Copyright Protected

This blog is copyright protected. No reproduction whole or in part may be made without prior authorization by me. And if authorization is granted, stipulations must be met to reproduce content from this blog site. registered & protected

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"...And The Little Children Shall Suffer."

These are a bit old, and one is graphic, but reality is what it is. Especially in places such as group homes. Not just here in the US, but many are like this ALL over the world, in various countries.

The following videos were filmed between the years of 2007 and 2009 in Bulgaria.

**WARNING! What you are about to see is graphic, as well as severely heartbreaking. But their voices NEED to be heard.**

(Part 1 of 5, view the other parts via YouTube, please.)

There is actually a Part 6, in which we see the transformation of how the residents are treated and interacted with. Milen at this point is about to be moved to a smaller group home setting.

As we can see here, it is a universal fear of parents, family members and others, that those in group settings such as this, globally, that we love and want the best for, in terms of Group Home Care for the Severely Disabled, as fellow human beings, would be sadly mistreated and neglected as we have seen in these videos.

But it does NOT have to be this way. These children (and adults whom also require group home care) need more than just a diaper changed or food shoveled in to their mouths. They need more than "basic" medical care.

If only more "employees" of these homes (around the world) would take TIME out of their "busy schedule" to find it WITHIN THEMSELVES to interact on a more personal level. Hold them. Talk to them, even if the child (or adult) cannot understand them. These people THRIVE on interpersonal interaction and a level of LOVING care.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"American Idol" Contestant Is Beating The Odds & His Competitors.

We can learn a thing or two from this up and coming music star who right now is in the TV Music Competition, American Idol.

Read about the contestant, James Durbin and his personal battle with not one, but TWO mental disorders/conditions. Tourrette's Syndrome and Asperger's Syndrome.

Copied/pasted from YAHOO! News Article.

James Durbin, the American Idol contestant often compared to Adam Lambert for his heavy metal edge and high-pitched wail, literally dazzled viewers—and the judges—March 16th with on-stage pyrotechnics during his rendition of Jon Bon Jovi’s power ballad, “I’ll be There for You.” Along with his flashy showmanship, the 22-year-old rocker from Santa Cruz, California has an inner fire that has propelled him to the top 11 so far in the competition, despite the challenges of battling two often misunderstood disorders: Asperger syndrome and Tourette syndrome.

At age 9, Durbin lost his father, a musician, to a drug overdose. After his dad’s death, he was put on medication for stress and a sleep disorder, then was evaluated at Stanford Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome (AS), a high functioning form of autism, and with Tourette syndrome (TS). “As I was getting older, at school people would tell me, ‘Cut that out! Stop that!’ …I always got made fun of, beat up,” Durbin recently told Idol viewers, adding that when he sings, “it all just goes away, like I don’t have a care in the world.”

Dan Ackroyd is another celebrity who has both conditions, which frequently occur together and are three to four times more likely to strike males than females. The two disorders are thought to have genetic component, and researchers recently discovered a gene for a neurological syndrome that includes autistic behaviors. If inherited factors trigger AS and TS, that could be a concern for Durbin, who has a toddler son with his fiancée, Heidi.

Although involuntary swearing (coprolalia) is the best-known symptom of Tourette syndrome, only a small minority of people with TS have this problem. The condition, which affects about one in 100 Americans, is a neurological disorder that triggers involuntary movements and vocal outbursts called tics. These symptoms often start between ages 7 and 10 and tend to be worst during the teen years.On Idol, Durbin has shown such characteristic symptoms as blinking and facial twitches. Another Idol contestant reportedly affected by TS is Arkansas’ Dave Pittman who appeared on season 9.

Other TS symptoms include grimacing, head or shoulder jerking, repetitive throat clearing, hopping, grunting, and barking. About 200,000 Americans have a severe form of TS that may spark self-injury, such as people punching themselves in the face, uttering swear words, and compulsively repeating the words and phrases of others. Some people with TS can learn to camouflage their tics. Most don’t need medication, but drugs may be prescribed if the tics are severe enough to interfere with daily activities.

