Saturday, September 23, 2006

What the Dr said...

*copied from elsewhere on the internet cuz I just don't wanna type it again*

Have I mentioned I love my Dr? He's great. He didn't understand any more than I did why the teacher changed her position on the ADD testing thing. I forgot to bring her letter with me so he didn't get to see it (I'm holding onto it in case I need it in the future). But he agrees that ADD testing would be a good idea, based on Jaben's history. We've been to him before about things with Jaben and he knows this is an ongoing problem. He did ask about things going on at home, but aside from the everyday things everyone deals with, things are on a pretty even keel at home, so that's not it. I understand his asking this tho - the last time we saw him about issues was when I was pg with Kyan and yes, things were changing at home and stressed and I thought that was to blame. I know better now.

He told me I needed to talk to the Mental Health clinic in our town because he believes they do thorough ADD testing and see what the procedures are and let them know we're considering having my son evaluated. I've got the first evaluation sheets for his 3 teachers and myself to fill out. I need to get ahold of his homeroom teacher and let her know this is going forward whether she thinks it's necessary or not. Both Dr C and I have known Jaben for 10 yrs - I think we know him way better than she does. Once everyone gets their evaluations filled out, they need to get sent back to the Dr. He put his fax number on all of them so the teachers have a choice of faxing them back, mailing them, or sending them home in a sealed envelope with Jaben so I can send them. Doesn't matter to me what they do as long as they do it. Once he's got the evaluations and can go over them, he'll talk to us again. We have another appt in a month and at that time we'll determine what to do.

Today he has an order in at the hospital for a blood draw to check Jaben's thyroid. He doesn't think that's it, but agrees with me that, based on family history, it's a good idea to check it anyway. I've got problems, my mom's got it now too, and I've found out my great-grandmother had problems, so it wouldn't be unusual for Jaben to have a thyroid problem. Like I said, he doesn't think that's it, but better to be safe.

Okay, now this is the part where he scared me. If, once he sees the evaluations, he decides that ADD is unlikely, or we do testing and that's not what's going on, we need to do other types of tests. Specifically, brain-wave testing. Based on what I said, there's a possibility, albeit small, that he's got some sort of seizure disorder. This had NEVER crossed my mind and honestly I wish he hadn't mentioned it. But, with the types of things Jaben is experiencing he could be having petit-mal seizures. The way he explained it to me was, say he's sitting in class and the teacher begins explaining something, like an assignment. He hears, "tonight you need to take home your math book and ---------- Okay, everyone got that?"

If he's having these small seizures, it would explain why he's missing bits of things, and that would definitely affect his memory and recall, concentration, etc. I never would've thought of that. I was talking to my friend later while I was working on her computer; I told her about this and said, "The thing that gets me is, I've seen this. He stares like he's not quite there but if you repeat his name or wave your hand in front of his face he comes back. I never thought it could be something like that." Well, she got this "look" on her face and it hit me - she's seen it too. She's known him since birth too. So I asked her and she nodded and said she's seen it herself but wow, never, ever would've thought seizure. I wish he hadn't put this in my head, because even tho it's "worst case scenario" it's still there and I keep thinking of things that could point to it. I hate that feeling.

So that's where things stand with Jabe right now. We'll get the thyroid testing done today and send the evaluations to the teachers on Monday. Then in a month we'll see what the Dr thinks. Until then, we wait.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Haven't you people ever heard of closing the goddamn door?!

And no, the title has nothing to do with anything. I just like it.

Anyway, just when I think the school system is going to work in our favor, they let me down again.

They’ve changed their minds and refused to test Jabe for ADD. I’ve been told by a few people (teachers, 1 special ed) that this is illegal.

Huuuuuge sigh here…

I don’t really want to fight the school system. I don’t want to get into all of that. I just want my boy to get what he needs to have a good time with school, to not feel “less than” the other kids again. It really makes me wonder what in the world his school records say that the teacher would decide not to test him because of them. Especially if it’s illegal for her to do this?

