Good from Bad (part 2)

I’m wanting to put this down here so that I can just walk away from it over the next 2 weeks.  

It’s not that anything HORRIBLE happened but it seems to me that it’s a lack of knowledge…..or, it could be that everyone was tired and emotional.  But my responsibilities lie with the little one in my charge and I have the honor of standing up for him until he can stand for himself.  

My biggest issue with what happened yesterday is the misunderstanding of what was really going on.

I believe children want to do their best and if for some reason they are acting in a way that doesn’t fit the situation……we, as adults, should be asking ourselves “what’s going on under the surface?”

Children want to please, they want to succeed and so often their “negative” or “inappropriate” behaviours are a result of their insecurities and anxieties over a situation that they can’t figure out, control or succeed at.

If our first response was not one of frustration or assumed disrespect, I believe that so many tense situations with our kids could be dissipated before the kids got stuck in fight or flight mode.

Siah was sad and overwhelmed and running away from those feelings and emotions.  The harder people tried to force him to face those feelings, on his own…..the harder he dug his heels in.  The moment that I joined him, in his feelings, and helped him to carry and process those feelings is the very moment that his defences started to come down.  

This is not something that is solely applicable to Siah….this works for every child.  

  • Believe that children want to succeed.
  • Believe that children want to please.
  • Know that something else is going on, if they are acting contrary to those two beliefs.
  • Attempt to determine the cause of the anxiety or anger
  • Empathize with the child ( you don’t have to fix the situation, validate their feelings and check in with the child to make sure they feel understood and that you have the correct read on the situation)

I have found that this works almost 100% of the time to dissolve anger and anxiety.  

It’s almost impossible to work through anything or to teach a child when they are in fight/flight mode.  And anxiety in children often presents as anger.

Anger is usually a secondary emotion to fear or sadness and usually presents when a child is feeling out of control.  

Empathy and empowerment are two of the most critical tools when working with children, in my opinion.

As adults, it’s our responsibility to work with the children and to adjust to their needs and deficits while continuing to teach and encourage in those areas of deficit.

They are the vulnerable and needy. We need to put their needs first. 

I believe that there may have been a personal desire to be in the assembly which may have prompted personal feelings of anxiety for missing a special event.  But…..if the focus had been on why Siah was struggling and not on “just getting him back to the assembly”….the entire situation could have gone down very differently.  

Think of a tug of war over a canyon….with the child on one side and an adult on the other….the canyon is the event or idea that is causing the anxiety…..the harder the adult pulls the child,  the harder the child will pull back trying to remain in a place of safety.  They will quickly lose all ability to reason and rationalize as they struggle to find a place of safety.  If the rope is laid down and the adult crosses over to the child,  they can stand together on the edge of the cliff and talk about the issue without the fear of being pulled into it. Once the adult lays the rope down, there is nothing for the child to be struggling against.  They may be SO terrified that they don’t realize the rope has been laid down and it may take a moment to help calm them enough to see that……but it’s SO MUCH easier to do that beside them, then across the canyon. 

Siah did go in and sing “What a Wonderful World” and I’m so glad he did.  He sat with me at the back of the assembly and enjoyed the videos and the music.  At one point, he leaned over to me and said, “Something good always comes from something bad…..the good thing in this bad situation is that I’ll get to meet a new principal, right mom?”

In the middle of his stress and anxiety and internal chaos……he’s still looking for the silver linings.  I love that.  

Our children will struggle – that’s a given – and some more than others, but it’s our job to stand beside them and to help guide them through, until they are strong enough and confident enough to do it on their own.  It’s a privilege and honor to be able to be there for them, especially the more vulnerable ones.  

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this…..not necessarily Siah’s particular situation but this idea…..this idea that children inherently want to please and that we can help or hinder the situation with our actions and reactions.  Is this a foreign concept to you? 

I’d challenge you to try it then next time you come up against a child who seems defiant…..it will blow your mind!

Good from Bad

I’m SO ready for this break.  Not that it’s really a break…..what with kids home from school and then this little thing called Christmas.  But this fall has been a busy one and it’s not been easy.  I’m ready to jus step off the crazy train for a moment and just BE with my family.

