And there is some of that thrown in there. Don't get me wrong. The things that my kids struggle with are minimal compared to what other kids have to deal with. I really am so blessed. I guess what I'm saying is that I didn't think, "Oh, I'll have one kid with ADHD, and one kid go through puberty at age seven, and one kid with some kind of mood disorder, and one kid who can't talk..." I guess I was naive. :)
I just want to update you on the kiddos. I sometimes post about what my kids are going through, and then forget to update you. So this is an update.
(Haha! This was Valentine's Day. He came home with red candy crap all around his mouth.)As you probably remember, Dylan has ADHD. With medication (a godsend), he does really well. I feel like he is himself when he's on his medication. He's not a zombie. He's just him. Without throwing things at people and running around and screaming all the time. He still sometimes argues with adults (he got sent home from scouts about a month ago, and he got into trouble with his teacher a couple of weeks ago), which miffs me. He's currently earning his Wii privileges back.
He got beat up yesterday, on the bus, and then when he got off the bus. He told me that he told the bus driver what was going on, and the bus driver ignored him. When they all got off the bus, the three kids who were beating him up on the bus forced him onto the ground by twisting his arm and kicked and punched him. He worked valiantly to defend himself, using his Taekwondo moves, and got a couple of good kicks in, and the kids eventually dissipated.
He came home weeping and with a swollen nose.
Oh, do you want to talk about Mama Bear? I went on the war path. I called the transportation department and talked to the head of it. He said he'd talk to that driver and get his take on the situation, and also, he recommended that Dylan sit in the first three rows of the bus so that the driver can see and hear anything that goes on there.
Then I contacted the principal and the school counselor. There will be meetings. There will be a reckoning. Nobody beats up my child.
So that's what's going on with him.
You may recall my post from a couple of weeks ago - Sadie is only seven and a half, and she's developing breasts. This alarmed me and made me worry she was going through precocious puberty. I took her to the doctor, and after checking her, he said that she's close enough to eight years old - the new official time for puberty to start in girls (which is ludicrous) - to be considered totally normal. This is the new norm, friends. Growing breasts at age 8. Thanks for the hormones, milk and meat industry. Thanks for that.
The doc did tell me to alert him if she got pubic hair, armpit hair, B.O., or her period. She shouldn't get her period before the age of 11. So we'll keep an eye on it. In the meantime, she wears her little training bras, and it doesn't seem to bug her too much. The girl is so resilient. Which probably comes from having three brothers.
(Ben had gotten me some lilies, and Micah leaned in to smell them and got doused with pollen. That pollen stained his face for a week!!)
I don't think I remembered or had time last fall to write about Micah. I've had the feeling for a really long time that we're dealing with more than the usual amount of drama with him. I quite honestly think, in my humble Mom Opinion, that he has anxiety and depression. He's been this way since the second he came out of me.
I took him to a child therapist last fall, who did a consultation with me and with Micah for a couple of hours. She recommended him to be tested with a psychologist for anxiety, depression, and possible autism spectrum disorder.
However, that little meeting with her cost us $150, and the psychologists tests are estimated to be $300. None of this is covered by our insurance.
So I went another route - the school district. When your kid is three and above, they can get services through the school district if they are tested and fit within the criteria. I know this because Sadie was in speech therapy with the district when she was three.
So I had Micah tested with the school district. Their diagnosis was the same - they felt that Micah has anxiety and depression and needs therapy. However, they aren't funded to treat mental illness. Only speech, physical therapy, developmental delay, etc.
So basically, our son needs therapy, but we can't afford it. And the district can't provide it. And there it sits. However, he has improved significantly since Ben has been home. And when I feel him starting to lose it, I pause anything I'm doing and sit down with him to read a book or play a game. And this seems to help him a lot. He just requires a lot more individual one-on-one time than the others.
(Ben styled Gage's hair like Flock of Seagulls that day.)I haven't written about this either. I've been meaning to.
Gage can only say four words. And he's two and a half. And actually, I don't remember the last time he said any of those words. It will be weeks between hearing a word from him. Last fall, I thought, "Eh, he's just the youngest and everyone speaks for him. He'll break out and start speaking soon." And I was so busy and overwhelmed with Ben being gone and doing all this testing for Micah.
When Ben came home, he was like, "I think Gage has hearing problems."
"What? No, he can't, because he can follow directions."
"Sometimes he doesn't turn to me when I call his name."
We were eating at the table at the time. Gage was looking out the window, away from Ben. So Ben started yelling really loudly at Gage. "GAGE! GAGE!" Startled, Gage started crying and threw his fork at Ben.
"See?" I said. "He can hear just fine."
And I really thought that for awhile. But then I started noticing that sometimes he doesn't turn to me when I call his name. Like 50% of the time. And then I started freaking out - What if he has autism??
But then I had surgery and seriously was out of commission for six weeks. But after I recovered, I called the Infant Toddler Program. They did some testing last month. They recommended him for a hearing test. The lady who did the initial testing to get into the program told me that, if he has fluid in his ears, it's like he's underwater. And you know how hard it is to hear when you're underwater. She also told me that the fluid ebbs and flows. So sometimes he can hear. And sometimes he can't. Which would explain why he sometimes will turn to me when I call him, and sometimes not.
He's never had an ear infection, but they said that doesn't necessarily indicate lack of fluid.
So I took him to be tested two days ago, and he failed the tests. They do this thing where they see if the hairs in his ear vibrate, and they didn't, and then they see if the ear drum will move, and it wouldn't. So they told me to go to a pediatrician.
So we went to the pediatrician yesterday, who checked for fluid and did some testing of his own, and yep, Gage has fluid in his ear, but no infection. So we got referred to an ENT. Our appointment with the ENT is next week, and Gage will most likely be scheduled to get tubes in his ears and maybe get his adenoids taken out.
This sounds weird, but I'm excited. I'm excited that this is "fixable." I know people who have had tubes put in their kids' ears, and it improved their speech almost immediately.
Gage will also start speech therapy next week. This will be three out of four of my kids that will have been in the Infant Toddler program. Haha! Sadie for speech, Micah for developmental delay, and now Gage for speech. Ah well. I'm grateful we can get services for free. And the program has helped my kids so much. It really has. So I'm glad.
So yeah. Raising kids is an extreme experience. Extreme highs and extreme lows. But truly, they are, for the most part, healthy, um...spirited....kids. And I love them.