Friday, September 28, 2012

mama's (and daddy's) don't let your children grow up to be incompassionate jerkwads or what is wrong with our society

I sit here with tears in my eyes.  Why, you ask?  I'll tell you why.... I just had to explain to my son what a retard is and why a bunch of kids were bullying him and calling him a stupid retard on the toy at McDonald's.  He was playing, sometimes with someone, but mostly alone, hurting nobody at all.  I hear him yell stop it and look up.  There were 6 or 7 kids surrounding him, not letting him go down the slide, or back down the climbing thing.  They finally move and he comes down and sits for a minute.  He tells me he is ok when I ask so I let it go and just keep an eye on him.  A few minutes later I hear him yell again for someone to shut up.  I look up and can't see him so I grab Reilly and go look.  A lady comes up to me and asks if the kid in the perry the platypus shirt is my son and tells me that he is yelling at her son and tried to hit him.  I finally locate him and hear her son and the same 6 or 7 kids surrounding him, keeping him from going anywhere laughing at him and calling him a stupid retard.  Yes, my son was swinging and yelling for them to shut up.  I turned to her and asked if THAT was HER son, she said "yeah, the one your kid is swinging at"  then she had the audacity to ask me what was wrong with my kid.  I turned to her and said, the only thing wrong with my son is that your son is bullying him and calling him a stupid retard, which I am assuming he learned from you.  She called me a bitch, I told Boyd to push his way down so we could leave.

So here we sit after having a discussion about compassion that he didn't really understand. 

It is a parents job to be a role model for proper behavior to their children.  They learn from you.  It doesn't matter whether you are talking bad about someone because of their skin color, their orientation, the way they look or their mental capacity, your kid is a sponge.  They pick things up.  You call they person walking down the street a retard, your child calls some other kid a retard, they grow up and teach their child to call someone who is different a retard.  Eventually there will be no compassion left.  Teach your child that different doesn't mean bad.  Teach them that love is love.  Teach them to get to know the person underneath.  Just because a kid runs around the playground by himself pretending to be an x-wing fighter doesn't mean he is not worth the 5 minutes it takes to say hi and ask how they are doing?  Just because they sit on the floor in the corner rocking back and forth with hands over their ears doesn't mean they are a retard.  Maybe they are scared and overwhelmed.  Teach your children to treat others the way they would like to be treated.  As an adult, if you see a mom struggling every day to get her child into school, don't roll your eyes and make a judgement that she must be a horrible mother.  You don't know what goes on in her home.  You don't know what she is dealing with.  If she was a horrible mother, she wouldn't try so hard to get him to school.

I am not saying I am perfect, I'm not.  I've been known to make snap judgements.  Keep trying to get better.  That is all I ask.  Try to raise compassionate children.  If you see your child being a bully and using hateful language, tell them they are wrong, and why they are wrong.  It's  not ok that I had to explain to my child what a retard is and why your kid was saying that to him.  Not okay at all.  How would you feel if it was YOUR child?  How would you feel if your child was in the middle of a bunch of kids being taunted and not allowed to leave?  Think about that next time you hear your kid call another kid a name.  I have told Boyd since he was little that everyone is different and if everyone was the same, the world would be boring.  I've also told him not to say something to someone that you wouldn't want said you to.  Even if he doesn't understand all the time it is still important to tell him.

Nobody should be punished for being different..... ever. 

He's a freakin genius... parent teacher conferences

Over and over again the teacher told us how smart Boyd is.  Like really smart.  It was a great conference.  I love that his teacher hasn't labeled him as trouble and decided to write him off.  She seems to "get" him and his quirks.  She understands that he says whatever is on  his mind without a filter.  She told us he does same some socially inappropriate things, such as threatening to kick some kids butt at recess.  Instead of getting on to Boyd and sending him to the office she talked to the other kid and said, what do you see Boyd doing at recess?  His answer, running around swinging his arms, laughing and chasing people.  The teacher asked him if he really thought Boyd would kick his butt,  he said no.  There was just a little "Boyd you don't say that kind of stuff, ok" and it was over.  She just gets him and knows how to deal with him.  She hasn't yet heard how he did on his PEAK testing, we are all curious.  She said she knows he is smart enough, she is just not quite sure if he can focus long enough to do well on the written test to get in. 

On a side note, Reilly figured out how to get his clothes off, so I guess that Friday is naked time at the Robertson abode... woot!


Thursday, September 27, 2012

The tunnel to school is long, but I think I may see a light...

