Search This Blog

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bullied

My name is Brent Krauth you may have seen my link on Facebook when I was almost 3 years old I had a brain tumor removed it is called Cerebellar Astrocytoma it was located on my brain stem so my balance is real bad that's why I use a walker. I was also very little for my age as a preteen so my mom and dad put me on growth hormones to help me get taller. All through school I was bullied I had little to no one standing up for me. I also have ADHD ,OCD and autism Maybe that's why I was bullied, In fourth grade I was bullied so bad I tried to burn down the school they wouldn't let me go back without having a evaluation down to see if I was safe to return to school.

I finished out elementary school mainstream, then in 6th grade I started special education at Krejci Academy in Naperville Illinois. When I attended Krejci 6th grade through tenth grade I had many great friends, I also attended mainstream special education half day in tenth grade. I was bullied at Waubonsie valley high school in Aurora Illinois I was in my home room which was a special ed classroom the teacher left a knife out and I hide it in my pocket I hide it there because I was afraid I would be bullied. I wasn't gonna use it but having it with me made me feel safe. The teacher saw it in my pocket and immediately took it and sent me to the deans office. Where I was expelled all because I wanted to feel safe, I have learned from all the mistakes I have made in life but they keep haunting me.

Then in eleventh I was sent to another special ed school in Bartlett Illinois called Bartlett learning center now known as Clearwoods academy. Then a little bit after that the Dupage county sheriff came over with papers for me to sign I signed not knowing my parents wanted to be my guardians I believe they had this planned out so they could help me run my life. But actually I am very greatfull that I signed they just wanna help me and stand by my side. When I was at Clearwoods I made bad decisions and I was sent to an alternative school called Aurora Education Center I use to get in fights with people at Clearwoods that use to bully me.I was just trying to show them I'm not afraid of them but a better choice I could have made was to tell a teacher and I didn't.

At Aurora education center I was actually bullied by teachers they use to restrain use for getting upset or even speaking our minds. I stayed at AEC till I was 21 I never got my high school diploma because I wasn't in regular classes. Then after school I started working august 25th 2007 at a developmental workshop for disabled individuals I have learned so many new skills here like assembling products for company's, disabling computer monitors and helping others. I recently got a job at the dog pound spending time with dogs and socializing and playing with them Please follow me on my journey my dream is to be an inspiration. www.facebook.com/Brentkrauthsjourney

Friday, August 29, 2014

Piles!

'm so sick of....PILES!
Piles and piles of paperwork , old and unpaid bills.....
Piles of dirty laundry and clean that needs to be folded ..... I call it "Mount Laundry"
Piles of "stuff" that has a "home" but I can't seem to get my mind organized to put it back where it belongs.
Piles of crafts left unfinished ...
Piles of stuff I no longer need....
Piles of jewelry and craft supplies that I tell myself I'll use again someday.
When people come over to visit , I have the tendency to throw my piles of stuff into a bag and in my spare bedroom and promise myself I'll put everything where it belongs. Then I find myself with a huge pile of crap in my spare bedroom.
It's frustrating. I wish I could get organized. It sucks that medicine doesn't fix your ADD behaviors.. 

Can you relate? I know I can!


Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Mother's Guide to make the best of the IEP Process

Not Just Surviving but Thriving
A Mothers guide to make the best of the IEP Process
IEP time can be super stressful. Not only do you have to stay on top of your everyday parenting responsibilities but now you also need to worry about your children’s futures and how to get them the education they need to ensure they get the best possible start in this big crazy world. Here are a few tips that might just help bring your stress level down and also help you feel a bit more empowered during your IEP visits.
I am not by any means an expert on this subject. I am simply a mother of 5 amazing children ranging in ages from 17 years old to 7 years old. All of my children have IEPs for one reason or another. The very first IEP I attended was 8 years ago, and I have been attending them every year since. So I do feel that I have been to enough to know the ins and outs of the IEP process. These tips are universal and should help out from kindergarten all the way up to high school!