Asperger syndrome is a developmental disorder that can cause repetitive rituals, obsessions, oddities of speech, such as talking in a monotone, shouting or taking figures of speech literally, eccentric behavior and inappropriate facial expressions, trouble connecting with peers, and clumsy movements. It affects about one in 5,000 Americans and is associated with normal intelligence. There is no single treatment, but kids with Asperger syndrome can benefit from social skills training, cognitive behaviorial therapy, medication for co-existing problems like depression or anxiety, speech therapy and support from parents and teachers. Many adults with AS hold jobs, though Durbin is unemployed and prior to being on the show, was so broke that at times, he and his fiancée couldn’t afford diapers for their toddler.

“The thing about Asperger’s is that it’s about social awkwardness and not being able to contain yourself and being overwhelmed…” Durbin said on Idol. He is one of the most emotional contestants, known for crying easily. Still, despite his disabilities, he has connected so well with judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler that they deem him one of the competition’s frontrunners. “I have Tourette’s and Asperger’s, but Tourette’s and Asperger’s don’t have me,” he declared in an Idol interview. “I’m doing what I can to suppress it. It’s not who I am.”

Monday, March 21, 2011

Lesson Learned

You would think that after this already happening LAST Monday, that we would have learned from the mistake..WRONG!

Seems that *I* have now, as of this morning. And thankfully, I was able to squash the problem BEFORE it became a REALLY BIG problem (like last Monday).

Just as we had last Sunday, we took the kids out to breakfast and of course, took Bryce's Vyvanse (ADHD med) with us to give to him after he ate some food. It CAN be taken with or without food. But I like to have him eat before taking the pill.

And now, just like last weekend, it seems that Scott and I left it where it will do no good. Last week, it was in the van's glove compartment. This week? In Scott's jacket pocket.


But, unlike LAST Monday, this Monday (today) Bryce can get his pill from the School Nurse.

And now, I have thought to myself after realizing the faux pas for the second straight Monday in a row, that from NOW, ON... Bryce will have to just take his Vyvanse without food BEFORE we leave the house to take them anywhere, if it is in the morning hours.

Lesson learned. And hopefully problem avoided in the future.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mama's Coming Out With Guns A' Blazin'!

That's it! I'm done. I can no longer keep up the facade and make it like I will just "go with the flow". For the last (almost) four (school) years, I have done everything in my power to ensure that Bryce gets SOMETHING. A 504, an IEP, or just a few SIMPLE accommodations.

LEGALLY, by state and by FEDERAL law, he is ENTITLED to services. He falls well within the IDEA provisions to receive services for his disabilities.

The Case Managers that my son has had over the last several years have all written the schools (two different ones) letters of explanations of each disorder, what medications he is on, and what serves are HIGHLY recommended to utilize to let Bryce have the best possible educational outcome.

No matter what though, these people have trampled over the laws, me, the doctor, the Case Manger, and worse yet, my child.

Well, to that, I say...


For far too long, the school system has bucked the Medical System. Now, I'm done playing around and having lies told right in front of my face when I forge ahead to get services during Child Study Meetings.

Now, I am looking in to pulling in a Disability Rights Advocate. Their office is located in Richmond, Virginia. This is the last step before seeking a Disabilities Rights ATTORNEY and fighting the Schools (Administration, down to the school its self) in court.

I'm not only going this far for MY child. But I feel that I am representing HUNDREDS of families in my state by fighting back and saying "no more!". The Psychiatrist once told me that when I write to Congressmen (which I have several times), I am not only representing myself and my child, but representing up to 1,000 parents and children in the same boat as us. It's apparently a statistical fact.

So when I begin the uphill battle (yet another) to obtain what is RIGHTFULLY and also JUSTLY my child's to obtain, I am not only going to be fighting for him and my family, I will be willingly taking on the challenge to make a difference for hundreds or thousands of families in just my area alone.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Denial..Why "Our" Kids? (PYHO)

**Reminder..Those of us linking up with Shell at PYHO are literally writing from our hearts, what is on our minds. Good, bad and indifferent. It's a place to BUILD UP, not tear down those of us participating. So, if you have NOTHING NICE to say in your comment, please refrain from commenting at all.**

I've got a lovely, sweet, funny and kind new Bloggy and Twitter friend. Her pen name is The_Drama_Mama over at The Scoop On Poop. I have even added her blog to my Blog list of Special Needs Bloggers here in The "Mental"-ist Mom. Most of the time, she shows us what her life with a child with many mental disorders is like using humor and seeing the lighter side of life.