So, we go to the doctor on Friday and talk to him about it. See what he thinks. One way or another I feel like I need to get something done. I did take some initiative and have begun a “behavior chart.” Basically it’s a calendar (I’ve only got September done so far and we’re past halfway in this month!) with spaces to mark behavior problems or triumphs. At different intervals I will be putting special rewards – yes I will be rewarding this child if he does well! This month, since there’s so little left, has only got a reward on the 29th. If we have little to no problems before then, he’ll get a small reward – rent a video game, out to dinner alone with mom, out to see a movie, etc – something relatively inexpensive. After that, there’ll be different levels of reward for more time with no issues. Yeah I know, but do you have a better idea?

Me either. So we’ll see how this goes. Heck, last night he volunteered to do the dinner dishes for me! That’s a definite first and earned him a +1 on the chart. Whatever works.

And as if I didn’t have enough to think about, Kyan’s got a cold. Nasty runny nose, croupy sounding cough, slightly elevated temp on Monday (didn’t go over 101.5) and he’s just not feelin’ good. Poor baby!! I tried giving him infant’s cold medicine but he spits about half of it out, so it really doesn’t seem to do much good. There’s just not a lot you can do for a cold…. He’s just gotta suffer thru it. Poor little guy. It’s just really pathetic hearing that hoarse little cry and knowing there isn’t a damn thing you can do to fix it.

Hopefully this weekend will bring better news on all fronts. Stay tuned!

Friday, September 15, 2006

And now the bad news....

I've got an admission to make. I haven't been completely honest about my incredible 10-yr old. There are problems, and not easily solved problems either.

Ever since 1st grade, Jaben has had trouble in school. Not necessarily the work, but listening, following directions, focusing, paying attention. It's been a pretty constant battle, with the exception of 4th grade and I still believe with my whole heart that went so well because the teacher was amazing. In my naivete, I thought we'd gotten things right and he'd be fine now.

Ohhhh how wrong I was.

I got the first phone call from the teacher on the 6th day of school. That same day I got a note from another teacher in the team. And things have been in a constant downward spiral from there. This week alone he has lost a recess and today he served his first detention. I was beginning to think I was raising a juvenile delinquent.

So I decided to put the internets to good use... for something other than messing around and I began looking for solutions, options, ANYthing that would help my son. That's when I came across this:

* Pays little attention to details; makes careless mistakes;
* Has short attention span;
* Does not listen when spoken to directly;
* Does not follow instructions; fails to finish tasks;
* Has difficulty organizing tasks;
* Avoids tasks that require sustained mental effort;
* Loses things;
* Is easily distracted;
* Is forgetful in daily activities.

WOW! A checklist that describes my son!! COOL!

Oh wait... that's the Primarily Inattentive ADD checklist.


Now just so you know, I never once imagined Jaben as having ADD. Never would've even thought about it. But I can't look at this and think he doesn't. The scary thing is, it makes me feel a little bit relieved. I mean, if this is what's wrong, then we can work with this, we can get him the help he needs (I'm pretty much against meds for children so we'd go the behavioral modification/therapist route first and foremost), we can get him classified special needs at school so that he can get the help he needs!!

Oh God what if it's NOT Inattentive ADD?

I'm covering all my bases on this one. Today I saw the teacher - she read the list and listened while I explained his history since first grade (including a visit to the school therapist I was NOT informed about until after the fact, in second grade). And she agrees with me that ADD is definitely something we should explore. So -- she's going to begin filing the paperwork to have him tested thru the school.

The reason I say I'm covering all my bases is that I also made an appt with his doctor for next Friday. I want him to have a full physical, I want his thyroid checked, blood sugar levels, pee test (he'll love that) because I want to be SURE there isn't something physical going on that has his chemicals out of whack and makes all this difficult. Since I have to have the school do the ADD test to get him classified, I'm going to inform the Dr of what's going on and that I want him involved if at all possible. I trust him, he's with me on the "no unnecessary meds for kids" thing, he's known Jaben since the day he was born, and he cares about his well-being. Who wouldn't want someone like that on their side??

