Monday, March 19, 2012

Some Saving Grace

The 3 weeks Beckett attended PPCD was a sneak peek to what he was going to be introduced to for an entire school year. It was finally hope being realized. The road of over coming obstacles was just beginning. We set his IEP goals for the upcoming school year and were excited to see if he would master or even exceed those goals. His vocabulary was limited to about 10 -15 words. He mostly said "bye-bye" to everything. We set a goal to have him work on single step commands, like "pick up the trash" or "hand me the spoon". He also needed to begin to identifying items in sets of 3. We would ask him to point to the picture we would ask him about. Examples would be like, "shirt, pants or jacket". This was frustrating and disheartened to us at first because we could not keep his attention for more than 30 seconds.
He pointed to the beater..I couldn't refuse:)
His frustration level was over the top when he tried to communicate his needs with us and sometimes he would scream for hours. The whole time trying to guess what he needed. We knew that he did not qualify for a summer program through the public school system, so we took another financial burden on to bring him to speech therapy twice a week. We knew that if we didn't that he would not make small gains. We also had help for us to learn new techniques of communication with him in the form of signs, pictures and teaching him hand-over-hand skills at pointing to an object.

In the meantime, I was researching all I could to find out to why he was having these problems. I decided to take a scientific study I had read and use the information and make him my "little science experiment". This study was done somewhere in Europe, but it caught my attention. I figured it wouldn't hurt and maybe I would get some results over a period of time. We already knew that he has delayed speech and that therapy would be apart of his life for a long while. The scientific study I read had to do with a group of speech delayed children ranging from the ages to about 2 years - 10 years. The scientist made a small scientific break through with what Omega 3 & 6 oils do to increase the brain development in the area of speech. They recorded that out of about 650 children about 85% had a measurable increase in speech development over a 3 month period.

I said to myself "what could it hurt". I called my doctor and he was in agreement with me. He said that all children should take some form of Omega 3. Well, after that I went out to the store and bought a 30 packet months worth of fruit flavor gel packs to give him everyday. I noted that we started in June and continued throughout the summer months and along with speech therapy he began very short spurts of new communication. Most might see it as not measurable, but when a child that has almost no language skill signing more and pointing for more juice...that was a huge milestone. I knew that something was working, but I knew that once he began PPCD in the Fall he would make incredible gains. This was going to be his saving grace.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Waiting Game

Trying to get answers to why Beckett has problems has found me searching every nick and cranny for answers. It is going to take a long time. It is very hard to accept there could possibly be no answer to what happened and how to fix it.  I struggle with that reality on a daily basis.  As long as I am able and willing to find an answer, I will not stop until I do.  I am not really a "conspiracy theorist", but sometimes I do believe the people that are in the elitist part of our society tend to know more than they let on about health issues.  I do think that sometimes information is only revealed in circumstances that ones closest to the research have some kind of conscious and end up letting the "cat out of the bag" and "taking one for the team".  Almost like the cigarette industry came out with research saying that cigarettes caused lung cancer.  I am learning more and more everyday that our health system and the way things are run by our insurance companies are strictly politically driven.  It can be very frustrating at times to think that a persons life is put second to money and political gain.
Beckett's ECI graduation 4 days before he started PPCD at Ault Elementary

 I have vowed to fight to the end for my son and any other child who has had to encounter the system who doesn't care about their well being and to fight for a cure for mental disabilities, autism, and other neurological disabilities that keep a person from living a life that is normal.  It is exhausting to deal with a child that has disabilities and finding respite to have a somewhat normal existence.
However, the tiny gains that Beckett makes become huge celebrations.  He began his new PPCD class 2 days after his 3rd birthday.  I will never forget the day that he came home from his new PPCD class an could suck through a straw!! Sounds crazy, but Mrs. Julie got him to drink through a straw in almost 2 weeks of being in his new class.  I was actually worried that he wouldn't do much of anything in his new class since the school year ended in 3 1/2 weeks from when he started.  I was so wrong..Other concerns were about his bus ride to the school from the daycare and overall cooperation with the teachers.  He learned a routine in a fairly short time and began to make more sounds. His teacher sent us a video of his progress. He was making sounds he learned while in class the short time he was there before summer started.  I cried!  I do believe that God sent a pair of teachers to take care of him and help teach Beckett.  They have also helped us to deal with Beckett's disabilities.  I knew that the new school year would be a huge benefit for him and was excited about the new things he would learn in the Fall.