"All About Me" for My Kids
Aug 12, 2021
by Shannon Iacobacci, Collaborator
Is it just me, or am I the only one feeling jittery about school starting back up this year? Maybe it’s post pandemic, maybe it’s the uncertainty that if I send my children back into school are they just going to shut it down again and we will be back to virtual learning, or maybe it’s just that my children are going into school and I’m nervous about how they will be treated because of their varying disabilities.
I don’t have the answers to all my jitters, I wish I did. Life sure would be a lot easier and relaxing, wouldn’t it? I started thinking, what I have been most concerned about? My child being understood. Understood by her teachers and her peers. The more I thought about it, the more anxious I became as a parent about sending my children to school, and the more my children would feed off that anxiety of mine.
I decided to ease my anxiety and my children at the same time by finding an “About Me” information sheet to hand to my child’s teacher. I may not be able to help my children’s peers at first, but if I can help their teacher, maybe that would help their peers. Great idea, right? I could give some information about my children to help them be understood. I looked and looked, what felt like hours, and found many cute options out there, but nothing seemed to work for my children’s specific needs. Why was that? Because so little is known about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder outside of the FASD community. FASD is a spectrum, so it impacts each child differently. Each child has their own set of strengths and challenges and unique needs.
I had to start from scratch. Wow! What a task! I created a mini booklet to help my children’s teachers understand them a bit better. Not just information bout their disability, but about how they could help my children best based on their unique challenges and strengths. I offered ideas how teachers could change a few things to help their day at school be more enjoyable for both them and my children. As I was creating this book, I wanted it to be educational, informative, and EASY, and I didn’t want to have to make different ones for each child because that would be a LOT of work. My solution...check off boxes for what applies for each child specifically. BAM!
Then it hit me. If I am going through this, the certainly other parents of children with FASD must be feeling this same way and would want a tool for their child’s teacher. Why not share this with everyone? Why not make it easier for other parents in my same situation to have a tool to help their child’s teacher too? If I can help make a positive difference in the life of someone else, then I’m all for it.