Not going to be Seizure Free??

This video is Brynn in Hyper Mode…
 Brynnon has been on Vimpat for 45 days… out of the 45 days he has had 22 seizure free days. It has cut down almost all of the twitching at night in between seizures. When he started Vimpat it was like an awakening, amazing how awake and hyper he was. This effect lasted for the first two weeks, then we saw a decline… and daytime sleepiness in the third week. The fourth week he was not as hyper, but definitely more awake cognitively. This effect seems to have gone away again this past week… he’s not as slowed as he was so I can only assume it is seizure activity related. Trying to be positive, and stay focused. Last week the I called his Neurologist to update him on Brynnon’s progress. He said he is not going to be seizure free, but because he has shown improvement at this time, we will keep all medications the same as we do  not want to raise the Vimpat dose or change anything until this honeymoon is over. We don’t want to introduce more drugs at this time because we may need those drugs in the future in an emergency situation. I have said it myself, but it stung my heart when he said “He is not going to be seizure free.” Well, I went into Children’s thinking they could get him seizure free. I assumed he wasn’t going to be seizure free and we need to take full advantage of any seizure free nights/days once the 4th seizure med was introduced. We are trying to let him ride his 4-wheeler and just be a child as much as possible. The fact that he has cognitively improved surely helps his quality of life, but it also let’s us see where he really is cognitively. It will be a year since the extended seizure, that took so much of him away, in a few months. He is not the same child, he is not anywhere close to where he was in learning. It looks like he is so slow to go forward the seizures just knock him right back. I still do not know where he is going max out with his IQ and Cognitive Disorder. I will take him back next fall to the Neuropsychologist to see where he is and where he is capable of going. The Neurologist at Children’s mentioned doing testing as well. Perhaps they would do a better job of understanding exactly what is going on and what his full potential will be.      

 Yesterday we scaled back, back, back, way back with Brynn’s Spelling… He has not retained much at all over the last 8 months… Brett (7) is doing very well… he’s actually about a year ahead Brynn (12) in Spelling and Reading,  although they are not too far apart in Math and Handwriting. It was great at the beginning of the year to teach them both the same lessons. Depressing to see Brynn get left behind. 

Tera 22 Brett 7
Tera and I

Brett tells Brynn that he is pretty smart to do everything he does because he has seizures. What a blessing…

Abigail is TWO!!
Brandon (16), Janice (20), Brynn (12), Tera (22), Brett (7) & Bri (20)
Tera (22)
Abigail’s 1st skinned knee 😦

Abigail had her second birthday on the same day as Tera got her Medical Assistant Diploma. It is great to see Tera doing so well. I am so proud of her. She has a great job at a Doctor’s office and is still working at another job nights and weekends. 

Today…

 Late yesterday afternoon Brynn complained of a headache, he even asked for something for pain and was almost crying. He laid around most of the evening and was quiet for the most part, just a little whiny. He fell asleep around 11 PM, then the myoclonics came back… I thought that the Klonopin had stopped them. His right leg and upper body, arms, shoulders and head was twitching a lot all night long. Lots of nose rubbing and lip smacking/chewing… Saw him have a 1-2 minute tonic event and more clonic activity than I have ever seen in him without the typical tonic start. I don’t know if this is due to the Klonopin making him sleep so hard or if I am just not watching closely enough and am missing the tonic part or if it is a new thing. The Neuro said to call it what you want to and describe it… Well this looked like Clonic Shivering so that’s what I will call it. He’s a bit hesitant to do his school work today… Slept till after 11 this morning. Had a pretty good day, considering the night he had… 
  Brett would pick today to not cooperate at all in doing his home school… It is getting to be more than I can handle just to wake up and function with the fibro out of whack since the accident several months back and lack of sleep with Brynnon… I have not been feeling well the last few days. Maybe I am emotionally drained… 
  Abigail is growing so fast… Over 20 pounds, running… Playing and such a happy baby. Her speech is pretty good so far, I worry more with her looking back on Brynnon and knowing what I know now. Twirling in circles she goes round and round… then she sits… leans back ever so slowly and gently to the floor… and says OH NO… FALL DOWN…. She runs all through the living room and kitchen with her baby. She loves her babies, hugs her babies and kisses her babies… She is such a blessing! The light that sparkles into the darkness….
~Denise 

