Tina Szymczak

Corbin is struggling in some of his classes this semester – he doesn’t get along with one of his teachers and it has always been an issue. If Corbin doesn’t get along with them he tends to fall apart in their class. It’s just the way it is.  He is in danger of failing two classes and he has been doing so well up until now that I find it hard to accept that he might just fail those classes. I mean – we are so close to graduating next year!

I see what I did there

“WE are so close to graduating”. It’s true – this isn’t just about him anymore. I am wrapped up in his grades and whether he walks across the stage at graduation next year and picks up a real diploma as opposed to a certificate of attendance. He’s worked hard. WE his parents have worked hard. He deserves to graduate. WE deserve for him to graduate. I already have plans for a graduation party and announcements pointedly sent to people in the past who didn’t believe in him.  I haven’t decided whether to write “Stick It!” or “Suck It!” on the announcements. I guess I have some unresolved anger going on.

But all kidding aside. He has worked hard and I really am invested in seeing him graduate. He has an Intellectual Disability and Tourette’s and OCD and ADHD and Autism and and and AND he WILL graduate!! If it’s the last thing I do!

I maybe need to back off a little – it’s hard to determine what is productive encouragement and what is making your kid live your own dreams. I get that. I keep saying I just want him to be happy. Is it wrong to think that graduating would give him a sense of accomplishment and make him happy?  I’m not ready to give up yet. I have to believe that he is capable of this!

June 16, 2016

Daring to Dream

Corbin is struggling in some of his classes this semester – he doesn’t get along with one of his teachers and it has always been an issue. If Corbin doesn’t get along with them he tends to fall apart in their class. It’s just the way it is.  He is in danger of failing two classes and he has been doing so well up until now that I find it hard to accept that he might just fail those classes. I mean – we are so close to graduating next year! I see what I did there “WE are so close to graduating”. It’s true – this isn’t just about him anymore. I am wrapped up in his grades and […]
June 3, 2016

A Full Year and Counting

The first part of this story can be read here After reading the first part over again I have to say this: the truth is I am not now who I used to be prior to my hospitalization. My experiences and the medication have made me a new person. Whether I like it or not. I spent the better part of a year trying to get back to where I was. People would comment how quiet I was and were wondering if I was ok. And I was. I was doing ok but I also felt lost. I had a horrible memory and almost zero motivation to do anything. My favourite thing was to have a nap – I would […]
May 26, 2016

Advice to Myself as a Young Mom of a Child with Disabilities

This a marathon, not a race. Slow down and know that all those phone calls and letters can wait until tomorrow. He won’t know that you refrained, just barely, from calling his school Principal an idiot or that you successfully had his suspension rescinded. Get more sleep. It’s tempting to stay up after he is asleep to have some “me time” but in order to work with others you need to be rational and well rested. Put down the mop and just spend time with him. Teach him how to bake and let him eat the batter. Play board games over and over. Go to the park. He will remember the wind on his face as you pushed him higher […]
May 5, 2016

A Full Year

In November 2014 I decided, without my doctor’s knowledge, to go off my medications. The Lithium I was on was stunting my emotions to the extreme, I was always tired and a hand tremor was driving me crazy. In January 2015 I informed him of what I had done and he reluctantly agreed that I seemed to be doing fine and we would just keep an eye on things. By April of 2015 I was actively battling my depression and anxiety and I was losing the fight. I was overwhelmed by even the smallest of things and I felt like I was drowning. I kept questioning myself – why was I feeling this way? Why couldn’t I just snap out […]
May 3, 2016

Mental Health Awareness

Where I live it is Mental Health Awareness week for both youth and adults. Check out some of these sites for more information: Canadian Mental Health Association Children’s Mental Health Ontario Parents for Children’s Mental Health National Alliance on Mental Illness (American) Also my son and I contributed to podcasts at CPRI in London – go to this link to hear our podcasts and some other amazing ones. Mine is the under “families” and Corbin is under “kids” CPRI I have asked all of my work colleagues to wear Green tomorrow (Wednesday) to raise awareness for Mental Health – we’d love to have you join us. I’m not on twitter or snapchat or any of that but you could always […]
April 18, 2016

Reconciling Autism

The first three and a half years of my son’s life was utter turmoil. Then we adopted him and gave him a stable home and the next seven years were spent going from doctor to doctor; professional to professional. Along the way we gathered diagnosis – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); Tourette Syndrome (TS); Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD); Intermittent Explosive Disorder; Sensory Integration Disorder (SID); Learning disabilities (LD) and held them tight as we researched them and received varied amounts of treatment for each.  However, even after all of these diagnoses, it still felt like we had missed something.  I tried to talk myself out of it – telling myself “enough is enough, now you are just trying to make […]