The last 2 days have been... AWESOME!  Tuesday night was rough.  Boyd didn't eat all of his dinner and was having a meltdown about being hungry at bedtime.  It ended with him ordering me to make him a big breakfast.  Uh huh, sure.  That's how it works.  Wednesday morning I made him his normal breakfast and he grumbled a little bit and told me he was going to eat breakfast at school, then.  We took him to school and after some discussion about how it would go and we decided that, if he promised not to make a scene or yell and grab things when I had to leave, I would walk him to the cafeteria.  We got to the cafeteria and he looked a little tentative but I guess his need for food overruled when I told him I couldn't go in with him and he had to go by himself.  He just walked in and ate breakfast.  I was so happy and proud!  I went to the office and we had a little celebration dance.  We were all so happy and proud.  These poor ladies in the office are the ones who have to "deal" with him every morning.  I was left hoping that maybe things are getting better, maybe his meds are finally starting to work, but completely realistic that it was probably just a fluke by an aspy on a mission for breakfast.

Fast forward to this morning.  Tonight are parent teacher conferences and the family night at the book fair.  Boyd wasn't hungry so we had to find a new "motivation".  We told him if he went to school "yesterday style" and didn't throw a fit he would have more money to spend at the book fair. (Don't tell me you never bribe your kids)......


He talked to me about Pokemon (his new obsession) the whole way to school and all the way into the building.  He went into the office, no fighting.  Told Ms. Sandy he was ready to go in his spot (an office supply type room where he waits for the bell).  She told him to check and see if the door was unlocked.  It was, so he smiled at me and waved goodbye, then just walked in and sit down.  Nobody had to fight him.  Just writing about it brings tears of happiness to my eyes.  It's hard to not get my hopes up that it is going to start being easier.  I am so proud of him!  He was nervous, anxious, but he fought through it and did it!

On another note... our IEP for wednesday was rescheduled to Monday.  The school psychologist did say that he woud qualify first for his hearing impairment because sensory impairments always come first.  She also said his IQ and intelligence testing was through the roof (she wouldn't give me numbers or anything until the meeting).  She had them test him for PEAK and is pretty sure he will be in that.  PEAK is like an honors club, I don't know much about it right now, they are going to fill me in later. 

Tonight are our conferences with the teacher.... I'm sure I will have more to write tomorrow.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Reilly is crazy, too

Reilly has a bit of a speech delay.  It is likely due to his prematurity.  I understand most of what he says in the way moms do, but he only says a few words really clearly.  Today, we were out running errands.  We drove by a little caesars pizza.  In the back seat I hear "peeya" over and over again.  After the fifth time of him not getting the response he wanted, I hear, very clearly, "MOMMY I HUNGY I EAT PEEYA NOW" !!  I guess the boy wanted some pizza for lunch. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

first day back, about time!

Today was Boyd's first day back after being sick.  It was a morning just like any other.. full of kicking, screaming and yelling.  Today he pulled Ms. Sandy down off her feet.  How do you say sorry my kid is out of control and hurt you?  I feel awful.

On the up side, I just got a call that they are ready to write up his IEP on Wednesday.  I hope they have a good plan. 

I so wish that life was easier for him.  How unfair is it to have to go through life never feeling calm and settled.

I am almost to a point that it's time to find him a different dr and take him off everything and find a new combination because what we are doing isn't helping.  I'm tired of the phone call or comments about how he wasn't like this last year, laced with accusation that I must have done something to him over the summer.

Sometimes I want to pull out my inner 5 year old, stick my tongue out at everyone and blow raspberries.

It's getting serious up in here

At the Dr, we talked a little about his anxiety.  He said to try to not give him his adderall and see if it is better or worse.  Apparently adderall can exacerbate anxiety.  Tuesday I didn't give it to him.  Holy Raging, batman!  Never again. 

He built a circle in the living room out of his stuffies (something he does when he is in the middle of an anxious thought process).  Poor little Reilly had the nerve to step inside his circle and got pushed really hard out of the circle.  He fell and hit his head on his car track.  I told Boyd to get his butt to his room, it was time to take a time out and think about what he was doing and calm himself down.  He stood up and raised his fists to hit me.  It was a big thing that ended with me feeling like a failure and being pissed off.  All I can think is, what did I do to him to make him hate me so much?  After some serious crap, he ended up in his room for the rest of the night.

There are days that I think I am not a special enough or strong enough mom to be my special boys mom.  Some days I think he would be better off if I left.  I would never do it, but the thought is there none the less.

