Friday, September 16, 2016

How Are the Kids Doing?

This school week went better  than I thought it would. I anticipated a very hard week, but with lots of planning it actually went better than some lighter weeks go.

Goldilocks ~ I thought it would be a hard week because it was loaded with some difficult appointments for Goldilocks (our 15 year old, high end special needs daughter who lives out of the home). First up was applying for a program that will help her into adulthood. This required almost three hours of online forms and a phone interview that lasted an hour more. We won't know for a few months if she will get in, but it seemed like a positive interview. Our post-adoption advocate was on hand to help me through the interview. Secondly, we had an appointment at the hospital to discuss what to do about her scoliosis. She is developing a little bit of a hunch back right at the base of her neck and shoulders. The doctor didn't feel that there was much that could be done because of the location, but sent her for a physical therapy evaluation to help with her back pain. I haven't updated here on Goldilocks recently. There have been lots of issues going on in her current placement. Her house mom is working double time to try tocontrol her behaviors. She has recently been accepted into a special therapy program for Borderline Personality Disorder patients. She has not been officially diagnosed with this disorder yet, because, technically, she is too young and also hasn't completed brain development. However, this is the most likely diagnosis at the moment and is also the diagnosis of her birth mother. She starts the new program next week. We pray that this will help.

Dean (14) ~ This past weekend was the kick-off for youth group at church. There is going to be tons going on this year. I am glad to see so much more charity options on the calendar this year. That is by far the most important thing about youth group (to me). I think kids should do tons of charity work. Dean will be doing about half of the activities this year, since I feel that not all members of the group are a positive influence on my son. I also think there are too many activities. Therefore, he only will be doing the charity-based activities, occasional seasonal parties, and occasional youth group meetings, when they apply to lessons I am trying to instill. My husband and I will be teaching Sunday school several times this year. I am looking forward to getting to know some of the new teens.

Dean may say he wants to be an engineer, but he is an artist at heart. He loves all of the arts. His days are filled with music. He can almost always be found with a string instrument in his hands or a sketch pad and pencil. He really is into drawing hands right now. He also is working on a collaborative art piece in his weekly out-of-the-home art class. The students in that class all have been assigned to draw small sections of a bigger drawing that they will piece together. It's supposed to be a mystery as to what it will turn out to be, but Dean has figured out that it will be a portrait of Harry Potter, because one of his pieces was Harry's scar. He is also enjoying dance so far this year. He likes his teachers and is relieved to have two other guys in a few of his classes. He likes jazz class the best. The studio has already begun rehearsing The Nutcracker parts. So far, he has been giving the parts of a guard and a street sweeper. He is hoping to get a part in the party scene.

His lessons are coming along. Chemistry is his current favorite academic course. He is not motivated to do more than what is required in any of his academics. He does what he has to so that he can get back to his music or drawing. Thankfully, he is smart and the lessons come easily to him, so I know he will speed up when necessary.

Anne (nearly 13) ~ This girl lives to dance. She is loving all of her 10+ hours of dance classes a week. She even enjoyed her class with the dreaded, difficult to please teacher. The first week he made her and half the class cry, but this week she understood the expectations and took the class in stride. She comes home in pain from his class which is new for her. Most teachers can't get a decent stretch out of her, because she is so naturally flexible. So far, she will be a cat, guard and street sweeper in the upcoming Nutcracker. Her other parts haven't been announced yet.
Anne worked hard on hand position this week. She used a quarter as a balance.
On the school front, she is racing along. She started Teaching Textbooks 7 (math) this week. She is finding it easy and is completing four to five lessons a day. She is also completing two to three weeks of spelling lessons each week. She is enjoying seeing her progress and it motivates her to do more. She likes learning about the piano but in short periods. It is hard for her, but she sees the progress she is making. She is enjoying chemistry and art classes with her friend S once a week. S comes to our house one morning each week for chemistry, which I teach. She is a perfect fit into our school day, and the two girls are motivating each other through chemistry. Then Anne and Dean go to S's house in the afternoon for art lessons. Anne has also started doing a film making course that I will be reviewing soon. This course is right up her alley, and she is busy pulling out all of our camera gear and learning how to use it.

Spending one day a week with S for lessons in addition to 10+ hours of dance classes and seeing her best friends for field trips is more than enough socialization for my introverted child. She decided that she didn't want to join youth group or return to chimes choir this year. She prefers to use her down time to work on her film making, self-taught tap dance practice and choreography.
Perler Beads are always popular.
Tim (our special needs adult son) ~ Tim is doing so well at his brain injury day program. He is now a supervisor of chore time and is also a buddy to another client during chore time. He is teaching this client to sweep, vacuum and clean windows. It is a big growing opportunity for Tim. He also is looking at a training program that would give him a certificate as a peer counselor. It will take him a long time, since he will only take one course at a time, but it is great to see him trying new things. Speaking of new things, he is going to a brain injury camp this fall without any of his family members for support. One of his brain-injured friends is going, too, and his friend's wife says she will give Tim the extra support he may need beyond what the camp counselors can provide. I am grateful for her offer.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. This will be the first time in 8 years that my girls aren't in Nutcracker. We plan to go see it though. Sounds like a very busy week all around!

  2. ((hugs)) to your mama heart with Goldilocks. I really can only imagine the heartache and the decision process that you endure.

    I love how much you put into your fine art learning time. ...and inspiration!

  3. Goodness, what busy times you all have going on. It was nice to see a general update on everyone. I hope everything continues to progress for each child. Your dedication and attention to detail in regards to each child is inspiring.

  4. What a lovely update! It is particularly good to hear about Goldilocks and Tim, so thank you for sharing. Your son's drawings are very good! My Lil is drawing every spare moment now she has decided she wants to go to art college. It is wonderful to see them blossoming :)

  5. What a lovely update! It is particularly good to hear about Goldilocks and Tim, so thank you for sharing. Your son's drawings are very good! My Lil is drawing every spare moment now she has decided she wants to go to art college. It is wonderful to see them blossoming :)