Monday, August 15, 2011

Joy in the Journey

As many of you know, both my oldest son's have dyslexia. This is another one of those huge subjects, like hypothyroidism, that I have never sat down to write about. How could I possibly get all those thoughts on paper? Incidentally, it is these two same subjects that are often the cause of my interspersed, sometimes long absences from this blog.

Thus, to my future posterity: when you look to these archives to get to know me,(your great great grandmother), and you wonder what I was doing during the weeks and months I left blank, you can fill in the void with the most obvious conclusions...

Conclusion #1- I was in the midst of a vicious hypothyroid down-turn, exasperated by failing adrenal glands. Both of which were likely aggravated by having a baby and getting my hormones all out of whack. (of course, it was still worth it!)I was exhausted and struggling to think straight. I was dizzy, moody, out of breadth...yada, yada, yada. Don't worry, I had an excellent doctor. He helped me get educated about the proper medication and diet for me- and he consistently worked with me when things changed. I got better.

Conclusion #2- I was talking with teachers- a lot! I was having meetings with neuro-psychologists, reading therapists and other specialists. I was not accepting the, "We see that your child is struggling, and not performing to his potential, and proven high intelligence, but he is still within an acceptable 'average' range, so we don't believe we can give you the support you need," for an answer. I was fighting and advocating day in and day out for my children. I was spending countless hours reading about and researching every possible tool to help my kids in their school work. Then I was doing homework. Hours of it. (Because east coast schools and parents think lots of homework and busy-work is essential for a child's success, and future entrance into their coveted Ivy League schools----despite studies that prove otherwise!! Urghh!!!)

So- that in brief is why I will never be a great, consistent blogger.

Anyhoo...... the reason I bring this up....

...Over the course of the last school year, I have become more and more concerned with my son Kimball's posture. It is not good- and as a former dancer ( I say former, because sadly I am a mere shadow of that girl I once labeled "dancer." Where did she go? Where did her legs go? Sigh...) I cringe when I see him slouching about. It is so bad, that there seems to be a bump arising on his upper back. In addition, he has his dad's flat feet, and my hyper-extended knees. Genetically, he is destined for postural failure- and since he has me for a mother, ( a woman who values strong posture) this stresses me out!

I've been doing a few exercises with Kimball- and constantly nagging him about sitting up-straight etc., but I got to thinking that it might behoove me to have him check in with a specialist and just make sure that this is in fact a muscle training issue- and not a bone one.

Off to the Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon we went! ( I am a firm believer in specialists. I don't like to beat around the bush and wonder--so the head honcho it is!) They took X-Rays of Kimball's spine and of his feet and then the doctor checked him out. Turns out that Kimball has very loosy-goosy ligaments, which is why everything falls out of alignment- but secondly he has developed a "kyphosis" of the spine. Lovely! (Kyphosis is a curving of the spine that causes a bowing or rounding of the back, which leads to a hunchback or slouching posture.)

Fortunately, Kimball's current version of kyphosis is what's considered "acquired postural kyphosis," meaning it is caused by muscular weakness, not abnormal bone growth, and won't require any type of brace to correct. Luckily, we have caught it early enough- before his bones started to grow the wrong way! In a few more years we would have been in trouble! For now, Kimball will start receiving physical therapy 3x/week. (Another plug for always following one's mothering-stress-induced-intuitions!)

So, I ask...why is it that my kid can"t just have one issue to deal with? He has to struggle with dyslexia, (which is not a minor thing around here) and now physical issues as well? Poor kid! (Or maybe, poor mom- because Kimball thinks going to therapy is super fun!)

I just hope that these things will make him stronger and that as he grows up he will never shy away from a challenge, and he will face the world head on--- and he will, above all, keep his sense of humor and be happy. With a kid like this...
(This is what happens when Kimball gets a hold of the Ipad) shouldn't be a problem. Find joy in the journey, right?!! I think he has it down.

***if you are looking for good info regarding either dyslexia or hypothyroidism, here are a few of my favorite sources where I have found quality help:
Bright Solutions for Dyslexia: (If your child is struggling with reading and writing, I highly recommend you spend some time on Susan Barton's site. She has great videos and information that are so helpful).

The International Dyslexia Association. (Has state chapters that offer meetings and lectures and can help you regarding your local laws. They will also refer you to qualified testers in your area).


Stop the Thyroid Madness: ( if you need a lot of info, and you are struggling with how to find a good doctor. This is a great place to start. Beware- there is a lot of info and it might scare you! ).

Dr Doyle: (This is my doctor. He now has a great website where you can get good information and watch short video lectures. ( If you live anywhere near Stamford, CT, I highly recommend him.)

Stop the Thyroid Madness: ( if you need a lot of info, and you are struggling with how to find a good doctor. This is a great place to start.)

Dr Rind. (He has some excellent info regarding adrenal fatigue, metabolic therapies, and taking your temperatures, etc.)


Bethany said...

You're a great mom, Amanda. I know being your children's advocate is not easy (we found out that our Amanda needed kidney surgery only after I insisted on taking her to the doctor again and again and kept insisting that something was not right) but it the best thing you can do for them -- good for you.

Also, not that you have a lot of free time, and I know you already agree with the overall method, but "The Case Against Homework" is a fabulous book that really helped me convince my kids' teachers that my kids did not need all the homework they were assigning. More than anything, it gave me the support group I needed to talk to them. Anyway, if you read it, you'll love it.

Britney said...

You are indeed a good mom! Indeed

Anne said...

you kids are very lucky to have a mom that is willing to spend so much of "her" time helping them be the best they can be.


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