The Bright Spot — 5 Minutes for Special Needs

The Bright Spot

by Kimberly



                               

Yesterday was rough all over. I’m still recovering from our trip last week – behind on everything. My semi-chronic neck pain is back with a vengeance thanks to the long hours of driving. I barked at the kids about little stuff but didn’t have the energy to keep them occupied and out of trouble. I even burned the broccoli. I turned on the burner to let the broccoli steam, then went to check my e-mail which hadn’t been working earlier in the day. While I was doing that I noticed a long overdue project sitting on my desk and started working on that. Sometime later the aroma of blackened broccoli wafted in. Of course usually I would have had more broccoli around, but not yesterday. This week I had decided to just use up what I had on hand because it was the perfect amount. It fit the rest of the day…

During our bedtime routine, of all times, something shifted. The child has been seeking attention and therefore interrupting her twin siblings’ story time with Daddy for several days in a row. It got so bad one night that I told her she had to go to her room, to which she replied, “Well, I’m never going to listen to you for the rest of my life!” Last night I told her my expectations up front – find something quiet to do so that you are not being a distraction. At first she wandered off to the playroom. Then she saw that I was folding clothes and decided that she wanted to help.

She loves to help. It is very regulating for her, and a wonderful way to gain appropriate attention. She decided to roll up socks for me. She has tried this before, but didn’t quite have the fine motor skills to pull it off. I was foreseeing more trouble, but this time it worked! She needed just a brief reminder of how to do it, and then she struggled a bit until she mastered the motion. Then there was no stopping her. She folded her own socks and then offered to do her sister’s. After all the failures of the day, this one bright spot carried me back to a sense of well-being. There may be plenty going wrong, but I can still have positive, encouraging, re-regulating interactions with my daughter – teaching her useful (if mundane) skills and reminding her how good it feels to do a job well. I told her she could be my expert sock roller and she was thrilled. So was I!

Have you seen any bright spots lately?

Email Author    |    Website About Kimberly

Kimberly is the mother of three wonderful children: an eight-year-old who is somewhere on the autism spectrum, and twin four-year-olds who are just very busy little people. We live on routine with a side of novelty.

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1 Jo July 14, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Today i have. It has been a bit of a rollercoaster week. We went out of town at the start to see the specialized physiotherapist. She has brought us to the next layer of confirming the diagnosis and also offering some practical help.. Yet it comes with mixed emotions as she confirmed what i have suspected all along for my youngest. He is more affected than his brother. She connected the dots…
Then as I put the oldest to bed he was finishing the handmade card with the words I love you on the front. Inside….
To Mommy
“You are the best Mommy in the world. Thank you for taking me to the park,making my food, buying the stuff I need, packing my lunch. Playing games with you are the best.”
and then the tears cam from the Mommy…
Peace

2 KDL July 16, 2011 at 12:50 am

That cards sounds like a real keeper, Jo. Thanks for sharing. Sorry to hear the hard news about your youngest. Here’s hoping the help from the physiotherapist will be what you need next. Lovely dose of encouragement from your son.

3 Jo July 16, 2011 at 9:18 am

Thanks Kimberley. In many ways it is has been a relief to finally reach someone who really understands this and most importantly can help. I think the harder part is as there is nothing to see unless you know what you are looking for so others just think you are over-protective, over-emotional or a lousy Mom.
I am so tired of hearing he is fine……

4 KDL July 18, 2011 at 3:32 am

We got that a lot when my daughter was younger (age 2) and I seemed to be the only one worried that she wasn’t learning words. We’re starting to get it again now that all the intervention has helped her catch up a bit. Everyone else seems to have forgotten the really horrible years when I couldn’t leave her alone with her siblings for even a moment for fear she would injure them, the days when we were told we couldn’t keep her at the preschool we started her at. And no one else seems to worry for the future when I’m pretty sure it will become harder again for her to blend in with her peers. We’re in a good window right now. I’m trying to enjoy it while we’re here.

5 Susan (5 Minutes for Mom) July 17, 2011 at 6:36 pm

My favorite bright spots are when one of my girls “looks after” the other. It’s the most wonderful sight.

Getting the kids to help with laundry is such a good idea… but I admit, sometimes I just want to do it quickly by myself after they’ve gone to sleep. But they do have such fun helping.

6 KDL July 18, 2011 at 3:33 am

It is sweet when they show they care for each other. That happens every now and again around here – in between rivalry for mom or dad’s attention. I wish I could claim the idea was mine, but this was totally child initiated…so sweet.

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