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!





Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cats!



No one could have told me that I would end up with three cats in my house. My ex-husband and I both liked cats and had two cats before our boys were born. KC was an orange tabby and Ridgeway was a Norwegian Forest Cat who we found and took in. KC died when Jacob was about 2 years old. Ridgeway grew old with us and died in Nov. 2008. Both boys took it very hard. Elijah still cries for Ridgeway.

We knew Ridgway was getting older and when our neighbor’s cat had kitten we decided we would take one. We chose the black tabby and brought him home when he was two months old. Ridgeway was still with us at this time. He died about three weeks later. The neighbor asked if we could foster Tiger’s mother. They were keeping two of her kittens, but the mom would not let them integrate into the household with another cat they had. We took in Shadow so that Tiger would not be lonely.

Elijah and stopped at a pet store that December and they had cats and kittens up for adoption. We saw a precious black and white kitten and Elijah really wanted him. Now Elijah knows how to work it…pouty lips with his “please momma, please”. We decided to get the kitten and bring him home. We knew Shadow would not be with us long and Tiger would be lonely again. The kitten was named KiKi, but we soon changed her name to Perky and it has stuck. She is a perky little thing and fit right into our family.
Shadow stayed with us until February 2009 and then returned home. We had our two cats, Tiger and Perky, who got along very well and who both boys loved very much. The cats were great with teaching Elijah how to be gentle and loving to others. Every time we went to a pet store though, he would ask for another kitten. I would tell him NO, we just didn’t need another one.

This past November while talking to a friend at work, I mentioned that Elijah sure did want another kitten, but we just couldn’t afford one. She told me about a kitten that a friend had rescued that she took in. She really couldn’t keep the kitten because she had two cats already and lived in an apartment. She told me her friend would pay for the kitten’s first shots and to be neutered. I talked to the boys about it and we decided that we did want another kitten. On Dec. 11, 2009, Oreo joined our family. He has been a great addition. It took some time for Perky and Tiger to really accept him, but they are great friends now.

When I ask Elijah and Jacob who their favorite cat is, they both respond….ALL THREE! They are all very loving cats and continue to help me teach both boys how to treat others. They each have their own personality….Tiger is the big boy of the bunch and the most laid back. Perky, well is Perky, and always getting into trouble. She constantly wants to escape to the outside. Oreo is the baby and very much into mischief, but in a kitten type of way. We will never forget our Ridgeway though, he was the first cat both boys ever really knew!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Elijah and the Bathtub Tics


Elijah's tics have been SO much better since he started his new medication. It took a bit to figure out the dose that would work for him, but overall his tics have been better. The huge BANG BANG tics, as I called them, have pretty much gone. He still has a few small bangs(hits things) that he does with some snorting and throat clearing, but nothing too bad.

For some reason, however, when he gets in the tub the big bang tics come back. He is either pounding with his hands or with his legs. Now this wouldn't be too bad, but I think he put a small crack in the bottom of the fiberglass tub. I had a plumber come out to fix some leaks in the two tubs and we discussed this small crack. There is nothing really I can do about it he told me. He did tell me that the tub was weak and the fiberglass could break if pounded too hard. So even though I don't mind the tics, now I have to worry about Elijah possibly breaking the tub and possibly hurting himself. We discussed what would be involved with putting a new tub in and I may just have to do it this summer!

Just need to hope those bang bang tics will lessen!

Redheads!

I am not the redhead in the family, although I had auburn hair as a baby. It still has auburn highlights at times and I sometimes color it with some red to cover that GRAY! However, I have two redheaded boys, as well as a brother and sister with red hair.


Alex is my brother and he is now 21 years old and my sister Katie is 18. Jacob my oldest is 13 and Elijah is 9. I babysat Alex and Katie over two different summers before having Jacob and even part of the summer that Jacob was born. Alex was 8 and Katie was 4 at the time. When Jacob was born we were shocked to see this RED hair. It was the talk of the night as well as the fact that he was a boy. Alex was thrilled to have a boy come along. We had not found out the sex of the baby during the pregnancy.

