Friday Favorites {10.21.16}

Linking up for Friday Favorites! Happy Friday, Ya’ll!



These adorable photos I snapped of Jackson this week! We’ve been asking him since early summer what he wanted to be for Halloween and his answer has not changed. He wants to be a puppy doctor! So I ordered a kid’s scrub top, bought a toy vet kit and our costume is complete! I kind of hate that Jellybean wasn’t part of this photoshoot (she was at the puppy spa) but then again that might have been a complete train wreck.

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My cute new scarf! I ordered this one after seeing it over on Mix and Match Mama’s blog. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to afford it since it was from Nordstrom, but it was within my budget! I love that I can wear it with navy or black! I also love that it’s lightweight and can be worn when Oklahoma is confused about what season it is. 90 degrees in October. No. Thank. You!



Despite the warm temps, there’s evidence that cooler weather is on the way! The leaves are starting to turn! Yippee! There’s nothing like the colors of Fall. Changing leaves make my heart happy! Next weekend we are headed to a popular spot in Oklahoma that’s supposed to be bursting with beautiful Fall foliage. I can’t wait to share some photos with you!



Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins. They are hands-down better than a normal peanut butter cup. Why can’t we have these year-round? They have SO much peanut butter in them and let’s face it, that’s the best part! Jackson is quite the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup fan and I pretty much adore the fact that he loves them as much as his mama!


Despite all the challenges we’re having with school, I know Jackson’s not just a behavior problem. I know this because I see his heart. I regularly get glimpses that reveal the best version of him.

This week we were at the park and Jackson was playing with another little boy. They were having a lot of fun. Not once did he get aggressive. He kept his hands on his own body. He used his words.

At one point Jackson was playing on another piece of equipment when the little boy fell out of the swing and started crying. Jackson ran over to him as fast as he could, squatted down and said, “you okay, boy?”

That moment is my absolute favorite from the week!

That’s the boy I wish everyone could see!

That’s the boy I will keep fighting for!

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 I can’t tell you how much we needed this after the past few weeks! We celebrated with Dr Peppers after school!



I love how excited Jackson gets to check the mail after school each day. I always loved checking the mail (and still do). Wednesday there was a card waiting for him from one of his best buddies! I love that Autry sent him a Halloween card with words of encouragement. We just love that girl!!!!


Friday Favorites {10.14.16}

Today I’m linking up for Friday Favorites. Despite having a very emotional week full of uncertainty, my list of favorites just kept growing. Little glimpses of His grace. Reminders that there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. Happy Friday!!



These Fall outfits! I am so glad I’m finally getting to wear something other than shorts and flip flops! My gray Converse are a fashion staple in the Fall and Winter months. I’m also loving my new ankle boots I snagged from Target. And the holy jeans…they came from GAP a few years ago and although they’re a tad bit snug, they are still my favorite. Oh, and scarves. How I adore them. I ordered three new ones recently because I just can’t get enough! I’ll share them in an upcoming Friday Favorites post. See the scarf I’m wearing with the short-sleeved shirt? I used a stapler to turn it into an infinity scarf. I can’t sew to save my life, but the stapler did the trick.

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The Girl on a Train – the movie! I might be the only person on the planet who hasn’t read the book. A friend asked me to go see the movie and I was a tad bit hesitant. I love a good murder mystery, but thrillers can sometimes freak me out. I was afraid I’d have to close my eyes during the movie and I made sure to warn my friend it could happen. But this movie blew my mind! It was SO good and I’m hearing people say it’s just as good, if not better, than the book. The acting is outstanding. Like, award-winning. I’m so glad I went to see the movie and even happier I didn’t have to close my eyes!


Notorious is my new favorite TV show. I think I love it because it’s helped replace the empty spot Castle once filled. I see some similiaries in the two shows. I also love the fact that it’s based around a news show. I can’t help it. After all, I do have a journalism degree. A love of breaking news still pumps through my veins. Adding Notorious to my weekly watch list makes four shows I’m currently hooked on. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.