I just want to do what I can to make my baby's life easier. It wasn't easy calling the teacher to get an appointment to discuss this, it was even harder talking to her, it's not going to be easy talking to the Dr about it next week... it's like admitting there's something wrong with your child but he's beautiful and smart and perfect... so that can't be right.

But there is... there is something going on with my son that I can't fix.

I hate like hell to admit that.

But I'm going to do everything within my power to make it right for him. When you look in his big brown eyes you can see that he's frustrated too, he wants answers too... and dammit, I'm going to get them for him.

No matter what, I am going to get some answers for him.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

fouw… fie…. sis…

I had it in mind to write an amusing post about the return of the skinny jean (I mean really?? Are they serious?? WHO looks good in those? Please, ladies, let’s do ourselves a favor and not buy them – never wear things simply because the Fashion Gods say you should! There are very few things that make your ass, hips, and thighs look bigger than skinny jeans! Yes you end up with petite, pretty ankles, but at the expense (expanse??) of what? Looking like you have a gigantic ass?? Please. Ladies. Just say no to skinny jeans. ‘Nuff said.) but then I decided I had something more exciting to say.


Okay maybe genius is too strong of a word. But here’s what happened… we were counting last night…

Me: One… two… three…

Him: fouw… fie…. sis…


Yup, it went just like that. I did get him to say “seven, eight, nine” once too, but then he gave me that “Mother… I am not a performing monkey, here for your enjoyment” look, so I stopped. I DO have a witness tho. He counted for Jaben this morning – and Jaben freaked too! Okay, the kid will be 20 mos on the 22nd… only 20 mos….

That counts for baby genious-ness, right? If not, I don’t wanna know.

(but seriously -- don't buy the skinny jeans)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Wow what a week!

Okay so to continue...

Jaben is still in football. Barely. He had a BAD week at school (I mean really, who gets a phone call from one teacher AND a note from another on the SIXTH day of school???)so he's been on serious notice. He was hardcore grounded this weekend, which means no bike, no friends, no tv, no computer, no video games - in his room cleaning, cleaning around the house (hehe, I made him do the bathroom!!) and generally being my whipping boy. So I wasn't all that sure, adding on what was going on in school, that he could handle football and everything else. I figured if he didn't get to play today then we were done.

So of course he played today.

A lot.

So yay!!

Of course Coach Jackass was with the other half of the 5th grade team (playing a different team on a different field in a different city) and wasn't directly controlling who went in, and there were fewer boys because of the split, but dammit -he played. And he had fun.

Good. But boo.

Have I mentioned that I hate football?

For now, I've decided to let it ride. He's got a clean slate starting tomorrow (Monday) with both school and sports. I've been communicating with both teachers and we've got something worked out -- he's gotta do his part, but at least this way I can keep tabs on him, somewhat, while he's out of direct reach of me. If he works hard at everything, he's fine. If not, it's gonna suck to be him.

Also, we got a new fridge this weekend! Yay for cold milk and things that freeze and actually stay frozen! It's huge, we got a great deal on it, and I love it. Is being excited about a new appliance a sign that you're a grownup?


But oh it's so nice!!

Also, we had our first play practice this week for A Christmas Carol. I'm even more excited about this one because I get to be in it! It's going to be a LOT of fun! More on that another day...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Football sucks.

It’s no big secret I don’t like my son playing football. Or maybe it is, maybe I’ve done a much better job of hiding my feelings than I thought. Possible but I doubt it.

But right now, how I was feeling before no longer matters. Football positively sucks and I can’t wait until this stupid season ends. If it were possible, he’d be done now. Yes, now.

The reason is very simple. He did not get to play in the game on Sunday. Yep, that’s it, he didn’t get to play. Okay that’s not the full reason, that just started it. I realize that in kids’ sports some kids get to play more than others. I realize that the less athletic kids are the ones who spend more time on the bench or sidelines. I get that and I am fully aware that my son is one of those kids. Got it, but he wants to play so let’s move on.

The coaches (who I would love to name but will not) of this league (that I would love to name but will not) have told the kids from day 1 of conditioning that the point right now is to play and have fun. They have stressed that this is a learning league and that they will teach them everything they need to know. GREAT!! Especially for my son. This is something he NEEDS, in order to learn the game and maybe have more of that fun they were talkin’ about.

