So I am back to finish my birth story…

I was able to get through the surges without bringing much attention to myself and putting Diego to sleep… Although my Mom sensed something was up…

As we wrapped up with Di… I let my Mom know it would be sometime between tonight and tomorrow when she would get to meet her granddaughter… She indirectly made a comment to confirm her suspicion and well I ate the bait… jaja

We decided to watch a movie and well by about 900pm  I could no longer sit and watch the movie calmly… the surges were coming on strong enough to keep me from ignoring them…

So I decided to call my midwife, which we had been texting all day back and forth about what was going on… She asked me if I wanted her to come  check and I asked her to come…

It turns out her and her partner rented a hotel room about 5-10  minutes away due to the ice storm… It still took them about 20-30 minutes to get to my house since the ice was pretty bad…

Talk about midwifery professionality… this made everyone more relaxed and grateful to know they were close by…

see initially when she asked if she should come check me I figured she was about 30+ minutes away in normal weather and her partner probably about the same distance in the other direction…

it would take them who knows how long to get here and I wanted to make sure they got here before I felt things were going, going, gone…

They came and well I was a little disappointed to realize that I was only 2 cm dialated and already was unable to ignore the surges… My midwife very wisely stated as I got into the shower discouraged… we may have to come back another day because your still not quite ready…

Well let me tell you that did not go over real well with me…

I was more than ready and not willing to go on with these surges for days…oh no… enough is enough… let’s get this over with…

So I started doing my job… showering… getting on all 4s… sitting on my birth ball… tried to sit on the toilet… and trying to remain calm throughout the entire process…

I felt alone mostly… well because my husband was more worried about his loss of sleep and tiredness then trying to help…

apparently he was just as stressed out and felt like he was responsible for me and lu… that is he would never forgive himself if something happened to us…

This was his way of dealing… sleep is his avoidance… needless to say not the best responses to a woman in labor who needs some emotional support…

as previously discussed with my midwife in postpartum there are points in your labor which you will have to do alone…find your own inner strength and inner voice and move forward… even if you do have the support you were expecting in the end it is you who will have to start, work through, and finish this amazingly beautiful and miraculous process…

So as the story goes we start to move forward from the sleep but I begin to fight the surges maybe because I’m impatient, they are more intense, and a little bit angered by my husband’s reaction to all this…  a passive man… :0

So it’s about 1230am on February 2nd when I call my midwife and just tell her I’m impatient, I don’t know what else to do, and I need some help…

So she states that in 2 hours I am not anywhere near 10… it takes more time to get to 10… as we are talking a surge begins and she coaches me through the contraction…

She tells me to relax my shoulders, stop fighting the contraction, and breathe through it… I really really needed to hear that…

it was quite humorous to me that she just knew I was tensing my shoulders without seeing me in the moment… Could she hear it?  Was it her years of experience?  Did she get to know me well enough during our prenatal appointments to know where I tend to tense up in stressful situations?  or Did she observe it the when they came to check me at 930? Only She could answer that…

Turns out my hubby and I worked through the surges as best we could until about 230am… We weren’t quite in sync… I was ready to call my midwife at 150am like we left it and he encouraged me to wait longer…  I remember telling myself out loud… relax, relax, relaxxxxxxxxxxx, relax… jaja!

We missed their phone call and text… We only realized it because I changed positions during a surge and saw the light on my iphone… ja!

At about 230am, I once again became upset with my hubby because he stopped massaging my back before the surge ended and he began to laugh… It made me angry…  I felt like he was laughing at me… because I definitely wasn’t laughing with him…

Turns out it was a nervous laugh but definitely not appropriate to the moment and situation we were in…

He was nervous due to an ice storm which could prevent us to get additional help if necessary and the fact that we had already been up for 24 hours at that point and well this was a whole new experience for us and the first to experience this in our circle of friends…

so we had a lot of people in our social circles who made us doubt our heart-felt decision… It was a decision based on research, interviews, and gut feelings… but it’s easy to rethink it when you choose to go against the norm…

Needless to say… I texted my midwife and asked nicely… Please come… I need to be coached through some contractions… and they came… with 30 minutes… It was between 3am and 330am when the midwives arrived…

Ahhhh… finally some real support… let’s just hope they stay… Please God make them stay… was all I could think…  and well they coached me through a contraction as they walked into my bedroom…

They check me and what a relief!!!!!   wow… I was 4-5 cm dialated.. not quite 5 but real close… my cervix was very very thin, my water in tact, and baby was moving down but not all the way down… I started bawling as my midwife told me the great news… We are going to have a baby today!!!

This was such great news… I felt like I actually did something and pain that came along with the surges were worth it… I was a happy time… a time of relief… So I continued to work through the surges…

The midwives walked me to the kitchen to eat some cheese and ham and fruit… I ate a little… wasn’t much into eating… I prefer to drink water and juice… of which I drank plenty throughout the entire time… My midwives were impressed at how hydrated I kept myself… with their help and encouragement of course…

When I went back to the room… I wasn’t able to hold down the food I had eaten…

So it’s been almost 8 months since I’ve written this blog… I don’t know what possessed me to reach out to this blog and work through the emotions that build up when I think about this beautiful birth miracle that I, yes I, got to experience…

I almost can’t believe we did it… I almost want to cry just to think that I was given this gift…

So as best I can remember…  I started drinking either water or juice for the rest of the labor and delivery since I couldn’t hold down any food…  I drink cranberry juice for a while and then the acidity started taking its toll and moved onto apple juice towards the end.

I remember showering, using the counter to lean on and “ohhhhing” through the contractions…

I remember looking up at my midwife who was sitting on the edge of our bathtub crossed legged with pen and paper in hand… How sweet, encouraging, and understanding her look…

Her partner always there to massage and coach me through the surge…

At some point we went to the bed… I was exhausted and was checked and was not quite at transition…  It was tough…

I was in a lot of pain and at time doubted our decision for a home birth…  Although… I kept telling myself we had made the decision and we had to finish this experience…

I underestimated the amount of pain I would endure… I think most women probably do…

When I did make it to transition, I asked to get in the portable spa and well… It helped a lot… I had jets and water…  I was excited I finally got to go to the birthing tub…

but soon enough I was asked to get out of the tub… It seemed that the water was slowing my labor… I was still at 8…  exhausted… The midwives suggested I sit on the toilet…

Not my favorite labor spot… I said no… They encouraged me and I said it hurts really bad how about I get in the shower and they said no water for now… They reminded me that the toilet with very effective and productive place for labor…

They also told me that it would help me see my daughter faster… so we compromised 3 contractions… I think I stayed for 4… the lights went out and that helped so much…  at the time, I couldn’t focus on anything else but my contractions and my birth…

My husband apparently went stir crazy thinking the fireplace is electric and we had our son and my mother across the way… I was soothed by the lights going out and asked them to keep them off when the electricity came back on…

It turned out they started rotating power outages to save electricity and avoid a disatrous outtage due to the snow storm… Now let me ask you this… When was the last time we had a snowstorm in the DFW area… uhhhh… Maybe this was the first one ever… jajaja…

I eventually got back in the  shower and just let go… I closed my eyes and let the water pouring down on my body give me peace and rested as much as I could in the shower… Until I felt like I was overheating…

I remember my midwife’s partner saying I did good resting in the shower… It’s amazing how a little acknowledgement or encouragement can go a long way for a person in a very vulnerable place…

I got out of the shower to the bed… I was still at 9 and basically checked out for a while…

My husband at my side caressing my hair and the midwives next to me watching patiently, observing, and letting nature take its course…

I may have even fallen asleep at that point… It was like I finally gave in… I was exhausted and could do nothing else but give in to nature’s way…

When I woke up the midwives checked me and the exciting news was that I was at 10… YEA!  PRAISE GOD…  I finally made it… but wait… I am not done yet… oh… but can I get in the spa… yes… the answer waasss yes… we are going for a water birth…

A little disappointed when I got in the spa and realized that the warm water was lukewarm at best… It turns out the rotating power outtages continued on although I wasn’t aware that they were happening… needless to say my warm spa was no longer warm…

I remember the midwives plopping down on the edge of the bed and waiting… My husband sitting on the rocking chair ottoman…

They were waiting and watching… Joel leaning over and rubbing his head out of exhaustion and worry… By this time it was about 9 or so and our son woke up about 745am…

Luckily my mother was a trooper and kept Di busy on the computer in the office… My husband would only leave when we could hear my mother struggling to keep Di engaged on the office on the computer or playing cards…

My midwife tells me the contractions are going to feel different and to push when I feel one… I didn’t feel one for what seemed like forever…

I think I may have pushed before I felt one… which created a domino effect… My contractions came in cycles of 4 at a time… I remember wanting them to come but not 4 at a time… I’d say no no no not again… I am tired I just want to rest…

My midwives encouraged me by saying I was a strong pusher… In my head I felt like I made a loud animal-like grunting noise… like a lion… You know the type of noises you hear when someone picks up a heavy box or weight…

I swore everyone could hear me and at one point my mom’s emotions crept into my mind and I pushed them out because I needed to finish…

I was tired and just wanted to rest and be done with labor and delivery…

I would say… I need something but I don’t know what it is…  My midwife would offer me juice or water… until the turning point…

That last time she offered I was in no mooooooodddddddddddd… I was no longer whiney, nice, or inhibited in any fashion…

I stood up out of the water and said no… I don’t want any… I don’t know why I felt like I needed to stand or be very stern… It was one of those… don’t mess with me type of responses…

I kneeled back down into the water… and I was given some space… in a very calm and unaffected voice my midwife’s partner said can we check you…

It was amazing…  The whole time I in the water both midwives were hanging out on the bed like no big deal… My husband confessed that he was a little bewildered and confused…

He was like aren’t they supposed to catch the baby… What happens if she pushes the baby out… will they get to it in time…

It turns out that with their experience and professionalism and nonstop observations they came close when it was time to be close…

In the meantime, they watched from a safe distance giving me the space I needed to continue on my journey of delivering my beautiful baby girl in the water on my terms…

So now the midwives are at the edge of the spa… I believe my midwife is standing and her partner is kneeling and turns to my husband and says… Dad do you want to see your baby?  She plops a mirror into the water and his face was unbelievable…

My husband’s eyes lit up and a miraculous “I can’t believe it” look as he saw our baby’s hair swaying in the water…

I could hear the midwives saying “wow look at all that hair…”

Put your hand down there so you can feel your baby’s head…

I could feel her hair moving back and forth in the water… I could not feel the diameter of her head just her hair…

I am smiling with joy and nostalgia as I relive this joyous unforgettable moment… The moment when my little girl was born in a safe calm and peaceful place with lots of love and support surrounding us…

“Just a few more pushes… about 2 or 3 and she’ll be here…”  I was like well lets get to it because I am tired and ready to be done…  jajaj…

The midwives were absolutley in the KNOW… It took about 3 pushes and she was born… I believe that at one point I actually felt her head… My husband was standing close to the spa watching the mirror as Lu was born…

In fact… when I pushed her head out I felt a stinging burning sensation… It felt like a burst as she was born…

Her head was out.. and this momma decided she was done pushing… Mind you Lu’s head was still underwater… and I decided I was done and wasn’t pushing anymore…

It turns  out that Lu has broad shoulders like her daddy… So I needed to push again and a nice strong one at that…

So the midwives were patient for a short time… I’m a couple of seconds or so… and they asked me to push and I said no… I was done and tired and I didn’t need to push anymore… They calmly and sweetly explained that I wasn’t and I needed to push… I was adamant I was done… They said just one more time…

Their calm and gentle request became a little more directive… They needed to get Lu out… Joel came close and in Spanish told I needed to push and he was getting scared so I needed to push hard… Because I gave in and pushed a little and the midwives said that wasn’t enough… so I said ok fine… 1, 2, 3… grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr… and out came Lu…

jajaja… I couldn’t believe it… I can’t believe it… the joy the amazement… the happiness… the bonding… the “I did it”… “I can do anything I want”… “the power”… The passage of womanhood… the “true” motherhood experience… the “real” labor and delivery… “the way it was meant to be”… All these things going through my head at once.

