Being the Expert on Your Child- Anticipating Emotions and Planning for that

Graduation for her brother, Michael

Emily, her beloved sister is home on vacation.

Elizabeth has her new summer schedule (Her work with the schools change into a summer schedule)

Pick any one of those and it would be enough to challenge her system.

But, they are all happening pretty much at the same time.
And they’re all being dealt with at the same time.

Transitions and changes are tough.  I know I don’t do well with changes.  I am THAT mom who cried when summer break was over, and my kids had to go back to school.

So, changes are tough for anyone but more so for children with special needs.  Those who like routine and things that they can count on.

For Elizabeth, her processing is slower, and we have found that sometimes she will react days later to something that we have all felt and dealt with much earlier.  In fact, usually I do a mental 4-day count and then kind of wait to see her mood that day.  Usually around day 4-5 she will be so upset about something that occurred last week.

So, what is it that I do to help Elizabeth with these transitions and changes?


I used to think that wiping the schedule clear and just enjoying an event was the correct thing to do, I learned that is not the best case for Elizabeth.  Rather, for her, it is about keeping a balance of normal schedule and the special thing happening.  For example: Emily has been home this week and old me would have said “Well, Elizabeth your sister is home, so why not just be home with her?” and then proceeded to make the week clean as a whistle. Now she might have said yes to that but the actual doing the week of nothing was too hard for her system.  So now?

Now, she keeps many of her things the same and then plans times/dates with her sister.

She is happy, her week is full, and she is a more content person.


So when she feels upset on the 5th day, we can make time to talk and sort out those feelings and emotions.  And trust me, she has some deep feelings and some really great higher level thinking and questions to ask.  However best your child communicates will be the way you can reach those feelings.


By this I mean that we kind of know what she will do and how she will be feeling.  After all we are experts on our children.  So don’t think that THIS-this is the time that my child will just be ok with a change or will not react to a transition.

You know yours like I know mine and so we can prepare best.

Emotions can be tough for us all. For our kids they are so much tougher and I used to think it was my job to smooth things out, to pave and make smooth the way.

But I learned that that isn’t real life, and it’s better to help Elizabeth learn to cope and get through then to go around it.

As I write this, we are in the middle of our busy week. We have Emily home. We graduated her brother, and we are getting ready for a grad party in 2 days. And Elizabeth has her normal work schedule. She has her friends coming over tomorrow and she and I have a chat time scheduled to just check in on her emotions.

And she’s quite normal feeling a lot because we all are and that’s okay.

And that’s just normal, I could cry at the drop of a hat this week with all that I feel.

Our goal this week is for her to anticipate what’s coming. Not to perseverate on things but to enjoy things the best she can. And make memories!

Because these are really once in a lifetime things.

I will let everyone know how it goes 4 days after her sister leaves , but so far Elizabeth has enjoyed her brother’s graduation.

And has enjoyed seeing her sister all week.

Now on to the grad party and getting that summer schedule on track.

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