Hello everyone Amanda here! As promised I’m writing to tell you about my oldest son Daniel.
Daniel is my Kentucky baby. When I was 17 I moved to Kentucky with my aunt and stayed for two years. I got married (divorced a year later) and had Daniel when I was 19 (I know I was young).
Daniel was born in January of 2007 at 5:30am. My pregnancy with him had a couple scares. My blood pressure was consistently high and there was a time when I was 5 or 6 months along they couldn’t find his heartbeat. I was terrified! My doctor’s office was next to my twin sister Becky’s work so I went in crying and she left to go to the hospital with me. The hospital couldn’t find his heart beat either at this point I was crying. The nurse brought in an ice cold pitcher of water and told me to drink it really fast. I did and Daniel woke up. They said he must’ve been sleeping and positioned just right they couldn’t find his heartbeat but he was okay.
Fast forward because no one wants to hear the details of labor. I can say back labor sucks! And Daniel was my child born with no epidural or pain meds because there was no time for either by the time the hospital believed i was in labor 🙂
Daniel was born a healthy 5lb 12.4oz baby. Very teeny tiny even his newborn clothes were huge on him. My sister went and bought him some preemie clothes and those fit perfect. When Daniel was two months old we moved back to Iowa just me and him.
Fast forward again to when Daniel was 3 years old. He had begun having what i thought were 45 minute to 1 hour long tantrums. I often times wasn’t even sure what had caused him to become so upset, it seemed like almost anything could bring them on. I tried talking to his doctor and was told “that’s normal it will get worse before it gets better”. I didn’t think this was “normal” (whatever that meant to the doctor). Daniel would kick, hit, throw his toys I was growing really concerned. During this time I found out I was pregnant with my second child.
I kept asking the doctor can I get a referral to have Daniel evaluated something is going on, I told him kids don’t just have tantrums for that long for no reason. He kept telling me it’s normal (I’m not a fan of that word). At this point I was so fed up with the doctor that I told him “give me the referral to Iowa City or you can take Daniel home for a night and see if you still think it’s “normal” behavior”, needless to say that got me the referral.
It took over a year for Daniel to be seen in Iowa City. Turns out his referral had gotten lost somewhere along the line. During this time Daniel had started preschool and was a big brother. Preschool started out well for Daniel but things changed. He didn’t want to go, he was having behaviors I hadn’t seen before. **TRIGGER WARNING**
Further talking with Daniel I had learned he’d been sexually abused at school by a staff member. Turns out the perpetrator had numerous victims my child just happened to be the youngest. The perpetrator is now in federal prison for the rest of his life for the crimes he committed. I immediately got Daniel a counselor and one for myself. I beat myself up. I’m his mom I’m supposed to protect him and I couldn’t. Counseling helped both of us alot.
Fast forward to Iowa City Daniel is about 7 now. We finally get to see a lady there and she is amazing!! Daniel had his evaluation and I finally had some answers.
Daniel was diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, Mood Disorder, and PTSD. I was so relieved to finally know what was going on so I could finally help him! Daniel is a very intelligent kind hearted boy and all people could see were his “bad” behaviors. But that quickly changed!!
I started reading up on his diagnoses, joined support groups, found a counselor that understood his diagnosis, got Daniel an IEP. In time he was doing better at school, no more throwing things, no more self injurious behavior Daniel was happy!
Daniel is now 10 years old. And after advocating and fighting for so long to help him our lives had mellowed out. Daniel was and still is a fantastic big brother even helped name his baby brother! Daniel enjoys math, reading, building with Legos, playing in the dirt, and video games. He’s done so well in school that he was fully integrated back into the gen. ed classroom by last school year. I’m so proud of how far he’s come and so is he.
Daniel intends to play Cello at the intermediate school in the fall, wants to join several other programs they offer as well. Daniel enjoys spending time with his best friend, our family, and at OLC At Play helping me volunteer!
So there’s Daniel and some information about him, and how we finally got his diagnoses. He’s my sweet boy and I wouldn’t change him for the world!!