Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Special Needs Diagnosis

Friends, it's been a hard couple of months.

I mentioned in my Year in Review post that we had been seeing a lot of the doctor lately, especially our 4 year old son B.

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For the past year or so, we had been noticing some behaviors that did not seem normal.  "What actually is normal?", we kept asking ourselves.  Is he just a wild, highly sensitive, easily distracted 3 year old boy?  I felt deep in my heart that something was just not quite right.  But I kept telling myself - and hearing from many others over and over again - that his behavior was normal. 

Then last fall, I finally got the nudge I needed to seek answers for our son.

In my mom's group we read The Four Keys to Everlasting Love by Manuel and Karee Santos.  In the chapter about raising your children, they said: "You [as parents] know better than anyone what they [each one of your children] need..."  It's such a simple sentence, but it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I kept forcing myself to believe that he was a normal, wild 3 year old boy because of other people's well-intentioned opinions.  But this one sentence finally gave me courage and peace: Yes, I do know him best!  I need to follow my heart, which for months has been telling me that something is off.  We need to find out what's wrong...now!

So late last year, we finally took him to a behavior therapist who specialized in adopted children.  And we got our three possible diagnoses, which all fall under the heading of special needs.

Suddenly, all of the pieces started falling into place.  This was why he was acting this way.  Why he couldn't do certain things.  Why he was so emotional.  All of his idiosyncrasies were actually red flags.

I have a lot of guilt right now.  Why didn't I do something sooner?  Why didn't I listen to my heart?  How much better would he be right now had we gone to the therapist a year ago?

I feel so sad for him.  How much will he struggle and suffer for his entire life?

I also have a lot of fear.  Will he be a full-functioning, faith-filled man someday?  How will this affect our relationship as a family? 

Thank you for the reminder, Whitney!

But I do have hope too.  There's still a very long way to go, but we have seen some progress over the past two months.  We think we've found a school that can really help him.  We're on our way to getting him tested for extra help at school and starting with a new occupational therapist.  And my husband and I are learning what methods do and do not work in teaching and disciplining him.

But, friends, it's hard.

It's hard for him because his brain doesn't automatically do what ours does.  He struggles a lot.

It's hard for J and L, who notice something is up with their brother.  So many appointments and new things.  B now requires a lot of one-on-one attention from Mom and Dad.

It's hard for my husband and I because helping him requires a huge amount of time and patience.  I also feel guilty we waited to find an answer.  And we worry about his future.

So my prayer is this:

I pray for B that his therapies help him and that he can grow, thrive, and one day be a full-functioning, faith-filled Catholic man.

I pray for J and L that they will be good siblings, do all they can to help and love him, and be good role models for him.

I pray for my husband Jim and I that we can be excellent parents for him and that we choose the right therapies, schools, and doctors; and I pray for peace, strength, perseverance, and gentleness for us as we teach, discipline, and guide him.

Will you please keep us in your prayers too?  We are so grateful for this community and for your prayers!

And if you have any advice, Bible verses, or anything that might help us, please email me or share in the comments below!  Thank you all so much!

God bless,
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Two more things I want to share:

If you are going through something similar, please listen to you heart about your child and don't wait.  If you have an inkling that your child's behavior is not normal, see your pediatrician and demand to see a behavior therapist, child psychologist, occupational therapist - anyone who can help you!  One of two things will happen: the therapist will tell you your child is fine or they tell you your child needs help.  Either way, you, your family, and your child win.  Listen to your gut - you know your child best.

And at this time, I will not share his diagnoses or his specific behaviors for his privacy.  This is his life and story, and we want to respect that.  So even though I'm being vague about his specifics, I will share my emotions and thoughts surrounding this diagnosis because I want to be honest about life and motherhood and hopefully what we learn will help someone else going through the same thing.

Thank you, friends!

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Tuesday Talk #112


Today in a separate post, I'm sharing a little about our son B's new special needs diagnosis and my emotions and thoughts surrounding it.  Friends, it's hard.  So hard.

I would love any advice that you could give us!  And prayers too.  We definitely need prayers!

Thank you for being an amazing community, my friends!

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Welcome to Tuesday Talk #112!
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Have a beautiful Tuesday!

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Day Happenings {Tuesday Talk #111}

Things have been a little hectic at our house over the past 2 months (more on that later), so we're having a very low key Valentine's Day!


We love these Pretzel Hugs at Christmastime!  But all you need to do is change the M&M color to make them work for any holiday.  So we'll probably have them for every holiday now! 


They're so tasty and the kids can easily help make them so we had a fun family night making these together.  Because my favorite thing about any holiday is spending time together!


And Jim and I already celebrated Valentine's Day with a date night this past weekend.  On Saturday, we had our typical date night: we went to Mass, out to dinner, and then strolled around a bookstore (because we're nerds like that!).  I love him so much.

What are you doing for Valentine's Day today?

Before I sign off, I want to say that I'm very sorry for my absence recently, especially for missing several Tuesday Talks.  After months of doctor's appointments, we received a hard diagnosis for our son at the end of last year (life altering, not life threatening).  So the past two months have been filled with a lot of appointments and phone calls and much needed one-on-one time with him.

I'll post more about this in the next week sometime.  I'm still trying to find the right words to say.  Please keep us - especially our son B - in your prayers!

God bless,
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Welcome to Tuesday Talk #111!
Let's connect!
Beth at Our Pretty Little Girls | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Crystal at Hall Around Texas | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram 


Check out the Tuesday Talk guidelines here,
and check out everyone's features on Pinterest here!



ATTENTION:
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Sweet Little Ones - Tuesday Talk Link Up and Party

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