Since Jackson received an ADHD diagnosis, I’ve been reading blogs and gathering information. This blog is a new favorite. I also love the articles in ADDitude Magazine.  Both are great resources for ADHD!


Sunroof Kind of Weather! Jackson and I have been cruising with the sunroof open A LOT this week! Sunny skies, cool breezes and the feeling of Fall. Pretty much perfection! And a stop at Classic 50’s just adds to the experience!



Ann Voskamp’s Words. I’m soaking up every ounce of truth in Ann’s new book The Broken WayIt releases in a few short weeks, but you can preorder your copy NOW! Just click here.



Meeting one of my favorite authors is just what I needed to take my mind off the stress that comes with special needs parenting and school issues! Elin Hilderbrand was wonderful and her newest book Winter Storms  is a must-read! Apparently, Elin hosts a Bucket List weekend each January on Nantucket. Um, I see a trip happening in January 2018! Since reading her books, I’ve been dying to go to Nantucket. Perfect way to mark it off my bucket list!


Four Things Special Needs Mamas Need to Remember

  1. Your Child’s Diagnosis/Behaviors Do Not Define Them.

This is really hard to remember when you’re called to pick up your kid from school during a major meltdown. It’s hard to remember when you see other kids doing typical stuff and your child isn’t. It’s hard when your life revolves around therapy appointments. But there is more to your child than his/her diagnosis.

Don’t let the struggles steal your ability to see their strengths. 

I ask God to show me Jackson’s strengths. I don’t want to miss out on what makes him happy, the areas where he thrives or the one-of-a-kind person God created him to be.

Jackson has a great imagination. He’s creative. He’s intelligent. He overflows with joy.

Jackson is not Apraxia, Sensory Processing Disorder or ADHD.

Jackson is chosen. He is fearfully and wonderfully made. He is dearly loved.

Your child is too!

2. Just Because They Have a Bad Day (or week, or month) Does Not Mean You’re a Bad Parent.

A few nights ago I cried myself to sleep. We had a very difficult evening and I felt discouraged and defeated. I felt completely incompetent to raise my kid. Was I screwing him up? Were his behaviors because I’m a bad parent? I heard the Holy Spirit whisper, get over yourself. Stop being so prideful. This isn’t about you. 

The bad days and behavior problems aren’t our fault; they’re not our kids’ either.

Dr. Ross Greene says that challenging behaviors occur when the demands being placed on a child exceed his capacity to respond adaptively due to lagging skills. 

Most of the special needs parents I know are busting their butts to ensure their child has everything they need to succeed.

I know we’re busting ours.

Jackson’s behaviors often feel personal, but it has nothing to do with me or him.

The behaviors have everything to do with the disorders that make everyday tasks almost impossible.

I’m a good mom and so are you!

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3. You Don’t Have to Figure it All Out Today 

I worry a lot about things that are out of my control. Will we make it through PreK? What if he’s not ready for kindergarten? What if he doesn’t have friends. Do we need to find a school more suitable for him?  Does that mean we need to move?

A thousand scenarios race through my mind and I have no definite answer to any of them.

And that’s okay.

Lately, God’s been reminding me that this is a step-by-step journey.

Not just a day-to-day; but a step-by-step, one-foot-in-front-of -the-other journey.

Priscilla Shirer, in her Bible study Armor of God, writes, He will be faithful to show us the truth, to give us His direction for the next step we are supposed to take. 

Which reminds me of one of my favorite verses, one that I clung to desperately during our adoption journey and find myself clinging to again. Isaiah 30:21 says, Whether you turn to the right or to the left, you’ll hear a voice behind you saying, ‘this is the way; walk in it.’

God will show me the way; He’ll do the same for you.

4. Satan Lies

Those thoughts swirling around your head: I’m a failure, I’m not cut out for this, my kiddo deserves better than me. They are all lies from an Enemy that is dead set on destroying you.

The same night I cried myself to sleep, John and I had a fight. Special needs parenting is stressful. That stress can easily seep into a marriage and open the door for Satan to get a foothold.

