Tag Archives: adhd

Meet Olive!

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Well, we are home.

And while home is a lovely place to be I must admit the transition from life as a gypsy back to a life filled with schedules, appointments, farm chores, phone calls, and responsibility has been a tough adjustment.

I finally feel like I have my footing again and have adjusted to the point that I can blog and share what is new with us at Patchwork Farm.

I wasn’t the only one who struggled with the adjustment from life on the road back to life at home. It was an interesting experiment in character and temperament to see which kids relished the nomadic lifestyle and which ones struggled with life on the road.

Overall  everyone did well and enjoyed our once in a lifetime adventure, but some “thrived” while others simply “managed.”

This was most notable with our two youngest.

I anticipated that this trip might challenge Ozzie. Ozzie is a child who does best with a rigid routine, predictability, quiet time, and opportunities to isolate from others. This trip offered little of that. In the months leading up to our trip we worked with our therapist to identify possible struggles and make a plan that Ozzie could use to find some quiet time in our travels. Even with that preparation this lifestyle was not one that suited Ozzie’s temperament and he struggled with the abundance of family togetherness, a tough thing for Reactive Attachment kids.

For a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder and Autism, a life of living on the road, with intense family bonding experiences and little routine or predictability, is very hard.

He loved the vacation. He loved the sites and the opportunities to see and learn but there was a noticeable exhale of relief when we pulled into the driveway and he could run up to his room and shut the door.

Tyler on the other hand came to life on this vacation. He was a different child. He was joyful and engaged. He was extroverted and confident. He was eager to learn and willingly put himself in social situations that would have shut him down emotionally had we been at home.

For a child with PTSD and ADHD, a life of constant changing experiences, exciting new sights, and new people to meet, all while living in close proximity to the people who bring a sense of safety and security, resulted in miraculous changes.

Tyler’s anxiety all but disappeared as he spent 24/7 surrounded by people who could keep him safe, all within arm reach from any corner of the bus.

Coming home has been hard for Tyler.

On the first night home he broke down in tears and asked, “Why can’t we just all live in the bus?”

I often tell people that we could not have adopted little boys who were more different.. They are extreme opposites in their looks, stature, strengths, weaknesses and even in their struggles. This extreme contradiction makes parenting them a challenge because in my efforts to meet the needs of one child I am giving the other child the opposite of what they stand in need of. Case in point: this trip. One thrived. One struggled. Now that we are home the other is thriving and little brother struggles.

It is a challenging juggling act and that description is a simplification of reality because there are also three other children and a husband whose wants and needs need to be considered.

It seems that, whether right or wrong, my way of meeting the diverse needs of everyone is to “triage.” I do this by meeting the needs of the child most in crisis at the moment, as I shared in this previous blog post:

https://ktmccleery.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/love-is-a-battlefield/

I now find myself trying to save Tyler from a heart gushing wound as he faces the fears that have consumed him for years but have reemerged after a two month vacation that did more to address his anxiety than all the medication management in the world.

Tyler’s early childhood has a storyline that would shake you to the core and leave you sleepless. The horrors of Hollywood films don’t hold a candle to the horrors he experienced at the hands of the very people that were entrusted to protect him. The result is severe PTSD. He lives with constant fear but is debilitated by the fears that awake as night approaches. Like most little boys he fears the monsters that lurk in the dark corners of his room. The difference, however, is he knows what the faces of those monsters look like. He knows they are real. He knows the hurts they can inflict, and he is terrified they will return.

For over a year Tyler’s anxiety has increased. I won’t go into all that results from such severe trauma memories but suffice it to say that I am dead on my feet after a 4-5 hour bedtime routine every night. My heart breaks for him and rages against the adults responsible. I consider myself a forgiving individual but after parenting the trauma inflicted on both my boys by the very people that were supposed to protect them I am convinced there is a special corner of hell reserved for those that hurt the innocents of the world.

About a year ago, as we were discussing treatment options with Tina, our therapist, she suggested a emotional support dog for Tyler. She shared that she had been praying about Tyler and how to help him and this came to mind. She spoke of the success she has seen with a friend that raises and trains dogs for soldiers returning from Afghanistan who also suffer from PTSD.

