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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Mom's Journey into the World of SPD

Certain days stand out in one’s mind: graduation days, wedding days.  So many of those are in my mind, but one day stands out as a huge marker in my life.  That is June 29, 1997. As far as I know, there was no major breaking news on this day, but for me it will always stand out as the day my life went from being the mother of a gifted, typical developing child to the mother of a child who has special needs.  On this day my daughter Elizabeth was born.  Initially, to everyone’s eye, she looked beautiful.  It appeared as if all was well, then on the second day of her life, she started to show signs that what everyone thought initially was very wrong.

There was the shrill cry, the fear in her eyes, the lack of curiosity.  She needed me to hold her all the time, and she had trouble using her hands well.  Even walking was a struggle.  She spit up constantly. She tried to talk but couldn’t.

More time passed and the signs of a problem grew bigger.  We eventually found our path to help her; we found the diagnosis and started therapy.  We started seeing signs of growth and wonderful gains being made by Elizabeth: signs of our lovely, beautiful child emerging from the trap of these disorders.  

We have been working with and for Elizabeth since she was diagnosed at age two with Sensory Processing Disorder and Dyspraxia, and our road, our journey has been long and winding.  We have made some wonderful decisions and some very unsuccessful ones, but we have always believed in this child, always known she is smart and has great abilities.

It is hard to convey to the world all that your child is and all they can do when so many people do not understand where you have been in life.  They do not understand all the therapies you have done for your child, all the work that has gone into his or her life.  Not many people will understand how you can rejoice for days that they put their pants on correctly or that they did not cry when they heard a loud noise.

I have spent so many nights thinking of Elizabeth and who she is and what she can do that I so much want to let the world know just what my child is about.  She told me many times, “Mommy no one understands me.”  I wrote her beautiful story in a book, so now everyone will understand her. 

I want to help educate the public on her two disorders and, by telling our story, let people see what life is like with these disorders and how in impacts a family.

In the beginning we had to find our way, find our path, and I want our story to help others who may be back at the starting line where we once were.

My child used to cry for everything and could not do simple tasks, but she is now happy, productive and can literally talk your ear off.  I want others to know this because it is hope, and I want them to know you can make a difference in your child’s life.  I want my book to offer hope.
My book is called I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey.  The words in the title are the very words I have said to her every day of her life.  The book is available on several websites: Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Tate Publishing.

Please visit my book’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/michele.juliusgianetti for updates on Elizabeth or my website to read more about Elizabeth at www.michelegianetti.com.