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Thursday, June 28, 2012

A thank you note to the best educators ever...

It takes a village to raise a child…and the awesome faculty and staff of a really great school. All of you at SACS are an important part of our village.

As a family, we’ve had our triumphs and tribulations this year, no doubt…thanks for making the triumphs happen and for helping us bear the weight of the tribulations. We are so very grateful to each and every one of you!

Many thanks—

Dee and Craig, proud parents of
Kate, Tanya, Max, Madiyar & Aniyar

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Moving on...the bitter and the sweet

This was a day filled with sadness and happiness on so many levels. Here's how the day's events unfolded:

Attended a meeting to redefine our boy's IEP based on his new diagnoses and his increased educational and emotional needs. This will most likely lead to his being moved out of the charter school we love and placed elsewhere where his mental health needs can be addressed in tandem with his academics. Necessary but sad...

My oldest daughter was recognized at an honors brunch for students who had a 95% average in all their classes....YAY!! Unfortunately, I missed the brunch because I was in the IEP development meeting and disappointed my girl...BOO!!

Attended the high school moving on and awards ceremony for my two oldest kids. It was awesome to say the least.

Kate received the 11th grade Science award, the 11th grade Spanish award, 11th grade History award, and the Wesleyan book award. She also was inducted into the National Honor Society and received a significant academic achievement award (think Dean's List). So proud!!!

Madiyar received the 10th grade Male Athlete of the Year award and an academic achievement award (think Honor Roll). Remember the boy who didn't speak English 3 years ago? The one who told me he would always hate school and never do well? Yeah, that's my boy...

Kate and Madiyar are now officially a senior and a junior respectively...YAY!!

The middle school moving on and awards ceremony went on without our boy. He missed the awards, the celebration, the fun...he's also missed over 40 days of school this year due to his hospitalizations. Heartbreaking...

Madiyar interviewed for his first job, a position as a summer camp counselor. After initially freaking out a bit and wanting to bail on the whole process, he conquered his fears and did great. The YMCA will call him tomorrow to let him know if he got the job but it doesn't even matter...so proud of him for trying!

We attended Tanya's 8th grade graduation! In the best academic year she's ever had, our girl maintained grades in the 70's and 80's in all her classes. Remember the girl with short term memory problems due to her FASD? She is now a confident and capable freshman in high school. Woohoo!!!

Got a call from our boy...he was weepy and sad, wants to come home. Doesn't understand why he had to miss his moving on ceremony. Sigh...

Friday, June 22, 2012


Today I just don't want to focus on the downside. I refuse to go there. OK, we have a situation with our boy that's tough...but we also have many positives that I don't want to lose sight of. That's where I'm going...

My youngest has completed 6th grade and received an award for the nicest smile. I agree!!! He's a great kid who will be a 7th grader in the fall.

My 10th grader was sure he was going to fail his finals, didn't even want to try to complete them. We had a few minutes of angst and refusal to go to school...then he went in and kicked butt, passed everything and he's now officially a junior in HS!!!

Kate whined about her Spanish 6 final (having completed all her other finals) and then got it done. She's now officially a senior. OMG...What????? OK, we have a few loose ends to tie up...Honor Society induction,awards ceremony, moving on ceremony ,college applications during the summer...I can't breathe. Wait, didn't she just pop out???

My Tanya is graduating from middle school to high school. OMG, where did the years go? Yes, I know I should get a grip and now it's my turn to stop whining...but is it really possible??? Yes, our 8th grader is now a high school student.

I am so blessed to be Mom to these kids.....

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Another hospital stay...

Last night our boy was admitted to an adolescent psychiatric unit, his 4th. hospital stay in the last 4 months. This time he wasn't being aggressive or threatening; he has responded well to some of his new meds and his anger and aggression are better controlled. The bad news is that he is also experiencing hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions. Unfortunately, he has been on so many meds and they have been changed so often that it's hard to tell what's actually working and what's doing more harm than good. For that reason, our boy is now in a hospital that can wean him from his meds to establish a baseline for his psychological/emotional state and then begin reintroducing medications one at a time. We'll hope that's what happens and that we finally find some help for our son. Now that we have a disability determination and Mass State Health insurance for him, we should have an easier time getting him services...but I'm a bit gun shy at this point.

The other news is that our son was finally officially diagnosed with bipolar disorder, something I've suspected for a while but no one wanted to commit to. The psychiatrist at his current hospital was kind but clear about his diagnosis and hopeful for his treatment plan once he is on the appropriate meds. At least we have a better idea of what we're dealing with...right now, the devil we know seems preferable to the one we don't. Keep us in your thoughts...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

World's Coolest Dad

Our lives continue to be a wild ride...our boy's recent activities have included more behavior problems at school, extreme paranoia and very erratic behavior at home...and I found a knife hidden in his pillow case. Not good...we're just hanging on as best we can until our crisis team gets put together and we have wraparound services in place. That's tomorrow morning at 9:30...can't come soon enough.

In the meantime, we've all tried to focus on the positive...like the great Dad we're celebrating today. Here he is with his Father's Day breakfast, a bagel with lox spread, V-8 juice, and an artfully carved apple...the kids did a great job with the food and homemade cards. Dad also got a t-shirt that the kids decorated and signed. Soon we're headed to the movies to see Men in Black 3, then we'll have Firehouse Subs for dinner...it's a guy kind of celebration, perfect for the World's Coolest Dad!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Fancy dances

This weekend was pretty special...Friday evening, our two girls both had dances to attend. Tanya had her last Middle School dance and Kate had her Junior prom. It was a busy night! Both girls came home from school to primp, do hair and makeup, and dress in their finery. Just look at my girls...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Happy Birthday to me...

Yesterday was my birthday, an occasion I'd just as soon skip at this point in my 50-something life...but my wonderful family didn't see it that way. While it was a day that actually started out badly (I woke up very sick to my stomach, bad stomach ache, terrible headache...can you say "stress"?), it turned out to be an absolutely lovely time. My wonderful husband took the kids to school and let me stay in bed, a gift in itself. By mid-morning, I had determined that I wasn't going to die so I got up and went about my day.

The most important thing on my To-Do list was to fax info to a friend who works in a legal aid service in Boston. An adoptive mom herself, she offered to advocate for us with MassHealth to see where our son's disability application was in the process and if we needed to provide any more documentation...and then my birthday present arrived. Shortly before it was time for the kids to come home from school, our friend emailed me with the news that our son's MassHealth application has been approved! This means that we will now be eligible for many more services for our boy and the state will fund those services, including in home therapy, a therapeutic mentor, a crisis stabilization team that will work with our family, and more. It will also mean that if our boy needs to return to the hospital in the future, he will have many more options for longer-term care without the worry of the insurance refusing to pay. I simply couldn't have asked for a better birthday gift...peace of mind for all of us and hope for our child's future.

After that, the day just got better. My DH suggested we get takeout for dinner so I didn't have to cook. It was just our family for a dinner of Chinese food, a favorite with the whole family, and a birthday cheesecake, a favorite of mine. My husband and kids were very sweet, lots of hugs and thoughtful, heartfelt gifts. Everyone was kind and forgiving, trying to get along in spite of a bit of acting out from our boy...and even our boy was really trying to hold it together. Anyone who knows what we've been through in the past few months knows that that's a gift in itself.