(This is no way judgemental towards any women who have had C-sections or medicated births… this is the experience that I wanted and the goal that I fulfilled… )

And at the same time the bonding and happiness I felt with Lu who was crying and wanted to nurse but it turns out her umblical cord was too short… which apparently had something to do with why it took me a long time to get through early labor and for her to move down…

so if you can imagine the midwives are busy doing something because I don’t know what it was but their movements were quick graceful and non-urgent…

I mentioned I felt something tugging at me and they said in a matter of fact non-urgent way…  It sounds like the cord is a little short bear with us while we wait for the cord to stop pulsating in the meantime keep her head above water but don’t pull her to your breast because the cord is too short…

The midwives asked my husband to hold me up in order for Lu’s head to be out of the water… You see I’m a little short and the water was at capacity in the spa…

My husband placed a plastic stool in the water for me to sit on and keep Lu’s head out of water…

the cord was quickly cut as soon as the last pulse went through… I was asked immediately to try and deliver the placenta and in the meantime baby would be wrapped in a towel and passed to dad…

I stood up delivered the placenta in this plastic bedpan type thing… I think the bedpan was blue… then I was helped out cleaned off and put in bed…. I was shaking out of cold, fatigue, and adrenaline… It was a more than tremble… almost like convulsions…

The midwives asked if I wanted to let my mom and son in and I told them as soon as I was calm and felt a little stronger… The spa was covered because I tore and bled a little…. I didn’t want to subject anyone to any kind of unnecessary panic or worry…

The midwives did their thing and fed me… They actually asked me what I wanted to eat but I had no idea… I was in a state of excitement… I was in awe of what had just happened…

So they brought me fruit and proteins to eat and some juice… I finally stopped shaking violently and my husband went to get my mom and Di… I hear my husband say in Spanish… Di come here the baby’s here… Lu is here… and typical of my son to say No… she’s not… and my husband having to go get him…

I believe I fed Lu right away…

Di was suprised and my mom was relieved… maybe… My husband was relieved, happy, and in a state of happiness…

Then everyone was asked to leave while baby was placed on the bed while I got stitches… My only thought at this point was “do I have to feel more pain”…
The midwives hated to have to stitch but recommended stitches for proper healing… They assured me that lidocaine would keep me from feeling anything…

They stayed until oh I don’t know around 145 or 2pm…

My midwife conducted the newborn screening in front of all of us including my mom… Di decided he wasn’t interested and watched tv in the living room…

We were all amazed at how well my midwife kept baby from crying… Her soothing softspoken sweet voice would keep Lu from screaming out of control… The baby was comforted in such a way that only one would believe it if they saw it…

My mom was more than impressed… My mom was given the honor to give Lu her first bath and dress her…

I rested and was up walking later that night… Di sang to Lu and held her and kissed her and read to her…  Lu and I slept  in the bed together and my husband decided to sleep on the couch…

What an amazing experience…

She was born at 945am weighing 7.6lbs and 20 inches… She appeared much bigger than her weight… probably due to her big head at 13 inches…  Active labor lasted about 9 hours, the pushing stage about 45 minutes…  not bad for a first time vaginal delivery… I must say…

So my water broke or maybe it was bloody show at 3am this morning… Feb 1…   We called the midwife and informed her of our exciting news…

We went back to bed and later realized we needed to dry the sheets I had washed last night and make the bed for birthing… I got hungry and had to pee… We both had our moments of excitement, anxiety, nostalgia,  and intimacy… Lots of cuddling and gentle kisses and caresses…

We were both preparing for a long day and reassuring each other through our actions we could count on each other for support, love, and guidance through this new birth experience…

As the day has progressed, I was able to spend time with our son… play, watch tv, and even eat a wonderful lunch prepared by my mother with lots of love… Whom we decided to keep our little secret that her one and only granddaughter was making her way to our world…

My husband took a nap while I played with our son and then I took a nap while he played with him…

Contractions have gotten stronger and closer together…

Now the trick… wait about 3 more hours for our son’s bedtime and officially let my mother in our little secret… I’ve been in labor since 3am…

I must say one huge difference between my hospital birth and the beginning of my home birth… is that I am calm, relaxed, and enjoying this beautiful adventure…

My husband has made comments about the differences between my behavior in the hospital and home… He’s even asked me several times if I feel pain… yes… I feel pain… but I’d rather like it to be put that I feel uncomfortable surges…

My motto during these surges:  Relaxation breathing with “I Trust My Body”…

To be continued as time progresses…

Write down 10 things you wish you could do today.  Do not include things you should do… Only include things you want to do…

Do 1 of the 10 things and write down or ponder how it felt to indulge in one of your wishes…

Feel free to comment on the task…🙂

I just visited a friend’s blog who is living out her passion!!! What a wonderful way to spend your energy… Doing something you love…

www.saralattisstone.com

What’s your passion? What do you love to do? How did you find it?

So I just read the ACOG opinion on Planned Home Birth for 2011… The fact is that I am a little bewildered by the audacity for ACOG’s opinion to not support planned home births…

If ACOG does not want to support planned home births… then why don’t they work with midwives whether CPM or CNM to allow midwives to attend natural births in hospitals with all the birth props, necessities, and support a women who seeks natural birth desires…

Will that make it safer to have babies in a hospital vs the home if everything required for a natural birth is available at a hospital?…

What about the risk of infections in hospitals?  Much higher than in your home due to exposure…

Here’s the other thing… The majority of OBs in the US are not well versed in natural childbirth… They are well versed in childbirth with interventions… so how can natural childbirth be safer in a hospital when midwives whose expertise is natural childbirth are generally not allowed to attend births in a hospital…

In the rare cases midwives are allowed to attend births in a hospital they are working under an OB who is more of a boss than a consultant for the case… Meaning in most cases the midwives hands are tied to her Supervising OB’s views and perspectives even if she is not hundred percent in agreement…  To me that’s not consulting that’s an OB telling a midwive what to do…

I believe there is a difference between a consult for a high risk pregnancy or a low risk pregnancy which has become complicated or high risk… In those cases… wouldn’t the midwife transfer or refer her client to an OB anyways… Isn’t that the point of OB’s… to attend high risk, complicated births…

What’s the difference between a birth center and a home birth really?  I mean most birth centers in my area are in old victorian homes anyway… they basically rent you a bedroom and bathroom and allow you to get there when you are in active labor and birth your baby… You are allowed to stay in the room for approximately 6 hours or so after the baby is born… Unless of course, another mom comes in who is labor and needs the room… Usually there are 2-3 rooms in these birth centers…

Now in your home you get labor and birth your baby and then stay there after the baby is born… No driving anywhere unless a transfer is necessary…

If you are in a birth center and require a transfer then you would be driving as well…

Since when is a VBAC or HBAC a high risk pregnancy?  The risk for uterine rupture is 3% for a c-section and 1% for a VBAC… so to me the risk is about equal… why not give the pregnant mother the option and allow her to decide for herself…

By the way in case you didn’t know… even first time pregnant moms have uterine rupture risks…  What do you think about that?

Here’s the other thing… ACOG’s recommendation for finding a suitable midwife provider… No one ever tells a pregnant mother to find a suitable OB/Gyn and ask the OB/GYN for references, certifications, etc, etc… Usually they go with whomever is doing their women’s wellness checkups… no questions asked.

ACOG should recommend pregnant mothers to interview their OB/GYN to determine if they are a suitable provider for the birth of their child… What is the difference here between interviewing a suitable midwife vs a suitable OB/GYN?

By the way… In my journey of finding a suitable provider for my planned HBAC… I interviewed several midwives and a OB…

Every single one of the midwives stated they would offer and discuss all the standard components of prenatal care with me… Ultimately it was my decision to waive or authorize every single component based on the pros/cons and risks of each component…

Shouldn’t that be standard with OB practice as well… Why do newborns get Vitamin K shots… Too bad I never knew or thought to ask when I gave birth to my first child…  We just accepted that’s what needs to be done…

As mothers and fathers we need to question every practice regarding our prenatal and postpartum care for mom and baby… just like we question every teacher, recommendation, grandparent, friend, aunt/uncle, family member, etc who tells how we need to raise, parent, feed, clothe, teach, and expose our child to society…

What are your thoughts on this?  I want to know…

Well let me just tell you I am excited… I feel like I had a productive week and well we should all celebrate our wins big or small…

For one thing… if we talk about positive change in our lives then we feel energized… motivated… excited…

So I’ve decided to make Fridays… SHARE YOUR WINS…

Everybody is invited to post a win, achievement, or positive action which they would like to receive acknowledgement for!

I’ll start…🙂

I’ve nursed my feverish son to health with the least amount of medicine necessary to keep the fever from going too high!

I’ve networked, picked a schedule for social networking sites and well stood my ground by saying no without feeling guilty when I felt like my family was more  important…

Even the little things are WINS… Wins are gains or changes which move us towards happiness…  Everybody has different wins… don’t be afraid to share…

“Love the Life you life…”

And in the words of my colleague…

“Life is a gift, untie the knot”

Hello…

It’s been a little while… I’ve been doing some pretty intense changes in my life and moving towards happiness! It feels great! I feel wonderful, stable, and alive…

So in the past year or so I’ve been reading many many books including spiritual, religious, and self-help books and I’ve come to the realization that I am a practicing Catholic who seems to understand basic Buddhist ideas…
In one of the many books I’ve read by Thich Naht Nahn, Thay (as he is known) states that you shall not abandon your maternal church. He goes on to explain that Christians and Buddhists have many things in common and/or similar beliefs so why not incorporate some of the Buddhist teachings into our spirituality.

It sounded interesting and possible at the time… so then I chose to read “Living Buddha, Living Christ” to understand more about the similarities and differences between Christians and Buddhists.

I was very surprised to see the connection between Christianity and Buddhism.

It actually confirmed my suspicion that many religions have similar ideals or beliefs that are expressed in different ways.

Once again, I felt drawn to Buddhism and felt comfortable with the connections and/or different terminology expressed between Christianity and Buddhism.

In fact I prefer to think of negative energy rather than sin, evil, or the devil… I love the idea of positive energy, the Holy Spirit, enlightenment, Jesus…

After this, we took a family vacation to Thailand… where the majority of the population practice Buddhism. It was fascinating to see how much reverence and honor Buddhist Thais exhibited in their Temples.

I felt at awe and at peace when I encountered Buddhist monks and entered the Buddhist Temples.

It was as if a I felt a positive energy, a love, a newfound peace while paying my respects to Buddha at a Buddhist Temple.

The same positive energy, love, and newfound peace I felt 10 years ago when I visited the Vatican…

The same positive energy, love, and newfound peace I’ve always felt when I’ve entered any Catholic Church to pray for that matter…

I’ve even been able to find it during Savasana after I practice yoga…

So now I am reading a book called “The Art of Happiness” by the Dalai Lama himself… I love the book… I am only in Part 2 of the book and still have to finish reading… but as I finished reading Part 1 it occurred to me…

Can a practicing Catholic practice Buddhism at the same time?

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

-Albert Schweitzer

So today I write about finding and doing what I love to do…

You see it’s really stressful on your family when you realize you’re unhappy and you want to change because it requires an adjustment for everyone in the family…

It’s worse when you know you are due for a career change… all signs lead to a change in career… yet you haven’t found what it is you are supposed to be doing…

So what do you do… you explore…

Now exploring has it’s challenges because sometimes you explore outside the conventional… socially and family-wise…

Those challenges cause some stress which is difficult to deal with when your supporters love stability, security, and the conventional…

You’ve basically destroyed the stability and security of your family and your marriage by initiating a change which is absolutely necessary in order to continue on in your marriage and your family…

It’s hard to face the facts and it’s hard to do what you need to do for you…

So I guess the point is that…

I know that I want to continue my life in a new career…

I know that, if I continue with my current career, the hole that I’ve been climbing out of is going to swallow me back in… and I will drown…

So how do you explain that to someone who is so fearful and knows not how to look outside the box…

The bottom line is that I don’t want to continue doing what I am doing and if that ends up in a new career so be it… if it ends up that I stop working… so be it…

How do I find what I love to do?  So that I can stop doing something that pushes me back into the hole that I’ve worked really hard to climb out of?

If I have that thing I love before I stop the other, the transition will be much easier for the rest of the family.

Then again I am thinking of everyone else… right?  and this isn’t about everyone else…

It is about me.

Here are some strategies for language development between the ages of 3-5 years.

Remember that in typically developing children, 80% of your child’s language has been developed by age 3. This means that from age 3 through adulthood your child is refining their language skills and learning higher level language concepts.

Some of these strategies may overlap with the 0-3 Strategies and others are new.

1. Create a necesity for your child to communicate.

2. Expand your child’s phrases by adding 1 word to what he/she says.

3. Provide choices or ask open ended questions rather than asking yes/no questions.

4. Decrease use of non-specific language (i.e it).

5. Talk to your child about their day.  Ask questions.

6. Dedicate time to playing with your child.

7. Create opportunities for socializing with other children and adults.

8. Encourage your child to use words in his repertoire.

9. Allow your child to do things for himself that he knows how to do. (i.e putting on shoes)

10.  Read books, talk about the pictures, and ask questions about the books.

The more you talk to your child; the more your child will pick up on language.  Children imitate their parents/caregivers.  Make sure to include them in on family conversations (during dinner and other times) in your daily routines.

I think it’s a wonderful idea… You see I am just realizing how so many companies out there promote their products by supporting good causes!

It’s wonderful… It makes me feel good to know that I am doing a good deed just by buying from Fair Indigo.  We support organic clothing and a fair trade!  I get what I want at a decent price and know that I am doing something good for someone else…

You don’t even have to do anything extra!  TOMS shoes is another business where you buy a pair of  shoes and another pair is given to a child in need…  It’s a great concept…  You give  back just buying a pair of shoes!!!

You can support small business by avoiding big companies such as Home Depot and Lowes for home projects… even landscaping!  Many of workers are looking for work and extra money!

If they can bring home food and pay for shelter, it helps keep people of the streets!  Even their kids are in better shape because they don’t feel responsible for the families economic difficulty or even the tension that economic stresses bring into the home.

Generally, many small businesses are willing to give back even if they aren’t recognized for their efforts.  Small businesses don’t give back to get attention from the media.  They do it because they care.

Most small businesses enjoy what they do.  They are small enough that they still care about their work and their efforts.  Small businesses are still sensitive to the difficulties of life.  They have not been desensitized due to their growth or from their successes.

