A Child’s Weaknesses and Moses

Every child has areas of their life that are strong and some that are weak. As a parent we tend to focus on their weaknesses. We want to help them overcome their weaknesses. We look for programs to “fix” them and curriculum that helps them.

I believe God designed and purposed each and every one of us. Can God use a weak vessel? Absolutely!! In fact I think God prefers to use us in areas that we are weak or that we have always struggled.

Why wouldn’t God use our strong areas?

Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” And Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to [His] purpose.”

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God knows our weaknesses. But He can use that weakness by giving us strength to accomplish his purpose.

One illustration that comes to mind is the story of Moses. God called Moses to a life of public speaking. Moses resists this calling as he has suffered with a speech impediment all his life. But God knows Moses and knows this weakness. God calls Moses because of his weakness. God gave Moses the strength he needed to go in front of Pharaoh and the Israelites to proclaim God’s words. All who knew Moses knew that he could not have completed this without the help of God. Therefore, God was glorified.

If Moses had been a naturally gifted speaker God would not have gotten the credit for giving him the strength. People would have proclaimed that it was Moses, the gifted speaker who convinced Pharaoh to let his people go. God may have chosen someone else for the purpose that he called Moses. And Moses would not have experienced the rich life of experiencing God work through him.

I am always hearing stories of children who are physically weak who are used in big ways by God. So why do we mourn a weakness in our child. It is only through the weaknesses that God can use you to glorify his purpose in you. So we need to change our perspective. A weakness is an area that God will possibly use our children to be glorified. Of course God gives us natural giftings as well and can use those. However, I think it is harder for us as humans to acknowledge God through those strengths. It seems to us as those these are things we do ourselves apart from God. However, if we see it that way we fail to see that only God gave us that strength and natural ability.

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For God knows your child, He knows each and every one of their weaknesses. And God has a purpose for your child. And He can and will even use their weaknesses to accomplish His purpose. We as human we parents can only do so much to help them overcome those weaknesses. It’s still important to help them strengthen the weaknesses. But it’s not important to accomplish it overnight or to stress over the fact that it isn’t fixed by a normal age. It isn’t important that your child doesn’t perform everything at normal age range. Only God can give you strength in an instant that you need it.

Moments to Remember ~ Homeschool Special Needs Accommodations

The ability to make accommodations for my children is a huge benefit to homeschooling. With the Karate Kid’s ADHD and Asperger’s it’s hard to keep his mind on school when he is being still. I’ve tried; both Karate Kid and the Gymnast hear nothing I say if I make them sit still. I allow quiet play while I read to them. They are allowed to build legos or puzzles or color while I read. So while I read Karate Kid’s math story to him he stood up and built with his legos.

Karate Kid while I read Math

He’s also always had trouble getting dressed in the morning. Trouble with the change required in changing clothes. His first question to me every morning is, “Do we have to go anywhere today?” If I say no his next question is, “Do I have to get dressed?” I quit fighting it a long time ago and allow him to stay in his pajamas until he’s ready to change. It usually happens when everyone is outside having fun and he decides he wants to join them which is usually around lunch. But he’s also been known to play outside in his pajamas. There you have it, two more reasons I homeschool, my child can stand and play legos in his pajamas while I read the math lesson.

This week I’m linking up to Moments to Remember on Homeschool Creations.

Our Adventure with LearningRx

At the end of last school year I took the Little Gymnast and Karate Boy for cognitive skills testing at LearningRx. The Little Gymnast has always struggled to learn, from learning her colors and shapes, letter sounds and math concepts to name a few. When she was 7, I started researching her symptoms and concluded that she likely had Auditory Processing Disorder, Dyslexia and Dyscalculia. I switched my curriculum to better teach to her and she started making progress. However, progress was slow and painfully slow for both of us. At the end of last school year she was still at a first grade instructional level I, and by age she was to be finishing up third grade. While sitting in the doctor’s waiting room I stumbled on LearningRx material. I was so encouraged by what I read that I called when I got home to get the oldest two tested.

Karate Boy has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD and Oppositional Defiance Disorder. He was also exhibiting some signs of dyslexia and was struggling to make progress with his reading.

The test results revealed that my Little Gymnast’s brain was functioning 2 – 2.5 years below her age. The test revealed that I wasn’t imagining her difficulties, it confirmed all her daily struggles. Karate Boy’s results were mixed with some areas where he was functioning above and a few areas that were about a year behind. Karate Boy was recommended for their ThinkRx, 12 week program and the Little Gymnast was recommended for ThinkRx and ReadRx, a 24 week program.

