Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Marriage IEP

Wouldn't marriage be easier if we all had an IEP that your spouse HAD to follow? For anyone who isn't aware... an IEP is an Individualized Education Plan for any student that needs special accommodations to be successful in school. So my speech students often have IEPS. It identifies areas of weakness and gives accommodations for the classroom that teachers have to follow to make the student more successful. Things like "sitting near the teacher", "longer time for processing", etc. Wouldn't marriage be so much easier if we had one of these? The Individualized Marriage Plan will be referred to as the IMP from here on out. Just think... at the first sign of trouble, a team of professionals comes in and does a thorough analysis of where the problems are and lays out a plan to address them. They set goals for the individual but also lay out what accommodations and supports are necessary for the marriage to be successful. The spouse has to honor what is in the IMP. So for example... I have a horrible habit of saying "What?" after most things my husband says. My ADHD makes it hard for me to process right away, and before he can usually repeat himself, I answer the question. It just takes my brain longer to figure it all out. It drives him CRAZY! The worst part is that there are times that I actually didn't hear him, but he doesn't want to repeat it because he figures I just wasn't paying attention. If I had an IMP my accommodations would be "wait time" and "repetition when needed" as well as the possible "break things down into smaller steps" and "Speak at a clear reasonable volume" My goal would read... "By November 2013, Given a statement from spouse, Ann will use wait time to process what was said, reducing the use of the phrase "What?" with 80% accuracy." And my spouse would have to accommodate my IMP. For my husband I would write "By November 2013, When given a compliment by his wife, Erik will respond with 1 thing he likes about her on 8/10 trials." Goals would be monitored every 3 months and a report of progress would be sent to all parties involved. How nice would it be if your partners needs were clearly written out so that there was no question how to meet them? What goal would your spouse write for you? Try to write one and see if you can monitor it and see the impact it has on your marriage. *Disclaimer- My marriage is not in any trouble right now. In fact we are better than we've ever been but this thought kept popping into my head because I feel like I'm an adult who has been dealing with ADHD forever and functioning so it shouldn't impact my life, but it does and wouldn't it be nice if there were accommodations to make people more accepting?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Trust your instincts

I am so mad at myself! I might have permanently traumatized my child. My oldest is a very high anxiety child. Even something she enjoys doing can reduce her to tears. So when I started talking about taking her to the dentist I knew it wasn't going to go well. I'm a terrible mom but I've put it off this long because I knew it wasn't going to go well. A few nights ago this conversation happened: Bear-"Mom I'm going to be a dentist when I grow up!" Me-"Really thats such a coincidence because I just made you an appointment to go visit the dentist!" Bear-"No Mom! I'm going to be a dentist so I can take care of my OWN teeth!" Me-"Nice try kiddo!" I purposefully made her baby sister's appointment first. This is actually the only reason the dentist has come up at all. She is 13 months and just got her first tooth so I wanted to make sure everything is OK. I knew it would be easy breeze for Bees and she would come out all smiles with a new toothbrush and a toy from the treasure chest. I wanted Bear to see this and then we were going to watch Calliou, Barney, and every other possible cartoon character go to the dentist and read every book we could find about going to the dentist and then I hoped it would be less painful when it was her turn. I know it would have been less painful because thats how she is. She needs alot of prep work for anything new. So when we got there the hygenist said "Why don't we just do both and save you a trip?" I ignored the red flags in my head and allowed Bear to come to the back with us. She got to see the cool ceiling TVs and I thought maybe she'd be ok. She started to freak out. We did Bees first and Bear watched nicely with Grandma. Then it was her turn. She screamed and kicked and hollered and all the dentist was doing was talking to her. I should have stopped right there... Nope I held her down and let the dentist count her teeth. She sat up coughing and gagging and I said jokingly "OK honey don't throw up on Mommy, I have to run back to work for a meeting." Yep I tried to tackle this on my lunch break... And Bear proceeded to ignore my advice and puked all over both of us. And then she did it again... and one more time... The dentist was great about it, telling me that thats why they have tile floors but I could tell this does not happen all the time. He continued to talk to me about how their teeth look (fabulous of course so there was NO REASON to come in the first place!) while I am COVERED in Bear's breakfast. We got as cleaned up as possible and she starts freaking out about her clothes. I had mom run to the car to get the Tinkerbell costume that was in the car for her to put on. I go to check out and find out hubby did not transfer money into my account... so here I am getting my cards declined, covered in puke, and he's not answering the phone. Yep I had to pay to get puked on. Bear starts screaming that there are no girl toys in the treasure chest and I am trying to reassure the receptionist that really she is not the child from the exorcist even though all signs point to the fact that she could be worse! Somehow I held my cool as they kept trying to offer her toys and she kept refusing. I got everyone out of the building and got home and changed clothes. I know that if I had done it the way I planned it would have gone better. I know it still would have been stressful but the way it went down I don't know that she will ever go back to the dentist again. Let's hope she takes after her daddy and has great teeth with no cavities. The dentist even told us not to worry about bringing her back anytime soon. The $160 dollars for a visit was not even worth it to him :o)