So the next time you’re out shopping around or need to buy a gift… Why not try giving a gift and giving back all at the same time?  Look for the those businesses who are willing to do something for a good cause!

“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.”

-Anthony Robbins

Here I am thinking about how my life has changed in the past year!   One year… that’s such a short time for such big changes occurred in my life and my wellbeing!

I feel great!  I feel happy!  I feel in control!  I feel like I am creating the life I desire to live!  I am on the path to my true heart’s desire!

How wonderful is that?

I can honestly say that I am grateful for everything and everyone I encounter in my life at this time.  I have been grateful for the rain, my family, my home, and my teachers!

Looking back and reflecting I’ve come to realize that changing your attitude about life and your experiences really does make a difference in the unfolding of your life!

The more grateful you become through your journey of self discovery; the more comfortable you feel in your own skin!
The more affirmations you give yourself; the more wonderful things begin to happen!  All you have to do is ask, intend, or wish!

You see last year I was very unhappy.  I was sad.  I cried uncontrollably with strangers I didn’t even know.  I was out of my element.  I was out of control.  All this made the rest of my family unstable and unhappy as well.

I began seeing a therapist who helped me through a crisis of depression and supported me through my self discovery and exploration.  She helped me realize that some of my emotions weren’t really my emotions.  They were emotions that were handed down to me from others.

As I began to re-learn how to say no and honor my desires, I began to grow in all areas of my life.  I began to understand where these emotions were from and how to deal with them on a level I was comfortable.

My attitude began to change.  My life began to change.  Miracles, blessings, desires, and wishes have all begun to come true.

It took hard work and determination.  I had to go against the grain; against my habits.  It was well worth it!

Some things I have done to help myself along:

1. Pray everyday (not just sometimes)

2. Be grateful everday (not just when I remember to)

3. Say “Thank you” (even if its to my husband for taking out the trash or to my son for following directions)

4. Meditation

5. Time for nuturing myself (a SELF playdate: no friends or loved ones invited)

6. I engaged in DEEP LISTENING (really concentrate on the conversations I have with others)

7. I practice loving speech (work in progress!)

8.  Avoid negative energy, triangulation (in other words: gossip)

9.  Remove my self from uncomfortable situations or places.

10. Eat healthy and exercise (increase veggies, decrease meats, increase organic and natural foods)

11. Practice yoga, Reiki, and other forms of relaxation, stress-reduction, and natural healing!

I am grateful to all my teachers, guides, angels, and supportive high energy people who have cheered me along.  I am able to really listen to my higher self and trust in my higher self to guide me to my true heart’s desire.

It’s a blessing to have experienced such pain; without that experience I would not have known what happiness is!
Love and Light… Peace and Love…

Positive Energy sent to all those who read my blog!

So through Facebook someone made a comment about how irritated they were because a commercial switched from English to Spanish with English Subtitles…

And then of course someone writes that this is USA and people should be talking English, etc etc…

Well… if you must know the number 1 second language most spoken in the United States is Spanish at 80% followed by Vietnamese at 2%.

The two languages are not shocking… what is shocking is the difference between the two languages… woow… that’s crazy…

I think it’s great the media is finally focusing on a positive!!!    Multilingualism and diversity are such good things.  They help us understand others and give us a greater variety of opportunities.

So here’s thing… In most other countries, it is favored for a person to be bilingual or multilingual including Latin America.  The USA is one of the only countries who hasn’t figured that out yet.

And now that they are finally trying to change for good, people are resisting.  It’s sad that people are in so much pain that they cannot see how great it is that the media is supporting cultural diversity and multilingualism.

If one was wise as an American, they would learn a second language… which of course should be Spanish due to the high percentage of Spanish speaking individuals in the United States…

Spanish is becoming a necessity for those who live in the United States.  A third language would be a bonus!

I love that we are moving towards tolerance, acceptance, and openness… at least it’s begun by showing bilingual commercials on the television!!!

There’s nothing more wonderful than finding a community where you fit in… Where others have interests similar to yourself.
Through my  journey to rediscover myself, I realized that I started doing things that brought me joy as a child.  It just seemed natural to want to find that Happy Place in myself…

So I went in search of all the things that brought me joy.  The interesting thing is that many of the things that brought me joy were not really my interests in other words  they really didn’t bring me joy.

What brought me joy was making others happy, specifically my mom.  So even though I enjoyed doing some of the things I did, it wasn’t really an interest of mine.  I pursued them for my mom.

I felt I was responsible for my mom’s happiness.  So if it made mom happy, then I did my best to do it and enjoy it.  You see I discounted my own feelings and desires to make sure that She was happy or that there was some harmony in my home.

Don’t get me wrong there were plenty a time when I rebelled and worked hard to go against what everyone else wanted me to do or rather, thought I should do.  Everyone was working in my best interest and because they cared.

They never realized that they cared so much, I got confused and started doing things because that’s what I should do not what I want to do.

Now, by going back and experiencing activities which I thought brought me joy, I realize some of those activities brought me joy because they brought others joy.

The other day I chose to go to a yoga class at a studio close to my home.  I had experienced different types of yoga in different environments but never really found a studio that made me feel good.

I practiced off and on out of my home throughout the last 5+ years.  Since I went to the class on Friday, I now realize that a yoga studio is where I belong.  There are people with similar interests that I can talk to.  I can feel comfortable in my own skin.

I plan to discontinue my aerobics classes and focus my energy on yoga and finding a community where I belong and can talk to people about my interests.

It took hard work to find out that I tend to ignore my feelings and my desires and focus on what I should do and what other people would like to see me do.

I am determined to create a life full of peace and happiness.  I will live for me.  The rest will come along including supportive friends and family and communities.

It takes courage, hard work, and determination to find the real you and to choose to live by your standards!

There’s very few people in this world that you can truly be yourself in front of them…

That amount of comfort can only come with special people you connect with… Not every one of your friends understands you in way where you feel “this is me and you tolerate even the worst in me… ”

These friends appreciate you at your best, at your worst, and everything in between…

These people are few and far between…

But once you’ve found someone you can trust your true self with you can’t get enough of them…

so I went out with single women this weekend and we talked about the Oprah show where two 14 year olds stated they were ready to have sex…

As you can imagine, there were many different opinions and some who preferred to stay quiet…

The questions Dr. Laura was asking the teens were amazing… I definitely thought it was a good way to talk about sex…

I don’t know that I would go as far as to buy condoms for my son… but I would give him the money and maybe even take him to a store once and show him where he could buy them… Although, in this day in age kids probably know where to get them…

I definitely agreed that the kids should be empowered by having all the information without encouraging them to have sex.

Sex has been such taboo for so long… I think it would help to talk about sex in as a positive expression of oneself… It’s another way to express ourselves to our loved one…

It might help to talk about sex as a normal and healthy action. It is a gift we give to others with whom we feel we want to share it.

Teenage girls need to understand that they have not committed a sin just because they gave in to temptation… They should be taught to feel it is ok for them to explore their bodies with or without someone…

We need to educate our girls about how to decide when they are ready to explore their bodies with someone else and how to choose the right person to share their bodies with…

Just like we need to teach our teenage boys to be respectful of teenage girls…

It shouldn’t be okay for the teenage boys to score and taboo for the teenage girls to score…

There is definitely an unbalance among the boys and girls… which is the same as the unbalance seen between men and women…

Give everyone options and the whole story, good and bad, about having sex. I think it will help us out in the long run…

Well…

we’ve been discussing taking a vacation in November… We’ve planned to take a mini vacation in July… if possible…

The key is we both have work in Puerto Rico and plan to try to coincide our trips in order to get a family vacation out of our time…

So if we do this… we are thinking of taking a mini honeymoon in November…

Where should we go? We love the beach…

We’ve been looking at Roatan

Any other ideas out there?

This is the best article I’ve read on the Mommy wars…

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1193793,00.htm

So true…🙂

“Mom always tells me to celebrate everyone’s uniqueness. I like the way that sounds.” -Hilary Duff

This has really been bothering me and I thought I would blog about it today…

It seems that a mom poured her heart out to other moms (whom she doesn’t know) through a website and these moms lashed out at her…

They pointed the finger stating that she should be at home with her son in order to solve all their problems. Some were nice about it and some were out right mean.

Some said things like do you really have to work? Maybe you just need to stay home instead of placing your child in daycare…

I found these messages so inappropriate and mean… just so cruel… I mean if the parent does stay home with the child, the problems aren’t going to go away.

I asked myself… how ignorant can a mom be? these moms were just plain ignorant…

they replied and judged her without taking into consideration their knowledge about children with special needs or developmental delays/disorders/ or even the fact that this mom was just so anxious and so out of her element…

I mean these moms didn’t even think for a moment that this mom could be at her wits end… if she wasn’t depressed… they sure pushed her over the edge…

Did these moms even think to put themselves in her shoes? Nobody is the perfect parent and just because your child is considered “normal” doesn’t mean you are doing it right…

If and when the child goes to school, the problems will return and may have escalated or even be more apparent since schools are so strict and rigid. Schools are very demanding in all areas of development… academics, socially, emotionally, etc…

Working mothers do not cause developmental delays, disorders, or differences…

The one thing Stay at home moms never seem to figure out is that the more you hover over your child the less independent they are…

Stay at home moms aren’t always in the know regarding redflags in development… and guess what… your pediatrician isn’t either…

If they are… they don’t spend enough time with them to figure it out and if they aren’t then they don’t know what questions to ask the parents or how to probe the parents to get a better picture of the child’s development…

Development is not just about growth in their bodies and muscles and brains… but it also includes the subjective areas of social-emotional behaviors, speech and language skills and/or communicative behaviors, and of course adaptive behavior…

These subjective behaviors are behaviors that involve analysis and observation… they are not just seen in an xray…

So when your children are always around you and you are always adapting their environment to them… Redflags in development may not be apparent to you… OR… you just might find it normal for your child…

Many moms, regardless if they are working or stay at home, don’t know or understand what redflags to look for to catch developmental delays, disorders, etc before they send their children to school…

So it’s the teachers or the outside people who begin to ask questions and have doubts about the child’s development…

and let me tell you it is not easy to approach any parent and say “I have some concerns with your child’s behavior… I would like to recommend you to explore the idea of having your child evaluated…”

That is one of the hardest things to tell a parent and it’s incredibly stressful because of the uncertainty of how the parent will react…

You are trying to help someone and their family but you are also breaking someone’s heart… and making them feel incompetent…. without even wanting to…

This is where my doubt comes in about supportive moms… I think the only supportive moms you may find are those that have been through some difficult times with their children…

and even then, are they going to judge you about what steps you decide to take for your child’s intervention???

I don’t see other moms as supportive… I see them as critical… as judgmental… as inconsiderate… as uncompassionate… and always looking for one thing to use to put you down as a mother…

Do you cook? do you go to the gym? do you work? how do you discipline? do you follow the standard pediatrician recommendations for feeding, sleep training…. who’s your pediatrician? how do you dress your child? you name it…

It’s like moms are vultures and their waiting and watching and when you least expect it they are going to throw a knife at your heart and make you feel guilty for the decisions you’ve made as a parent with the greatest intentions you can possibly have for the well-being of your children…

Every parent does the best they can in the situation they are in at that moment in time…

That does not mean that parents don’t make mistakes…

That means that parents have strengths and they have weaknesses in their skills for raising their children and many factors play into how you as a parent will react at that moment when your child needs you the most…

I would only spill my guts to moms who are considered safe… and only, you, as a mom can determine if that parent is a safe and supportive person to have as an advocate for you…

So if you feel defensive when you are talking to another mom, that’s not a safe and supportive advocate for YOU!

Don’t forget… many people, friends, neighbors,etc will turn on you in the event of a crisis…

It’s all about people. It’s about networking and being nice to people and not burning any bridges. Your book is going to impress, but in the end it is people that are going to hire you. -Mike Davidson

How do SLPs and other therapists determine the amount of therapy a child needs to significantly improve his skills?

Well… it should involve lots of analysis and thinking outside the box to tailor each treatment plan to your patient.

However, most SLPs will recommend the standard 2x/week for anywhere between 30-60 minutes… most of the time 30-45 minutes is what’s given…

Many Doctors like to prescribe this also… even if they have not evaluated the patient in terms of communication… That is mind boggling…

I believe that less is more…

Therapy can be anywhere from 1x/mo to 2x-3x per week depending on the patient…

I rarely see a patient more than 1x/wk and generally see my patients 2x/mo… They all receive a home exercise program which is expected to be implemented into daily routines…

See… I like to empower my parents and caregivers… I feel like you see greater improvement and more parent satisfaction with less is more.