Jacob had this great red hair that always got comments. With his dad and I having brown hair, we always got asked..."Where did that red hair come from?" Later when I was pregnant with Elijah, I would cart around Alex, Katie and Jacob. Of course I got the looks of LOOK at that MOM with three redheaded kids and one in the oven. If anyone asked though, Alex and Katie, quickly pointed out that I was their sister, which got even crazier looks.


We didn't find out the sex of the baby when I was pregnant with Elijah, but of course, he came early so we found out early. Out he came with RED hair too, which was a shocker again. Of course, we had more worries with Elijah, but he was a pretty little thing.

I have always felt blessed to have my two boys and for their gorgeous red hair. Jacob has this thick red hair, while Elijah's is thinner and more strawberry blonde. How different they look, but they do look like brothers.

Genetics is such a funny thing. You put two people together and get this baby who is part of you both and part of all aspects of the family. There are some things I wish I could change in that genetic mix, but then again other things might change that I don't want to change. I'll keep my redheads, just as they are!

Friday, February 26, 2010

LEVEL 5



Elijah finally did it! He made it to level 5 in his classroom! Just a review, he has been in this class since Dec. 2, 2008....that's 2008 and has never made level 5. He started with level 1 way back then and has bounced between levels 1-3 all that time until he finally made level 4 back in December 2009. It has taken a lot of work on his part to get there, but it has also taken a lot of work by his teacher. I have had to really educate the school on how to best handle Elijah and his tourette syndrome, OCD and ADHD.

The teacher spoke to someone who is an expert on tourette syndrome and got some great ideas. They will be implemented next week. I am sure there are still rough days ahead, but I hope we are on the right path now.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Forecast!

I have been meaning to share this story for a few days, but keep forgetting so here goes. Elijah still amazes me daily with the vocabulary he learns and picks up. His newest word is forecast! He was turning on the wii and I asked him what game he was going to play. I was in another room and he said "Mom, I am looking for the forecast." I walked into the den and sure enough, he had the weather up on the Wii looking to see what the weather for the week would be like. He wanted to see about the snow I think....that we didn't get!

Of course, this was a great moment for me and for him, although he didn't know it! I have no idea how he learned that work, but I am assuming from watching the news with me. After several hard weeks with his tourettes it was nice to be able to smile about this!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hiccups!



I have been doing a lot of research on Tourette Syndrome(TS) lately. I have been talking to others about TS and how to best help Elijah with it. I have been trying to think of a way to explain it to Elijah’s teacher, as well as others, so they can understand how tics affect his behavior. He started a new medication for tics and it has been a big help. He still has tics, of course, but they are not as extreme as they have been in the last few weeks. Behavior has been much improved with the improvement of tics. I am seeing more tics at home, but that is fine! Home is a safe place.

So I was thinking about how best to explain how tics affect behavior and I thought of hiccups. We have all had hiccups at some point in our lives and we know how annoying they can be. Imagine having hiccups for several hours and not being able to get rid of them. You may be trying to sleep or work and you can’t even focus because you are hiccupping. Imagine if you had to give a speech with these hiccups or try to read a book. I have had hiccups so strong that my chest actually jerks. This is what I imagine a tic(s) to be like for a person with TS. They have these tics and they are just annoying. The key thing to notice here is TICS with an /s/ on the end, most people don’t have just ONE tic at a time. The tics cannot be controlled and this person is trying to read, write, give a speech or just type on the computer. It gets annoying and frustrating and then someone says something to you. You overreact and snap at them in a rude way. This is how I imagine tics affecting behavior. Maybe I am wrong, but it is the closest explanation I can think of explaining this in writing!

I did go to a workshop that attempted to demonstrate what one tic and one compulsion may be like and it was interesting, but not easy to explain to someone. You really have to do it in person to best demonstrate it. Needless to say that during this exercise at the workshop many of us became frustrated and some people even quit.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Five Cool Things about Having a Cochlear Implant



This is a picture of Elijah with his cochlear implant processors and his cat Tiger. Tiger was a kitten when this was taken. I just looked for a picture that would show Elijah's processors. For those who don't know, the coil(round thing attached to his head) is a magnet. When surgery is performed a magnet is put under the scalp and its only purpose is to hold the coil in place to send the signal to the internal part of the implant.

