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, March 5, 2013


We live a life in which we are all labeled at one point or another. When we are born, we are labeled as a boy or a girl. We are labeled by our race, hair color, eye color and how big we are and all of this happens on the day we are born. There are many other labels that come later. Some of them are nice to have. Labels that tell us how smart we are or that we are loved by somone. However, many labels that are given to children in school are usually not fun labels. Many of them are generic labels that are used on MANY children. Then there are the labels used in special education and medical professionals.

Elijah was labeled as a premature baby on the day he was born. He then received the label as a child with a hearing loss when he was five weeks old. This was confirmed four weeks later. He went home on oxygen and received the label as medically fragile having a reactive airway. Grant you, he was not as fragile as many children, but he certainly wasn't healthy.  These are the  labels he lived with for a long time. I like to remember that he was and still is a blue eyed red headed precious boy!

Elijah started school at the age of three with the label of auditorially impaired(AI) and wears cochlear implants. Auditorially Impaired is the Federal term used for a hearing imparied child. He started off as a total communication AI student and then later was labeled as an ORAL AI student. He was also a child with behavior issues and later earned the label of ADHD. He started medication and things were OK for about 18 months and then the tics started. At the age of eight he received the label of Tourette Syndrome and a few months later the label of OCD. These were given my medical professional and at school fall under OHI(Other Health Impaired). The school sent forms off to his doctors and one of them decided to put the label of Aspergers on the report. The school called me and DID NOT agree with this label at all and neither did I. I called the doctor and had it removed.

Elijah has lived with these labels most of his life and have overcome many obstacles. We are planning on taking him to a camp for kids with Tourette Syndrome in April. I completed the application and sent it off about two months ago. His doctors then needed to complete a medical form for all of his medications and I just recieved the form from his psychiatrist. All of his labels were listed along with PDD-NOS. This is an acronym for Pervasive Developmental Disorder that is non specific. Basically it is atypical autism. Well, here we go again. I looked up this disorder AGAIN and this is what I found.

As for the other PDD's, diagnosis of PDD-NOS requires the involvement of a team of specialists. The individual needs to undergo a full diagnostic evaluation, including a thorough medical, social, adaptive, motor skills and communication history. Other parts of an assessment can be behavioral rating scales, direct behavioral observations, psychological assessment, educational assessment, communication assessment, and occupational assessment.

I have to say I am more than just a bit irritated with his doctor. She sees him for 15 minutes every two to three months. A full diagnostic evaluation has never been done on him for PDD-NOS or any form of autism. Many hearing impaired children may show symptoms of autism as do some children with Tourette Syndrome. I don't believe hs is PDD-NOS and neither do the deaf educators who have worked with him for YEARS.  This is one label that I am not going to allow to be used with Elijah. Assumptions are made with labels, and he already has way TOO many and doesn't need another one. We go back to his doctor in May, and I guess she and I will need to talk.

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