Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tackling Parenthood (Special Needs Edition)

Last night we went to a "Tackling Parenthood" seminar at the local high school. There was $1 dinners for everyone (BBQ or Pizza), some information booths, door prizes and two sessions of informative "classes".  The sessions included things like Coaching Children to Manage Emotions, Cyberbullying and Homework Help for Elementary Aged Students. The two sessions that we attended were Developing Attention Skills in Young Children and Autism Spectrum and ADHD Education and Behavior Strategies.

We ate and the boys went to the gym for some play time. I loved that because we missed Braeden's Social Skills therapy to attend the seminar so him having some social interaction with NT kids was great.

The first session we went to was about attention skills. Now, Malachai has been diagnosed with ADHD which was no surprise to anyone who knows him. He is struggling in class and at home to stay on task, be focused and actually SIT STILL. We have decided not to medicate him at this time. We know it may be inevitable in the future but with him being so young we have decided to wait with the blessings of his teacher and his psychiatrist. We want him to learn coping skills and strategies so that he is not dependent upon medication for the rest of his life with no alternatives. So, any information we can get, or ideas, is sooooo welcome! The speaker gave us a handout with some great ideas on it and he gave us some great information.

The second session was not as informative for us. Not because the speaker was bad but just because we already pretty much knew what he was telling us. Plus, it was a tiny group of people and we spent most of the time discussing what challenges our children face. It is always interesting to talk to other autism parents!

We are really glad we went to the seminar. It almost makes me wish we would still be here when they do it again next year! There were several other sessions I would have loved to attend. I worry that when we move I won't be able to find the resources and help we need for the boys.

I am just keeping my fingers crossed that the new school they will be at next year will have what we need. That the boys will do well. That I can find doctors, therapists and a support network that will be what we need. It is a big step, taking our family out of this comfort zone we have here, away from teachers, schools and administrators who are used to working with us, away from doctors and therapists who have worked with both boys for years, away from the schedules and routines that Braeden has become so accustomed to.

I will have to start over from scratch and that is a scary prospect!

The director of the local Special Services Department for the schools has offered to work directly with the new school district to make sure that the transition is smooth. And I am making a list of steps to take to find the services and support we need. But boy am I nervous!!!

Parenthood is hard. Being a Special Needs parent is even harder. Every child has their own challenges and issues but they are just multiplied when there are special needs attached. When we moved to Mississippi my only real worries for Jenna were if she would be challenged at school and make friends. Now I have so many other concerns for my boys that it just stresses me out. Being Mama Bear is tough sometimes!!

But it sure is worth it!!!!

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