Carolyn Dalgliesh, founder of Systems for Sensory Kids, is thrilled to be doing a four-part guest blog series for 46 Mommas Shave for the Brave – The 46 Mommas are on a mission to raise awareness, raise funds for research and inspire others to help fund a cure for childhood cancer.  As a professional organizer and a “sensory” mom, Carolyn is honored to be a sponsor of 46 Mommas and to have an opportunity to support these amazing parents with sensory organizing tips!  

Organizing for You!

As parents supporting children who are living with a medical condition and/or innate neurological challenges (like those living with ADHD/ADD, anxiety disorder, OCD, sensory processing disorder or autism), we are going to be living with periods of unpredictability and unexpected challenges.  We can counteract these experiences by having a few systems in place around our day-to-day life that helps us (and our families!) feel more organized and structured.  Here are a few simple tips to support your daily experience:

Organize for Impact

Only spend time on areas and/or creating systems that are going to make a tangible difference in your daily experience.  For parents supporting children who are living with a medical condition and/or innate neurological challenges, the organizing priorities might be different from typical families.  For example, your priorities might include  systems around meal planning, medication management, medical paperwork and/or IEP / 504 paperwork.  You can keep a running list of other secondary organizing goals that you can work on during the intermittent periods of extra time.

Have a Weekly Planning System

Us parents need a plan too!  Pick one night a week where you sit down and plan for the week.  Use a master calendar to note upcoming appointments, family time, play dates, as well as more practical needs like medication planning, food shopping / bill paying, and important phone calls.  This will give you a plan or map of what is coming and visual goals of what you need to get done.

Build-in Downtime

Kids managing a sensory profile and/or living with a medical condition are working very hard each day managing overwhelming situations.  It is important that you build-in downtime for yourself, your child, and the entire family each week to just be around people and things that are familiar to them.  Be mindful of what activities you add to your family’s schedule – be sure they are really a value added!

Organizing take on a new meaning when supporting a special needs child.  By prioritizing your organizing needs, having a weekly planning session, and scheduling downtime, you can help yourself and your family feel more grounded and in-control despite the unpredictability going on around you.  I would love to hear about and share your simple supports for more peaceful days!