Today was a tough day for Siah.  Any day that’s off schedule and out of the norm is tough, but this last week of school before winter break has been one filled with assemblies and parties and treats and crafts and singing…..

While that sounds fun, for Josiah, it’s overwhelming.  To make it even worse, his Principal is retiring and today was her last day. He LOVES her and in a lot of ways, she has been his lifeline at the school.  While teachers, friends and classrooms changed, she was always there…..caring for, championing and encouraging him.


He’s mentioned a few things that have made me wonder how much anxiety he was carrying over her retiring, but I think he’s internalized a lot more than he’s let on.  

I’ve brought it up a number of times, to remind him and to allow for opportunity to process.  He understands from a conscious level but I think that he’s been struggling to process the feelings and emotions.

There was an incident at school today and I don’t have all the facts, but I heard another student looking for “Siah’s mom” and when I left the assembly to see why I was needed.  I was informed that they were just going to try and call me because Siah was very upset.  

I found him in the stairwell, clutching the Lego creation that he associates with his Principal and acting quite belligerent.  

I was almost 100% certain that his actions were entirel because he was overwhelmed with feeling and emotion and unable to process those feelings without help. 

He was refusing to go back to the assembly and quite upset that people were “forcing him” to go back.  The part in all this that’s so tough for me, is that this is a little boy who doesn’t quite understand or speak the same social/emotional language that the rest of us Neurotyoical People do.  He looks like he should and some times, he knows enough to fake it…..but really, he’s lost and has no clue.  So here he is and he’s run headfirst into an extreme emotional scenario (a retirement assembly) but add into that, that he feels devastated that she’s leaving and terrified of what the new year/new principal will bring. 

Now demand that that child, who doesn’t understand the language, his feelings or the situation……demand that he face his fear  and do it NOw, in the language that he doesn’t understand.   

He says that someone told him they were really disappointed with him.  That is brutal for a parent to hear.  I don’t know that’s exactly what someone said or if it was inferred.  What I do know is that what Siah received and he felt shamed because of it. 

When I found him in the stairwell, he was so on edge and definitely in fight/flight mode.  He was refusing to go back to the assembly and I knew that there was a bigger issue.  He’s been walking around our house singing “what a wonderful world” for the past 2 weeks….and commenting about how it’s the principals favourite song and that they were going to sing it for her. 

I tried to see if he would come with me but no dice.  Then I asked him if he was sad and feeling upset because the principal was leaving.  At that point, tears started to run down his cheeks.  I asked if I could give him a hug and he put aside the Lego and allowed me to comfort him while the tears fell.  I tried to convince him to come back to the assembly but he was scared and refused.  I told him we could sit in the office but when we got there, it was locked.  So I suggested we sit in the hallway.  He agreed to that.  I pulled him into my lap and talked to him a bit more about how this moment would never come again and that he would be so sad if he couldn’t sing the special song.  We heard them start the song and he agreed to come inside the gym, while holding my hand, if I stood with him.

So we sang with the rest of the students.  I let him keep the Lego creation.  The main issues in my mind were calming him down, haveing him be apart of this very special celebration and recognizing & understanding his emotions while acknowledging that it was ok to feel sad and overwhelmed.  

He told me that he was told he couldn’t have the Lego as fidget and while I understand that it’s neither discrete nor small……it’s definitely tied into today’s bigger issues. 

I may come back and post some more about this more tomorrow but for tonight, I’m going to head to sleep because I’m falling asleep on my phone.

Any thoughts?  Questions? Comments???

D-Day

If there was ever a night to allow myself an “out” this would be it.

But as I sit in my bed, listening to some trance music that Jon has playing while he codes, working on a project for a contract that he’s taken “on the side”………I don’t want to give myself the “out”.

It almost seems like that would be “too easy”….let me escape into some dumb show or waste more hours on my phone….which is what I did while waiting for Jeremy to finish counseling, which also happens to be when I locked myself out of the van. Would you like to hear that story? I sure hope you said yes…..

You see, we have two sets of keys for the van….my set which has the key fob attached and Jon’s set which only has a key. I ALWAYS hang my keys up on the key hook close to the front door….that way I ALWAYS know where they are. (The inference here – in case you didn’t catch it, is that keys get lost in our house, but not by me…) The only time I ever “lose my keys” , is when someone else uses them and doesn’t put them on the hook when they walk in the door.

