THE SHADDOX BOYS

Jacob and Elijah Shaddox are brothers. They live with their mom, Mary, who is the writer of this blog. Jacob is 19 and is now four inches taller than his mom! He also has ADHD and gorgeous red hair. He is a freshman at a technical college studying computer maintenance. Elijah is 15! He is in 9th grade and he is not in ROTC at his high school. He also had red hair, but it is lighter and not as thick as his brother's hair. He is hearing impaired(auditory neuropathy) and wears two cochlear implants. He also has tourette syndrome, ADHD, OCD and anxiety! Mary just started her 25th year as a teacher of the deaf. She is also in her last semester of graduate school to be a diagnostician! She will graduate in December of 2015!





Thursday, December 31, 2009

Saying Goodbye to 2009!!!

Well this year was a rough year. Elijah had just started in the behavior program and we had to work a lot on his behavior. Meds were tweaked and tweaked. Things did improve as the school year went on. Jacob did OK in school, but being the typical teen didn't like doing homework.

Things were going well heading into the summer and we were planning a staycation. Then the rug was yanked out from under me as my husband walked out on us on June 1st. I didn't think I could make it through it, but I did. Neighbors helped me out that last week of school with the boys and my mother-in-law came and stayed with us to help me out while I attended a 3 day workshop. My mother was also a great support and helped me in October when I had to travel. I became better friends with one neighbor and she was a great support. My family supported us and somehow we made it. The divorce was final in August and we started a new school year. I am not saying it was easy, but we got through it.

This school year(2009-10) has been a bit better. Elijah had a good start, but I had to keep in constant contact with his teacher. His program was finally tweaked and things have been going much better. He is now on Level 4. His IEP meeting(called an ARD meeting here in Texas) is on Jan. 5th and I think it will go well. He is much better at homes. Of course, tics have been really "hard" lately. The pscyh today suggested getting him baseball gloves, the ones where the fingers poke through and aren't covered, if he continues to band on tables and such so he won't hurt his hand. She also thought the weight on his hands might help. I may try it. Jacob has had a good year. I have to keep a close eye on grades, but he seems better than last school year. He will be a freshamn next year.

It has been a good school year this year as far as my job goes. I really like my boss and she is a great support when I need her input. There is some stress, but each year seems to get a little better. I am in the middle of my 19th year of teaching, although I do more supervising and attend meetings more than I do teach. Howver I still get to work one on one with kids and that is fun! Being a parent has made me a better teacher and being the parent of a special needs child has given me more insight into the parents I deal with on a daily basis.

I am looking forward to 2010!! It has got to be better than 2009 in some ways. I won't have to deal with a divorce! ha! that is done. This time next year I'll one son in high school and one in 4th grade! Hard to believe. I thank God everyday for those two boys and for my family, especially my mom. I also am thankful for my friends, who are my support system.

I hope everyone has a safe and fun night tonight and that everyone has a great 2010!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Good day!

Today was a good day for us all. Jacob stayed in his room all day playing on the computer, only to come out and ask to go to Walmart! What a teen!

My niece, Tabitha(age 5), came over today to stay with us. Elijah and her did very well together. It is usually Elijah who has the issues, but he did very well playing with her and she did a good job ignoring his tics. We went off and did some shopping and when we got home they both played together with legos and did great. It was nice to see Elijah able to play with someone and NOT be bossy and handle himself. He did get the reward of playing on the computer and I had told him to behave to get the computer but for him to actually DO it is amazing.

We went to Walmart later in the afternoon with Jacob coming also. As we were walking by the frozen food section Elijah asked for an ice cream sandwich. I said NO, you don't need one let's just get on home. He didn't argue but became very sad and put his head down and leaned on me a little. I asked him to look up and he looked so sad. Boy, he knows how to pout to get his way. I asked if he would use his own money to buy it and he said YES, so he and Tabitha both got an ice cream sandwich(she paid for hers too) and we came on home.

Tics have been better, but when they do happen they are LOUD. I was surprised that Tabitha wasn't scared by them....not scared of them, but surprised she didn't jump. The motor tics are extreme toow hen they happen. He was sitting in the office chair and kicking the wall, with no shoes, but when kicking he was putting his whole bottome of his foot on the wall. He was really stomping the wall. He also slams a fist down on a table or computer desk if he is sitting near one. He bangs hard. I did ask him to try not to kick the wall. I don't want pictures falling or for him to put a hole in the wall. He is not having tics as often, but when he does they are still "hard" tics.

Tabitha is coming again tomorrow and they are all staying for dinner tomorrow. We are going to eat wings!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Being Deaf!

Elijah still sleeps with me most nights and as he slept last night, I sat in bed and listened to my ipod on a speaker. He slept right through it of course, and as I sat there I thought, sometimes it is nice that he can't hear. He sleeps through most everything, which scares me if there is ever a fire, which is one reason I let him sleep with me if he wants to. I know, I know, I shouldn't let him, but I do, so lets not argue about it.

Anyway, it made me think about his deafness. Elijah is a boy, who happens to be deaf, but wears cochlear implants(CI). The CIs help him hear and access language. They are a tool, but he is still deaf. He takes his CI processors off without hesitation when it is time to bathe, swim, play in the sprinklers or at the beach. He is comfortable being deaf and I am glad of that. He knows enough sign that I can communicate what I need to with him and he voices back to me. If I really have to tell him something, or he is misbehaving, then I put his "ears" back on and tell him what I need to.