These are five cool things about having a cochlear implant. Please add to it if you like in the comment section:

1. You can turn off your "hearing" whenever you like. My mom was getting onto Elijah one time when he was much younger and Elijah knocked his coil off(he only had one at the time) and shot my mom a look of "I can't hear you!".

2. You can attach magnetic darts to the side of your head, or any other magnet that will stick. We have found that refrigerator magnets don't generally hold.

3. You can demagnetize a credit card by swiping it near your magnet.

4. Your parents never really know if you heard them or if you just have "selective listening" like most other kids have.

5. Your parents are so excited about the things you say, that they don't really mind when you say your first cuss word. They are just excited you learned a new word incidentally. You can get by with this a few times with each new cuss word!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Raising a Special Needs Child


I am the mother of a special needs child. I have worked with special needs children in school for the last 19 years and been around special needs children since I was a child. My brother has mild cerebral palsey and I remember going to his therapy sessions. I think this has helped me deal with my own son, even though he has a different disability.

I didn't know if I would be a good mom. Jacob was born in 1996, four years after my marriage to David. We planned Jacob and he was a gorgeous red headed little thing. I felt such an awesome responsibility when he was born and also a tremendous amount of love. When Jacob was 3 years old we decided to start trying for a second child and were blessed when I became pregnant within a few months.

Elijah's entrance into the world was bit more traumatic. He was born eight weeks early and came out a fighter. He would not even let the nurse intubate him. He was born in a small hospital due to the speed of his birth and transferred to a larger hospital with a NICU in Dallas. He spent 12 days on a ventilator and five weeks in the hospital. The day he was being released he failed his hearing screening and so it began.

Elijah had other challenges. He came home on oxygen for the first six months of his life. Our lives revolved around trips to the pulmanologist, developmental pediatrician, audiologists and pediatrician. Poor Jacob had to grow up so fast and be this big brother!

We did get into a routine and this became our life. I look back now and wonder HOW I did it. Packing Elijah off to the sitter's everyday with his little oxygen pack and pulse oximeter. He later got hearing aids around the age of 15 months and then his cochlear implant turn on at 18 months of age. We spent the next four years working on his language skills with private therapy. He started school at the age of three and language development is something was have always worked on.

He was always a rather "different" child and very rigid in his routines with lots of impulsivity issues. We discussed ADHD with our pediatrician when he was 5 years old and he started meds for that then. He then got the diagnosis of tourette syndrome at the age of eight, after a year of tics and not really knowing what was going on with him.

What is it like to be the parent of a special needs child? For each parent it is a little different, but I do think it comes down to acceptance. Even though I teach deaf children, it was hard to accept Elijah's deafness. I then had to accept the asthma and be ever viligant with his health. Now it is not too bad, but if he even coughs funny, and this goes for Jacob too, my ears perk up and I take an extra listen. Elijah's ADHD was not as hard to accept, so many kids have it and even his dad had it as a child. When I first suspected Tourette syndrome, after seeing an HBO special, I was in shock I think. I mean what are the odds of him having something that I had never really seen in person and at the time I thought was rather rare. I may have been in denial, or maybe just in shock, who knows. It has been a slow acceptance for me.

Understanding the behavior that goes with tourette syndrome is very difficult. I never really know which Elijah I will get from day to day or even from minute to minute. I think the hardest part is that I never really get to let my guard down. I can't just leave him with anyone due to his ever changing attitude. I hold my breath on days when I can sense he is "off" with his behavior and as I drop him off at school on those days I pray he has a good day. I wonder what others think of us when we are out in public and his behavior is all over the place. I am not talking about the tics, those are not a problem, but that behavior. I know it is a neurological condition that makes him act the way he does and I in turn parent in a way that is best for him, but others around don't know this. I am sure they think he is this little pain in the rear who should know better and why isn't that mom disciplining him. It doesn't bother me, but I hate it for him.