So tonight when I went to take Jeremy to his counseling appointment…they were not on the hook, as it turns out, Geli had inadvertently taken them with her to my sister’s house when she left to go babysit. (She’s driven the van earlier in the day – totally helping me out, I might add.) Not the end of the world, cause I could just use Jon’s, right?

We drove to the appointment, got out of the van and I clicked the latch to auto-lock the doors. I paused briefly for a moment, feeling like something was weird or off; but shrugged it off and carried on. I dropped him off after connecting with his counselor and headed back out to the van….half way across the parking lot, I reached into my pocket for my key fob to unlock the doors and realized that I had Jon’s keys.

………………………….!!!!!!!!!

I panicked briefly, but quickly pulled it together and messaged Jon. While I waited for him to respond, I messaged Gelica. Fortunately, my sister’s house is not too far away from where the counselor is and Geli did in fact have my keys – which is what I had assumed – she dropped them off and YAY! I was no longer locked out, BUT….normally, I would drop a kid off and then go home for half an hour or so before coming back to do pick up…it would have been pointless to leave because I’d get home and then immediately have to turn around and come back.

So I sat in the van and wasted half an hour on my phone. So stupid…….

I’ve shared all of this lovely, ever so intriguing story because really, I’m not sure what to say about the fact that Josiah was officially diagnosed with Autism today.

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It’s not unexpected. We took him to get assessed for Autism because we really did suspect that he was on the Spectrum. Having said that, its one thing to “think” and another to “know”.

Nothing about him changes. Its exactly the same as when Jeremy was diagnosed. Jeremy is Jeremy and always has been. Josiah is Josiah and always has been. Getting the diagnosis gives us common terminology to be able to discuss his particular challenges and strengths with the professionals in his life…like his teachers, for example. It affords us the ability to communicate effectively and to put plans into place to help him succeed. It also allows for funding to help him work through and learn the skills that “normal kids” pick up without being taught.

So, I’m not upset. I’m not devastated. But, it is tough to hear that your child has a neurological deficit that affects his socializing skills and abilities. He will be given lots of extra opportunity to practice and learn skills that may not come naturally, and I have no doubt that he will be a successful young boy, young man and eventually grown man. But it’s still tough to hear that he struggles, that he will struggle and that this is something legitimate. To hear that our concerns are valid…….it’s tough.

I’m still processing and I’m hoping to be able to process through it all a little more, maybe I’ll even have a moment to process some more tomorrow.

#microblogmondays 9

(null) This picture has nothing to do with anything except I love this little boy.

***********

I am EXHAUSTED but do you know what I did today…….nothing physical.

Literally, I sat all day. I took Josiah out to the psych evaluation and then sat and visited a friend. I picked him up for lunch and sat through lunch and then I dropped him off and sat and waited for the second part of the eval to finish. Then we walked for 10 mins, while we waited for Jon to arrive and then we sat and discussed the last 7 years of Siah’s life.

I was already so done even while I was waiting for the second half to be finished and I think that I figured it out……the stress is absolutely brutally wearing.

I already knew that.

And before you tell me “just don’t stress”…….it’s not a conscious thing. If I could just stop. I would.

Today felt like 6 hours of insanely intense stress……..and now we wait to hear the results of the assessment and the scoring of the tests.

Hopefully we will, soon, have more answers and a better understanding of how to help this sweet boy of ours succeed.

Moving Forward The Morning After

So I posted last night…..

I was tired and emotional and probably if those two factors had not ganged up on me….I may have filtered myself a bit more or even just made less typos…..maybe….maybe not?!?

I don’t know that this morning brought any new clarity with it.

I woke up with a killer headache……….at 5:30am.

Yah, it’s been a long day already and it’s only noon-ish. Did not get back to sleep after that. BLERGH!!!!

On a side note….It’s gorgeous outside.

That is the view to my right….

and this is my view straight ahead…..

She’s not supposed to be on the couch….but I haven’t exactly kicked her off.

It’s the last day of school before the Christmas Break….and probably my last quiet (ish) day for the next two weeks.

So, I’m taking advantage of it. I’m sitting. The house is a mess, and I made Judah pancakes for lunch. He is currently trolling Netflix….I believe Ninjago is the show of choice at this exact moment.

