This is the time of year when everyone wants to know how DJ and I manage all the Halloween mania. As parents know, October can be tough on special needs kids. Uncomfortable costumes, sensory overload and an innate fear of overly excited children can combine to create disaster. So, I thought I’d share a few pictures of how we cope with the madness.
Our biggest rule? We never wear more of a costume than he can tolerate.
Sometimes it’s just better, not to mention cheaper, to make your own costume. DJ loved learning about Native Americans and making his own costume. Prior to that, when his legs were too weak for walking some colored posterboard and creativity turned his wagon into Thomas the Tank Engine.
We practice before the big night. Whether he needs a signal to say the noise has become unbearable or if he just needs to get accustomed to what he’s wearing, practice makes perfect.
When we go to the pumpkin farm we go to a small, less busy one and on an off day. That filters out some of what my sensory boy finds intolerable and helps him branch out to new sensory adventure.
But in the end, if watching is a better option than actual participation, that’s okay.
You won’t get there overnight. Just take baby steps, introduce the easiest new activities first and don’t get frustrated. Our kids may be a little quirky and off-beat but never hopeless.
Any mother, if she’s truthful, will tell you she goes to bed most nights rolling a movie through her head of all the things she did wrong that day and how she could have done better. The special needs mom falls into bed with this same movie while simultaneously praying her child sleeps through the night, isn’t getting sick, would do better in therapy, cursing her lack of patience, feeling extremely alone and too many times crying herself to sleep.
Source: The Joan Zone: Facing dreams vs. reality
As you all know I have been in the throes of my yearly pre-school breakdown. Our homeschool starts on Tuesday and despite the annual nervous fit I have, I generally at least have the bulletin board done by now. Not so this year. This year I decided to be Mommy, teacher, therapist, nurse, AND writer. Why? I do not know. Apparently, because I’m just not that bright.
Anyway…I went where I always go for inspiration – Teachers Pay Teachers. I found a super cute Pokemon bulletin board set for a buck! Hardcore Teacher Resources offers it. Go here to buy it for yourself. http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Gotta-Learn-Em-All-Bulletin-Board-Set-2702394
Me being me I had to add to it. I printed a name of a Pokemon on the back of each pokeball. As DJ learns a word, task, or math fact I will remove the ball and give him a laminated picture of the Pokemon listed on it. This is akin to him “catching” them. This would be a great contest for spelling or math classrooms or even for homeschool students to compete against each other.
The picture below demonstrates my work for the day. I am pleased.