What I Wish You Knew: Building the Grand Canyon Size Knowledge of A Special Needs Mom

This summer we stood as a family and looked at the Grand Canyon. It was huge and amazing, and my girls stood in awe of the view.

We talked about how the canyon formed. That it started as a simple stream that eroded away the area around it. This canyon did not form overnight. It had many different forces that made it.

I thought about the Grand Canyon and my journey as a mom of a special needs child. My knowledge started as the small stream that grew wider and dug down to build the grand canyon of my knowledge today.

What I Wish You Knew: Building the Grand Knowledge of A Special Needs Mom - 3Dinosaurs.com

I’ve put together some of my thoughts about what I have learned while gathering and creating my grand knowledge. No one stream is going to be the same but some of these just might stick with you.

It is okay to cry.

When my journey started, I was a mess. We left the doctors, and I just wanted to collapse right where I was. I did not want to take another step. I felt like the world had just ended. I was in tears by the time we reached the car. I had to hold it together for everyone, but that was not true.

My tears were an important release for everything that was going on. I needed that as much as other things. Even now when the the winds of change blow by I remember that I’m building a canyon wide and deep and my tears just help grow my knowledge.

I admit that there are days I still cry and I try and understand my tears and just let them come. I’ve come to call my crying “mommy time out.” And it is okay if my girls see me cry. They need to see your emotions and feelings.

It is okay to ask for help.

While you are navigation your canyon, you might find that you need help along your way. You might have found your way into a dead end in your canyon. Others been through similar things or just might have a view of your canyon from another point of view.

I know sometimes I feel lost. I don’t ask for help as much as I should. But I have asked not only other special needs mom but friends. At times the best support can come from a variety of people. There are so many resources now you can check out. You can also find help online or in support groups online. But be sure the ones you find a match to who you and your child are. You can think of this as a small stream that is helping to build your canyon of knowledge.

It is okay not to follow all the advice you are given.

While at the Grand Canyon someone told us we just had to walk off our set path because it was such a good view. I could see our trail clear ahead, and the path they suggest did not sound wise for what we wanted to do. Later I was happy that we did not because our current path turned out better.

It is the same with advice from friends, family, and others. Some tips will fit where you are going and what you want. Other advice might take you in a direction you don’t want to do. I always thank the person and tell them I’ll think about and see if it fits us. I had a doctor suggest a book, and it turned out I hated the book and yet it was supposed to be the best book for me to read on the subject I was looking for.

No one person or book has all the answers that will work for you and your child.

It is okay to think of your special needs child as a child.

Many times I find myself thinking of the daughter as “what she has” rather than my child. I try and work around the diagnosis and don’t think that she is still a child and wants to be a child. My child is helping me building my canyon of knowledge. I need to use my canyon knowledge to let her be a child.

They want to have fun and play just like other kids. We as parents can help them be the kids they want to do. Use your knowledge in helpful ways and not harming ways.

It is okay to just weather out stormy days.

At the Grand Canyon, we watched a storm coming across towards us. It was amazing to watch, and I asked my girls what we should do. We stayed and watched but made plans for what to do. It is so similar to many days. I just want a quick plan just to weather out whatever is happening.

We have to understand that the storms come and they will help build our canyons and figure out what to do after the storm has passed. It may help us come up with plans for the next storm we see.

What I Wish You Knew: Building the Grand Knowledge of A Special Needs Mom - 3Dinosaurs.com

It is okay to take time for yourself.

Often I don’t take any time for me. And I have to build up my emotional reserves to navigate my canyon to help my child. I can’t do that if I don’t have time for myself. It is okay to have hobbies and interests that don’t involve your special needs child. It is okay to be who you are.

Don’t feel guilty for taking your time. It is something you need to do.

Your canyons are always going to be craving and changing as life and knowledge come. Remember as you are worn away with time, that you are building your grand canyon of knowledge. And every change will help your carve out who you will be as a special needs mom.

This is the seventh post with 12 other bloggers. You can read everyone’s posts about “What I Wish You Knew”.

Here is a look at all the themes for the 12 months:

Parenting with Special Needs - 12 Month Blog Hop Series - 3Dinosaurs.com

Check out my posts in this series:

Cassie – 3Dinosaurs.com

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Hands-On Making Constellations Sensory Bin

Space is one theme you can do at almost any time. There is always something you can do. It can be as simple as walking outside and looking at the moon and stars.

My girls have been interested stars for a long time. My husband put stars on their ceiling in their room, and they love it. It is fun to see them look at the stars there at night when the lights are turned out.

