talked about her feelings, let her cry, wrote down a schedule for her to see and talked some more. But like I said in a prior blog sometimes the only thing you can do is to get to the day or event. And that was indeed the case for her because she came home from the meeting talking about her friends, her coach/buddies and how excited she was for the new year.
I KNOW! From one extreme to the next, but truly it was everything we said to her during our talks but she had to get there to see it and reinforce it for herself.
Elizabeth woke up today and looked peaceful. She slept well and has made it to the other side of this anxiety.
Our special needs children are so unique and work so hard in life each day. What works for us may not work for you and vice versa but we are all on this journey for our children to grow and have the very best life possible.
I hope things are going well in your world and we will try to make those cookies again tonight, my guess is she will want to this time!
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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When Emily, our oldest child, was little, she and I had so much fun learning colors and shapes with an oversized puzzle. Each piece was one of the primary colors and each shape was different.

Emily loved to learn so it was easy.

Then we had our beautiful Elizabeth.  Right away we noticed that something was not “right”.  We noticed that the natural curiosity that a child has, she did not possess.  She had a neurological system that was working hard at simply getting through  the day that learning something new was anxiety provoking and she resisted….a lot.  We came to learn later that all the signs she showed as an infant and toddler were due to her disorders of global dyspraxia and sensory processing disorder (SPD).

So while Emily loved to learn and looked forward to doing flashcards and workbooks. Elizabeth had to have things that both taught her but did not increase her anxiety.

Recently, I came across a really cute item that I know would have been a good one to use when we were teaching colors to Elizabeth.  For her, orienting the puzzle shapes was hard for her with her dyspraxia.

This adorable sensory toy is called the Melody Snaily.

The Melody Snaily is soft but not too soft to the touch, it has a pleasant face that has no overwhelming features to cause sensory overload.

When you first see the snail it is in the box curled up, you pull the one Velcro tab and it unravels to reveal a series of colors that make up its keyboard.  When you push the button on the color block, you hear a music note. Each “key” has a unique note.  So it is like a piano.  A nice, soft, colorful piano.

When you push one of the snail’s tentacles, the keyboard goes from playing a note to playing songs.

This little guy would be so ideal for teaching colors, and the cause and effect concept.  It comes with some song cards that your child can play if they follow the colored dots.

Melody Snaily can attach to a stroller and is small enough to take on the go.

I do have to say that putting the batteries in was a bit of a struggle because you have to extract the battery bank from the inside pocket of the snail and it is tight.  So I offer to make sure that you put in fresh batteries so you know it will work a long time!

Also know that once it is rolled up and looks like it did when you got it, it will shut itself off and go to “sleep”

So if you are looking for a fun option for your child, take a peek at the site to see this little guy.

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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