Monday, December 17, 2007

In Response... your comments.

I have decided to paste your comments in the body of this post, because they have stirred in me a lengthy response that is more suited for this format rather than the comment section.

I'll start with Tom:

patterns of ink said...
SQ,I just happened upon this and can't comment at length right now, but I am so thankful for the update. It sounds like you have been busy investing in very important things and showing the kind of love only a grandmother can pour out.I had mentioned that site some time back. This may or may not be beyond the sort of help they can provide. We'll continue to pray for you and your husband as you meet this need. I loved your alertness to the dorky pajamas--good call!If you ever have time to read—understandable if you don’t—my project is wrapping up but has probably suffered from a lack of your kind, editorial prodding.Don’t mention this at POI because my mom reads there, but her cancer is worsening and she has resumed radiation and chemo (though she had previously decided not to). She thanked me over Thanksgiving for making her feel like her life made a difference (by writing about it). I share this only to say that what you are doing for your grandson is making a huge difference! It's a wonderful story of love.

December 06, 2007 10:02 AM

I was so very sorry to learn that your mother's cancer has returned, Tom. She has been on my mind ever since I read your comment. I will surely keep her in my prayers. I have had so many family members and friends come down with cancer. Most of them died from it, but not all. After my father went through surgery and then further treatment for his colon cancer, it returned and attacked his liver. He didn't survive in the end. I wish I could say otherwise. It would be wonderful to still have him around to shoot the breeze with over the phone each day which was our practice. But I must say that in many respects I feel closer to him and also to my deceased mother since their deaths.

I did check into the Hope139 website, but feel that it is not what is needed for our Nik at this time. Thank you for bringing it to my attention though, and if you have any other ideas please share them with me.

Once Christmas is over I plan to visit your blog and catch up on your continuing story about your parents. As I recall the last entry I read was about her being pregnant. I love your story about your parents. Tell your mom for me that indeed her life has made a difference and in mostly hidden, far reaching ways. This seems to be the case for most of us. We don't always know the good we do. I would say that rarely do we recognize when we truly have been an instrument of Providence. I like the way that works, because then we are not tempted to become full of ourselves.

About Nik, my husband and I have even thought about trying to home school him ourselves. Our daughter can't because she has to work in order to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. I just don't know if home schooling would be the right thing for Nik though or if we would have the energy for that task. He doesn't like school work. That has been his major problem in the school setting. But the school he is attending now passes a wand over each child before they enter the school in order to detect any weapons on them I assume such as knives and guns. So, I ask myself if that is a good environment for Nik to even be in. Maybe homeschooling would be a better choice. I don't know if my husband and I could handle it though. We will have to wait and see how things work out for Nik in this new school environment. The people who work with him seem to be very nice according to my daughter.

J_G said...
Gosh Susie I'm so stuck for words beacuse I know some of what Nik and you have been through. As I have told you before my brother has a similar type of learning disabilty and there was no one that could help him like you and your husband have helped Nik. I still keep Nikolas in my prayers a couple of times a week and will continue to do so. You and your husband are very special people.
December 10, 2007 11:40 PM

Jenni, I remember your talking to me about your brother and the problems he has had over the years due to his learning problems. I hope the educational system is well enough equipped in the end to help our Nik and deal with his "yet unidentified "learning disability. I don't have much faith in the system at this point. Although there have been well intentioned people all along who have worked with him over the years, I think it has been a case of too little too late. I have always thought that what he has needed is less medication and more therapy. Therapy is hard work and time consuming though for both parties. Thanks for your prayers and continued interest.

wreckless said...
I have visited and thought of you often, imagining but yet knowing you were doing exactly as you described. Grandparents do have a magical calm. My nephews still gravitate to my parents still after they were the only ones confided in in a nasty divorce years ago.Quiet, refuge, stability, structure, and consistent focused atttention are all found in your place.He is blessed to have you.I will continue to pray and think about you.
December 11, 2007 7:37 AM

Wreckless, it is true that Nik does best in a structured, calm environment. He is eleven now, but when he was about seven a social worker was visiting our daughter's home each week trying to help her gain some control over Nik. At that time he was pretty unruly. In that regard, he is much better today. The social worker stressed, among other things, the importance of structure in his day. She also stressed the importance of consequences when he misbehaved which is essentially the same thing as punishments except it sounds nicer. My daughter was teaching at the time. With papers to grade in the evenings and four young children to take care of, she could only dream about being able to provide the kind of structure to Nik's day that the social worker seemed to think he needed at home. It was also very hard for her to enforce consequences when Nik misbehaved, because of the time it took to do it. This has been part of the problem. There has not been enough time at times or enough human resources (enough helping hands) in the household. Thanks for your prayers.

