About the time school ends, I might be in the swing of the new school year! And we aren’t even doing any extracurricular activities. Just about when I got the therapy schedule nailed down, our amazing team of therapists found after-school appointments (which are a priority – we started the year still in time slots that cut into his school day). So the schedule changed again. But we are getting there! Sloooooooowly……..
How are you doing on getting back to school (as we roll into November)?
I actually drew a chart for myself reminding me of priorities for our unique family:
Faith (church on Sundays and fellowship through small groups – and encouraging and nurturing friendships for the whole family with other members of our church)
- Spouse – regular date nights (this is hard with a special needs child – we are blessed to have a church that provides free childcare 1x/mo and other local parent night out resources)
- Self care – if we aren’t healthy (mentally and physically) we can’t care for the kids or set that example. One thing we’ve really enjoyed since the kids both got up on 2 wheels last month are family bike rides.
- Family (immediate and extended – for us, this means traveling all over the country to see grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins – and being deliberate and protective of family time)
- School (making homework a priority and getting enough rest to be healthy and have good attendance as well as volunteering within the schools and having solid communication with teachers)
- Friendships – with children and families that bring out the best in my kids and my spouse and I (I’m going to influence that as long as I can – there are so many families we love, but the fit isn’t there now for whatever reason and I can’t get randomized focusing on figuring it out at the expense of what already exists)
- Therapies and interventions – we have to prioritize this over extracurricular activities because they make the other activities possible (thankfully my son loves his therapies)
- Sports, clubs, etc. – still haven’t found the time – but my goal is swimming and ski lessons starting in 2017 and Boy Scouts in the summer when C is 7
I think most special needs families know that underlying all of this is extended processing time for everything. The first time for most activities looks like a complete fail for us. I need to remind myself to let him process and go back to it (before giving up). Sometimes the kids fight “down time” but not much. We have a lot of fun during it.