Long story, short, we spent this last year praying for the right dog and the right time and through a series of “God-incidences” we find ourselves with a new addition.

Her name is Olive.

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She is a 10 week old Great Dane.

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It was after speaking with the trainer and her suggestions for breeds that would be a good match for Tyler that we decided on Olive.

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We needed a breed that had a impressive, threatening stature that Tyler could believe would physically be able to protect him from the father he believes is going to try to come and kill him,

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Olive’s Dad.

 

but also a breed that is incredibly gentle and loyal.

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Olive came home on Monday night.

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Tyler has slept in his room with Olive at his feet ever since.  For the first time in over a year we have been able to get him to sleep in his room without acting out in his anxiety with destructive or self-injurious behaviors. He has fallen asleep within minutes rather than fighting to stay awake for hours  in fear of what will happen when he closes his eyes.

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He finally feels safe.

I wish I could convey the weight that has been lifted from this Momma’s shoulders. I could weep with joy at the rest I see in Tyler’s body and the peace I see in his eyes.

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Toby leaves to go back to Michigan to finish my sister’s addition in a day or two and he will be gone for 6 weeks. This will be the true test of Tyler’s confidence and trust in Olive. With Daddy gone can he still feel safe?

I pray that is the case!

The Grand Canyon

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“Vast, magnificent and inarguably beautiful, the Grand Canyon is easily Arizona’s most distinguishable landmark – and a natural wonder that you simply have to see to believe. Stretching 277 miles from end to end, steep, rocky walls descend more than a mile to the canyon’s floor, where the wild Colorado River traces a swift course southwest.

In the Grand Canyon,

” Arizona has a natural wonder which is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world.” – Theodore Roosevelt

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Grand Canyon National Park encompasses canyons, river tributaries, and surrounding grounds. The Grand Canyon is situated in Arizona’s northwestern quadrant. With five million visitors making the trip to the canyon each year, Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. In addition, the park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. 

The Grand Canyon had a long and arduous road to becoming a national park, beginning in the 1880’s with several failed congressional bills. After making multiple visits to the area, Theodore Roosevelt declared the Grand Canyon a National Monument in 1908. The bill to grant national park status to the area was passed in 1919 and signed by then-President Woodrow Wilson.
 
There are two public areas of Grand Canyon National Park, the North and South Rims. At 7,000 feet above sea level, the Grand Canyon South Rim is the most accessible section of the national park, with numerous places where visitors can pull over to admire the views. The Grand Canyon North Rim, 1,000 feet higher than its southern sibling, isn’t as popular because it is harder to get to, especially when harsh winter weather closes access roads. By car, the trip from one rim to the other is 220 miles. However, if traveling by foot, the distance across the canyon is 21 miles via the Kaibab Trails.”

It was a shock to our systems moving from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon.

This probably wouldn’t have been the case had we visited the South Rim but we chose to visit the North Rim so we would be in closer proximity to our next few stops. As we climbed from the desert of Vegas to 8,000 feet elevation the temperatures dropped from over 100 degrees to 58 degrees.

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We also encountered our first rain of the trip since our first day in St. Louis. 

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The drive in was beautiful. The drive into the Northern entrance takes you through a forest of Ponderosa Pine and yellow Aspen trees. You have no clue you are approaching the Grand Canyon until you run into the Grand Canyon Lodge, situated right on the edge of the canyon.

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When we got out we were greeted with chilly temperatures, drizzly rain, and thick, pea soup fog. We were a bit disappointed by the limited visibility due to the fog but were determined to make the best of it and enjoy this once in a lifetime experience, nonetheless.

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“Can you see our breath?”

 

Our first stop was to the Ranger Station to walk through the visitor’s center and so the kids could pick up Junior Ranger booklets to work on while we explored the park.

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One of the requirements for earning a Junior Ranger patch at the Grand Canyon is to attend a Ranger led education program. We headed over to the lodge to sit in on one about condors.

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After the program we stepped outside where Toby and the kids caught their first sight of this awe-inspiring view. I had visited the Grand Canyon as a kid but was still blown away by the awesome site, not fully remembering how impressive the Grand Canyon is in person.

