Archives for posts with tag: Special Needs Dad

I ask the above question because life changes the best laid plans.

For us, we are officially in week two of our fall schedule. I know we could have started ours, (Elizabeth’s and mine) earlier but decided to begin at the same time as Michael, her brother.

So that brings us to week two. And I must say that what Elizabeth and I had planned on paper looks a bit different in real life. Elizabeth is home now due to COVID instead of being in her college program for those with special needs. Part of what really works for her is to have a written schedule for the week and also one for each day. Nothing set in stone, just a gentle flow of what is or should I say, should be expected each day. Her sensory processing disorder ( SPD) can make transitions anxiety producing, so seeing what is scheduled helps with that.

Our schedule was to include work time each day, yoga one morning a week, our walk, cooking on Monday, time to work on her Etsy account each morning and then whatever activity she has in the afternoon, as she has a few virtual therapies.

So, how is it going?

Well…?

I found out that we need to walk first thing in the morning. It takes us about and hour or so to do the 5 miles along with the getting ready and getting home part. So that is a big hunk of time. And if not done then, she either doesn’t feel like it or there isn’t time later. The walk is so calming and quite enjoyable, so we are making it a priority for her.

Then she eats breakfast and starts to relax which is a good thing but also makes transitioning to our Etsy or worktime a big push. And just maybe we haven’t done work this past week…..

I found out that cooking everyone Monday with her is fun as long as Michael doesn’t have basketball practice and I need to take him. If so, then I need to cook earlier in the day and at that time, she is on a virtual class…..so just maybe we need to be more flexible and pick A day, not necessarily Monday.

I learned that I make a very uncreative teacher. If the assignment says type this. I say “Elizabeth, let’s type this” to which she says a whole bunch of things, some positive others not so much. (These assignments come from her tutor.) I learned I need to review the work we need to do ahead of time to present it in manageable chunks.

I learned that putting anything on the schedule past 6pm is basically making the decision NEVER TO DO IT. Yep, I learned that one well. Who knew that that lovely open time of the day was a really bad time for Elizabeth? I thought with her being off, she would be less tired and ready to roll and we could space out the things we want to do. So it is a definite no-go at that time, and trust me, I got the message.

I also learned that working in her room is not ideal, as is working at the den table. It is oddly, the kitchen table that is the unique fit. Not too loud, not too quiet. So again, it is learning where your child will focus best and you will find us at the kitchen table moving forward.

As I said, we are in week two and made a few adjustments from last week and I think it is a bit better than last week, not all the way, just better. I think that by understanding that this whole thing is new to us all, we can allow ourselves the wiggle room to adjust and adjust until things settle in the best way for our child.

I also learned I need to pick up a few supplies for her learning as in I am not sure who took all the pencil grips?! So I will be taking an inventory of what we need. So it you find you need something, maybe take a look at our site to see what fits your needs.

I am writing this at 5:50 in the morning as I love to get up early and workout and get somethings done, I am watching the weather and it is 44 degrees outside, and I am thinking our walk is going to be a cold one today and I also know we will be walking early because I learned it is what works best for the flow of our day.

After all, it is all a learning process for us with our special needs children and they and we are all a work in progress.

I hope everyone has a peaceful week. Please wear a mask! I do for my mom and others who could get really ill

Michele Gianetti

Michael, soon to be a freshman, son took a few moments out of his busy ( read, not really that busy) schedule to get his backpack in order. Our school system starts the day after Labor Day or September 8th.

I poured out of the store bags, all of the items that we had picked up for him for the year. Out came folders, spiral notebooks and pencils.

I watched for a moment as he took the haphazard pile of stuff and started to organize it. I then left to do something else and when I came back in he was done and asked me to look at it.

I noticed that he put things in his main binder in the way that he could easily find them and they way they worked for him. Maybe I would have not put the notebooks in the folders but it was his way. And it works for him.

Prior to doing this little project, we took the time to create a work space for Michael. One that would serve him well for nightly homework as well as a good place if (and let’s be honest…when) his school will go to remote learning. He and I had to talk about where we wanted to make this space.

He has a desk in his room but COVID learning taught us that that room is not really his best learning space. We also know from experience that being a one of the main floor rooms doesn’t work because of all the noises and distractions. So we decided on a space that offers a compromise so he is not alone but not distracted. We then brought the desk to that room and set it up.

My offerings from these events are:

-I think that knowing the way your child does things may not be your way or the way they learn may not be your way ( I am better in a quiet space) but that it is okay.

-And as much as we want to help our children learn and achieve it has to be done, my opinion here, with a nod to their opinion and choices. Maybe they do best right after school to do homework, maybe like mine, not until after dinner.

-Our way works for us.. theirs works for them. I can remember telling Emily, our oldest, then 13, just how to organize her room for the sake of getting organized and staying that way. So we did it MY way and I was so happy but it didn’t stay that way because I was really putting my way above any ideas she had. ( I am not proud of this moment but I will say for a short while that room looked great)

-I think that realizing the importance of listening to our children, typical or those with special needs, in the way they best communicate, is so important. It helps in creating a “team” approach to making some decisions together. Be them big or small. Decisions that can make life just that much smoother and easier.

The school year this year will be challenging. PERIOD so when things or issues come up, I want to know the thoughts and feelings of my children and I want them to know that their words and emotions matter. And that we can work through issues and situations together.

I wish everyone a peaceful week. Please wear a mask. I do for my mom and other’s who could get really ill.

Michele Gianetti

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