The last time we went to a water park, we locked his "ears" up in a locker. I am so afraid someone will steal them thinking they are headphones. We stopped to eat lunch and Elijah voices to me, "NO ears, I want to stay." I signed back to him, "yes swim, eat, eat first," and pointed to the food. He said YES and stopped to eat. Now, the only reason I don't like for him to not have his "ears"(processors) is that he cannot hear me if his back is to me. I have to be a bit more diligent, but also let him have his independence. Thankfully, this is a small water park and I can let him wonder a little bit on his own while keeping an eye on him from a distance. Sometimes I have to jump in when others try to communicate with him, because he doesn't quite know how to tell others he can't hear. Plus, I find that younger kids just don't get the concept that someone who talks can't hear. They give me a quizzical look when I tell them he can't hear.

Elijah loves the beach and I hope we can go to the beach this summer for vacation. One of the first things he does is take off his "ears" and head for the water. He is almost TOO brave! He has learned to stick close too though and not wander off.

Overall, I am glad that Elijah is comfortable being deaf without his "ears". Just this morning he woke up and headed for the den. He didn't grab his processors and I could hear him in the other room playing with his cars and talking to the cats. He then starts yelling for me and of course, if I answer he cannot hear me. I wait and after a few more yells, I get up and grab his "ears" to put them on!

Would it be easier if Elijah could hear all the time....well yes, it would be, but then he might not be the Elijah he is now. I don't worry as much about him learning language and getting things right. I look back at how much I used to worry and sometimes wonder HOW did we get where we are now? Of course, now I have other worries, but I think those will work out as he gets older, at least I hope so.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Yes Mam!!

Elijah has been very good today! Now tics are still around. I would say they are better, but not a LOT better. He is still making lots of noises and yelling. Right now he is playing a Wii game and has not tics at all. I put together(and please note the I!) Lego racer set he got. While he and I played with it he ticced up a storm. All day today though, whenever I have asked him to do something he has said YES MAM! This is a good sign to more compliant behavior. The only time he didn't really mind was when I asked him to get off the computer and that is typical for him.

Jacob did finally wake up at 8:30 last night and had breakfast for dinner! He was in a much better mood and has been great today. He spent some of his Christmas money today on a computer game and is back in his room playing it right now. He came out for a while to play the Wii with two friends. I am just glad he is in a better mood.

Not much planned for this week. I still need to tackle Jacob's dresser and get clothes organized. I will probably do that tomorrow. The Cowboys are going to be playing in a bit, so I will be watching that! I sure hope they win!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Day After

Well it is the day after Christmas. The boys had a good day yesterday. Elijah has several lego sets we need to put together. He also got several Wii games that he has been playing and also some nintendo DS games. We went shopping with some money he got and he was pretty frugal. He got one game and a nintendo DS case that holds the game. It is made of NERF so if he drops it, it won't break! His tics have not been too bad today and attitude has been better. Elijah has been very cute the last few days saying "A HA" when he finds something new and using such cute inflections in his voice when he is excited. Of course he also has the "I am mad" voice down too! I am hoping tics calm down before he goes back to school. OH and he made good use of his music links with his processors...plugged them into the computer and we didn't have to listen to his computer game while we visited in the den before Christmas eve dinner....and OH we got snow on Christmas eve. NOT a lot, but enough to cover the ground and make for a White Christmas. By the next day it was melting and so we didn't really get to play in it, but it was pretty.

NOW Jacob has been asleep since about 8:30 this morning. I think that kid must have stayed up for the last three days and just cat napped between different activities. It just all caught up with him today. He may just sleep through until tomorrow. He did get a laptop for Christmas and so he has enjoyed that and that is what has kept him up the last few nights. I am hoping he wakes up fully rested and ready to tackle his room! It is a mess! He got some nice new clothes that we need to put away, but first I need to go through his other clothes.

My mom went shopping with us this morning as did my sister-in-law and niece. It was fun. We looked for Christmas bargains. Mom got a Christmas Tree for $48!! I stocked up on gift bags for next year. I also spent some of my Christmas money and got new sheets for my bed, a new pillow, a wireless mouse for my laptop, a Wii fit extra(NEED to exercise) and got myself an Itunes card so I can treat myself to some music!! Mom left to go home around 11:00 this morning. I was sorry to see her go, but I have been a cleaning mad woman since she left!

We are headed over to my brother and SIL's house in a bit to chow down on leftovers. I am going to let Jacob sleep.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Reflections

As I sit here on Christmas Eve I reflect on all of the good things in my life. I have my health(although I could love a FEW pounds), my boys, my home and a good job. There are days when things are tough, but I try to remember the good things and today is one of those days.

Even though Elijah was a pain in the rear the other day with a neighbor boy, he did say something that quite surprised me. The other boy was shooting at lego trees, to get studs, wich are worth points. Elijah yells, "Don't shoot the trees, they are natural resources!" How can I be aggravated with him for yelling when he uses such big words. Today while we were out running errands, I said something funny to Jacob. I hear Elijah in the back seat say, "That is outrageous!" I had to stop for a minute and really ponder on what he had said. It was used approrpriately and with the correct tone of voice! He even giggled as he said it! Tics are better today and even his attitude is good!!!

Jacob is such the young man. I can't believe he will be 14 in July. He is so handsome. He will be beating girls off of him! He is very helpful too and always jumps in to help with his brother!

