Isn’t it something how we all went from our various shelter in place orders to seeing our worlds open up and now it is summer!
In Ohio, we get all 4 seasons so we happily greet the changes that each season brings and for those of us in this fine state, we are welcoming the warm weather as we had hats and winter coats on a mere few weeks ago.
Greeting summer this year looks quite a bit different than it did before and again we can hand that honor over to Covid-19.
Things we counted on as parents of special needs children are not available, or changed or would simply not work for the needs of our child.
For my son Michael, summer this year means summer basketball leagues. And although he is neurotypical, dealing with all the emotions and losses takes it toll for him and we have spent a lot of time talking through feelings. I expect we will talk a lot more too!
I can see Elizabeth enjoying the routine that we have going, there is a sort of comfort in it for her and I have to admit me as well. In fact, she shared with our beloved therapist Mary, during one of her telehealth sessions, that her anxiety gets “pretty big” when she thinks of adding new things to her schedule. In other words, putting back into her world the very things that she WAS doing previous to COVID-19, creates anxiety.
That got me thinking and I have to say, she is pegging it right. We all feel it when we head to a store and wonder if we are walking the right way down the aisle or if dare we say we forget our sanitizer. And that is just heading to the store.
Elizabeth further shared that she wants to have things added “one at a time” so “I can get used to it”
Again, she is quite right here. With her global dyspraxia and SPD ( Sensory Processing Disorder), the motor planning it takes to learn the new way everywhere, transition to the newly added thing and the anxiety it brings makes it understandable that one thing at a time will help her fully process something before EVERYTHING is in front of her.
I give her a lot of credit for verbalizing what I am sure we all feel. After all , we were asked to stop our worlds, adjust to that, homeschooling, loss of jobs, time with friends and add in the fear and anxiety of this new virus….well then we are all asked to change and welcome it all back.
So I learned a lot about her feelings during this telehealth and I offer out that if your child shows anxiety or worry about returning to “the world” maybe this is something that they are feeling as well. Because, if I am being honest, I thought she would just WOO HOO about getting back to somethings ( albeit differently) so I was surprised at first but then I totally understood.
So even though she and I have been on this journey 22 years, my learning continues..
I really hope everyone is doing well and staying safe.
Michele Gianetti author of:
I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey
Elizabeth Believes In Herself: The Special Journey Continues