We started their partner program about a month later. They would both receive one-on-one training for an hour 3 times per week. I would train them at home 3 days a week for 20 minutes and they would work on a computer program 6 days a week for 30 minutes. It was a lot of hard work but we started seeing improvements in about 2 weeks. The Little Gymnast made the most improvements. I will be following up with another post just on that.

At first the kids were excited about going to the center but after a few weeks they were both tired from the hard work. The Little Gymnast struggled to perform some of the simplest exercises and was becoming frustrated. They both fought me to go. Karate Boy refused to do his home training and his computer program. For every hour of fighting we managed to get in about 5 minutes of training. He was great at the center once he decided to train. The Little Gymnast was more compliant but would often break down at home telling me that it was just too hard.

The kids were perfectly matched to trainers. The trainers had quite opposite personalities but each was able to give the kids just what they needed to succeed. If the trainers had been flipped neither of the kids would have performed so well.

I’ll be posting our results soon.

Why I Homeschool

I recently had someone who was helping our family suggest that I send my son to school. She was well meaning and this year has been really hard. He has Asperger’s Syndrome with ADHD, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Sensory Integration Disorder and Dyslexia. He had a lot of outbursts this year that included yelling, name calling, throwing things, lashing out physically and destroying everything in his path to his room. There were a lot of days when just getting him calm was the focus of a our day. I cried a lot. Felt like I was failing him and my other four kids. So I can understand why those around me suggested that I send him to school. The intent was that the structure would help him, I could use the break, and I could focus on my other kids.

I was questioning myself. Why didn’t I just send him to school? Why again do I homeschool? After weeks of praying and turmoil, God gave me wisdom. First, He reminded me that He has called me to this. Second, I am not homeschooling only for academics, it’s a lifestyle for my family. But what does that mean? I want to be the primary influence in my children’s life. I want to spend more time than any other adult in their life. I want to shape who they become. I want to choose what they learn and when they learn it. I want to revel in their accomplishments as they happen. Through homeschooling my children, they have become each other’s best friends. They spend most of their time with each other, not other children or their friends. They experience the same thing all day and can “play” what they’ve experienced. This is essential to my oldest son with Aspergers. It’s not easy for him to relate to other children. If he goes to school and has one experience and all of us have another experience how will he jump right in to the play. Right now we all read the same books and watch the same shows. He knows what the others are talking about and can easily join in. I think he would feel left out if he went to school. He’d have trouble fitting in when he got home.

There is an academic component to why I homeschool as well though. My oldest two children struggle academically. I can tailor their education to meet their needs. Going as slow as they need until they finally absorb it. We can play games, watch videos and live the lessons of life. No teacher is ever going to invest that much in getting my gymnast to read or skip count.

After wrestling with this for months I have peace that God has called me, will equip me and He has the strength for this even though I don’t.

Adventures in Allergies

Monday, July 17, 2006
We tested chicken hot dogs tonight. Eli did not have an episode after dinner. Praise God. His treatment for meats was successful. Now I can expand our dinner foods beyond beef and pork. YEAH!!

I gave him chicken nuggets and fries last week. He is sensitive to white potatoes. He did have an episode after that. No fries till we treat him for white potatoes.

A Visit To Dr. Stephanie Cave

Saturday, July 08, 2006
We spent two days at Dr. Stephanie Cave’s office and learned a lot. It was exhausting both physically and mentally for all of us.We did food allergy testing on all three kids. We also tested Karate Kid for inhalent allergies. We did 6 bioset treatments with Karate Kid and 3 with Gymnast. We met with Dr. Cave about Karate Kid and Gymnast. Karate Kid was sensative/allergic to 33 of the 94 food items they tested. Gymnast is sensative/allergic to 32 of the 94 food items tested. And no they are not allergic to exactly the same things. There are 31 foods that are safe for both of them.It was explained to me that the reason they are so sensitive to so many foods is because they have too many metals in their system. They were also tested to find out if their bodies were able to clean up the metals. Karate Kid failed and Gymanst passed. On a scale from 1 to 10 (10 is most toxic), Karate Kid is a 9 and Gymanst is a 2. Karate Kid’s first treatment was a detox. We found out that he was toxic and then found a homeopathic remedy that would detox him. Within a couple of hours he was passing very odiferous gas and his skin was starting to stink. I thought this was incredible considering they didn’t put anything into Karate Kid’s body. His biosets treatments were for vitamins/minerals, dairy, grains+eggs, fruits, meats and sugars. Gymnast was treated for vitamins/minerals, grains and fruits.We got to look at a sample of the kids blood under a microscope on t.v. The nurse explained that you want to see round red blood cells moving independantly and white cells that are moving. White cells move as they clean up the bacteria from your blood. This was the most exciting part of the whole day. When we looked at Karate Kid’s we saw: stacked red blood cells, tear drop shaped red cells, some cells that have ruffled edges, some bacteria, globs of yeast, and white cells that were moving. The white cells look like clumps of glitter and the glitter would move as it cleaned upu the bacteria. The nurse told us that the tear drop shaped cells meant that he was having digestive problems, the ruffled ones meant that he was low in Omega’s and it wasn’t good to have yeast. The area around the white cells was clean so the white cells were doing their job. The red blood cells stacked together or sticked together because the body has been exposed to metals and it makes the cells sticky. In Gymnast’s blood we saw stacked red cells, a couple of tear shaped cells, no ruffled ones and yeast.

