Wednesday, November 17, 2010
We have decided to raise money for a non profit agency that trains service dogs - we have to raise $13,000. Here is our press release.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Natalee or Michael Landers
October 27, 2010 (
937) 671-0416; firstname.lastname@example.org
MONTGOMERY COUNTY FAMILY SEEKS HELP FOR DAUGHTER
Madison Landers is a preschooler who lives in Montgomery County, Ohio, and attends St. Rita’s School for the Deaf in Cincinnati, Ohio. She lives with her mom, dad, and two older siblings.
Madison had a difficult birth but developed normally during the first 10 months of her life. However, around 11 months of age, we realized she wasn’t hearing correctly. Tubes were placed in her ears, but unfortunately, her attempts at speech failed to return. At 14 months of age, we asked for an Early Intervention Team to assess her because we believed “something was not right” with her. That assessment stated she was within normal developmental ranges. Around this same time, Madison was trying to learn how to walk but her right foot did not work properly and moved perpendicular to her left foot. Again, we took her to a pediatric orthopedic surgeon who told us not to worry because she was within normal development. At 18 months of age, we asked for another Early Intervention evaluation and the team assessed Madison and determined she was NOW developmentally delayed in all areas. What a blow we took that day! Then two weeks later, Madison had her first febrile, or fever, seizure. It was one of the worst days of our lives. We did not know how to help her so we stood aside and hoped the doctors knew what they were doing. We were told she would never have another seizure so we were unfortunately unprepared for what would occur just two weeks later when she had another seizure. Now over the last 2 ½ years, she has had six seizures. Each of her seizures has been different. Some are short, and some have been extremely long and have lasted over 45 minutes. Unfortunately, we will never know the extent of the damage done to Madison’s neurological system.
Madison is currently on medication to help control the seizures. MRIs have enabled doctors and us to see the myelin on her brain is not fully formed. Myelin allows our brain to function normally. Doctors are unsure if the lack of myelin has caused her apraxia, sensory issues, low muscle tone, and developmental delays. Right now her therapists and teachers believe she is functioning around the level of a 2½ -year-old.
Madison is a sweet and loving four-year-old. She has a wonderful smile and sense of humor. Madison loves to ride horses at the Therapeutic Riding Institute, swing at the local parks, swim (assisted), and watch Barney and Friends. Madison’s issues are not evident until you see her trying to run, walk up the stairs, or speak. She also has trouble with everyday tasks, such as washing her hands or getting dressed. If you see our family out in public, you may see her frustration take the form of an uncontrollable meltdown that resembles a temper tantrum. This is an unusual occurrence for someone her age, but it is because she is unable to process the world as well as you and I can.
During Madison’s short four years of life, she has undergone five MRIs, CAT scans, copious amounts of blood work, sleep-deprived EEGs, an overnight EEG, and three ear tube surgeries. When we pull up to the Children’s Hospital, she screams, “NO, MOMMY!” or “doctor hurt,” which breaks our hearts. We know that a service dog would provide her comfort and assistance during her many medical trips and appointments to her geneticist, developmental pediatrician, neurologists, speech pathologist, occupational and physical therapists, ear nose and throat specialist, sleep doctor, and psychologist.
In addition, Madison has no appropriate fear of danger, such as traffic or strangers. A multipurpose assistance dog would accompany Madison everywhere and act as a safety guard. Attached to the dog by a special harness, Madison would be unable to run into traffic or get lost. If by chance she would ever get lost, the multipurpose assistance dog will be trained in search and rescue techniques and will come to her aid during times of need.
We truly believe that Madison has a special connection with animals and have faith that a service dog will enable Madison’s progression and help her live a fuller life. The service dog will provide her independence with walking up and down stairs. The dog will be trained to detect her seizures and help her to calm down or even prevent meltdowns. Lastly, we believe this dog will bring her comfort with who she is, allow her to sleep through the night, and help her to make friends.
4 Paws for Ability, Inc., is a nonprofit organization. This organization strives to provide service dogs to families and children that struggle with life’s daily challenges. They train a variety of assistance dogs including — but not limited to — seizure assistance, mobility assistance, hearing, and autism assistance dogs. 4 Paws for Ability, based out of Xenia, Ohio, has accepted Madison into their program, and they will be training a multipurpose assistance dog specifically for her needs. They have a fund-raising requirement where they form a working relationship with the family and have the family raise money for 4 Paws for Ability on behalf of Madison. The waiting list is only as long as it takes for the family to complete their fund-raising. Training service dogs is very expensive. It costs 4 Paws an average of $22,000 per dog to be placed with a family. At 4 Paws, they partner with the child's family, who becomes a volunteer fund-raiser and makes a commitment to raise a minimum of $13,000 for the agency to qualify for a dog. Dogs are trained to specifically address the needs of each child, and this is truly a great program for Madison to benefit from in her life.