I’m currently staring at my Christmas Tree trying to figure out what I’m thinking, but again with the 50 million thoughts going in 50 million directions.

I had a few people send me private messages of encouragement and those were so nice to hear.

I wonder if it’s about perspective.

I’m in the middle of it all. From my position, I look around me and I see children who are unique and amazing and challenging in their own fantastic ways. I see the screaming and the bickering and the squabbling and the challenges to get them to do their chores and take care of their responsibilities. I see their shortcomings and I want to work with them to strengthen those areas while at the same time encouraging them in their strengths. I see these amazing individuals with really great hearts even in spite of all the challenges that we’ve faced individually and as a family……. But it’s a constant effort to keep these 5 bodies moving in a forward direction.

We were so isolated over the “cancer years” and before then….doing almost anything with Jeremy required HERCULEAN effort and sometimes it was easier to just not do anything. Again…..very isolating.

It is hard when you’ve had it said to your face that people can’t be friends with you because your child is too difficult. Or to hear from others that you shouldn’t subject your children to people because they are too much effort to have around and be around.

Just typing both of those down….I realize how brutal those two comments are. I mean, I know how brutal they are….I’ve lived though both of those said directly to my face and more. But I can’t imagine saying those things to someone…..EVER!!! I love children. I especially love the challenging kids. The ones that make you think and keep you on your toes. The extremely smart kids that say the most incredible things but require a little more attention and focus……I love the regular kind of kids too, but somehow, the ones that people seem annoyed with or bothered by….the ones that talk and talk and talk and talk and never shut up……I LOVE those kids. I want to go out of my way to make sure that they feel special and included and NEVER EVER a bother or an inconvenience….

I get it. I know how much effort it is. I live it…..EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! Jeremy has not been the easiest child. He requires some effort. Well, he requires a lot amount of effort. So does Josiah in a different way and Judah….well, he’s a 3 year old. What 3 year old doesn’t require some attention and effort. My boys require effort……I know this. I guess, it would just feel really good to feel like others “want” to be with my kids. Do you know what I mean? I think that in spite of their particular challenges or maybe even as a result of them….that my kids……all 5 of them are pretty amazing. I’d love to feel like others felt that too and wanted to spend time with them….not cause they HAD to, but because they WANTED to.

So, to those who have said something…..THANK YOU. Really! I appreciate it more than you may ever know.

I’m not sharing this in the hopes that people will “do” something. I am just trying to unravel some of this mess inside myself. Part of that is dealing with the hurts and wounds that I have or have gotten.

I realize that I’ve been hurt and I definitely have some sore, open wounds when it comes to my kids and how they are perceived and received.

And this OBVIOUSLY colors how I hear people comment on my kids.

So the school wanting to help Siah….turns into….HE’S A PROBLEM…..which I can’t even fathom….cause he’s freaking sweet kid who can read and write and wants to please…….and then I go…WHAT….WHAT do I even do with that….

How could be he a problem…..which, when it comes down to it….that is not even the issue at all.

He is a great kid….who has some quirks and may require “some individualized strategies” to help him succeed and how do we (parents & school) as a collective team help him to achieve success?

So we met, and talked through some things and I think I have a better perspective. I think we are more on the same page than I “felt”.

Which is great.

Not that the whole things doesn’t still stress me out….but the Principal….she’s an amazing lady, encouraged me to trust them and to just “plug my nose and JUMP!”

I believe this school and these people are amazing people…..I believe they truly care about Josiah. I really do believe that they want the best for him. That they want him to succeed. And so…..I jump.

I’m scared.
I’m nervous.
I’m sure I’ll need reassurance again.

But…..

I want to trust.
I want to believe.
I want to be in “community.”

and so….

I carry on…

one step after the other…..hopefully in a forward direction. 🙂

Finding a lose thread

It feels like I have a million thoughts running through my brain. I just wish I could pick one of them, out of the jumble. I feel like if I could find the loose end of “one” thought……then maybe…..just maybe I could start to unravel this mess inside of myself.

But it seems like the harder I try to wrestle within myself…..the tighter the mess inside me gets and I’m left wondering if I should just stop fighting so hard to unravel it all or even if I should just let it all go?

