Thursday, October 6, 2011

a lost voice is back...

Hey everyone! I've been either busy or sick and as a result my blog has been vacant of a lot of posting! But today is a pretty good day. My kids are doing their homeschool work which at the moment is a book about halloween that they are coloring and reading. This means I have a few free minutes to get a quick blog in. 
So, what's been happening around here?  I'm still hangin' in there. I did have another silent migraine episode or something on Saturday and as a result I couldn't speak for about 3 days. But thankfully things are back to normal. I still find myself having to think sometimes before I can get the words out. I know what I want to say, but I have to concentrate at times to get my mouth to get it out! Weird feeling. That should pass soon too, it usually does. I'm also having to try and "fix" my sleep schedule again. Everytime I have a bad episode I sleep for HOURS more than the average person for several days. And then I have a day or two where I can't sleep much at all. Then I have to start working myself back to sleeping a normal nights sleep. Last night I lay down and just stared at the ceiling for so long just trying to bore myself to sleep!  Finally I was able to fall asleep and slept well enough that I could get up 2 hours earlier than yesterday. So by the beginning of next week I should be back to rising around 7 and sleeping by 11. That's the goal anyway.
Some of you know that we (my husband and I) decided before children that homeschool was the way to go for us. It makes more sense now than it ever did and I'm so grateful that I'm allowed the opportunity to spend all this time with my kids. Watching them learn every day and getting to be a part of that is a blessing! Granted our homeschool routines are likely MUCH different than your average family! For starters I spend the entire lesson sitting with my feet up on the sofa. We pull a fold up table out from under the sofa and they drag over a couple kitchen chairs. I have all our supplies on the counter behind the sofa so everything is within an arms reach for me. This helps me not be as symptomatic as if I was standing or sitting with my feet hanging. This small detail is very important because the longer I stand or sit with my feet hanging the less blood flow I get to my brain which means less oxygen and that just spells disaster! But we have a system that works for us and so we use it. The girls have their responsibilities as far as who get/does what. The less physical work that I have to do, then the more clear-headed I remain. 
Anyway on a good note. I was so scared and worried going into this school year. I worried all last spring and throughout the summer. I just couldn't figure out why my oldest daughter, now 7, couldn't read yet and why she was still having trouble writing some of her alphabets correctly. I even talked to my husband and mother in law about putting her in public school because I felt as if I were failing her. After much encouragement and a lot of prayer I did some research online about kids who struggled to read and write like she does. I found a lot of answers. All under one little word... Dyslexia. We haven't had her tested because it usually isn't covered by any medical insurance because it's not considered a medical problem and it's VERY expensive. But she meets all the criteria for a dyslexic child. So I changed my method of teaching her. I let her guide me in what worked best. I never considered asking a child what would be best... after all I am the teacher! How blind we can sometimes be as adults, huh!?!  So after a couple weeks we worked out the kinks. I left the alphabet up for her so that she could look at the letters and then write what she saw. This worked well because she is great at drawing what she sees, so she would refer to the alphabet every time she came to a letter that she typically mirror imaged. Now it did take time. I still catch some of those letters mirror imaged if she's in a rush. I still have to look at her work and correct her by letting her know she mirror imaged a number or a letter, but by doing this she's began to check her own work more and compare it to the correct letter/number to see if they match. It's working out great! 
Another thing I learned about kids with dyslexia is that they may be able to read a word at one moment and in one situation but in the next not recognize it. This was SO true with my daughter! Take a word out of a sentence and she'd be lost. Take the pictures away from her reading and she had no way of guessing what those words were! So I let her guide me in how to correct the problem. Phonics don't really make sense to her. When she sounds words out, there will be sounds and letters that aren't even in the word! BUT if we cover part of the word and work one letter at a time, most of the time she can get it. Her reading has improved from reading simple words like cat, dog, etc to reading at her level! I did a reading test this past week on her and was surprised to find how much she'd improved! Very blessed to have family who supports us in our decisions and prays for us to find guidance! I know that without God guiding me I'd have never learned so much about my daughter and would not be able to teach her the way I do now! 
Let's see... other news in the Powell household.  We've had to do numerous Dr. trips. Vision for the oldest, she needed very low prescription reading glasses. Dental for both. The oldest had a couple small cavities and got sealants. The youngest, now that's a dental nightmare. She's having dental surgery the 19th of this month. Keep her in your prayers. She also had to have a pre-op appointment before the surgery and we've gotten that out of the way. Total Dr. visits in all so far? 6 I think. I might have missed one in my counting though! That's not counting my husbands dental visits! Whew, that's enough to wear a healthy person down...just ask my mother in law who has taken us to every single visit! (Thanks Ni!) 
For an extra curricular activity for the girls they chose to do the Build and Grow program at Lowe's. They go twice a month on Saturday morning and build a project. They get a certificate and a badge to sew on their Lowe's apron. It's a great project and I was surprised at the amount of kids they have going! The girls really enjoy it and we've made this our family day. They get to spend any chore money they've earned and they get to pick where we eat for lunch. So every other Saturday they have chosen Chinese food! Good thing we all like East Palace! :) Maybe next time they'll choose Mexican, Italian, or anything else kind of food... but I doubt it! 
Anyway, the oldest is finished with her book. She's colored it and then she's read it aloud to me, all on her own. Two months ago that wouldn't have been possible, so right now I'm a very proud mama!
Until next time, stay strong, fight hard, and LIVE! Life isn't worth anything if you don't live it to your best ability! Keep fighting Dys, and have an awesome day! Oh, and here's some spoons to help you through your day!


Rachel Lundy said...

Haha - I love the spoons!

It's great to read an update. I'm glad you are able to talk again.

I hope that homeschooling will continue to go well for you. You are such an encouragement to me in my homeschooling journey.


Spinal Patients said...

We are DARING to speak out about what it can be like to actually live with dysautonomia and have to put up with all the ignorance and misunderstanding about it. Dysautonomia Awareness is Rarely Experienced outside of the circle of people who are suffering with it. If we can work together to get the word out, to get the medical professionals to take notice, to help our friends and loved ones to understand what it’s like for us, then Dysautonomia Awareness can be Really Experienced.