Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A year later

It's been a year since Isaac was officially diagnosed as being on the spectrum.  Looking back, I'm glad that days like these are no longer the norm.  There is always a lot to work on when you have a kid with special needs, though.  And when you think about that to-do list as a whole it can be a bit overwhelming- as in, holy crap how am I not getting a salary for this job- overwhelming.  IEPs and parent/teacher conferences bring that list to the forefront of your mind and you are either energized or feel really, really deflated- depending on the day.  There is a temptation toward perfection, which seems really silly when you're dealing with special needs kids, especially young ones.  But as a parent you want to do everything right, right now.  You want to be consistent 100% of the time.  You don't want to let one teachable moment squeak by, and you end up driving yourself crazy.  You think that every one else's kids are perfect and that you're the only one dealing with what you're dealing with.  You feel isolated.  Or maybe that's just me on a bad day.

On a good day, I remember that I need to pick my battles and let Isaac be four.  And on good days I remember that I don't need to "fix" everything all at once, but that if I just take one day at a time and work on our to-do list we will still make progress.  What that's looked like for the past couple of weeks is that we pick ONE thing to intentionally work on each day.  Some days that means that daddy takes 10-15 minutes to do scissor work with Isaac.  That went smoothly once I reminded him that our son is right handed, not left handed.  Some days it might mean that we get on www.starfall.com and work on phonics stuff- or pop in a video on sight words.  Today it meant getting out a sticker workbook to practice our crayon and pencil grasp and coloring inside the lines.  My eye is still twitching.   You know you have a kid with motor skill issues when you would rather work on math than coloring.  Half way through I was reminding myself that there is a breakfast stout with my name on it Thursday night when I go out with a friend of mine.  By the end of it I was the one who needed some time in the bean box for some sensory therapy.  So we did that.  Tomorrow I think I'm going to take a field trip to Office Max to find some pencil grips, because I really don't think I can make it to Christmas coloring with Isaac without them.

One day at a time, one skill at a time is how we've come so far in a year.  I have to remind myself of that and be grateful.  Here's to another year of working on life with my love.


  1. I am so glad that you are Isaac's mom. You are such an inspiration to me and I don't even have my own children yet:) I can't wait for that drink with you either. Glad that I can be your "bean box" sometimes. Love you.

  2. Erin, you are totally that. You and Joseph have been awesome friends over this journey. We love you too.