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Better Living thru Chemicals?

Better Living thru chemicals?
My 80 something year old mom thinks that all issues can be solved with a pill.  Got a problem, visit a Doctor and get a new prescription.  There is generally not one magic pill to fix all that ails you.  Some medication options are experimental, some are happy side effects from other diagnosis, and some are… well, not legal in all states.

Me, I believe in a multi-faceted approach to problem solving. Therapy, medication, and environmental changes and activities are all part of the process.  However, sometimes after years of trial and error, a new direction and medication is recommended. 

Six weeks ago we embarked on just that path. Being the eternal optimist, I am always open to hear about new and exciting treatment options and consider the possibility of what changes they could bring.  As I have done with all the prior recommendations, I opened my laptop and read many good and bad reviews, possible side effect and potential benefits. I must admit that this approach can be scary, as people who have had bad experiences are often the first to share or complain. After getting overwhelmed by the information, a leap of faith is often in order. So out of equal parts desperation and hope, we tried it.

I am, at this moment, ecstatic with the almost miraculous changes ½ of a teeny tiny pill can create. My son’s ability to stay calm in situations of frustration has been dramatic. His interest in his own success is exciting. His engagement in the world around him, and needs of others has altered significantly.  

Modern medicine continues to find solutions that the natural human body struggles to do itself. I continue in my hopeful belief that there is always the ability to improve oneself.

We are all a work in progress, and my job as mom continues to be helping my son be the best he can be!

Planet age v. REAL Age

Planet Age vs REAL Age

You are probably asking, "Planet age what is that?" Simply put Planet age is the day we arrived on the Planet. Someone born in 1995 would be Planet age 19.

But what age are they 19 really? To determine REAL age we must assess the age at which they are currently functioning. We need to look at behavior, social development, maturity, skill mastery, and emotional development. All those criteria go into determining REAL age. If we consider all these factors they may really only be 15. 

Why is this important? If we don't pay attention to our child's REAL age then we are not effectively meeting their needs. Their development level is where their learning can happen. If we are teaching to their PLANET age we can be setting them up for failure! Wasting time and potentially a lot of money. They are just not developmentally ready to handle that new task or experience.

How do we determine their real age? Take a closer look at your child's peers. What is it that they are doing, what skills have they mastered. Now go backwards, look at a child or teen a year or too younger, then a year or two younger. Based on what you see you can come up with a rough idea of their REAL age. All children develop at their own pace, but we can help build our children's self esteem if we are teaching to their REAL age.

This is not an exact number, but the question we need to ask is; if your child's planet age is 16 and his real age 12, is teaching them to drive a good idea.  I going to say not yet. What if your child is planet age 6, but real age is 3, are they ready for kindergarten, probably not. Spend time helping him or her master some of those pre K skills in a safe and one on one environment.

Understanding our child's real age, helps us set reachable goals, that will help them bridge the gap to their neuro typical peers.

WDW is super accommodating

 One never knows when they travel with someone who has special needs how the trip is going to go. For me I always try to visualize ahead, pack a virtual bag to be ready to prepare for dietary restrictions, as well as thinking up plans B and C, because plan A often fails. But on this recent trip to Walt Disney World, I didn't need to have any of those bags. Disney has figured out how to accommodate their guests, and help them to have the best vacation ever.

From the moment we landed in Orlando, Florida the Disney magic took over. They drove us to our resort, and later delivered my son's camera that he left on his seat on the bus. I drive every day, so the decision to stay on Disney property and have them transport us using their buses was easy. The next treat of Disney magic came after I asked the gal in the food court at our resort if they had anything gluten free for dessert. She said if the chef was in they could make us gluten free beignets. As my son and I savored our fabulous GF beignets (and got covered in powered sugar) we knew this was going to be the best vacation ever.

And Disney continued to accommodate us at every corner. At Hollywood studios, the ABC commissary manager came to speak to us made my son a burger with a gluten free bun and fries from a designated fryer. She even turned my chicken caesar into a salmon caesar (since I don't eat meat). At the Sci Fi Drive in we enjoyed dairy free milkshakes while we ate in the cool cars. The next day at EPCOT, we dined at Akershus  In Norway. The chef came out from the kitchen and offered to make my son rice pasta, to go with their fabulous Norwegian meatballs. At the Animal Kingdom they are testing a new allergy program and have a kiosk full of allergy free snacks for sale, and information about the various restaurants at the park and what they can make. My son chose a gluten free, dairy free pizza for lunch from Pizzafari. At the Magic Kingdom we dined with Pooh, Piglet and Tiger at the Crystal Palace. The chef came out and walked us thru the buffet, telling us what things were safe to enjoy and what items were not. He even sent out gluten free rolls and a cup of dairy free ice cream for dessert. 

I was beyond pleased at the lengths that Disney went to make sure we were well fed with healthy and safe food. When a kid can have gluten free Mickey Mouse waffles on vacation, it just doesn't get any better than that.
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