But she took on a more serious topic for MommyLeBron's "Bipolar Tuesdays" and has shown what progress her daughter has made who's got most of the same diagnosis as what Bryce has as well. To say we "relate" is a clear understatement.

After reading the last comment that Drama_Mama_ had made in regards to our "kind words", the last line struck a chord with me. One that I still at times wrestle with.


At first, when my son was a toddler and even a baby, I "denied" that I saw some "strange" things. Like not wanting to be held or touched much. Not liking the textures of certain food types. Crying at loud sounds like a fire engine. Ordering things, and getting profusely upset if you even slightly changed the order or the way the objects sat.

Then came the nasty mood swings that I chalked up to the "Terrible Two's" and "Horrible Threes".

But how can you "deny" facts like your child beating his sisters almost senseless or pulling a knife or hammer on you at the ages of 4, 5 and 6 years old, knowing he NEVER is able to watch movies that "promote" violence such as that?

I tried to "deny" the obvious for so long. And even when I did let myself see the REAL picture and magnitude of my child's problems, his father still was in denial himself. Until he saw Bryce actually pull a pencil on his older sister and heard his son say that he was going to stab her in the heart and kill her...over a TOY.

Not to mention the attention, focusing and extreme hyperness that got him in to trouble with the classroom Kindergarten teacher.

It took us a good two years to get ANYONE to listen and to lead us in the right direction. I definitely suspected (highly) ADHD. But of course the "doctor" (Pediatrician) chalked it up to his just "being an overly active, typical boy". Even after I stated the volatile states and severe mood swings.

At that point, I wondered who indeed was the one "in denial". And I had a CREDIBLE person attend that appointment with me. My mother-in-law who (at the time) was a (still) practicing nurse!

After almost a year later of the same crap, I finally got him in to his current Psychiatrist. It took at least three visits before the doctor would confirm or deny ANY kind of diagnosis for Bryce. He wanted to see my son a few times, get reports from the school, his Primary doctor and what the Case Manager where we go monthly had observed.

When all the pieces were fit together of the intricate puzzle that was my child, at least one firm thing was confirmed. My son has *SEVERE* ADHD. As I sat there and heard the OFFICIAL Dx, I bawled. And not from anger or sadness. From relief. FINALLY. Someone heard me. They BELIEVED me. I no longer had to TRY and deny "something" was off or wrong. After two extremely hard and long years, we were getting somewhere.

Parents like myself, The_Drama_Mama, Angel over at A Drink Of Sweet Tea and a host of others in my Blog Buddy List have times of denial. It's our way of "escaping", if just for a moment. It helps us see the true reality of what our children have to deal with on a daily basis.

Sometimes, "denial" can be a blessing. The reality is ALWAYS with us. But to "pretend" once in a while that our children are like ANYONE ELSE'S, even just for a brief moment, or have the deep-seeded hope that one day our kids will "grow out of it" gives us a tiny bit of our sanity back.

Denial doesn't (always) hurt anyone, if you are in denial for the "right" reason, and not to the point where it can damage you, your child or your family further.

Hence the question... "Why OUR kids!?"

Because they were put here to teach us something about ourselves. Patience, kindness, looking past other's differences, and a host of other reasons.

They weren't our "punishment" for something done in our past. They just want what we all want. Love, acceptance, the chance to meet their full potential and to show the world that "being crazy" isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I Ripped In To The (Substitute) School Nurse.

I honestly didn't mean to. And it was out of anger more than anything, as well as being tired of the "same shit, different day" call.

Yes, it IS true that Bryce did NOT have his Vyvanse this morning. And no, the school has no more of his "back up" pills on stand by. Yes, his not getting his ADHD med this morning was/is MY fault (and his dad's) because we accidentally left it in the glove compartment after taking it with us on an outing yesterday morning.

