Don’t judge what you don’t know!

IMG_7140If you have been following Lessons from my Daughter for awhile, you know about the famous elbow to the head.

It happened on October 2nd 2013 and I wrote about here: It’s not nice to hit

Come on, go back and click the link, it will help you follow where I am going.

I rarely write about the downside of having a child who doesn’t quite control her movements.

That hit on October 2nd 2013 did something to me.

To start, it gave me a concussion.  I tried to ignore it for a week before the headaches and discomfort made me consult.

It took me 2 weeks before I woke-up without a headache.

By Halloween (29 days later) I was still not well so I treated you to pictures of Emily dressing up.  The art of dressing up! Not just for halloween…!

A couple of days later I went back to work but I was careful not to over do it.

Over the following 2 years, I have had what I call concussion headaches, hopping on a plane now means serious headaches on arrival.  I asked the dentist if my teeth were turning bad as they were hurting so much but the dentist said they were fine.  I consulted various specialists and therapists about my headaches, my concussion, my ears, my teeth and my jaw

I thought I was losing my mind.

September 2015, I was enlighten From concussion to TMJ  and embarked on a new recovery path.

My dentist changed my little metal bar behind my teeth to a retainer around that same time.

Within days it was obvious that I clench and lock my jaw overnight which contributes to my headaches and jaw pain.

As of yesterday 29.5 months later, I now have a bite plate to wear at night to help reduce the stress on my jaw and eventually, hopefully reduce the headaches…

I haven’t been on a plane since May, we will see in June if this is still an issue.

I can’t imagine ever riding a roller coaster again as the movements are too much for my brain.

This is my reality.

The reality of many parents out there.

Our kids are not trying to hurt us, Emily never meant to hit me exactly where it would trigger all of this.  None of this is her fault but this is my reality.

I rarely write about the downside of having a child who doesn’t quite control her movements because I don’t want to dwell on it.

I try not to think too much about how over the years, I had my hair and nail pulled, I got slapped, pushed, bitten, kicked or hit.  How much sleep I didn’t get, how much vomit I cleaned or how many vacation days I spent in hospital or in therapies.  I don’t want to know how much money and time we spent on tutoring, sign language classes, PECS system and other therapy equipment.

I don’t want to associate my back pain, my headaches and TMJ with my child so I don’t.

This is my reality and the reality of many other parents of exceptional children!

Recently, I have witnessed parents of children with special needs being verbally attack for taking care of themselves, for mani-pedi, for going to the gym or tanning salon.

To those parents, good for you, take care of yourself, we all need to take care and spoil ourselves for our own sanity and to continue fighting and advocating for our kid.

 To those commenting, pointing fingers and verbally attacking these parents please know that when you do that, you attack all of us.

All Of Us!

We are a big family who can be kicked and pushed around but we won’t stop moving forward, we will not stop defending our kids, we will not stop advocating for them and we will not apologize for finding tiny pockets of time to take care of ourselves.

💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜

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Emily has a her own page in the family stories , you can find it here: Emily

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3rd grade bully

This post is not about Josh….. it’s about another boy!  Let’s call him Brad!

As long as I can remember, Emily has said that school is awesome!

Whenever the “awesome” is not the first word she says when I pick her up, it means something happened.  As she is getting older and has more words, it is easier to figure out what happened but back when she was 9…. this was not an easy task!

Going back to 3rd grade… suddenly Emily is not quite herself and I can’t figure out why.  Lucky for me, I take Emily to school every morning and I walk her in the school to get her set-up for the day.

It’s been a couple of days of Emily acting a little strange…

As I am dropping her off, her teacher asked me if Emily told me what happened…

…….

Now I am quite concerned.

It took the teacher a day or so to figure it out herself as Emily didn’t speak-up.

Brad was sitting behind Emily in the class.  Emily’s hair at the time were always pulled back in a ponytail.  This little boy had the whole class convinced he had a lighter in his pocket and he told Emily that he was going to light her hair on fire…  Of all the things he could have said to her, to set her up on fire was probably the worst.

Emily is afraid of fire, I have a friend who has a theory as to why but that is a story for another time. Since Emily was little, we haven’t been able to have candles at home or at a restaurant…  She is REALLY afraid of fire!!!

Can you imagine her discomfort when Brad told her he was going to set her up on fire?  Who says things like that???

All the students knew Emily was nervous and scared but all of them kept to themselves except one little girl…  at the end of the day, she told the teacher why Emily was acting so strange.

Tank you little girl!  I don’t know who you are and Emily couldn’t tell me who sat next to her but for that little girl I am grateful!

Once we knew what happened, the teacher separated Emily and Brad.  I thought I was clear in my expectation that Brad was not to come near Emily.  Emily had a full-time teacher assistant for her in the classroom… you would think it would be simple to keep an eye on her.

A couple of days later, when I picked Emily up after school, she was glowing.  Her day had been awesome, Brad was her friend once again and even told her he LOVED her…..

……

……

My heart was racing so fast and I was so upset at that statement that it took all my years of drama class to act as if I was happy for her.  I didn’t want Emily to think she did something wrong but I needed to get to the bottom of this.  When did he talk to her, where was her teacher and her T.A.  Was anyone else around….

The next day, I arranged to meet with her teacher before class.  She (the teacher) was glad to report that Brad was himself again and had a talk with Emily…

……

……

Am I the only one seeing something extremely wrong here…?

……

……

At that point my blood was boiling!  I was so mad that it took me some deep breathing exercises to calm down.  Than I ask Emily’s teacher if she was aware of the family violence cycle….  You know, I love you, I hurt you, I bring you flowers, I apologize, I love you again…. the next step is more hurt and normally it gets worst…

She looked at me puzzled…  Puzzled?!?!?!

Now, I don’t know Brad’s family but at this point in my head, I do not want him near my daughter.  Emily is vulnerable, she only sees the good in people and she is a target… a perfect target!!!

I believe that day that my concerns finally registered with Emily’s teacher and with her T.A.

Brad was kept at a distance, I tried to the best of my abilities to explain to Emily that Brad was not a friend and that she needed to stay away from him.  That at anytime, the kid who said he was going to set her up on fire could be back, that this “I love you” phase was cute but not permanent.  I think she understood…  But I will never know.

The following year, he wasn’t in her class and they haven’t shared a class since.  They haven’t shared any activities.

We don’t know where Brad is and I think it is better this way!  I don’t know if they would recognize each other…

Josh was one type of bully and Brad was a completely different story but still a bully!!!

Did I over-react?  Should I have given him another chance to get close to Emily?  What would you have done?

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