Saturday, March 19, 2016

2 years later...

I think we went MIA for 2 years because she started school two years ago. I will try to keep it short to bring you up to speed with our girl. The first year of pre-k we drove her into school and walked her to class. Her teacher was fantastic. She got speech therapy and occupational therapy while there. We didn't have a problem with our IEPs (maybe warning them ahead of time I was a lawyer made them more flexible, although it could also be that I don't have any delusions or misgivings about my daughter's delays. We donated large quantities of not only supplies but also some of her old toys that help with learning. She really blossomed. We got an above ground pool. She loved it. Her second year of pre-k we let her take the bus because she was so sad she didn't take it the first year. She absolutely LOVES riding the bus. She had the same teacher as well as speech therapist and occupational therapist. Again, she really seemed blossom. She learned to ride her trikey. She loves the slides and swings. Still needs the outside every single day. She had 2 babysitters for after-school care (one we had to fire because we left her in charge of the dogs while we went on vacation and she didn't bother to let them out so they did their business all over Ellie's room, the other she would run to at this very moment). She cracked her back molar somehow, we don't know how or when but she's got a silver crown on it now. The dentist said it would be better to make it a crown because it would leave a bigger hole for the adult tooth to come in through. This past fall we noticed that she was becoming increasing violent. She would slap us in the face, kick, hit, pinch, throw things. It was dangerous, especially when she would throw things at the driver of the car while it was in motion. She was also in a new school with a new teacher, new schedule, etc. Her teacher thought the new people and places may have played a part in it. But I noticed other things that began to worry me - the fear of anything touching her head, her aversion to some things, her absolute no fear attitude regardless of how high she had climbed, how fast she was going, how sharp/heavy/electrical something was. Her incessant need to chew on things. Her never-ending energy. Her inattentiveness. Her ability to sometimes recall things that she clearly knows, but other times not be able to access the information. A million other little things that tells a mom there's something not right. I began researching about SPD, ADHD, etc. Oh yeah, she fit all the symptoms. In fact, when I took her to the pediatrician he said that ADHD is diagnosed by 2 separate tests - one for inattentiveness, one for hyperactivity. The levels are from 1-9. Anyone who gets 6 or above has that particular part of ADHD. Ellie scored 9 on BOTH. We ended up seeing a child psychologist, who sent us to have her evaluated by another child psychologist. She confirmed ADHD and added Oppositional/Defiant disorder. We go back to review the findings with the first child psychologist, who will then fax the findings to her pediatrician who will we see and discuss the findings with as well as treatment. She's on her third sitter, who seems incredibly sweet. One of the reasons we chose her is because during all the interviews she was the only one who Ellie actually walked up to and crawled in her lap. At any rate, we're doing the best we can. We have a trampoline and a bean bag chair as well as a sensory chew necklace, all of which seems to be helping. Swimming is also considered a form of therapy for ADHD (worked for Michael Phelps) so we're all eager to get the pool up and running. She's been playing soccer at Exceptional Kids Athletics and is so great at it! She's also participated in the Gwinnett County Special Olympics. She came in first for soccer and volleyball, and third in basketball. She actually finished occupational therapy because her goals were met, but of course now it seems like new ones will be taking their place. She will return to the same school and teachers next year. Her classes are mixed, spec ed for academic classes and regular ed for other classes (PE, art, recess, lunch). She can be incredibly sweet sometimes. She helps cooking, shopping, cleaning, with the dogs. She knows when she is being bad and she'll even yell at herself to stop (the child psychologist said this was actually pretty common). She's obsessed with stairs. But all in all, we fully expect her to get caught up and begin becoming more typical in the future.

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