Friday, December 8, 2017

Coping

Today I thought about coping. I finally found a good song to cry to. I have been needing a good long cry lately. I went this entire year crying very little and having much to cry about. Sometimes it feels like I must be strong to make it through the tough times. And sometimes I think that ends up being holding it all in while I put up a strong front. It has been a rough year, I gave myself time to cry once during the whole heart surgery for Kevin thing. I didn't cry over the flood, didn't give myself time to mourn my Grandpa, just held it all in. Didn't express the stress from Kevin having such a long stretch of unemployment this year, just let it all build up. Developed new coping methods. Found blessings in the trials, and developed permanent new nervous habits. Almost ceaselessly bouncing my legs and I chew on my fingers until they bleed. I keep myself distracted with games and other things to keep from thinking about everything because thinking about it all causes me to feel overwhelmed.

I realized that I have not had a good solid weird friend since Grayslake, so basically 2010. And I haven't had a good friend that I can completely let my guards down with since Utah. At least not outside my family. And this year I learned a hard lesson there too. I realized that sometimes I overshare things and because of stupid decisions on my part with sharing info on my Grandpa on Facebook now my family hardly trusts me with stuff. Or if they do they give me the disclaimer of, now don't put this on facebook. As if I really needed to be told that.

Though I really do look for the blessings, I have no one to vent to. I have no one to release my worries and fears to. And so it builds, and I just need to release, I just need to let things go sometimes. Tonight I have wept, and it is good. Tonight I have let things out for the first time in a long time. Here's hoping that next year isn't quite so full of trials. Here's to hoping for some stability. In the meantime the tears fall and I let my worries fall with them.

2017

Each year around this time my Father in law like each of his children to give a synopsis of their family's year. So I have been thinking over our year and what our synopsis would be.
January: Open heart triple bypass surgery for Kevin during which he died once, and had his heart stopped for the surgery.
February: Recovery/Basement flooded almost 2 feet
March: Recovery and the beginning of job hunting for Kevin
May: Kevin starts new contract job
July: After over 18 years of battling with terminal cancer my Grandfather passed away
August: Kevin's contract ends
September: David begins to have violent tantrums at school
November: Kevin starts a new contract job
December: Starting the process to get ABA therapy for David
Overall it has been a year full of trials, and yet one of my ways of getting through trials is to look for the blessings.
January: Once again Kevin cheated death. The doctors told us that if he had waited one more month he would probably have died of a heart attack. We saw so many miracles happen in that hospital. And I still have my best friend and husband to spend each day with.
February/March: Kevin recovered quickly enough to be able to start looking for work. Though our basement flooded we saw an outpouring of love and support from people. We had so many people help us clean up the ruined things.
May: We were so blessed that Kevin found a good job for over the summer.
July: Though it was sad to lose my Grandpa it is good to know that he is now at peace and no longer in pain.
August: We got to have Kevin at home for a bit while he looked for a new job
September: We were able to explore new ways of working with David to see if they would help, many of those ways making it easier to talk with David
November: Though the new contract is only three months long it is already causing Kevin to stretch and grow. When he is done with this contract it will give his resume a huge boost.
December: We are hopeful that ABA therapy will help David develop the skills he needs to be able to self-regulate his own emotions.
Overall it has been a year of so many blessings and miracles. It really is wonderful to see God's hand in our lives and to see how he really does bless us individually. He knows each of us and is willing to bless us if we turn to him. I am so thankful for all the blessings I have received this year.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Phillippians 4:13)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Continuing the story

So after the diagnosis of both kids, we took their diagnosis to school for their IEP meetings. If you are unfamiliar with IEP meetings you meet with the teacher and the team that works with your child and come up with a personalized plan for your child. The goal is to set goals for your child that will help them to progress and also identify what services (therapies) your child might need. The great thing about their school is that they were already doing everything that was prescribed for the school to do in the diagnosis.

Since then David moved from preschool to kindergarten and is now in 1st-grade. Kindergarten was pretty good for David. He had his specials (art, gym, music) with his kindergarten class, then had reading with a reading group that was at his reading level. Math he had with a 1st-grade class. This year he has done the same thing just moved things up, so math is with a 2nd-grade class. We are trying to see if he can be taught more science stuff since he likes science so much.

The one thing we are having issues with is that David has been having meltdowns at school. Lately, the meltdowns have been turning violent. Both his teacher and Kevin and I have been trying to figure out what to do about it. We have talked extensively with David about his behavior, we have tried consequences, we have done sticker charts, etc. Recently I went to an informational meeting through Easter Seals on ABA therapy, what it is and what it does for those who receive it.

ABA therapy works with people (children and adults) who have social behaviors that need to be worked on. For David this would mean we could get a therapy for him that would help him work through his meltdowns and develop skills that would allow him to avoid having meltdowns. The only problem is that we would need insurance that would cover the therapy.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Updates and hopefully starting again

I decided that I wanted to start writing again. Mostly because I need to start journaling again. So I figure I will play a little catch up since the last time I wrote. My last post was in 2015, since then a lot has happened. When Evangeline aged out of her therapists they suggested that we get her tested for an official diagnosis. We took her to the Advocate Illinois Masonic Pediatric Developmental Center in Chicago, during the first testing they told us that they were looking at ruling out autism but wanted to test her again in a year to see what they thought. During that year David received an educational diagnosis of autism and I decided it might be a good idea to see about getting him an official diagnosis too. So I called the Advocate Illinois Masonic Pediatric Developmental Center and made an appointment for him at the same time that Evangeline's appointment was as well. The testing took an entire day and was about a 6-hour long process. Both children were tested on different things, I had a lot of paperwork to fill out. Then they looked at the test results and had us come back after a week or so. When they went over the paperwork with us they told us that both children had autism. Both are high functioning. but David has some sensory avoidance issues and Evangeline has sensory seeking issues. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Planets

So yesterday Nana made Davy a diagram of the solar system, except he wanted all the little planets she had cut out. So he brought home from Nana's house an envelope of tiny little planets which he played with until he lost some of them. Then he had an epic tantrum. Finally we got him to go to bed for the night, but he decided to take his planets with him. Can you see where this is going to go? That is right, a night full of him losing his planets in bed and then crying because Jupiter is lost!!! So I finally printed out some large versions of the planets, laminated them and sent them to bed with him. When Jupiter is the size of a dinner plate it is difficult to lose it anymore.

While he was playing with them I started asking Evangeline which planet was which, to see if she has picked up anything from David's obsession. Sure enough she know her planets too! Crazy smart kids.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Carrots

Today we went to the store and David asked for carrots, he held them all through the store and then wanted to hold them on the way home. When we got home he wanted to eat some of them, so we gave him carrots and Evangeline got some carrots too. Later tonight Evangeline went into the kitchen and got out a bunch of carrots and took one bite out of each. Just one bite.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Words and ABCs

Recently we have been working with Evangeline with therapists, she has a developmental therapist and a speech therapist (who we haven't met with yet) and a physical therapist. Anyway her developmental therapist had us start making a list of words that she says and this has got me really listening to her to see what words she actually knows.

While I have found that she knows a lot more words than I thought she does I also discovered that she is saying phrases as well. Things like, "There it is!" "Where'd it go?" "Its a..." and more. I also found the other day that she knows most of her letters. I was putting away some puzzles and found a letter puzzle and thought, "Hey why not see what she knows." Turns out she knows all her letters except for maybe two or three. Crazy! She also knows some of her numbers and some of her shapes. I guess David is a good influence.

As far as David goes he has started to do basic math, such as basic addition. Smart kids!!