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!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sometimes I Wonder!

Sometimes I wonder if Elijah will ever just be an easy child to take care of. If it isn't one thing it is another. Now, I know better than to complain...many children have a great many more issues than Elijah has but some days....some days I wonder if I can keep it up.

Between his processors, which are usually easy to maintain, but at times can be a huge responsibilty. Just the other morning, one would not turn on and we spent five long minutes trying to troubleshoot the processor. We finally figured out the controller was not working and pulled out his backup processor. Made for a stressful five minutes when you are trying to get out the door to school and work.

Today I took an hour long nap due to a headache. I wake up to him with NO shirt on. I figure he got warm and left it at that. I asked him to put his shirt on so we could go for a walk and his collar is all chewed up on a brand new shirt his grandma just gave him. ARGH! I can't even take a nap without something like this happening. It may seem like a small thing, but I am pretty sure this shirt is now ruined and it has been worn only one time.

Elijah also has a cough right now on top of Jacob having the flu earlier in the week. Elijah has been doing breathing treatments since yesterday morning. I have been talking to the pulmanologist since yesterday and he thinks things are getting better based on my reports and I agree, but it takes forever to get rid of this kind of cough.

It has just been a long day home today. Elijah has also been a bit arguementative and that gets on my last nerve too. Alright, I am done with my venting. Tomorrow is another day and at least I get to go to work!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Case of the Dangling EAR

So Elijah is always letting his left processor coil DANGLE off his head. It drives me crazy. I worked too darn hard to get him that second surgery and second EAR to let him have it dangle off his head. I swear I could put a montage together from our vacation last year that I video taped of me saying....PUT YOUR EAR ON ELIJAH.

His left "ear" is his second ear to be implanted and was done about three years after his first "ear" was done. I think he still prefers his first "ear" but if I take away the left one he begs to have it back. I think he has trained me to just tell him to put it back on.

I decided this morning that if I see that left one dangling, or right one even, then I am going to take away both "ears" for 5 minutes and the next time 10 minutes. Condition him to keep it on.

He hears well out of both ears. Maybe it is related to his tourette syndrome and other issues or maybe he just likes the right one better. I'll keep y'all posted.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Singing Jingles!

Tonight Elijah was on the computer and not really paying attention to the TV. A popular advertisement came on the TV and he sang right along with it, with his back to the TV. I swear that kid hears everything, when he wants to that is!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Someone Flipped the Switch Back!

Elijah woke up in a much better mood today. He has been happy and very polite. It is like someone Flipped that the switch back, that was flipped last Sunday. It is the difference between night and day! Hoping it is a several weeks or months before that switch gets flipped again in the wrong direction.

Glad my happy boy is back!

The New Thing Elijah Does!

I taught Elijah how to get up and make his own breakfast in the morning. This way, he can let me sleep in. I also told him he needs to put his "ears" on each morning and be careful with them. One morning, he came rushing in asking where his "ears" were? I jumped up, grabbed my robe and followed him into the den. He and I finally found them by the computer.

We had a long talk about how he needs to put his EARS on as soon as he wakes up. Well now he gets up and puts his ears on, but leaves them turned off!! I'll wake up and come through the den and say something to him. He ignores me, I think, and then I walk over to him and point to his ears. He turns them on. One morning, he assured me they were turned on. I covered my mouth and spoke. He then said, "Oh" and turned on both processors.

I guess he likes having some silence in the morning. That is fine with me, really it is, I'll just have to get used to it and not assume his processors are on when I see him!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Is this a Tic??

So, Elijah has had a so so week at school this week. Yesterday, when I checked out his behavior form he had spit twice at school. Well, even if this is a tic he needs to learn to try to NOT spit at a person. However, this is not what my title of this blog refers too.

So, yesterday, I emailed his teacher asking her about his behavior. Just to get more info, you know. Well she emailed me back this morning(which I read on my iPhone email) and she mentioned he was a bit more aggressive this week and had also tried to bite her twice. Well, I couldn't really email her back while driving so I called her.

We discussed the biting, because this past summer when he was stressed or upset he would bite whatever was around me. He would bite doorknobs, rocking chairs, or even try to bite me. He never really clamped down though, just put his teeth on me and then would release so I learned to just let him do it and not pull away. So I was telling her all of this and such. She thought one reason he was OFF this week was due to the holiday on Monday.

Well, then she mentions that he has been CUSSING all school year. It seems to have increased recently. I told her he didn't do this at home and she assured me this cussing was a tic and was VERY common. I told her it wasn't and she again said it was. Now, if this truly was a tic wouldn't he be doing it at home or in other places besides school. I even asked Elijah's sitter today and she said she has heard him cuss ONE time. Well, I don't want to argue with his teacher and well IT COULD be a tic that he only does at school, because he is more stressed there than at home.