I am still learning so much about tourettes and all that goes with it. I have found some good resources and met some great people on this journey. Thankfully, Elijah's language skills and hearing loss are not a major issue so I can focus more on the issues at hand now.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Stress and Weight


Thankfully I am not stressed today. When I am stressed, I eat and that is not good for someone trying to lose weight. I joined weight watchers online back on January 4th and have lost 14 lbs since then. I have also been working out with the Wii Fit Plus and doing step aerobics.

I have three stressors in my life....my job, my youngest son, Elijah, and my exhusband. How I choose to deal with the stress is up to me though. I do have choices. Thankfully my job is not always stressful, but does have times when it can be a huge stress for me. Elijah is the joy of my life as is Jacob, but Elijah can cause me so much stress. I have to be so consistent with him and really can never let my guard down with him. I won't even get into why my exhusband stresses me, it is nothing that he does intentionally it is me and my OCD and worrying about money.

I hope to keep making good food choices and to keep exercising. Exercising also helps with the stress! Kill two birds with one stone!

Dating

I was speaking to my exhusband about a week ago and he decided to ask me if I was going to start dating at all. He left last June and the divorce was final in Aug. of last year. We have joint custody of the boys, but basically when it really comes
to it I HAVE FULL CUSTODY.

I was surprised he asked and basically told him that NO I was not dating and was not planning on dating. IF it happens, it happens. I am not going to go and seek it out. Both of these boys are a full time job.....Elijah is a job and a half...haha. I am not opposed to dating, I am just not going to actively seek it out. It is hard enough for me to deal with things and I don't need to worry about how someone else is going to deal with my children. I don't need someone coming in and making things worse or who would want me to put my kids second to him. I am going to do what is right for my family, not what is right for just me. Now I'll take care of myself, make sure I make time for myself and see friends. I guess I just take the job of being mom very seriously and I am glad to do it. My boys are worth it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Angels Among Us!

I wrote about my grandfather and how I think his angel visited me in a dream! I also think there are angels in our lives everyday. Just everday people who take the time to go the extra mile to make our lives a little better. I have a lot of angels in my life and I am thankful for each of them. I hope I am someone's angel. I hope I give enough to others who need the help.

Just remember, you could be someone's angel. It could just be a simple act of human kindess.

Thank you to all of my angels, I appreciate all of you!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Angels



I have been thinking a lot about my Grandpa McGowan. He died back in 1991. He was a great Grandpa. He and my grandmother would pick us up all the time and take us to the movies. We would go and stay at their house and get to play doing a variety of things. They were great grandparents. I am lucky enough to still have my grandmother with me. She lives in Alabama and I talk to her often!

My grandfather died before I got married and I really missed having him there. He was a great dancer and so much fun to be around. He loved babies and always had a baby in his hands if there was one around. After Jacob was born in 1996, I was completely overwhelmed with this new baby. I was tired and stressed. I remember thinking what the heck was I thinking having this baby. I will not be a good mother. I went to bed one night just so worried about Jacob and how I could handle things. I had a dream about my grandfather. I remember that many of my cousins were in this dream and we were playing in the front yard of my grandparent's house. Something happened and I got hurt. My grandfather ran to me and told me, "Everything will be ok!". I woke up from that dream with a sense of peace. I truly felt my grandfather's presence with me. I have not dreamed of him since that time.

Elijah has been going through so much lately and I do feel overwhelmed by him. I thought of that dream with my grandfather and how it was like his angel visited me that night. It helps me to remember that yes, everything will be OK, just like my grandfather told me in the dream. Even though I have not had another dream about him, I know he is with me. He is with me through my grandmother and my mom and through all of my aunts and uncles. He is with me through their memories, but I also think he is with me in spirit. He will guide me and show me through with the help of God's hands. It brings me peace!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Karma?


