Sunday, July 3, 2011

Teen Update

I haven't done one of these for awhile and figured it was high time.  Start with the oldest & work my way down.

Irina-- Irina is 18yo.  Well, we are a few weeks out of school and you can already notice a tremendous different in her attitude and mannerisms.  Like a weight had been lifted from her.  It is nice to have her back.  We still have a ways to go but we're getting there.  She is definitely going to be home schooled this coming semester.  I've already spoken to the vocational rehabilitation folks and we'll be meeting in August on Irina.  They help developmentally delayed & disabled adults find jobs.  they will assist Irina with this.  She will have more flexibility since she is home schooled.  Looking forward to this new chapter in her life.  She has still not decided to retake the driver's test for a fourth time but we're working on her.  For the first time in forever, Irina has not gained weight this week.  This is major for her. See, the stress of school was causing her to gain weight.  Doc said to pull her out of school.  Sure enough, it has stopped.  Now, we work on reversing all the weight that came on from school and stress. Irina and I have come up w/ an exercise plan together.  Praying she'll start committing to it.  Doc did all the blood work and it's fine.  She's confident that Irina will return to normal since she's out of school and the stress of the CPS stuff as well.  It's been a very rough year for Irina but looks like we are slowly turning a corner in the right direction.  Talk is of her future and what she's going to do.  Irina is looking forward to VBS and starting back to youth group.  So, slowly but surely, we're going to get somewhere.

Max-- Max is 16yo.  Max is working here and there for people.  He's painting, he's mowing grass, etc.  Today, an old friend visited us.  Max definitely will be finishing her son's mural he did.   Most likely doing that next week. The elementary school the kids went to has asked Max to paint a mascot for them.  I told them he would.  Well, they asked me, not Max.  I volunteered him.  LOL.  So, need to go to the school this coming week and ask.  He's mowing grass for folks as well for money.  Max volunteers to cut the church's grass each week and he loves doing that.  He's also been helping around the house quite a bit.   Max is extremely healthy and no med changes need to be made.  His eyes took a dive but nothing new lenses couldn't fix.  Max is struggling with school. He is still staying at the high school next year but I'm disappointed how they're handling things.  See, he has a severe learning disability in math and they are not addressing this issue.  It is frustrating to say the least.  They knowingly let him fail.  They know he'll fail but say he has to take the course and fail it at least twice before they can do anything .  Nice way to help their self-esteem, huh?  We're meeting in August.  I refused to let him go to summer school for math only to fail yet again.  Not worth it.  Told them we'd discuss in August.  So, we are at a stand still in that department.  Otherwise, Max really is doing very well.  We have no complaints.  He's grown into quite a nice young man. 

Yana-- Yana is 15yo and will be 16yo in September.  Oh we've come a long way yet have had some stumbling blocks this year.   We've only had one RAD rage this entire year.  This is quite an accomplishment.  Yana has learned to control the external factors that set her off.  She has learned to disengage when something happens.  Yana is on no meds.  She has come a very long way with school.  It will be a very tough decision this fall deciding whether she is to take the academic track or the OCS track in school.  We are reviewing everything the next few weeks and making a decision in August.  She too will go to Max's high school.  She is still weak in the English language in general and the CAPD(central auditory processing disorder) does not help much.  Again though, she has tons of motivation and drive so we can definitely work w/ that and encourage that.  She did all her projects on her own last year and all work.  Now, Yana is very healthy other than her migraines.  We are not medicating for them other than over the counter.  They seem to be better in the summer so I too am wondering if this is more school stress than anything.  Yana has taken up running and will be trying out for cross country.  She runs almost everyday.  So, that is awesome.  Yana is anxious to find a job.  Relieved.  Seems like she has turned a corner so we are cautiously optimistic.  

Overall, teens are doing okay.  Parenting teens is not easy.  And our teens have many mental health issues and dx's that complicate even the everyday stuff.  So, to say we are doing well w/ the three teens, makes me very proud.  You must understand though we never thought this would be the case a few years ago.  Praying it continues down this path.  I know we have done things differently than other parents but we feel it has put them in a better position to handle things both academically and in society.  Hoping I'm not eating my words this coming year.  LOL.  So, all teens healthy, have a job or getting jobs, getting along w/ family...for the most part, and going to school.  We are slowly going to be giving them a little (& I stress the little part) more flexibility and freedom since they've shown us they can do it.  This is a fine line we're walking.  Keeping a close eye on things.  Thanks for letting me share about the teens.  Raising teens is not easy for any parent.  Period.  They are very challenging at times.  Yet, seeing their accomplishments is rewarding as well. 

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