Here’s what I look at:

age, type of delay/disorder, severity of delay/disorder, delay vs disorder, patient motivation, family support, prognosis, environmental factors, behavioral factors, concurrent diagnoses, maturity level, cognitive functioning levels, etc…

(Must take graduate level diagnosis/treatment courses to get more valuable information about treatment plans)

Lots of things to consider when recommending therapy… Less is more in order to empower families… because the more therapy you give the more your families depend on you…

In essence, you are encouraging dependence rather than independence with more therapy, better outcomes…

Ultimately, therapies are given to increase their skills in communication and obtain the highest level of independence the patient can attain (prognosis). So less is more…

Having said that… Family support is a valuable tool to supplement therapy services…

See… I can see my patients every single day for an hour… but if the families are not following through with strategies and home exercise programs… little change will be noted…

Here are some things to think about:

If you see your patients every day for an hour:

1. How much change will you see from 1 day to the next?
2. Will your recommendations change from 1 day to the next?
3. Are you empowering your families or are you fostering dependence?
4. Is the patient receiving enough time to process and assimilate strategies learned?
5. Have you given the families and your patients enough time to implement and practice?
6. Are you incorporating parent education and prevention in your therapies? (important for families who are still growing)

Now ask yourself the same questions regarding the standard 2x/wk 30-45 minutes…

Now… Some patients may need the standard 2x/wk 30-45 minutes… but most do not… especially the younger ones…

Try it… 2x/mo 45 min to hour… include direct tx time and indirect tx time via the parent

Again… relying heavily on parent follow through is key…

if you want to see significant changes in your patient’s communications… your families must follow through with strategies…

Here’s an example:

If your patient goes to the doctor and the doctor prescribes antibiotics. (This is considered the MD’s recommendation and strategy). The patient does not take the antibiotics as prescribed and comes back to the doctor 1 week later and then continues to come back everyday with the same complaints…

Who is doing their job? Who is not doing their job? What can the doctor do to improve the patient’s health, if the patient is not following through with the strategies?

Nothing… A doctor is no miracle worker… and if you don’t get the surgery or take the medication or do your exercise and eat a balanced diet as prescribed by the doctor… you will die…

because ultimately their job is to maintain your health in order for you to live as long as possible through recommendations…

So if the patient doesn’t take the medication then the doctor can’t help them… This is why the phrase “against medical advise” exists.

Well… Our job as SLPs is to facilitate communication for our patients… but we are not miracle workers… if our families do not follow through with our prescribed recommendations and/or strategies… an increase in frequency will not cure the problem…

Here’s another tidbit… make sure that the patient and their family understands that you are using the phrase “against therapist advise” or “limited family follow through” or “against therapist recommendations”… Use it outloud and in your paperwork…

document, document, document…🙂

“Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.” -John Jakes

Most people don’t realize that there is a subspecialty of Pediatricians who specialize in development.

These pediatricians are called developmental pediatrician.

It’s no wonder why many pediatricians do not refer their patients out to specialists. Regular pediatricians focus on health vs illness and on the child globally. They have an overall understanding of development.

Regular pediatricians do not spend enough time with their patients to determine if there are delays in areas of development which are more subjective such as social-emotional development and speech and language development.

These areas of developments cannot be measured by a blood test, weight, circumference, and whether they are walking or running. These milestone measures are very concrete…

Social – emotional development and speech and language development are areas of development which are very abstract and difficult to judge when you have only been with the child for a few minutes over a sporadic period of time.

This is why if you have concerns regarding your child’s speech and language skills have a speech pathologist evaluate them.

Medical doctor referrals are not needed for speech pathology evaluations. Speech language pathologists are trained to refer their patients out for further evaluations if they deem necessary.

Social emotional development can be measured by Early Childhood specialists, psychologists, and developmental pediatricians.

Developmental Pediatricians work with a team who evaluate child globally in terms of development.

For more information check out the American Academy of Pediatrics for more information.

It is sad to me to think that SLPs in the schools do not defend their professions or behave on a different level than teachers.

I find that difficult to understand. Why is that in schools, SLPs are prohibited from recommending further evaluations from specialists outside the school district? More troubling than that, is why SLPs don’t stick up for their profession.

We are an allied health field… we take courses in the medical sciences… we are not teachers. We are not glorified tutors. We have been trained to analyze, observe, make professional judgments, and determine if our patients require further evaluations by any other kind of therapist and/or medical professional.

We, SLPs, are held responsible for HIPPA Compliance and are considered to be part of the medical field.

It is under our scope of practice to recommend further evaluation from psychologists, neurologists, etc…

So, again, I would believe it would be unethical to evade recommendations for further evaluations from specialists outside the school district if we believed through our professional training that a child would benefit from further evaluations from developmental pediatricians, neurologists, psychologists, OTs, PTs, or any other sort of specialty regardless if they qualify for services under the school service delivery method.

Here’s the thing… Why aren’t we educating doctors, other therapists, and educational staff about our profession? Why aren’t we standing up for ourselves and explaining that our scope of practice involves communication and how it impacts academics and social interactions. Then again, communication overlaps every aspect of one’s life.

We do not tutor… Once communication is functional, then the learning disability or other disability is not covered under our scope of practice… So basically, we work with LD students to organize their language… so that they can functionally understand and express their desires, wants and needs. We do not teach them or tutor them just because they are low academically… We cannot change a learning disability… which means a child has difficulty learning… so basically the child is going to be behind academically which is why there are resource programs and special ed programs which will help move the child along.

We should not be working on social skills with children who are emotionally disturbed… ED must be targeted to improve social skills. Targeting communication will not improve social skills for a child with ED or anxiety since the communication is not negatively impacting his social skills. If ED or anxiety is negatively impacting his social skills, then the emotional disorder should be targeted to improve social skills.

I can understand teachers not being able to recommend evaluations from other medical professionals… They have not been trained in the medical sciences or taken courses in neuroanatomy…

Why is a professional from an allied health field (SLPs) who works in a school district unable to recommend evaluations from other medical professionals outside of school districts? That’s part of the reason we are trained in neuroanatomy and arteriosclerosis, Traumatic Brain Injury, and other neurological language delays/disorders.

Speech Pathologists are not teachers unless they have been dually certified in education…

SLPs are governed by the state licensing board and by ASHA… Teachers are governed by the TEA…

Communication is the SLP’s expertise… Education is the Teacher’s expertise… there is a significant difference, especially in how they are trained and the backbone that each profession is given in order to be successful in their career.

SLPs should always think of themselves as allied healthcare professionals regardless of the setting they work in… this would help get the respect we deserve in the school districts…

SLPs would be able to stand out and demonstrate their expertise in their fields if they do not allow others to treat them as teachers or glorified tutors…

SLPs need to put boundaries in place in order for them to be seen as experts in their fields… They need to put up a tough act and fight for their scope of practice and their rights as allied health professionals.

Ironically, in the medical service delivery method… we do not need a referral from medical doctors to evaluate our patients… In fact, we obtain MD referrals for payment purposes…

So SLPs in medical service delivery method settings are maintaining their independence and have set up a boundary… yet, those in the education fields are just sitting back and watching while others treat them as teachers.

Every parent does the very best they can in the situation that they are in at that moment in time (more…)

My ideal job is definitely fits the category of playing… jajaja… if I could play and get paid I would be in heaven…

Now by play I mean I get to surf the net, write, do whatever it is I am feeling needs to be done at the moment…

By pay… I mean a good pay… that way I could retire on an island and spend my time dreaming in my head or analyzing the wind, people, and whatever else peaks my interest at the time…

I guess that’s why it’s hard for me to be satisfied with what I do… I get bored easily and well… I just can’t seem to deal with it or get over it..

I mean it’s not that I don’t want to work… I just want to work on something that’s fun… and that doesn’t feel like work and also gives me a lot of flexibility and independence…

So I wonder what all you other INTP’s out there are doing? Have you found your ideal job? What do you recommend me to try? How did you find what made you feel productive and happy and well satisfied your minimal living standards?

1. Private Speech Language Pathologists

a. Some may have an actual office where they see their patients
b. Some may have an in home office
c. Some treat patients in the patients home
d. Many school SLPs treat patients privately during summer vacation to augment their income. Some may even see children after school hours.

Please remember to ask about payment options since SLPs can vary greatly. Some may or not bill insurance.

Visit the American Speech Hearing and Language Association to search for speech pathologists in your area.

2. Early Childhood Intervention

A national program which treats patients 0-3 years. They are funded and have a sliding scale to determine if and what you are required to pay for services. Most accept Medicaid and private insurance.

Services offered: Nutritionists, Speech therapy, Occupational therapy, counseling, and any other area the team determines will help the child and the family succeed. This program serves children in their homes and empowers parents and caregivers by teaching them to use the child’s strengths to improve their weaknesses.

Call 1-800-628-5115 to find a program in your area.

3. School Districts i.e. Child Find.

School districts evaluate and treat children ages 0-21 who have communication delays/disorders which will impact or are impacting their learning. This program is free since it is considered part of your child’s academics. The children must show a significant delay or disorder which is significantly impacting their academics. It is open to children who attend private schools.

Speech therapy is a service provided under Special Education. Special Education is a federally funded program which is open to the public. This allows all children ages 0-21 who reside in the school district to receive services regardless of where they attend school (private, homeschool, etc).

All children must qualify for services as outlined in the school districts speech language pathology handbooks.

4. Hospitals: Out patient and in patient programs.

All hospitals have speech language pathologists who treat in patients. Most have outpatient programs where your child may receive speech and language services.

5. University

Universities who offer a degree in Communication Disorders or Speech Pathology usually have a university clinic and/or programs which offer speech language pathology services. Services maybe provided by student clinicians who are graduate students in their programs. All student clinicians are supervised by a certified/licensed SLP.

Go to the ASHA website to find university programs.

6. Student Clinicians in Speech Pathology (Communication Disorders) Graduate Programs

Many families will go to the university looking for student clinicians to work informally with their special needs child. Children who have a certified/licensed speech pathologist and who have been diagnosed and being treated by this speech language pathologist may benefit from extra help given by a Student Clinician.

Please keep in mind student clinicians should not and cannot take the place of a certified and licensed speech language pathologist. I am not recommending your child to be treated by a student clinician.

Student Clinicians can serve as facilitators and love the opportunity to practice their emerging skills. For example, a graduate student can babysit your child and while he/she babysits provide opportunities to practice communication and language. The student clinician will provide the same opportunities a parent/caregiver can provide. The Student Clinician will be able to follow the strategies and home exercise programs provided by the child’s speech pathologist. Student Clinicians can be good mother’s helpers or just come to help implement the home exercise programs in your home.

7. Home Health Agencies

Home health agencies provide speech services to children in their homes after school or during the day for those children who are not in school.

Home health agencies typically accept all insurance, private pay, and Medicaid programs.

They usually have related services as well such as Physical therapy, Occupational therapy, etc.

Good Luck finding your SLP. Communication is complex and personal. Look for someone you feel comfortable with and make sure that person is willing to give you all your options. All SLPs are different. Treat this search as if you are searching for a doctor.

If your family is bilingual, be sure to ask for a bilingual speech language pathologist preferably one who speaks the language spoken in your home.

Interpreters are not recommended. However, due to a shortage of speech pathologists in general and a greater shortage of bilingual speech pathologists some agencies are forced to use interpreters as a last resort option.

That’s right…

does the government really believe the people’s health is a priority or is it all a fake way to make the citizens of our country feel safe and secure?

I mean billing medicaid, getting pre-certification for services, and speaking to incompetent individuals who don’t know their right from their left becomes overwhelmingly frustrating and not worth it. This is why providers elect to turn away Medicaid patients.

So our government puts all this stuff in place… welfare, medicaid, chip, and all kinds of social programs to “help those in need” or “help those at risk” or whatever…

Does anyone every wonder about why there are hundreds and hundreds of doctors, clinicians, therapists, and other health professionals who prefer to miss out on the opportunity to help the needy or at risk patients?

I mean seriously most people who go into a health related career state that helping others in need is one of their reasons for becoming whatever they chose to become… but yet the people who need the most education, the most time, and empowering are the very people no health professionals wants to have anything to do with…

Why is that, you think? Well I tell you why… because Medicaid, i.e. government agency, does not pay well and they don’t want to pay. So they save money by putting people who are not trained and not so smart to do claim reviews. Here’s the best part… the people doing reviews don’t necessarily have to be graduated from any sort of field related to your claim or even have a college degree.

By college degree… I mean a 4yr university or higher… What I mean to say is that these people have not been trained in analyzing to come up with a result. So… either they read your evaluation and can’t understand what it says because they don’t stock the amount of neurons to get the analysis involved in your evaluation, diagnosis, and recommendations or they neglect to read the evaluation at all…

So they base their decision on numbers which unfortunately do not give true insights as to the patient’s progress or lack there of.

Here’s another funny thing… I really don’t think these people are trained… so they don’t realize the importance of really reading all the informal analysis to determine whether these patients really need treatment or not…

You want to know another funny thing… So I recommend treatment for a pt… which is 2x/mo for 6 months… ok… that is only 12 visits. This patient has shown progress so there’s no reason for increasing frequency because things are moving as expected… so medicaid decides that my recommendation is not fit… I guess their LVN or whomever decides this… so get this they recommend 2x/wk for 3 months… that’s 24 visits… hello… which is more cost effective for you and the patient? is it paying for 24 unnecessary visits or paying for 12 visits which involve parent education, modeling, direct therapy with the patient and prevention practices?

let me get this straight… considering Medicaid hasn’t bothered to pay me since January and well we are now in April… if they are behind and having issues with payment then why would they authorize more visits for a patient who doesn’t need it?

See… I think it all comes down to money… I don’t know that people who work for these social programs and Medicaid really care about whether the patient is receiving the right services and the right treatment…

The People complain because there are very few health professionals who will accept Medicaid and the ones that do aren’t providing effective treatment or spending the time to educate and empower our “at risk” and/or “needy” families to aid in prevention of disease, developmental delays, and/or disorders.