1st Be Prepared
The worst thing you could do as a parent is assume that the school is going to bring all of the information to the IEP that is needed for the IEP Team to make an informed decision about you child’s educational needs. I have made this assumption in the past and if you are working with a good IEP team then things might be okay but if you are working with a school that is understaffed or unorganized you will seriously regret not preparing for the IEP meeting yourself. Even on the best of days the most amazing teacher could forget something that might have been a key component in your child’s education.
So how do you prepare for an IEP?
Make a MOMMY- MASTER –BINDER!
I have a 3” MASTER binder where I organize all 5 of my child’s school information. Each child has their own section in the binder. In the front of every section I keep a copy of that child’s current IEP. Next in each child’s section is a print out of that child’s current class schedule and teacher information. And the third thing I put in each child’s section is blank paper for taking notes. The MASTER binder is also where I keep copies of any long term projects the kids may be working on or will be working on soon.

Take Notes!
I always keep my notes or copies of any important e-mails from the teachers in the MASTER binder. This part of each child’s section is the one I use most often. This is where I write down any notes or observations I have made about my child. Such as; noticed George is not getting the basic math facts might need more help OR gave Stephanie a i-pod with classical music on it to listen to while she did her spelling and she finished it two days in a row with no complaining.

These things might not seem like a very big deal now but I often find that when I start comparing my notes with the teachers observations there are patterns that start to emerge and the right accommodations for my child can be made based on these patterns.
Set up an IEP team group e-mail list!
This list should include all members of your child’s IEP Team. All the teachers your child is currently being taught by should be included (Math, Science, English, PE, and even Art) the principal and vice principal should be included, the special education instructors should be included, the mother and father of the child should be included, and if the child is old enough the child that the IEP is for should be included. I decided 7th grade and above for my kids. Do this, separately, for each one of your children who have IEPs. The group e-mail list will give you a quick and easy way to communicate with your child’s IEP team all at once and it makes scheduling IEPs much easier. This is also good for sending a generic “These are the topics I would like to discuss at the upcoming IEP meeting” e-mail. Sending an e-mail like this, one or two days before the IEP is scheduled, gives the teachers and the rest of the IEP team time to think about and come up with ideas on how to best help your child.
Print a hard copy of your child’s grades!
Before you go in to the IEP, print off of your child’s grades to bring to the meeting with you. Most teachers will bring this with them but I have had the occasional teacher that tries to pull off the “oh your son is doing fine I don’t think we needed to look at that”. If you have a copy with you in your MOMMY-MASTER-BINDER then this won’t even be an issue. Make sure your copy is the most current copy that you can get and that you have reviewed it thoroughly before you go to the IEP. This way you are not shocked or horrified by the amount of missing assignments or failing grades in front of the IEP team.

2nd Know your rights

  • You have the right to an Independent Educational Evaluation of your child.
  • You have a right to call an IEP at ANY TIME!
  • You have the right to have your input included!
  • At the meeting, or just before, the parents must be given a copy of their states Procedural Safeguards Notice!
  • Written notice must be given to the parents of a student with a disability a reasonable time before testing.
  • You have a right to fully understand what the scores on your child’s testing means!
3rd Set the standard
If I expect other team members to be prepared I must also be prepared.
If I am not willing to take the time and effort to be prepared to discuss my child’s education, how can I expect others to do it for me?


