Picking Dandelions

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What This New Year’s Eve Means To Me

People often look at New Year’s Eve as a time to start fresh. A time to work on the goals that they set for themselves to become the people they hope to be. They resolve to lose weight, save money, finish projects around the house. It is a time to move past the all of the things that did not go right for them over the past year.

For me, this New Year’s Eve is the end of what was undoubtedly the hardest year of my life (both past and future). It was the year that we said goodbye to my sweet boy. It was a year that you would think that I would be happy to put behind me.

This year was also the last year that my sweet Matthew was with me. The year that I saw him write his whole name for the first and answer a math problem all by himself. I got to snuggle with him, laugh with him and hang out with him.

2015 was the hardest year of my life but it is also the hardest year I have ever...

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Bedtime Stories

Today I was walking the greenway to spend some time with my sweet boy. As I was walking in the rain, heading to Matthew’s bench, a lot of thoughts came in and out of my head as they always do. I listened to the rain and the birds who were playing in the rain. I walked in the puddles and looked into the trees. I began to think of the bedtime stories that I told Matthew. I wanted to make sure to write it down as soon as I got home so that it wouldn’t be lost like so many of these random thoughts are. This was one of his favorites. Some days it was a long, detailed story and some days it was a quick outline of a story (usually depending on how tired I was). It always made him smile.

Once upon a time, there was a little boy named Matthew and his doggie named Dori. One day, they decided to go for a walk. On their walk, they came to the end of a street and saw a scary old mansion...

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What Matthew Taught Me About: Being Thankful

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I am sitting here thinking about my little boy and missing him terribly. I am thinking about the energy that usually filled our house around the holidays. It is about this time that we would start to tell Matthew that Santa was watching and that he needed to make good choices in order to stay on the nice list. After school he would run at me at 100 miles an hour to give me a hug and to tell me he had a good day (then he would turn to Miss Sara and say “did I?”) and show me the holiday themed schoolwork that he did (always masterpieces). With the cold weather, we would snuggle on the couch and watch movies with the fire on and play iPad games together.

This year, it is harder to think about the things that make me thankful. It seems like my list is back to basics, just like Matthew was so thankful for all of the little things that most of us so...

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It’s Not One Size Fits All

There are many different therapies and schools out there for children with developmental delays. There is Occupational Therapy, Pysical Therapy, Speech, Music Therapy, Vision Therapy, Brain Balance, Yoga, Cranial Sacral, Psychiatry, Drug Therapy, Equine Therapy and this is not even the full list! So which one do you choose?

In going through this process with Matthew, I learned that not all things work for all kids. Some of the decisions were easy. Matthew ate few things when he was a toddler and the few things that he did eat, needed to be given to him in just the right way. He reminded me of Baby Bear from the story of the Three Bears - Not too hot or too cold but just right, not too soft or too hard but just right. If it wasn’t just right, he wouldn’t eat it. I remember people telling me that if got hungry enough, he would eventually eat whatever I gave him. That was not the...

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What Matthew Taught Me About: What To Do When The World Seems Upside Down

IMG_4339.jpg There are days when you just feel like the rest of the world is upside down. It is hard to focus and you feel a little off. When you have trouble with sensory processing, this feeling comes often. The world is loud and noisy and it can be hard to keep your balance. When you don’t have a sensory processing disorder, the feeling can still grab you. It is on those days that you get annoyed and frustrated easily. You just want to climb into bed and stay there until the world seems to have gotten back into balance.

Matthew taught me a better way to handle this feeling. If you can’t balance the world, balance yourself!

There were so many times that Mike and I would look over at Matthew only to find him sitting upside down on the couch. With his little feet pointing toward the sky. At first, we would tell him to sit on his bum, only to look over again and see his head buried in the...

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A Special Thank You

IMG_5363.jpgIMG_2669.jpgToday I wanted to send out a special thank you to three remarkable women, Sara Moore, Jenn Poirier and Megan Thomas.

On this day last year, Nina and I were on a long planned trip to Disney World with friends, Mike was at work and Matthew spent the day at school. After a day of school work with his teacher Miss Sara, Matthew had a seizure at school. Matthew’s seizures were something that Sara had plenty of experience with. We knew that he was in good hands. Sara once again proved just how good those hands were when she noticed that this seizure was not ending the same way as those that came before. She recognized the need to call 911 and began to give our sweet boy CPR until the ambulance arrived. She saved our sweet boy’s life that day.

There is a call, that no parent ever wants to get, the call that says that your child is not breathing and the ambulance is there but that is...

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Why Am I Doing This?

This week I had the opportunity to spend some time helping out at theater production that my daughter was in. Before one of the performances, I was helping a woman and her son to find their seats. With all of the sights and sounds going on around him, he struggled a bit to stay focused. As many parents and caregivers of children with sensory processing issues find that their sensory processing can become difficult as well, just with the anticipation of how their child will react at any given moment, his mother was on high alert. We had gotten to the seats and as I pointed them out, I got a fist to the face. It was not out of aggression or anger. It was just an impulse that he couldn’t master. His mother was very apologetic. She was tired and overwhelmed. What she didn’t realize, was that I have been there. It could not have happened to a more prepared or understanding person...

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What Matthew Taught Me About: Expectations

Matthew has taught me so many things! I have shared with you, that he taught me that hard work really does pay off. Because he knew that, my brilliant boy learned to snap his fingers like a pro! Another very important thing he taught me is: You can not let other people’s expectations define who you are or who you will become.

Matthew had his first MRI when he was 16 months old. After looking at it, were told that based on what they saw, Matthew should not be able to stand, or walk or talk. They were surprised that he was even able to sit up on his own. As parents of a little one, we were devastated. All of our hopes for him seemed to come crashing down around us in that single moment. We had gone through so much to get Matthew and we were not going to let him down! We started our search for help and answers before that day had even ended. Our pediatrician referred us to a...

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It Takes a Village

I am sitting here trying to think of how to begin. How to share who I am and what it is I am doing, not to mention how I got to this place. The world for a special needs parent is a big, scary, confusing and often lonely place. With doctors, therapies, schools, and friends, it is hard to know where to start. When beginning this journey, chances are you don’t have a ready made network of people to give you guidance or a whole lot of time to form that network. I have learned that it truly takes a village to get the care and answers that you need.

For 10 years, I navigated through this world of a special needs mom. I have found some extraordinary people who became a part of Matthew’s team. With their help, Matthew played and learned and grew into a sweet, funny little boy and with his help, Matthew’s team learned A LOT. (A team, after all, works together!)

It is my dream to keep...

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