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!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking Back on 2012 and Forward to 2013

Here we are again at the end of another year! Overall, I would say it has been a good year. There have been several milestones this years for all of us. Jacob took driving classes and got his permit. He is now a junior and got his class ring! He is taller than me and growing up way too fast. He has a friend that is a girl, who has been over to our house several times. He and I have had some really good talks lately and he showing signs of becoming an adult and other times he is still such a teen. Next year brings him taking his test for his driver's license and turning 17. He still plans to referee soccer and then possibly getting a job in the summer.

Elijah is in sixth grade and will enter middle school next year. He will soon enter his teen years when his birthday rolls around in April. He told grandma today that he will be 13 in 2013! He is still such a little boy though. Children with Tourette Syndrome act 2/3 their age when it comes to maturity and I can definitely see this with Elijah. He is 12 but sometimes act more like an eight or nine year old. I guess he will grow up soon enough. He has had his ups and downs this past  year and we have made many changes in medications, but through it all we just keep on going. We recently made a new change in his medications and I think it has been a good change. We will know more when he goes back to school. He still sleeps with his stuffed animals and likes for me to tuck him in. One of these days he will grow up and not want me to "mother" him too much, so I think I will try to enjoy it while I can. Here is playing with a castle he made using styrofoam. He has a good imagination.

Things continue to go well with me and my honey. We have had a wonderful year together and are looking forward to many more years. We have fixed up the house and have plans to fix things up even more. We talked today about putting money away to travel to Germany in a year or two. I enjoy our family and I see such a difference in all of our happiness since my honey came along. My job is going well and keeps me busy. I enjoy my job and it brings me much satisfaction when I see growth in our students.

I am not sure what 2013 has in store for us. Jacob will have to start thinking about what he wants to do after he graduates. He still plans on being in ROTC next school year. Elijah will change schools in the Fall and have new teachers to get used too. I am sure something will change at work, it always does, but I will just have to roll with it. I know my honey will be there to support me through all of this as I will support her.

Please be safe tonight and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

White Christmas

We had a White Christmas here in the Dallas area yesterday. It started around 1:30 in the afternoon and finished up around 6:00. We got at least three good inches of snow. Jacob went out in it for quite a while and even built a snowman. Elijah enjoyed some time out there too. Later, at my dad's house I challenged my little sister(age 21) and my little brother(age 24) to a snowball fight. We all went out and had a fun time, but boy were my hands cold. Both boys had a great Christmas. I ordered Elijah his mini iPad...he is using the money he got for Christmas plus the money he has earned from chores and being good at school. We set up Jacob's new desk today too!

I hope everyone else had a great Christmas too. Here are some pictures and a video!

Elijah and his cousin Tabitha!


Jacob and his snowman!


Elijah outside!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Update on Elijah

Well, Elijah had a much better day at school. Hoping that the tweak in his meds is finally kicking in. He had four greens on his status sheet yesterday and six today, so that makes 10 greens. If he gets 10 greens then he gets a blizzard......and he got his blizzard! I was very proud of him. Only one more day left until Christmas break! I think we are all ready! I have to remember days like today to make up for those not so good days!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dealing with a Special Needs Child

This is a link to a blog titled, "I am Adam Lanza's Mother: A Mom's Perspective on the Mental Illness Conversation in America."

I read this blog and thought it was very well written. I hate to say, that since the shooting in Connecticut I have thought of nothing else then could this be my son? Elijah has a neurological condition and his brain doesn't always work right. He can get angry at time and have full rages. I don't share this too often on this blog, because it is hard to talk about. He takes four different medications in the morning and then two at night to help him with his implusivity and his tics. People with Tourettes can have Tourette Storms--he has trouble controlling his anger and when he is in the middle of one of these storms, there is no reasoning with him.

Thankfully, these storms do not happen very often and very rarely happen at home. When he is at home he is in his most comfortable place and there are not as many demands as there are at school. These storms seem to happen at school and we can go months without one and then when he has one it is out of the blue. When he does have one it is a lot of yelling and kicking at walls. He has been known to bite objects and people. He may also spit at people.

We manage as best we can with medication. I run a strict household with written rules. He has no access to the iPad, computers or video games during the week. He gets limited amounts of these things on the weekend. Many people may think I am too strict with him, but they don't understand. We don't go places during the week so we aren't out late at night. He needs to be in bed by 8:00 if it is a school night.

When I hear other parent's stories, I am thankful that Elijah's problems don't seem too severe, but then when it flares up I am saddened. At times, I wonder if I can continue, but there is no other choice. I am thankful for my partner and for others in my family who support me emotionally. Jacob is an awesome big brother, but even he has his limits.

I do love my little man though and we will keep on keeping will get better.