My mom is on her way and my brother and his family are coming over later. We are going to eat wings and open presents. We may even do some singing and guitar playing to guitar hero on the Wii. I just made, what I hope, is my last batch of snowball cookies! I am planning on getting back on Weight watchers after the New Year!

Merry Christmas to you all!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Day to myself

The boys' dad came and got them today at 1:30 to celebrate Christmas. I took off for the movies and grabbed some take out to bring home. I got a pasta meal from Macaroni Grill and some cheesecake. The meal was great and I just ate the cheesecake. I only ate 2/3 of it, it was SO good, but so BIG! I enjoyed my time to myself. I love my boys but Elijah's tics were beginning to grate on my nerves.

David brought them home and they had their gifts. Jacob has been on the Wii since he got home and now has two friends over playing with him. Elijah got three lego sets. Two he put together at his dad's apartment and he and I put together a plane set from Indiana Jones. Elijah ticced through the whole thing. He slapped a bowl full of legos at one point and almost sent them flying. We separate legos into bowls so we can find them more easily when making them. This is something Jacob started and Elijah has continued. I don't really mind Elijah's tics. I feel bad for him though. I was exhausted from watching and listening to him. I don't know how it doesn't drive him crazy.

I have a feeling I'll be putting lego sets together for the next week or so. Santa is bringing him some and several family members may be getting him sets. I hope I can survive it. Jacob has a few surprises coming too.

Today has been a good day. Yes, Elijah has ticced a lot, but behavior has been so much better! Jacob has been happy since he woke up and he got a break and got to go out. He is such a home body sometimes.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!

Life with Tourettes

Well teh tics continue. Yesterday was another day of lots of noises and kicking/slapping at things. We had some friends over to decorate cookies and one of them wanted to play the Wii with Elijah when we got done. He is much younger than Elijah and Elijah was very bossy and just mean/rude. I finally put him in time out in his room. Jacob went over and played with the boy and with him being so much older the boy really liked having him to play with.

After the neighbors left I let Elijah come out. I decided that I didn't want to cook and would rather go out to eat. I needed a margarita! Elijah was very loud at dinner, which didn't bother me, but I hate it for him. He was slapping at the table too. It wasn't crowded so no one seemed to notice. I rubbed his back and let him know it was OK. The tics really don't bother me, it is the behavior. He didn't tic while the neighbors were over so I wonder if he was trying NOT to tic and this leads to him acting badly. he is focussing so hard on not ticcing that he can't focus on behaving. Who knows? I told him I would rather he tic then misbehave.

As I sit back in my bedroom and type this he is just a screaming and hollering with tics in the other room. He is very excited about Christmas so I wonder if it is that making the tics more extreme right now. Maybe they will calm down once Christmas gets here.

Jacob takes it all in stride. he helped me fix the heppa filter/fan that Elijah dumped legos down into. he was very patient and acted so mature helping me. I was proud that he and I were able to take it apart and put it back together again AND it worked.

I feel like he has made so much progress and then he has a day like yesterday and I feel like he has made no progress. All I can do is be patient and keep trying. That is all he can do too.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Tics, Tics and more tics


Well Elijah has been having some very "strong" tics and they have increased in severity. He is slapping at himself and slapping at tables. I mean just slapping in general and whatever is around him. He is very loud too and doing a lot of snorting with his nose. I have noticed that when tics are worse behavior seems to be worse. It is not so bad at home, but I notice it when we are out.

Today we went to my friend's house to do some baking. There was an Xbox for him to play, but he was still being arguementative. He was yelling and just being snotty. I finally just put him in time out. I didn't want to do it, but I could not let him get away with it anymore. My friend is fine with him, she is a deaf ed. teacher too and knows about all of Elijah's issues. This didn't phase her, which was nice!

After being in time out, and telling him he would lose computer and Wii privledges if he didn't straighten up he was fine. Tics continued, but he was GOOD! My friend has been around for some "small" tics, but this was her first experience with him having "big" tics and she was so surprised. It didn't bother her, but she had just never experienced it.

I am not sure what has brought this increase in tics on. It has been going on since Saturday. You would think being home and not having school would be more relaxing. They don't seem to bother him and I am used to them, but these new ones are just so extreme, especially the hitting himself(on the leg, or on the table). I just don't want him to hurt himself.

We talk about tics when they happen and so he knows it is OK for him to have them. I am thankful everyday that his cochlear implants have given him access to language and that all of the hard work since he was 18 months old have paid off.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Break is HERE!



Well, Christmas break finally started today. I went into work and got some things done in the office. It was a nice morning and I got to visit with several coworkers. I was able to go to Elijah's Holiday Party at school. He didn't get to go to a party last year due to him being in the behavior classroom and not having good behavior. This year things are going well and he was allowed to go.

We went down the 3rd grade hall and I followed him along. He went into one of the classrooms and several kids were excited to see him and asked him to come sit with them. They helped him follow along and play a game. The made an ornament and he got to have snacks with them. Well, then the aide from the behavior class found us and told me we were in the wrong room, so off we went to another classroom where kids were excited to see him there. It is nice to see that he has friends and such. He communicated well with them and asked permission before doing something. He got a little silly when they were making snowmen, using toilet paper to wrap someone up and clothes to adorn the snowman! It was nice to see him interacting with other kids and doing well. They were very accepting of him!

