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!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

New Tic

Elijah has a new vocal tic. It is a sound I cannot even explain. His "clearing throat" tic is also back. I wish I could explain this new vocal tic. It is a tone that is at a high pitch and the tone changes. It starts as a low pitch wound and then gets higher. Like a "aaa AAAAAAAA". It is actually a little louder on the second part of the tic along with the higher pitch. Thankfully, this is not a tic he does ALL day. It does come and go. The throat tic also comes and go, but I hear both daily right now. His chewing tic is also pretty intense right now. He actually got his chewelery and used it the other day, with no prompt from me.

The tics don't seem to bother him, as far as I can tell. Right now, the tics aren't bothering me too much. I can usually tolerate them, unless I am under stress, and then the noise just seems to bother me more. I think he has been excited about the holidays and this has caused his tics to increase. All we can do is just keep on keeping on! That is life with Tourette's!


Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I got up this morning and made the Schwan's apple pie that we bought a few weeks ago. We will go off to my mother's house later to eat. I am thankful for my family this morning! Jacob has to work today at the grocery store, but he doesn't seem to mind. He gets Holiday pay and we will bring him home some food.

I am especially thankful for all the doctor's who have helped Elijah through the years. Since birth he has seen his pediatrician, developmental pediatrician, pulmonologist, audiologist, endocrinologist, neurologist and psychiatrist. He still all of them except the developmental pediatrician and endocrinologist. I am also thankful for his cochlear implants, his Auditory Verbal Therapist, audiologist, and the medication he takes. All of these things have helped him to be a productive student and citizen. I am also thankful to all of his teachers through the years. He has had some great deaf education teachers, special ed. teachers, regular ed. teachers, principals, and behavior teachers.

We still take it day by day, but overall we have more good days over bad. I am also thankful for Jacob! He has grown into such a fine young man. I am also thankful for my honey, who supports me and helps me be a better mom.

I hope everyone has a great day today!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

It's Cold!

It sure is cold here in the Dallas area, and across most of North Texas! We are expecting freezing rain some time after midnight tonight and may be stuck at home all day tomorrow. The boys and I are out for the whole week of Thanksgiving, so we don't have to worry about playing the "is school closed" game tomorrow morning. Jacob has to go to work at 6:00 pm and I'll be watching the weather all night until he gets home! He has to work to 11:45 pm, but he said that if the weather gets bad the managers said they will send people home early.

We have heard this weather was coming for a few days, so we got groceries yesterday. We don't have too much planned for this week. I am supposed to do some mystery shops tomorrow, but will cancel or get an extension if needed. Jacob is having his Senior pictures taken on Tuesday, so we shall see how that goes, but the studio is very close. I don't see the ice sticking around too long!

We have Netflix to occupy us if we get bored and I am watching the Cowboy game now!

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and y'all be safe!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Grammar Graphics!

I very rarely write about work, but I wanted to write today about a workshop I attended. It was about Grammar Graphics! This is a short explanation from their website:

Grammar Graphics is a sequential language program which bridges the gap between identifying the parts of speech and writing. It was developed to make language fun and skills easy to remember. Learners are verbally, visually, and physically engaged in a non-threatening, active language experience.
I have to say, it was one of the best workshops that I had been to in a LONG time! It was a very intensive workshop, but the two presenters were awesome. They kept the discussion moving, and I was eager to learn! I have been using some aspects of Grammar Graphics with my students, but I learned so much more today. I may even start using it with Elijah! I think it would really help him with his writing. Of course, he will see it as work, but I think I can make it fun! That is what is really neat about this, it can be FUN. Believe me, I am not into diagramming sentences, but this is so much more than that. The workshop explained so much about the program and how to implement it. I have a week off work, and I wish I could get back sooner to try some of this out. I will spend some of the next week preparing to go back to work to implement this program!

Here is a link to their website: Grammar Graphics

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Growing Up is Hard to Do!

Jacob has learned two important lessons this week! First, he decided to transfer money from his savings to his checking account one too many times and was charged a $6 fee. I caught it when I was double checking his accounts. He was not too happy that he had to "pay" to use his own money. I went up to the bank and they gave him his money back and we set up his account, so he can have more transfers. I didn't tell him that though! I am trying to instill in him that a savings account is for savings!

Jacob was then at work last night, and when he went to come home, his car wouldn't start. I got a call from him around 10:45 to tell me that it wouldn't start. I went to pick him up and we decided to handle it this morning. It looked like the battery was the problem, but we weren't sure. Thankfully, the parking lot where the car was is very close to an auto shop. We went here first and the mechanic and Jacob walked over to the car. The mechanic took a jump starter kit with them. The car started and they drove it back over. It was the battery! I paid to get it replaced and he will pay me back half.

I am glad these things happened while he was home and not away at college. He is learning how to take responsibility and grow up.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Good News!

A few months ago, I wrote about buying Elijah's rechargeable CI Freedom batteries and how the insurance company did not cover them. I did call and ask for it to be reviewed, and TODAY I got a phone call that I they are going to reimburse me 80% of the cost! I AM SO EXCITED. Finally, something that has gone my way. Of course, the money will go straight to the credit card to pay off what is left of the batteries, but I am so glad that it worked out. It was worth the phone call back in August. I really didn't expect to get the money back!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Tourette Support Group--Perot Museum

Elijah and I went with our Tourette Support Group to the Perot Museum today in Dallas. I have been hearing great things about this museum and it was definitely worth the trip. Here are some pics from the visit! Elijah had a great time! We were there for 2 hours.
Elijah and the moon!

taken from the upper floor

Checking out some gems!

it sure is big

checking it out.

having fun!

driving the robot

what a big dinosaur?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Twelve Socks!

I never know what I will find when I walk into Jacob or Elijah's room. It can range from plates, utensils, and sometimes even food being left in their rooms. Thankfully, this has decreased quite a bit, but I still never know what will turn up.

About a week ago, Elijah snuck into Jacob's room when no one was home and went through Jacob's things. He left A LOT of evidence behind that he had been in his big brother's room. In fact, he knocked over a whole shelf of books and even the shelf on this small book case. Jacob wanted Elijah to clean it up and I agreed, however Jacob kept forgetting to remind me to have Elijah do it. Jacob bossing Elijah around is NOT a good idea....they usually argue.

Well, yesterday I was in Jacob's room and saw this mess of books on the floor and said, "let's get Elijah in here to clean this up." Jacob has a big bed and a big dresser, so I started moving a few things out of the way so Elijah could get in the corner to get the books up. In the process of doing this I found a few socks. I started digging around the base of the bed and found a few more socks between the bed and wall. I look at Jacob and say, "what is up with THESE SOCKS?" He replies with, "MOM just leave it alone." Well, of course, I keep looking and when it is all said and done there are TWELVE socks....this is SIX PAIRS of SOCKS!

I asked Jacob why these socks don't seem to make it to the clothes hamper that is IN HIS ROOM. His reply is, "I forget to put them in there." I reminded him that when he removes the socks if he would DROP them in the hamper instead of ON THE BED or ON THE FLOOR he wouldn't FORGET! I told him that if I find any clothes on his floor or between the bed and wall, I will take his laptop up earlier in the evening. I then had the same discussion with Elijah, because he just drops his clothes right on the floor and he has a hamper in his room too. Is this just a GUY thing or do they ever learn?