Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Who I am and why I'm writing

Welcome to my blog!  Mine, like many others, will be a work in progress.  This is a new adventure for me, but after having several people suggest that I start this, I decided to give it a whirl.

My name is Elise and I am a wife, mother, aunt, friend, daughter, advocate, driver, speech therapist, tutor and generally, all around busy, like most women I know.  I am fortunate that my primary job is wife and mother.  I am fortunate because like so many other people, I have two beautiful, healthy daughters.  S is 12.  She is smart, kind, outgoing, personable, responsible and very special in more ways than I can write.  K is 10.  She is smart, kind, loving, personable, working on being responsible, and she is also special - extra special.   K is diagnosed with learning disabilities and a speech/language disorder.  I could and have called her "special needs."  It is accurate, but I prefer to call her extra-special.  All of her challenges make her the person that she is and to me that just makes her extra-special. K is the reason I have things to share on a blog.  Our journey together has been up, down, sideways, backwards, forwards, and filled with learning opportunities.

I do want to make something clear - I am not an expert on learning disabilities, speech issues, IEPs, or anything else that may come up as a topic in this blog.  Nor do I think that I am of such great importance that I should be able to sit on my mountaintop and dispense words of wisdom as though everyone should listen.   I am a mom who has learned something along the way.  While there are tons of resources available for parents on a similar journey (and I plan to share those, too), sometimes it is hard to find them or figure out which direction to go.  Sometimes, those resources focus exclusively on the extra-special child without addressing what happens to the rest of the family.  Things I have learned along the way become easier to share now that some time has passed and I have the perspective of hindsight.  My hope is that this blog becomes something of a community of sharing for people who just want to chat about life with their extra-special kids.

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