Ask Questions & Then Ask More

A friend of mine recently had a scary experience with her 12 year-old son.

He developed a life threatening side effect to a recently prescribed medication, Lamictal.  

The mom and dad met with a recommended psychiatrist to discuss medications to help their son with depression and a mood disorder.  The psychiatrist recommended Lamictal and shared that it is a highly affective medication with a low risk side effects.  She did mention that some kids develop a mild rash, but that was it. Continue reading “Ask Questions & Then Ask More”

Making a Difference One Story at a Time

To quote a dear friend of mine … “be the change you want to see in the world.”

I was recently reminded that story telling is a powerful tool to create change in our world.  My 13-year old son and I testified during our state’s legislative public hearing in support of a bill to study wait times in emergency departments for receiving acute psychiatric care.  We told our personal story to a room full of state representatives, consumers, advocates, health professionals, and more. Continue reading “Making a Difference One Story at a Time”

To Board, or Not to Board … Our Decision

What’s the best therapeutic environment for Jack?

 In the two previous posts … Our Current Dilemma and Evaluating Options, I shared how I organize my thoughts, develop a decision-making criteria, and evaluate programs.

Trust me, we want Jack home!

I know when I am exhausted, I do not always make the best decisions.  My emotions get the best of me.  Going through a proven decision-making process helps me stay objective and have greater confidence in the final decision. Continue reading “To Board, or Not to Board … Our Decision”

Being in the Driver’s Seat: Effective IEP Meetings (& meetings in general)

I still vividly remember our first Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting. 

The meeting was scheduled for mid-September; Ben was in kindergarten.  My husband and I went to the elementary school, signed in, and we were escorted to a conference room.  We were under the impression that we would be meeting with just our case manager to have an informal conversation about shared goals.

I remember being surprised when we were joined by the school psychologist, occupational therapist, speech pathologist, behaviorist, classroom teacher, and special education director.  The formal meeting began with passing around an attendance sheet followed by brief introductions. Each of the attendees spoke about their observations of Ben and recommended goals.

I remember feeling OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE AND VERY INSECURE sitting at the table.  Should I ask questions, is it ok to disagree, may I make suggestions …  As the meeting concluded, we were asked to review and sign the IEP.  Continue reading “Being in the Driver’s Seat: Effective IEP Meetings (& meetings in general)”