The biggest thing weighing on me right now is Siah……always with a heavy weight of Jeremy……but today we had a meeting with Siah’s school.

It was a good meeting, as far as meetings go with the teachers, the resource teacher and the principal go.

I’m so…….so……….

I’m so conflicted about it all.

Siah is so different that Jeremy. I get that. I get that no two kids are the same. But I also know what we’ve been through as far as assessing Jeremy and getting him helps and I’m not sure how to even approach that with Siah.

On one hand, I feel like they are saying “THERE IS A PROBLEM.” And on the other hand, I hear that they see the potential within him and they want to know how they can best support him.

I actually do believe that this school and these people really do want to help my son succeed.

I find it so hard, when our experience with Jeremy and school has been SO negative. Dealing with Jeremy and “the school system” was soul crushing. I had people saying that he was a nice kid but then sending him out he the hall or the sick room cause they couldn’t “handle” him.

Throw the maternal guilt and a massive anxiety complex on top of it all……and you have a very messed up trying to function through the pain and rejection while trying to survive against ADHD and undiagnosed Autism.

I keep hearing snippets from today’s meeting playing through my brain and while I desperately want to believe the good about people and situations….I feel like I’ve got a war going on inside of me.

I want to fight for myself and my kids. I feel like I can’t trust people. I feel like people don’t know us and won’t see “us”. I feel like they won’t understand and see the “good”. I feel like I have to fight…….kicking and screaming for everything that we deserve.

I don’t want to live like that. I’m so tired. I’m so tired of living “on my own”. Of raising my kids, “on my own”. Of fighting for my and my children’s right to be accepted and loved as they are………and not only “if they conform to social norms……”

I’m tired.

Jon and I were talking the other day and while I feel like I’ve recovered some from the intensity of the cancer devastation……..we’re left wondering if we will always feel tired like this…..

I don’t know.

I want to hear that people love my kids and want to spend time with them. I don’t want to always hear about how my kids are a problem or how they fall short. I don’t want to hear that I should spank or discipline harsher. I don’t want to hear that I just need to do it “this way” or “that way”

I want to hear that my kids are treasures and that they are special. And not because they have “special needs”

I need to go…..to go to sleep. To hopefully let some of this settle. Maybe in the morning, maybe then I can find a loose end to start unraveling. But for now……for now I will sleep…….and cry……..I hate crying. I’m so tired of crying. It sucks…..leaves you puffy and with a headache…..I hate that.

Cannot wait for the Christmas break. It cannot come soon enough.

Changes can be Good

So many new changes…

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We moved into our new home just over a week ago. The home itself is lovely and bright but the actual move just about did us in.

We have moved so many times over the past 18 years but this move was by far the absolute hardest…..even taking our move from Abbotsford to Langley after 10 years of living there.

I’m not exactly sure what made this move so horrific, but I’m almost positive that our “reserves” to be able to handle stress were non-existent and that made things so SO tough.

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We have things settled down to where we can sort of function but we are not actually “settled”. My room is a disaster with unopened boxes still stacked about and we are still trying to figure out how to place our furniture. It’s tough when everything had a place and now the layout has changed and you are not sure how to “Tetris” everything in. There is quite a bit of puzzling and re-arranging to try to fit 7 people and all of their stuff into a new space.

Jeremy is finally starting back into his regular homeschool routine after 2 weeks of chaos. We started a little bit at the end of last week just to ease him into it and then we hit the ground running this morning. Our “office/homeschool” room is still a bit chaotic but it’s coming along slowly.

One of the bigger changes around here, as if moving wasn’t enough, is that Siah is going to the local Elementary School. He started the first Monday that we moved. He’s been so excited. We had a big meeting with the school before we moved and then another “intake meeting”. That one was kind of rough because you are talking about all the ways your child struggles and will need help. Having a child with learning differences is not easy but having already gone through the Infant mental Health Clinic at BC Children’s has totally given us a leg up to be able to get him the help he needs.

It’s exciting to see him SO excited to go to school and meet new friends. Today he is going to attend until noon. They’ve started him attending slowly and are working up. We’ve gone from 1 hour last Monday to half a day today.