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The low laying fog prevented us from seeing the full vista, but it was still an incredible experience. We were able to walk along the rim and even step out  on a walkway that extended over the mammoth crevice.

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The walk out to the end of the walkway was heart stopping for Rusty and I. Precarious under the best of circumstances, after a day of rain the muddy walkways made the climb out to the edge feel down right treacherous.

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As Rusty creeped to the edge he just kept saying,

“Why are we here? Why are we doing this?!”

It definitely didn’t feel OSHA approved with its crumbling walkways and large gaps in the railing.

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Rusty was shocked by the complete lack of safety measures and expressed his concern with:

“Really?!! Someone could die!”

To which a passing stranger responded with a laugh, “Only if they jump.”

Seeing the risks for two impulsive boys off their ADHD medication, Toby kept an iron grip on both boys.

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The walk out was terrifying for this Momma, who is scared of heights, but the views made the risks worth it.

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WOW!

We opted not to hike, as originally planned. The muddy trails made hiking challenging and by the end of the day the boys were having a harder time controlling themselves. So we stuck close to the lodge and just walked around the rim of the canyon.

After an hour in the rain and cold everyone was chilled so we stopped in the lodge café for hot cocoas to warm us up while the kids finished their junior ranger booklets.

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We left the Grand Canyon by 6:00pm for the long drive we still had ahead of us to reach our campsite for the night just outside Bryce Canyon.

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Next Stop: Bryce Canyon National Park

The Hoover Dam…or as Tyler calls it, “The Hoover Darn”

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Preparation for this road trip began months before we actually packed up the bus. There were so many things to figure out, so many moving parts involved in a trip this long and involved, that the preparations took a long time. There was the researching and planning of our route and what sites we wanted to see. There were the logistics of the bus conversion and making sure mechanically it would be able to handle a 9,000-mile journey over a variety of terrain. There were the school preparations as we worked with our cyber schools to make sure this road trip would be feasible with school work, and making sure we were prepared for how we would manage internet while on the road. There were campsites to book, menu and grocery planning, packing lists and home preparations for leaving our home and farm under the care of a house sitter for seven weeks.

There was also the issue of medications. Both little boys are on a variety of medication that help with the symptoms of ADHD, anxiety and Reactive Attachment Disorder. They both receive therapy for early childhood trauma but the medications they are on help them manage their symptoms so that they can do the therapy work. These medications are essential for their well-being as well as for the functionality of our family as a whole.

Before we left we worked to get the boys’ medications stabilized and prepared for our time away from their doctor and therapist by filling their 30 days of medication the day before we left and then bringing their refill scripts with us.

I was concerned that we might have an issue filling their Concerta scripts for ADHD because it is considered a controlled substance. So I set aside time to speak with our pharmacist face to face. I expressed my concerns and she reassured me that it shouldn’t be an issue as long as I had paper scripts from the doctor and photo ID…

Boy was she wrong!

It has been a nightmare. For 6 days, through 3 states, with stops at 10 different pharmacies, we have tried to refill the boys’ empty meds.

Each pharmacy had a different reason for saying, “NO.” One refused to fill any out of state scripts for controlled substances. One wouldn’t fill the script because more than one medication was written on one script. Another wouldn’t fill any script that was written more than 14 days ago. Another refused to fill a controlled substance script without speaking to the doctor.

It was that pharmacy that resulted in an extended stay in Las Vegas. The pharmacist wanted to speak to our doctor. It was Saturday morning and our doctor wouldn’t be back in the office until Tuesday so we had to wait, with crossed fingers, that our extended stay in Las Vegas would pan out.

Those who have ever questioned the validity of ADHD, or who feel it is a made-up diagnosis to excuse poor behavior in school children, has never lived with an ADHD child. Let me tell you…IT IS REAL!!

Both boys have a diagnoses of ADHD but Tyler is far more severe. In fact his doctor says he has the most severe case of any ADHD patient she treats. When he is on his meds, which includes 5 different medications and 10 pills a day, he is still bouncy and distracted. Living with him off his meds in a little school bus…

Well imagine climbing into a refrigerator box with 33 monkeys and a Tasmanian devil and you just about have it.