No amount of therapy, medicine or special services can do what prayer can. 

We’ve gotta pray just as hard for our marriages as we do for our children who have special needs. We’ve got to tell Satan to shove it. We’ve got to guard our hearts and our minds. The only way to do that is with God’s Truth.

Priscilla Shirer writes, Sometimes the greatest miracles God does are not in our circumstances, it’s in our minds. Strongholds are torn down through the Word of God. 

I’m choosing to believe His truth. Will you?




Throwing ADHD Into the Mix…

We live a pretty transparent life when it comes to our special needs journey.

The Enemy would love for us to hide the hard stuff.

But what good would that do for Jackson or any other family who might be struggling with the exact same things we are?

We choose to share our story to educate others about the struggles special needs families face.

We choose to share our story in hopes it will open doors of understanding and acceptance.

Jackson was diagnosed with ADHD on Friday. 

This diagnosis didn’t come as a huge shock to us. We’ve known for quite some time that ADHD was another piece of our puzzle.

John was a typical kid.

I was a typical kid.

My biggest struggle was passing high school algebra.

Jackson’s life looks a lot different.

Our days are filled with therapy appointments and school challenges.

We currently have appointments lined up with a neurologist and developmental pediatrician in November. 

Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Sensory Processing Disorder and ADHD impact everything we do.

Life looks a lot different than we imagined it would.

I do not have a child with a behavior problem like some might think. I have a child with very real disorders that make life really hard for him. 

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This ADHD diagnosis sheds a lot of light on the challenges Jackson is having in the classroom. Throw in some Apraxia and it can be a downright disaster.

As his mom I fear I’m not doing enough. I fear school will always be a struggle. I fear we will always feel alone in this journey. I still care too much about what other people think (though not as much as I once did).

And I’m ashamed to admit I often get frustrated. Sometimes at Jackson and the behaviors that come with these disorders, but more often than not, it’s because I can’t do anything to make things easier for him.

The Enemy would love for us to remain quite.

To try and handle the hard stuff on our own.

To be ashamed.

But we choose to talk about the struggles.

We don’t dismiss the diagnosis’s .

We choose to live in the Light.

A former coworker and friend shared some encouraging words with me after I posted about Jackson’s ADHD on Facebook. He’s an adoptive dad and has a child with similar disorders as Jackson. He wrote, The most difficult thing — and the most important thing — is to just love him just where he is, completely eliminating any thought of wishing things were different.

His words encourage me. They challenge me.

So that is what I plan to focus on as we walk these hard roads; loving him right where he is and being grateful for the life God has given us.

Jackson may have CAS, SPD and ADHD, but God has a mighty plan for this kid who continues to amaze us with his perseverance, determination and all out joy for life!

God entrusted him to me.

I will not let him down.

Friday Favorites {10.7.16}


It’s Friday! YAY! And even better, it feels like Fall in Oklahoma! Today I’m linking up for Friday Favorites.


These photos of Jackson! Last weekend we woke up early, found a patch of sunflowers and snapped a few photos with this cute Fall setup. It was the perfect morning – the light, the feel of Fall in the air and giggles between friends. Perfect start to October!

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My dark hair! I love, love, love having blonde hair, but it’s SO much upkeep! My dark roots were out of control so I decided to go dark for Fall.  And this photo is another favorite! I loved seeing my sweet friend Jessica last weekend!



This fall outfit! Sometimes I want to croak when I click on a link in a blog and see how expensive an item is. Recently I fell in love with a few items on a popular blog only to discover not a single one was under $100. Um, the majority of my wardrobe comes from Target. I’m not sure I’ve ever spent $100 on a single item. That being said, this super cute shirt cost me a whopping $24 at Maurice’s and the scarf is still my all-time favorite three years after buying it at Old Navy. My husband thinks I should blog more about my Target wardrobe. Maybe I will : )



Green apples dipped in caramel. Not exactly healthy, but oh so good!


