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!

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.