After speaking both with the (sub) school nurse and with Bryce himself as to what was going on with his "screaming and yelling fit" (which he claims he was NOT acting out), I honestly cannot say at this point who is telling me the truth between him and his teacher.

Why yes I did say that his teacher MAY be *lying*. Because if my son has ANY type of fit (be it mild or otherwise), they call me and AUTOMATICALLY assume that Bryce didn't have his ADHD medicine and will proceed to ask if indeed he did have it or not. In which case, he IS medicated (at home) about 98% of the time.

Also note, that I have told them time and time again, like a damned broken ass record, that it is *NOT* the Vyvanse that controls his mood swings. The Seroquel is used for that issue. And even then, it will not 100% curb them.

Plus add in the fact (and yes it IS indeed listed on his paperwork in the school files, as are ALL of his mental health problems/issues) that he has Sensory Processing issues. And guess what? THAT may very well be the ACTUAL culprit at hand as to why he *supposedly* acted out and had a meltdown.

The Master Gardners Association is at the school this morning and apparently there is A LOT of people in the cafeteria for this, with A LOT of different noises, sights and voices all going at one time. That amounts to WAY TOO MUCH for Bryce to take in all at one time.

No medication will help that! NOTHING. That is a sensory issue with the brain that NO drug will "help". I'm sick of my kids' school thinking that ANY "mental health medication" will be the CURE ALL as to help the teachers and school staff to "handle" these kids. The damn pills are NOT the complete answer, nor is it the ONLY way to "help" these kids meet their FULLEST potential.

WORKING WITH THEM, be it one-on-one or in groups within the classrooms, ALONG WITH the "aid" of the medications is the "cure all" to helping children with various mentally incapacitating disorders/disabilities. Not just to "drug them up" as to SHUT THEM UP.

If I could I would at least pull Bryce out of the Public Schools system and either place him in a Private School setting or even better yet, Home School. But I refuse to Home School for various reasons. One is the patience factor and the point that at some point, I would not have the knowledge to keep going with teaching.

This school has known of ALL of his problems since day one. And legally he DOES meet the requirements for Specialized Services. But their excuses of not complying with the law is that his Academic scores, which meet or even exceed standards for his grade level do not "permit" him to have even simple Requests for Adjustments met. Like isolation for test-taking or even having the help of Day Treatment for times like what *supposedly* happened today.

Now, I am even closer to, if not actually ready to contact the offices of the Disability Rights Advocacy Group in Richmond, Virginia. My son and I have been bullied and passed up long enough.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Losing Big Papa... The Aftermath

Now the real healing begins. For all of us. Yesterday, we had my children's Great-Grandfather's Funeral and Burial.

To say it was hard to go through is probably an understatement. I was doing good at the church until they wheeled Papa past me on the way out of the church. And I fell apart as Taps was playing and he received a 3-Gun Salute for his service in the US Air Force during WW2.

Being that Bryce stayed with one of my niece's that he is close to during the Chapel Service, he was calm but of course trying to take it all in as best as he could.

Then, he rode with his Daddy to the cemetery instead of me and the girls and Grandma. He needed his father and his Uncle. At this point it finally REALLY hit home what was taking place. True he KNOWS what death is. But he has NEVER been to a funeral and seen the true magnitude of how it LOOKS from his eyes.

At one point Bryce and his little sister came to me at the grave site. Once I started truly getting the full effect of my grief (Taps), Bryce looked up at me, patted me on the back and he too started crying.

Most times, Bryce has to be given "emotional cues" because his brain doesn't react to things (emotionally) in the "normal" sense you or I would have them. His brain cannot process and compute his surroundings as quickly as you or I can. It takes his brain longer to "get it" and to know when it's okay to feel certain emotions and how. For that, he looks to those around him.

And this is exactly what happened as we stood in heavy rain, saying our final farewell to a wonderful man who had loved his family so much and always put us all first (behind God).

