So, to start off the New Year, let’s take a quick look at where the boys are now and where I hope to see them going in the coming year.
- Willy is in last year of middle school.
- His medication seems stable and his seizures are under control.
- His mood is not stable and we’re looking into treating him for depression and/or anxiety.
- Willy has some dreams of what he wants to do as an adult, but we haven’t made any concerted efforts to ensure he’ll be able to pursue his dreams, other than providing him with necessary accommodations to access his scholastic curriculum.
Willy: By Next Year
- By this time next year, Willy will be in high school and I plan to make the transition as easy and successful for him as we possibly can.
- I hope we can keep his seizures under control.
- I hope we can stabilize his mood and help restore his self-confidence, his sense of self-worth, and his enthusiasm for life.
- I hope we have a plan in place that will enable him to pursue the dreams he has for his adult life.
- Alex started middle school this year and seems to be adjusting reasonably well.
- Alex is going to be assessed for possible seizure activity.
- Alex will be assessed for assistive technology to help him communicate more complex feelings and thoughts.
- Alex’s weight, eating, and growth are becoming worrisome again.
- I have no idea how to help prepare Alex for life as an adult, but I believe that pursuing his art is a worthy goal and have been making small strides in getting him more exposure to art mediums.
Alex: By Next Year
- By this time next year, I hope that we will have been able to meet Alex’s health-related needs, whether that means treating seizures or other neurological conditions and/or getting him back to the Feeding Clinic (if we can’t get his weight up and steady soon).
- I hope to have a communication system in place that will empower Alex to communicate what’s going on in his head successfully.
- With the communication component in place, I hope to begin discussing with Alex (instead of trying to decide on his behalf) what he wants his adult life to look like.
- Ben moved to a new elementary school this year to be placed in a program (special education environment) that was supposed to better meet his needs, yet we’re seeing a very similar cycle of escalation that shows us (at least me) that his needs are not being met.
- Ben’s communication skills seemed to be developing at a quicker pace earlier this year, but now he seems to be sliding back into some of his more non-verbal habits.
- Ben’s weight and health seem to be good overall, and even his sleep cycle is becoming more normalized.
Ben: By Next Year
- By this time next year, I hope that we have, as a team, figured out what all of Ben’s educational, sensory, and behavioral needs are and how to meet them.
- I hope to get his aggressive behaviors under better control by meeting his needs.
- I hope we can get his language development and learning back on track.
So, that sounds like a lot. These are some pretty big issues to deal with, but I think with concerted effort and a supportive, capable team for each child, we can reach these goals and discover new and better goals to meet along the way.