Be patient.
Everyone on the IEP team has super emotionally challenging jobs. We are raising future leaders,scientist, doctors, lawyers, and future parents. All of us can get way stressed. Put yourself in each other’s shoes and imagine how stressed they might feel at this moment. Just think about it I have 5 kids at home and I work a full time job, the high school teachers are trying to shape the minds of up to 200 kids a day, if not more. I feel like I am going crazy with 5!!! They must be totally bonkers by the end of the day.
Use smart communication skills.
Instead of saying “you’re wrong” to a team member you don’t agree with, try saying I am not fully understanding your position on this. Could you please help me understand where you are coming from?”
Listen actively, especially to the things you do not want to hear.
I know that it is very hard not to go all momma bear on someone when they are telling you something about your child that is hard for you to hear. This is why I prepare as much as possible before the actual IEP. If you are in contact with teachers prior to the meeting you can hear their concerns about behavior and such and you will have time to calm yourself and come up with creative solutions. Even with all of this there are going to be those times when you find yourself on the verge of tears or wanting to reach over and smack some stupid teacher. JUST BREATH!! Try to think of it as a business meeting and remember cool heads always prevail!
Say thank you when IEP team members do things that are helpful.
I don’t know about you all but when I go in to an IEP meeting and the teachers start off with some amazing story about a time when my child did something wonderful at school or how much they appreciate my efforts as a mother I feel completely invigorated! Teachers feel exactly the same way!! Acknowledge the positive!!!
Get to know your child’s IEP team and their educational styles.
It is much easier to work with someone when you understand their reasons for the things they do.
Stay positive.
Instead of focusing on just the things that aren’t working try examining a bit closer the things that are working and grow from there.
Bring the energy.
Yes I understand that it has been a long day and you are tired and you still need to go home and help the kids with homework, make dinner, and get everyone in bed. I get it, I truly do, but the more positive and upbeat energy you can bring to the meeting the better. Positive energy is contagious and when the team members see your passion and drive for the situation it will spread!










THE MOST IMPORTANT THING!!!
The absolute most important thing you can do to make you child’s IEP meeting positive and beneficial to all parties involved is to remember why this is important to you!! YOU LOVE YOUR CHILD AND YOU WANT TO PROVIDE THEM WITH THE BEST START IN THIS WORLD!!! At the start of every IEP or parent teacher conference, I remind myself that “(Insert child’s name), is worth my very best!!” As the meeting goes on or the homework gets harder I just keep repeating that line in my head and it helps put things in perspective. You are your child’s most important advocate. Think of the awesome things you imagine your child doing or becoming in large part to the efforts you put forth. When things don’t go the way you plan, as they often do, breath and simply reevaluate!

Lastly
Don’t be so stinking hard on yourself!!!!!! I know I know, this is way easier said then done. I am continually blaming myself for my children’s failures and shortcomings. However on the other hand I see how much of a struggle this life is for my children right now, in this moment, and I can’t imagine the realities that they would have to face in their lives if I had not been there in their corner backing them up. So as I said before DON’T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF!!! You are doing such a great job!!!!!

Resources
These are mostly Utah based resources but every state and every county has internet resources that are super helpful. In our county we have district level IEP meetings that parents can attend to learn about the laws in their state regarding IEPS and the rights of the children and the parents who have IEPs. Our kids’ high school special education instructors also have a SEC (Special Education Course) that they offer, once a year, for the parents of children in the school with IEPs. Ask around the school for resources and if all else fails remember Google is your friend!

When the School Fails You

Okay, so they are clearly in the wrong. Take a deep breath and think about what you want long term before you go talk to them. You really need to partner with the school system in order to get the best education for your son. I know you want to go to the principals office and be all mama bear on him. I would too. But that won't get you what you want.

This is what I would do, I would email the principals office to let them know I am very concerned about this situation and I will be in first thing tomorrow to discuss it. I would show up at drop off tomorrow with another person. Either my husband, an advocate, my mom, anyone who is supportive of my son and I. Don't go alone if you can help it.

I would try really hard to take an attitude of, "how can we work together to make this work for EVERYONE." I would go in and tell them how much I love my boy, how awesome he is and how much potential he has. I would acknowledge how challenging his behaviors are and that I want to work with them to come up with solutions. And I can about guarantee I will cry. I used to try and hold back but I have found it to be rather effective and when having to protect my son it is not something I need to try and force.

If they start making vague threats (ie he will be kicked out or anything else illegal) I clarify by sweetly saying, "I must not be understanding this right. It sounds like you are saying if he _______ then _________ will happen and I believe that would violate his rights to a free and appropriate education/least restrictive environment/etc.". They usually backpedal pretty fast at that point. If their explanation doesn't make sense then I keep sweetly trying to pin them down. Remember Mrs. Doubtfire? I try to act like her. Lol. Sounds nutty, but it tends to work pretty well.

