Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Health Experience: Epilepsy and Seizures

Health Experience: Epilepsy and Seizures: " Epilepsy is a disorder that causes seizures. Seizures are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. There are many causes for se..."

Monday, August 30, 2010

Don't Say the F Word

The F word stands for Fly at our house. Cody (Blind) hates them! Whenever the little pests are anywhere near, he freaks. Cody feels the same way about Bee's, though with good reason. He's been stung by them three times!

One day, when my husband was shopping at Home Depot, he came across some mesh paint strainers. He thought they might make great "Bee Hats" for Cody so he brought a few home. They've been wonderful! Who knew? Now, whenever we are going to be outdoors for a long time, Cody puts the "Bee Hat" on.

At first I felt a little guilty and embarrassed for him to be in public with a paint strainer over his head, but I got over it. We might get a few weird looks, but that's okay. If Cody is content, everyone around him is content...as long as nobody says the F word :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Absolute Favorite Client

An employee at Cody's Day Program sent this note home along with a CD. I cried when I read it. It's what every parent loves to hear. We may never know how many hearts are touched by our special needs children.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Through My Children's Eyes

Here is another fun idea for a scrapbook page. Have your kids answer questions about you (individually). I did this with my children a couple of years ago. It was fun comparing their answers. As you read through these, remember that Cody is my son with special needs. Also, please don't hold anything they say against me.

Q         What is something mom always says to you?
A          Katelyn-“Be safe.”
            Casey- “Keep your nose clean.”
            Chase- “Knock it off.”
            Cody- “Time to rise and shine.”

Q         What makes mom happy?
A          Katelyn- “Milk Duds”
            Casey-  “Pills”
            Chase- “Coke”
            Cody- “Playing Yahtzee”

Q        What makes mom sad?
A         Katelyn- “Her sons”
           Casey- “”Sometimes me”
           Chase- “That she doesn’t have grandkids”
           Cody- “Grandpa and Terri’s funerals”

Q        How tall is mom?
A        Katelyn- “5’4””
          Casey- “5’6” if that?”
          Chase- “5’1””
          Cody- “2 feet”

Q      What is mom’s favorite thing to watch on T.V.?
A       Katelyn- “Survivor”
         Casey- “Survivor”
         Chase- “The Office”
         Cody- “Survivor”

Q      What does mom do when you’re not around?
A       Katelyn- “Look on the Internet for plumbing ideas”
         Casey- “How am I supposed to know?”
         Chase- “Hell if I know.”
         Cody- “Work”

Q      If mom was famous, what would it be for?
A      Katelyn- “Best mother in the whole world”
        Casey- “I don’t know dude”
        Chase- “Running over a skateboard”
        Cody- “Being cute”

Q     What is mom really good at?
A      Katelyn- “Cooking”
        Casey- “Cooking”
        Chase- “Worrying”
        Cody- “Sewing”

Q     What is mom not very good at?
A      Katelyn- “Spelling”
        Casey- “Texting”
        Chase- “Playing Nintendo”
        Cody- “Cleaning up”

Q     What is mom’s favorite food?
A      Katelyn- “Mexican and Chinese”
        Casey- “Applebee’s”
        Chase- “Chocolate Turtles”
        Cody- “Lasagna”

Q    What makes you proud of mom?
A     Katelyn- “I am just like her.”
       Casey- “Everything”
       Chase- “She drives a sexy car”
       Cody- “She’s cute”

Q     How are you and your mom the same?
A      Katelyn- “We both have nice butts.”
        Casey- “We’re both weirdo’s.”
        Chase- “Bi-polar”
        Cody- “We both like ‘80’s music.”

Q      How are you and your mom different?
A       Katelyn- “I’m not sure.”
         Casey- “She has kids”
         Chase- “She gives me money when I need it”
         Cody- “I go bowling”

Q     Where is mom’s favorite place to go?
A      Katelyn- "Disneyland" 
        Casey- “Disneyland”
        Chase- “Las Vegas”
        Cody- “Mesquite”

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dealing with Difficult People

Most of us have at one time or another had the opportunity to face what we might call a difficult person. This could be our child, a neighbor, a bill collector or a school teacher. Many times these altercations can cause us to lose sleep, say things we don't mean or ruin relationships.

The following suggestions were given at a school workshop. When facing a confrontational person take a deep breath and let these thoughts run through your mind:

1) Tell yourself that the most important person in the world right now is the person in front of you.

2) Realize that the person with the most emotion owns the problem.

3) Listen, listen, listen.

4) Acknowledge their frustration, concern, anger, fear, etc.

5) Bite your tongue and resist the urge to defend your position.

6) Ask them for possible solutions and what they might need from you.

7) Thank them for calling, coming in, or caring.

Be humble and willing to do your part to resolve the issue. You will feel much better about yourself, and your blood pressure will be normal. It's all about good health!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Doctors and Moms: The Best Team

Recently my husband and I took our son to a Neurosurgeon that we had never seen before. Although I don't remember our exact conversation, I do remember the doctor looking at me and saying, "You know Cody best." I knew right then that we had found a great surgeon.

