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, May 27, 2015

Counting the Days

I am counting the days until Summer break. I have 5 1/2 more days with students and then 1 1/2 work days. It will be a busy summer. I am planning on doing some mystery shopping in June and my mom and I are taking Elijah to Alabama to visit the family. My grandmother turned 89 this month and I really want to see her. It has been two years since I have been back home. Jacob is down in Waco for his summer semester at TSTC. It is a full 15 week semester, not summer school which moves at a much faster rate and is only about four weeks. He has already texted me to tell me he needs some help with math when he comes home this weekend.

I got some good news this week! I received a $7,000 scholarship for graduate school. It will cover my summer class that I am taking that starts July 7th and my Fall semester classes. I am going to call Texas Tech and cancel my school loan! This will cover tuition, books, and any other supplies I need. I plan on quitting mystery shopping come July 1st and focus on school and the family. It will be hard to give it up, because I love the thrill of getting good shops and extra pay. Next Fall is my last semester in grad school and I will graduate in December. I will be completing my internship for my certification as an educational diagnostician, so it will be a tough semester, but I know I can focus on school now and still be able to focus on the boys, my honey and the rest of my family! It is really wonderful that this happened, and I feel blessed!

We really aren't doing much except for the trip to Alabama. I have one two day workshop in June and Jacob's girlfriend is going to watch Elijah for me. It is close enough that I will drive back and forth each day. I plan on taking a few days here and there to go to the movies, visit some museums and plan some other activities with Elijah. We are also planning on joining the rec center here in town. It is a good price and I like to go walking there. The library is right next door, so Elijah and I will go and walk and then go to the library. Once my class starts, it is a good place to work and let him hang out in the teen room. He also likes to check out books and read. I want to have him read to me this summer.  Hopefully, my honey will be able to join us on a few of these days when we go to a museum or go shopping!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Elijah's Tics are UP!

Elijah's tics seem to have increased in the last few days. Thankfully, he doesn't have many oral and/or motor tics, but when they appear, boy do they appear. I have heard a lot of "HMMMM" and "HMMM HMMMMMMM". It is hard to explain, but it can be constant and after a while the tic can grate on your nerves. Another vocal tic he is doing is a loud SIGH or GRUNT type of sound. Again, it is hard to explain. The other tic I noticed today was him licking his hands and then whipping his face with his hands. This is one of his older tics that I have not seen in a LONG time.  One time, he was riding on the bottom of a grocery cart and he actually licked his hands and ran them on the floor, then went to LICK them. Let's just say, I stopped him in time. The licking can be a CONSTANT TIC for him when it starts. He has also been a bit more argumentative this weekend, which usually happens when his tics increase. I am sure it is because the tics bother him more than he lets on.

I just never know when the tics will start or how long they will last. They just happen and then they are just gone or at least occur less often! If he weren't on his medication then I am sure the tics would happen more often and be more severe!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Update on Us!

We have had a busy few weeks. My honey and I took Elijah down to the weekend Tourette Syndrome camp back in April. He had a wonderful weekend and we had a great time shopping in Brenham. He is so much more social when he is there and seems to get along with everyone just fine. He can't wait to go back again next year. We both have four more weeks of school left and then it is SUMMER TIME!!

Jacob has been home for the last week, but goes back to school tomorrow. He and his girlfriend are going to PROM tonight! I can't wait to see them all dressed up! He starts his summer semester on Monday. It is a full 15 week semester and he should be graduating in May of next year!!

I finished my semester of grad school on May 3rd, but I had already turned everything in by April 10th. I got an A in both classes and will take one class this summer starting July 7th. It will be 13 weeks of a class crammed into about four weeks, but it is doable.  I then have two classes next Fall and will graduate in December.

Elijah will be a freshman next year and wants to join the ROTC. I am going to let him join and see how it goes. Both Jacob and my brother Alex were in ROTC and really liked it. I think it will be good for Elijah and hopefully teach him a lot about responsibility and how to get organized. We shall see!! Changing schools is always a huge transition for any kid, but really seems to be huge for Elijah.

We don't have any big plans for the summer. My mom, Elijah and I are going to travel to Alabama in June. I have a two day workshop in June also. My niece is going to stay with us a few days in June and that will be fun. Jacob will visit during the summer and we will all enjoy the time off.

I am truly counting down these last few weeks of school. I have enjoyed my year teaching at the elementary level, but am ready for the change that is coming next year. I will fill y'all in on that later! It isn't a huge change, but it is a change! The next few weeks will be hectic with a few field trips, a field day (I hope I survive that), and some high school students visiting us at the  elementary school. I am sure it will all move too fast and summer will be here before I know it, at least I hope that is what happens!!