Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Now McKenzie

Okay I need to write out about McKenzie but where do you start with her she just isn't a normal kid. Don't get me wrong she is a wonderful little girl and I love her who wouldn't she is the child who every teacher dreams of or as her 1st grade teacher told me she wishes she had 20 more of her as she is like having another adult in the class.
The problem is something is always going wrong with her. Kenzie was born November 19, 1998 10 days before her due date as after Joshua I am unable to have another baby naturally due to a classical incision from his emergency c-section when she was born she seemed to be a completely healthy baby gained weight normally and a healthy 7lbs and 10ounces at birth. It all began when she was 3 months old and exposed to Pnemonia by her also 3 month old cousin who basically lived with us at the time fortunatley she managed to keep out of the hospital but it led to her first of 18 ear infections at least that is the amount of times she was in for them till she was 18 months old. Poor kid got horrible yeast infections with every antibiotic she went on and was always needing antibiotics due to all being very bad infections she was in every three to 4 weeks getting checked for infections in between they would clear up but the fluid in her ears never went away. She built up some kind of resistance to most of the lighter antibiotics and even now they automatically put her on at least the zpak because prescriptions like amoxicilan does nothing for her yet the stronger the antibiotic the worse her yeast infection! When she was 18 months old it was obvious she would need to have tubes inserted in both ears to keep the fluid drained but the first set of tube she ended up with an infection in her left ear which caused damage to her ear drum and hearing loss at about 40%. Also she needed to have that tube replaced obviously. After this her ear infections stopped but her fevers began she would get random fevers out of nowhere up to 103 with no other symptoms lots of tests but never a reason for it she still gets those, they only last a day then go away. When she was 2 we notice the first really scarry issue which is when she started having rectal prolapse which started our fears of cystic fibrosis at the time she really had no other symptoms they ran a test on her that tested for about 30 of the mutations and did find one gene but you have to have two to have the disease and there are over 800 identified mutations but the insurance would not agree to pay for the bigger testing unless she did an sweat test and it was positive so we tried that again and again and again. Everytime we have gone in to do the test she sweats everywhere but where they have the collector disc thing so they never got enough to run the test she has been tested so many times it is getting frustrated we still try at least once a year as she now also has asthma very reactive and she takes albuterol daily and as needed also she takes zyrtec due to lots of allergies. She is also very heat intolerant and has had heat exhaustion about 3 times in teh last year not as far as heat stroke but we worry a lot in the summer that it will happen so she walks around carrying a bottle of water all the time to help keep her hidrated but her temp has spiked over 104 during these episodes several times. In the last year she has developed constipation issues, she goes daily and has no complaints but even when she has a bowel cleanout (which she really hates by the way) she is never completly cleaned out which has me frustrated because the only answer I get is some kids have that problem but no answer to why in the meantime she takes miralax daily though it doesn't keep her cleaned out and she goes like she always did and she has constant tummy pain that has her in tears when really bad. I can't help but think something has to be wrong with her but I don't ever seem to get anywhere with a really reason for all of this and I just want my little girl to feel good someday. She also was diagnosed with acid reflux this year and takes 2 doses of zyrtec a day so yes she has quite the med list for a kid who has never really been diagnosed with anything specific her daily meds consist of albuterol, miralax, zyrtec and zantac, with her ibuprofen for belly pain when needed and any antibiotics when she gets sick. She sees an ENT, gastrointerologist and her regular dr for now but occasionally another gets added to the list depending on what is going on at the time.
Through this she is a sweet little girl who generally does whatever is asked but wears her emotions on her sleeves, she loves to dress like a princess and wear skirts and dresses whenever she can, she will never intentionally hurt someone in any way and would probably give you anything if you asked.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

One of Izzaks biggest problems is CAPD let this explain

Jennifer, 9, seems to pay attention when the teacher works with her one-on-one. But when there are group discussions, she spends most of her time looking out the window. The teacher is complaining she doesn't participate in class and is giving Jennifer lower grades as a result.

Shawn, 12, was supposed to be home in time for his dentist's appointment at 3:30 PM. But when he finally walked in the house at 5:00, he was surprised to hear about the appointment and that his mother had reminded him about it that morning.

Normal kids? Or is something else going on?

Life is complicated these days, for children as much as adults. There's a lot to remember and a lot to do. But sometimes a child may seem to be more than simply distracted by a complex life. Although their hearing may be normal, kids with central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) can't process the information they hear in the same way as others because their ears and brain don't fully coordinate.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms?

