Family

What is Dyspraxia?

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What is Dyspraxia?  I must admit, when I heard of this disorder I didn’t have a clue to what it meant.  When my son was diagnosed with it I started to research the meanings.  It was eye opening.  “Oh, so that’s why he does that” was always on my lips.  In this post find out the basics about Dyspraxia, and how to cope.

Dyspraxia is a neurological condition that can effect communication, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and organization.  In the area of communication, dyspraxia  can hinder understanding of non-verbal cues, volume control on your speaking voice, and the ability to get to know people in a group. For gross motor skills, the ability to play sports, hop and skip, or keep your balance. Organization can be hindered by an inability to be neat, plan ahead, and recall directions. Finally, fine motor skills can be cutting with a scissors, using utensils, and writing.

Dyspraxia was first listed in the US Diagnostic Manuel in 2013.  So it’s diagnosis is brand spanking new!  You may notice that many of the symptoms are also found in other diagnosis.  If you suspect Dyspraxia or another kind of neurological or psychological disorder please get your child to a licensed Psychiatrist for testing.

It can often be referred to as “clumsy child syndrome.”  My son was always tripping over his feet and falling.  Sometimes I wonder if he did it on purpose.  I guess not!  Often they cannot sit normally in a chair, can’t tell left and right, an can’t tie shoes.  It is often genetic and can effect 2-10% of the population.

I believe that the longer and more studying that is done on many of these new disorders, the more defined and quickly they will be diagnosed.  Often Autism is considered when dyspraxia  is found.  Please make sure to get diagnostic testing done.  It really helps and can force the school district to address some of your child’s needs.

I personally see a lot of myself in this diagnosis. If this had been around when I was young, I think there is a definite possibility that I would have been diagnosed as this as well.  Has anyone in your life been diagnosed with Dyspraxia?

 

 

 

Clothing

10 Fashion Terms to know.

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It’s time for the monthly installment of ten fashion terms to know. Some of them are obscure, others common knowledge.  The fashion/clothing industry never disappoints and is always evolving.  Thus, making sure I will have endless words to define for you.

Basket Handbag- Originally a term used for a bag woven from reed to resemble a basket. Now may be made from a variety of materials but still resemble a basket.

Canteen Handbag- A bag in a circle shape that has a zipper and shoulder strap. Made to resemble a canteen used to carry water in desert climates.

Carpet Bag- A bag made of a patterned heavy fabric such as carpeting or tapestry in a large style.

Change Purse-A small bag that closes by a snap clasp on a rigid frame.  Usually carried inside of a handbag to hold coins.  Also called a coin purse.

Envelope Bag- A long narrow handbag made in the shape of a letter envelope.  Often it has no handles.

Feed Bag- A bag made of a cylindrical shape of leather or canvas materials.  Made to resemble a horse feed bag.  It copies the round flat bottom and top handles.

Knapsack-A bag made of heavy fabric, square shaped, with webbing that forms a handle. Originally used in hiking and now used for a school bag.

Manbag- Handbag, usually a shoulder bag style, carried by men.

Newsbag- A tote bag with a seperate section on the outside to slip in a magazine or newspaper.

Saddle bags- Two soft leather bags joined to a central strap.  Originally made to throw over a horse to carry provisions.

I hope you enjoyed the handbag themed fashion terms!

 

 

 

 

 

Journaling

10 Journal Prompts for December

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Tis the season of being busy.  I went out this am to get some minor items and ended up leaving the store before purchasing.  The line at the checkout was too long!  Since Christmas is a time of a lot of running, I am keeping the prompts short and sweet this month.  Enjoy!