I would give anything for a handbook.  A step by step guide to parenting Boyd.  Complete with a troubleshooting guide for the extra sticky situations. 

I can do this..... I hope


I had to have a root canal last friday.  Pain, pain, pain.  They left side of my face was infected. 

Monday morning Boyd woke up with a migraine and just didn't feel well.  I took him to the dr.  Since he had a sore throat and our house is always getting strep, they wanted to do a strep test.  He LOST IT!  He dove under the chairs and refused to come out.  I went to pull him out and he went on a fast train to crazy town.  He started kicking and screaming and ripped my toenail off, then he kicked me in the face.  Now you see why I told you about my root canal, guess what side he kicked?  I know he didn't do it on purpose.  He ended up getting the test on the floor.  The first thing he said after... "hmm, it wasn't that bad"

he tested positive for strep and had to stay home until today.

Tell me something good.....

The first tee ROCKS!

We signed him up for golf, hoping he would enjoy it.  They teach life lessons through golf.  Sounds like the perfect thing for him.

He had his first lesson on Saturday.  He did it, he loved it and he was good!  I am so proud of him for working through his nerves and trying it.  He is looking forward to his next lesson. 

We found something he enjoys!

Happy Birthday, Tracy! My son did what?!?

August 31st... my 36th birthday.  We dropped Boyd off at school and my sweet, wonderful husband took me out to breakfast.  Halfway through my yummy omelet, my phone rang...  my stomach dropped when I saw it was the school.  What now?  It was the principal.  My son caused a school lock down.  They are concerned (who isn't at this point?).  He took off while being walked to class.  They have to lock down the school when this happens and do a head count until they find the missing child.  He went to class, but nobody knew, so they locked down.  After being talked to about the danger of taking off from an adult and him not caring, in fact he thought it was funny, they came up with a 3 step policy for him to get to school.  They were

1. Go into the cafeteria
2. Wait for the bell
3. Go to class

sounds easy, right?  Yeah, sure.  It lasted all of no days.  It's getting to a point that he is enjoying the attention.

He is getting more and more aggressive.  Why can't this just be easy once... just once.  I watch the parents just drive to the front of the school, their kids get out and just go on in.  Some turn around and wave with a smile on their face.  I am envious.

The next week I got another phone call about his attitude in music class.  He told the music teacher that the songs they were practicing for their fall program were stupid and for babies and he was NOT going to sing.  He wasn't following rules.  The teacher asked if I minded if he just sits out the program if she can't get him to participate.  At this point, I don't know what to say.  It's not fair for him to interrupt the other kids who actually want to sing for the program, so I say fine. 

I wish people would stop looking to me for answers.  If I had any, we wouldn't be in this situation.

How we go to school and the first phone call....

Going to school hasn't gotten easier.  Every day I drive him to school.  I have to open his door and physically pull him out of the car.  He grabs onto columns, doors, whatever he can get his hands on.  I have to hold his hands and walk him into the office.  Our procedure from there has changed a few times.  They found Boyd a safe person who he can go to when he needs a break.  He is a math flex teacher.  Boyd loves him.  They talk about numbers, which is Boyd's "thing".  At first this is who came to the office to get him (while he kicks and screams and grabs onto things).  After a while, Boyd stopped feeling like he was his safe person so back to the drawing board.  As of now, the attendance secretary takes over.  Some days he yells how much he hates me, calls me a bad mommy.  Every morning we go into school and have these ladies with their perfectly functional kids going happily into school giving me the side eye like what is wrong with her.  She must be a horrible mother.  I leave the school in tears thinking they must be right.  Sometimes I get angry.  I am overwhelmed and so in over my head.  I just need a break.

The first phone call....

"Mrs. Robertson, I'd like to talk to you about Boyd." ahh crap!  Apparently, Boyd was being rude, uncooperative, combative and when the PE teacher told him it was time to call mom and let me know what was going on, he walked away and went to lunch.  I'm doing all I can!  What am I supposed to do?

first call, definitely not the last.

We have been messing with his meds.  We changed his anxiety meds.  He was taking prozac, then buspar, now we have moved on to Zoloft.  It seems to be helping.  He will sleep in his room 70% of the time and goes to the bathroom alone during the day and occasionally in the evening. 

