Archive for September, 2012

First Nerology Appointment


Today was a long day. While DS1 stayed with our neighbor for several hours making us dinner (yes, I have an amazing neighbor) and playing Legos, Ds2 and I met with Dr. Avery, a pediatric Opto-neurologist, today.  He agreed with the pediatric ophthalmologists diagnoses of OMA and strabismus.  He was impressed the ophthalmologist picked up on the OMA, as it was so subtle.  He also gave DS2 the “Easiest dilated 7 month old exam” award.  He was so tolerant of it all.  Although, DS2 wasn’t so happy with the blood draw later.  The doctor said that he would like to see an MRI but it is no rush.  He felt confident there is no indications this is caused by a tumor or something else progressive (I was relieved to hear that) but an MRI might help us to point to a cause.  Papi and I are still weighing the pros and cons of now versus waiting until he’s a little older.  We are leaning toward waiting until he is 1 or 1.5.

I also wanted to mention, this was the first time I’d ever been to a children’s hospital.  National Children’s felt so welcoming.  Everyone was so helpful, even random people in the halls offered to help when I looked around confused.  I enjoyed all the bright colors.  I spent a fair amount of time at the hospital with my mother this summer.  It was so depressing.  All hospitals should have brightly colored walls.

Baby’s Challenges


Our family is now facing yet another challenge in 2012.  From the day of his birth, DS2 has had oddly tracking eyes.  Both of his eyes would just look to one extreme and stay there or he would look all around with each eye tracking differently never seeming to look right at something.  I couldn’t get him to make eye contact for months.  He is almost 7 months old.

We finally got to see the pediatric ophthalmologist.  While the vision of each eye is on target, he has been diagnosed with Strabismus and Ocular Motor Apraxia (OMA).  

Strabismus is a fairly common condition where your eyes don’t track together.  It is one of the conditions that can result in a “lazy eye” but the two aren’t mutually exclusive.  For my little man right now, he tracks the eyes separately and then one eye will focus on the object he is trying to see.  We are watching him carefully to make sure one eye doesn’t always dominate over the other.  If that is allowed to perpetuate, the non-dominate eye will loose function.  

The other condition, OMA, is a very rare condition.  His eyes have trouble with moving objects.  If you call for him from the side, he will quickly move his head toward you but then he has trouble getting his eyes to look at you.  He can only follow very slow moving objects.

Our pediatrician has now diagnosed him with hypotonia, low tone.  He doesn’t flip over much, he cant sit up unassisted and he tires easily.

This week, we were able to meet with the county to determine if they can provide services for him.  Our county assesses children with delays for free and then offers OT and PT services as needed on a sliding scale.  We are waiting to hear if he qualifies and then we will have a second comprehensive assessment of his issues/skills with two experts on his challenges. 

Next week we will be taking him to National Children’s Hospital to see a Pediatric Opto-neurologist to try and determine root cause.

It is difficult making sense of all this but I’m just working to make sure I can help him reach his greatest potential rather then morn the loss of what could have been.  I already see the exceptional human that he is. He’s so happy and lights up the room with his smiles.

Our Eclectic Plan for this School Year


I’ve now decided I’m best described as an eclectic homeschooling mom.  I should have guessed I’d end up here.  My house is quite eclectic and I like to dress pretty eclectic too.  I’ve also never been much of a conformist.

So, we started Kindergarten with the Montessori/Waldorf influenced Enki (I’ll try to post our experience with it in the future) and that just didn’t work out for us.  Then, last year our curriculum was based around the Classical model.  While my son enjoyed all the reading, he didn’t end up liking all the workbook work.  He also really needs lots of movement.  After reading “The Mind of Boys,” (review to follow in a future post) I’ve accepted his need for movement will never end and I need to teach him in a way that respects his high energy.

This year, we are sticking to our history group with some modifications, 4-H with a change in format, Buddhist Studies, and violin with hopefully less pressure.  We will follow a stricter schedule with built in play times (to avoid whinnying, arguing and procrastination). We are reintroducing daily exercise in the morning to include yoga and learning new sports. We will do light copywork in English and Spanish.  We’ve abandoned our Hidden Pond class but are now joining a Forest School group one time a week.  We’ve added “Building Foundations for Scientific Understanding” (look for a future review) as our science base to be done with a group.  We’ve replaced Singapore with a more living math approach, “Math on the Level” (look for a review in the future).  He will read to me daily.  I will read to him daily with books related to our weekly history topic, weekly science topic, topics of his interest and classical books.  We are also adding crafts/art back in as a subject.

We start our official schooling again Monday, 9/13. I’ll try to post our planned schedule by then.