I’m shocked at how much it feels like I have “all this free time”. It’s quite a lot of work teaching two kiddos while supervising a third and trying to care for the home too.

So not only are we adjusting to a new home but also a new schooling balance. I’m excited and exhausted. Looking forward to spending the summer out on my deck and in the backyard.

Just trying to get through today…….that’s how my world feels right now. Just focused on today…….sometimes that’s all I can handle.

But I feel like this is a new beginning and I’m pretty excited. I have no idea what the future holds but for the first time in a long time……I’m feeling that we are headed in an upward direction. I feel like I can breathe. I don’t feel like I’m drowning. I’m tired but feel like we’ve crossed over from barely treading water to being able to rest and rejuvenate. It’s such a welcome feeling after the past 3 years.

Tough days

It’s been a tough day today.

I showed up at music practice tonight sobbing and barely managed to scrape myself together enough to walk in only looking like I was half falling apart……bright puffy eyes and red nose.

Parenting special needs kids is not easy and some days are tougher than others. Today was a fairly normal day as far as days go but it was still tough.

The boys wake up moving at warp speed which means lots of fights, lots of meltdowns, lots of yelling and screaming and taunting, very little listening, very little “pause and think before you act” and just generally a whole lot of frustration. And that is all in between 7-8am. Fun! By that point I feel ready to strangle someone but I have hopefully already doled out the morning meds.

It takes about an hour to an hour & a half for the meds to kick in……so however it takes to get the meds into them……it’s still another hour or so until the effect starts to kick in. Cue a repeat of the previous very little/very a lot section of actions.

Around 9-9:30am, we start school and depending on the particular mood of the day, school could be finished in 2 hours or it could take all day. Today we were still working on homework at 3pm……which is an indication of how today went.

There is so much frustration from the boys because they want to be doing anything other than school and I feel like I’m constantly fighting each one of them over different things.

Sometimes, I feel strong enough to handle it and others (like recently), I don’t feel strong enough to handle it all.

I’ve been waffling back and forth about trying Siah in public school because it would be one less thing that I would have to do and fight with him over, spend hours and hours prepping and on the admin stuff. I might actually be able to clean my house or have/create/stick to a meal plan. Wouldn’t that be incredible?

But today he had a gymnastic class that just pushed me over the edge. He was made to sit out of the first half of the class for over 20 mins. Now, in his defence…..I believe the teacher forgot about him…..but I can’t even believe I typed that sentence up. I should not be defending a teacher for forgetting about my child or even for finding it easier to not have him in the class. The class is at 5pm. Meds have started to wear off by this point and unless you really love
him or have one on one time with him……by this post in the evening Siah can be a handful.

But it broke my heart to see him “cast aside” because he couldn’t behave. It was worse in that parents on either side of me were asking me what I was found to do about this as they found the treatment as unacceptable as I did.

I ended up talking to the teacher and surprise, surprise……I started crying. Yah! Just what some twenty something guy want a to deal with an emotional mother of a bratty kid. Yay me!

I can’t fathom sending him to school to have him treated like this. He spent over half the class in total sitting off to the side. The punishment was not effective. If you know ADHD, you will know that long, isolating punishments are rarely effective. And so what? What do I do? Continue to put him in a place that could be so good for him if he would learn? Or continue to put him in a situation where he is leaning to sit in “time outs”? Cause if they continue to put him off to the side….that’s what he will be learning, not how to act appropriately. Or do I pull him out of something that could be great for him.

Well, I managed to get myself together during music practise but driving home, I started to fall apart again.

It’s so tough. Parenting difficult children is so tough and today I feel like a failure. I feel very alone and very insecure. It’s a crappy place to be in. I’m really hoping that I wake up up and feel so much more positive in the morning. I’m REALLY hoping!

For Me, The Investement is Worth it

It’s Wednesday night and Angelica has Riding Therapy. Jon has been taking the two little boys with him when he takes Geli which gives me just over an hour to myself (sort of).

Geli’s been taking Therapeutic Horseback Riding Lessons since the summer. She LOVES it and it’s great exercise for her core and they are really working her quads which is one of the muscles that severely wasted away over the past 2 years.

First Day of School

First Day of School

I still have Jeremy and Xandra at home with me, but for this hour…..they fend for themselves.

