OK, so my Q&As have just become a little more complicated! LOL For those of you reading on my main blog, I ran out of room for readers. Blogger only allows 100 readers when you're private. SO since people were still asking to read, I decided to just open ANOTHER blog and double post. So the same posts are going to 2 blogs with different readers... both private. Therefore, I'm getting two different sets of comments. SO if you don't see the questions that are being asked on the blog you're reading, it's because it was asked on the other blog. Clear as mud? No? Sorry! LOL I'm going to link to the posts on the main blog always because then when I open back up, the links will still be active... I guess. I haven't figured this all out yet, can you tell?! Anyway, here are the Q&As...
Have you tried visual schedules with Kellsey? I use visual cues for my middle school speech kiddos all the time, and I usually just use clip art instead of Boardmaker or some other expensive program.
She's not QUITE able to do that yet, she can't identify pictures by sight correctly... hopefully in the near future. Kennedy uses them at school and they work great! :) We don't use them at home though because we literally have no set schedule. Ever. LOL Sad, I know.
Start writing a book ;).
LOL Who knows, these may be the first few chapters! ;)
Have you thought about (I'm sure you have) what will happen at the end of the summer? A whole summer of one on one time, and personalized attention.. and then back to the hustle and bustle of normal life.. What if you see that she is just thriving with your mom? Would you guys consider keeping her there, or just work harder on readjusting her when the time comes?
Yes... we've been thinking and talking about that A LOT lately actually. Someone said to me recently, "Renee, you adopted Kellsey to make HER happy, you didn't adopt her to make YOU happy." I sat there in awe. Yep. You're right. My priorities may have been a little screwed up in the beginning (and I'll talk more about that later) but when it comes down to it, we adopted Kellsey to get her out of that orphanage. We adopted her to give her a family and a life and love and everything she never would have had if she was put into an institution. We adopted her so she could thrive. And sadly, because of circumstances beyond our control (and beyond Kellsey's control) she is NOT thriving in our family. Is it just our family dynamics? Are we too loud and busy and overwhelming for her? Maybe. She has made it CLEAR that she craves one-on-one attention. I have tried to give her that to the best of my ability, but she quickly figured out that it would always be interrupted by someone else (such is life in a big family) and the rejection patterns kicked in and got worse and worse until she wouldn't let me in ever. We are going to see how this summer goes. Of course MY dream is to see all my children together under one roof, healthy and HAPPY and singing Kumbaya (ok... I don't think my kids even know that song. LOL) but in the last 6 months God has really shown us that maybe MY dream is not HIS plan. Right now, we're just taking it one day at a time... we're letting Kellsey lead really. Ultimately, I want to see her grow and be happy and thrive... wherever that is.
As someone who has first hand SEEN your family together, I know FOR A FACT, that your decision was not entered lightly. And I know that its the best choice for Kellsey.
I think this is important to note because everyone who KNOWS us and has met Kellsey and spent time with her agrees with you (and us) on this. It's the people who haven't met her and have only seen pictures that are having a harder time... granted, that's partly my fault because I haven't been as open as maybe I should have, but it was to save us from being bashed for being honest! LOL I feel like I'm damned if I do and I'm damned if I don't. Did I just cuss?! There goes my 'G' rating!
Curious...what is a para?
A para (short for paraprofessional) is sometimes called a one-on-one aide. Dawna works with Kennedy in school during her academic times (she's not with her all day, but quite a bit of it). She helps Kennedy stay focused and make sure she understands what's going on in class. If Kennedy's assignment is modified in any way, Dawna will help her with that. This ensures that the classroom teacher is not being pulled away from the class as a whole any more than she needs to be. It's really the best of all worlds, it's an extra boost to help Kennedy thrive in the classroom with her typical peers and it helps her teacher at the same time! We love Dawna (and the other aides who rotate throughout Kennedy's day). They helped make her 1st grade year successful!
I had an undiagnosed autistic toddler in my Sunday School class many years ago. He was fine if in a room with only one teacher and himself. Once we brought him into the class with other children, he could not cope. Your description of Kellsey in the 1-on-1 scenario sounded so much like what the little boy did. Perhaps, it is the autism that is making the RAD even harder.
Yes, her ped in TN and here both have mentioned Autism and offered to have her formally evaluated and diagnosed. I asked if they saw a benefit to slapping one more "label" on her as it wouldn't get her any more services and they agreed it wouldn't DO anything to help her so we've held off on that for now. I agree though, it could very well be feeding into her struggles with coping in certain situations.
Are you able to see who reads daily? Just curious if you can see from your end who doesn't check in often?
No, but no big deal. Now that I've opened another blog it doesn't matter, and we probably won't hit the 200 readers... if we do, I guess I'll open a THIRD blog! haha