I plan on investigating this issue some more. I'll let you know what I find out!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Elijah's behavior has improved some, but today I wanted to post about his vocabulary. He still amazes me at times. Just this morning, we saw a very pretty FULL moon. It was HUGE in the sky!

Elijah says, "the moon orbits the earth. The earth orbits the sun. Mars has two moons. Jupiter has 63(I don't remember what he said) moons." We talked about it and how maybe when he gets older he can be an astronomer!

I was amazed at the vocabulary though...moon, ORBIT, Mars and Jupiter. He also remembered his /s/ at the end of plural words. Orbit was the huge one today. Last week it was the word NEVERMIND. He called for me and I replied with just a minute. As I began to walk in, he said "Nevermind mom. I got it." WOW, what a huge word for him.

As far as has deafness and language development I am continuously amazed at how much he learns and uses. Now we just have to keep working on behavior!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It's like someone flipped a switch!

Elijah has had two great weeks at school. He has been good at home too. He has gotten in minor trouble for refusing to do things at school, but compared to past behavior this is NOTHING.

Yesterday morning, he got up on his own and fixed his breakfast. He plays for a bit and then I get up. Well, he starts this wierd yell he makes when he is mad. It is like a gutteral scream at the computer but he uses words. I get up and we discuss HOW the computer can't hear him and it is not appropriate to act this way. I don't need him doing this at school. Well, he starts again this morning and so I told him if he did it again he was off for the day.

Sure enough, he starts up again doing this wierd yell at the computer so I ask him to get off. He ignores me so I start counting. I get to ZERO and tell him he is off the computer for an hour. He yells at me, so now it is two hours. I get to three hours when he raises a fist at me and then tell him he is just done for the day and is done with the Wii for the day too. He is now in his room. I changed the computer password and set the screensaver to pop up in 1 minute, so now he can't get on the compter.

It truly is like someone just flipped a switch. He goes from behing this great kid who minds and does as he is told, to this complete brat, but more than a brat. I am not tolerating him raising a hand to me. That just isn't going to work. Now I am sure when I go back, he will be all apologetic, but he isn't getting the computer or Wii back today. I guess it will be a long day for us both.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tourette Syndrome Support Group Meeting

Elijah and I attended the monthly tourette syndrome support group meeting this morning. We had not been to one since September. Sometimes it is just hard to go on a Saturday due to other plans or just being exhausted. I like going though, because I always learn something new and I meet other parents who know what it is like to have a kid with TS. We have been part of this group for almost three years.

Everyone commented on how much taller Elijah was and how much better he was speaking. Later, the parent who had volunteered to help oversee the kids came in and said he was so well behaved. She had seen him on some bad days when he wasn't too pleasant to be around. Now those words were nice to hear!!! He was very polite when he came in to ask for some cookies and bottled water.

Like I said, the best part about going is getting to just connect with other parents. Today was a laid back meeting where we shared stories and planned for future events. Elijah made some arts and crafts type things in the other room and played hangman with several kids. It is good for him to be around other kids with TS and see tics and such.

I am glad we went and am going to really plan on going to future meetings. It helps recharge my batteries!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Teen Bedroom

OH MY! At any given time I can walk into Jacob's room and find TRASH! He leaves water bottles, gatorade bottles, chip bags, and worst of all cat food cans in the trash can. UGH! He feeds one of the cats back there and doesn't walk the can to the kitchen trash. I ahve tried and tried to get him to keep it clean, and finally figured out a way, I hope anyway.

I told him a few days ago to get all the trash up and IF I found ONE more piece of food trash in his room he would lose his laptop for a day for EACH piece of trash. Well, it finally happened, I found a gatorade bottle in his room this evening and told him to shut down his laptop! He looked at me like I was nuts and didn't remember our conversation. I also found a few other pieces of trash and warned if he argued I would count them up and take his laptop away for that many days.

Needless to say he put his laptop on my bed and threw out all of his trash! I am hoping if I check his room daily and enforce this rule, he will learn to keep his room clean. I can try anyway!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Well it is the beginning of another year! I am hoping it will be another good year! This past year has been a good one, but work sure has kept me busy this school year. I go back to work on Monday with my nose to the grind stone! The boys go back to school on that day too!

Jacob will be 15 in July...OH MY! I am wondering how much taller he will get! He will be a sophmore in High school too next school year. He hopes to do the ROTC for all four years of high school.

Elijah will be 11 in April and hoping he will GROW some more! I went off with a friend last night and hired a babysitter to keep him. He seemed good when we left last night, but has done nothing but argue this morning. He just completed his third time out and hoping he doesn't have to do another one today. Hoping this isn't a preview to what 2011 has to hold for us!

Hoping to share more good stories with you all in the coming year and hoping you all have a great NEW YEAR!