We went back to his main class and got his stuff. He gave hugs to everyone and off we went grocery shoppping! ha!

I am so glad the break is here. I came home with the groceries that Jacob helped me put away. I then laid down and took a nap. I actually crashed out for about 45 min. They boys were good and let me sleep, and didn't kill each other!

David came over to see the boys. He played some Wii games with Elijah and got to help Jacob with a computer game.

I am excited about Christmas. I think the boys will be surprised on Christmas morning!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Kitties and Language



It is amazing to hear Elijah talk around the cats. He tripped over Oreo and said, "I'm so sorry Oreo, it was an accident. are you OK?" He just asked, "Can I hold Tiger like a baby? OH he is a fat cat!" When Oreo first got here he was a little skittish being in a new place. Elijah leaned down to pet him and looked up at me and said, "look mom I am being gentle."


I know it may not seem like a big deal, but for me it is a big deal. This is so much vocabulary. He is also using words more than actions. he is hitting less and is less frustrated.

We have got to go shopping for Christmas presents for the kitties. That should lead to more language. The cats are also good for helping with Elijah's behavior.

We do love our Kitties!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Update on family

Well, Oreo has been with us for four full days and things are going smoothly. The other two cats, Perky and Tiger, seem to be more accepting as each day goes by. They are hissing less and playing a little with him, really just chasing him. Elijah really enjoys him and is very gentle with him.

Jacob takes good care of all three cats.

We are on the countdown to school being out, 3 more days, and to Christmas...9 more days after today. I am so ready for school to be out. We are not doing too much, just staying home and baking or playing the Wii. I am going to make some more pralines! They are a real challenge and I think that is why I like making them.

Elijah is doing well in school. He is using more and more age appropriate language. This morning he was watching "A Christmas Vacation" when the tree catches on fire and he said...."that man ruined the other man's Christmas tree".....wow what a big word! ruined! He is using more question sentences too. We practiced spelling words tonight and boy did he have some tough words, but he did well! His IEP meeting is on January 5th and I am curious to see what everyone thinks of his progress!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

New Addition to our Family




We added a new kitten to our family yesterday. His name is Oreo! He is precious, but of course Perky and Tiger, our other two cats are not too impressed. Oreo was quite scared yesterday when I brought him home and he hid out a lot. Today he has been more adventurous. He is out playing with Jacob right now! This morning, Elijah went to find Oreo and brought him to me in bed. He then looked at Oreo and told him, "No hissing, you be friends with our cats." Well it is not Oreo doing the hissing, it is the other two.

Jacob, who is 13, is having a ball with him right now. Both boys are sweet with all three cats and it is nice to see them be that way. Jacob was just using baby talk with Oreo. Elijah was in hysterics earlier playing with her. She is just a few months old so a true kitten. Hope they all three can get along.


I made a ton of sugar cookies today to take to school next week and use with my students. I have to make enough so we have them here at home too. They are a favorite of both boys! I also made two batches of pralines. I am taking a batch to a potluck lunch we are having next week. Both batches turned out yummy!

Only one more week and then we are out of school for two weeks! I am about done shopping. I just have a few gift cards to pick up!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Endochronolist and Falling Balls



Elijah and I made the trip down to the endochronologist this morning at Children's Hospital in Dallas. This is him in front of the tree. While waiting for the doctor, in the examination room, Elijah asked to play with my Iphone. I let him use it. He started playing FALLING BALLS. You have to tilt the Iphone back and forth to make this stick figure man move and move him out of the way of these falling balls. If the ball hits you, there is a SCREAM and a splat on the screen. He was so into it, that when his figure was hit by the ball and screamed, he jumped and that scared me making me jump. It was so funny! He got so silly. He loved seeing me jump. He started laughing more loudly as he continued playing and was snorting while he laughed. That got me tickled and I started laughing. He then started snorting more. Considering we were in an examination room, we were having a grand time!

Elijah grew almost two inches since June 1st of this year. He gained a little over 10pounds. He is not quite on the growth chart yet, but he is for weight. He is in the 50th percentile! We need to be sure he doesn't gain too much weight, but the doctor is pleased. They took a hand xray and will let me know what they see in that as far as growth goes. We will go back in June 2010 and if he has grown more, then we won't go again unless the pediatrician sees he is not growing. Oh, and looking at his growth velociity, he is growing faster than typical boys his age so hopefully he will catch up!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Not babies anymore



Looking at this picture, I can definitely say that my two boys aren't babies anymore. Just look at how BIG Jacob's hands are. He is 5 ft. 6 inches tall, so he has me beat by an inch. His hands are bigger than mine and his feet are larger than his dad's feet. I still remember when he was learning to crawl and then walk....where did the time go.



Elijah has grown up in a lot of ways in the last year. He has gained weight and also grown taller. He is also more mature and wanting to be more independent. He is my cuddler in the morning and will come lay with me in bed giving me kisses. HIs language skills have grown so much.



Just wanted to share these pictures!

Friday, December 4, 2009

He Made It!!

Elijah finally made it to level 4 in his behavior classroom today! He was very excited when he got off the bus to tell me. I was home early due to a doctor's appointment so I met him at the sitter's house! We went to Walmart to do some grocery shopping and I let him pick out a LEGO toy to put together.