The last few days have been challenging. We have had to adjust our itinerary and cut out a few stops to make this extended stay in Las Vegas work.

The blessing is: we are at a wonderful KOA campsite.

The staff is fantastic and there is a beautiful pool where we have spent much time allowing Tyler to burn off energy in the 105-degree heat.

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It also offered free shuttle service so we have been able to take advantage of sites in the area as we wait on news about the meds. While we were stationary we also had a mobile automotive service come out and do a little repair work on some of the wear and tear on the bus that came as a result of our climb and descent through the Rocky Mountains.

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It was nice to be able to have the mechanic come out to the KOA and work on the bus while we swam.

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One of the planned stops for our trip through Vegas was the Hoover Dam, or as Tyler calls it,

“The Hoover Darn.”

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He didn’t buy my explanation that the word “dam” in reference to a structure, wasn’t a bad word.

I don’t know what I was thinking taking two ADHD boys, who are off their meds, to the tallest man made, concrete structure in the western hemisphere.

I think I was just desperate to escape the confines of the bus.

While there I vacillated between a numbing fear that Tyler was going to bounce his way of the side of the dam and a temptation to push him over the side of the dam.

We drove the bus over to the Hoover Dam, a 30-minute drive from our KOA in Sam’s Town, Nevada.

When we arrived we were ushered through a security check point where Police Officers boarded our bus and thoroughly searched it, inside and out. All trucks, Vans and RVs had to be searched.

We don’t know if this is a normal security procedure or if it was a result of the bombings that had occurred on the east coast the day before.

We were soon through security and were told to head to parking lot 14 which was set up to accommodate larger vehicles.

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We were surprised, as we approached the dam, that we would be driving across the top of it. We thought only pedestrians we allowed on top of  it, so it was a thrill to drive across this mammoth structure.

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We parked and began the long decent, down numerous staircases, to the dam.

Walking across it allowed us the opportunity to move at a more leisurely pace, read the signage and take pictures.

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The boys lasted about 3.2 seconds before the first one was hanging over the railing in an effort to better see the water below.  From that moment on we had a firm hand-holding policy for both boys, but even with that safety measure I didn’t have any feeling in my legs and my heart didn’t stop racing until we were back in the bus.

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It was there on the top of the dam that we really got to experience Vegas heat at its best. The 105 degree temperatures felt even hotter as we stood on that enormous concrete slab.

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All around the dam were cooling stations. These giant, mist blowing fans were a lovely relief from the heat.

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But nothing felt as good as the wall of cold air that hit us as we stepped into the visitor’s center.

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We considered doing one of the two tours offered that allows visitors to go inside the dam and see the inner workings of the dam,  but we knew we would never make it with the boys in their current condition, so instead we just bought a pass to the visitor’s center.

Here we learned all about the history of the Hoover Dam, from the planning process, to the construction, to the science behind its inner workings, as well as its function today.

Here are some of the cool things we learned:

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We didn’t realize that the Hoover Dam lies on the border of two states with one side rooted in Arizona and the other in Nevada.

It was a very interesting stop and our visit was packed with fascinating history and fun science.

(On a side note)

If we were to do anything differently we probably would have skipped the visitor’s center. It was $10.00/person but we didn’t feel we got our money’s worth out of the small visitor’s center. Quite honestly we could have enjoyed our visit just as fully having walked the dam and read all the great signage outside for free. 

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It really is an astounding place, well worth a visit if you are in the area.

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We ended our visit with a stop at the gift shop/restaurant.

The kids were really excited for this visit because of their exposure to the Hoover Dam after reading the Percy Jackson series. There is a great scene in one of the books that takes place at the dam…

So in honor of all Percy Jackson fans we bought some “dam fries” to share.

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All in all,

It was a “Dam” Good Day!

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Chew on This

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Both my littles are chewers.

I’m not talking gum chewers or open mouth at the dinner table chewers.