This is very, very important. After the meeting I send an email to thank him for meeting with me. Then I say that I just want to make sure I understand what the plan going forward is. I list out bullet points of what was decided and ask him to let me know if there is something I don't have right. You want a written record. Any follow up phone calls should be handled the same way.

Good luck!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Have faith!

The following words have never meant much to me, or had an impact in my life, until now. I am not a religious person by definition; however I do believe in a higher power, and that everything happens for a reason, whether we realize it immediately or in hindsight.

Seems like each day lately, has become a struggle for myself and my family, and I am exhausted on so many levels. Life is full of the unexpected and you can only prepare yourself so much, to handle the curveballs when they fly your way.


"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen."

I will be holding these words close to me, and pulling hope from them, as my family and I stumble faithfully down this rocky ADHD road, and take each obstacle as it comes.

Shiny, Happy Mom

(Our ADHD Story shares thoughts and ideas that do not necessarily represent our own. To share your story write to lles86@hotmail.com)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Patience and Consistency

I have noticed something with my son that may help you. Patience and consistency. Yes I know those are hard when having an adhd child. Specially since its everyday repeating the same thing over and over. But I realized if I lose patience..he loses patience with himself. And more out of control behavior occurs. We have to remind ourselves that ADHD is not a choice. So being too harsh on them causes them to be harsh on themselves. Our kids struggle to control themselves everyday. And thats when we help them by being consistent. They will not always sneak into the kitchen and take sodas and other stuff or control little brother..soon it will pass. As long as you correct them each time. Be consistent. Explain to them once .. then when they do it again ...tell them its not ok and ask why. Like when she hits her brother...explain how it makes him sad and he doesn't feel loved. Then next time.. ask why is it not ok to hit. It helps to remind them when you ask them why this or that is not allowed. I believe it also helps keep them focused on good behavior. I feel like a horrible parent to. I feel as if I can't control him. I'm scared also for his future. And also he makes me feel like ripping my hair out. But..as long as we try our best, we are not horrible. Dont be so hard on yourself. Take a deep breath and try again. As far as discipline goes.. I have my son go to his room. Yes a time out. But I explain to him its just for his benefit. Until he has calmed down,lost his attitude and ready to behave. I allow him to have his on "me" time. (Playing with toys is allowed when actions are not so serious..helps relax my angered child). So he goes to his room mad throws a fit....after he calms down..he lets me know he's ready. She will have friends soon. Maybe any older cousins she can play with to help remind her to share and take turns? Also let her do "big girl" task like helping you put groceries away. Make sure you let her know only big girls do this. And try to always award her with complements when good behavior. I hope I helped a bit. These tips made a big improvement for my son. Wish you luck!"

(Our ADHD Story shares thoughts and ideas that do not necessarily represent our own. To share your story write to lles86@hotmail.com)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Are you disrupting your treatment?

On the topic of how often you should take ADHD medication and if breaks are beneficial:

It's helpful for me to think of this topic as the disruption in treatment itself being what causes problems more than the consistency of the treatment. When treatment is disrupted, even for a day, it harms any cumulative progress that's been made during treatment. I realize they're two halves of the same coin, half-full/half-empty, but for me it's an important distinction. Perspective provides semantics sometimes.

Imagine a spring, or a slinky, or a long telephone cord, all tangled up. (I apologize for any anxiety triggers with this visualization.) Treatment provides a metaphorical sheath, say made out of duct tape, that we can use to wrap around the parts of the spring that we've managed to untangle and coil up all nice-and-neat. When we stop the treatment, even for only a day or two, it's like cutting that sheath, disrupting the support for the spring, and releasing its tension; the spring bursts out of the sheathing and gets all tangled up again. The minute you start providing a new layer of sheathing, you can immediately start re-coiling the spring. However, that sheathing is only really effective if it's consistently wrapped around the spring. Even if you only wrap the sheathing around a single section of the spring, while it may help hold that single section of the spring together for a little while, eventually the force created by the rest of the tangled spring mess will mean that the little bit will basically be ineffective. Each time you start wrapping again, it's almost like having to start over from scratch.