The first day of school

Boyd was very anxious in the week leading up to the first day of school.  The day before he told me he couldn't do it.  After explaining to him that he had to go to school.  No other option, no choice, that's the law, you do what you gotta do, we made a plan that grandpa would watch Reilly and I would go with him for a while and get him settled in and then come home.  I went with him and he just built himself into a panic every time he thought I would leave.  I finally just took him down to the school counselors office for help.  We have been working on getting him on an IEP since the end of last year.  After talking to him and him staying in a state of panic, we got an appointment with the district psychologist to talk about what we can do to get his IEP set in a hurry.  I ended up just having to leave him with a few people holding on to him.  I left with him having a panic attack.  I couldn't take him home it would have started a precedent, right?  I question that decision every day.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to walk away from your son struggling against a few people yelling "mommy don't go I need you, I hate you!" over and over again?  My heart broke into a million pieces.  They have started his battery of testing buy we are still waiting a month later.... a long month later.

The beginning of the crisis, our summer

Boyd had surgery at the end of the last school year to remove his tonsils and adenoids.  He hasn't been the same since.  He began getting more and more antsy and he just wasn't his normal goofy self.  School ended and I was sure that everything would get back to normal during the summer.  I signed him up for summer school and swimming lessons.  What a fun summer we had planned.  His anxiety was still creeping up to the surface when summer started.  He stopped wanting to go down the hall to the bathroom alone.  Then grandma Anna died.  His smoochy smoochy, lipstick kissing, Boyd and papaw help her around the house, great and wonderful great grandma.  His world was kicked out from under him.  He has a hard time understanding his emotions and he certainly had a few.  At first he just didn't have any reaction (typical with aspy kids).  Then it all hit him at once.  He hasn't been able to find  his footing.  He stopped going to his room alone, didn't want to sleep in there alone and finally started sneaking into our room to sleep on the floor every night.  He refused to go to the bathroom alone and would pee his pants if we didn't take him. 

Slowly his anger began to build.  He started calling me names.  I was no longer mom, mommy, woman who gave birth to him.  I was idiot, ugly, fat, stupidhead.  According to him I can do nothing right.  Where did my sweet boy go?  He would just lose it and lash out.  Usually for no reason other than I used my vocal chords.  The days were stressful.  I was constantly walking on eggshells around him.  He was just so unhappy.  By the time it was time to start summer school I was ready.  Goodness gracious I needed the 4 hour break.  We pulled up to the school, he was fidgety.  We went inside and he told me he didn't want to stay.  I told him I would stay until it started and we could see what it was all about.  We went outside to play with the other kids while waiting for the day to start.  He didn't want to leave my side.  The bell rang and it was time to go in.  We followed the other kids for the first day assembly and he was sitting on the floor with the other kids.  I looked over and he was holding his ears and rocking back and forth.  Then he started breathing very fast and heavy.  They were calling kids into their class lines.  He stood up and just looked so far away.  I went over to him and he was in a full blown panic atack.  The first one ever.  He wanted to leave.  I was trying to get him out of there and all the teachers surrounded us trying to get him to stay, making it worse.  I took him to the doctor.

Summer school.... epic failure.

Instead of fun trips to the zoo, summer school and other fun things, the remainder of our summer was spent at doctors, trying this drug and that, this strength, that strength.  I finally got him a referral to a neuropsychiatrist.  For November 26th.  That is how long the wait is for this 8 hour appointment.  Most days I wonder to myself how we will make it until then.

What our letters mean


What Are the Symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome?

The symptoms of Asperger's syndrome vary and can range from mild to severe. Common symptoms include:
  • Problems with social skills: Children with Asperger's syndrome generally have difficulty interacting with others and often are awkward in social situations. They generally do not make friends easily. They have difficulty initiating and maintaining conversation.
  • Eccentric or repetitive behaviors: Children with this condition may develop odd, repetitive movements, such as hand wringing or finger twisting.
  • Unusual preoccupations or rituals: A child with Asperger's syndrome may develop rituals that he or she refuses to alter, such as getting dressed in a specific order.
  • Communication difficulties: People with Asperger's syndrome may not make eye contact when speaking with someone. They may have trouble using facial expressions and gestures, and understanding body language. They also tend to have problems understanding language in context.
  • Limited range of interests: A child with Asperger's syndrome may develop an intense, almost obsessive, interest in a few areas, such as sports schedules, weather, or maps.
  • Coordination problems: The movements of children with Asperger's syndrome may seem clumsy or awkward.
  • Skilled or talented: Many children with Asperger's syndrome are exceptionally talented or skilled in a particular area, such as music or math.