What we are dealing with is not a manners issue, but rather a sensory issue. Although these are many theories as to the cause of Sensory Processing Disorders…some say genetics, some say environment, while some seem to feel the cause is unknown, it can be a  common issue in children like my adopted boys who have experienced things like exposure to drugs in utero, early childhood neglect, and abuse.

There are two types of oral sensitivities when talking about children with sensory processing disorders: hypersensitive and hyposensitive. Boy my boys are hyposensitive, which means they crave oral stimulation.

Both my boys tend to use their mouths to assess and process the world around them.

For Ozzie it means licking things that he shouldn’t lick like toys and furniture. He uses his tongue as another means of gathering information about the world much like a baby will put things in their mouths. He chews on anything he can get ahold of, shredding clothes to chew on the strings, plastic wrappers, hard plastic, his own arms, and balloons. He doesn’t swallow or eat these items just merely chews on them. It was when I found him sneaking and chewing on balloons that I became concerned for fear he would accidently swallow a piece of balloon and it would block his airway resulting in death.

Tyler is also a chewer but his chewing is focused solely on his clothing. He chews through every shirt he puts on, which drives me crazy because I am constantly having to buy new shirts to replace the ones that have big holes all along the collars. He also is constantly stimulating his mouth by buzzing his lips and making noises with his mouth. When the big kids are driven to the point of insanity by the clicking and buzzing, and finally ask him to stop, he always seems surprised, not realizing he was even making noises.

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Another “holy” shirt.

 

Both boys like to fill their mouths with food seeking the sensation of a stuffed mouth, suck on vibrating electric toothbrushes,  and  stimulate their mouths with sour flavors and foods that crunch.

This need to self stimulate led me to start researching Oral SPD and therapeutic ways to address it. Here is some of what I found out:

“Children With Hyposensitivities Will Exhibit Many, Or All, Of The Following Characteristics:

  • they love and crave intense flavors, i.e., sweet, sour, salty, spicy and usually become “condiment kids”

  • may actually avoid mixed textures as well since it is difficult to chew and swallow properly when you can’t “feel” the food in your mouth correctly

  • they are the messy eaters; getting food all over their face and/or leaving bits of food in their mouths at the end of a meal

  • they often take large bites and stuff their mouths, or even “pocket” food in their cheeks

  • are inclined to not chew their food thoroughly before swallowing (at risk for choking)

  • drool excessively beyond the teething stage
  • and , they always seem to have something in their mouths; toys, pens, pencil tips, gum, candy, or inedible objects (i.e., paper clips, rubber bands, shirt sleeves and collars, strings…anything!)

When working with these hyposensitive children, you need to:

Give them MORE oral stimulation activities and “appropriate” things to chew on; they will need to chew to feel calm and organize-

  • Chewy Tubes – Chewy tubes help children to keep from chewing on their hands and crayons and and help them focus and for practicing biting and chewing skills.
  • give them sensory stimulation activities prior to meals to “wake up” their mouths
  • use oral massagers, vibration, and textured materials/objects for stimulation
  • use a combination of relaxing input (deep pressure, firm touch) and stimulating input (light, quick strokes)
  • choose foods with increased texture, flavor, and temperatures to provide more stimulation
  • encourage the child to take different sized bites and have them “feel” the food in their mouth (if old enough have them close their eyes and play guessing games with the food)
  • wash and wipe the child’s face often during eating with different textured materials (i.e., baby washcloth, napkin, regular washcloth, paper towel with texture to it)
  • use the following order for stimulation; start on face with cheeks, jaw, lips, then teeth/gums, inside cheeks, then tip, middle, and sides of tongue, then the roof of the mouth”

I was looking for a safe, less destructive outlet for their need to chew (because I truly believe it is a needed outlet and not a bad habit that needs to be untrained.) I found chew stick necklaces on Amazon. These therapeutic tools are made of tough rubber (think indestructible Kong toys for dogs) are made for children much like my boys. They are designed for SPD kids, autistic children and even kids with ADHD (like fidget toys for your mouth.)

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I bought each boy one in a different color so that we could keep them straight. They are cute to look at with their brightly colored Lego brick shape. We bought ARK’s Brick Stick™ Textured Chew Necklace brand. Both boys put them on in the morning when they get dressed and use them all day long. It has been an AWESOME tool for both of them and has served the purpose I was hoping for.

