Stress and the Special Kid

We’ve had a few stressful months around here.  My husband was very ill and it took a toll on the girls as well.  Thankfully SpecialDad has been diagnosed with celiac disease and it’s completely treatable with a gluten free diet.  He’s been gluten free for about 2 weeks now and we’re already noticing the difference.  He still has a way to go since he lost so much weight.  Moral of the story is listen to your wife the first time she tells you to get your ass to the doctor so that you don’t end up in the ER for 2 nights and have to take time off work.  Did I say that out loud?  Yes?  Oh well.

Angel was having a very hard time with the stress when Daddy was sick.  She started acting out at home, doing things she knew she shouldn’t be doing.  I won’t get into details, but it was a bit of regression on her part to previous behaviours.  This made me more stressed because I was trying to take care of my husband and deal with her less than stellar behavior.

We made it though!  I was in touch with Angel’s teacher via email to let him know what was going on so that he was aware of the situation and it made me feel better to know someone else was watching out for her when she was at school.  She had a rough day or two at school, but she seems to have come through it all.

Now that Daddy has a diagnosis and is (almost) back to his former self, Angel seems to have her groove back.  We realized that she didn’t understand the information we had given her about Celiac disease, so we sat down and explained it in simpler terms for her.  We explained that Daddy has an allergy to wheat and can’t eat it because it makes him sick.  We then told her that it was treatable and we had to try different foods without wheat or gluten in them.  She was much happier after that.

Angel had her 6 month follow up with the pediatrician today.  He was pleased to see she had gained weight and grown 1 1/2″!  Angel also spoke directly to the doctor. There was a time when she wouldn’t talk to him at all!  He talked to her very firmly but also gently about her regressed behaviours and told her that when she is feeling upset, or concerned, she needs to tell mommy and daddy and they will listen to her and help her.  She seemed to take it all in rather well, so I’m hopeful things will keep going smoothly.  She goes back again in another 6 months and we continue on.

Little Things Make a Big Difference

Angel has been having a rough week.  She hasn’t wanted to go to school and even had a disagreement with her closest friend.  So it was a treat when she came home today excited about something at school.  You know what it was?  A badminton racquet!  She has been learning badminton in gym class and liked it a lot, but still found it difficult to do.  Today she was happy to tell me that her gym teacher had specially ordered a larger size racquet for her to use.

In the big scheme, a special racquet isn’t a big deal, but for one little girl to have the opportunity to try a new sport with equipment that works for her?  That is a huge deal!  Self esteem boost, happiness boost, confidence boost, all in one simple act.

I’m so thankful for teachers who make a difference with these small gestures every day and try to make my daughter feel like she belongs and is a regular kid.

Don’t Wake the Mama Bear

I consider myself to be a fairly reasonable person. I have a good sense of humour and I can see the funny side of things. Looking for the funny side is what makes life more fun. I had a Facebook friend that regularly posted tasteless jokes. They were racist, sexist, and usually offensive. I didn’t really read them, more glanced at them in my timeline. Until tonight. Tonight was the one that went too far and woke the Mama Bear. You can poke fun at me, but as soon as you poke fun at my child, all bets are off.

I tried to get the exact wording of his comment, but gee, he unfriended me after I responded. Here’s the gist of what he said. “I would make a bad doctor because I would tell an expectant mother, there’s good news, and there’s bad news. The good news is your child will never have trouble finding a parking spot.” In what world is it OK to make fun of what parents go through? Finding out your baby is going to have some kind of medical problem is not funny. My comment was brief and to the point. “I understand that this is a joke, but as the parent of a differently abled child, I don’t find it funny.” I was expecting to receive a comment back or something, and maybe open a dialogue, but it appears he was a chicken and just unfriended me instead. If you are going to make jokes about children like mine (and no, Angel is not physically disabled and she doesn’t require handicapped parking), I’m going to stand up and say something.

I’m not a confrontational person, but when it comes to my girls, especially Angel,I will protect them from you and your ignorance. It’s not OK to make jokes about people’s abilities. It’s not OK to imply that kids with different needs are less. I find it really sad that in this day and age, people are still treated as being less because they are different.

I started this site when Angel was little and we were trying to figure out what her special needs were. I wanted to share with other parents and learn what I could. We’re still in the learning stages and I’m excited to say that Angel is having a psych-ed assessment at school over the next few weeks. I’m really hopeful that we will get a definitive diagnosis of sorts so that we can help her to realize her abilities. By the way, Angel is a pseudonym I use for my daughter because I didn’t think it was fair for me to talk about her online under her real name. I know some parents do, but that wasn’t the right path for us.

On a more positive note, I’ve recently come across a website called The Mighty. It’s a very positive site that talks about parents, children, all sorts of people with disabilities and different abilities. It’s really great and you should check it out!