Recently, my daughter told me about some new fitness classes she was trying. She had her agenda and was trying to figure out which classes would fit in and where. With such a busy schedule, it can be hard to stay motivated to go on days that may already be a little full. Looking through her plan, she remembered there were stickers in the back and decided she would give herself a gold dumbbell sticker every day she exercised. I had to laugh because that is the same thing I did at her age to keep myself motivated. While others might be motivated by toned arms or fitting in their jeans, what kept me motivated was those dumb little gold stars I would put on my calendar.
If I looked at that calendar and didn’t see a foil star, I felt disappointed. It really is interesting to see what motivates people. As parents, especially if you have more than one child, we know this scenario all too well. What works to motivate one child may not work at all for another. As soon as you think you have it figured out for one child, the other will surprise you and not respond as you hoped. An idea I wish I had thought about when my girls were younger is one Kimberly Blaker introduces us to in this month’s feature, A Creative Discipline Approach for Kids with Special Needs. Though written with special needs children in mind, her advice can be beneficial to most families.
Just as children respond to different behavior modification methods, some may have different ways their individual needs are best met. Some learn differently from their peers, while others have physical demands that are not the same as their friends or even require a diet that is unlike their classmates. Some of these needs may be met easily, while others require extensive medical attention. Each September, we dedicate our issue to amazing families, tackling the day-to-day joys and challenges of parenting and managing extra medical visits, therapy appointments, additional financial demands, and more. In this issue, we include resources that we hope are helpful in the annual Special Needs Resource Guide. And don’t miss Tanni Haas’s article, Great Apps for Kids with Special Needs.
I want to thank all the families, medical professionals, and community members serving these families for helping us find resources for this issue. Each of them is a huge inspiration to me. I meet parents with a strength I can only imagine, kids who are loving and determined, siblings whose protection and support show no bounds, and individuals and medical professionals whose compassion is endless. These individuals and families are great examples of what can happen when people come together for a common good.
Of course, no issue would be complete without the Family Calendar, and as fall gears up, so do the community events! This month’s calendar includes concerts, charity events, festivals, and the Baldwin County Fair! Also, be on the lookout for events like Captains for Kids and Sea No Limits, events designed for families with children of special needs. We hope you have a wonderful month!