I’ve been pounding out schoolwork for the two little boys on previous Wednesday’s, but I am taking the time tonight to type out an update on where the boys are doing with school.

Natures Stained Glass

Nature’s Stained Glass

Long story short……They are both doing INCREDIBLE.

We had an assessment today with their “teacher” who oversees me who is actually doing the “teaching”. It was not the most exciting meeting, but it validated the effort that I’m putting in which makes it worth it…..sort of.

This whole homeschooling thing that I’ve been doing. It’s a freaking full time job. Both boys definitely have multiple issues. Jeremy’s have been diagnosed (although I’m not sure of how accurate the diagnosis’ have been or if there should be another one.) Josiah’s have yet to be diagnosed, BUT he definitely has sensory issues and I’m pretty much 100% positive that he struggles with ADHD although a lesser form than Jeremy.

Teddy Bear Patterns

Teddy Bear Patterns

We have an appointment for Jeremy with the psychologist at the ADHD clinic at the Mental Health Unit at BC Children’s on Monday and I’ll be asking the psychologist what it will take to get Siah seen as a sibling.

L is for Leaves

L is for Leaves

Having said that….Josiah is LIGHT YEARS ahead of where Jeremy was at this point in his kindergarten career. Some of that can be attributed to not having as severe a case of ADHD as Jeremy but I also believe that being able to “cater” to his busy-ness and his particular learning style also contributes to it. I don’t believe that Siah is WAY smarter than Jeremy but that he has been given an advantage over Jeremy in many ways because of what Jeremy has gone through in previous school years. There are aspects of that, that make me sad, but there is nothing I can do about the past. I can only learn from it and move forward.

White Crown of Egypt

The White King of Egypt’s Crown

When I watch Siah sliding off his chair into a puddle on the floor as he chants his alphabet sounds, I am struck with a sobering thought and I wonder how much of the past month and a half of kindergarten he would have spent in the corner or on a time out chair or at the principals office. When he balks at using a pencil, preferring to use a pen because it “writes softer” (he has issues with the way the pencil “drags” on the paper)….I wonder how frustrated his teacher would have gotten with him for not wanting to write. It’s not that I fault the teacher, but there is no way that Siah would flourish and grow in the way that he’s been able to over the past month and a half.

Frustration

Moments of Frustration

We start our mornings around 9am and we are typically finished for the day at noon. If Jeremy is having a particularly rough day, he might still need to do a few things after lunch, but most days he is finished by lunch time as well. Lest you wonder, he’s ahead……WAY AHEAD of where he should be in his lessons for the year AND…..he’s done more in the past month and a half than he would have done in 4 months at school AND…..the best part….he ACTUALLY KNOWS WHAT HE’S BEEN STUDYING AND WORKING ON.

He’s learning and even better….he’s SO EXCITED TO LEARN!

Playground

He can DO IT!!

The teacher is talking about taking him off of the “special needs” educational track and putting him on a normal education track…..and honestly, last year when she first brought that up….I was terrified…this year it’s not so scarey because I am seeing how much he has improved and in so many ways.

Cuniform Tablets

Cuniform Tablets

He still needs help with the “social” aspect of life. There is so much that he doesn’t “get” and it is in that area that I wonder if there should be a different or additional diagnosis. Fortunately, he is still working with an AMAZING Behaviour Therapist. Elizabeth McWilliams Hewitt has been a most incredible blessing to our lives. There are things that she’s explained in ways that make sense to ALL OF US and tips that she has shared that have made HUGE differences in the way that Jeremy is able to “handle” life and in the way that we are able to deal with him and to help him deal with the differences in the his life and in the way that we can understand what he is going through. We are so thankful to have her as a part of Jeremy’s team.

Brothers

Brothers

We have had a full month and a half of school. We’ve crafted and created. We’ve printed and written. We’ve typed and painted. We’ve gone for nature walks. We’ve done PE. Jeremy is taking a Computers and Technology class at the TLA school. Siah is so close to reading. Judah LOVES to do exactly what Siah is doing and is so excited to be “coloring” as he calls it…..that’s all he thinks Siah is doing. Not learning, not dreading school, not getting in trouble for his wiggly bum….just coloring and cutting and gluing.

