Hi, my name is Clara Muriel, and I’m pleased to welcome you to Very Special Tales, the site where I provide useful resources and advice about Parenting & Special Needs (behavior management, coping skills, self-regulation, tips, printables and worksheets).
You can also find me in “Cuéntame Un Cuento Especial”, the site where I share these same useful tips and insights in Spanish language.
A quick glance at my educational background:
- Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a major in Health Psychology, and Mental and Behavioral Disorder Interventions.
- Master in Business Administration
- Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Business Administration
Additional insights on the topics I write about come from the expertise I’ve gained in my everyday life as a parent to a kid with special needs.
A more personal story
I’m Clara, the mother of two beautiful kids, a boy and a girl. Our eldest son has special needs, a couple of diagnoses depending on which country we were living in when diagnosed (intellectual disability, autism), and some “non-diagnoses” that we have not sought to make official but that we know exist.
At the beginning of 2017, we left Spain and moved to New Zealand. With a mixture of positive expectations, apprehension and sadness, we began our new adventure.
When I look back at the past year and take stock, I see many good things have happened. A highlight is Victor has started to communicate in English. A great feat for a child with an intellectual disability.
But in spite of the good things, it has been a year of extreme hardness, a real emotional earthquake for a child accustomed to his orderly life and his routines.
How I came up with the idea for this blog
In the midst of all the difficulties, we discovered an activity that has given us many pleasant moments and that has allowed us to turn “bad thoughts” (the monsters that annoy him) into an imaginative activity full of fun.
Not long after we moved to our new home, we had to learn to deal with our son’s frustration over the changes in his life. We had to help him cope with upsetting thoughts (confusion, making mistakes) that made him feel very unsettled. It has taken us months of doctors, therapists, medication and patience to get to a better place. At some point in time, and without realising we were coming across a very powerful tool, I began creating stories in which those thoughts were Monsters that we overcame with wit. And so our son, instead of talking about “Confusion” to get into the crisis mode, he began to laugh about how we tricked the Monster into a bathroom lockdown (I do not want to create unrealistic expectations with this statement, the professional assistance came first, without that there would have been no laughter).
After never-ending and repetitive storytelling sessions, there came a time in which I started recording those stories. We listened to them continuously. Weeks later I had recorded more than thirty stories on the phone. That´s when I thought, what if we write them and share them on a blog? What if we later illustrate them and publish them? These tales have been a bit therapeutic for us, but they are stories that any little kid may enjoy.
If you like this blog or if you know other families with kids with special needs, please share this blog!
And if you have little kids who enjoy storytelling, this blog may also be for you.