Elijah has made so much progress in the last year. We have had many steps back as we have forward and it has taken us a while to get here. His annual IEP meeting will be in January! He is a child with a hearing loss, but really, he is doing so well in regards to language. I think now that behavior has calmed some and we have a good set of medications, that his brain is calmed down enough for him to make the language progress he has made. Progress in behavior has really come along since his program at school was tweaked. I feel I will always need to be a strong advocate for Elijah, more so in regards to his tourettes, OCD and ADHD rather than with his hearing loss.

We are counting the days until Christmas break and then the days until Christmas. I plan on doing some baking this weekend and more baking over the next few weekends.

I am taking Elijah to the endocronolgist on Monday to see how much he has grown and keep track of all of that! I'll let you know how that goes too!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I Gotta Feeling

I Gotta Feeling has been on my ipod for quite some time now. I listen to it in the car and Elijah is sometimes with me. Just recently he has been making requests. First he wanted me to play "The Kill", he recognized it as a song I had done on Guitar Hero. It is a heavy rock song and I had been fun to do on guitar hero. One day he was really rocking to it in the backseat.

Well this past weekend, I caught him singing, "I gotta feeling". That was all he sang, was the title, but it was cute to hear him singing. He is now asking for it each morning as we drive to school. It is a good upbeat song, so I am glad he likes it and hoping it will help him have a good start to the day.

Elijah's implants have helped him access to so many things he would not have had...MUSIC being an exciting one. I am glad to see he is enjoying it!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Selecitve Listening


I have been using my iphone to make some of my posts, but I now am on a computer so I can post this cute story. It is a real hassle on the iphone.

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, my sister and SIL volunteered to take all of the kids to see Planet 51 while my mom and I went to see The Blind Side. We would then watch the kids and both of them would go see it later in the afternoon. Elijah's behavior had been pretty good while there, but he is handful. Plus they would have their kids, my nephew Trent, age 6 and niece Tabbie, age 5. We would be at the same theater, so they knew they could call me if needed.

Well my mom and I left before they did and I got no phone calls. YEA! We finished the movie, which was GREAT by the way and then we went to the store to grab a few things for dinner. We got home and they had already beaten us home, because their movie was shorter.

Elijah was back in my mom's room playing the Wii and the other kids were on the computer. So, I asked my sister and SIL how things went. They said he was good, just wanted CANDY! ha! My SIL then demonstrated how he said CANDY, I want CANDY, and she said "yea Elijah really wanted that CANDY!". Well from down the hallway we hear this "WHAT?". The next thing we know Elijah is standing in the den with us saying "WHAT DID YOU SAY?" He had heard Elijah and CANDY and that was all he needed to hear to get moving. This is a child who at times SEEMS not to hear me when we are in the same room and now from DOWN a hallway, while playing the Wii, he heard his name and Candy and came running! Needless to say, he has selecitve listening just like every other kid out there does!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Life

We had a nice day today. My SIL and I braved Walmart at 5:00am and missed out on the laptops. However while looking at computers a woman walked up and asked if I wanted a laptop she had gotten earlier, but didn't want. It was the one on sale, and is the one I am typing on now. I snatched it up. So it was a good day, to start off with.

Later in the day, Elijah had issues playing with his two cousins. He just doesn't get how to socialize and get along with others. They decided not to play with him and that is fine. He has to learn. It is just hard, because I know he just "doesn't get it". It is due to the Tourettes, I believe. His brain just doesn't work like other people's brains work.

My sister and sister-in-law took the kids to the movies while my mom and I went to see the Blind Side. We then ate a good dinner and sister and SIL went to see the Blind Side while we watched the kids. Things started off rough, but now they are playing together and sharing and having a great time. I put away the Wii and they are actually playing with toys. Everyone is doing great and it is nice to see Elijah can get it together and share.

Three weeks and counting until Christmas Break!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful

As I sit at my mother's house there is so much to be thankful for. I have my two boys, my family, and a good job. We went to the Christmas lighting at the courthouse. Elijah enjoyed running around with his cousin Trent. They were really enjoying themselves. Elijah saw a ramp and asked me what it was. I said "a ramp.". He replied, "no it's not. It is an inclined plane." well of course he was right. My jaw nearly dropped. What a big word for him. He is doing so well as far as language goes. Behavior is what drives me nuts. I have had to put him in to e out three times today.
I am thankful, but we still have a long way to go!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Time Flies!


Where has the time gone? I took Jacob in for a med check up for his ADHD meds and he is 5 foot 6 inches tall! Officially taller than me now! Where did my baby go? When did he get so tall and become this TEENAGER! He also is eating me out of house and home! I sure hope I can survive these teen years. I still have four more years before Elijah turns 13.

We went to Elijah's "old" school, where the deaf ed program is for a visit. Everyone was excited to see him and noticed he had grown taller and had put on weight. It was a nice visit. We saw his principal and teacher as well as a few others. They have school this week and we are out!

I sure hope time doesn't keep moving so fast! I don't know if I can keep up!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Sounds of Christmas

This is our first Christmas since the boys dad and I divorced over the summer. I wanted to go ahead and get the tree down and do some deocrating. Jacob and his friend Chris were able to help me get everything down from the attic, however the tree was no where to be seen. I searched all over the attic and in the garage. I finally just went out and bought a new one. The other one was pretty old and we needed a new one anyway. I ran to Walmart and bought one that was pre-lit so that was very nice.