But apparently it’s not working out quite the way they said… at least for the 5 or 6 boys who stood on the sidelines hoping, waiting for their turn on the field this past Sunday. And my problem with this is that I don’t know how to handle it. He’s not a baby, he’s not even a very young child. But he’s not a teenager or an adult either. Do I say something? Do I do something? Or do I just seethe quietly and let him be left out? What the hell do I do???

Monday was Labor Day and the boys and I were at Walmart picking up a few things we needed when we ran into another football mom. She’s kind a joiner mom and her son, I believe, plays for the 6th grade team. She stopped us and asked how the game was on Sunday, and asked how Jaben did. When we told her what happened, she was in shock. She said that, knowing Coach Namewithheld, she couldn’t imagine he knew there were kids who didn’t get on the field and that I should call him so he knew. Maybe that would keep it from happening again. At least, she said, that’s what she’d do.

To be honest, I did want to approach the coach because I really did think it was a simple mistake. So when we got home, got settled, and it was quiet, I called him.

The guy is a jerk.

First of all, he was incredibly rude on the phone. I think I had a legitimate concern and… Well, have you ever had the “pleasure” of talking to a man who looks down on women and talks to them as if he has better things to do? Yeah, like that. Very. Unpleasant. Conversation. But the gist of it was this: he purposely left 5 or 6 boys out of the game because he didn’t want to lose. No, he did not admit that outright. He talked in circles quite enough to get to that. At first it was that he thought the other team was tough (they were smaller than the boys from last week) and he didn’t want these boys to get hurt. Then it was that it was a tight game and he needed to use the starters. Then it was that these boys don’t work hard enough in practice and don’t deserve to play in tough games. Are you following?

Yeah, he kept them out because he was afraid to lose.

And this man is supposed to be a role model for boys.

Worse, he lied to me outright. He said that after the game he grabbed all the boys who didn’t play, told them he was sorry and explained the situation. Now I know for a fact that was untrue because as soon as the game ended, I came down off the bleachers and watched my son. I expected him to be upset and needed to see. As I was standing, waiting for him, I saw another boy and his mother walk by and I heard her telling him that she would guarantee he would play in the rest of the games. Bearing in mind that Jaben left the sidelines AFTER this boy and not one coach approached MY son, what are the chances this boy received any attention either?

Slim. Quite slim. So why did Coach Namewithheld lie to me? Why did he tell these boys that this league was about playing and having fun if he wasn’t going to keep his word?

Why is this man working with children? If winning a game is more important to him than his own word and the developing egos and self-esteem of pre-teen boys, does he even have any business working with children? Leaving out the fact that he lied to ME… what are these boys learning from him?

Starting this week, Jaben will be missing all Thursday practices. I wasn’t worried about this because I discussed it with Coach Namewithheld earlier in conditioning and he said not to worry about it, that Jaben was doing fine (oh really???) and there was nothing to worry about – if he wanted to play, he’d play. But now that I know how he really is, I’m having trouble trusting what he said and I wonder if I’m going to take my son to every game only to see him standing on the sidelines wondering why he’s not playing. I am not willing to put my child through that.

It’s probably fortunate that I have to go to Open House tonight and won’t be picking Jaben up from practice. This gives me another day to decide how to approach the situation. I need to talk to Coach Namewithheld again to remind him about the Thursday dilemma and to find out how game days will be handled now that the boys have split into 2 teams per grade. Will we miss receiving directions or plans to travel in groups to games if we’re not there on Thursday? Is there any way I can get this information on Wednesday? I don’t know where ANY of these schools are so I will NEED this information or we will not get there. Somehow I doubt he’s going to go out of his way to help me out.

So yeah, football sucks. I really can’t wait for this blasted season to be over so we can move on to things my son enjoys, that I think will actually benefit him. Because other than physically (he’s getting in such good shape, I will give football THAT), I don’t think there’s much positive to be learned here.

And THAT really sucks.