|"Stressed? It's going to take more than |
a squishy ball. Right?" from
When I'd picked up the three stress balls after the special needs mini-conference at BlogHer 2011, I hadn't been thinking of anything in particular. To tell you the truth, I don't really understand stress balls, probably because my anxiety doesn't come out in fidgeting. But I so loved the humor that Support for Special Needs had squeezed onto them ("Stressed? It's going to take more than a squishy ball. Right?") that I'd taken enough for juggling.
Not surprisingly, our girl's first day back to school was stressful for her and for us. Nothing new in that. It's pretty much the same every year: even though her school is lovely, even though she knows all the kids, even though she has just a short bus ride to get there, and even though her teachers are loving and kind, she still cried, in her words, "all day." She cried the second day and third day and much of the first two weeks. She tells us that she cried because everyone talks too much and there is too much noise. But this year she commented that she squished the squishy ball and that helped, too.
Her principal and teachers reported that she'd cried just a little, not all day and much less than last year, but that she'd kept the stress ball with her everywhere and it seemed to work so well for her. They were obviously pleased. Squishing a stress ball is okay. Crumbling up paper and grinding pencils into desk tops is not preferred. Something in the tone of their reports seemed to be congratulating us on thinking of sending it in, but actually it was a happy accident: the coincidence of unpacking a swag bag that contained a little bit of the genuis of www.supportforspecialneeds.com and packing up a backpack for the first day of school. We had our "no ideas but in things" start to the school year, thanks to Support for Special Needs. Now we only have to find more things that work for our girl so that she's not in tears every September.
I think we're going to need an awfully big educational reform swag bag to hold everything we need.