Archives for posts with tag: Special needs children

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”


I was having a discussion with a new friend the other day.  It was about the topic of friends, the need for good ones and the ever growing number of social media “friends”.  In the conversation, I told him about my three very close friends.

You know the ones you can call and not even say hi before you launch into the reason you  are calling.

The ones who know your life and world so well that you don’t have to give any back round information before telling them a new thing.

Yes! those friends.

And I am grateful for them.

Having a child with special needs can be so very isolating. While others are at the park with their children, you are in a therapy session. Or a birthday party is NOT fun for you because you are on pins and needles just waiting for your child to meltdown from the noise or activity.  My daughter Elizabeth has special needs, for those who do not know, she has global dyspraxia and sensory processing disorder (SPD).

So we did feel isolated.

And sometimes I guarded myself against a new friend for fear they would not or could not really understand.  In the early years, maybe I did not truly give those people a fair chance but it was probably because of my need to protect Elizabeth and if I am being truthful, myself too!

I did not want to see the sad looks or hear the pity in their voices when they talked.  Was it my issue? Maybe but it was where I was at the time.

But it was later on the journey that I

I learned to trust a bit.

Reach out a bit.

And let a new person in.

Because the feeling of isolation is real and having a trusted friend or two can make all the difference in the world.  I am grateful that I trusted these friends and I am grateful to have them in my world. I know how hard it is to trust, I have been hurt too, but I equally know how hard it is to feel alone.

I wrote this because I wish someone would have told me to do this early in our journey.  To let someone in a bit, then a bit more.  Maybe these are words that someone could use today, I hope so.

I don’t need to see that I have 1,000,000 friends on a social media site, because I do know I have my wonderful few!  And for them, I am grateful.

My wish for you is to find yours few as well.

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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