Susie Q said...
Dear Susie are a blessing to this young man. I am no expert at all but the consistency and quiet and structure you give is just so important.How lucky he is to have you two.I will keep you all in my prayers and thoughts...Hugs,Sue
December 12, 2007 9:19 PM

Thanks for your prayers, Sue. I am no expert either. I have had to rely heavily on instinct or my gut much of the time in dealing with Nik. Of course, I touch him a lot. Give him lots of hugs and pats on the head and arm and hand. I tell him I love him. In turn he is very affectionate with me. We had all the children with us this weekend because our daughter was going to be out of town for the weekend. She dropped them off at our house Friday evening. When the doorbell rang and I opened the door, Nik was standing there with a big grin on his face. He said to me, "Finally, I get to hug you!" So, I have been affectionate with him, but also I try to explain things to him in order to help him understand the true consequences of his actions or lack thereof. He listens to me and usually he ends up seeing things in a different light one that is enlightening.

Paul said...
He's really lucky to have that support from you and your husband. I've seen that happen quite often as a school counselor - grandparents playing key roles in this sort of situation.
December 16, 2007 11:04 PM

Paul, when I was bringing Nik to the behavioral hospital so that he could participate in the day program there, I noticed that many of the other children had grandparents who had brought them there too. Grandparents are so important in a child's life. But I never dreamed that I would be playing this vital a role in the life of any of my grandchildren. I am ever so grateful that my husband and I are able to be there for Nik and our daughter. I do not know what our daughter would have done without our help all these years. We have been able to help her in many ways and we are glad.

I thank everyone for your prayers and support. I still plan to lay off blogging till well after Christmas except I might sneak over to Tom's blog and read the rest of his story about his parents. Aside from Nik and our daughter's needs, I have so much to do around here. I can't believe I have allowed things to get so disorganized in my house. I am a prime candidate for help from Operation Organization (think that's the name of the TV program).

May your Christmas celebration be blessed with joy and may all your wishes for the new year come true.

Nik is in the forefront of the photo. He is wearing a yellow shirt. Rachel is seated in the rocker. Erik is to the left in back and Jakob is to the right in back. They are all very sweet children.


  1. Susie, just did a post that’s on topic – here’s the permalink. Just something to read "whenever," I know you're not doing much blogging right now -


  2. I'm going to be away from internet access until after Christmas day, but I wanted to stop by and wish you and yours a Merry Christmas

    Thank you for those words. I may take the liberty to cut and paste the parts not about cancer to my comment section so Mom can read them. She would be encouraged by what you said. Nik et al seem like a great bunch of grandkids worthy of every minute you and your husband are investing in their lives.

  3. SusieQ, I just read your post about your little grandson. He sounds like such a nice little boy. Has he been assessed for autism? Often children with high functioning autism are not able to tolerate noise or too much stimulation, or too many people around them. Has he been assessed for that?

    My heart goes out to you. He is one lucky little boy to have you in his life!

  4. Happy New Year. Well, the holidays are over, but I know your duties probably still call. I trust you and your husband and family are well. Did you get any of this snow I've been traveling in?

  5. I thought you were not blogging now so I had not stopped by in a long time. I am sorry to hear about your grandson's problems but admire you for trying to help. I did teach for 32 years but mostly in the kindergarten age range but I do know that you are correct about his reading. Just keep him reading everyday and continue to encourage him. The more he reads the better he will get. Try to find something he is interested in to keep him engaged and read with him, as you have been doing. Even read for him when he gets tired. Reading aloud to him is an excellent way to increase his vocabulary and his attention span. Bless you for taking the time to do this. I will keep all of you in my prayers and try to stop back often to look for updates. Hang in there... it will be worth it.

  6. I thought of one more thing that may help... WRITING! Let him write without worrying about conventions like spelling/grammar etc... He will say he doesn't know what to write about but try to think of something exciting the two of you have done or maybe even how he feels about your dog. He may even write about the explosive times that he has had which would be good therapy. Let him just sound out the words and put down how he thinks it is spelled. This experimentation will spark him to watch for word patterns and spellings as you read together. Encourage him to read it to you and ask him if he sees any words that need help. Let him guide you with his questions when he has finished with a piece (which may only be a sentence or two) but the more he writes, the better he will read, and the better he will write. I is a wonderful cycle that builds confidence. If he uses the computer maybe word processing could help or even a good typing program which teaches him the correct finger keys. He can always use grammar and spell check. Good luck- my heart aches for him as it did for so many when I was in the classroom. My own daughter did not read alone until she was in 3rd grade and I worked with her constantaly. The one thing I did right- I never gave up on her. We read and wrote everyday and by 8th grade she was on grade level. Today- she teaches kindergarten with the same passion I had. So, hang it there Susie, it will be worth it.

  7. They are lucky to have you.
    I will continue to think and pray for you.