Elin Hilderbrand’s new book Winter Storms. I’ve been waiting to read this book since I finished the second one last October. I was so excited to see it on my doorstep on Tuesday. It’s the final book in the Winter Street Trilogy. It’s a great series to read during the months leading up to Christmas. I’m planning to have Elin sign my copy when I attend her book signing next week!


Seven Things I Learned in September

  1. What a 5.6 Magnitude Earthquake Feels Like

Earlier this month we woke up to some major shaking on a Saturday morning. We often feel earthquakes in Oklahoma, but this was by far the strongest and longest one we’ve experienced. It also happens to be the largest one ever recorded in Oklahoma, measuring 5.8 on the Richter Scale and Jackson slept through the whole thing.

2. We Were the Top Fundraising Team at the OKC Apraxia Walk 

This year we raised $1045! The money will be used to fund speech therapy grants and research. It will also go towards purchasing iPads for children who need a communication device. We had a great time at the Apraxia Walk and were super excited to be the top fundraisers for the second year in a row!  You can read more about the day here.


3. The Orange Effect Foundation Shared One of My Most Popular Posts on Their Blog

4. I love the New Sitcom “Speechless”

I laughed so hard during the first episode. Sometimes laughter is just what you need when you’re deep in the trenches of special needs parenting. During the second episode I found myself laughing and fighting back tears. I see myself in Minnie Driver’s character. I am totally that mom. When you’re in the middle of the fight, it feels good to laugh. I look forward to Wednesday nights.

5. I’m on the launch team for Ann Voskamp’s New Book

I’ve already started reading  The Broken Way: A Daring Path to Abundant Life and I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you in a future blog post! Ann’s writing is unique. Her words always makes me stop and think. I have to read her books slowly, stopping often to allow her words to sink in.

Ann writes, And our weaknesses can be a container for God’s glory.

I love this image. I have watched God turn my own brokenness into abundance. I have seen Him take the hard, messy parts of my story and use it for His glory. This book will bring hope to those who believe their brokenness can’t be used for something glorious.


6. I’m Going to Meet Elin Hilderbrand

She’s one of my favorite authors and she’s having a book signing at a local book store next month. I am ecstatic! I cannot wait to stand in line and have her sign my copy of Winter StormsIt’s the final book in her Winter Street series. I’ve been waiting to read it since I finished the second book last October.

7. You’re Never too Old to Goof Off in Target

My sister, Autry and I laughed and laughed and laughed on this particular Saturday night. My mom on the other hand was a tad bit embarrassed by our Saturday night shenanigans. She thought we were going to get thrown out of Target.



What’s Up Wednesday {9.28.16}



1. What We’re Eating This Week…

I’m cooking two of my favorites meals this week. The temperatures are finally cooling off in Oklahoma so it’s time to enjoy some of our Fall favorites. This potato soup is a huge hit at our house and super easy to make. Just throw it all in the crock pot and go about your day! You won’t stop at one bowl!

I’m also making Wild Rice Hotdish, which is a delicious recipe my friend from Minnesota gave me! Pair it with blueberry muffins. I know it sounds weird, but it’s amazing. I promise you’ll thank me! Here’s the recipe…

1 cup raw wild rice

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can chicken with rice soup

1/2 cup diced onions

1 pound ground beef

2 soup cans of water

Brown hamburger and onions. Mix everything together in a 2 qt casserole dish. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Stir hotdish occasionally while baking!

2. What I’m Reminiscing About…

A great weekend at the Apraxia Walk! Despite the challenges we’re currently facing, it was a morning to celebrate how far Jackson has come! He has found his voice! I was reminded we’ve made it through many hard things and we will make it through many more.


3. What’ I’m Loving…

His peace.

The Bible tells us that God’s peace is beyond anything we can comprehend. I believe that because I’ve experienced it like never before the past few weeks. As we face uncertainty and challenges on this special needs journey, I do not feel frazzled or afraid. I do not have the answers. I do not know if tomorrow will be better. I just know God is faithful. When I turn my worries over to him and express gratitude for who He is, I experience His peace.