At the end of the day Wednesday we met with Dr. Cave to discuss Karate Kid. She said that his body was not removing the metals on it’s own. The metals settle into the brain and cause the allergic reactions we were noticing. The behavior problems. Estrogen protects the brain from this so that is why we weren’t seeing the same thing in Gymnast with the same allergies. This explains why boys are more susceptable to autism, ADD and ADHD. She said the yeast in his body would actually ferment fruit that he ate, making wine and would give him a high. Didn’t know that one. She said it was unusual to see a small child have so many inhalant allergies. He has at least one in every season.

She prescribed the following for Karate Kid: a probiotic and nystatin suspension for the yeast, GLA and cod liver oil for the omega deficiency, a digestive enzyme, epsom salt baths and magnesuim sulfate cream to help his liver detox (along with the homeopathic remedies), she also prescribed daily use of a multivitamin, zinc, juice plus and emergen-c to help his immune system. He always gets more sick than any of us. She also prescribed a metal challenge urine test. This is to see how many metals we can pull out of his body. He has fun peeing in a cup. Good thing.

Adventures with Allergies

Thursday, June 08, 2006
It has been a rough couple of weeks. Before today we had about 12 good hours in the last 4 weeks with Eli. I kept a food journal for a couple of days about a month ago. I thought that I would notice what he was allergic to. Unfortunately it didn’t make sense until I got the lab results back last week. According to our family practice doctor he is mildly allergic to eggs. He loves eggs, that should have been a tip off to me. I have read several times that the things that kids like the most is what they are allergic to. He loves hard boiled eggs, egg salad, scrambled eggs and any other way I have fixed them. The following are symptoms that Eli experiences that I think are related to a food allergy: red cheeks, red spots around mouth, hot hands and feet, excessive whining, too tired, emotional, repeats himself, clumsy, wakes up crying/screaming in middle of nap, wakes up after nap or morning crying and cranky, discolored patches on tongue. The one day that I can describe went like this.
6:45 a.m. woke up; good mood; takes direction/instruction well
7:00 eat hard boiled egg (about 1 1/2)
7:30 ate small bowl of Go Lean Crunch
8:30 saying he’s hungry, hands are warm, mild inability to accept instructions
8:45 1/2 piece toast with apple butter
10:40 meltdown when didn’t get his way; whining, seems tired, beside himself, asks me for something and then doesn’t want it
11:00 1/2 sandwich (cashew butter & apple butter)
1-3 ish nap
woke up grumpy till I got him to eat some applesauce

The last three weeks have been particularly hard. Thinking that it might be a blood sugar problem we were eating eggs or things with eggs in it quite a bit. He has been spanked and has spent more time in his room than I care to admit. He has been egg free for a week now. As of yesterday we are seeing some progress. We had only two small episodes yesterday and I was able to get control of him in a reasonable period. Today was about the same. We have behavior issues but they are easily corrected and taken care of without having his throw himself on the floor, flail around and cry uncontrollably. There is hope.

I am currently trying to decide who to take him to next. The doctors test only showed that he was allergic to egg. It did not show some of the things that I am pretty certain he is allergic to like dairy and peanuts and almonds.

On the good side his testicles are starting to make good progress descending. After scheduling his surgery we found a chiropractor that does laser accupuncture to treat undescended testicles. He has actually done it successfully in the past. His first treatment was March 16. He had 5 treatments after that. Our family practice doctor has confirmed for me that they are moving and he could actually feel the left one, which he has never been able to feel before. He thought that in the next 6 months they would be down. We go back to the chiropractor in 3 months and we will either do a treatment again or they will be down. This has been an incredible answer to prayer. Neither Wes or I was ready to have the surgery. We were both extremely nervous about having him put to sleep and the going through the surgery. We have been in prayer for him that the Lord would heal him through the accupuncture. AMEN!! Praise God!!