Symptoms of ADHD

There are three different categories of ADHD symptoms: inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity.
Inattention may not become apparent until a child enters the challenging environment of school. In adults, symptoms of inattention may manifest in work or in social situations.
A person with ADHD may have some or all of the following symptoms:
  • difficulty paying attention to details and tendency to make careless mistakes in school or other activities; producing work that is often messy and careless
  • easily distracted by irrelevant stimuli and frequently interrupting ongoing tasks to attend to trivial noises or events that are usually ignored by others
  • inability to sustain attention on tasks or activities
  • difficulty finishing schoolwork or paperwork or performing tasks that require concentration
  • frequent shifts from one uncompleted activity to another
  • procrastination
  • disorganized work habits
  • forgetfulness in daily activities (for example, missing appointments, forgetting to bring lunch)
  • failure to complete tasks such as homework or chores
  • frequent shifts in conversation, not listening to others, not keeping one's mind on conversations, and not following details or rules of activities in social situations
Hyperactivity symptoms may be apparent in very young preschoolers and are nearly always present before the age of seven. Symptoms include:
  • fidgeting, squirming when seated
  • getting up frequently to walk or run around
  • running or climbing excessively when it's inappropriate (in teens this may appear as restlessness)
  • having difficulty playing quietly or engaging in quiet leisure activities
  • being always on the go
  • often talking excessively

Symptoms of ODD may include:
  • Throwing repeated temper tantrums
  • Excessively arguing with adults
  • Actively refusing to comply with requests and rules
  • Deliberately trying to annoy or upset others, or being easily annoyed by others
  • Blaming others for your mistakes
  • Having frequent outbursts of anger and resentment
  • Being spiteful and seeking revenge
  • Swearing or using obscene language
  • Saying mean and hateful things when upset
In addition, many children with ODD are moody, easily frustrated, and have a low self-esteem.


GAD affects the way a person thinks, but the anxiety can lead to physical symptoms, as well. Symptoms of GAD can include:
  • Excessive, ongoing worry and tension
  • An unrealistic view of problems
  • Restlessness or a feeling of being "edgy"
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nausea
  • The need to go to the bathroom frequently
  • Tiredness
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Trembling
  • Being easily startled
In addition, people with GAD often have other anxiety disorders (such as panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and phobias), suffer from depression, and/or try to self-medicate by using drugs or alcohol.

What are the symptoms?

A child may be depressed if he or she:
  • Is grumpy, sad, or bored most of the time.
  • Does not take pleasure in things he or she used to enjoy.
A child who is depressed may also:
  • Lose or gain weight.
  • Sleep too much or too little.
  • Feel hopeless, worthless, or guilty.
  • Have trouble concentrating, thinking, or making decisions.
  • Think about death or suicide a lot.
The symptoms of depression are often overlooked at first. It can be hard to see that symptoms are all part of the same problem.
Also, the symptoms may be different depending on how old the child is.
  • Very young children may lack energy and become withdrawn. They may show little emotion, seem to feel hopeless, and have trouble sleeping.
  • Grade-school children may have a lot of headaches or stomachaches. They may lose interest in friends and activities that they liked in the past. Some children with severe depression may see or hear things that aren't there (hallucinate) or have false beliefs (delusions).
  • Teens may sleep a lot or move or speak more slowly than usual. Teens with severe depression may hallucinate or have delusions.
These are our letters and what webMD says they mean.

about us

My name is Tracy.  I have been with my husband James for 10 years.  Together we have 2 children.  Two completely different children.  Boyd is 8.  He is my boy of many letters.  We have ASD (autism spectrum disorder- aspergers specifically), ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) ODD (oppositional defiance disorder),  GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), depression (who wouldn't be depressed with all this going on?) and anger. 

We also have a little guy named Reilly.  He is one month from turning the big 2.  He was born 8 weeks early and had to spend some time in the NICU before coming home but he is a thriving, sweet little boy now.  He loves his brother to the ends of the earth.

Our life is crazy right now.  Boyd has been in crisis for the past 5 months. We have been desperately seeking answers and help.  I have been keeping a journal for the past few months documenting our days, the good, the bad and the heartbreaking.  Maybe if I do it in a public forum, someone who needs to know that they are not alone in the fight to help their kids function, will find it.  If nothing else, maybe it will help people who know us, understand us better. 

I will be completely honest about what goes on and my feelings.  Please don't judge, I get enough of that from the ladies at school giving me the side-eye when I drag Boyd into school kicking and screaming every day.