Sunday, March 30, 2014

Stop the Pain!

Today I spent the day in urgent care with my little man. He developed a skin infection from a possible skin virus (still waiting for the final diagnosis.) It was an awful event, I had to hold him down while the doctor stuck a large needle into his infected wound 3 times, then watched her slice the wound open. My son screamed so intensely that his lips cracked and bled. At one point he begged for it to be over, only to hear the doctor say that she was only halfway through.

Sometimes life feels this way. We face so many painful events, begging to have the pain end, only to learn that we are only halfway through.

Life has been rough on us lately. Not because of our boys, in fact they’ve been really great. But life is kicking our a$$ and I’m screaming for the pain to end.

Please pray for us.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Field Trip and Public Meltdowns

This week I attended a school field trip with my youngest to a local science fair. It was a great trip until the end when it was time to leave. As you can imagine, my son went into a crying fit, yelling, “This is the worst day ever!”

Surrounded by his third grade peers, I was able to observe their reactions as they watched him from a far, it was obvious that they didn’t understand why my son was so upset. A few tried to console him, asking why he was crying, but my son barked back, “Get Away From Me!”

I tried numerous times to calm him down. I explained that he was making a big scene and that he may feel embarrassed later. But I don’t know how much he understood that.

He was upset about the usual things, unmet expectations, sensory overload, and the transition of going home. But what caught my attention this time was the impact his behavior was going to have on him socially.

In just a few years, he’ll be in middle school. How will he handle it then? Will he still have these outbursts? Will he be teased, or worse, without friends?

It’s tough. There are things I want to protect him from, but some things are completely out of my control. I can’t change him. I can’t make other kids accept him as he is.

But I can love him.

And that’s just what I did.

I held him close on the bus ride home and let him cry on my knee and reminded him that tomorrow will be a better day.

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This week I saw this very informative video presented by a young man who has Aspergers. He’s part of a team called the Asperger Experts. My child doesn’t have this diagnosis, but I couldn’t help but see my son in everything he talked about. In the video he presents an intelligent perspective of why parents should not teach their kids social skills. If you have a child with sensory issues who is struggling socially, this is a MUST SEE video.

Aspergers’ Sensory Funnel: Watch this video to learn why teaching someone with Aspergers social skills should be one of the LAST things you do, and exactly what to do instead to cause rapid growth in someone with AS.

Link to video:

Then I came across the second video shown below and it was brilliant! You HAVE to watch this!!! It explains the critical mistake parents make with their kids who have sensory issues.

The Critical Mistake that Parents Make:
(If you are viewing this through your email, you’ll need to visit my blog online to view the following video:

Monday, March 17, 2014

Little Man In Trouble

Last week my youngest came home from school with a sad face.

He grumbled, “I got in trouble today.”

When I asked what happened, he said, “I was reading to the second grade class (a younger class he has read to in the past), when two of my classmates came in and told me I had to go back to my classroom.”

“When I got back to my classroom my teacher told me I was in trouble for leaving.”

Sensing a detail missing, I asked him “Did you ask your teacher if you could leave the class to read to the second grade class?”

My youngest adamantly protested, “No! I already got permission from the second grade teacher last week. She told me that I could come back anytime to read to her class.”

And that’s exactly what he did!

Unfortunately, it was without his teacher’s approval and during his own class time.

I can’t help but find the whole situation amusing…

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Feeling Anxious

It’s been a while since my last post. Life is getting very busy and free time is rare these days. In a way it’s been nice, as my kids do better, I can focus on new things, like my home business. Lately its been growing and I enjoy getting back into the work I love. But balancing it all is still something I need to work on. I imagine that moms never get this figured out. (If you do, please send instructions ASAP!)

My oldest is doing really great, just a few spats here and there. He still hasn’t raged since we threatened to take his mattress away if he did. Instead, he’s loving the spring weather, everyday after school he goes to a nearby field to build huts and have adventures in the wild. He seems to come back renewed and glowing. Yesterday when he didn’t respond to the walk-e-talkie check I did, I had to go find him. There he was lying in a bed of spring flowers by a pond—asleep! Yes, he was resting and drifted off to sleep. It’s like his soul finds complete peace in the outdoors. I love that about him.

My youngest on the other hand is drifting towards anxiety. His OCD seems to be increasing a little and he seems stressed most of the time. I’m starting to see his breakdowns over changes in schedule and lately he cries a lot about wanting things to be “perfect”. It seems to torment him endlessly. Just the other night he was up well past his bed time stressed about a school costume he was wearing the next day. It didn’t match the storybook character perfectly and he couldn’t let that go. 

Right now we’re reminding him to breathe through his stress. He also takes baths after school to help himself relax. In addition we’re trying to decrease his electronic time, I admit it’s hard with this little guy since he doesn’t find joy in many other things. But we’re working on that too. His middle brother has jumped in to help by getting him outside to throw balls or skateboard. 

I think our next step is getting him back into therapy. We’re considering a new therapist for him. Not because we dislike our current one, but I think we need to look for someone who specializes in kids like him. Not sure what to call it, but someone who can help a child who has Aspergers traits and a heavy dose of anxiety who needs social training skills along with one-on-one therapy. I’m learning that this can be hard to do without the Autism Spectrum diagnosis. Our first attempt failed so I’m back to the drawing board. What’s disappointing is that our pediatrician said that we may need to seek out more assessments just to get the label we need to give him access to the therapy he needs. Of course all out of pocket! This is why labels matter. Having a child that doesn’t fit a label is very challenging. Without it they are denied the care they need.

Sigh... sometimes I feel like I can’t take another battle. 

I am exhausted and burned out.

Am I allowed to say that?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Podcast and News for Parents Like You!

I’ve got some share-worthy links for you today. First is a podcast that you can listen to by clicking on the link below. It’s about diagnosing bipolar disorder in children and adolescents from Dr. Kenneth Towbin who is the Chief of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Throughout the 27 minute podcast he answers tough questions many of you may have. It’s worth your time!

You’ll hear his perspective on how a lot of kids who have severe mood dysregulation may look bipolar as a child, but grow up to have anxiety or depression and not bipolar disorder as an adult. He digs deeper into the differences of bipolar disorder and disruptive mood dysregulation disorder and how irritability can be part of many types of disorders. He also shares how rages alone don’t indicate bipolar disorder and clarifies how to evaluate responses to medications. He then offers up alternatives to medication for the treatment of mood disorders.

Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents

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Next, CNN did a story this past month about Gianni Cristini, a young child struggling with mental illness and sucidal thinking since he was 4 years old. This story comes with an insightful video showing the heartbreaking experience, one you may relate to.

Suicidal at 4: Young and mentally ill
By Kyung Lah, CNN
updated 3:06 PM EST, Tue February 11, 2014

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Wishing you all a good week ahead. Hang in there… take it one day at a time, or even one moment at a time. Praying for you all this week.