Jacob did not want to help decorate the tree, but Elijah stopped playing the Wii and joined me in decorating. We had a great time. He then found several of the wind up decorations! He sat and wound them up and listened to the music each one played. He really enjoyed it! I am so glad he has his implants so he can enjoy that part of the Christmas! I didn't put up all of our decorations and may not! We may just have the tree this year and a few other decorations that play the music!

I have already started some Christmas shopping! The boys are pretty much done, just have a few more people to buy for and I'll be about done. I also do a lot of baking and give those items as gifts!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Iphone and memories



I got an Iphone back in September and both boys enjoy playing games on it. One day I was in settings and was checking out some of the choices I had for ringtones. Elijah happened to be around and got facinated with listening to the different choice. They ranged from a dog barking to a robot type sound. A few days later he asked for my iphone and wanted to find those SOUNDS! I showed him how to find them under the settings menu. Now when he asks for my iphone he likes to go into settings and listen to the different sounds. It amazes me that here we are 8 years after his activiation of his first CI and he still is fascinated by sounds. He got his second CI at the age of 4 1/2.

It reminds me of another story from when he was six years old. We had gone to Mobile, Alabama for my grandmother's 80th birthday party. She has 10 children, 17 grandchildren and at that time 9 great grandchildren. She was also from a large family and so as you can imagine it was a HUGE celebration once you added in friends. She had a live band and food! This is a mardi gras town y'all so it was a PARTY to beat all parties. We danced and had all kinds of fun. Elijah liked to go up and just watch the band. Now he had heard music before, but I don't think he really knew the instruments or how music was made, so he wanted to WATCH and figure out the sounds. He later danced and had a grand time.


Around midnight(yes ya'll we were up that late), my grandmother had a dixieland band come in. This is a band that consists of a drum, trumpet, trombone player and I think there was a bass violen. Well a little while after they started playing I look over to find Elijah standing in front of the trumpet CUPPING his ear(not that it would help with a CI on, but hey). He then stepped in front of the trombone and again cupped his ear. It was so cute to watch. He really wanted to know the sound that each instrument made. This was 5 years after activation.

I find that Elijah's cochlear implants and his learning to hear with them has been such a true blessing. He is now able to communicate and function as most 9 year olds would. He was diagnosed with Tourettes back in the summer of 2008 as well as OCD and anxiety. he was diagnosed with ADHD in 2006. I truly don't know if we could handle these disorders as well as we and HE does if he didn't have language. These disorders are harder for me to deal with at this point, but he is doing better and we are seeing progress with behavior. LANGUAGE is so important and he has that. We are still on our journey, and I always wonder what it will lead to next.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Museum Day



Today we went to the Museum of Science and Nature in Dallas with the Tourette Syndrome support group. The boys had a great time. Jacob enjoyed making some bubbles. He also enjoyed the spy exhibits! He was able to roam around and do his own thing and not have to hang with me and little brother. It is nice when they get older AND they have a cell phone!



Elijah really enjoyed going to the children's part of the museum and dressing up like a fireman. There were all kinds of things to do! He is ALMOST too big for the fireman's outfit, which is a good thing! He needs to be growing. He also went into the home part and played in the kitchen and such.

We finished up with an IMAX movie about dinousars. it was really good and interesting. Elijah ticced through the whole thing though. All of the sudden his tics have been quite extreme. He is on a steroid right now for a cough and that might be causing it or it just could be cuz it is! It is so hard to know. It doesn't bother me, I just hate it for him. He doesn't seem to like it. Behavior always seems to be more of an issue when he tics more,so it all must be related. He just has that chemical imbalance. I am hoping he can have a good day at school tomorrow.

I am just so ready for Thanksgiving break. I have a crazy work week this coming week!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Home for the day!

Well I got an uplanned day off today. Elijah got sick last night and threw up! He at least made it to the bathroom! He woke me up around 4:00 and tossed and turned after that. He then got sick while in bed with me! OH FUN FUN! I was UP at that point!

I got Jacob up and off to school. I have avoided giving Elijah his usual morning medicaiton because I figure it will just upset his stomach. I have not given him his antibiotic yet either, but he did have a breathing treatment. He has held down teaspoons of water/gatorade every 30 min since this morning and even ate a cracker. Now we are just on wait and see!

I have been busy cleaning up the mess from this morning! I also got a head start on paying bills! Feels wierd being home with no PLAN for the day! I am getting some Christmas stuff handled, but can't say much just in case my oldest decided to check out his mom's blog!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cute Conversation



So, why a picture of the beach in November! Well, as I said before Elijah has been asking me WHY questions a lot lately. On Friday morning, as we were driving to school he asks, "Why are the leaves fall from the trees?" I said, "well because it is the Fall, Autumn, and the leaves fall. Then winter comes and it gets cold and then the spring comes." Elijah says, "Oh the snow melts!" We don't get much snow here, so that was cute! I wish we got a little just for him! Anyway, I said "Yea, then then summer is after spring." He replied with "Oh the summer....We going to the beach??"

How in the heck did we get to the BEACH from a conversation about leaves falling from the tree! He does love the beach. He loves the wind coming off of the water. He had the best time the last time we went. He was the only kid who got in the gulf water and he wanted to be on the beach every second he could! He would just rip off off those processors and hand them over to me, then run for the water! I do hope we can go this next summer. I love the beach too, but I love it even more with both my boys.

Jacob enjoys building sand castles and roaming for things to look at on the beach. He isn't into swimming as much. On this last visit, we both got sick so that was no fun! He was sicker than me and had to spend one day in.