Generally speaking, it is best to leave the medicine to the doctors, but you are your child's best advocate, sometimes their only advocate, and there may be a time when you need to step in. Mothers know the habits and behavior of their children best. If something doesn't feel right, they should listen to their intuition and be persistent.

Many parents can easily get caught up in the idea that "the doctor knows best". I am guilty of this as well. It is through trial and error that I have learned to be assertive regarding the health of my children. I appreciate medical professionals; they have saved my children's lives on numerous occasions. However, it is refreshing when a mother's opinion is appreciated.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Which TV Mom Are You?

Several years ago, my son Chase told me I was a cross between Jill Taylor (Home Improvement) and Rosanne Conner (Rosanne). At that time, I didn't know if I should feel upset or happy about his comment. I chose the latter. Their characters were strong and funny. I would have been upset if he had said I acted like Debra (Everybody Loves Raymond)! Even though I enjoyed watching that program, I thought her character was a hag; always complaining to or about her husband.

Television moms have definitely evolved over the years. When I was a young girl, I wanted to be part of the most unrealistic family out there...the Bradys (The Brady Bunch); six siblings, a housekeeper, dog, dad and Florence Henderson for a mom. Who wouldn't want that?!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Conquering Fears

When my daughter was really young, she had a nightmare about a kangaroo nipping at her neck. From then on, she was terrified of them. Later, as a teen, she was nominated to be a student ambassador to Australia. For several weeks her group met and prepared for the nineteen day trip. My daughter wasn't concerned about being far away from home, or being with people that she barely knew, or the fourteen hour flight. The only thing she worried about was having to encounter a kangaroo. That is what makes the picture below so special. My daughter was able to conquer her fear and actually feed a kangaroo. In fact, she fed several of them!

Monday, August 16, 2010

CHARGE Syndrome

My son Cody was born with CHARGE Syndrome. Most people have never heard about this syndrome, so I have posted the following information from http://www.chargesyndrome.org/

CHARGE syndrome is a recognizable (genetic) pattern of birth defects which occurs in about one in every 9-10,000 births worldwide. It is an extremely complex syndrome, involving extensive medical and physical difficulties that differ from child to child. The vast majority of the time, there is no history of CHARGE syndrome or any other similar conditions in the family. Babies with CHARGE syndrome are often born with life-threatening birth defects, including complex heart defects and breathing problems. They spend many months in the hospital and undergo many surgeries and other treatments. Swallowing and breathing problems make life difficult even when they come home. Most have hearing loss, vision loss, and balance problems which delay their development and communication. All are likely to require medical and educational intervention for many years. Despite these seemingly insurmountable obstacles, children with CHARGE syndrome often far surpass their medical, physical, educational, and social expectations.One of the hidden features of CHARGE syndrome is the determination and strong character these children display.

History of the Name "CHARGE"

The name "CHARGE" was a clever way (in 1981) to refer to a newly recognized cluster of features seen in a number of children. Over the years, it has become clear that CHARGE is indeed a syndrome and at least one gene causing CHARGE syndrome has been discovered. The letters in CHARGE stand for-

Coloboma of the eye,
Heart defects,
Atresia of the choanae,
Retardation of growth and/or development,
Genital and/or urinary abnormalities, and
Ear abnormalities and deafness.

No one feature is required to make a diagnosis of CHARGE. Every feature varies from severe to absent in different children.

If you would like more information or to donate, please go to http://www.chargesyndrome.org/

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Paradox of Time

Food for thought...

Are you treating the present moment as a means to an end (never fully here because you are always trying to get elsewhere), an obstacle to overcome (you see life as a problem to be solved before you can be happy), or an enemy (you hate what you are doing, complain about your surroundings, blame, accuse, etc.)?

In Echart Tolle's book, A New Earth Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, he says the following:

"Life is always in the now. Your entire life unfolds in this constant Now. Even past or future moments only exist when you remember or anticipate them, and you do so by thinking about them in the only moment there is: this one."

"There is a paradox here. On one hand, how can we deny the reality of time? You need it to go from here to there, to prepare a meal, build a house, read a book. You need time to grow up, to learn new things. Whatever you do seems to take time. Everything is subject to it, yet it all happens in the Now. That is the paradox."

Tolle's words have made me realize that I have been treating the Now as a means to an end; always thinking ahead. I am going to work on appreciating the present moment.

What are your thoughts on Time?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Autistic Children: My Child is Autistic

Autistic Children: My Child is Autistic: "Discovering your child has autism may be a distressing ordeal, and unfortunately, time is of the essence. As a parent, you do not have the t..."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Due Process Hearings

Parents of children in special education are often overwhelmed for multiple reasons. We hope to rely on 'professionals' for help and honest information. However, my husband and I have found that often this is not the case.

