This article is part of the 31 Days of Pinterest Hacks series. Find the main page for this series here.
In this final post, I share some closing thoughts on using Pinterest specifically for neurodivergent or disabled children.
First, I’d like to say that you need to be cautious about comparing your journey with others. Not even with mine. Remember that every situation is different, every child is different, and every diagnosis—even if the name is the same—is still very different.
You may not be able to fit eight formal activities into one day. You may not be able to fit them into one week! But, remember this: you are doing so much in the “in-betweens” of “schooling.” You have the child’s personal care to consider and meals to prepare. You have a child to assist with feeding. You have a child to transport and transition into equipment. You have a child to transport in a vehicle and to wait with at appointments. You have a child who needs reminders and visual schedules. You have a child who needs the activities set up and then a child to clean up after.
There is a lot of “schooling” going on in those “in-betweens.” The child watches you with tasks—and they learn. The child listens to you sing as you dress them—and they learn. The child observes as you sign all day long—and they learn.
The child observes as you deal with others and how you take deep breaths to calm yourself down. They absorb it all even if you think the child is not watching.
Secondly, remember that not every image on Pinterest is the full picture. You never got a full picture of what I suggested, either.
No matter what it looks like in our space, I know my son is doing the greatest learning of his life. He knows I honor his pace. He knows I honor quiet days so his brain can make the connections in peace.
My best advice for using Pinterest with a neurodivergent or disabled child comes down to this:
- Create Pinterest boards that are goals you wish to tackle with a child.
- Pin developmentally appropriate activities (even below the child’s age level).
- Pin inspiring activities you’d love for the child to do, but make a note on how to modify/adapt them for the child (see questions below to help you come to those conclusions yourself).
Questions to ask yourself
I want to end with some food for thought. When you are mesmerized by the ideas you find on Pinterest, ask yourself two questions before giving up on them entirely.
- Is the child developmentally ready for this activity?
- If not, how can I break it up into its minute parts to that I can find the “just-right” spot for them?
What are your takeaways from this series?