What The People don’t understand is that these health professionals aren’t treated with respect. They are not paid in a timely manner or even paid appropriate amounts for services, time, and responsibilities. They are not treated as experts in their fields. I mean how can an LVN change an SLP’s treatment and decide whether the patient needs or does not need therapy. I thought that’s why SLP’s got Master’s degrees, certifications, and licenses from the state board. So that SLP’s could decide frequency, eligibility, and appropriate treatment for patients with speech and language difficulties… that’s their expertise, right? What’s an LVN’s expertise? Cleaning butts and bathing patients… then I think they need to stick to that…

Let me tell you who the LVN’s boss is… an internist… that’s right an Internist who works with adult patients… well shouldn’t the internist stick to adult claims… not in this case… in this case.. the internist decides whether a pediatic patient is eligible for services… yet she doesn’t understand the complexities of developmental delays and disorders….

How can that be?

Now tell me… what’s the government’s true interest in helping the people with Medicaid?

Ok… So here you go…

I absolutely abhor shopping… I mean I really hate it… There’s nothing more frustrating to me than shopping… and no it’s not something that has just recently happened because of having a child or slowing metabolism due to age…

I’ve never ever ever liked shopping… It is one thing that makes me feel completely out of my element and crazy…

I can remember my mom bribing me to go to the mall and then getting upset with me because I was ready to go home about 10 minutes into shopping…

When I was little nothing ever fit because I weighed about as much as a peacock feather and didn’t fit into stylish pre-teen clothes…

When I was older… size 2 was huge and size 0 was as tight as a hippo in a tight fitting extra small leotard…

Then it was I have a big ass and no tits… It was so bad that my now husband stopped buying me clothes… but not because I didn’t like his taste but because nothing he bought ever fit me…

and in between all that time… I thank God I have a stylish mother who always loved fashion and accessories who bought my clothes for me… Yes… I was and still am spoiled… Is that a bad thing? She had me try on clothes at home and then whatever didn’t fit or I didn’t like got returned… You guessed it I went on my merry way with my new clothes and Mami took everything back in her spare time… Gracias Mami…

So I still have a big ass, short legs, and a short torso… I mean I need petite sizes for my upper body and short length pants with regular size pelvis areas…

How the hell do people find stylish clothing that fits… I don’t have a straight boy body… I am definitely curvy on the bottom with thick legs…. However a very petite upper body with skinny itty bitty arms…

Let me just tell you today… I was at a very stylish store and I couldn’t find anything that fit… I tried on every style of jeans in all the sizes… I never found one that fit because half the time I couldn’t get the jeans passed my knee (since my thighs are as big as soccer player) and then when I would get the jeans passed my thighs I could fit my arm inside my jeans and touch my legs…

This is ridiculous… and no I don’t want to go to the mom style clothes… I want to continue to wear all the hip, modern, and designer styles within reason, of course… I mean I don’t want to look 20 years old, single, and still living la vida loca…

A school speech language pathologist diagnoses and treats communication disorders.

School SLPs improve communication skills to facilitate academics. In order for a school slp to qualify a student for services, the student must exhibit a true communication disorder with an academic need.

This means that it is possible for a student to have a communication disorder and not qualify for school speech services… It all goes back to… does this child have an academic need? or Are this student’s communication skills impacting their academics? If the answer is no, then the child cannot qualify for services.

School SLPs are there to improve communication skills. They are not there to teach a language, academic concepts or tutor any students who are behind in their academics. Therefore, students should not be evaluated for speech services just because they are behind in school.

It would be more appropriate for an educational diagnostician to evaluate the students. The reason, again, being that speech language pathologists focus on communication and the functionality of communication for learning.

Just because a child receives special education services does not mean the child requires speech services. The speech services fall under special education services but speech services are meant to improve communication skills.

Speech services in the school are not meant to tutor or improve academic grades. Students who improve their communication skills have shown an increase in their academic skills but only for those whose communication skills are impacting their academics.

A child who is ADHD does not typically qualify for speech services. A decrease in attention does not constitute a true language disorder. If the child is able to answer successfully with repetition, cueing, and frequent breaks, the child does not qualify for speech services… he does not have a true communication disorder. The child’s behavioral difficulties are impacting his communication skills.

If a child’s communication skills are negatively impacting his behavioral skills, then the child should qualify for services.

If a child’s behavior is negatively impacting his communication skills, then the child’s behavior should be targeted for services. He, therefore, does not qualify for speech services because what is causing a communication breakdown is his behavior. If the child did not present with the behavioral issues, then the child would not exhibit difficulties in communication.

This goes for all socio-emotional difficulties… Just because a child is diagnosed with Emotional disturbance and exhibits difficulty with social interactions does not mean the child should qualify for speech services. Again, the child’s diagnosis of ED is negatively impacting his communication skills via social interactions. Therefore, ED needs to be addressed to improve social skills.

School SLPs have exhibited an increase in their caseloads. High caseloads can be attributed to misunderstanding of what SLP’s do in schools, uneducated school staff, misdiagnosis of true communication disorders, and the pressure for children to receive services because their academics are failing.

Today was a rough day… It’s hard to hear from my parents when they start realizing all the bumps and obstacles they will be facing because their child’s different…

It’s not really the words people say… they are always cordial… it’s what they don’t say…

it’s what they are thinking… their stares…

Then again… it’s also what my parents’ are thinking too… “Does he have to do that right at that moment?” Does she have to do that with that kid… geez”

See my kids are either overly sensitive or not sensitive at all… most of my parents move towards becoming oversensitive… so the smallest mistake that any given child could make in social situations becomes a huge error that haunts them for the rest of the afternoon, evening, or even week…

That mistake may or may not be related to being different… but my parents’ fear the worst… FEAR is a big word here…

Some have a hard time dealing with their fears…

It’s so hard… because when you have kids who are different… but I don’t mean physically different… I mean socially awkard… or maybe your kid’s cordial but socially different… or when you think something’s not right with that kid… that’s the kind of different I am talking about here…

That kind of different is a really hard concept for others to grasp… Most people, if not all, people want to see, hear, touch, and feel the difference… say like a broken leg or maybe a hole in the kid’s heart… or well a physical reaction like hives or something…

but when you’re child’s different but people don’t know why… they start to judge and my parents and their kids start to feel singled out and, ultimately, left out… they realize the social groups in the child’s classroom have formed and they also know who’s been to what birthday party and who hasn’t…

These parents are also realizing the social developmental milestones which their child may miss or have limited access to because they are different and following social rules is one of their weaknesses…

These kids who are different have parents who love them and who are doing the best that can given their situation… They are working harder than any other parent to help their child fit in and have a successful childhood, academic life… all of this in order to ensure a successful adulthood…

Because in the end that’s our goal for our children… a successful, independent, happy, and loving adulthood…

But those parents who don’t understand why the child’s different don’t see or maybe can’t understand everything that “different” kid’s parent is doing to help their kid fit in…

Maybe we should be a little less critical of the parents we encounter and of the parents of the children we encounter in our daily lives..

Why is that when you’re pregnant everyone is so nice and sweet to you… they are so encouraging and helpful… but then we the baby comes out and begins to grow people become critical, unaccepting, intolerable, inconsiderate, and disdain towards the most natural and developmentally appropriate and/or inappropriate behaviors of your child…

Shouldn’t more people show understanding or compassion for the parents???? Especially if you’ve been there and done that… Not every parent is equal… Not every parent is the same… but every parent has the same unconditional love for their children and should be able to understand what the parent’s going through in those moments…

Maybe we need to spend more time educating our parents rather than judging them… Every parent could use some boost to improve their weaknesses through their strengths… I mean it’s a skill which is gradually learned over time… Skills incorporate strengths and weakness… right?

So… I’ve been going to the Freshman Writer to practice my writing… This is actually the first time I’ve been compelled to respond to one of her blogs…

Pen names are wonderful… why not imagine that you are totally someone you are not? It gives you a chance to fantasize and take a comic relief from real life. Doesn’t everyone pretend they are someone they are not, at least sometimes?

Pretend is a wonderful way to express yourself and release all that’s inside. Children do it all the time. They pretend they are mommies, daddies, spiderman, garbagemen, lawnmen, princesses… Sorry I focus on boys because that’s what I see everyday…

Go Diego Go pretends airplanes are helicopters… he even pretends it’s snowing in Texas… (and I don’t mean Amarillo)… jajaja…

It’s a wonderful tool to allow you to explore your creativity and your imagination… Dreams are at no cost… It’s free to dream which gives you hope…

Pretend is a great way to keep life interesting, hopeful, and imaginative… Pretend helps you realize your dreams… which may become your true life…

and, yes, after reading the blog on the Freshman Writer, I’ve chosen a pen name… it was actually pretty simple to choose…🙂 Of course, it will be my secret for now…🙂

For the purposes of this blog… Language Z is the language used most often in your family’s society (outside the home)… In the case of the United States, it would be English….

Language X is the home language or the language most often spoken in the home for bilingual homes.

Language X is the native language spoken by Mom
Language Y is the native language spoken by Dad

First off… one of the most important things to remember is:

If you don’t use it, you lose it…

meaning that your children must have ample time to practice their languages… just because they can understand it does not mean they can speak it…

Understanding language = Receptive language
Using language = Expressive Language

1. Children must have ample opportunity to hear the language as well as to use the language.

Bilingual Homes
If the child asks for something in English, then have the child repeat the request in Language X.

In the case of trilingual families, request repetition will depend on the parent the child is speaking to…
So if the request in Language Z was to Dad, then the child will repeat the request in Language Y.

If the request in Language Z was to Mom, then the child will repeat the request in Language X.

2. Language use must be anticipated by location or who is speaking.

By the age of 2, children can differentiate between people who speak languages X, Y, Z… therefore a two year old will know to speak to grandma Z in language Z and grandma X in language X and their friends at school language Y.

It is important that the children can distinguish between who will speak what…

Bilingual Homes:
Mom and Dad always speak language X to me and to each other…

Mom always speaks language X to me… Dad always speaks language Z to me (if the Dad is a language Z speaker only)… Mom and Dad speak language Z to each other.

Trilingual Homes:
Dad always speaks language Y to me… Mom always speaks language X to me… Mom and Dad always speak language Z to each other…

Another way to distinguish is by location:
Bilingual Homes:

At home, we always speak language X. At school, we always speak language Z.

Trilingual Homes:
At home, Mom speaks to me in Language X and Dad speaks to me in Language Y… At school, we always speak language Z.

3. Expect your child to respond in a specific language…

A parent must always have an expectation for the child…
This expectation is a personal and family matter… your question to yourself and your significant other is:
What is my goal for my children’s communication skills?

In bilingual homes, the expectation maybe the child will use the home language anytime the child is engaged in a conversation with the family or the family members… It maybe the child is expected to use the home language anytime the child is engaged in a conversation with the family or the parents…

In trilingual homes, the expectation could be the child will be able to communication in Language X with Mom and Mom’s family members, language Y with Dad and Dad’s family members, and Language Z with the rest of society…

In all the homes, it may be to have an advantage to career opportunities or preserving culture… etc…

4. CONSISTENCY…
I cannot stress enough the importance of consistency… Consistency for children is part of every developmental milestone and every parental expectation…

The key to teaching is consistency, the key to discipline is consistency….

the key to language is consistency

Once you have decided your goals and decide to implement your strategies… you should strive to be consistent…

Consistent does not equal rigid… meaning that if you find something needs to be changed, then by all means change it… I do recommend that before you change something because “it is not working”, you evaluate how consistent you’ve been with your strategies and routines regarding language development.

Ask yourself why this didn’t work?

It is challenging to be consistent, to encourage, and to expect your child to use a certain language(s) in your home especially as the grow and begin to go to school where the majority will be using language Z…

5. “I don’t understand you”
This is a difficult strategy to use because all kinds of reactions can be expected from your children… They might be the type to throw a temper tantrum or the type to be like “forget it” or the type to be “I’ll get it myself”…

If the children use language Z and resist to using language X or Y… You may need to be strong-willed and say in your language (X or Y)… “I don’t understand you… say it in (language X or Y)…

Your kids may say… “I don’t know how to say it in (language X or Y)”

As the parent you can encourage them and say it’s ok and let them you know you will help them…

The next step… You repeat your child’s request in (language X or Y) and have them repeat it back to you before they are awarded their wants, needs, and or desires…

Don’t let them get away with “yeah, that”… because that means that an opportunity of practice is being avoided!… Practice, Practice, Practice… it’s important…

6. Surround your family and your kids with people who speak language X or language Y
This provides opportunity to hear the language and practice the language…
If you can afford it, sending your children away to spend time with Mom’s family or Dad’s family, say 1 month in the summer or maybe even the whole summer…

7. Do not mix the languages in one sentence or phrase.
In order to secure an adequate understanding and correct usage of the grammar rules in each language and a proficient vocabulary expansion in each language, do not mix the languages…

The languages can be used in the homes at the same time; just not mixed… For example, do not say 1/2 the sentence in language X, another portion in language Y, and the last portion in Language Z…

Here’s an English/Spanish example:

A. Ponte los shoes. vs B. Put on your shoes or Ponte los zapatos.

A is incorrect modeling for your child.
B is correct modeling for either English or Spanish… your choice…

8. Remember children learn to speak the way they hear the language…
Children of families who use language X in their homes will use the same dialect and vocabulary heard from their parents in language X…

Model your language the way you would like your children to speak.

