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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Abbreviated Living

Today, children are not only born in a hospital, but under medication and a completely controlled environment. Yet, these children have the biggest medical terminology baggage that we had to create abbreviations for. Common abbreviations are IEP, CP, PDD, OCD, ADHD, ADD, ODD, plus a lot more. Remember the states and their capitols? Well, if you don't know their abbreviations, having a child in this day and age - you are going to need to know all the abbreviations that they and other children come with.

Please know that my list won't even cover a small fraction of abbreviations related to special needs kids. Let's start with the easy ones ADHD (Attention Deficiet Hyperactivity Disorder) this is reserved for the child who has difficulty sitting and working on a project. They are unable to focus on one particular event - they are often disorganized and messy. They move in stealth like manner and very difficult to reel in - they often cause embarrassing moments in public and make you look like a MEAN or bad parent, because it looks like you lost control of your kid. ADD (Attention Deficiet Disorder) Most people commonly confuse ADD and ADHD. I have two children with ADHD and the other one is ADD. The main difference between the two is the hyperactivity (unable to control impulsive type behavior). For example: My son with ADD has medication but only receives it on school days. He needs help in his ability to stay focused in his classes so he retains the information taught. ADD children are better at organization, and normally appear to have no negative socialization issues. The days that he is NOT medicated, are not difficult on me - whereas my other two children unmedicated would be enough to have me committed (that would be my vacation, LOL).

CP (Cerebral Palsy) this is commonly caused from traumatic birth or a traumatic event in utero. There is NO test for this, and most babies don't show signs until they continuously miss milestones (where the pediatrician tells you every baby develops at their own pace). CP is diagnosed by CT Scan (Cat scan) of the head. You don't want to see voids in the scan. The profile goes from mild to severe (wheelchair bound children). My oldest was diagnosed with a mild form when he was 4.5 years old. You wouldn't even know he has it - his CP affects him academically (it is harder for him to learn) and he has tight heel cords so he was a toe walker.

IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) This is what most children get when they are deficient in one (33%) area, or (25%) in two or more areas at the age of 3. If you child shows deficiencies the school district is OBLOGATED to provide special services that are soley based on your childs needs and academic goals. There is a group of professionals (well they have a degree in "special needs") that meet with the parent to provide an educational plan just for the specific child in need. One important thing to remember is that this meeting is for your child and your child alone. You the parent know what is best - you as the parent aren't at this meeting to make friends - speak up if you disagree with the plan. Due to the state of the economy a lot of services are being cut, but if your child needs a service that has been cut, you have every right to ask for it for your child. Don't take "NO" for an answer. Make the district responsible should anything happen. My oldest child is Bipolar (we didn't know at the time) and he can be extremely violent. Well when he was in 5th grade, the incidents kept escalating so we asked for an aide at school to prevent injuries to other children (it was a safety precaution). We were denied - I desperately tried to get the district to understand that the violence was picking up and we were worried. DENIED, DENIED. Finally, we wrote a legal letter asking the school to remove us as liabilities in case another child got hurt on school grounds, since we were denied an aide. Three days later, our son threw a book at a teacher hitting her in the temple. The teacher fully recovered after an overnight in the hospital - guess what we had by the end of the week? An aide. You the parent really knows best and fight for what is right.

Well, I was aiming for a shorter post this time and it is long. I will continue this rant in another post later on. Until next time... Do all the good you can... As often as you can...To as many as you can... Be Blessed

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