We could also see my grandmother. She is in her 80s and I have so many fond memories of my time with her as a child. I enjoy going to her house and just being with her. The boys really enjoy it too! I'll just have to see if I can put some money away so we can go!

Friday, November 6, 2009

IEP Meeting

We had Elijah's IEP meeting today. It went well. An adaptive PE evaluation will be done. I also got it written into the paperwork that he will attend one mainstream class a week. I just want it written down to be sure it gets done. I asked about participating in school events and not basing it on his behavior. The teacher and everyone were fine with that. The teacher finally seems to get that this is truly neurological and some days just aren't good days and he can't help it.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Why, Why, Why???

Elijah seems to be going through a spurt in development these days. He sounds like a 3-4 year old who drives his parents crazy asking WHY? He even has a whiney sort of voice to go with it. It is nice to see him going through this stage, but boy is he late in going through it.

This morning we were drivng to school and the WHYs started again. I jokingly said, "you sound like a record saying why, why, why..."(I even motioned a record spinning, since most kids these days probably don't even know what a record is!) and I hear this...."because, because, because.." in a teasing voice. I look back to him just grinning at me!! What an appropriate joke he made!

Elijah has been using more complex sentences and asking very inquisitive questions! I have been wondering if this has caused the behavior issues since SO much seems to be going on in his head right now! He did have a good day today!

We have his IEP meeting tomorrow! I'll think it will go well!

Jacob just asked if he could eat the left over chinese food from last night! I said SURE! I won't eat it! What a teenage boy he is!

Headed to bed!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sweets and video games!

So Elijah wakes up this morning and all is fine! Well before we leave he starts to have an attitude, and then I find CANDY wrappers in the kitchen. UGH! Sugar is never good for him in the morning or any part of the day.
He has a total attitude with me, pointing that finger and such. Later I realize he had played a game on the computer that he had not played before(this was yesterday) and I am thinking....between the game and the sugar he was bound to have a bad start to the day.
He at least didn't hit or kick anyone today, but did have an attitude at school. His points are still frozen. He came home today wanting to play that same game and I let him but only for 30 min. If the attitude is still around, well then NO MORE game! It is roblox, sort of like legos on line, but he gets way to into it.
Oh and the candy is WAY UP high so he can't get to it, so hopefully we won't have that issue again!

Jacob is sitting and doing make up work that was due last week, but is now LATE, because he just didn't do it. There is no good reason....he says he just forgot. It is a lot of work and he aint happy, but OH WELL, that is life. He had plenty of time last week and over the weekend to do it. I just got to keep a better eye on his grades. What did we do before the internet....I so need that gradebook online!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween!



Here is Elijah and his cousin Tabitha getting ready to go trick or treating! She was a witch and Elijah was Indiana Jones. He is now sitting wtih Grandma Linda watching Indiana Jones! It was a fun night! We went to two neighborhoods to trick or treat. They got enough candy to last them!
We didn't have too many people come by, so I have enough candy for a while! Elijah was good. He didn't want to wait for his cousin, but finally started slowing down. He told me after his bath that he had a GREAT Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Eight good days and then uh oh!

Well Elijah had eight good days and then "hit" the aide yesterday. I use HIT in the apostrophe, because I he didn't just HIT her as hard as he could. He was frustrated and hit at her. I wasn't told the severity of the hit, but his points were only frozen for yesterday and today, so it couldn't have been too hard. Grant you, he shouldn't be hitting at all, but this is something he is going to have to learn. When we have his IEP meeting in a week we will be discussing an evaluation for adaptive PE which would move him to a smaller class with other special needs kids. PE is the only place he is having a hard time with impulse control and with aggression. In the past, if he had hit, he would have lost a whole level. I just didn't think that was working for him anymore. He is being punished for a neurological condiation.....again the program has to fit him, not him fit the program. He did have a good day today!

There are a few more things I want to discuss at the meeting, like at what level does he get to participate in field trips and about the end of year field day. He missed it last year due to losing too many levels in a week. It really irritated me because NO one had told me when field day would be, so I couldn't reinforce that he needed to behave to participate.

I do like this school and his teacher. He has made SO much progress since a year ago and we have more work ahead of us.

He is going to be Indiana Jones for Halloween. I'll post pictures tomorrow! Jacob wants to just pass out candy, you know, he is getting too old for all of this!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Seven good days!


Elijah has had seven good days at schools. Seven days where he has had no hitting or kicking of others. This is a big step for him. The teacher changed up some of what she is doing with him and giving him rewards for behaving in PE(where he was having most of his problems) and also giving him sensory breaks during the day. She wrote me today that both of these changes seemed to have helped the most. He seems happier about going to school and continues to behave at home. I just have to remind myself that the school has got to make a program to fit Elijah and NOT have Elijah fit into a program they already have. This was one of the KEY things I kept saying in emails to get these changes to be made.

Elijah's tics seem better right now, meaning they are not as intense and not happening as often. This is such a strange disorder! We have an IEP meeting a week from Friday to discuss evaluating him for adaptive PE and about the changes that have been put in place.


Jacob is doing well also, although he needs to pull his grade up in US history! He just keeps growing everyday!

I am taking off in the morning to go to the doctor. I think I have the starts of an infection and just need to get in. I have been fighting it off for several days now and it is time to just give in and GO!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pulled his tooth!