9. Please distinguish between Social communication and Academic Communication.

Social communication is the communication (language/dialect/etc) used in social interactions with family, friends, etc.

Academic communication is the communication (academic, math, language arts, etc) learned in School. Therefore, your child may learn his colors in language Z and not know what they are called in language X or Y.

It is your responsibility as a parent to teach your child the vocabulary to go with the concepts that they have learned in Language Z.

If your child knows his colors in language Z… then the concept is already learned… If they don’t know them in language X or Y… it is because they learned the concept in language Z and have not been provided the vocabulary in language X or Y to go with the concept learned in language Z.

Basically if you teach them the vocabulary then they generalize the concept learned in language Z to language X or Y…

10. Language foundation…

Typically, it is recommended a language foundation to be established in one language before another is introduced…

However, those of you in trilingual families… have simultaneous language learners and do fine as long as the languages can be anticipated by the speaker or the location… it is as if your are learning to drive a car and learning to drive a standard (manual) car at the same time…

For most, it is easier to learn how to drive an automatic car where you can focus on your driving… and then learn how to drive a standard (manual) car… Because once you’ve learned how to drive a car you already know how to drive a car… when you decide to learn to drive a stickshift… you will only focus on learning the mechanics of shifting gears and when to do it… you will not need to focus on your driving because you already know how to drive.

This idea is the same for learning multiple languages (either in childhood or adulthood)… once you learn one language and have established a foundation with it… then learning other languages becomes easier because you already understand the concepts involved in language… it is the mechanics of the new language you will focus on to learn and apply your new language.

I spoke to a acquaintenance yesterday… Her family is touched by Autism. She left the country to go to an Autism Treatment Center in Peru and has returned to study speech therapy.

I gave her some resources for Autism… So I thought I would share with the rest of the world! 🙂

Some of these resources are centered around North Texas… For those who need resources in other areas use these as brainstorm ideas for searching resources in your area…

Centro Ann Sullivan del Peru – CASP
Amazing school for Kids with Developmental Disabilities ages 6-55… Autism, Down’s Syndrome, etc

Under the Umbrella
No age limit and they have lots of resources and camps during the summers and school breaks… )

Families for Effective Autism Treatment North Texas

The North Texas Autism Education Center (has recreational resources)

Here is a place for ARTS:
ARTS for People (Artistic, Recreational, Therapeutic Services) Music, Dance, Art, etc

Callier Center for Communication Disorders

Has programs to increase social and communication skills

Autism Society of America

Temple Grandin

Center for the Study of Autism


Autism Research Institute

Please let me know if there are resources that should be on this list… and I will gladly add them to the blog…

Hope this is helpful!

Boy have we had lots of family time this week… with school closings on Tuesday and Wednesday and today!

Go Diego Go and I have spent lots of time together and the best part we got to spend some time with hubbie as well…

I think Go Diego Go was missing his special time with us since we’d been out of town for two weekends in a row….

I saw an amazing change in him from Tuesday on (I picked him up at noon). He had been a cranky terrible terrible two Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday morning…

I swear it was the time out time that we got from our weekly routine on Tuesday and Wednesday and of course now today…

We had a break in routine on Tuesday and then on Wednesday he actually played with mommy and daddy or shall I say “mami and papi”… We ate lunch together as a family and then he headed off to bed for naptime…

He got in a good nap and since then all has been smooth sailing…

A good nap and some time with mom and dad is important in all children’s lives… When I say time, I am talking about quality time… not just watching tv together or being in the same room… but actually paying cdxattention, listening, and actively participating in your child’s life even if it is only for 10 or 15 minutes at a time…

Obsviously more time spent giving your child positive attention the better… but in this day in age… as it said in the book I am reading… Our society no longer prescribes rest time and/or fun time… It actually has absorbed almost if not all of it…

If you consider that internet, email, and calls make you readily available to anyone at anytime… there’s is no alone time, no time to regroup, no time to refresh, and no time to just be.

For kids, it’s the same as well… They are placed into schools earlier with structured curriculums… I think school is great for an 18 month old or 2 year old for socialization and exploration…

I don’t believe in the rush for your 2 year old to memorize their numbers and colors… exposure ok… teaching those basics at 2 not necessary…

See that’s what preKindergarten is supposed to be about… but teachers, parents, etc… expect preKindergarteners to come to school with some knowledge… well I thought that’s what teachers were for… teaching your children…

Don’t get me wrong I believe 100% in parents re-enforcing their child’s lessons at home… but teachers should be teaching academics not social education and parents should be teaching socialization and re-enforcing academics…

It seems that in elementary schools these days, many children know the basics of academics but have no solid foundation in manners, respect, and courtesy. So our teachers have to take a couple of steps back to teach manners, respect, and courtesy before getting to the academics… what a waste of time…

My mother always says, “If you don’t parent your child at home, someone else will”.

Kiddos are getting more and more homework at younger ages and recess is being yanked away from them…

How sad is that? Our kids are living way more stressful lives than our grandparents ever dreamed for them…

Back to family time… Family time, rest time, and just “be” time is part of learning how to say no and learning how to say yes to what’s important to us!

We must begin to set boundaries at work, schools, socially, and with ourselves in order to bring back that peaceful time of just being…

Why should we sacrifice our lives, the lives of others and the lives of our children and drive in the ice because it’s a weekday and our companies demand it… there is no law which says you cannot defend your family or yourself… Fear keeps us from saying no to our bosses instead of saying yes to our families needs.

So… I just uploaded pictures I’ve taken while exploring my photography abilities…

I get better and better the more I pick up the camera and explore… Although… when I look at my amateur photographs and check out photographers who are so amazing… I realize I have quite a bit to go! ja!

That’s ok… this is a hobby and it’s supposed to be fun, right?

I am not sure how I get people to look at my pictures on Flickr… I added friends by looking them up on my address books…

other than that… I don’t have a clue…

Lately, I haven’t picked up the camera much… At my nephew’s baptism, I decided to take pictures and then my battery ran out…

oops!

At the same time, I was relieved to be able to enjoy myself and not feel the pressure to take a bunch of pictures…

So I am interested a finding one of those beginner professional cameras… like the Rebel… Although, I just realized many photographers don’t like that one…

I am looking for something inexpensive say less than 1000… to start with… explore… play… and develop my skills…

at the moment… I would like to use my photography skills as a hobby… not that it might not be a fun career I just don’t think I am there yet…

Any ideas????? suggestions???? Where could I buy a good starter camera and lens? what about new vs used or refurbished?

thanks for the help in advance…

Ever since I was little I remember thinking how I would live in Panama when I grew up instead of the United States.  Panama is where my family’s from and so naturally I just felt like I liked it there and I “fit in”.  

Then again that was when I had no idea what adult life was like…

Later in college, I had the opportunity to study abroad… I went to Italy…

ah… Italy… I loved it…

I hated that I felt restricted in the program but loved being in Italy… loved being abroad… it felt good… it was fun…

Since then I’ve always thought it would be amazing to work and live abroad…

After college, I went on to get my masters and married.  Therefore, I never got the chance to live and work abroad as a single adult…

Now I have Go Diego Go and my hubbie…

For some reason, the idea of living and working international is still appealing. 

My hubbie at one point had that same desire… but since Go Diego Go he can’t decide if we should risk it…

I think at times hubbie would still like to go international… but the sense of responsibility creeps in and he has to do what’s right… which means following the straight path because it’s secure…

It’s hard to up and leave… leave everything behind and start over… with a new language, culture, home, social life, and everything… My hubbie should know he came to the US from Latin America…

Every once in awhile he talks about going abroad… this time he mentioned Foreign Service Officer… working for the State Department in a consulate or embassy…

It sounds interesting to him… Managerial path or the Economic path…

It definitely sounds interesting to me… traveling to many countries, living abroad, learning and understanding the cultures through immersion…

I think it’s a great tool for teaching Go Diego Go diversity… 

I wish we knew someone who’d been around FSO or worked as an FSO per say…  That way we could pick their brain…

My hubbie worries that he’ll be posted in a country where Diego and I cannot go with him… but at the same time I assume the State Deparment is well aware that there are some FSO who need posts where their dependents can be relocated as well…

I wonder… where we will be in a few years?  will we still be here?  or will we take our friend’s, Lisa, advice and jump the gun…

Lisa and Jason have amazing things to say about their adventure abroad… They talk about pros and cons… but there are pros and cons to everything… they look at it as a chance of a lifetime which they thank God everyday for helping them take…

They are going on 3 years abroad and love it…They’ve seen the world and been to places they’ve never imagined they would venture to until now…

I want to see the world… I want to try new things… I want to see new places… and find a place that we’ll always go back to…

I want to give my son the opportunity to see the world and understand culture…  I want him to honor differences and focus on the similarities of life among different cultures.

When babies are born their only source of communication is through crying.  They cry because they are tired, hungry, dirty, in pain, and want to be comforted.

Hence, babies learn that the world revolves around them.  Moms, dads, grandparents, and caregivers in general are at the babies side within seconds of hearing them cry.

Crying is what allows babies to survive.  It is vital for babies otherwise they would not get their basic needs met and would in turn become “failure to survive”.

And boy do they have lungs!   Infants have different cries.  Moms can hear the different cries within a month of their babies birth.  In fact, some people have a better ear for children’s cries…

I get really annoyed when I go to the mall and hear a baby desperately crying because they are worn out and tired.  I just want to go up to that Mom and tell her to take the baby home…  There is plenty of time for shopping… the stores aren’t going anywhere and the clothes will be here tomorrow…

As infants grow, their communication changes as well.  They still cry but now they use gestures, smiles, looks, tugs, and eye gaze to communicate.

Crying is still equally as important for communication.  They let us know when they are hungry, tired, upset, or in pain through crying… We know when they are scared through their wimpers or screams.

Crying can be decreased or maybe even prevented if we keep in mind situations which will set our little darlings off.   For example, keep in mind naptimes and mealtimes when planning your day.  People who are tired and hungry become polar bears very easily and they have rationalization skills.

Our little children cannot rationalize… they just need to eat or sleep or whatever…And if their need is satisfied, their mood usually changes within seconds.

Also, boredom can be real source of crying and temper tantrums and for negative attention seeking behavior.

Routines are important and I believe in them… but remember that routines do not mean rigid.  Routines mean flexibility.

Add new activities, rotate toys every 3 months or so, and be creative with your child’s day.

Practice dancing, cooking, reading, etc.  You can go on imaginary walks.  Put them to work and let them help with housework… They love to help at this age.

Be sure to talk to them and teach them how to communicate through your example of telling, asking questions, and answering questions throughout the day.  You can ask them to tell their siblings or dad what they did earlier in the day to encourage them to communicate and take turns in discussions.

As your infants become toddlers, their crying and whining can become intolerable and make you feel desperate and anxious.  This is a sign that infants are growing and maturing.

Although, all of us as parents would rather satisfy their desire or need to stop the crying.  Sometimes it is important to have willpower and let your child cry it out…

When toddlers become frustrated or mad, they cry and scream and may go through a temper tantrum.  This is the time when toddlers are learning self calm and regulate their behaviors.

They do not have the language or the cognitive functions to explain and understand what they are feeling at the time.  So they cry.   It is important for toddlers to experience this frustration and anger to learn how to deal with those strong emotions in an appropriate way.

Your goal is to set your child up for success in their life… This means teaching them that life is not always fair and it sure doesn’t revolve around them.

It may be cute as a young child for them to think they are the center of the universe but as they grow and mature they aren’t cute anymore.  They become impolite and spoiled…  At least, that’s what our society leads us to believe.

Therefore, patience and waiting are two good things for our little darlings to learn…

However, sometimes toddlers cry out of frustration due to their mom’s decreasing ability to guess what they want or need.  This is an important moment to  begin observing your child’s speech and language skills.

By 24 months, your child should be using at least 50 words and simple phrases such as “more, milk” or “mommy, come”.   They should be using more words than gestures to communicate.  If your child consistently points and/or leads you to his desired needs, then it may be wise to encourage your child to use words.

This can be done by offering two choices (instead of asking a yes/no question (do you want milk?); say juice or milk?).   Remember to name everything in their environment including actions, objects, feelings, and so on.

If your child still does not seem to pick on the words regularly or does not begin to imitate words.  It might be wise to have your child evaluated by a speech and language pathologist.

Keep in mind that you need to teach your child before you expect them to respond.  That includes new routines, imitation, discipline.

Teach before you discipline.  Toddlers are still learning they haven’t yet learned.

I cannot stress enough the importance of early intervention.  The younger the child (as young as 18 months) the more likely you will see big changes in their communication if they receive the help they need for speech language pathologists.

Frustrations, behavior issues, and communication skills will improve significantly once your child can communicate his wants and needs.  Remember it’s not just about using words, it is also about how well your child can be understood.

If your child is trying to use words and no one understands him, it is likely to increase his frustration and may lead your child to limit the use of words in his communication.

What would you feel if every time you tried to say something no one understood you?   I would be like “this is for the birds… why should I even try?”

In general, the first sounds produced correctly are p, m, b, t, d, k, and g.

