Category Archives: Bridget

The day Bridget lost her village

Since Bridget’s birth we have integrated her as much as possible. We never wanted her to be the crazy aunt in the attic that only came down for the holiday family photo.  We want her to be a part of her family and her community.  We wanted Bridget to have a village. Her village grew from family, to friends, teachers, educational support personnel (ESP) and therapists. Continue reading

This new reality

I was thinking over the weekend on how much our life has changed since March 13, 2020. Yes, there has been so much disruption. Yes, I have so much fear but I also have some new hope. I have hope that some of this new reality remains when life gets “back to normal”.

I hope that the new normal includes:

Less trips to the grocery store. I am realizing how my weekend routine of going to the grocery store is not necessary. I am noticing we are eating less junk / processed foods.

Spending less time on social media. Okay, not social media but in our town’s social media pages.  People you have way too much time on your hands based on the over-reactions going on in those pages.  There are actual posts that begin with “controversial” whose only intent is to start an argument.  A shared meme lead to a family argument.  Learn to scroll people, learn to scroll. Or better yet read a book, take a walk or do one of the hundred things you said you would do if “only you had the time”.

Spend more time reading.  I’m reading every night since the teenager took over the remote and seems to no longer have a bedtime.

Keep sitting on the couch with the teenager at the night, instead of her hibernating in her bedroom. Having conversations like this:

Me: It’s nice you are no longer hiding in your room at night.
Abby: It’s nice you no longer have me on ignore because the Bruins abandoned you.

Keep playing cribbage every night after dinner.

Having less of a carbon footprint as I am not driving all over the freaking place.

Continuing to go without my Friday donut. I know it sounds silly, it is only $1.31 a week but two things: first, it is probably one of the worst “treats” I could eat and second: if I save that $1.31/week in a year I can splurge on a nice dinner out!

Writing more, I have not been writing as often because I forgot how important it is.

Hiking more. Every weekend we have been hiking behind our house for a few hours. Both with the girls and without. As the weeks go on they want to join us. Tho they might rather David didn’t always choose the path less traveled.

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Eating together as a family. With Bridget’s after school therapy schedule and my school committee meetings we tend to eat on the run during the week. We have gotten used to Bridget sitting at the counter eating alone with her iPad. That has stopped during this time. We now sit together, without electronics.

Sleeping in on the weekends, not feeling like I have to get up and get so much done in the two days I have off. Of course having Abby being bored and organizing the house helps.

Bridget is not on her iPad as much. Weird, right? You would think with all this “down time” she would be on it more, not less. Instead she is doing dance party with Abby’s Alexa, doing her classwork (every day because hello routine), playing board games and balloon volleyball.

How about you? What is one thing that you are hoping transitions from this time in our lives to when we go “back to normal”?

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Please note, I would never ask a therapist, teacher, ESP or doctor/nurse work during this unprecedented pandemic.  However something is happening to families whose child has special needs and we have to talk about it.

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If we were sharing a bottle of wine

Let’s face it, times like this a glass may not be enough to cover everything we would share with just a glass of wine…

I would tell you we treated ourselves with take-out one night this week. It’s funny how much our lives have changed, I never realized how un-inventive I am when it comes to meal planning or how much I enjoyed eating out. Continue reading

I’m her therapist, not her mom

When you have a child like Bridget, you are frequently told during normal times (not this crazy time we are in) to let educators be educators, let therapists be therapists.   Be the mom (or dad) that takes the tools we are giving you (Bridget) and use them. We’ve taught her how to dress, reinforce that at home.

Then March 13, 2020, COVID-19  changed everything.

Families are not longer the reinforcers. They are the Enforcers. Continue reading

The lighter side of the pandemic

Please note, I would never ask a therapist, teacher, ESP or doctor/nurse work during this unprecedented pandemic.  However something is happening to families whose child has special needs and we have to talk about it.  This will be a continuing series as we navigate how to parent a child with significant special needs.

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It has been a very strange three weeks since our life changed forever on March 13, 2020. We are adapting to trying to homeschool. We are practicing life skills. We are trying to do therapies.

It’s been a difficult transition, but for the moment let’s focus lighter side of things.  During this unexpected school hiatus, Bridget has:

Been a flower girl and walked on the beach (without tears) Continue reading

When the day is meaningless

Please note, I would never ask a therapist, teacher, ESP or doctor/nurse work during this unprecedented pandemic.  However something is happening to families whose child has special needs and we have to talk about it.  

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Bridget is …. Bridget. In some ways she is the easiest child ever. She is easy to please, she more or less goes along with whatever we are doing.

She is also rigid. She expects on Tuesday to see Kelly and Maria. On Fridays she expects to go to the Y for swim.

She wishes every day was Friday. Continue reading

We had a little normal

Please note, I would never ask a therapist, teacher, ESP or doctor/nurse work during this unprecedented pandemic.  However something is happening to families whose child has special needs and we have to talk about it.

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This weekend we had a sense of normalcy.

Bridget made coffee cake. We did laundry (not as much as most weeks, bonus!). David and I went for a hike in the woods (a lot more people in there than normal) and reconnected as a couple. Continue reading

Friday, time to wine

Please note, I would never ask a therapist, teacher, ESP or doctor/nurse work during this unprecedented pandemic.  However something is happening to families whose child has special needs and we have to talk about it.

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If we were having a glass of wine, I would tell you how this third week of the pandemic is going.

I would tell you that being a working mom is still tough, but it is much easier to get to work in the morning when you don’t have to make lunches or fight with the kids to get out of bed.

I would tell you that my children have been in pajamas the entire week (they have bathed), but the amount of laundry has significantly decreased. Continue reading

Welcome to life with Autism

Please note, I would never ask a therapist, teacher, ESP or doctor/nurse work during this unprecedented pandemic.  However something is happening to families whose child has special needs and we have to talk about it.  

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I saw this on FaceBook the other day and felt it best described Autism Awareness Day:

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Bridget lives on a routine. She does not understand why she is not going to the Y on Friday. She thinks she is on school vacation because the bus hasn’t come. She knows it is Thursday and is wondering why she does not have therapy. I’m lucky because she is not so rigid that this is causing a behavior (yet). She is used to our life which is generally barely controlled chaos. School was her savior because the routine never fluctuated.

It’s not an easy life, living with a child who has autism.  With the “social distancing” and the disruption to all of our routines, I’m beginning to understand how vital structure and routine are for Bridget. I’m hoping it will make me more patient and understanding as we navigate this new reality.

Well played Autism Awareness Month, well played.

 

 

Unlicensed Home Physical Therapy

Please note, I would never ask a therapist, teacher, ESP or doctor/nurse work during this unprecedented pandemic.  However something is happening to families whose child has special needs and we have to talk about it.  This will be a continuing series as we navigate how to parent a child with significant special needs.

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I am not a licensed Physical Therapist.

I am very lucky to have friends like Leah.  Leah was Bridget’s first ever physical therapist. She taught me how to have alligator arms to encourage Bridget to take her first steps.  Last week she taught me a way to teach Bridget her letters and do some physical therapy. Continue reading