October is Red flag month

I finally put it on the calendar so I would be prepared- October is trouble!

there are many reasons that October is hard for Belle (and many kids with special needs)-

  • SAD-seasonal effective disorder. short days, no sun, and rising early for school is starting to take it’s tole
  • MEAPS- the schedules are changed, the kids are very stressed, the teachers are narrow minded (getting through MEAPS)- not a good time for anyone
  • School is starting to get serious, not much time for fun.Workload and expectations are way up from september (especially because MEAPS took the place of the curriculum for so long)
  • Allergies kick in- hay fever, mold etc
  • illnesses start to go around and the immune system is at a low (from lack of sleep and lots of stress)
  • Halloween- very exciting, very scary- too bad we can’t move it to July
  • exhaustion- for all the above mentioned reasons

What do I do to get through?-

  • get the “happy light” out- lots of simulated sunlight
  • zoloft- this is year round, but I’m especially grateful for it in October
  • relaxation techniques- Belle has learned to ask for a rest, massage, and calming music
  • a very well written behavior plan and training all staff on it
  • early bedtime (she sees it as a punishment, but if she’s sleeping at school it can be a consequence)
  • a point system with target behaviors that reinforce cooperation and flexibility
  • journaling (used more for my boys than Belle, but she benefits from drawing in her sketchbook)
  • CBT- we found a therapist Belle trusts and can work through difficult issues with

Now, all we have to worry about is the time change and Christmas! :0

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