Archives for posts with tag: special needs education

It is funny but as I listen to different pod casts I hear about the need to listen, to hear other peoples words. These pod casts talk about the importance of being able to receive words, thoughts and suggestions from others. I think this is a good thing. Being able to do this allows for good conversations, the ability to move forward if there is a disagreement and to learn from someone else’s experiences.

But what that pod cast didn’t talk about is this thing called perspective that goes with the above.

Because WHAT someone says can be entirely different from what someone THINKS they hear or what they FEEL after hearing these words.

Even if the words and the ensuing feels are truly worlds apart.

This is why text messages can be problematic sometimes. I mean how can you be sure that those words you are reading are a joke or are meant to be serious ..an emoji helps but you see what I mean.

Sometimes even the best planned words can be heard or interpreted differently. Elizabeth and I had just this scenario happen on Tuesday. Elizabeth is my daughter with special needs. She has Global Dyspraxia and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) These disorders affect her motor planning to do any and all skills. Her organization of steps to do a task and well… actually they they affect her throughout each day all day.

Let me tell you a little story called “I did not mean it that way!”

Elizabeth and I were sitting at the island in our kitchen, she was working on a computer program, one that was on her typing skills. This is one of her goals we talked about prior.

Yet, she was not trying to do any of what was asked on the program, which would improve her skills but instead doing her own version of typing. Her way is fine and gets the job done but she asked to work on typing better and faster.

So, here we are on a program for that good reason.

When I told her to watch the screen and try what they are asking, she cut me off mid sentence.

Continued on typing her old way.

Again, I tried to help her.

Again, I was cut off.

We had 2 more rounds of this….

Then I got frustrated and told her what I felt about being cut off mid sentence and the need for her to try a little bit better on this program. And didn’t she remember it was her goal?

Pretty innocent right?

Except it wasn’t heard that way. As the tears started to roll from Elizabeth’s eyes, I learned she heard it so differently, that her perspective on the whole interaction was so far from what I wanted her to feel.

I was stunned for a moment when she told me her feeling which included me thinking she can’t do this right or well. And that I need to know my frustration makes her nervous.

END OF STORY

It is perspective again. I said this and she heard that.

I quickly apologized and hugged her. And told her what I felt and meant. As well as telling her how I understood that new things are hard for her.

We then went right into conversation about what just happened. Which I think was a good thing but I have to say, I am now thinking a great deal about perspective when I share words and feelings. I want to try to have her perspective to match my words and feelings.

I think being aware of this is important. And this was a great reminder that they don’t always match.

I share this because sometimes we can forget, I know I am grateful for the reminder. Wow, wow and wow huh?

I know my journey and learning with Elizabeth continues….

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

Michele Gianetti author of Elizabeth Believes in Herself.

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

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