Parents should be able to understand what their child says:

50-75% at 24 months  and 75-100% at 36 months.

Strangers should be able to understand what your child says:

>50% at 24 months and >75% at 36  months.

So if your child is not able to produce those sounds or is not easily understood, you may want to look into a speech and language evaluation.

Remember that crying has it’s place in communication.   Most importantly assess your child’s crying and moods to determine the cause and prevent triggers.

There is a function to every behavior.

The goal is to find out what that function is in order to improve communication skills with your child and teach them the appropriate way to express their emotions.

The more I think about it… the more it seems like something I would eventually want to pursue… writing, that is… It just seems exciting and easy in a sense…

I am still self conscious about my writing… I just want to be sure it’s good and worth doing… I also want it to become a means for financial stability for me and my family.

My hubbie is always saying that I am either on the computer or lost in a book… but right now that’s what I am enjoying… I can’t write something powerful without reading about it or researching or learning about it…

If I am going to write something, I want it to be amazing.  I want people to want to read it.  It’s probably best to narrow my writing to some specific subject… Well… I am just not there yet…

I am writing about speech and language development, therapy, disorders, etc… because that’s what I feel I know the most and well, I am confident about what I know…

But, at the same time, I am just not sure that’s exactly what I want to focus on for forever… you know what I mean?

I am working hard at this moment looking for my lost soul… I am trying to reconnect with my sense of self and who I am.  So I’ve been doing a lot of “new” things… like writing and taking online photography classes… all of which I enjoy…

I also think it would be fun to start acting… I could totally do that!   I could totally pretend to be someone else for awhile and truly believe it… It would be fun… don’t you think?  Interesting, too huh?

Sometimes, I think I could combine all these things… say write about my pictures… or act as if I was someone completely different… dress up and the whole bit and then, write about how my images changed the way people formed relationships with me and vice versa…take pictures of my new images and describe what I am feeling at the time through my writing…

It all sounds so awesome… but at the same time so threatening… I mean what if I screw up… Also, it almost seems as if it would be so hard to pull off…

I guess the only way to tell what I will be happy doing is by trial and error…

In the meantime, it looks as if I may have an opportunity in academia which should be a positive experience and will help me use my skills as a speech language pathologist in a new and creative way…. However,  it scares me that I may be bored with the idea within a few years…

You see in my mind… it would mean another mistake… Of course, I wouldn’t want to burn any bridges either… see…and that may have to happen if I get bored…

Boredom is my biggest issue… I’m know to be nomadic… forever changing… it’s just I need fresh and new… fun and creative… let’s try this for awhile…

I guess I am in search of the best of the best… ’cause I am always thinking maybe there’s something better, something more… or maybe I am missing something…

Where’s utopia????

How many people can say that they have real true friends?   Friends that would stay around even in the bad times…  Friends who’d you leave them to care for your child…

 

Friends who you could trust with just about anything…  I mean everyone has lots of acquaintances… some would say they are their friends… Most poeple would say they have lots of friends and a few close friends…

 

Really though… I can say that I have lots of acquiantances and a few close friends… My friends to me are those that you don’t find on every street corner… In fact we are very different in many ways… yet we are the same in so many ways…

 

There is no better way to start a new year then surrounded with your friends… to say the least these friends are friends who will not only help you but motivate you to improve your self… to learn from them and to relax and think outside the box…

 

They are the ones who come to my house and plan a design project and get it done in one day even though there’s a time crunch… But it’s not just about interior design or projects… It’s about bonds… It’s about love…  It’s about family.

 

I have no words to express the gratitude and appreciation I have for these special people.  There are no other people in this world like them.  I am proud to say that I have friends… but I don’t mean just friends…  I mean I have true friends who really care and accept me and my family for who we are…

 

True friends are few and far between… It is true, though sad, that there are people in this world who think they have friends and really they don’t have one true friend that they could rely on for something so important or so personal.

 

As I reflect on my life and 2008, I can say with all sincerity that I have people in my life who love me.  I am blessed to have them.  They add wealth to the joy and happiness of my abundant life.

 

Cheers to a great start to the new year!

 

There are many children who qualify in the school districts as language disordered or speech impediment and are served by speech language pathologists.

 

Many people assume that because a child’s home language is Spanish, they should be placed in a bilingual classroom.  What people don’t realize is that bilingual classrooms are difficult places to be for some children.  Not all children can be successful in these types of classrooms… Especially language disordered children.

 

Language disordered children are kiddos who have had trouble developing their language.  If a child has trouble developing one language, then they will have trouble developing another. 

If they are in a monolingual English speaking home then their primary language is English. 

If they are in a monolingual Spanish speaking home then their primary language is Spanish – MOST OF THE TIME but NOT ALWAYS… Which is where things get a little complicated…

If they are in a bilingual English/Spanish speaking home then their primary language is to be determined through language testing.

 

So here’s the deal… by the time a child reaches 3 years of age; 80% of their primary language should be developed…  This means that from the ages of 3+, children are really only fine-tuning their language skills and adding higher language vocabulary and higher level thinking skills.  

 

A typically developing 3 year old has the capacity to understand and respond to language almost in the same manner of an adult… almost because they are still developing 20% of their language skills.

 

So… Children who have language impairments and who are considered LEP (Limited English Proficient) should not be thrown into bilingual classrooms like their typically developing peers. 

 

They’re expected to learn and generalize academic concepts at the same rate as their peers in two different languages when they can barely communicate in casual home conversations in their dominant language. 

 

Meaning they can’t tell you about what they did yesterday in their dominant language (i.e. Spanish) but teachers and schools expect them to succeed in classrooms where two languages are used continuously throughout the days, week, year, etc to teach academic concepts.

 

See… Before one can successfully develop a second language (English), they must have developed a solid foundation in one language (Spanish)… Generally speaking, it doesn’t matter what language is used as a foundation for the second language… the case is that you need one language before you can successfully develop another.

 

Kiddos who are language impaired in their first language (i.e. Spanish) usually indicate that a foundation has not been built in that language at this time.   This would then mean that a second language should not be introduced until a foundation has been determined in one language. 

 

It’s like learning to drive a car.  First you learn to drive a car whether it be automatic or standard.   So let’s just say that you learn to drive in an automatic car.  It turns out that your next car is standard.  Now you need to learn how to drive standard.  You are not learning to drive a car at this point.  You already know how to drive a car.  What you are now learning is the mechanics of driving standard rather than the mechanics of driving a car.   

 

So what do you do with these kiddos?

 

Here are your options…  If a child is 5 and is language impaired… let’s assume the child attended headstart and preK programs (most likely in Spanish or mostly Spanish)

 

A)  Place the child in a bilingual Kindergarten program.

B) Place the child in a monoligual English Kindergarten program with ESL support

 

Bilingual programs should be reserved for children who are gifted and/or have typically developing language skills.  It is very difficult to switch from one language to another and/or translate on the spot.  Have you ever tried it? 

 

You are always are your toes in bilingual classrooms because you can’t anticipate what language will be used to give instructions, discipline, teach at any given moment.  Bilingual programs who have language days are difficult to follow as well.  Patterns and sequences are difficult for children with language impairments. 

 

Let’s think about this now.  On day 1 in language 1 the child is trying to process language 1.  On day 2, language 2 the child is trying to process language 2.  Where in this did you read that the child was learning concepts taught in either language?  The child must continually switch processing gears… they focus more on what language they are processing than the concept they are supposed to be learning.

 

If a child exhibits difficulty processing one language which is anticipated and heard 95% of the time in their homes and among their friends and family…  What makes you think they will be successful in a bilingual classroom? 

 

A child with language impairments has difficulty picking up sequences and patterns by default… Are they going to be able to determine what language uses which sequences and patterns?  

 

Most children with language impairments who are placed in bilingual classrooms typically show preference for one language over another… generally you see a preference for Spanish just because they’ve had more practice in Spanish than in English.  You do see some children whose preference is English, however.  

A child’s preference should be taken into account when placing the children in bilingual or monolingual classrooms.

 

The point is that bilingual classrooms in the US are transitional.  Their goal is to maintain language and culture while facilitating the learning of the English language… Eventually, bilingual classrooms become monolingual English classrooms and are no longer needed…

 

Again this works for some of our typically developing and gifted children… this does not work for our language impaired children…

 

This is why most if not all of the students with learning disabilities and language impairments (if they have a learning disability then they at one point had difficulty learning language) who are placed in bilingual classrooms have difficulty with district wide testing. 

 

These children haven’t developed either language enough to be successful on those tests.  They were not given the chance to develop a solid foundation in one language before adding another.   Therefore, neither language has developed sufficiently. 

Some children whose preference is Spanish, never really develop enough English in order to be successful in school.  By the time bilingual education is terminated (5th grade or so), teachers are expecting their students to read in English in order to learn…

But if you never learned to read in English because you could barely read in Spanish how are you going to be successful in school?   It might just be easier to drop out… at least you won’t feel bad everyday for 8 hours while your at school, right? 

 

Most of these tests at some point are only given in English.  Well, if the child who has language impairment is still learning Spanish while English is used in the classroom they are focusing on Spanish and not picking up the English.  So they have limited English even after 4-6 years of schooling depending on when they started school.

 

Bilingual education is not the ideal place for children who have language impairments. 

Ideally, the children would be allowed to develop their first language enough to build a solid foundation before another language is added.

 

Option B… Placing the child in a monolingual classroom with ESL support.

 

This makes more sense for a language impaired child.   Granted, we are still adding another language before the first has had enough time to become a solid foundation… keep in mind there is ESL support.    Also remember… it doesn’t matter which language becomes a solid foundation for the other language to be developed upon.

 

In essence, what I am saying is that children who are language impaired and speak Spanish may have better success in monolingual classrooms with ESL support.   The reason being is that the majority of their day will be spent hearing English thereby increasing opportunities for English language development and practice with the English language.

 

They will not have to focus as hard on which language is being used because they can anticipate which language is being used and focus on the concepts.

 

English will become dominant quicker because they are focusing on only one language.  The child can anticipate what language will be spoken in the home (i.e. Spanish) and what language will be spoken at school (i.e. English). 

 

This gives the child time to transition between the languages.  Also, communication in the home is different than communication in school.  Communication in the home involves daily routines, casual conversation, and basic language skills.   Communiation in school involves academics and higher language skills.

 

If the children are living in the US, then the ulitmate goal is to make them successful in their environment.  Speaking two languages is a plus, but speaking the language of the country they will be expected to be functional in is a must. 

 

The language of the USA is English.  All children should be expected to learn English in the best possible scenario.  This is what is going to make them be successful. 

 

Home languages and cultures should be expected to be preserved in the homes.  The school does not have the responsibility to preserve each and every home language and culture of their students. 

 

Did you know that even though all Latin American countries speak Spanish they all have different dialects and cultures?  You cannot lump them all into one classroom and preserve each and every student’s culture just because they speak Spanish.  However, schools can provide multicultural weeks and days to educate the other students in the school. 

 

It is the parents’ and the families’ responsibility to preserve their home language and culture.  It is the schools responsibility to provide opportunities for their students which will enhance their students’ learning and open doors for further educational and, ultimately, working experiences. 

 

The school must prepare their students to be functional to society, to be able to hold a job, and/or to be able to jump at the chance for more educational opportunities for the greater good of society.  This will decrease high school dropouts, drug/alcohol addiction, crimes, teenage moms, and above all… the desperation of those children and teenagers who were set up to be failures.

 

 

By placing language impaired children in bilingual classrooms, the school is setting these children up to fail academically, socially, and decreasing the chances for further educational opportunities. 

 

Many people tell me to teach them Spanish or to teach their children how to speak Spanish.  My response is… I can’t teach to you speak Spanish… because you know I speak English and when you get tired or frustrated you are going to want the easy way out and you’re going to tell me to start speaking English.

 

I recommend anyone who wants to learn Spanish to go to a Spanish-speaking country and live there for 3-4 months and you’ll come back speaking Spanish (you’ll need more time if you want to be fluent).  Make sure you spend time with the locals… that’s where you’ll learn the language and most importantly the culture.

 

Please keep in mind… speaking the language is not enough… you must learn and understand the culture to be fluent.

 

The best time to learn language is between the ages of 0-7 years… It is the easiest time in our lives to become bilingual, trilingual, multilingual or whatever…

 

So why not take advantage of immersion classrooms rather than bilingual classrooms… By placing a language impaired child or typically developing child in a monolingual English classroom, you are depending on immersion to develop the English language.

 

Most people would agree that immersion is the best way to learn a language.

 

I do believe language impaired children can be bilingual or multilingual.  I believe it’s a difficult task.   But is must be done correctly in order to set them up for success.

 

Remember one language is a must – two languages is a plus.

HA!  I started my book… jajaja!!!  I am excited.  I have overcome procrastination. 

 

Now I’ve started writing it… but I haven’t read through it… I just kind of wrote down what came into my mind… I think that’s what you’re supposed to do… I hope it makes sense… *worried*

 

Anyways… it was exciting to write… I wrote a little of a page… 2 chapters… well it might end being 1 chapter but I wrote as 2 chapters… because that’s what came to mind…

 

How do I know if it’s good?  If I should keep going? Is 1 page too short for a chapter?  I mean it seems like it is… well, I guess we’ll have to wait and see…

So… I have been wondering about the future of holiday traditions in our family…

On the one hand it’s always nice to spend the holidays with your family and see everybody you haven’t seen in a while….

