Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Medicating to Move On With My Life

Are you one of those people who are awesome at helping others including your children and husband but when it comes to helping yourself, you totally suck at it?

I certainly get a thrill at helping my children and other moms going through the special needs ringer but when it comes to just looking in the mirror and moving on towards my own goals, I am just plain flawed. In fact, I have always been bad at this. You may think this sounds very modest of me but I really I am kind of ashamed. It is the reason that I don't feel like I'm really so good at anything and it is the reason why I don't feel very accomplished with my own career. Now that I've taken a break from my career, the feeling is even worse.

I started to become more conscientious about this side of my life again after Spencer was accepted into Logan's school. Before he did, I would tell everyone that since I won my court case for Logan, the only thing I'm worried about is where Spencer will go to preschool. If I can get him into the right school, he could have a great start and hopefully won't have to go to three special ed preschools like Logan did.

When Spencer was accepted into Logan's school. I was elated and then when I started to come back down to earth (believe me, it took a while), my friend asked me, "So what's your next big project?"

Ugh. Do I have one? Should I have one? Of course I have one. It's the worst one ever.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What Happens When You Go To Bed Angry?

Logan is in a great school but that does not mean that he is going to have great behavior every day he's there.

I have to keep telling myself that because every time he has a bad day, I start to visualize what he could have done, how much stress he must have felt, and if the school will let him go eventually. I will never get over that fear, having had my child kicked out once before, without warning. I have even talked to the school management about how a child is asked to leave and what he told me was so reassuring but my anxiety is WAY TOO POWERFUL. I heard his words. I believe them but I have to feel it in my bones.

That said, we were thinking of changing his medication or his dosage AGAIN. His teacher and school psychologist both talked to Logan's developmental pediatrician and I expected a change right away. Instead, they gave me homework.

More homework. Great. I hate that word now more as a parent than as a kid.

I was asked to keep a diary that notes when and what time he gets up and what he eats for breakfast, when he takes his meds, his morning mood, and when he falls asleep. It's not hard to do but I was a bit annoyed that my doctor wasn't just going to give me a new script. More work for me..... that's what I thought initially.

However, I think it's better this way. I really need to see how much sleep affects his behavior. I noticed on the days he is best behaved, his lunch comes back completely untouched.

You know what..... I'm am digressing from the real point. Here it is....

I had a big fight with my husband on Saturday night and we have still not made up yet.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Strippers Can Not Eliminate Separation Anxiety

This past weekend was one of the best I've ever had. On Friday morning, I passed my eye test for my driver's license renewal SANS glasses thanks to my LASIK surgery!!!! Then I came home and tried really hard not to burst because I knew Kai would be home with Spencer and would have to tell me how Spencer did in his preschool screening. This is also Logan's school so I have been salivating over the notion that both of my boys would be under one educational roof- you know... like typical kids. sigh....

"It's over," he said. Kai loves to create drama by taunting me.


"He's in."

"What do you mean? What did they say?" I could so see him misunderstanding something.

"They said they are offering him a placement or a seat or uh.. whatever. I don't remember."

"How can you not remember!?!?!?!"

I called the school immediately and they confirmed it. "The moms never believe the dads," the Assistant Head of the school told me.

I could have kissed the ground but instead I kissed Spencer, the air, and jumped around my apartment for ten minutes in complete glee. Now I know that Spencer would be given the best chance he could possibly have to have a great start in his education. This school meets my criteria. They are not afraid of anyone. They are straightforward with parents too. They have kids who match Spencer's cognitive level but need just as much help as he does with other needs. The school makes classes where the kids compliment each other and they are very serious about that.

I could go on and on but I was busy packing!!!!! Yes, packing!!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Special Needs Preschool Admissions Can Cause Freakish Anxiety Too

I have been terribly preoccupied with Spencer's preschool admissions lately. I am almost ashamed of myself for being so anxious but here I am in the throes of educationally-based craziness.

Even though so many factors are beyond my control such as someone accepting him or not, I still worry about it. Here in New York City, there are several select nursery schools for typical children that are just so incredibly difficult to have your child admitted. The process sends many upscale New York parents absolutely insane. For many, these nursery schools are apparently the first crucial step to take if you want your child to go to a good primary (private) school.

These select nursery schools were always way out of my income bracket and the frenzy that these affluent parents exhibit for such exclusive schools would bring out a bit of disdain in me. I would say to myself, these people have no idea how lucky they are to have this kind of problem. But now, I am experiencing my turning point with Spencer and feel so anxious especially after having gone through the impartial hearing process. With every step I take with Spencer, I wonder if I am anything like those parents whom I have scorned in the past.

But then again, I can't beat myself up too much. So much of the driving force of my anxiety stems from the misguided trust I placed in the people who were part of deciding where Logan should go to preschool. Now here are the crazy things that I think of when looking at a school since I am still licking my wounds from Logan having gone to five different preschools, three of them being special needs schools:

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Scariest Fight of My Life and Winning It!

Not long ago, I got what was probably the best news I ever heard in my life. Logan had won his impartial hearing. The city would now support our decision to send him to the state-approved private school he was currently attending and would thus fully pay his tuition starting from back in September when he was first enrolled.

Those of you who follow this blog will not know what I'm talking about because the matter was under litigation and so I could not speak about it publicly. Basically, in short, last year, Kai and I decided that what the city offered to Logan as an educational placement for Kindergarten was inappropriate and so we needed to find other options.

I truly believe my panic attacks originated from worrying about where he would go to Big School so this chapter in my life is a huge factor in attempting to answer the question, "Can Mom be Calm?" I believe that for many parents of special needs children, the education issue can be a tremendous source of joy and comfort but also of heartbreak and frustration.

In Logan's last year of preschool, I started worrying about where he would go to kindergarten. I worked really hard calling everyone I could to learn about the process and to see what is out there for Logan. It was so overwhelming. There was so much to do. There was so much I didn't know and so many decisions that I had to make. Everyone was giving me different advice.

"No, you don't need a private evaluation," I heard from some. "The city will give you one."

But I also heard, "Yes, you definitely need one, here's the number to where we did ours, we paid $10,000 but it was worth every penny."