life skills — 5 Minutes for Special Needs

life skills



                               

She looked up at me, wrapped tight in the blanket that was holding her together. Thirty minutes she’d been yelling at math problems on crumpled paper in front of her. Pencils strewn around, nerves frazzled. Now she sat quiet. Smiling with those big brown tear-soaked eyes. Oh, she was so proud of her work! She finally got it – this long-division beast!

But even more amazing (as you can imagine if you saw my last homework post!) was HOW she got it.

Since her learning disabilities relate to auditory processing and mood, it often seems the moons and stars have to align perfectly for us to have a shot at explaining a math concept or vocabulary word without the interaction ending in a giant meltdown. We’ve learned to write whatever directions she needs to understand. That’s in her IEP accommodations for teachers to help her too. It’s been like having a child who’s deaf whenever problems arose with homework: all interactions via notes and hand gestures.

Today, for the first time I can ever remember, despite loud protest, crying, and needing to wrap in a blanket to calm down…. she was able to LISTEN to my explanation and DO what we talked about. Without the meltdown. Without forgetting what I said 2 seconds before.

She listened, heard, wrote… understood.

I’ve spent 5 years helping this little girl and never one day has it been easy. Today, even if it’s just an anomaly, has breathed hope into me. Hope for her ability to learn and relate to others. Hope for her mind to heal and grow. Hope for her future.

And hope is a very, very good thing!

How’s homework going for your child lately? Any wins?

– Laurie



                               

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Ballet – The Penguin Move

Most nights when I put the kids to be I lay down with them and talk about their day or whatever is on their minds. When I put Haley to bed on Tuesday night she told me that she was sad that she missed her dance class on Monday because the while her regular teacher wasn’t there Mrs. Pumpkin was. Apparently Mrs. Pumpkin is a substitute and Haley likes her. I thought the name was a little funny so I started laughing about it. Side note, this is a regular dance class. The regular teacher is awesome and a friend of our family.

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