“Elizabeth, click here, now hit images..now hit print…send it to the printer marked Brother” ” Okay, get it out of the printer” “Let’s cut them out and glue them on the sheet” and out comes a picture. One of four that we are required to look up, print and label. They must all be from a certain time in history. Yeppers…it is class project time.
I, like so many of you, have to LOVE the days when our children be them our special needs ones or our typically developing ones, have NO homework. They come home with the happy news but it is me who does the happy dance right along with them. And on the flip side, when I hear about a project, I think ” Ugh, what is do when?” “How should we plan the time to do this?” ” How do I break this up for Elizabeth so she can do it and learn?”
Funny because it takes the teacher a mere five seconds to state what the assignment is and it takes me so much longer to ponder the above questions and more.
Dyspraxia makes all things such a roll of the dice. By that I mean if Elizabeth is feeling organized and calm, then great learning can take place and she can follow those above stated steps and happily. Her sensory processing disorder can make things difficult when she does not want to touch something or focuses on her hair, her shirt etc. But on calm days…..when all the planets line up correctly…..she can do so so beautifully.
The trick to working with our children is to help them learn and achieve on the time when those planets are NOT in alignment. When they are not organized, when their systems show signs of stress. That is the challenge. Because we all know that the world is not going to wait until all is well before putting challenges to our children. We have to help them understand this fact as well as helping them cope and still succeed.
I wish I could say that I always act the way I know I should, that I offer only the kindest of words, pats on the back and the gently encouragements to “breath and relax Elizabeth” No, I can only wish I did these things because so many times what I do is, I behave like a person, I hurry her a bit too much, sigh when she cannot bring to fruition a skill I KNOW she KNOWS. I pray for patience, I pray she knows that my pushing and saying “Elizabeth, I know you can do this” comes from the deepest part of my soul that believes SO VERY MUCH that this is true. Our children can succeed, can learn and can love life. It just may take them a bit longer or a few more tries.
I offer out these thoughts and feelings tonight to those who may be feeling the same thing. We are human, we try, we try, we try. Sometimes we play it all right, and sometimes we stumble but one thing we never lose is the feelings we have for our children. We all need to support each other, as we are the ones who truly understand what it means to live this life. I will say that Elizabeth was in that good place today…she was wonderful to work with today and YES she did all those steps and smiled ear to ear, laughed and darn it, we actually enjoyed this project.
Maybe next time I only have to devote half as much time analyzing the project and try to remember my own words…HMMM??? Have a good week.