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!

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.

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