Grade 7

His TLA Avatar and apparently I need to take a better “grade 7” school picture.

Jeremy is getting crazy amazing marks and although I don’t care what his grades are, I LOVE seeing how proud he is of himself every time he scores another 100%.

It’s been a good year so far. It’s been a tough year. Teaching two boys with issues is tough. Teaching two boys with “ISSUES” that rub each other the wrong way….Siah needs to make noise and the noise flips Jeremy the crap right out…..on some days seems next to impossible and yet….it’s worth it.

Hand Shaking

Making Butter

I would love to have the boys in school. I’d love to be able to just enjoy Judah especially after the past couple of years we’ve been through. I’d love to have time to craft and sit and heck, sleep…..but, I’m choosing to look at this time as an investment. I’m investing into my boys and I can see the initial payoff…..I wonder how incredible the pay off will be as they continue to grow and mature.

Butter Seperated

Butter

I get the privilege of helping my boys to excel and succeed. Some days I wish I didn’t have to help so much or see it all so clearly and from such a close viewpoint, but I know this is worth it. In the very core of me, I know I’m doing the right thing for right now. I keep having to remind myself of that on VERY BAD DAYS (Yesterday was one!!!)

Ribs and Lungs

Ribs and Lungs

I have no idea how long we will continue to do this for. If you had asked me about homeschooling a few years ago, I’d have told you that you were insane….if fact, I think I said that to one of my friends…..for sure I thought it when my sister started homeschooling her girls and yet……right now, it’s what’s best for my boys.

Food Chain Chart

Science Project

My house is messier than I’d like. I have next to no free time. I have zero energy by the time the evening rolls around…….but……my boys are succeeding in ways that I couldn’t have even imagined 2 years ago….and that is so incredible to me.

Printing

Printing and a Tiger

These pictures that are throughout this post are just some of the pics that I’ve taken from our many crafts and adventures throughout the past one and a half months. It’s been a busy but fun filled time and I’m excited to see where these amazing boys will be at the end of the year….at the end of this school year. You can see the rest of the pics if you want to, right here!

DPA or otherwise known as “Keeping my Sanity”

The kids are supposed to have a period of Daily Physical Activity every day.

In our house….this is also known as my Sanity Time.

With three little boys all vying for my attention, things can get a bit crazy. Especially when it’s only just been half a week that we’ve been back at school. I am strongly trying to convince myself that it will get a whole lot better than it has been this week. Jeremy will remember and settle down into a schedule, rhythm, and routine and Josiah will better understand what is expected of him as a kindergartener and Judah, well, I’m trusting that he will soon realize that he doesn’t need to crawl inside myself in order to feel connected and “seen”.

Throw in a little “sensory overload” and well, there have been one too many meltdowns this last week. But, the ONE TIME that everyone seems to chill-the-heck-out is when we go far a walk and so, this year…..I’m thinking of insituting a strict DPA schedule and sticking to it, rain or shine….of course, it’s been gorgeous so far….ask me how it’s going when it’s nasty and wet!

There are so many opportunities to learn just in our every day lives…..yesterday while we were waiting for our dr office to open after lunch, we sat outside on the steps and found all the different shapes we could find…..circles on the top o the lamp posts. The Triangle at the top of the church which the cross was sitting on. The rectangle of the bricks…..I got Siah’s shapes lesson in for the day and he had no clue that he was “in school”…..I love that. No pressure….just fun!

Here are some of our pictures from our walk today……..

We started recess with a little cupcake snack….

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I figured this was as good a time as any for a little sugar rush.

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Nature’s Stained Glass

Nature's Stained Glass

Foraging…

Foraging

Judah’s upset cause he had to wait to eat the berries

Nature’s Monkey Bar’s and Climbing Apparatus

Nature's Monkey Bars

Imaginary Play

Imaginary Play

I wonder what he’s thinking in this picture…is he a wolf, a fox, Batman???

Wolf?  Fox?  Batman?

Vibrant Color

Vibrant

Judah enters the World of Make Believe

Lost in the world of Make Believe

The Art out here is crazy…..Nature’s Sculptures

Nature's Sculptures

I often wonder “Where His Path Will Lead”?

Where will his path lead?

What keeps you sane these days? Or centers you? Or helps you to de-stress?