If you have a chewer at home I highly recommend these life savers!

Catching up on Journaling our Life

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When I began blogging I had no idea what this journey would look like. My original vision for this blog was to simply record our adoption journey with Tyler…the good, bad, and blessed pieces of this journey. My hope was that it would serve as a sort of love letter to him from his adoptive mother detailing the start of our life together. My plan was to print out the first year of blogs in the form of a book that could be given to him as an adult.

I had no idea how much more this blog would become. I had no idea the joy it would bring me to share and connect with others. I had no idea what a valuable form of therapy it would be for this frazzled mother. I have found a solace and joy in recording our life through this medium in a way I would have never expected. For me blogging has become my reward, my recreation, and a part of my day that I selfishly look forward to.

I have always enjoyed and valued the act of recording the story of life. Beginning as a girl I filled journals and diaries with recordings of the events of my life and my thoughts and observations. Once grown I was able to marry my two passions of journaling and photography when I began scrapbooking. Now that life is fuller and busier I find I don’t always have the time to scrapbook the stories of our life and thus blogging has filled a void.

I blog because it brings me joy, but I also blog for less selfish reasons,

primarily to record our family’s story.

I do this for my children.

It is a way I can leave a piece of myself behind when I am gone. My children and grandchildren will know what I believed and what I valued by the words I spoke and the things I photographed. Most importantly my hope is that they will feel my great love for them and understand the joy I received from being their mother.

Every so often  I print the previous 6 months of blogs into a hardbound book through the company, “Sharedbook.”

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These hardbound books sit on a shelf in our living room and I often see the kids lounging on the floor reading through past years of blog entries. It is better than reading a novel because it is their story. They are the heroes, heroines, jesters, and sometimes villains of these stories. 🙂 They enjoy reading their past stories and remembering.

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And for this reason some blogs I share are nothing more than a recording of the ordinary comings and goings of life. I apologize for these sort of entries that are nothing more than a time line of ordinary living…

for those blog posts that don’t make you laugh or cry,

just simply yawn 😉

But that is the reason why.

Here are some of those ordinary day to day happenings that I have been meaning to catch up on.

The last week has been one of “catching up” after a full holiday month of parties and fun. We are officially back to reality and I must admit it feels kind of nice. The last week has been filled with paperwork, appointments, working on Christmas thank you notes with the kids, and school testing.

Tyler’s report from his IEP evaluation came back and my suspicion’s were confirmed. In addition I received a lot of new insight that helps me better understand his struggles in school. While I won’t go into all that the testing revealed I will say that we have a long road ahead of us and I am grateful for answers so that we can begin that climb.

I have been through this process with three of my other children and I have become well educated about the world of special education services and IEPs. As someone that has never struggled with a learning disability  I struggled in the beginning to figure out how to teach a child with Dyslexia or other learning disabilities. I have had to relearn how to teach. I have spent hundreds of hours researching and studying in an effort to learn how my children best learn individually and teach them accordingly. It can be a daunting and overwhelming mantle of responsibility, which is why I am so grateful for school support, great teachers and therapists and a loving God that blesses me with energy, talents and patience that are not my own and come only from Him!

Molly also had an IEP evaluation this week. Her last evaluation was when she was in 4th grade. (Her first was in 1st grade.) It was in that first evaluation that she received the diagnoses of Dyslexia. For the first six years of school she had an IEP and received special education support. In 6th grade the cyber charter school she was with felt that she had met her IEP goals and no longer needed an IEP. That changed when she hit high school. Immediately her learning coach saw the struggles she has with reading, writing and math, and while she was able to maintain all A’s the amount of time and effort she was putting into getting those A’s indicated a learning disability. When I confirmed that she did indeed have a Specific Learning Disability (Dyslexia) he suggested we have her retested and evaluated for an IEP. Her test took place in our home on Tuesday. A school psychologist came out to our home where he administered an IQ and achievement tests to determine her strengths and weaknesses. We received a call on Friday that the results of the test came back and confirmed what we already knew. Molly has an IEP meeting scheduled for two weeks from now.

