What is Intellectual/Cognitive Disability?


What is Intellectual/Cognitive Disability? (formerly known as Retardation)

Students with MID may demonstrate some, all or a combination of the following characteristics:
  • 2-4 years behind in cognitive development which could include math, language, short attention spans, memory difficulties and delays in speech development.
  • Social Relationships are often impacted. The MID child may exhibit behavior problems, be immature, display some obsessive/compulsive behaviors and lack the understanding of verbal/non verbal clues and will often have difficulty following rules and routines.
  • Adaptive Skill Implications. (Everyday skills for functioning) These children may be clumsy, use simple language with short sentences, have minimal organization skills and will need reminders about hygiene – washing hands, brushing teeth (life skills). etc.
  • Weak Confidence is often demonstrated by MID students. These students are easily frustrated and require opportunities to improve self esteem. Lots of support will be needed to ensure they try new things and take risks in learning.
  • Concrete to Abstract thought is often missing or significantly delayed. This includes the lacking ability to understand the difference between figurative and literal language.                                                                                                                                     Source:  http://specialed.about.com/od/handlingallbehaviortypes/a/MID.htm                                                                                                                                    
    Cognitive Disorder NOS Symptoms and Diagnosis Overview:
    Cognitive Disorder NOS symptoms and diagnostic criteria follow below. While some of these Cognitive Disorder NOS symptoms may be recognized by family, teachers, legal and medical professionals,  and others, only  properly trained mental health professionals (psychologists, psychiatrists, professional counselors etc.) can or should even attempt to make a mental health diagnosis. Many additional factors are considered in addition to the Cognitive Disorder  NOS symptoms in making proper diagnosis, including frequently medical and psychological testing considerations. This information on Cognitive Disorder NOS  symptoms and diagnostic criteria are for information purposes only and should never replace the judgement and comprehensive assessment of a trained mental health clinician.

    Cognitive Disorder Not Otherwise Specified

    This category is for disorders that are characterized by cognitive dysfunction presumed to be due to the direct physiological effect of a general medical condition that do not meet criteria for any of the specific deliriums, dementias, or amnestic disorders listed in this section and that are not better classified as Delirium Not Otherwise Specified, Dementia Not Otherwise Specified, or Amnestic Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. For cognitive dysfunction due to a specific or unknown substance, the specific Substance-Related Disorder Not Otherwise Specified category should be used. 
    and finally….
     Recurrent, spontaneous, unprovoked seizures—that is, those associated with epilepsy—affect 3–5% of the population worldwide.[32,55] The incidence of epilepsy in childhood varies among different age groups and geographic locations. Data from a variety of epidemiological studies have indicated that recurrent unprovoked seizures occur in 1–2% of children, with the highest incidence in the 1st year of life. The incidence of epilepsy plateaus in early childhood and decreases after 10 years of age.[17,31,33] Approximately 10–40% of children with epilepsy will continue to have seizures despite optimal medical management with AEDs.[13,16,25,57] It is important to be aggressive in the diagnosis and treatment of medically refractory epilepsy in children given the adverse effect of recurrent seizures on early brain development, learning, and memory. Moreover, young children with this intractable disorder may be better candidates for aggressive surgical treatment because of the increased neuroplasticity of the developing brain.[19,23,71] Other treatment modalities, such as a ketogenic diet and vagus nerve stimulation, can be considered in children who are not good candidates for epilepsy surgery.[34,41,44,54] In this paper we review the definition of medically refractory epilepsy and consider the evaluation of children with medically intractable seizures for surgery. 
    The above are descriptions of Brynn’s diagnosis to date. Home Schooling does not cause lower IQ. Epilepsy cannot be faked with recorded Video EEG Clinical Seizures. So for the two hateful, spiteful ignorant people that persistently talk about my child as though you know what your talking about…  Why don’t you get a life and stop pretending that you ever cared. 
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11/18/11

 So Wednesday Brynnon had a Tonic Clonic seizure while awake. He was eating stood up, sat in a living room chair fell and started the clonic jerking. Unusual for Brynnon because he has never had a tonic clonic while awake. I am so thankful that he did not get hurt, a few more inches and he would have hit his head on the cedar chest… Thankful too that it was quick, as the last thing we need is further regression. He asked what happened… and he knew himself that things would have to change. For the last several months he has been riding the Scooter, his favorite thing to do. He loves that thing has a cool Motorcycle helmet to wear while riding… our next door neighbors chipped in and bought it for him to ride. It’s two wheeled… which means he would fall over if he had a seizure while riding it. He will not be able to drive the scooter for a while. Although it wouldn’t likely happen and he may stop if he has the aura he had before this seizure… there is just no way of being safe on it. I wish it had three wheels… or four.  Yeah, four wheels would be great! So of course when he woke up Thursday he started talking about the 3-wheeler that the neighbor gave him. Yeah, that has become his focus now, he wants to get that fixed. His poor brain has not exactly been up to par since Wednesday. Hope that he will start improving again, his behavior has been just awful too… but it wasn’t all that great last week either. So the protocol is if he seizes during the day and looses contentiousness give him a Klonopin… if he starts clustering or has anymore give him another Klonopin 6 hours later. If he has one longer than 2-3 minutes or has any back to back, take him to the nearest ER or call an ambulance. That first Klonopin he had did not make him go to sleep, he took it at 7:30, talked to the Neuro on call again at 1:30 AM and he was still up and rather hyper. Had him take the second one and his butt was asleep by 2:15! 

