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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tummy Time for 10 Year Olds?

I don't speak about it very often, or in this case 'type' about it very often, but my family is sort of special.  I know that everyone thinks there family is special, but I know mine is.  My family is an actual gift from God.  My sister nor I were able to have biological children. I watched her and my bro-in-law struggle with this for years.  My husband and I tried lots of infertility methods and eventually I miscarried. We even had 2 different private adoptions lines up.  One mom miscarried with the baby and the other mom had the baby in secret 2 week before her due date, had decided to keep the baby, and didn't let us know until the baby was 3 weeks old.

But along the way we all found children that needed us and adopted 5 children between us. Out of these children, 5 were neglected, 1 was sexually abused, 2 were physically abused, 4 are bi-polar, 4 are diagnosed with ADHD, 5 are diagnosed with anxiety, 2 are diagnosed with PTSD, 2 are diagnosed as OCD, 1 is diagnosed with Aspergers, 1 is diagnosed with schizio-affective disorder, 1 is diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder, 3 are language delayed, and at least 3 have delayed and under-developed motor skills. At least one at this time is experimenting with drugs and alcohol in favor of self-medicating instead of 'following the rules' of standard medication.   If you add all of that up it sounds like we have a troop of children instead of 5, so you can guess that all of our kids have multiple diagnoses.  All of our kids walk to the beat of their own drum and we parents are left to figure out which tempo we need to oversee.

As we learned more and more about their biological families, the care they received before we became their parents, the struggles they have had at school, and have watched them develop, we have turned to several different methods of therapy, begged schools for help, and have lost several nights of sleep and shed lots of tears.  There is not a night that goes by that I don't question my thoughts and actions as a mother, wondering if I did the best job I can do for that day.

Part of the therapy that we have turned to with my children is integrating the reflexes that they were born with that were never resolved.  I don't know much about the early months of their lives, but I often wonder if they were held too much or not enough.  I don't know how much 'tummy time' they got as infants and sometimes wonder if 'tummy time' would work for a 10 year old.  I do know that the more I read about the reflexes and  neurological development, the more I think there is so much more I don't have a clue about as a mother. I hope that made sense.

Our occupational therapist happens to be a good friend of mine.  We have puzzled over my kids, prayed about my kids, tried experimental ideas on my kids, and bless her, she is always going after new training to find the best therapy for my kids.  So, when she sent me this blog article to read, I wasn't sure whether to be glad there were some theories and maybe even some answers, or cry because as I read more, the lists got more complex and there was more to digest, and there seemed to be so much more work ahead of us.  The article that I referenced her is one that I will probably return to many times because there is just so much to try to understand.  If it were a book I imagine the spine would be worn and the pages would be dog-eared.

I hope that this article will help someone out there.  Night!  I apologize if there are errors in this post.  I am too tired to reread it and check it.  I'll leave that for some other time.


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