Gracie feels that Molly is going to find more success now that she has access to the same special education support services that Grace does (who is also Dyslexic.) But in the midst of all this good news Grace received some heartbreaking news. Her special education learning coach, Mr. Dolan, is leaving the school as a result of moving out of state for his wife’s job. He called Grace this week and there were many tears. Mr. Dolan has had a profound affect on Gracie’s educational experience and success. She credits him for encouraging her to step outside the boundaries of what she felt she was capable and comfortable with as a Dyslexic student and reach higher. At his encouragement she joined National Honor Society and even tackled the Goliath challenge of Honors English. Because of his profound affect on her life she wants to go to school to become a Special Education teacher so that she can help other kids like herself. Gracie is going to miss Mr. Dolan but is grateful to have had him for a teacher.

In addition to a lot of school meetings and testing we have been working on regulating Tyler’s medication. Getting his ADHD (which has been diagnosed as severe by his doctor) managed will help him be more successful with school…and will make life easier for the entire family. The problem we are having is that Tyler is in a small percentage of children that metabolizes medication too quickly. The result is that his 12 hour dose is wearing off in 6 hours. At our last appointment his doctor put him on a quick release afternoon dose to help control his symptoms until bedtime. It has worked but the downside of a stimulant given at 4:00pm is a child who is wired until midnight. So on Friday we met with the doctor again for medication adjustment. Before we consider introducing another medication we are going to try moving his afternoon medication up two hours and giving him Melatonin (5mg) at bed. Last night was our trial run and he was asleep by 10. We will see how tonight goes! 🙂

All in all it was a week of ordinary living without a whole lot of excitement, but it was a week of answers…much needed answers…and that is a blessing!

“Bouncy, Trouncy, Flouncy, Pouncy…”

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“The wonderful thing about Tiggers,

Is Tiggers are wonderful things.

Their tops are made out of rubber.

Their bottoms are made out of springs.

They’re bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy

fun, fun, fun, fun, fun.

But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers is

I’m the only one!”

Well, that is not quite true. Today I had 5 little “Tiggers,” and they were  joined by many more of their bouncy, trouncy friends for a fun day at an indoor trampoline park.

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Today we had a field trip with Molly’s cyber charter school. The field trip was about an hour away at Flight Zone, an amazing indoor trampoline playground.

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When we saw this field trip on the school calendar the kids asked if we could go. Last year the school offered an outing to a similar indoor trampoline park, and the kids loved it. Tyler, in particular, was in his element. Tyler is my bouncing baby boy…literally!

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The Christmas before Tyler moved in the kids received a trampoline for Christmas. Although all the kids have used it, it has gotten its most use from Tyler, my ADHD bouncy, trouncy Tigger, who could spend hours a day on it. So for Tyler the idea of an entire room filled with trampolines is his idea of heaven on earth.

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When we arrived we met up with friends from our co-op that had also signed up to go. The outing  passes allowed them to bounce for one hour, from 1:00pm to 2:00pm. That may not seem like enough time but by the time those 60 minutes had passed all my big kids were ready to rest and could feel the workout in their leg muscles. Tyler was the only one that wasn’t ready to quit. He could have bounced all day!

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The open room was split into areas of play. The center of the room was filled with connected trampolines. The kids could bounce from one to another, do flips, bounce from the platforms to the trampolines, and try to jump for the boxing bags that hung from the ceiling.

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This is where the kids spent most of their time.

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Other areas included a foam pit for little tykes, a trampoline ramp, and a basketball court.

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Tyler’s favorite area was the dodge ball arena. This is where he spent the majority of his time. It combined two of his favorite things: bouncing and balls!

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After an hour the speaker announced our time was over. We stopped for a quick group photo before joining our friends for a late lunch.

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The effects of an hour of bouncing was impressive. Both little boys were calm and quiet and went to bed without a fight. Minutes later they were both asleep.

I think I need to start planning how we can create a Flight Zone in our basement…

If anyone can pull it off Toby can.  🙂

It may be just the therapeutic tool we are looking for!!