4. What We’ve Been Up To…

Dealing with the school district and doctors. Scheduling appointments and having meetings. Trying to get in to specialists. Working on the right diagnosis. We’re just trying to get our amazing kiddo the help he needs so he can succeed in the classroom! It’s exhausting but he’s worth it! This mama will not give up!

5. What I’m Dreading…

School drop off and pick up. The big decisions we have to make about Jackson’s education!

6. What I’m Working On…

Scheduling appointments and meetings. Filling out assessments. Advocating for Jackson. Making sure he receives the services he needs so he can succeed at school. Being a mama is a full-time job. Being the mama of a child with special needs is another full-time job. So while that’s keeping me beyond busy, I’m also trying hard to make a daily quiet time a priority again. I got out of the habit this summer and I definitely noticed. When I’m not intentional in my relationship with God I worry more. Anger, bitterness and jealousy are more likely to take root in my heart. But when I’m in His word daily, when I’m praying, I sense His peace, even when the world around me is in turmoil. I’m quicker to forgive. I’m a better wife, mama and friend.

7. What I’m Excited About…

Being part of the launch team for Ann Voskamp’s new book The Broken Way: A Daring Path to Abundant Life I can’t wait to read this book and share my thoughts with you here on the blog! I have no doubt it will challenge me and change. Ann’s words have a way of doing that. Her writing makes you stop and think. I read her words and I have to stop and let them sink deep within. I have seen God turn the brokenness in my own life into something abundant so I have no doubt this book will speak directly to my heart.


8. What I’m Watching/Reading…

Grey’s Anatomy! I’ve been a fan since day one and I still look forward to Thursday nights. I watched the first episode of This is Us and while I didn’t not like it, I wasn’t as crazy about it as everyone on Facebook seemed to be. Yes, the ending was amazing and I loved the twist. But no, it doesn’t rank up there with Parenthood in my eyes. I’m not going to give up on it. I’ll watch a few more episodes before making my final decision.

I will tell you that I loved the new sitcom Speechless. I laughed so hard during the first episode. Sometimes laughter is just what you need when you’re deep in the trenches of special needs parenting. I could easily be compared to Minnie Driver’s character. I am totally that mom. When you’re in the middle of the fight, it feels good to laugh. I’m going to look forward to Wednesday nights.

I’m starting Ann Voskamp’s new book this week! I’ll share more about that soon.

9. What I’m Listening To…

The Garth Channel on SiriusXM! It’s includes a wide variety of music – everything from Michael Jackson to George Strait. Some of the music isn’t my normal listening material, but I’m loving it. But I’d really love it if they’d play more Garth and not repeat the same songs over and over and over.

10. What I’m Wearing…

Shorts. Still. Ugh!

Hurry up Fall. I need jeans, boots, scarves and sweater weather.

11. What I’m Doing this Weekend…

Hosting a baby shower for some dear friends who are expecting their first baby in December. Actually, there’s a good chance the baby could arrive on Jackson’s birthday. The shower theme is “A Little Pumpkin” because our friends decided not to find out the sex of the baby. They have way more will power than me!

We are so incredibly excited for our friends. These two are more like family. I can’t tell you how many nights they kept us sane when Jackson was a newborn – screaming and inconsolable. I wish we didn’t live so far away so we could return the favor on those long, sleepless nights they’ll soon be facing.


12. What I’m Looking Forward to Next Month…

Our family trip to Broken Bow! I’ve lived in Oklahoma for 14 years and have always wanted to go to the southeast part of the state to see the fall colors. This year I’m marking that adventure off my bucket list! We rented a cabin and will spend a few days exploring the area. I can’t wait for falling leaves and chilly air!

13. What Else Is New?

I found out one of my favorite authors will be holding a book signing at a local book store and I’m ecstatic! I cannot wait to stand in line to have Elin Hilderbrand sign my copy of Winter StormsIt’s the final book in her Winter Street series. I’ve been waiting to read it since I finished the second book last October.

