Jacob and Elijah Shaddox are brothers. Jacob is 21 years old and just moved into an apartment with his girlfriend. He graduated from a technical college with an Associate's degree in Computer Maintenance. He works for a school district as a computer technician. Elijah is almost 18 years old. He is hearing impaired, has Tourette Syndrome, OCD and ADHD. He is a junior in high school. Elijah lives with his mom Mary and her wife, his stepmom. Mary has a bachelor's in deaf education and a masters in special education, and is an educational diagnostician. Life is always changing and this blog has chronicled many of these changes and will continue to do so!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I was told recently, by someone that I really respect, that I was a reasonable parent, when it comes to issues with Elijah at school. By issues, I mean IEP meetings(ARDs in Texas) and getting services he needs for school. I took this as a compliment. I advocate for my child, but I have reasonable expectations for him and for the school district, but I also don't let the school off the hook for services.

I am fortunate in that I know a lot more about IEP meetings and how to word things to get what Elijah needs in school. I have 20 years experience in special ed. and most parents of special needs students don't have that. In Elijah's IEP meetings, I truly do feel like we are working as a team to ensure he is successful. That doesn't mean I always agree with how things are going, but we discuss it and can usually come up with some kind of compromise we are both happy with.

I often wonder, what do other parents do? How do they educate themselves? Are they completely overwhelmed? I know at times I am overwhelmed! The internet has helped so many parents make contact with other parents who can give them ideas, but when you are sitting in that IEP meeting you almost forget WHAT you need to say.

I am fortunate to be in a good school district, that I have people who help me, and contact with other parents who have been a great help to me.(Shout out to Michelle) I also have a good Tourette's support group here in Texas that has helped me a great deal!

I have also helped parents by talking to them about how to get the services they need for hearing impaired children and maybe later I will know more to help more parents of kids with Tourettes.


  1. I have had the good fortune of having been a teacher and had sat in a few IEP meetings before I found myself in them as a parent. I have also had the good fortune of being close friends with the DHH teacher and the Speech Therapist. I have heard horror stories about IEP meetings. I wish that professionals would realize that it is very intimidating to be one person to sit in a room with 4 or 5 or more "professional" teachers. Posted by Jennifer Root, mom to three deaf kids.

  2. I totally agree Jennifer. I have been fortunate so far and hope it continues. I am meeting with the principal, teacher and a few other staff to come up with a plan for Elijah to try prior to having an IEP meeting.