It All Started With An Outfit

Every night Elizabeth lays out her clothes for the next day I know this is her way of organizing the start to her ode to her dyspraxia, so when I go to hug her and kiss her goodnight, I can see the clothes hanging over the chair near her desk. Sometimes she asks for my help to pick the outfit and sometimes not. This week has been a particularly busy one, so I did not really look at her outfit of choice the other night.

So with a hug and a kiss I leave her room, it was just a bit later that I finally processed what clothes I thought she had laid out for the next day.  Before I say more about this I need to talk about a couple things and one…it is FREEZING currently in our little neck of the woods and two, I know Elizabeth well enough to know that  if I ventured back into that room to give my thoughts about the clothes that she and I would probably tangle, I have come to know through research about dyspraxia (and sadly through plain teenage experience) that they want to be independent, struggle with their independence due to the disorder and can be so strong willed about things.  So I decided that it was better to say nothing so I didn’t

The next morning I went into her room to put on her therapy music, and I remembered THE CLOTHES!!  It is time I come back to this point to let you know what the outfit was… it was a striped cotton skirt and short sleeve t-shirt.   Both in varying shades of pink and grey.  Yessirree, what I wanted to say was “This is not going to work, Eliz it is freezing out” but I am trying to remember so much about the stage of life Elizabeth is in and the words of Warren Fried, who said that so many dyspraxics suffer from low self-esteem, so what I said was ” This is a nice skirt and top Liz, did you want to add leggings and a second shirt?” She looked up at me and smiled and said that was what she was going to ask me.  She proceeded to borrow my leggings, and black socks.  I left her then with half of my closet on her bed and waited to see what this was all going to look like at the end.

She took a good while to get ready and I suspect it was due to the many layers that were challenging her dyspraxia, but then down she came…smiling…happy and in an outfit that was so original, and so simply “Elizabeth”.  I looked at her and thought “my goodness, is she beautiful?”  I don’t know why but that outfit to me was such a high point of the week, so many times we worry, and wonder and plan and fix and wake up and do it again.  But Elizabeth has taught me as much in life as I have taught her. There is a time when to just relax, be bright, fun and original, we always hear the words “typically developing” when we read about dyspraxia or neurotypical” when the topic of Sensory Processing Disorder comes up…Are our children typical? No, Never… our children are so much more, they are wonderful and beautiful, fun and bright, just like this outfit my daughter wore to school.

Thank you Elizabeth for a lesson learned..  Among your other gifts my child you are a great teacher.   Have a good week.

7 thoughts on “It All Started With An Outfit

  1. Michele you are a wonderful mother. My son doesn’t have dyspraxia. He has Down syndrome and is a very routine child and to help him with getting his day started I brought a clothes over the door organizer for the week from Lillian Vernon. I put his clothes in for the week and this has been very helpful to both of us in the morning.

  2. I have ordered your book, my little girl has dyspraxia and cannot make more than a few words, she cannot remember them. She understands both Italian and English as I am a single Mum living with Triplets in Italy!
    My little girl also has bi lateral rigid talipes and with so many crossing over conditions it is hard to know what is dsypraxia and what is not.
    Is there a main centre in the US for dyspraxia or any therapists that can help improve the speech. I go round in circles. I follow all the books and lessons to help dyspraxia but the speech never comes….

    • Hi Lucy, so sorry for the delay in writing back, but we have been so ill this week with the flu. I know how you feel about your child and her speech. I can offer that is a good source of information and the founder is Warren Fried who will help as best he can to answer questions. When you ask about a therapist for speech, there is no ONE person, it seems many are qualified to work with dyspraxic children and speech but our therapist was simply the best I have ever come across to deal with getting the muscles working to produce the sounds and then words. I would be happy to give you her name but since this is public I offer that if you are interested in consulting her,please email me and I can give the number to you. Also, she is Italian and her mom speaks Italian, kind of a neat link :) Please let me know

  3. Pingback: It Started With an Outfit « Star Center SPDStar Center SPD

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