 I have been congested in my chest the last 2 days. I hope it will go away after I get some over the counter stuff… Abigail is being such a cutie… Gosh, she is getting so BIG. It is hard to believe it has been a year and a half since she was born so small… She has gotten taller these past few weeks, and actually looks like a little person now, not too much a baby anymore. What a blessing she has been in my life, I am so thankful to have her to hold… she is such a snuggle bug! Bought her a few things for her Hannukkah gift. A block sorter, wood train and some big blocks. Bought a magic set for Brynn or Brett too. Haven’t decided which one to give it to. Can only afford to spend about $30 for each person. Found Janice and Tera something that I think they will both like. Haven’t figured anything out for Bri and Brandon either. Figured I can just do a little for each one… 🙂 Wish there was a Dirt Cheap close by!

My thoughts on Suffering… and an update!

Suffering is to one what normal is to another is to what devastation is to yet another. Suffering is part of our human existence. There is no way to avoid it and not one of us will escape it. We have all done it and we will do it again. The only difference in us humans is how we suffer, and what we do when we feel the effects of suffering.
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” ~Helen Keller

We are a spoiled generation

of humanity that carries expensive cell phones, has our nails done, goes to the movies but somehow fall short and cannot afford the electric bill. We are spoiled to the point that we feel the least bit of doing without is suffering. We expect to be able to do what we want, when we want it and expect to be rescued from “suffering” when that suffering is just consequences for our actions. No, I am talking about true suffering…

The loss of a Loved One, Persecution for beliefs, Being Bullied, Not having food in your home or basic shelter, Painful Disease… The list goes on… Have you ever read the story of Job? That is “Suffering.”
There are benefits of suffering too. Paul’s thorn in the flesh (2 Cor. 12:7) kept him from becoming proud. Knowing that he had a thorn in the flesh and still kept his faith even though it is not believed that it was ever healed sure makes a great example for me. So we who suffer and continue to fight the good fight and walk in faith can be an example to others. Not only an example but because we have suffered we too can join the ranks of all those suffering and comfort those who suffer.
2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our

Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
There are many examples in scripture of suffering that was brought on by transgression. Much easier to not think about, but often we are suffering because we have sinned against our Father and we are simply experiencing the consequences. Like David, we too must face consequences for our actions. For not one is without sin and we all shall reap what we sow. I am not talking about that kind of suffering here either.

So I encourage you, if you are suffering pain, trial and tribulation today, remember…

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18


On a more personal note….

as I know many follow Brynnon’s story here… He is stable at the moment, staying for the most part at his baseline. Since we went on July 15th to have it increased,  he has developed a side effect of nausea and pain in the upper stomach area from the VNS and he may have to go back to have the settings changed to see if it will alleviate this side effect. We are waiting on insurance approval to try a stimulant to see if it will possibly help his cognitive disorder. We will try it at home and see if we notice improvement and at his next visit he will be dosed up so that when he has a Cognitive Evaluation they will record any changes from the last one in July. 
I wasn’t really excited about the stimulant at first, but was willing to try when his Neurologist sugested that it may help him retain information in his learning  journey and perhaps even help his slow processing. After researching it and seeing that it is used in lower IQ children and can possibly have a good effect on him. I feel that since he has stayed around his baseline (his normal 4-6 seizures a week) for the most part for several weeks now, and since he is 13, still only Reading at a 1st grade level and overall cognitively functioning at a 6-9 year old level… it is certainly worth a try. I have to admit I have since gotten a little excited at the possibilities and figure anything is worth a try. All in all, we are having a very nice relaxed Home Schooling Summer…. 

Sorry I haven’t updated lately
    We have had a lot going on…
    Will update more soon…
    or perhaps a bit later!

   ~Denise 
“I do not ask You to take away my suffering;
I do not even want to know why I suffer;
but only this, my God….
Do I suffer for Your sake?”
~Levi Yitzhok of Berditchev