(Our ADHD Story shares thoughts and ideas that do not necessarily represent our own. To share your story write to lles86@hotmail.com)

ADHD Child Hitting and Kicking?

Does your ADHD child hit or kick? Here are some thoughts that may help your ADHD child be less abusive. 

I'd like to address hitting/kicking/etc... The following is what has worked for us (though, I will admit it wasn't an every day problem for us).

The most important part was changing my mindset. I stopped seeing the behavior as something he did to be "bad" or "defiant" and start seeing it as a skill (emotional regulation) he was not good at and needed help on; like learning to read. I wouldn't punish him at not being able to read, right?
When the behavior happened, this is what I did:

1. Physically block the kick/hit if I was able to.
2. Empathize with him, so he feels heard, "You're very angry right now," "You didn't want to turn off your game," "You want more candy," whatever.
3. Follow up with the limit, "You may not kick your father."
4. Let the meltdown happen ... my son just needed to get it, I learned I this was NOT THE TIME REASON WITH HIM, going on and on about how "right" I thought I was for turning off his game (for example) did nothing to help the situation!!
5. Let him calm down when he's ready.
6. Talk to him about his emotions (not the original argument that led to his meltdown/hitting/kicking, that is over and done with). I helped him find the words to explain that he was sad/angry/hurt.
7. Remind him that when he's angry, it's not okay to hit, but help him come up with ways that are OK when you're angry, like taking a break, hitting a pillow, squeezing a stress ball, etc...
8. ALWAYS TELL HIM I LOVE HIM AND GIVE HIM A HUGE HUG and send him on his way. It's over, time to move on!

After we were done, I'd think back to what him off. Was he overtired? Has he eaten enough today (big trigger for us), did we put him in a situation that was prone to cause him distress, were our expectations clear to him beforehand? Hammering out these issues decreased a lot of negative behavior explosions.

(Our ADHD Story shares thoughts and ideas that do not necessarily represent our own. To share your story write to lles86@hotmail.com)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I Blame ADHD on...

My apologies if this offends anyone- It is not meant to. It is my first post on here, after months of debating what to write. I have a child that has some of these issues and I feel ultimately responsible for the issues he is suffering through. My life, I know, has affected him. I am not raising my child, his mother is and I think she is doing a great job, by today's family standards.

Random thought- I see a lot of frustrated parents sharing experiences with their child(ren) online. I see a lot of venting. There are a lot of comments about bad teachers in school. Some harsh comments are directed towards health professionals.----> Are we being to hard on our kids? Are we sure our lives (parents) have not helped create or at least advance these behavioral issues in our children? Are our teachers qualified to deal with the changing times? Are doctors facilitating the use of meds to deal dismissively with our kids? I know a lot of parents are trying hard, to "fix" their child(ren). Are we trying in the right way? I know there were a lot of behavioral issues in the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's that probably never got diagnosed. But how did we get this far, to let our child(ren) suffer?


I blame it on the loss of family values, the increase of (and ever increasing) electronic world and the lack of physical, group, social activities that children need to bond with one another. There are many valid issues surrounding mental health, countless. I have a hard time believing that we, as parents and adults, in all professions, are not the root cause in a lot of these cases. I love my son. I will love him forever and I never try to show frustration with him, because that's how I feel all children are better nurtured. Does anybody else feel the same?

(Our ADHD Story shares thoughts and ideas that do not necessarily represent our own. To share your story write to lles86@hotmail.com)

Monday, August 18, 2014

You've lived with it this long...

Since my recent diagnosis my pet peeve phrase I am already tired of hearing is "You've lived this long with it" or "You made it this far without knowing", like that is supposed to suddenly make it better. Yes, I have lived this far without knowing but definitely not in peace or how I am meant to live. It's been stressful, emotionally tough and damaging to my self esteem,always wondering why I am different than everyone else, and being extremely critical of myself with negative self talk for everytime I forget something or can't focus,or make mistakes. It is mentally and emotionally draining. 