I thought it would be fun to bring that love stars out for them.

Hands-On Making Constellations Sensory Bin - a fun way to build and read about the stars - 3Dinosaurs.com

One of our favorite books about the stars has been Zoo in the Sky: A Book of Animal Constellations. We have a love of animals themes here. This is a great book because it has the animal stories in it.

We had fun with this constellation sensory bin because it was a great fine motor and sensory all at the same time. The rocks were great for a small weight on the fingers and worked on the grasping. It was an easy way to work on fine motor skills while having fun.

What you need for this activity:

Hands-On Making Constellations Sensory Bin - a fun way to build and read about the stars - 3Dinosaurs.com

My older girls can read the books all on their own now. So they read the stories out loud first. It was a good way for me to check their reading and pronunciation. For my youngest, I read the stories to her.

After they read the story on the page, they made the matching animal constellation in the bin.

They made the constellations two different ways. They each had their choice of how they would do it.

The first way was the just made the constellation in the bin and match as best as they could to the picture. This gave them thoughts about space and how they would make it all fit in the bin.

Hands-On Making Constellations Sensory Bin - a fun way to build and read about the stars - 3Dinosaurs.com

The second way we did it was to first match the rocks to the page and then put it in the bin. The second way had more fine motor movements and still was fun. My youngest loves to put some type of action on the page while she is reading. We did a similar activity with 10 Black Dots.

Hands-On Making Constellations Sensory Bin - a fun way to build and read about the stars - 3Dinosaurs.com

We also talked about the different names each animal has. The story is about the great bear and how that is Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. We also talked about how they are a part of the big dipper and little dipper.

Hands-On Making Constellations Sensory Bin - a fun way to build and read about the stars - 3Dinosaurs.com

There is a great map at the back of the book of the stars for the northern and southern hemispheres. This is book and bin is great for all the space love kids out there.

Check out the other space and star themed activities:

Cassie – 3Dinosaurs.com

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Free Alphabet Stomping Phonics Q Tot-Preschool Pack

The seventeenth free pack is out today in the Alphabet Stomping Phonics Tot-Preschool Pack. Since the Tot-Preschool are different packs from the PreK-Kinder packs, they come out on a different day.

The tot-preschool sets are a great compliment to the PreK-Kinder sets. It means you can have two different levels of learning using the same looking materials. I know that my girls love working on the same things together but at their learning levels.

Today’s letter is p. The sets are coming out about every 2 weeks.

Free Alphabet Stomping Q Tot-Preschool Pack - 20 pages of activities - 3Dinosaurs.com

This set works wonderfully with the Romping & Roaring ABC packs. The Romping & Roaring is about learning to write the letters and this set is about recognizing pictures that start with that letter. They can be used together to help kids learn! You can check out the Romping & Roaring Q Pack to use with this phonics pack.

You are read all about the introduction of the new Alphabet Stomping Phonics Tot-Preschool Pack. Plus see ways we used it.

If you don’t want to wait for the Tot-Preschool Packs to come out every you you can buy Alphabet Stomping Phonics Packs Tot-Preschool plus 3 extras at Teachers Notebook or Teachers Pay Teachers.

Homeschooler - TeachersPayTeachers.com

Another option is to just buy the full Alphabet Stomping Phonics Q Tot-Preschool Pack buy itself. You can buy it at my Teachers Notebook or Teachers Pay Teachers stores.

Free Alphabet Stomping Phonics Q Tot-Preschool Pack - 20 pages of printables - 3Dinosaurs.com

Alphabet Stomping Phonics Q Tot-Preschool Pack contains 20 pages:
Free Set:
Prewriting Solid Line, Prewriting Dashed Line, Which is Different, 2 Piece Puzzles, Color the Quail Book, Matching Cards, 9 Piece Puzzle

Selling Set only:
Color the Small Items, Color the Large Items, Single Page Matching, Roll & Count Letter Q, Shape Tracing, Dot the Letter Q, Lacing Card, Letter Q Coloring Page

Here are some items we plan on using with the Alphabet Stomping Phonics Packs.

If you don’t want to download all one part at a time or want all 30 pages for each letter you can buy the whole Alphabet Stomping Phonics Packs Tot-Preschool plus 3 extras at Teachers Notebook or Teachers Pay Teachers.

Alphabet Stomping Phonics Packs - 2 Different level of phonics based packs: Tot-Preschool or PreK-Kinder - 3Dinosaurs.com

Cassie – 3Dinosaurs.com

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