So hard to believe that Elizabeth is finishing her first year at her college program.
I am so proud of her and all she is doing and all she is pushing herself to do.
For the child who once feared the loudness of the cafeteria at high school, it is wonderful to know she heads straight on into the crazy main student center at college.
I think that every once in a while, it really hits me that she is doing all that she is doing. And then other times, I see her have a meltdown or be really overloaded and I am yet again reminded that her disorders still play a big part in her days.
I was asking her, just the other day, about her day at college. It was a day when she was completing one of her internships on campus. She told me that she had to work really hard to learn to scan “these papers” because it was “hard to get them in right.” I asked her why it was hard and she said, “Because my Dyspraxia makes everything hard for me.”
The thing I love about this conversation is the way Elizabeth shows an understanding of her disorders.
I think that part of our success with Elizabeth and part of the drive she has to push herself in life is because she knows why things are hard for her.
She knows that it is NOT her, it is her disorders.
She also knows how to be her own advocate and tell us when she needs a break or time to seek some calming sensory input.
I think that so much of what we see now in her, is due to the work and time we put in years before.
I am grateful for the time we took to establish our “chat” times. I am ever grateful for the guidance we had to learn how to explain new things to her to help her be successful in life.
As others are ending their school years, I hope you will take that moment to allow yourself to see just how far you and your child has come from the year prior.
It could be as simple as new words said or a big as making a new friend.
It could be words written or words read.
But whatever the success, it is meaningful.
IEP (Individualized Education Program) time can have a way to take some of the shine off of these successes. My hope is that thinking of these successes can help you see the good things. For me, I look at her now at the end of this year and like many, many years prior, I let my mind take a bit of peek over my shoulder into the past. I allow myself to compare last year to this year. I am so very proud of the successes of the year.
I have an IEP meeting in May for Elizabeth. She is still on one until the age of 22.
So I want to keep seeing these successes.
I want to keep celebrating this new independence she has. And this wonderful belief in self.
I hope you will keep celebrating the successes of your child as well.
I wish everyone a peaceful month.
Michele Gianetti is a mom of three, registered nurse, and published author ("I Believe in You," "Emily's Sister"). She writes for TalkTools Blog every month about her experience caring for Elizabeth, her daughter with Sensory Processing Disorder and Dyspraxia. Follow her story since the beginning here.