Preparing for Thanksgiving Part 1
LLA therapy is excited to introduce our new parent contributor Beth Lattime. Beth will be bringing her unique experience as an intervention specialist as well as a parent of a child with an IEP. This is the first installment of a 10 part series leading up to Thanksgiving.
Real quick…This is my first blog as a parent contributor to the fabulous LLA Therapy team. I am flattered that the LLA VIPs have welcomed me and my comical life’s perspectives regarding the land of special needs, disabilities, and the wide variety of labels that I am adorned with on my “varsity” jacket. I am a professional in the field of disabilities as well as being the proud owner of a kiddo with his own IEP. I’d offer you an IEP copy to read and a bowl of popcorn but that would defeat my goal of you liking me as a blogger.
So, let’s talk turkey. We are a few weeks away from gatherings with family and friends. Some of you are excited and some of you would like to click the ruby slippers to land in the month of January as fast as possible. Wherever you fall on the holiday anxiety spectrum, I am hopeful that the following tips will prove to be insightful for you. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!
Take the approach of the gravy boat being half full and not half empty
If you are also the proud owner of a child who appears “different” as a result of their disabilities, you have a few considerations. I have dealt with Gtube feeding my son at baptisms and have dealt with watching him fixate on flags in front yards because he likes how they feel and look when the wind blows on patriotic holidays. These are some of the things that have made my family and friends go hmmm. These things have also been frustrating for me as I have navigated between trying to sit with a glass of wine to catch up with people and chase my son from the table that he is expected to sit at as a member.
So with Thanksgiving coming, how can a parent like me possibly consider the gravy boat as “half full”? How can I avoid feeling the need to pour the gravy (lukewarm of course) over my son’s head and leave the gathering in a huff? The answers to these questions vary. Ultimately, effective communication and honesty with your fellow party goers are the critical elements to embrace and not avoid this time of year. Staying silent about your child’s needs will not help.
*Beth Lattime, M. Ed. is a developmental specialist and intervention specialist. Her professional experiences span over classroom, clinical, home-based, and recreational environments. She can now proudly add her own natural environments to her list of experiences. Ethan was diagnosed with Infantile Spasms in 2012 which is a rare type of epilepsy and had a former diagnosis of dysphasia. He is currently undergoing intensive therapies at LLA for apraxia and deficits in the arenas of physical and occupational therapy as well. For more on Beth’s story, visit www.lattimeinterventionservices.com