I understand that the people saying that don't clearly understand and am really not sure if they ever fully can without having to feel that emotional and mental stress every single day. I also dislike it when I recognize why I am how I am and try to explain that to people and they laugh it off like I am making excuses or like it's a joke.It's very real! I used to joke about the whole 'look a squirrel!' thing or 'shiny object' thing but even that is very real and frustrating how quickly we can be distracted.I am glad to finally be diagnosed so I can get the help I needed all my life, but it is hard when I have to wait to get in to see a doc to get on the meds and overwhelming when looking through hundreds and hundreds of tips to help me through.


(Our ADHD Story shares thoughts and ideas that do not necessarily represent our own. To share your story write to lles86@hotmail.com)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Chasing Butterflies

Chasing Butterflies...

Once upon a time there was this little girl who enjoyed looking out the window. She could look out there for hours. Unfortunately, while she was in her own little world watching butterflies go by, the teacher was going over addition and subtraction on the chalkboard. It was not until the teacher stood there for a good 5-minutes that the girl even realized her train of thought had drifted.

Hello everyone! My name is Cristina and I just felt like sharing my story with you all. I was diagnosed with auditory processing disorder and ADD along with dyscalcula at age 8 and was given Ritalin 10 mg. As my mother put it, it was like a light-bulb turned on in my brain. I was still my shiny self, but I was more aware of what was going on around me. I struggled in math and was slow to processing information which was interpreted by PROFESSIONAL'S as "slow." I was in public school up to 6th grade. Oh, did I mention I'm partially deaf AND play piano through reading notes and playing by ear? Okay, so for six years, I was in special education classes and branded as lagging behind. Then, I was "falling through the cracks" by 6th grade. My teacher at the time saw potential in me and felt I should be in private school with tutoring. So, I went to a private Catholic school for two years with tutoring from my well-educated parents. Then, I went to a private high school. It wasn't easy, but I made it through with the help of my parents and all while being told by others, PROFESSIONALS, that I wasn't going to make it to college let alone pass high school. This made my parents push me even harder while constantly reminding me that the only way to know what I'm capable of is to try and try as hard as I can! So, with that being said, I finished high school. It took me a while to complete my AA degree, but I did! I passed! Then, I finished two certificates. One is in medical transcription and the other, my most recent, is in the medical assistant field.

I'm living a full life despite what my parents and I were told. I love playing piano and I play rock band drums with great success despite my hearing loss. I love photography as well! I'm married and we own a home in MY name! I'm learning how to go grocery shopping on a budget. Yup, did everything I wasn't suppose to, but in a good way! I'm enjoying life with my husband whose an IT computer guy and my kitty.    


So, there's my story! I'm living proof that anything is possible if you put your mind to it! I'm not a doctor like my dad, but I'm more then just slow! I'm wired differently! I'm in a happy place right now! I enjoy "chasing butterflies" at times and that's okay because it's part of who I am. I still take medication, but it doesn't change who I am, it just makes me a better person! Here's a photo of my husband and I on our most recent trip!


(Share your story by messaging lles86@hotmail.com)


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Be Thankful it is Not Your Child

 In 2003 at 4 yrs old we traveled from Minnesota to Newport

 Beach, CA to the Amen Clinic for a Brain Spec Scan which 

was not covered by insurance. He was diagnosed with 

ADHD and Bipolar. A friend found out we were medicating 

him and lectured me about how he could be cured if I 

changed his food, limited the food dyes, and gave him 

vitamins. To think I could have saved $5000 and years of 

frustration just by doing that. How did I not think of that? 

Duh?! I was angry. Years later he frantically called me for 

advice for his child who was diagnosed with ADHD and 

apparently vitamins and a food change did not work for 

them. He is now medicating his child.

(Our ADHD Story shares thoughts and ideas that do not necessarily represent our own. To share your story write to lles86@hotmail.com)

About Me

My photo

Our ADHD Story is a place where people can share their stories, thoughts, and feelings about ADHD. Get past the generic list of symptoms and see how it is affecting people in real life through personal stories. We are not here to inform you, we are here to engage you.