It’s important for Go Diego Go to spend time with his grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles… Clearly he enjoys himself everytime we go visit… It’s also important for him to make bonds with family… You never know when he’s going to need  them… Also… he needs to know that there are other family members who care about him and love him just as much as me and hubbie…

 

There’s also some nostalgia to not spending the holidays with your family since that’s what you’ve done since you can remember… It’s also what’s expected of you and there would be some really pist off people if you decided that you didn’t want to spend the holidays with them as is common every year…

 

On the other hand… wouldn’t it be so much fun to start your own traditions… I mean hubbie, Go Diego Go, and I are a family and we have the right to do things differently than what is expected of us… (It’s nice that the family asks if we’re are going to come into town… You never want to break their hearts though) 

 

It’s tough… so I received an email with pictures of Christmas trees from around the world… It’s fascinating to think about how Christmas is celebrated around the world… different or the same from how your accustomed… Christmas abroad… it’s sounds appealing…

 

What is customary in other cultures?  Learn to appreciate and understand how others relate to the holidays… I think it would give you a new taste for culture, family, relationships, love, and above else see how lucky we are to have what we have and be who we are…

 

Christmas abroad next year…. maybe… It would be fun to explore with my hubbie and Go Diego Go…

 

The family may not be so happy… they may not even understand the concept… Above else… Go Diego Go needs to develop relationships with the rest of the family… but then again we can always go visit at different times during the year…

 

Here’s a thought we could plan for Christmas abroad every third year… then everyone’s happy right?  well sort of…

See.. Go Diego GO would still get to see the rest of the family during the other Chrismas’s and then we still get to go abroad… Compromising….

 

Then there’s the argument we don’t need to think of anyone else except our family (hubbie, Go Diego Go, and me)… But many would say that was unfair…

Before I start writing my “story”… I just wanted to blog about the Christmas Spirit…

 

This year it hasn’t really seemed like Christmas for me anyway…  I mean yes I decorated, put up lights outside and took my time with my tree this year… But it just seemed like Christmas crept up on me and decided to surprise me out of the blue… Usually there is more time between Christmas and Thanksgiving…

 

Anyway… the point is that today I felt the Christmas Spirit… but not the sweet, joyful, uplifting, caring spirit… I bumped into the other side of Christmas… the side of Christmas no one talks about… the one that no one ever remembers when we think of Christmas…

 

Christmas memories include family get togethers, carols, Santa Claus, shopping, gifts, holidays, cheerful people, giving people… and well for many Church and ceremonies of some sort…

 

We never think about the stress that comes from the hustle and bustle and people who are just plain, rude and certainly inconsiderate….   that’s the other side of the Christmas Spirit…  

 

I mean here we are at the store buying Santa gifts for Go Diego Go and we are looking at some items on the shelf when here comes this women out of the blue and decides to park her shopping cart right in front of me…. in front of the items we are deciding to buy for Go Diego Go….

 

So that’s not so terrible, right?     Well get this…  Everyone knows I have a hard time not saying what I am thinking….

 

So I go… Excuse me… She goes well I have to go down this aisle and there’s no where to put my cart… I go “we are looking at the stuff where you decided to park your cart”… She moves the shopping cart out of the way…

 

Mind you it’s not what you say it’s how you say it…  I did my best to be as nice as possible… She oh She had her little I am queen of the world attitude… and I was like honey you ain’t nobody so why don’t you come down from that cloud and join reality… we are all in the same boat here…

 

See… that’s the other side of the Christmas Spirit… People who are so stressed out that they forget what this season and mostly this holiday is all about… It’s about giving… It’s about gratitude… It’s about making others feel special, important, and giving them a little something to remind them that they are great for who they are…

 

Being considerate of others is so important and this is the time of year to be joyful, understanding, giving, and patient…  It is the never-ending hope and faith that we celebrate… so that we don’t forget about all the goods things we have in our lives and will continue to have through our wealth, abundance, gratitude, self-love, warmth, and of course in each other and for each other…

 

That’s all for now…

 

Merry Christmas!!!  Happy New Year!!!  And for those who celebrate other customs and traditions…  Happy Holidays!

So… I went to the store today and I bought a super coffee maker… yep… that’s exactly what I did after I called the customer service department and complained because my giftcard showed up as expired on the computer when in fact they told me 4 years ago that my giftcard would not expire due to the fact that it was wedding money… Yep that’s right guys… we will have been married 5 years in April and 4 years in September…. For those of you who are confused… me and hubbie had 2 weddings… the legal ceremony and then of course the big shebang…

 

Well… anyways that’s not the point… the point it that my giftcard was not supposed to expire… so originally I thought I had less money on the card until I spoke with the CS Rep… well then I became more impatient…. but the rep was super nice and unexpired the whole balance…

 

it was then that I decided I needed to try to spend the whole balance… which was quite a balance… so just imagine me shopping and trying to decide what I want to spend the money on… jajaja….

 

Of course, I didn’t find anything else than a super coffee maker than the original coffee maker (cheaper) I had picked out… 

 

I thought I could buy my hubbie clothes… then I just didn’t feel like shopping around to find stuff… I mean I walked through the aisles but just the thought of having to look through all those clothes made me want to run…

 

So of course then I remembered that we ( or more as in I) had decided the money should be used for household items and not on clothing…

 

So I continued desperately to find something else to buy besides a super coffee maker…. mind you I have wanted a super coffee maker for the longest time but I just couldn’t bring myself to spend money on a coffee maker we (I) wanted because our $15 coffee maker from walmart did the job perfectly…

 

the fact is that Maria keeps breaking the glass carafe… and I am getting annoyed having to get another and spending the money on the carafe… but I feel bad making her pay… she needs the money and has two kids and all… how nice am I????  Even though I really want her to pay, so that then maybe she’ll be more concerned with being careful and getting the job done right…. then hurrying from one thing to the next because she has to get 400 houses cleaned in one day!

 

So as the story goes… I decided hey maybe I can find a coffee table or something to decor the house with… I was of course wanting something that was nice, chic, and under a buck… Sure I found stuff… they weren’t under a buck so I decided that wasn’t going to work…

 

Then I went to the christmas department…. I just didn’t feel like it…. so I ran away…

 

I went back to the coffee maker department and found a super coffee maker and used the money to pay for the super coffee maker…

 

Here’s the fun part… I am so proud of my accomplishment… I decide to call hubbie and tell him what I did… Hubbie’s response… why didn’t you buy me some clothes or buy the rest of the Christmas gifts or get something that we needed?  I am like I thought about it but had no desire to shop…  He’s like well the coffee maker we have works we didn’t need another…. I’m like I know except that well we need to spend the rest of money because I am not going to let DEPARTMENT STORE steal our money for nothing….

 

I forgot to mention to my hubbie that well the fact is that I behaved like an INTP and played before I worked… see I did just what I wanted to do and didn’t let my enneagram defense mechanism take over and run the show….

 

So as the secret goes… I wanted a super coffee maker for a long time now and tried several times to acquire it and each time I let my defense mechanism talk me out of it… Since I had the opportunity to buy one (for free … it was a giftcard I used remember) I went ahead and did what I wanted instead what would have been sensible (hubbie)….

 

ja!!!!!

 

I am on the path to winning this game!!!!

Can you be grateful and want more than you already have at the same time?   Why should we have to feel guilty if we want more than we have… Some people want more but aren’t grateful for what they have… I believe there are people who are grateful and want more… For example, I want a new job but that does not necessarily mean I am not grateful the one I do have now.

 

What does grateful mean anyways? 

According to thefreedictionary.com  grateful means:

Appreciative of benefits received; affording pleasure or comfort… agreeable…

 

Just because your thankful does not mean you have to settle for what you have… You can still strive for more… you can still strive for acheiving your goals… I mean once you have met your goal and your grateful for acheiving your goal you will no’t want more… you may want something else not related to your goal but ideally you will not want more of that same goal… So if your goal is to own a house and you are satisfied with your house and of course grateful about your house… you will no’t want another house… Right?

 

What about all those people who acheive their goals?  Are they grateful?  Is there a point in your life when you are comfortable and satsified with what you have and the goals you have acheived?

 

Maybe it is not that you are not grateful for what you have just because you want more… Maybe it is that you are grateful for what you will receive in the future.  I mean you are feeling gratitude before you receive.   You are expressing your appreciation before you get what you desire. 

 

Grateful for the future.  Grateful for all good things you are receiving now and will receive later.  Appreciation for what you have and for what there is to come.

Tonight we went to a Christmas party… We as in Go Diego Go and I… Hubbie is in Los Angeles… We had a good time… It was a relief to know that one of our friends is ENTJ… and he’s himself and people accept him for who he is… I remember when I first met him… I thought he was cold and had a heavy personality (I am translating from Spanish to English because I don’t know how to say it in English)  I knew he liked me as a person though because he was always messing with me… Then one day he helped me out to the car and carried Go Diego Go and strapped him into the carseat and was very nice…   I realized he is very nice and caring… he just seems overbearing at first until you get to know him… That’s okay… I mean you know from the start and the end if he likes you and what he’s thinks… I like that… I am on a quest to be myself again… I think bits and peices of me come out every once in while… you see today I walked in and forgot to say hello to some people… It wasn’t that I forgot or that I was being rude or I didn’t say hi on purpose… I just walked in and needed to get everything situated… I had cookies, wine, presents, Go Diego Go, and Go Diego Go’s nebulizer, meds, clothes etc… I needed to get everything in order… I was focused… I guess people don’t normally get so focused that they don’t greet the other people… I donno really…. but I wouldn’t be upset if I realized they were focused or trying to get things in order… then again not everyone’s a psychic like us NT people… jajaja…

So my friend’s child was diagnosed with Angelman’s Syndrome…   I am grieving my friend’s loss.

 

For those of you who’ve never heard of Angelman’s Syndrome… It’s a rare neuro-genetic disorder which presents with stiff, jerky movements, absent or very limited speech, seizures, and excessive smiling or contentment.  All children affected with Angelman’s Syndrome exhibit severe developmental delays.  Most exhibit microcephaly, or small head circumference, along with several associated characteristics such as tongue thrust, feeding difficulties, and more.  

 

This news has really impacted my husband and I… Maybe it’s because our children our so close in age… Maybe it’s because we too had dreams and illusions about them enjoying a beautiful friendship…  

They will still be friends but there will come a time when the friendship will change… and that’s sad…

 

This is close to home and we feel for them and the turmoil they are living at this moment… With time, there will be acceptance and peace… but initially the devastation of losing dreams of your child doing the most basic things in life such as eating, talking, and learning to walk is a burden or the cross that these parents will have to bear… 

 

Everything happens for a reason and I hope that my dear friends can use the smiles and happiness that these Angel’s bring to our world to come to terms with the loss of their “fantasy” child and the presence of their new child… 

So sometimes I get antsy… I want to jump on a plane and move to the beach… not just any beach… paradise… living simple sounds great… Not having to deal with the rush of city life… keeping up with the joneses… the judgemental attitudes that surround life in the suburbs… 

my wish a simple, comfortable life… making an income (a good one at that) on my terms with my knowledge… 

The salty air and sounds of the waves crashing has always relaxed me and brought me a peace and comfort that I lack in the suburbs of the city…  I love the carefree life of the beach… island time appeals to me… 

The city feels rigid and intolerable at times… The beach seems more free and accepting.  I am a hopeless romantic… 

I have decided to begin preparing myself and my family for a change… When will this change happen you ask?  Well, I am not sure… It will happen when we are ready… 

So sometimes I get antsy… I want to jump on a plane and move to the beach… not just any beach… paradise… living simple sounds great… Not having to deal with the rush of city life… keeping up with the joneses… the judgemental attitudes that surround life in the suburbs… 

my wish a simple, comfortable life… making an income (a good one at that) on my terms with my knowledge… 

The salty air and sounds of the waves crashing has always relaxed me and brought me a peace and comfort that I lack in the suburbs of the city…  I love the carefree life of the beach… island time appeals to me… 

The city feels rigid and intolerable at times… The beach seems more free and accepting.  I am a hopeless romantic… 

I have decided to begin preparing myself and my family for a change… When will this change happen you ask?  Well, I am not sure… It will happen when we are ready… 

I dream and dream and dream and dreammmmmmmm….

I have all these things, ideas, desires in my head… The hard part for me is having the guts to do them…

So far, I have met my dream of having a water birth at home… I finally started the practice model I’d been talking about since grad school…

Now the one thing that I keep coming back to is living by the beach… It’s my lifelong dream to live care free at the beach…

lately it’s been living in Bali and becoming a buddhist who practices yoga…

I want my kids to experience travel, culture, and diversity firsthand… but the other part of me wants the kids to have opportunities for the typical American Dream… college, business, engineering, what ever their heart’s desire…

I’ve moved them to a montessori school which I hope allows the creativity to develop and for them to find their strengths and loves not typically found in the traditional school system…

In Bali, there’s a private school called the green school… It looks absolutely amazing. Shouldn’t we all have the opportunities to send our kids to schools which offer and value life more than the traditional school system developed to educate factory workers… hence the bells that ring throughout the day…

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Shipwrecked in Maui… Where I discovered Peter Lik…