14. What Is Your Favorite Fall Recipe? 

What we’re eating this week are two of my favorites! See question #1 🙂

A Reminder of How Far He’s Come…

Last week was the most difficult one we’ve had in a really long time. After five hard days at school, a postponed meeting with administrators and a few tears, Friday could not come fast enough. Sometimes what you need most after facing so much uncertainty, is a weekend with your people and a reminder of how far your kiddo has come.

Saturday was my reminder.

We participated in our second Apraxia Walk. Our family came to town and we met up with our friends at the park. We wore our Team Jackson t-shirts and rallied around the little boy who’s overcome so much!

Last year Jackson could only say a few words. There was still a lot of uncertainly about when he would talk. This year was different. This year he’s talking up a storm. We celebrated!

Jackson has found his voice.

As we walked up to get Jackson’s medal, a lump formed in my throat. I felt gratitude. I was so proud of my son. I was reminded of how far he’s come. He is a picture of perseverance and determination.

Saturday was my reminder: we’ve made it through many hard things and we will make it through many more.

We had such a fun morning at the Apraxia Walk! We were also excited to find out we were the top fundraising team for the second year in a row!

Here’s a few photos from Saturday…


A few members of our team sporting our team t-shirts and ready to head to the walk!


Jackson with his medal and a sucker 😉


Ready to walk! Jackson’s speech therapist carried the Apraxia Walk banner!


So thankful for family and friends who have supported Jackson on his journey to find his voice.


Jackson’s best buddies Autry and Harmonee


Jackson would not be where he is today without his amazing speech therapist! A lot of prayer and Ms. Sarah’s Apraxia expertise are the reasons he’s found his voice!

Friday Favorites




This photo represents such a sweet and peaceful morning after a long, crazy and worry filled week. On this particular morning, I sat with my Bible open and let God’s truth sink deep into my heart. There is so much uncertainty in our life right now; but there’s One who I’m always certain of. I felt His peace sitting on my front porch step. I wasn’t worried about the decisions, diagnosis or the days ahead. Jackson took my hand, drug me out to the driveway and shouted, “mom, mom, moon!” and pointed to the sky.
And right then and there, as I looked at the visible moon on a sun-filled morning, I was reminded just how big my God is.
Bigger than a diagnosis.
Bigger than battling a school district.
Bigger than the mistakes I make as a mother.



It’s FINALLY Fall! Now if the Oklahoma weather could get its act together I could trade in my shorts and flip-flops for sweaters and boots! It’s my absolute favorite time of the year! I’m ready to make memories with my family and mark items off our bucket list. Here’s five reasons Fall is my absolute favorite! We plan to kick off the season with a trip to the pumpkin patch this weekend if the rain doesn’t ruin our plans! Here’s a few cute photos from our past visits.




These verses from The Message have been such an encouragement to me this week. I have read them over and over and over!



Grey’s Is BACK!!!! Need I say more?? And the best part, my sister was in town so we got to watch the season premier together!



The Apraxia Walk!!!! We have family and friends coming out this weekend to support Jackson! We have so much to celebrate this year! Jackson has found his voice and we raised over $1000 for Apraxia research and speech therapy grants! Here’s a photo of our team from last year. I’m excited to have even more people joining us this year!


When Your Son Doesn’t Have Autism but Struggles in the Classroom

Saturday I read the story in the Houston Chronicle about thousands of special education students falling through the cracks in Texas. I cried. My blood boiled. I read snippets of the article to John and anger oozed out with each word.

I don’t live in Texas, but the story hit a tender spot.

We’re living this story. We’re fighting this fight.

We have been since the day Jackson transitioned from the state’s early intervention program to the public school system.

Last week Jackson had a terrible week at school.

Daily, I find myself praying on the drive to school and again as I stand and wait for him at the end of the day.

Please Lord, let him walk out without having a meltdown. Please help him have the self control to keep his hands to himself. I pray he didn’t get to rough with the other kids.