As the kids, myself and my husband were getting ready to leave the water soaked grassy area, we said one last good-bye to the man that was a heavy influence to our family. It was bad enough listening to my youngest saying that she didn't want to leave Big Papa alone. But then Bryce too started to cry heavier and said he wished that we didn't have to leave Big Papa behind. I don't know which one of those two made my heart sink lower or give me a bigger lump in my throat.

Bryce was anxiety ridden most of the morning and part of the afternoon, before it was time to go to the Funeral. Like I thought would happen, he did a lot of "self hugging" and tugging of his jacket or shirt sleeves (comforting mechanism for self-soothing) and talking so fast that even Speedy Gonzales would have a time understanding him. And of course, due to the anxiety, talking about so many different things at random at once that you never (literally) knew what would pop out his mouth next..And let's not forget the CONSTANT walking and pacing.

But all in all, while he wasn't your "average" grieving child, he did VERY well under the circumstances. This was also his first funeral attendance. No pressure. He WANTED to go and he also WANTED to view his Big Papa laying in state. I'm proud of all three of my children. But I think Bryce made some HUGE steps yesterday, and I am so proud of him.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Children Like Mine Grieve Differently

My son isn't completely your "average, ordinary" kid. Sure, he does what most kids do in regards to playing outside, playing video games, watching goofy TV shows and other "normal" kid things.

But much of that is on a lower age level then those of his peers. Though he is finally out of the stage of still wanting to watch Playhouse Disney and the Srpout Channel (which he did up until the age of 8 years old).

Three years ago, two of my kids (Bryce and his older sister) got their first "taste" of real life, and the fact that we don't live forever and that those that we love will die one day.

Back then, I only took Hayley (the oldest) with us to the Funeral services. It was her first time seeing a person who passed away laying in state. For the most part, under the circumstances, she did quite well.

Now, tomorrow she will witness the burial of her Great-Grandfather, whom she was quite fond of. And so was Bryce. He will be now attending his first Funeral service.

With him, we have been preparing him for WEEKS of the impending death of their "Big Papa". Yes, there were lots of questions. My husband and I answered best as we could.

Sunday night is when Scott's grandfather passed. And while the two older ones were shook up and in a state of denile and shock, they took it better than I thought that they would.

The next morning though, is when all of that changed. And overnight, my son had changed. I guess from all the pent up grief from the night before.

While most children his age would just fall apart, crying and either go off to be alone or wish to be held as they began their grieving process, Bryce was "showing himself" in a way I had not seen in a very long time.

You see, one of his problems is a processing disorder. His brain doesn't take emotional overload very well, or sensory messages that are too great or too many to deal with at once. And this is apparently what had happened.

And the end result was a nine-year-old boy throwing, hitting, screaming, yelling and crying all at once. It was a classic Manic Episode in full form. Only this time unlike most others, I knew where this one was stemming from. Normally they just "hit" without real warning or cause. While indeed, it was without warning, I was able to figure out the cause pretty fast.

I'd chalked it up to the grief of what we told him the night before just all spilling out at once. But then, it happened on the next morning as well. While I still figured it was the grieving coming out, seeing as they had been too busy otherwise to "really think about it all", I'd had enough. I too have been at the end of my emotional rope.

After day two of this volatile display of emotion, I flat out told Bryce that if this is how he was going to be, then there was NO way he was going to be allowed to attend the Funeral. I said that this was NOT the way that we display our hurt. Especially not there.

And like I flipped a switch within him somehow, he stopped. Yes, he was still crying, but it was more of an "age appropriate" crying and being upset.

Kids with processing and sensory disorders deal with things so much differently than neurotypical children. What may not mean the end of the world to us, and seem quite trivial is equivalent to the world crashing down around them and that the sky is falling.

So when something such as the death of a close friend or family member occurs, their already shaky emotional and mental stability can indeed worsen. And a myriad of emotion can spill out all at once, and along with it come some not-so desired behaviors.

**Also as a side note, I would like to thank our cousin Tara. She was the ONLY one out of all the family that know of Bryce's problems to ask how Bryce was doing and handling HIS loss.