Symptoms of CAPD can range from mild to severe and can take many different forms. If you think there may be a problem with how your child processes what he or she hears, ask yourself these questions:

* Is your child easily distracted or unusually bothered by loud or sudden noises?
* Are noisy environments upsetting to your child?
* Does your child's behavior and performance improve in quiete settings?
* Does your child have difficulty following directions, whether simple or complicated ones?
* Does your child have reading, spelling, writing, or other speech-language difficulties?
* Is abstract information difficult for your child to comprehend?
Are verbal (word) math problems difficult for your child?
* Is your child disorganized and forgetful?
* Are conversations hard for your child to follow?

These, as well as other behaviors, may be signs of a central auditory processing disorder (CAPD). It's an often-misunderstood problem because many of the behaviors noted above may also appear in other conditions such as learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and even depression. But kids with CAPD can have a coexisting disorder - the most commonly seen is ADHD. Although CAPD is often confused with ADHD, it is possible to have both.

What Causes It?

The possible causes of CAPD are varied and can include head trauma, lead poisoning, chronic ear infections, and unknown reasons. Because there are many different possibilities - even combinations of causes - each child has to be assessed on an individual basis.

How Is It Diagnosed?

Audiologists (specialists in hearing) can determine if your child has CAPD. Although speech-language pathologists can get an idea by interacting with your child, only audiologists can perform central auditory processing testing and determine if there really is a problem.

However, some of the skills a child needs to be evaluated for central auditory processing disorder don't develop until 8 or 9 years old. The auditory center of the brain isn't fully developed at age 7, 8, and 9 - the most common ages audiologists see for the central auditory processing test. These kids' brains just haven't matured enough to accept and process a lot of information. Therefore, many children diagnosed with CAPD can develop better skills with time.

Once diagnosed, children with CAPD usually work with a speech therapist. The audiologist will also recommend that your child return for yearly follow-up evaluations.

What Are the Problem Areas for Kids With CAPD?

Here are the five main problem areas that can affect both home and school activities in children with CAPD.

* Auditory Figure-Ground Problems: This is when the child can't pay attention when there's noise in the background. Noisy, low-structured classrooms could be very frustrating to this child.
* Auditory Memory Problems: This is when the child has difficulty remembering information such as directions, lists, or study materials. It can be immediate (i.e., "I can't remember it now") and/or delayed (i.e., "I can't remember it when I need it for later").
* Auditory Discrimination Problems: This is when the child has difficulty hearing the difference between sounds or words that are similar (COAT/BOAT or CH/SH). This problem can affect following directions, reading, spelling, and writing skills, among others.
* Auditory Attention Problems: This is when the child can't maintain focus for listening long enough to complete a task or requirement (such as listening to a lecture in school). Although health, motivation, and attitude may also affect attention, among other factors, a child with CAPD cannot (not will not) maintain attention.
* Auditory Cohesion Problems: This is when higher-level listening tasks are difficult. Auditory cohesion skills - drawing inferences from conversations, understanding riddles, or comprehending verbal math problems - require heightened auditory processing and language levels. They develop best when all the other skills (levels one through four above) are intact.

If your child has CAPD, there are strategies that can be used at home and school to alleviate some of the problem behaviors associated with CAPD.

How Can I Help My Child?

Difficulty with following directions is possibly the single most common complaint about children with CAPD. Some of things you can do that may help:
* Reduce background noise.
* Have your child look at you when you're speaking.
* Use simple, expressive sentences.
* Speak at a slightly slower rate and at a mildly increased volume.
* Ask your child to repeat the directions back to you aloud and to keep repeating them aloud (or to himself or herself) until the directions are completed. Make certain your child understands the directions and isn't just copying your words. You can be more certain of this if your child is able to rephrase the directions. For example, "Take the garbage to the side of the house," may be restated as, "You want me to take the garbage to the side of the house, not to the front."
* For directions that are to be completed at a later time, writing notes, wearing a watch, and maintaining a household routine also help. General organization and scheduling also seem to be beneficial for many children with CAPD.

It's especially important to teach your child to be responsible and actively involved in his or her own success. Your child can be encouraged to notice noisy environments, for example, and move to quieter places when listening is necessary.

These other home strategies may also be helpful:

* Provide your child with a quiet study place (not the kitchen table).
* Maintain a peaceful, organized lifestyle.
* Encourage good eating and sleeping habits.
* Assign regular and realistic chores, including keeping a neat room and desk.
* Build your child's self-esteem.