  1. What was your favorite Christmas gift you received as a child?  Why?  If you do not celebrate Christmas, choose another holiday or occasion you celebrate.
  2. What is your ideal Christmas meal?  Is it like the one you actually eat?
  3. What is your favorite Christmas ornament?
  4. Do you still send cards for the holidays?  Why or why not.
  5. Are there family members you wish you did not have to associate with on the holidays?  Why or why not.
  6. What is your favorite Christmas candy?
  7. How do you like your hot chocolate or apple cider?
  8. If you could just walk out on your life tomorrow, where would you go?
  9. What is one major thing you want to accomplish next year.
  10. Who do you follow on the internet that no one knows about.  Why do you follow them?
Family

Chores for kids ages 11-16

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Chores and age appropriateness.  It’s always a difficult struggle.  What can you kid do?  What should your kid do?  Why are his friends doing X,Y, Z and not your child?  Everyone is at a different spot.  Here are some ideas for chores you can start your child on between the ages of 11 and 16.

1. Do the laundry.  They can wash, sort, dry and fold.  Make sure to cover towels and bedding too.

2. Shop for groceries.  Making a list, checkout, take home and put away.

3.Iron clothing.

4. Do yard work. Can they start using the lawn mower? Hedge trimmer?

5. How about cooking?  Can they make one meal a week?

6. This is also a great time to start side jobs like babysitting and snow shoveling.

What other chores do you have for your older kids?

Family

UPDATE

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Oh boy, it’s time for an update. So much has gone on since September, the last time I updated you.  Honestly, the last two months have been so physically and mentally draining that I don’t want to recap them. I am drained. All I have the energy to do is listen to podcasts.  Even then, I find myself falling asleep sitting up. I the energetic equivalent of a garden slug.  Although, I’m pretty sure the garden slug has more pep.

I keep hoping for progress. My son has had difficulty since school started.  We had to reschedule and restructure his day multiple times.  He has been routinely having panic attacks.  It got to the point where he could only go to three classes.  I was also called a lot due to him having panic attacks and needing me. Sometimes the call would go to voice mail and all I could hear was my son’s incoherent stuttering on the other end. I would often come to sit with him in the office.

Once the school physically walked him to class and sat with him.  Then they refused to let him call me.  I wrote a very strongly worded letter that they could not do that again.  I’ve got a kid suffering from horrible anxiety and was hospitalized for suicide attempts.  Not the kid you want to upset and embarrass in front of his peers.  I had trouble getting him to go back.  I told him I made sure that it would never happen again. I do not think the school was very happy with me after that.  There was definitely a cool reception for me after that.

I understand that they had the best intentions for him at heart.  However, many people do not understand anxiety disorders.  There is a lack of understanding and empathy for those with mental health issues in general.  My kid is normal.  He just has this issue.

I kept taking my son to school, sometimes staying hours there myself.

The school kept pushing me to enroll him in another school and another program.  I felt we couldn’t give into the anxiety and would just have to work within the school parameters.  Then we got a letter from the Dean of students saying he had to meet with us because our son had missed too many days of school and is a truancy problem. He said we needed a plan for my son.  Um, that’s what I thought we had going with the school.  I kept thinking why doesn’t this guy know?  Don’t they all communicate?

My understanding was that the school and my son’s therapist were working together.  So I made the appointment.  We get together with the dean and some other members of staff.  So the Dean has us fill out this paperwork for the county. So we begin to answer all his questions and he fills out the form. We went through everything that has happened in the last year and what we have done.

Halfway through filling out the form he stopped writing as he ran out of room on the form.  He was very surprised at how much we had done.   In fact, we have done everything.  There could be no more recommendations. The “plan” was the same one we had before.  To slowly get E to integrate into each classroom. Like to keep adding five minutes each day until he can stay for the whole period.  Unfortunately, this was not working.

Several weeks pass and I get a notice for another meeting.  This time with more staff, most of the people I have dealt with before.  E has not been improving.  So they try to force my hand.  They wanted him to go to school at the other junior high and be involved with this special program.  He would be in a room with kids who have high functioning autism.  He would have two classes there and then be in regular classes for the rest of the day.

If he can’t go to regular classes at his old school with teachers he knows, how is he going to attend regular classes at a new school?  I know the stress would push him over.  Homeschooling is not an option.  He can’t stay at home for the rest of his life.  Making his circle smaller only increases the anxiety.  So I felt we were at a stand still.  My husband thought we should try it.