One particular year, we met with our son's 'team' to plan his I.E.P. (Individualized Education Plan) and we could not come to an agreement on his placement. After rigorous testing and exhausting all options, my husband and I knew we had no choice but to go through a Due Process Hearing. Due Process is much like a court case with an attorney representing the school district and an attorney representing the child with disabilities/parents.

What our school district did not disclose to us is if parents prevail at the hearing, the district  must reimburse them. Reimbursements cover parent's attorney fees, independent educational evaluations and costs for other services and evaluations.

Some time later, my husband and I received this information, confronted the district, and were reimbursed. Along with the above information, I want my readers to understand that Due Process Hearings should be a last resort. The hearings can be complex and costly. However, if you find yourself in this situation, it is wise to choose an attorney that has experience with special education litigation.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

What is a Shunt?

A shunt is a small tube that may be inserted in different parts of the body in order to drain fluids. It is mostly used to take fluid off of the brain (Hydrocephalus).

When a shunt is first put in place, it is the dream of the neurosurgeon and patient that the shunt will last forever. Unfortunately, shunts do not last forever and it is unrealistic to think they will. Shunts are susceptible to failures and malfunctions, just like any other mechanical device.

If a shunt fails to operate correctly, becomes infected, or obstructed, the patients life and cognitive faculties are at risk. Often times the shunts must be revised under emergency conditions.

Symptoms should be taken seriously, especially if you notice two or more at the same time. Neurological status can deteriorate slowly (over a few months) or quite rapidly ( few hours or days). Therefore, when symptoms of a possible problem with a shunt begin to show, it is imperative that you seek medical attention immediately.

The following are a few (not all) of the symptoms of shunt malfunction and/or infection:

Difficulty Breathing

Any of the above symptoms, especially in combination with a high fever, could indicate the possibility that something is wrong.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Top 10 Things That Gross Me Out

1) People who blow their nose while dining in a restaurant. (Yuck! Get up, go to the bathroom and do it in private.)
2) Spitting
3)Costco customers who push their carts and eat free samples without washing their hands
4) Double dipping
5) People who drink straight from the milk carton and put it back in the refrigerator
6) Public Restrooms (Period!)
7) People who put their hands into the popcorn bowl without washing them first
8) People that make smacking sounds while they eat
9) People that cough and sneeze into their hands (Come on! Even the kindergarten kids learn to cough into their elbow.)
10) Pastrami (It just smells so bad!)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Funny Expressions

Yesterday my husband told our son he was "Full of Piss and Vinegar". I asked him "What does that mean? I have been married to you for twenty-eight years and I've never heard you say that!" He told me "I don't know. It's a southern thing."

Then I started thinking about some of the funny expressions that I've heard my parents and grandparents use. Here are a few...

Doohicky- anything you can't put a name on

Knee High to a Grasshopper- describes someone who is short

You're Cruisin' for a Bruisin'- you're going to get in trouble

I Have a Bone to Pick with You- you disagree and want to discuss it

Mind your P's and Q's- Be good

Yessirreebob- Yes! For sure!

Oh Horse Feathers!- I don't believe it.

Fork Over- Give me some

School of Hard Knocks- learn the hard way

Quit Horsing Around- quit goofing off

I think it's interesting how some expressions change over time. I remember the first time my son heard me say "Soused". He thought I made it up until he heard an older gentleman say it.

What goes around comes around. I'm sure children of the younger generation will laugh at their parents when they say things like...

I'm Down with That- I'm okay with it

PHAT (fat)- Pretty Hot And Tempting

Tight- very close, as in Best friends are tight.

Word Up?- "What's going on?"

Sick- meaning cool or neat

Can you think of some funny expressions that you'd like to share?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Enabling Behavior

Enabling behavior is something we do because of love. It's only natural to want to help our loved ones; however, when it comes to some things, helping is like throwing fuel on a fire.

To enable is to make things possible. It is supplying the means, knowledge, or opportunity to be or do something.

In it's true form, enabling behavior is a positive thing. It is human instinct to reach out and help someone we love when they are down or having problems. However, when we apply it to behavior and things such as addiction, financial trouble due to poor choices, and codependency, enabling behaviors have the reverse effect of what is intended.

Some examples are-

Repeatedly bailing them out of jail, financial problems, or other "problems" they get themselves into

Giving them "one more chance" - ...over and over again

Ignoring the problem - because they get defensive when you bring it up or you hope that it will magically go away

Joining them in the behavior when you know it's a problem for them - drinking, gambling, etc

Joining them in blaming others for their feelings and/or problems

Accepting their excuses and rationalizations - "I'm destroying myself with alcohol because I'm depressed."

Keeping the peace; believing a lack of conflict will help

Doing for them what they should do for themselves

Softening or removing the consequences of their behavior

Repeatedly coming to the "Rescue"

If you think that you may be an enabler, you may find the following link insightful:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...