These are all very important goals. Your modeling of these behaviors goes far toward encouraging them in your child.

It's also important to keep in regular contact with school personnel about your child's progress. Kids with CAPD aren't typically put in a special education class. Instead, techniques are used to make the child's regular classrooms more "friendly" for him or her. For example, it's important to discuss seating plans with teachers (a child with CAPD should sit toward the front of the room with his or her back to the windows). Also, talk to your child's teacher about specific plans for problem academic areas and provide your child with whatever aids may help in class, such as an assignment pad or a tape recorder.

One of the most important things that both parents and teachers can do is to realize that CAPD is real. Symptoms and behaviors are not within the child's control. What is within the child's control is recognizing the problems associated with CAPD and applying the strategies recommended both at home and school.

A positive, realistic attitude and healthy self-esteem in a child with CAPD can work wonders. And kids with CAPD can go on to be just as successful as other classmates. Although some children do, however, grow up to be adults with CAPD, with coping strategies and by using techniques taught to them in speech therapy, they can be very successful adults.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


So when I started this I was going to write about each one of my kids individually so I need to get back to that. Joshua Robert Dunn is my 9 year old he is a very energectic kid to say the least. His birthday is November 14, 1996 he was due January 6, 1997, Obviously he was early. He had a rough start but only had to stay in the hospital for 3 weeks in the NICU fortunately he did pretty well he did have some breathing difficulty in the first week with his breathing and required cpap to help him breath he was also tube fed for that week as I was still admitted to the hospital due to complications that caused his early birth. I had a full placenta previa and placenta increta and hemoraghed badly they didn't know at the time if I would make it myself and had to transfer him to a different hospital with a level 3 NICU. He did well though but was a very high needs baby and reacted to his environment a lot he did not like large crowds, noisy places or bright lights and had to be on a schedule for a couple of years for everything otherwise it was like caose for him he couldn't handle it as a baby he would just cry then as he got older he just acted out in groups, now unfortunately he likes crowds and feeds off of the energy. Also when he was born he had really bad jaundice and spent a couple of weeks in a biliblanket to get his bilirubin levels down to exceptable levels. When we were able to take him home he had to pass a car seat challenge where basically they put him in his carseat attached to his O2 monitor and heart monitor to see how he handled it and what adjustments need to be made so he could his heart was fine but he was having apnea spells and his O2 would drop a bit so they had to figure out a way to prop him in his carseat with things underneath him and behind his neck to help him breath better, we did that for about another month after he got out and I have to say we didn't really go out much because of it. After the preemie experience he did pretty well other then occasional apnea spells at night till he was about 2 months old he was healthy which was great because they told us in the hospital to expect him to have problems due to being early. The only thing that happened to him was when he was 6 months Kellys dad (his grandpa) fell on the stairs while holding him and broke his left leg in 2 places just above the knee and just below the knee and had to where a cast in the middle of the summer from the waist down with a wooden bar between his knees, let me tell you carrying a 6 month old with a 15 pound cast is not fun especially with that bar in the way. So anyway the rest of his being a baby was good till he hit his toddler stages and his temper really kicked in, boy can he throw a fit this is partly where we started seeing the signs of him having ADHD or some other issue as he was very volitile with his tempers if he was upset he was very upset and could be very destructive, we couldn't figure this out since his brother was always so much more mellow even when upset he didn't break things the other thing was Joshua had no sense of fear of injuring himself he would do all kinds of things that you would be convinced he was going to seriously injure himself. When he was happy he has always been really happy and overly excited literally bouncing off the walls and anything else he could bounce off of. When he was 8 and towards the middle of the second grade we started discussing seriously having him tested for ADHD as we really felt something at this point needed to be done to help him relax a little bit both for his rages and his over excited times when he was bouncing and his attention span for things such as school work. After Kindergarten and first grade and the talks with the teacher and yes even the principal about some of the things he would do we decided it was time to make that decision and he saw a dr who diagnosed him with ADHD and started him on Adderal, now don't jump down my throat about that as I have heard many opinions on the medicating debate and I think really has to be a personal decision between the parents and childs dr, now Joshua was really getting into some distructive behaviors and his lack of fear was scaring me as it didn't scare him one bit to jump from the rood of our house, I still have no idea how he managed to not hurt himself so many times but I was truely convinced he was going to do something really bad sometime and if the meds could help that and other issues as well I was willing to try it. We don't medicate him to strongly he is in no way a zombie as I used to hear people say about kids on those drugs he is still my lovable energetic Joshua but he thinks a little more before he does things and his teachers can help him with his schoolwork and I only get occasional calls now from the school instead of a minimum of weekly calls as before. Before meds we tried everything we could think of and were suggested to us he was always on a strick schedule as far as sleeping and eating, etc. otherwise we would completely lose him we tried different diets, during his rages I would sit him down and try to hold him still with my arms like hugging him from behind but sometime this would end up with me being hurt by him (which I know he really didn't mean to do) I would do that anywhere it happened even getting looks from strangers who didn't understand that holding him like that was the only way to eventually get him to calm down, I used to get people walking by who would comment with things like "that boy needs a good spanking" how do you give a kid a spanking when even when you have tried that it doesn't faze him.
Anyways this post makes him sound kind of bad all in all he is a very sweet little boy who would do anything for his little sisters. Putting him on the medication though a hard decision has helped him though and he agrees to this also. If at any time he felt he didn't like how it made him feel or just didn't want to have it any more I would take him off of it as long as he felt he could control himself so it would be in the future I suppose. Joshuas only other issue is his eyes cross and he has a lazy eye on his left eye, so he wears bifocal glasses when I can get him to keep them on he thinks they get in the way to much so we are constantly battling to have him keep his glasses on. Joshua does great in school though educationally speaking he is ahead in his reading and when we started him on his meds his handwritting improved drastically as he actually cared what it looked like. He loves to draw and is very good at that also he will draw most things but loves to draw monster trucks mostly these days. I can't imagine what I would do without my sweet Joshua and his antics he is at camp right now and the house seems awfully quiet without him and the girls aren't quite sure what to do and they are used to having Joshua to entertain him.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Beach