iPad’s and Children With Special Needs

  If you have a child with Special Needs, you simply must visit this link! While researching teaching methods for Brynnon a while back I read again and again how great an iPad is for Special Needs kids and that there are so many apps for them as well. The website above has videos to show you what the app looks like before you buy it! They are also giving iPads to schools and children with Special Needs in each State. They are excepting donations to get this done from the app makers, businesses  and people like us too! There are also free apps as well. I know when I spoke with the Neuropsychologist that did Brynnon’s testing about it, he said that Brynnon would benefit from one as he is a visual learner and learns best when a picture or chart is used to teach. The only problem I have in getting an iPad for Brynnon is the cost $500+ which I am sure that most parents would struggle with. I have sent a description of Brynnon to this site, although I think the giveaway’s are already assigned. I know Brynnon would do well with it as he has made a lot of progress since we started using  Time4Learning.
Which I highly recommend for those that home school! This is a flash based program so it will only work on a computer, and will not work on the iPad. Which is best for Brynnon anyway, as they would be separate activities helping his cognitive & attention difficulties.
  Not too much going on here… I have done some soul searching and praying… and I feel better about Brynnon’s situation. It was one thing to point out his symptoms do not match Rolandic Epilepsy… A completely different thing to hear Frontal Lobe Epilepsy, Cerebral Cortex Malformation and can become Retractable in Children Like Him within an hour of meeting a fantastic Pediatric Neurologist who has probably seen it all… I realize that the future could become bleak and I accept that. I also realize that it can be just as wonderful if not better than I ever imagined and that is what I hope for. We are not there yet and have a long way to go, so for now I simply will take it one day at a time… Through much prayer and with a lot of faith we will go forward… I will try to stay positive! In the meantime, we have painted the bathroom, hall and living room… Hopefully tomorrow we will paint the kitchen. Something about painting always makes me feel better. I suppose it is an outward sign of the inward change that is happening. I am forever grateful for all the blessing I have in my life and Brynnon is indeed a special child. I am thankful that the Father thought enough of me to place him in my arms… I don’t have a problem with having him stay a child longer than usual, I love children… if I didn’t I would not have had six of them!  

~Denise

Brynnon (12) and Abigail (1)

Almost…

So, getting a little anxious about the Appointment (Thursday) to get the Neuropsychologist results for Brynnon… Seems like it has been 6 months waiting, but it has actually been 2. Of course I have some updating to do with him as well as far as the regressions we have seen in Brynnon since he was tested and had the major seizure. He still has not caught up back to where he was, which makes me wonder if it was permanent? Surely he will catch back up to where he was, but in the big picture the regressions are bigger than the catch ups, seems it takes forever to catch up. I was going through some of his home school from two years ago. It is so sad that his handwriting was actually better two years ago than it was even before the last major seizure. The computer schooling seems to help, as it does all the reading for him and doesn’t seem like what he calls “baby work.” The headphones drown out all the distractions in the household, which interferes greatly in his concentration. I hope if nothing else the neuropsychologist will have great positive things to say about Brynnon’s future. His future is what I worry about most. I realize that people who have Intellectual disabilities can live normal lives in society. I just worry that he will not be able to grow and flourish with the regressions happening. Just can;t seem to shake the feeling like we make all this progress only for a terrible seizure event to wipe it all away… There we are left to try to get it all back in again before we loose anything else…So Thursday is the BIG day for getting some answers concerning Brynnon’s learning journey…. 
 The 18th is the Neurologist appointment to get the results of the 24 hour EEG. I will also bring my videos of Brett and ask about his night time events. It is bothersome, as Brynnon did the same things before he was medicated and I am very afraid that it is the same thing. Scares the crap out of me, that Brett could have the same thing wrong…  I hope I am just paranoid and it’s nothing… That’s not what my gut says though. I hope he has better answers about what seizure types he is seeing and why his EEG was so erratic. I expected it to be normal while medicated… and I have yet to find a sleeping EEG that looks like his. I have looked at hundreds of them online… but not one looks like his. I will also be asking a lot more questions this time, as I know a lot more now. At the end of the visit I will have to tell them I need a copy of his records to bring to New Orleans for the Epilepsy clinic at Children’s Hospital. I hope if nothing else they will have answers… I just need to feel secure that everything is being done that can possibly be done to prevent anymore seizures or regression. While would  we are at it, I would like to know if it is or could be genetic and if Brett could possibly be showing early signs. 
 It is so frustrating not having the answers to so many questions, but it is exciting to think that sometime in the next month I may have most if not all of them! 

So much improvement!

I must say that anyone who is having problems with a low IQ child in Reading and Spelling… Please get these two products! AVKO Sequencial Spelling ~ Sequential Spelling is AVKO’s premiere seven-level spelling program for the teaching of the patterns of English spelling within seven normal public school years. Sequential Spelling is great for schools as well as homeschoolers. The sequences are not based on grade level curriculum. The sequences are based on building from easy words to advanced words as from all, tall, stall, install, installment, installation. AND Merrill Reading Program ~The Merrill Reading Program provides targeted instruction to help students become successful readers through carefully paced instruction and practice. My low IQ 10 year old was having terrible difficulty in Reading and was very poor in Spelling when we started using these two curriculum back in August. He is now Reading and Spelling! He is Reading on a 1st Grade level and the Spelling is above a 3rd grade level. These two programs go great together, he often Reads and Spells the same words in the same week. I am so impressed with the AVKO Products, I plan to buy more! The Merrill Readers are great, slow paced linguistic readers, taught in the same way. I really believe that the sequencing is the way to teach low IQ, Reading disabled and Learning disabled children. I am so thankful that this is making such a difference in my Son and hope that this information can help another child. ~Denise