About Today’s Guest Post Author, Kelly Hirt:
Hello there! My name is Kelly and I have a bright, creative, and intense 7-year old boy. In this blog, I will share stories (the good, bad & ugly) and offer advice about parenting a twice-exceptional child. I am not an expert and I don’t have all the answers, but I want to share what I have learned with other parents. I hope you will join me as I search for the right “recipe” for my twice baked potato, and don’t forget to visit me at My Twice Baked Potato!
If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you would know that this school year was rocky! Our TBP was often seen by school staff as difficult. After a lot of work, I am happy to report that the school year ended on a high note! Now that the school year is over, I have had a chance to reflect.
I think it is important to share these strategies with others that find themselves in this twice-exceptional discovery process. I wish that I would have known the resources that are available, when I was worried and unsure about what was going on with my son.
So after time to reflect (and a few glasses of wine)…Here is my current list of what made a difference in our school year:
1. Consistent (consistency is critical for my TBP) communication with school that reported a balance of good news and struggles.
2. Consistent schedule during the week-getting ready for school, after school, homework, and bedtime all followed the same routine.
3. No afterschool activities
4. Consciously limiting errands or plans on the weekends
5. Expecting that some amount of “recovery” would be needed at home or on the weekends
6. Closely paying attention to the role of food-cutting out gluten & providing healthy snacks before he realized he was hungry. Once he complained that he was hungry, it was too late.
7. Keeping even-tempered, calm and rested so that we could be at our best with challenging issues (the rested part was one of the hardest things on the list)
8. Providing time each day where he got 100% of our attention-this meant there was less of a need to seek negative attention
9. Role playing and social coaching at dinner time-we often told about our days and would “elaborate” details of our own challenges to allow for problem-solving
10. Understanding the impact of sensory issues and coming up with different solutions at home and school. For example, the lunch room is challenging… so he chooses to eat lunch in the office with the secretaries.
11. Encourage intellectually stimulating activities such as: chess, science, creating his own tutorials to upload on You Tube, and strategic video games
12. Letting go of my expectations for sports, frequent play dates with neighbors, and social situations that I wanted him to do vs. me listening to his needs/desires
Here’s what I know now…forcing him to like things that he doesn’t or be something that he isn’t-wasn’t working for us. All of the above mentioned items, were discovered through research and trial & error. I hope that others can learn from our blood, sweat and tears and then continue to share with other struggling and/or overwhelmed parents.
So now I ask you…what is on your reflection list?
*TBP (twice baked potato) is how I refer to my son in my posts