Now I can see indeed why I picked her as the God Parent of my kids. She truly is concerned for their welfare and never forgets to ask about them. Especially my son. Thank you Tara!**

Friday, March 4, 2011

Nevada..Maybe My State Next For Budget Cuts (Mental Health)

Mental Health Services. It is my son's lifeline. And mine. And my family's. Without them, God only knows what would have become of my child, our family, and my marriage. Because before they stepped in and began helping us almost five years ago, it was a sure thing that my marriage would have ended, my son would have indeed have been placed in a group home (or Psychiatric Ward for an indefinite period) and my family would NEVER have been the same.

I'd done most of my growing up as a child in California. But a few years after my mom's death and my dad remarrying, we all moved to the Carson City area of Nevada. To me, that is "back home" now. And it's where my heart is when I speak of "home".

But now, my "home" wants to damage those that still reside there. And that have mental health issues. Governor Brian Sandoval is proposing Budget cuts. And one area that would be GREATLY impacted is the Mental Health Services within the state's medical community.

Like for myself and my family, THOUSANDS in the state of Nevada depend on the funds to be there within the Mental Health area of medical care to be able to receive quality care, maintain their mental status, or greatly improve their mental state. Especially those suffering from Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia and other mentally incapacitating conditions, including ADHD/ADD and OCD.

Please, I urge you all who are reading this, to be sure to read one man's fight to not let Mental Health Aide get thrown to the proverbial wolves. He is a (former) Prison Guard in Nevada who suffers from Bipolar Disorder. And having access to Mental Heath doctors and (much) needed medications thanks to the funding being available to help those that were "down on their luck" and even living on the streets literally SAVED THIS MAN'S LIFE!

Nevada Mental Health Advocates Fear Budget Cuts

What is so very scary for me is that my state that I now reside in (Virginia) may very well be on the chopping block where Mental Health is concerned. And yes, I have in recent months indeed read that there have been "considerations" as to slash funding to those in need of Psychiatric help.

As a mother of a child who has been receiving services through Child and Family Services of Virginia for now almost five years, I cannot sit here and idly and quietly watch this possibility become a reality. My son is legally disabled thanks to all of the problems he has (genetically) acquired mentally. Thanks to his Case Manager, his Psychiatrist, various In-Home Therapists over the years, Summer Programs for kids like him and other services that are tailored to the needs of the mentally ill, my child, and thousands others in our state, as well as MILLIONS within the United States CAN and in fact DO have as close to a "normal" life as a neurotypical (one without mental disabilities) child has.

Find New "Fab Friends" over at For The Love Of Blogs TODAY!

Friday. I love it. And I loathe it. Especially on mornings such as these where the kids don't wish to get along.

If you haven't done so yet, stop on by For The Love Of Blogs. It is a WONDERFUL community of bloggers. Vic, Ashley and the crew are awesome ladies (and guys, too!) to get to know. And the community is VERY organized and supportive.

Click on the Fab Friends Friday button below, and see what I'm talking about. And feel free to become a member of FTLOB and join in the Fab Friends Friday Hop.

To read my latest blog entry titled,"Three kids, a minivan and one parent" ,click on said title and it will take you right to it.

Also over on Twitter, For The Love Of Blogs is hosting their first-ever Twitter Party! Everyone is invited to join in the Twitter-ific fun. The party begins at 12 PM, EST on March 5th.

Use the hashtag #FTLOBPARTY when answering or asking questions to make it easier for @taylordates, @scenicglory or @ashley_plus3 to keep up.

Have a great Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Three kids, a minivan and one parent..

That was me, the one parent in a minivan with three kids. Two of which decided to have a throw down in the two back seats. All over one not letting the other draw with their pencil and piece of paper, whereas the youngest got to.

Bryce was being rude, whiny and non-compliant about his big sister not letting him have HER things, thanks to the way he demanded that he too should get something of HER'S to use. I even told him I agreed with the oldest in not letting him have anything to draw with, thanks to his attitude and immaturity.

The following video, which I have in the past, posted to my main blog, The (Not Always) Happy Homemaker Diary ran through my head for a short moment as I kept on trying to calm the storm as it raged...and as three military personnel walked by my vehicle.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...