When Kingston was first born, several people told us “it takes a village to raise a child”. We found it interesting and a bit peculiar that these people we looked up to would chose these words to gift us with at the birth of our first child. It wasn’t long after he was born though that we began to see the wisdom in those words.
If any of you have known us for even a brief amount of time, you know that Kingston is “different” when it comes to how he sees and interacts with this world. We began noticing his “quirks” when he was 2 years old, and he was officially diagnosed by medical specialists and psychologists at the age of 3 with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), ADHD, Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD). This gave us names to the behaviors we were seeing and helped get him the treatment he needed through OT and PT.
As some of you have read, this summer has been a difficult one with Kingston, as he’s gotten older, his behaviors are presenting themselves differently. Because of this, we knew that it was time for new assessments, to see where he was with his previous diagnosis, and what new directions we could explore to continue to get him the help he needs to be successful. At has most recent visit with his psychologist, he was diagnosed with Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD), which helps us understand some of the erratic behavior we have been witnessing daily over the past several months. However, the treatment for this diagnosis is one that no parent (at least not us) would want to consider putting their child on. The medication suggested to treat these symptoms could have some severe long-term effects that had us pumping the breaks. This has caused us to shift gears and explore other options. We wanted to explore a most wholistic approach to help Kingston with his overall wellbeing. In doing so, we landed on a group called Brain Balance, who does some phenomenal work with kids on all ranges of the spectrum. They are a non-medical and drug free approach to overcoming the challenges of ADHD, learning disabilities, processing disorders, and a host of other related childhood learning and developmental issues. Their approach focuses on the whole child and combines physical and sensory motor exercise with academic skill training, healthy nutrition and confidence building.
Earlier in the week, this group led Kingston on an extensive evaluation, and today we met with the director to get the results. We were blown away by what we saw presented to us and were amazed at how hard Kingston has to work each and every day to function at the level that he does. We also realized that because he has so much to overcome and that he does work so hard every waking moment to hold it all together, that his body is easily exhausted and quickly succumbs to frustration and anger. The left side of his brain is constantly overcompensating for his right side, which is weak. His intelligence carries him though the day as best it can.
After meeting with the director of this nationally recognized program, we feel that this is the best direction to proceed with Kingston, in helping him be successful in life. Such a well-researched and proven program comes with a great cost. This is where we are reaching out to our village and asking for help. The amount we are needing for Kingston to complete this program is $12,500. We are setting up a “gofundme” account in the hope that this village will help us. There is nothing worse for a parent that knowing what your child needs to be successful and not being able to provide that for them. This is exactly where we are right now. We left the center today both inspired and hopeful that this would finally be the missing link that gets Kingston the help he so desperately needs, and heartbroken, because we know that we don’t have the money to provide this for him right now.
In order to get Kingston started in the program at the right time in their curriculum, we need to let the center know by Monday if we are good to proceed. We are reaching out to each and every one of you in the hopes that you will read these words and know that we are truly hopeful that Brain Balance will be able to provide what we have been searching for for nearly 6 years now – the ability to see Kingston go from merely surviving to thriving. Please know that we appreciate each and every one of you from the bottom of our hearts and are more than willing to discuss any of this with you at any time. As we have been on this journey with Kingston for several years now, we have met people who have very similar stories with their children, and it’s been a blessing for each of us to share what we have tried, who we have met with, what has worked and what hasn’t, etc. We know that our knowledge shouldn’t live just with us, but with the village that we surround ourselves with as well.