I think I have been in blog recovery. Not sure I am out of it yet, but I am giving it a shot. I have been using Google Reader for years to follow everybody's blogs and they shut it down this summer so I have not even been reading people's blogs. Again, I think I have been in recovery.
I also have been super swamped with my job at MOFAS. I have met some amazing families and I really enjoy working with them. There is such a huge need, so many families struggling. I had three main jobs in the youth development field before we started our family. I loved all three of them. I love working with teenagers. And I absolutely love being a Family Resource Coordinator at MOFAS. I never thought I would find a job in a different field that was a better fit than youth work. I think I was wrong.
I so wish there had been someone I could have called when Akila was 6 and we first realized she had an FASD. I called MOFAS at that point and didn't get any support. It wasn't until I went to a training that Kari was leading that I actually met somebody else who lives this life and understands the dynamics we deal with daily. She was the one who helped get me into blogging and took several desperate phone calls from me over the years.
I feel that I am now doing that for other families. I don't always do it right. I don't always say the right thing. I don't always have the answers they are looking (rarely do I have the answers as a matter of fact). But most of the time, just being a parent living the same type of life, makes a big difference. Last night was one of my new support groups that meets in Eden Prairie. We had 6 moms at it. It was energizing. It went great. They were super supportive of each other. It felt right.
Akila had a pretty good spring and summer. She is in 9th grade. She is struggling. Normally, she does fine each school year until November when she starts to feel comfortable and her behaviors start up. This year, the behaviors started up the 2nd week of school. I think the pressure of high school is hard for her, and for the first time, she is dealing with anxiety that we have never really seen before.
My heart is breaking. If I had the energy and the courage, I would try to start up a charter school for kids with FASDs. The majority of our kids are too high functioning to fit into the pull out special ed programs. They get eaten alive in the typical high schools if they are mainstreamed as they are so vulnerable and get sucked into drugs, alcohol and all things icky. Akila is in a small high school where it would be more difficult for her to fall between the cracks. But the downside is that there are not enough students to offer different levels of math, or other subjects. She is having to sit through the regular 9th grade geometry, and biology for example. She is actually doing better grade wise in those two classes, as she has some individualized help. She is bombing English, as she doesn't have extra help. We are working on that, but high school is going to be hard for her.
Imani, Hezekiah and Zeke are all doing great. We had a nice summer full of adventure. Our bummer news is that the company Michael has been working at the past two years relocated to Texas, so he is unemployed (as of mid August). Job hunting is never fun. Hope all is well with all of you.
Where have I been?
1 day ago