He often agrees with whatever the person running it says.  He doesn’t deal with the schools and doctors like I do.  I get so angry at him for this.  I have dealt with anxiety and depression my whole life.  It runs in my family.  I know what I am talking about.  These are administrators and teachers, not mental health professionals.  So what to do?

Then it dawns on me.  I will let him go to the new school if he gets to stay in that special room for every class.  They will only integrate him if he is comfortable. That way he is with the same teacher and same aides.  It will help alleviate his stress.  They have two weeks to see if this works.  If he gets worse, he is going back to his own school.  If he is the same or better he can stay.  He will still have a new case manager and social worker.  At least he knows the school nurse as she is our neighbor.  It’s hard to leave everything you know.  Even if you don’t go to it all.  So far nothing has improved but it has not gotten worse either.

I have had to pick him up a few times due to the anxiety making him unable to do anything.

In reading the paperwork done by the dean of students I noticed that it said that if no changes were made the matter would be referred to the district attorney.  Huh?  They told me this was just a formality.  So I called our family attorney.  She said she knew what it was, but there was nothing to worry about.  She said they do that if there are families where the parents won’t or can’t help their kids. Since we have been doing everything and can prove it, the county will do nothing.  That was a relief.

Also, at this time, I took my son to his therapist. The therapist up to this point has been trying to get E to work on his anxiety and being supportive.  This time she decided to play bad cop.  She really lit into my son and had him distraught.  She told him that we (his parents) were going to get into trouble and he would be taken away.  Then she told him she wouldn’t see him again until he could go to four classes.  This didn’t work and he was so upset he thought he was going to be put up for adoption.  Don’t know where that came from. I spent the next few days telling him he wouldn’t be taken from us.  He clung to me so tightly.  This changed nothing.  Now, I am trying to find a new therapist b/c he won’t go back to the old one.

I spent a week trying to get him into a new therapist in town.  I called 4 times and sent one email.  No response.  So now I have a phone call into a new place.  I hope the will call me back.  I really feel that he needs some counseling. I have also started calling a second therapy group as a back up.  They are not taking new clients and have an extensive wait list.  So they gave me the name of another therapist to try.

We have increased some of his meds.  He still has his psychiatrist. E has however lost weight.  So the psychiatrist is worried.  E won’t eat any breakfast or lunch because of his anxiety.  Add to that his sensory issues and he barely eats anything. He definitely does not have a balanced diet.  We try to supplement things with nutritional shakes and supplements.  It’s the best we can do.

Our son’s grandmother came to visit for about a week.  I spent that week, both morning and evening, sleeping.  I was so exhausted I couldn’t get enough rest.  I think since I can trust grandma to handle things my body was trying to catch up and rest.

I want desperately to have a different life.  I just feel so buried with everything I don’t know what to do.  I have ideas of directions to go, but time?

I’ll update you again shortly.

 

Journaling

What Things Make You Feel Peaceful?

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What makes you want to melt?  What calms your psyche?  Instead of only doing a 10 Journal Prompt post, I thought I’ve give you a list to make instead.  What makes you feel peaceful?

For me, there are several things that relax me and make me feel peaceful.  They include:  a massage, music, candles, a nice bed, England (just all of it), wind and rainstorms, crackling fire, the smell of a bakery, watching fluffy snow fall, hot coco, clean sheets, and a hot bath.

What would you put on your list?  Let me know in the comments.

 

Self

10 Quick Ideas for Self Care

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With the holidays around the corner, the stress is starting to mount. So I’m giving a quick list of ten self care coping skills you can use to help make it through the next month.  Here we go!

  1. Try a new makeup technique or color at home.
  2. Pet your pet.
  3. Put a puzzle together (over several days, a little at a time)
  4. Go for a walk around the block.
  5. Give yourself a quick facial.
  6. Color a quick picture.
  7. Phone a friend.
  8. Feed the ducks, squirrels and birds.
  9. Watch a black and white film.
  10. Make yourself hot chocolate or a milkshake.

Easy stuff huh?  Enjoy.