Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Angel!

This is my Dani.  I am so proud of her.  She is taking a choir class at school and tonight she had to perform a solo for a grade.  She had to memorize the whole song, dress professionally and she did a marvelous job.  She had so much confidence, even though she couldn't hit some of the notes, she didn't faulter at all.  Then on top of that she has this new hair do...I just think she is gorgeous but then I think I am biased.  I look at her and ask myself  "is this the face of FASD"?  And I have to say "no"!  It's what is in side her brain that makes up the FASD.  3/4 of the time we don't recognize a child with FASD, they look as normal and healthy as the next child.  But when we step back and watch...the signs and symptoms are all there.  But we as parents, regardless of the hard times, the lying, stealing, loss of memory, learning disabilities, our own child's quirks, we still love them.  They are ours, and they are all angels!  God love them!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Resources, Education, Stress...Oh My!

I think I have mentioned before that I co-teach a wonderful class for parents and/or teachers with kids with mental illness/disabilities, etc.  And I was at this class tonight and we were talking about thought and mood disorders, going through the list of schzophrenia, ADHD, eating disorders, etc and the thought hit me like a ton of bricks, we should also be talking about FASD.  It is as real as any other disorder but there isn't much awareness.  I am going to contact our program director and bring this up to her.  Where else can parents go now a days to learn more about FASD?  There are times I am at a total loss for information and I crave it like a Pepsi over chipped ice (which is a lot of times)!  I love the state I live in, Utah, but Utah is not really a user-friendly state when it comes to FASD.  There is more research going on here for Autism/Aspergers and others but not FASD.  How do I get that awareness out there?  Where do I begin?  I guess baby steps, one step at a time because everything I do will affect the future of my daughter...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Encouragement from a Sister...

I sat down tonight, after a long hard day at work, and started going through my pictures on my update my ipod and came across this picture.  This was taken back in 2002, just when my husband and I got married and I had my daughters living with us.  In this picture it is a young Danielle and her sister Ashley.  Now Ashley is my second daughter who lives in California now (bummer).  But it seems that out of all my daughters (and this doesn't make my other two daughters any less helping hands with Dani) Ashley knows how to communicate with Dani and she understands her.  When Ashley was a little girl, she was the one daughter who carried around with her bags of her toys, dolls, clothes, etc saying she was going to be a mommy when she grew up.  As she grew she discovered she has a natural touch with kids.  Which I believe has helped her along the way to understand Dani.  There are so many times that I have been frustrated and I would call Ashley and she would get on the phone with Dani and get inside her head, which I couldn't, and Ashley would be the one to interpret for me.  But this picture is just one of the many times that she would take time out to help out Dani.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Age vs. Maturity...

There comes a time in every teens life when the hormones are raging and the age old question of "who am I' beats a rythum through their heads.  But one thing I've noticed about a teen with FASD is their bodies say one age while their minds/brains says another age.  For my Dani...her body says she is 15 but her mind and maturity is 10-11 years of age.  Now being a teen ...that is really hard, especially when it comes to peer pressure at school.  At the beginning of school I gave her a small amount of make up, just enough to make her feel good about herself without looking too made up.  The rules were she would leave her makeup at home. She broke that rule a lot of times by taking her makeup to school, so she lost that priviledge. So now she uses others at school, she is so hard up for nail polish and eye liner that she uses a permanent marker. Tonight she went to a church function and when she came home she walked in fast past me straight to the bathroom.  Tip number one ...she did something that mom wouldn't approve of.  I just have to scratch my head and try to figure where her thinking is...but I guess a child with a brain injury...doesn't really know.  Life's greatest mystery!

Monday, February 8, 2010

To Catch a Thief!

I couldn't think of a better title for this blog.  Here is the story...this morning I got up and got ready for work like I usually do every morning.  I got my wallet out of my purse and noticed it felt pretty light.  Just over the weekend I know I had a lot of change and my wallet was pretty heavy.  I knew right then that Dani had been in my wallet.  I went into her room, closed her door because her dad was in the livingroom and he would have exploded if he knew why I was in there.  I woke her up and then I noticed she had one of my rings on her left hand.  A very good ring of mine no less.  I lost it...I saw red, I didn't lose it as if I was flinging things around or hitting, but I lost it emotionally, I went numb.  She had taken close to $30 from me.  Sometime yesterday (Sunday) she got into our bedroom, got into my purse and jewelery and also got into her make-up that I had taken away from her awhile ago.  Then when we confronted her on what she did, she got defensive in our faces, yelling at us while my husband is telling her to calm down.  Dani was so beligerant that I told her I had to go to work and that she wasn't going to her choir concert tomorrow night.  She yelled at me saying "your not going to work, your just going to have to call in and I am going to that concert".  It was like a demon had possessed her.  I spent my whole day at work in a daze.  I couldn't believe it and I sat at my desk with a constant prayer to my Father in Heaven about what to do!  How do I discipline a 15 year girl with FASD?  What road do I take that she will understand what she did was totally unacceptable?  She is humble and repentant for just a short time then those behaviors happen all over again.  I am still at a loss...does anyone have any suggestions?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Does this look familiar?

This was taken this morning before I left for work.  This is Danielle's room.  It was clean yesterday.  One of her major chorse to do after school is to clean up her room.  It was done, I saw it with my very own eyes, and this morning at 7am it was back to this. Does anyone else experience this?   If you do, how do you handle it?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Computer Problems...

I am here at work, typing this post so that no one thinks that I have fallen off the edge of the earth, even though at times it feels like it.  My computer has had some medical problems and is being taken care of by a wonderful ID guy.  Looks like she will have a full recovery and in better shape than what she was in.  So, please bear with me for a little while longer.  I have some updates to share but have to get my thoughts in order because my brain is pretty frazzled right now.

Stay tuned...