Well after much hemming and hawwing and hiding I have decided to come clean with what is going on in our world. What's been keeping me from blogging. We have been dealing with issues with the kids. Some big ones some little ones but here is an overview of what we have been up to. This was part of an update
What I figure the best way to do this is to go by child. So lets start with the oldest and work down. Liam was diagnosed in August with pretty severe Generalized Anxiety Disorder. (http://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site948/mainpageS948P0.html) He has a counselor he sees at the church where the little kids go to preschool. We really like her and so does Liam. She has helped us with getting him help at school as well. The biggest things she has helped us to understand is that part of his anxiety is shown through Selective Mutism. (http://www.selectivemutism.org/faq) This is why he may not respond to you when you talk to him especially in front of new people he doesn't know or in situations where he is not comfortable. Please understand it isn't because he doesn't want to respond he may not physically be able to. There are times when we are talking to him that he moves his mouth to answer and no sound comes out. It use to make us so frustrated with Liam but now that we understand we try other ways to get him to feel safe enough to respond. He is making progress, he can order his own food at restaurants sometimes we have to repeat it for him if it is a noisy place as he doesn't always speak loudly. If he feels like he is in trouble or has disappointed you he may not speak. If he is nervous about where he is or who is around he may not speak. Please don't take it personally if he doesn't respond or say Hi to someone you want him to talk to. I am sure if he could he would as I imagine as hard as it is for us to deal with it is even harder for Liam to feel that worried that he can't speak. He currently has an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) at school to help him when he struggles with communicating both verbally and written.
Alexis. Alexis has a few things going on. More than likely Alexis has attachment issues. Which is diagnosed as Reactive attachment disorder (RAD). There are two types of RAD inhibited and disinhibited. Alexis has the disinhibited type vs the inhibited type. The biggest difference is that kids with disinhibited type will seek attention from anyone including strangers instead of avoiding relationships and attachments. (for more information on RAD http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/reactive-attachment-disorder/DS00988/DSECTION=symptoms) I tried to find a something that explains ways to help for family members but didn't really find a good one but didn't find one for teachers of children with RAD and think that it does a good job of explaining things http://www.center4familydevelop.com/helpteachrad.htm We try really hard to follow the instruction and direction of our therapists in how best to help Alexis through this process. We realize we don't get it perfect but know that we are doing our best to help. This is a letter written by grandmother to other grandparents about her grandchildren with RAD. http://www.welcometomybrain.net/2011/03/letter-to-grandparents-of-children-with.html the blog this message is on is written by a mother who is raising kids with RAD. She has some great posts on her blog as well as videos on youtube. Another thing we are working with in regards to Alexis is more than likely early onset bipolar. Both sides of her biological family have bipolar. Alexis has a lot of the symptoms of having this. She is currently on meds to help her with this. If you would like more info on EOB please read here http://bipolar.about.com/cs/kids_diag/a/red_flags4.htm
Landon currently has a diagnosis of ADHD however lately we have been seeing more EOB signs in him and are working to determine what is the best course of action for Landon.
Brenna right now seems to be ok. She does struggle with opposition and defiance but we have our fingers crossed that it is from being 5 and nothing more. She is currently in treatment for a lazy eye and wears an eye patch for one hour each day to hopefully correct this. She was tested last summer for NF which thankfully came back negative. The Dr at St Vincents is still looking in to some other concerns with Brenna. We have our next appt with him in June. Hopefully all will check out well and she will be good to go.
Rogan is dealing with childhood apraxia of speech. (http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/childhoodapraxia.htm) While it sounds scary and it can be his speech therapist thinks he will be able to overcome it. He ages out of First Steps and working with his current speech therapist on his 3rd birthday in June. He should be going in for testing through the school system for his speech. The therapist thinks he will qualify for assistance with through them. I am trying to be hopeful but as many of you know of our struggles with getting the school to acknowledge our kids needs makes me concerned a little.
So that is the overview of what we are dealing with in regards to the kids. It all manifests itself in different ways that we get to try and deal with but we do our best. So if I am a little short with you or seem unavailable know it probably wasn't you I am just having a bad day.