You can HELP bring independence and safety to Madison’s life by making a tax deductible donation to:
4 Paws for Ability, Inc.
253 Dayton Avenue
Xenia, Ohio 45385
Please indicate on your check that the donation is in honor of Madison Landers, or you may donate online at: www.4pawsforability.org. If you prefer making an online donation, please reference "In honor of Madison Landers" in the box asking for special instructions. For additional information, please contact Natalee Landers at (937)671-0416 or email at email@example.com. To contact 4 Paws for Ability, Inc., directly call (937)374-0385.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Ashley starts 10th grade.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
This was Zach's last soccer game (held yesterday).....he wasn't playing goalie, but look at that save! He was apart of the "Red Chicken's" team. The coach said, "he can't wait to see him in a couple of years, he will be GOOD, REAL GOOD....the kid's got speed and agility." That's our boy!
Sunday, May 9, 2010
My day started as usually making breakfast for everyone and then running to a ball game (Zach's first one of the season...pictures later)....and then cleaning up a gory, nasty mess from Maddie all afternoon (did I mention that it included a good 4 different diaper changes).....so much for sleeping in, getting served breakfast in bed, taking a nap and overall relaxing...maybe next year when Mike returns home!
So an email arrived last week that lists the difference between special needs moms and regular moms. I totally could see myself in that list. So for all you mom's out there...enjoy this list and count your blessings!
By Dawn Villarreal, One Place for Special Needs, May 2010
"Moms, a stranger walks among you. We look like regular moms, but we are the hybrid to your standard engine. Our child's disability altered us, enhanced us. Many words describe us: resilient, creative, protective, emb lodened, sympathetic, fierce and determined. We are speical needs moms. How do our lives stand apart from your own? Take a look the hood and see for yourself.
Regular moms tell their kids to wake up and get dressed in the morning. And they do it. Special needs moms put on battle gear to get our kids ready to start their day.
regular moms ask their kids if they brushed their teeth. Special needs moms prompt, "brush your top teeth. Brush your bottom teeth. Did you get the sides? Open your mouth. My God, give me that toothbrush! You've left half your meal in there."
Regular moms wave goodbye as their kids run off to catch the school bus. Special needs moms get awesome door-to-door bus service for their child.
Regular moms know the names of all their friends. Special needs moms know most of their friends by their username.
(my addition: regular moms know the names of the kid's friends and classmates....speical needs moms hope and pray their child has A friend)
Regular moms judge other moms when kids have tantrums in stores. Special needs moms say to themselves, "Hmm, I wonder which disability he has?"
Regular moms complain about driving their kids to sports and reacreation classes. Special needs mom grin and bear the weekly trips to tutors, doctors and therapists.
Regular moms' kids have a teacher. Speical needs moms' kids have a TEAM.
Regular moms talk about accomplishments. Special needs moms talk about skills, as in play skills, conversation skills, life skills, social skills and vocational skills.
Regular moms relax with their kids during the summer. Special needs moms start their second job as home teachers, therapists and skills coaches.
Regular moms think accomodations refer to hotels. Special needs moms have memorized the top 20 accomendations for their child.
Regular moms hope their child finds a good career. Special needs moms are hopeful someone gives our child the chance to work.
Regular moms soak in the tub when they want to unwind. Special needs moms consider a bathroom break a luxury.
Regular moms enjoy reading the latest best selling book. Special needs moms should receive an honorary degree for all the disability books they've read.
Regular moms go out for dinner and a movie with their husbands every month. Speical needs moms have a date night with their husbands every....wait, what decade is this?
Regular moms complain their kdis won't eat their vegatables. Special needs moms are so desperate we consider chicken nuggets to be a legitimate meat product and throw in ketchup as a vegetable.
Regular moms' kids go to play groups. Special needs moms' kids go to therapy groups.
Regular moms meet for a ladies night out. Special needs moms get together at a support groups and forums.
Regular moms have medical claim forms that fit into one file folder. Special needs moms will tell you a small forest was cut down so we could receive our claims.
Regular moms think OT means overtime. Special needs moms know more acronyms than a NASA engineer.
Regular moms have time to cook a full dinner every evening. Speical needs moms will never admit how many times we've picked up fast food.
Regular moms complain their husbands sit on the couch while they do all the work. Special needs moms...well how about that? Some things do stay the same! "
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
Good news though -- her pediatrician scored her ages and stages questionnaire for 42 and 48 months and she is no longer in the "developmentally delayed" category...border line normal but needs extra help....so I am joyous but cautious because I know how little of time it takes to slip...we have a long list of goals and things to work on but she is making progress...Thank You, Lord!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Maddie's letter P!