Now that Zach is officially potty trained he was able to go to his first ever Corrie camp. He chose Sam to go with him which left the four of us. The bowling alley had moonrock bowling this morning where they turn on the black lights and crank up the music. Ellie and I only played 2 games (actually Jon played the last half of Ellies second game for her). The boys played 4 games.
Its hard to see, but this was game #2 where I beat Jon by 11 points. It was a slow start for me, but I stepped up my game at the end and kicked his butt!
Jon was definitely losing his mo jo by game #3. Ben was on fire and kicked Jons butt. Game 1 and 4 aren't really important!
You might know that shortly after Ellie turned 5, she was diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Several things can case ODD, but the therapists we've seen think, in Ellies case, it was most likely caused by the drug exposure in utero. ODD defines most kids, but ODD kids take everything up a notch. Common symptoms of ODD are:
Excessively arguing with adults, especially those with authority
Actively refusing to comply with requests and rules
Deliberately trying to annoy or upset others, or being easily annoyed by others
Blaming others for your mistakes
Having frequent outbursts of anger and resentment
Being spiteful and seeking revenge
Swearing or using obscene language
Saying mean and hateful things when upset
ODD basically makes daily life significantly more difficult than it has to be. Ellie was in therapy with two different therapists for a year. We'd think we'd see small changes, but when we really thought about it, we just weren't seeing any real changes. We kept going with therapy longer than we wanted to because we needed to feel like we were doing something. ODD doesn't have a treatment plan or cure. We'd already tried all the usual go to ideas: bribes, charts, time outs, time in, rewards, holding therapy, team work chores and more bribes, incentive programs and on and on. Nothing worked.
We've been dealing with ODD since birth. Even before it had a name, we knew she wasn't quite normal. She got worse as she grew, but we started noticing it with food. If she wasn't eating the second she thought she was hungry, baby Ellie would be screaming bloody murder and pounding on the floor. You can imagine how behaviors have grown with age and three brothers.
Then one day we were talking to a neighbor who sees a chiropractor. Dr Scott and I actually went to school together in 7th grade and reconnected on Facebook a few years ago. I never told him about Ellies issues. After treating an autistic kid while my neighbor was there, Dr Scott started telling her about how half their patients are under 18 and he treats a huge variety of neurological disorders including ODD. I reached out to him, went to a seminar and had Ellie scanned. They look at the temperature and energy in the spine and her heart rate. They put all this together and come up with an overall score. Ideally, her score should be around 150. Ellie scored a 413.
In very basic terms, any time you deal with a "trauma" stress and drug use from the birth mother, c sections, acid reflux, colic etc, it changes the way your brain interprets signals and activates the spinal cord which activates your adrenals which turns on the adrenaline and cortisol. This puts you in a fight or flight state. The more "traumas" you have, the more you're in fight or flight. In Ellies case, she rarely left. Her brain doesn't know how to respond in a normal situation. It sees everything as a threat. By having regular adjustments, her brain is getting rewired. The spinal cord sends better and more normal signals to the brain and it learns how to respond to life not as a threat. Unfortunately, this takes time. Her body has had a set pattern for 6+ yrs. It sticks with what it knows for as long as possible until its trained to change. Thats where we're at with Ellie. 3 times a week she gets adjusted and every day we keep a log of changes we see and look for improvement. We're almost 6wks in to her treatment and while she still has a long way to go, we're seeing improvements. The tantrums are less frequent and shorter. We can see her making better decisions and talking things out, sometimes. We still have plenty of fight or flight responses, but this is the most improvement we've ever seen. As I mentioned in a previous post, Dr Scott got Zach officially potty trained in less than 2 weeks. We'll stick this out and see where it takes us.