We have now been in the lockdown for close to 60+ days. I have such a hard time believing that it has been that long but at the same time,
Things we left behind in the “old normal” are things we don’t know will return. And if they do return we don’t know in what form and we don’t know the rules and regulations that will accompany them.
So many things we don’t know.
And when you have a child with special needs, the not knowing things results in the distinct inability to help your child adjust, prepare and plan.
My constant answer to Elizabeth’s question of when can we go or do something is usually “Soon, honey” or “Not yet, but soon”.
Again, more questions unanswered.
For Elizabeth, her sensory processing disorder (SPD) will make all the changes more anxiety producing. She will be required to wear masks in many situations as well as see others in masks. Which can create a sense of worry.
I know I have started having conversations with Elizabeth about wearing a mask. We talked about the why of it, the where and we even ordered a pink and purple one for her to kind of make it more cheerful. For the record Elizabeth told me she understood why, told me she did not want to wear it but that she will and she really was unmoved by the choice of colors.
Has she worn one?
Yes, for a short time when we HAD to go somewhere. She did well but was quite happy to take it off. So it does concern me for future long wearing mask times. But at least she did it!
I know there will be a lot of conversations that we will be having.
With Elizabeth’s Dyspraxia making new skills difficult to learn and steps hard to process, she will need to know the steps to put on and take off a mask. When to wash or sanitize her hands as well as learning the social distancing rules.
I know that for us, I will begin talking about the requirements of the new normal as they relate to Elizabeth’s life. From her work, to her schooling, to her workouts with friends and more. They will all take on a new form and she WILL be required to do the correct things.
As our state of Ohio starts its gradual reopening, I am thinking that I will use that as my cue to begin these conversations. I need to know more answers before we can really make plans and talk about the steps required for her to get a haircut or her teeth cleaned but I know that for us, talking about things early and often has been what works best for us.
Life is uncertain now for all of us but for those with special needs, it is made even harder. My hope is to help make it easier for Elizabeth who has truly risen to the occasion during this quarantine.
This is my plan for the reopening of our world.
I hope you are all safe and I hope that when your world reopens you are kept that way!
Michele Gianetti author of:
I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey
Elizabeth Believes In Herself: The Special Journey Continues