I have been thinking a lot about Karma. There are people in my life or who were in my life who seem to have bad luck and/or good luck. I don't want to get into the details of these people's lives but it has made me wonder about Karma. You always hear "Karma it's a b**ch!", as stated on that poster in this blog. I mean is it as simple as "what comes aorund goes around," so I looked up Karma on the web and got a definition.


the effects of a person's actions that determine his destiny in his next incarnation


Karma is a concept in Hinduism which explains causality through a system where beneficial effects are derived from past beneficial actions and harmful effects from past harmful actions, creating a system of actions and reactions throughout a person's reincarnated lives.


I do think that we need to treat others as we want to be treated and if we do then it we get that payback in a good way from some other person. I am trying to live my life in a more positive way. I was and still can be a negative person. I can look at the flaws instead of looking for the good in person or situation.

I am not sure if there is such a thing as Karma, but I do believe we can make our own luck by how we treat others. I am in no way prefect at this, but I do try. Last week, as I sat at the CVS pharmacy at 6:30pm waiting for a prescription, that I had called in, but was not filled on time....I had a choice. I could be mad or take the time to just wait and realize it was an honest mistake. They were crazy busy and after about 20 min I asked if it was ready....the phramacist said yes, so I waited in line again and got it. The young man behind the counter knows me well and said "you didn't have to wait again. I'm sorry I didn't call you forward for this, its been here ready." My response was, "don't sweat it. there are bigger things for me to be upset about." I think he was shocked. I am sure someone gets in his face on a daily basis at this busy pharmacy. While I had been waiting though, I had seen at least one act of kindness. An older woman was sitting by me right near the line and stood up to get in line. She was sitting to rest, and as she stood she said "oh, am I cutting in front of you," to a woman in line. The woman said, "oh no, you are fine, go ahead, I saw you come in before me." This made me smile. People being kind. I hope later in the evening or the next day that someone returned a kindness to this woman who let someone in line ahead of her. Seeing all of this made it easier for me to wait and not be upset that things hadn't gone as I wanted them too!

As I go through my day, I remember to not sweat the small stuff and to BREATHE. If that is karma, then so be it, but maybe it is just that kindergarten rule we all learned...."treat others as we want to be treated."

Medicine Update!

Elijah's tics have lessened quite a bit since he started his new medication last Tuesday. I really wasn't sure if I sure start him on a second dose in the morning, but after really watching him this weekend I did start him on it this morning. What I noticed was that the tics were rarely around in the morning, but started to reappear in the afternoon. Since he takes the one pill at night, I assumed it was wearing off by around noon.

As I sit here, I am hearing and still seeing tics, but they don't seem to be as extreme. It took several days to really see an improvement when he first tried it, so hoping to see more improvement in a few days. The "licking my hand" tick is back. He licks and licks the palm of his hand and then wipes his face with his palm. I don't really mind it, but you just NEVER know where those hand have been and there may be GERMS on them! The snorting and slapping tic are still there, but again hoping those will improve in a few days.

The only side effect I have seen is a HUGE increase in his appetite. He seems to be eating more and saying he is hungry more. He is not overweight, so it is not an ISSUE right now, but could become one.

He and Jacob had a holiday from school today. I had to work, so my mom kept them. Elijah had to run several errands with her today, with one of them being to a doctor's appointment. She reported that he was excellent all day.

Overall, everything else is going pretty good. Jacob showed off his TEEN mouth today so his laptop is sitting in my room. Nothing too serious, but he NEEDS to learn that sometimes it is just better to keep your mouth shut. This was a lesson I learned at around his age....13!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday Dinners


I just got finished eating a Sunday Dinner with my mom, brother, sister-in-law, niece and of course my two boys. My mom, who now lives 2 1/2 hours away, is in town to stay with me and help me out with the boys tomorrow. They are out of school tomorrow and I have to work. We have had Thanksgiving and Christmas together, but we used to eat together every Sunday before she moved.

Oh she made us a good dinner today. I helped her with everything, but no one makes homemade gravy likes she does. It made for a nice afternoon and I am FULL! Screw the diet today!

I had made some heart sugar cookies yesterday and Elijah and Tabitha decorated some of them today! My mom brought the kids some candy and a card with some cash!

It has made for a nice day today!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Taking care of myself!