I woke up to Elijah telling me he had pulled a tooth this morning!! He was standing there with a wash clothe in his mouth and a tooth in his hand. It was a big tooth too. He has always pulled his own teeth. He pulled his first one on the bus on the way to school. We never saw it though, lost somewhere on the bus. He was only 4 1/2 years old. The teacher thought it had been pulled at home!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday!


Elijah did great at his soccer game today. He started out a little iffy before the game. he was pointing that finger of his and yelling at others. I had a discussion with him and he straightened out. He did well on the sidelines and when he was put in he actually kicked the ball a few times! He also wasn't out there being silly which was nice!

We got home around 12:30 and Jacob was still sleeping. What a teen! Elijah is now back to playing the Wii but he earned it with his performance at soccer.

Elijah is now on Level 2 at school! He has to earn points to move up to another level. He has been stuck at level 1 for several weeks. HIs teacher talked to her boss and we have tweaked his program to give him more of an incentive to behave in PE. He gets an immediate reward after PE if he doesn't hit or kick anyone. So far that has helped. He has to get to level 4 to get to eat in the cafeteria for lunch and to level 5 to get recess.

His tics have subsided some this week too and aren't as noticeable. Although last night after his bath he decided to "tease" brother, but his teasing meant getting in brother's face and having tics. Jacob didn't appreciate it, but he called for help. Of course, Elijah had no CIs on so he couldn't hear me so I had to get his attention and sign for him to stop. Of course, when behavior is good at school he sometimes acts up more at home! This was nothing too serious, but I am glad Jacob is mature enough not to blow his stack at his brother!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tourette Syndrome


As I said before, Elijah was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome(TS) in July of 2008. He started school that year in the Plano Regional Day School Program for the Deaf. He had a great first 2 weeks of school and we added TS and OCD under Other Health Impaired to his list of disabilities(OHI).

Behavior soon became a problem though. He was having some tics at school, but he was always being bossy. He was also hitting and kicking others. We had an ARD(IEP) meeting in October and it was decided a 5 day observation would be done. We met again in November and from the information given we decided that language development(his deafness) was not as big an issue as his behavior. He didn't work well in small or large groups and he didn't like having an aide with him. We decided to bring him back to our home district in Wylie and put him in their behavior program.

We waited 2 weeks to make the move, so that transportation could get put in place and Elijah's dad could change his schedule and be home to meet the bus.

Elijah started in Wylie on Dec. 1st. I would be able to drive him to school each morning and he would ride the bus home. Looking back now, it was a good move, but a hard one. It was not easy for him. He really wanted his OWN way and didn't like having to be told what to do. Over the next few months he became more compliant but it was a lot of work at school and at home. We are still working on it now, but he is so much better.

Elijah is now still in the behavior program. We are having an ARD(IEP) meeting in a few weeks to discuss his placement and maybe changing his PE. That is where he seems to have the hardest time controlling his behavior. Some other things have been changed recently and I am seeing positive things with that.

I have spent the last 15 months learning all I could about TS. It is not an easy disorder to understand. We attend montly TS support group meetings when we can and I continue to learn. Elijah still receives services from a deaf ed. teacher three times a week who comes to Wylie to see him.

Right now we just take it day by day. Our family has had a lot of changes in the last few months. I am now divorced from Jacob and Elijah's dad. I won't get into all of that here. He still sees them and is a good dad. We are all adjusting. Jacob goes with the flow, but it isn't easy when Elijah is having a bad day. Thankfully he doesn't have many bad days anymore.

This is where we are now! I hope things continue to go well!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Added some links

Well instead of cutting and pasting all of Elijah's story, I decided to add links to his story that is already on the Auditory Neuropathy website. If you scroll down to the bottom of this web page....to the bottom right you will see two links. One is Elijah's journey and the other is Elijah Goes Bilateral! I hope you like the stories.

I have also added some links on Tourette Syndrome. Elijah was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome in July of 2008. He started having some tics in October of 2007. We didn't even suspect tourette syndrome(TS) until February of 2008. The tics came and went, and were never really an issue. However, behavior was an issue. In June of 2008 the tics became severe and so I took video of the tics. I took him back to the neurologist who diagnosed him with tourette syndrome. He has also been diagnosed with ADHD, obsessive compulsive disotrder, and anxiety. This all happend during the summer of 2008. The school year for 2008-09 will have to wait for another blog. So many changes occurred.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A note


I know it may seem crazy, but I think people need to know the history behind Elijah and his birth so I will over the next few days add from his story. Jacob was such an easy baby. he came out happy and with this beautiful red hair. poor thing, he gets so over looked having a brother with so many needs. He is a great big brother and has been since Elijah was born. It is not always easy, but we try to maintain a balance. He is in 8th grade and in a video production class he loves.
I'll add more about them as time goes, but I wanted to give the backgroun on Elijah too! He has definitely had a journey!

JUST a note. instead of deleting this post, I decided to just add a post above. see the links on bottom right to read about Elijah and his journey. There are lots of pictures too.

My first blog

Hello all!
I think I said quite a bit in the description of this blog! today is Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009! We just finished eating some pizza and Elijah has a soccer game later at 7:30. He is currently playing the Wii. Jacob just went off with a friend! He is such the teen!
I am going to copy and paste some older stories about our family from the AN list serve about Elijah and his journey. I have much more to add!
I hope to post more soon!