Friday, May 22, 2015

Final Friday

The last day of school has come and gone for 4th grade.

This year has been anything but smooth. Personality clashes, bullying, and lack of desire for school. But positively, new friends, P.A.L.S., and cousins.

Fourth grade was hard work. 

Math became a problem. Missed a week of school because of a strange illness. Being quirky got on some friends' nerves. Lost interest in reading after finished the How to Train a Dragon series. 

All and all though, finished the year with over all As/Bs. No certificate because during the year there were a couple of Cs. Even with losing interest in reading, finished the year in second place for the fourth grade with 117 AR points.

In just over a week I get to participate in STEM Camp. It will be fun and I look forward to it. (It is a school sponsored day camp. I can't do overnight camps because of my food allergies.)

BTW, anybody have summer reading suggestions?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

When Kids Get Hurt

Before we go much further, this situation was taken care of quickly and all parties involved are fine. This is an informative article for parents and teachers to be aware of when a kid gets hurt.

We had an incident that happened while Benji was in the care of the school a couple weeks ago. His grade went on a field trip to the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville where they toured the capitol building. Benji's big take on the tour was that they have dead people in the walls. (The tombs of prominent figures of Tennessee.)

From what Benji shared the tombs were the big thing that he took from the tour of the capitol. He does not impress much. (Seriously, he doesn't.)

After their tour of the capital, the kids got back on the bus and road to a public park that is about halfway between our school and the state capital so that they could eat lunch and play.

Benji rarely rides the bus. Our district has one schedule for all the routes for pre-K thru 12 and the route can be an hour ride easily. With his sensory issues, there is no way riding the bus would be a good thing. We don't have anything against the busses, our other kids ride. (They also go to different schools even though they would be on the same bus.)

For those of you familiar with children that have SPD you may also be aware that a change of routine, even if fun, can really take a lot out of a kiddo.

Once the busses got to the playground, the kids ate lunch and then were allowed to play in the playground. The playground is really a great asset to the community and is the center of many events that the community has. The incident that happened is not the FAULT of the playground or the field trip. The incident was a true accident and unfortunate. Even had we been there the incident could have happened.

The problem is that because of reasons unknown to us, Benji did not feel he was able to tell an adult or teacher her had gotten hurt. He told us the first time he tried to tell he was quietened and told to get on the bus. After that he tries to tell the music teacher when they got back to the school. She did not see injury and told him he could sit or just walk during the movement exercise.

When Benji was picked up from school, the moment he sat in the car, he informed his father what happened. When they got home I took a picture and emailed the teacher, principal, and the director of schools. 

The injury on his back was an abrasion 6-8 inches long and it was bruised. He also had a small goose egg on his head and his leg was bruised. He was too big of a child to go into the area he was trying to follow his friends into and got banged up.

The principal responded and necessary steps were taken at the school. Hopefully an incident like this won't happen again. But parents of kids with sensory issues need to be aware. Parents of kids that have self esteem issues need to be aware also.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

I skipped school...

The end of the school year brings about all the award parties and the "field day" activities that typical developing kids absolutely enjoy. Many atypical kids do too.

My elementary school years have developed a tradition for me. About a week before school gets out and my fellow classmates enjoy "Beach Bash" at school, I stay home. I went my kindergarten year, and I absolutely did not like it.

At my school, Beach Bash consists of inflatable water slides, face painting, games, snacks, chaos of about 200 students at a time. Sounds great, unless you have sensory process disorder and food allergy issues. I don't like getting splashed. The water felt icky on the inflatables. The face painting made me break out the one time I tried it. None of the snacks are friendly to my diet.

*Note on the food allergies. I react with severe digestive issues with any dairy. I am allergic to food dye, I get sick and develop a migraine - the reaction gets worse every time. I have hypoglycemia and my body can not process non-natural sugars. This includes processed Stevia.

SO... instead of going to school on Friday, I had my own day of fun.

After about an hour of playing MineCraft on the Xbox 360, we got dressed and went to town.

Our first stop was at the new Bibb Civic Center. There is an Art Exhibit currently showing in the lobby and it is quite interesting. There were several large works that appeared to be made from paper-mache. There was a giraffe, and elephant, a tiger, and more. There were also some drawings on display too. What caught my attention was the old guy in the water trough.

He looked funny. Mom says he was wearing longjohns and must have fallen in. I don't know that I agree, he has soap in one hand and a scrub brush in the other.

As you might be able to tell, my brother (who also decided to stay home for similar reasons) liked playing in the fake water. There was this blue gel stuff that felt sticky and cold. It was weird. I had to wash my hands after touching it. It made my skin crawl.