I debated on whether or not to blog about this and then thought, what the hell, why not! My exhusband has had a run of bad luck, which I won't get into, but we have worked out some things with child support so he could "get back on his feet". He now has two jobs and getting his life together.

We have had a "friendly" relationship since the divorce and get along for the sake of the kids and for my sanity. I just don't want to be angry at him and have it consume me. However, I finally had to tell him yesterday that I really didn't want to HEAR anymore about him and his relationship with his girlfriend. Not that he talks about her a lot, but recently he has spoken of her more and I really DON'T want to hear it. I finally just told him and he took it pretty well and understood why I didn't want to hear about her. I just finally had to have the nerve to take care of myself and tell him NO MORE, but in a nice way.

My boys love their dad and I don't want to stand between them and their dad. I have known the man since 1985, so 25 years. That is a long time, so we have a lot of shared memories. I don't mind being friendly to him, but that doesn't mean we have to be friends.

Pills, Pills and more Pills



Elijah and I slept in this morning after staying up late to watch the Olympics. After eating breakfast, I got busy with one of my Saturday routines. Refillng his and Jacob's weekly pill box with all of their medicines. I have a whole tupperware container that I put all of their weekly pill bottles in, so all I have to do is grab it and their pill boxes.

Elijah started off with a fairly simple pill box years ago. It was the typical Sunday-Saturday pill box with just one small container for each day. He then graduated to a morning/evening pill box, when we added prevacid and singulair got moved to the evening. In the last year it moved to a morning/noon/evening/night pill box. There are four small containers for each day. The picture with this blog is of his actual pill box that we use now. Jacob then got Elijah's morning/evening pill box and I now use the Sunday-Saturday one container pill box for my meds.

I started thinking about Elijah and his pills. He came home from the hospital on meds. He was a preemie who had to come home with oxygen. He started off with liquid meds to help keep the water off of his lungs. All of his first meds revolved around his lungs....reactive airway later changed to asthma. He had inhalers by the time he was 9 months old and nebulizer medicines.

He started ADHD meds when he was 5 1/2 years old and that is when he got his first pill box. Later when things were just too confusing in his single pill box I went to the double pill box. We then added medicines for his OCD and anxiety. Well, I mistakenly gave him an evening med in the afternoon and that is when I bought the four a day container weekly med box.

Even though the meds do help, there are no easy answers with his tourette syndrome, OCD, ADHD and anxiety. at least with the asthma meds he can do a breathing test or the doctor can listen to his lungs and know if they are helping. With his meds for his other conditions it is all observation on if they are helping. We are in the middle of a med change right now for Elijah's tics. He is taking one new pill at night and IF tics did not improve within 3 days I could have added another pill in them morning. Have the tics totally disappeared? No, but they have improved so I have not added that second pill. It doesn't mean we won't add it at some point though. There are just no easy answers! He is also on one inhaler daily and if he gets sick we add other inhaler meds.

On top of taking care of all of Elijah's meds, there are Jacob's meds. He takes a lot of the same asthma meds that Elijah takes and he is on one ADHD med! His are not too difficult, but something I do have to keep up with.

I am thankful that there are medicines out there that do help with asthma and ALL OF THE OTHER conditions we deal with in this house. I just wish people would understand the stress it can put on a parent trying to make the decision to medicate or not and even if you decide YES to medicate the stress of keeping up with it all. Even if you decide to medicate, there is a trial and error time when you are just trying to find the right medicine or combination of meds that will work.

I am off to get Elijah and give him his inhaler for this morning....that is his last med for the morning!

Friday, February 12, 2010

SNOW!




Well here is my little snow angel, Elijah! He has really enjoyed the snow and he is a pretty good snow ball thrower. He and I went out yesterday afternoon and this morning to play in it. I have measured 6 inches of snow in our yard. Truly a record breaking day here in the Dallas area!



It is really cool how the snow landed in some areas. The trees are gorgeous and the snow really fell and landed pretty. All the schools in the area are closed and we are enjoying a lazy day at home. Jacob and his friend got out in it yesterday for a while. My poor cats, who have not been out in it, still are not sure what to think of it.



