Live Gracefully; Believe Wholeheartedly

My New Special Parent Connections Web Site

>> Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hello - I am please to announce my new web site that is geared towards parents of special needs children. I plan to continue to add to this site as my knowledge base grows. Please check it out and book mark it - Thanks!!



>> Wednesday, September 2, 2009



If you watched the 2008 Summer Olympics you most likely saw athletes

with colored tape on them. That tape was Kinesio® Tex Tape. The Kinesio

® USA and it’s international partners provided about 50,000 rolls of

tape to the athletes of the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Kinesio® Tex Tape is a uniquely designed elastic tape which enhances

muscular, joint and circulatory function. It is comprised of a polymer

elastic strand wrapped by 100% cotton fibers, which allow for evaporation

of body moisture and allow for quick drying. There is no latex

in the tape and is hypo allergenic. The elastic properties of the tape

allow for range of motion, compression and lifting of the skin. The tape

can be worn 24 hours a day, 3-5 days a week allowing the patient full

therapeutic benefits on a constant basis.

Kinesio® Tex Tape was developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase, D.C. in 1973. He is

a graduate of the National College of Chiropractic in Chicago, Illinois.

He has opened chiropractic offices in Japan as will as in Albuquerque,

New Mexico. The development of Kinesio® Tex Tape was born out of his

frustration when patients were unable to maintain therapeutic gains

between visits. Patients would often do well in the clinic with tactile or

verbal cues, but then would not maintain the position or posture when

at home, work or play. This familiar scenario is shared by pediatric

therapists as well. Kinesio® Tex Tape acts as a tactile cue between

clinical visits.

Kinesio® Tex Tape is used across the lifespan, but currently the fastest

growing usage is in the pediatric population. In the pediatric population,

the tape can be used to help facilitate or relax a particular

muscle. For example, it can be used to help activate the abdominal

muscles resulting in improved postural stability. For children with very

tight muscles, it can help relax those muscles. The tape can also be

used to support the joints of the feet, legs or arms to provide stability

and improve postural alignment as a child is learning to weight bear

though an extremity. Kinesio® Tex Tape is also very helpful in alleviating

constipation, swelling, and sinus pressure. The goal of the tape

is to provide lasting effects for the condition for which it is applied.

However, for some children the need for taping can be ongoing.

The Kinesio® Taping Association has forty seven certified instructors

across the United States who teach the proper application and use of

the tape. More information on the use of Kinesio® Tex Tape can be

found on their web site at

DeDe Wanzek, physical therapist who works at Special Children Center in Hudson, Wisconsin

is a Certified Kinesio®Taping Instructor. Special Children Center is a nonprofit

organization that provides speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy

to the pediatric population.


Parenting A Special Needs Child Is A Challenge

Oh, where do I even begin? Being a parent is definitely the hardest "job" I have even done. I always wanted to have children and thought that it couldn't be any harder than babysitting - right? Boy was I ever wrong. No matter what your child's challenges are it is difficult. I have people say to me all of the time "how do you do it, how do you survive the constant roller coaster ride, the lack of sleep, the unknown?". I say to them, "you just do it". I could give up as a parent and turn my child over to foster care or make her a ward of the state or even institutionalize her, but what good would that do? I am still her mother and would long for her, to hold her, to try to make things better for her, to love her unconditionally.

In our house each day is a new challenge. Our daughter, Emily struggles with intractable multi-focal complex partial seizures (wow that is a mouth full). What that means in laymen terms is that her seizures are not controlled by medication. And what that means to Emily is that she has to take five different seizure medications plus the Vagus Nerve Stimulator (VNS) that she has implanted in her chest and neck for seizure control.

In addition to the seizures Emily struggles with cerebral palsy (hypotonia), global developmental delays, cortical visual impairment, gastronomy tube (g-tube) and major sleeping issues. The cause for all of Emily's struggles is still unknown. She has gone through literally hundreds of tests to try to find a reason for her seizures and everything else. Nothing has been determined on a metabolic, genetic, or any other level to point to the reason for all this chaos in her brain and body.

Just like parenting our second child, Isabelle, Emily has her ups and downs. Some days I even feel Isabelle is harder to parent than her sister. Since Emily's diagnosis is consider idiopathic (no known cause) it makes it even harder for us to figure out how to treat things. We have no way to predict what she will be able to do or not do in the future. So we have to hold on to our hopes and dreams of what we want her to do. We have to stay positive and remember that life is like a roller coaster and is full of ups and downs no matter if you have medical struggles or not.

If you are a parent of a child with special needs then you know what I am talking about here in this blog. You also need to know that you are not alone in this battle and there is at least one other person who gets your pain. I have never said to myself "why me, why Emily". I have though be sad and even angry at the situation and sometimes even at her. This anger is normal and acknowledging it is part of the process of dealing with a child who's life is not what you had hoped it to be. Anger is not okay when it is directed at the child. I know that I said that I sometimes am mad at Emily, but it is more because I can't understand what she is going through and that upsets me.

Having a child like Emily has been a great blessing too. Without Emily I would probably still be on the same path in life I was before and not liking the career path I had chosen. Emily has opened my eyes up to the world of possibility and I have learned from her so many things. I don't have to remind myself how lucky I am to be Emily's mom. I know that she is here for a purpose and I am honored to be a part of that journey. When I think of Emily I here a song in my head. The song is called "In My Daughter's Eyes" by Martina McBride:

In my daughter's eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be
In my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light and the
world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me gives me
strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter's eyes

And when she wraps her hand
around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about

It's hangin' on when your heart
has had enough
It's giving more when you feel like giving up
I've seen the light
It's in my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
Though she'll grow and someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I'm gone I hope you see how happy
she made me
For I'll be there
In my daughter's eyes

So when life is hard and you are feeling beat down by all of your challenges as a parent, remember it will get better. You have been chosen to be the parent of the special child and you are not alone on your journey.


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