 It was neat to see it though. At first I thought the guy was real. Behind him is an old engine of some sort and it had some really old looking fabric/leather belts. It was kind of interesting.

Our next stop was at the Jennie Woodworth Library. It is inside the Bibb Center and is a brand new facility. They moved here from an old house that had been converted for their needs when the Bibb Center opened a couple months ago. It is a really nice library considering its size and that it is run solely by volunteers. There is free wi-fi available, four public access computers, a children's reading room, and the general library. A brilliant gem for our small town.

While we were there, mom found some books for her to catch up reading on and I got on the computer to play on Poptropica. It really was fun and I am getting a library card next time we go.

After the library, we grabbed lunch and took it to dad. He was happy to see us. Daddy works hard at the local state park and appreciated having a relaxing lunch with us.

We were excited for lunch and also after lunch.

Before we left the house mom found out that the swim area at the park had just opened. It didn't hurt that it was a good warm sunny day. We got to enjoy another beautiful gem that our area has that not many are aware of.

The beach was clean and had fresh sand. The volleyball net is brand new. The geese stayed away for most of the day. (Pretty much until some people came down with food.)

We enjoyed running up and down the beach and swimming quite a bit too. Mom didn't want to get in the water though. She said we had to be good and maybe next time she would get in with us. (She did get her feet wet.)

There are some days that is just great to unplug and have fun. This was one of those days. I was able to get in the water and play. While I don't like getting splashed and my brother did splash me a few times I was able to control my typical reaction.

I see where I can tolerate some things better now than I used to. For me I think it is awesome. I remember when there was no way I would get into the water. Even bath time was rough. We had a lot of fun getting fresh air and exercise. mom brought some apples and water for us to snack on (much better snack than they had at school). Brother and I had some good bonding time.

Towards the end of the day, my oldest sister and her boyfriend met us there too. It was good to see her. We don't see her very often since she moved out last year. She's a grown up now though and has a job and all.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Another chapter to write

This past year has been a year of growth and a year of challenges.

An increase in silent meltdowns have been challenging. Health issues have left us concerned. Emotional maturity has brought some relief.

We know there will always be challenges to overcome. The road traveled is not smooth, yet it is not as rugged as others that we know.

The silent meltdowns have mostly appeared in instances that are uncontrollable. (Don't they usually?) There will be too much sensory or mental input and the switch turns off. There just has to be understanding and comfort when this happens. We do still get those other meltdowns where all the emotion comes out. We are thankful that most times it just takes a calm loving voice with favorite essential oils to calm him.

Early in the year we were having daily migraines at school and were put on medication to help sleep. While the medication helped with the sleep and ultimately the migraines, hyperactivity and lack of focus became a major issue. We tried medication for the sake of academics. It did not last long when anger and lashing out developed. Over the summer, we stopped medication and started using essential oils. The results have been amazing and we don't have a set protocol yet.

This summer we had an amazing time at camp thanks to Ranger Josh and the Montgomery Bell State Park. They have a yearly camp for those with special needs and it was great! There was archery, canoes, rock climbing, learning about nature, making some great friends, swimming, and more. It was really an amazing time of being able to be true to myself. Then I was able to join PALS for baseball in September. It was amazing! But it was hot and I got tired easy.

This fall we have had some health issues. After a dental cleaning we developed an unknown infection that attacked the lymphatic system. Misery does not quite describe the situation. There was blood-work and an ultrasound on the lymph nodes in the neck. Everything came back clear aside from a high white cell count. After two different antibiotics and essential oils, the infection FINALLY decided to go away. Unfortunately, this has made it easier to become ill.

Once I got back to school from the lymphatic infection, I was able to go to a Vanderbilt Girls Basketball game with the school field trip. It was, overwhelming. I wouldn't mind going back with a much smaller group and after I learn a bit about basketball.

The last couple weeks I have been fighting what we believe is the flu. It is not fun. I haven't ran fever in a little over a week, but the fatigue and cough is hanging on. Yet, not sure if the fatigue is new or not. I have been getting tired easier.

This year may be ending on a low not with my health, but there has been a lot of growth. There are still a lot of sensory issues I deal with like noise levels. There are a lot of food sensitivities and allergies that I have to deal with. Mom's essential oils help with my sleeping and usually keep me pretty "normal" instead of hyper. I would rather read a great book or play video games any day, but I am doing okay in school.

Looking forward to a new chapter in my life that we pray will involve a lot more progress!