I am hoping we can get out in it one more time and have some fun before it all starts to melt. The snow on the trees is dripping some! It has made for a nice day at home!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Decisions!


Raising children is not an easy thing to do. There are so many decisons that come with it and some are easier to make than others. The first decision we make is what to name this new baby that has arrived. From there the decisions can get more complicated. For some children there are more decisions than others.

There have been so many decisions that I have had to make for Elijah. He came home on oxygen and we had to wean him off of it. We had to make decisions about what to do about his hearing when he kept failing his hearing tests. We finally decided on an implant and thankfully it was one of the best decisions we made, but not one of the easiest, since there were not guarantees it would work.

Elijah also has ADHD, OCD and tourette syndrome. We have been on the ADHD roller coaster since he was in kindergarten. In 2nd grade he got the tourete's diagnosis. Since then we have had to rely on doctors to help us decide what medicines to try and observe and report back to the doctor. Just tonight, we have decided to try a new tic medication.

I try to make the best decisions I can. One thing I do know, there will be more decisions to make in the futre.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Boys!

I don't think I'll ever understand boys. Not just my boys, but any boys. For the last month or so we have been experiencing a minor form of harassment here at the house. It started with a block of ice, a frozen puddle, being left on our front porch when we had a freeze. It was a pretty large puddle too. It then went to knocks on the door and someone leaving a note behind my doorbell that said, "get ready for the never ending cycle."

When they messed with my door, I called the police. I didn't find the note until the next morning. They left white powder in a baggie on another evening, taped from end to end the opening to my garage, left acorns all over by back driveway, to then smearing dog feces on my front screen door. I later find more tape on my garage door, and still laster a broken glass bottle on my driveway.

My brother, Alex, who is 21 had come over when this all started and tried to catch them, but they didn't show up. He came over yesterday and started going around my property. He found some toilet paper with the poop still on it and down the street found more toilet paper.

He ran into a neighbor walking her dog, and once they chatted she put it all together that it was her son that might have done this. He had had a friend over, Jacob's best friend actually, and she had caught them with TP that night. She went home and compared the TP my brother had with her TP. About 10 min later she brought her son down to apologize and we discussed that he wasn't just pranking he was harassing. She said he would be down later today to clean my front door. I then had to go and talk to the mom of Jacob's best friend.

Now I really like both these boys and considered them "good kids". I know this was just a lack of judgement on their part and I don't want to label them as "bad kids", but rather as kids who made bad choices. I knew them before they did all of this, so I have a frame of reference and know they aren't "bad kids". What they don't realize is for people who don't know them, and hear this story, they are considered "punks" and can do no good.

I don't think we should ever rush to judgement when it comes to kids, especially teens. I wrapped a few houses as a teen and did some things that I shouldn't have, and I turned out OK. Now, I'll be keeping an eye on these boys and making sure I am home if they do come over. I am hoping Jacob has better judgement and can learn to walk away from situations that he knows are wrong and not participate.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What is going on?

Well, I am not sure what the heck is going on with Elijah, but I sure do wish I had that user's manual I mentioned in another blog. His tics are OFF THE CHARTS to say the least and behavior is just crazy.

We went back to the doctor this past Monday and decided to lower his ADHD med. The reason being, is behavior seemed to be worse in the morning and that may be when the ADHD med is at its peak and if tics are bad, this would make them worse. She thinks tics are driving behavior. Now if I only knew that for sure or not.

I won't even get into what he did yesterday at school, but we have not seen this kind of behavior in over a year. It is like he is a different child. Which truly makes me believe it is all NEUROLOGICAL and he really cannot control some of it. I think the teacher agrees, but neither of us knows what to do about it. He still can't hit, spit and kick others. I have found someone who knows about tourettes to speak to the teacher and hoping she has some ideas.

I just don't know how to help. I know he wants to behave, but his body just won't cooperate sometimes.

Hoping this med change will help. It has only been a few days and the doc said it may take a few weeks to know if it will help with tics. I am hoping if tics get better, then behavior will improve.