Thursday, December 29, 2011


A quick recap: Joseph had been on Adderrall. At school he started getting more and more violent. His pediatrician prescribed Risperdal. He took it for a day and a half, then I read about all the possible side effects and decided that we needed to rule out all other options first. And I read that Adderrall can cause irritability, so I took him off everything for a week. He was a little extra hyperactive at school, but guess what? He went from serious biting incidents 4 out of 5 days, to a single minor attempt to bite ONCE the whole week that he was sans meds!

Kristy has been the one taking him to the doctor for meds. I have been encouraging her to inquire about the non-stimulant meds, Strattera and Invuniv. They started giving us sample packs of Intuniv (the pharmacy said Joseph's Medicaid will not cover it?). He's been on it for about a month and a half and other than falling asleep at inconvenient times, he's doing great! We got Maria on Intuniv last week, and the improvement in her behavior is amazing. The Adderrall and Focaline worked for her, but they would wear off. The Intuniv she takes once a day, and that seems to be enough. When she goes back to school, I think her teacher won't recognize her. :)

Since we got his Medicaid approved, we've gotten home health aides to work with him. Two started a couple of weeks ago and it's been really great for him to have someone more energetic than me around to play with him. :) We need to get the third aide in place, then we go on Children's Hospital's waiting list for an ABA coordinator. But more about that later.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas this year with the extended family went much more smoothly than it did last year. Joseph fell asleep in the car on the way there this time (it's not a long car ride, 20 minutes or so). We got there and he played for a while. As soon as everyone had arrived, we opened presents. He fell asleep during presents. After dinner, he was still asleep, so I stuck candy canes in his mouth until he woke up. He played with his Hexbugs for a little while, then we took him home without incident. All in all, entirely uneventful. :)

Christmas was really great. Everyone behaved, kids and adults, everyone got really awesome gifts. After I got home and we put the kids to bed, I started thinking about things like rent, utility bills, and credit card bills. Oh, the credit card bills. I remembered how tenuous our financial situation is, with Kristy being out of work, and Wal-Mart deciding that it would be a good idea to give me a credit card. And me deciding it would be a good idea to buy the kids gifts with it. And to buy myself a few things that I knew no one would be buying for me. And having to take out a loan to get Kristy a dental crown that insurance would not cover. And the car accidentS, from which we are still waiting to find out the "damage." (Kristy rear ended someone in her car at a stop light on December 1st, then she totaled my van and hit two other late model cars on I-270 on the 3rd. Our insurance coverage would not pay for one of those cars.) I started thinking about how that peaceful moment was temporary, and sooner or later, real life would impose itself on our idyllic existence.

But for now, the bill collectors are not calling, and the landlord is not harassing us about our rent or our water bill. There's nothing I can do about it right now, so I will not worry about it.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things that I can. And the wisdom to know the difference.
Coming soon: An update about ADHD meds. Spoiler alert! INTUNIV IS AWESOME!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Our Favorite Christmas Apps for iOS

Christmas is Joseph's favorite holiday, we discovered last year. This is our first Christmas since he got his iPad, so I'm searching for the best Christmas themed iOS apps for him and I've found some great ones already.

I'm going to post my favorite first, because it's so freakin' awesome.

Popout! The Night Before Christmas from Loud Crow - $4.99

I don't buy $5 apps. I'm far too cheap. But I downloaded the free demo of this book and was blown away. The illustrations are fantastic, they're presented in a way that make them "pop" off the screen. The animations are creative and entertaining, the music is wonderful and the narration is perfect. This is one of the few books that I haven't had to try too hard to keep Joseph from flipping to the next page before it's finished reading the one he's on. :)

123 Sticker: Free Musical Sticker Book (Christmas Edition) from Steve Glinberg - FREE

FREE is much more in my budget. :)
123 Sticker is lots of fun for Joseph. It's got nice music, and he can decorate his Christmas tree and then we can save it to the iPad's photo album and post it to the Internet.

Piggly Christmas Edition HD by Big Fish Games - FREE

Another free one, Piggly is a fun 2D scrolling game. It's got simple controls, which can still be a little challenging for Joseph, but not so much that he gives up.

FirstWords: Christmas by Learning Touch - $1.99

FirstWords: Deluxe was one of the first apps we got for Joseph. FirstWords: Christmas works exactly the same, but with a Christmas theme.

What are your kids' favorite apps and books?