And we have only just begun..
to see the mood swings, a lot of crying for no reason that we cannot console. We also have the change in body shape and um, please click away if you are easily freaked out but..things are growing.
Luckily for me, I have had the support of the Saplings Educational Director, Supervisor and some very dedicated tutors to get me through this next step.
Grace has actually been following an ABA Task Analysis of a "Pre Menstruation" program for over a year now. There was an unfortunate gap when the Department of Education and Skills.. *coughs* ...took over our school and Gracie's personal care program was literally, sent home..
But I got some good advice and with the backing of EPSEN and the NCSE booklet on my rights regarding the implementation of an existing Individual Education Plan, I got the program back on track.
I had to go to the Board of Management to do it, but seriously what did they expect? Was Grace supposed to just miss 1 week out of every month for the remaining 6 years of full time education that she is entitled to?
So she is making great progress with her visual schedule for the self care aspects of becoming a laydee at school and it was time for a home visit last week. The tutor she has sent home some photos of the room they use and the equipment, so I could start setting up Gracie's en suite the same way.
And I got a lovely parcel from the wonderful Funky Goddess to prepare me:
She is also gorgeous, knows her business plan and figures and okay, I must admit a personal bias here: she is a carer for her daughter who has a hearing impairment. So that makes her a SNUMPRENEUR!
Which is a Special Needs Mum Entrepreneur.
(can someone please make a wiki for us Snumpreneurs so I can do a link here)
Samantha's idea for the Funky Goddess gift box came from necessity as all the best entrepreneurial mum ideas do. She had been lavishing attention on her youngest who had a lot of clinical and educational needs, and her elder girl reached a milestone - just like the one that approaches for Gracie and me.
She wanted to celebrate this for her daughter, and went out to the chemist to buy a special gift to go with the pads etc. But there was nothing available. So she made it herself.
Necessity being the mother of invention, a business idea was born. And implemented. And now it looks like this:
Gracie has yet to appreciate the thought that went into this gift box. The program she is doing means she just takes the pads for granted (A HUGE ACHIEVEMENT) and the rest isn't made of Cadbury's Chocolate so not really up her street.
But her Mammy appreciates it enormously. There is even an Eye Mask for me to wear when I have to have a large Jameson and a lie down on the day that Gracie's period does actually arrive. (no mini-jameson though as the kit is intended for teenage girls)
I showed it to Gracie's Educational Director and we discussed using the hot water bottle to teach Gracie to tell me when she had a sore tummy (yet another thing to get freaked out about)
It is a solid consequence of sharing when she has pain - and our kids learn when their actions are reinforced by tangible consequences. You could call it the ABA gift set for Mums of girls with Autism or special needs. It helps that it is a super cute hot water bottle too.
I really like Samantha's work and I want her to prosper. If you or anyone you know could use the Gift Box, please go to her website and order one for €24.99 which includes delivery across Ireland.
If you are in the U.K. please send her a message as she has retail stockists over there. Anywhere else please contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org - this idea deserves to go world wide.
And sorry if you were expecting a draw or a giveaway - I'm keeping this to comfort me through this next stage which have only just begun....