My sister in law Gloria and I took the girls to the beach on sunday they had a lot of fun and the water was actually warm enought for them to play in it

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Busy Saturday

Saturday 8/5/06
We had a busy day yesterday starting with my physical therapy. Then Izzak, McKenzie, Maddie and I (Joshua and Kelly are camping) went to my friend Hannah and her 18 month old Emily and 7 wk old Simon went shopping at the outlet mall after that the kids wanted to go swimming at her apartment pool. I sat on the side and held little Simon
but I definetly can't complain, he is definetly a little sweety.

After we were done swimming we had to run back home to change for my cousins wedding, well technically my cousins daughters wedding I used to babysit her when she was little and I was a teenager so that definetly makes me feel old. It was a beautiful wedding and of course I dressed the girls up and they were very cute of course

Pictures of the girls while eating their dinners at the wedding Kenzie is enjoying her fruit and Maddie seems very serious about her roll.

Of course any occasion with my dads side of the family wouldn't be complete without the party afterwards including the dance and people probably drinking a little to much we stayed for awhile and Maddie was getting into the dance part herself

Maddie dancing I thought she was awful cute!

Anyway it was a busy day for us and everyone came home very sleepy. Sunday we drop Izzak off to go to camp for 8 days, I will miss him, and I am hoping to take the girls for a little trip to the beach, we will see.
Everyone is doing pretty well right now though not really looking forward to school staring in a few week except maybe Madison who will be in Kindergarten and Kenzie who still really likes to go to school hopefully she will stay that way but she starts second grade this year and it will start getting harder for her since she is a little behind in her reading I will have to keep a really close eye on that though I don't want a repeat of everything that has gone on with Izzak and his learning. I will sign off now time to figure out if we can go to the beach!

Friday, August 04, 2006

To My Kids

~Close your eyes, Have no fear,
The monsters gone, he's on the run
and your daddy's here.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Boy,
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Boy,

Before you go to sleep,
Say a little prayer,
Every day in every way, it's getting better and better,

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Boy,
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Boy,

Out on the ocean,
ship sailing away
I can hardly wait
To see you come of age
But I guess we'll just have to be patient
Cause it's a long way to go, a hard row to hoe
Yes it's a long way to go, but in the meantime,

Before you cross the street,
Take my hand,
Life is just what happens to you while you're busy making other plans,

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Boy, Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Boy,

Before you go to sleep,
Say a little prayer,
Every day in every way, it's getting better and better,
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Boy,
Darling, darling, darling, darling Izzak, Joshua, McKenzie and Maddie.
Goodnight Izzak,Joshua, McKenzie and Maddie, see you in the morning~