I prepare myself for the worst but hope for the best.

Friday his teacher asked me to wait. I knew it wouldn’t be good news.

Jackson had gotten too rough with his classmates. He’d also bitten a little boy.

I have no this aggressive behavior is happening because my son is overwhelmed in a classroom of 15 kids. Back in May we were told there would only be ten. We didn’t have these problems this summer when he was in a smaller classroom setting.

I took Jackson’s hand and we walked to the car. I didn’t yell at my son. I calmly asked about his day, about why he bit his classmate. I asked him if he felt overwhelmed or scared or nervous? But He couldn’t really tell me.

I cried on the way home.

I felt defeated. After a few great weeks of school, I was suddenly dreading the year ahead.

I am not the mama who drives through the drop off line without a worry in the world. I don’t pick him up from school and hurry off to an extracurricular activity. I’m the mama who walks her child to the door, making sure he keeps his hands to himself. I ask a million questions at pickup. I schedule meetings and make phone calls.

My son doesn’t have Autism; though we’ve been told an Autism diagnosis would make getting the services he needs a lot easier.

School officials say it’s a speech delay.

It’s really a neurological speech disorder.

But it goes so much deeper than an inability to talk, and the pieces are finally all starting to fall into place.

When a child can’t talk, when they’re noticeably behind their peers in expressive and receptive language, they find other ways to communicate.



Every behavior is a form of communication.

My son tends to get aggressive.

He grabs, he kicks. Last week he bit.

This doesn’t make my child a monster. My child isn’t a trouble maker or a behavior problem.

My child has special needs.

My son doesn’t have Autism, but he has legitimate disorders. Each one creates a unique set of challenges when he enters the classroom.

The little boy in the news story reminded me so much of Jackson.

The story reads, A psychologist hired by the family determined Roanin had ADHD, generalized anxiety and “significant sensory processing deficits,” a condition similar to autism, medical records show.

He has a condition similar to Autism.

I have no doubt the little boy would have received the services he needed had he had an actual Autism diagnosis.

We wouldn’t have had to fight so hard wither had that been the case for Jackson.

Back in May we found ourselves sitting around a table with Jackson’s IEP team. We were there to make sure he wasn’t shoved into a traditional PreK classroom without any assistance. We knew it would be too much. When Jackson gets overwhelmed, the aggressive behavior begins.

After a lengthy meeting where we voiced our concerns, we were told Jackson would be in an inclusive PreK classroom. The class would include ten students (five on an IEP and five typical), a teacher and two aides. Imagine my surprise when I discovered they were initially going to consider Jackson one of the typical kids (after telling us he would be considered one of the IEP kids).

Their reasoning, he only has a speech IEP. 

But what about the meltdowns, the difficulty transitioning, his poor fine motor skills.

Because my son hasn’t had the right diagnosis, his needs have not been taken seriously.

If we weren’t fighting on his behalf, he’d fall through the cracks.

Or be labeled a behavior problem.

We’ve already been told that Jackson will have to fall into another special needs category in order to receive services next year.

A neurological speech disorder isn’t enough.

But it should be.

Since 1975, Congress has required public schools in the United States to provide specialized education services to all eligible children with any type of disability.

We’ve known for a while that Jackson’s needs go deeper than Childhood Apraxia of Speech and we’re finally on the right track to getting a proper diagnosis for him.

No, it’s not Autism; but hopefully it will be the answer we need to make school officials see just how challenging the classroom can be.

But just like the little boy in the news story, Jackson shouldn’t have to have another diagnosis to get the help he needs.

No child should.

Childhood Apraxia of Speech and Sensory Processing Disorder should be taken just as seriously as Autism or ADHD.

When will school districts and our society begin to acknowledge the wide variety of disorders that impact children?

When will we stop trying to slap an Autism label on children who don’t have Autism?

When special needs parents speak up.

When we educate others about the disorders that turn our lives upside down.

Life with a child who has special needs is rarely black and white.

Let’s stop pretending it is.