Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Restorative Justice

This post isn't about ADHD, but about family issues, especially love and forgiveness. I am a firm believer in restorative justice – the power of forgiveness and using "punishment" as a tool for healing. I even did a big paper during law school on the South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission – the power of the aggressors and victims talking and finding some resolution for what has been done to the victims.

My next door neighbor is big on restorative justice, too, and on forgiveness. The past 2 years, I have watched her work hard on forgiveness after her son was killed in a single-car drunk driving accident – his best friend was driving. To make a long story short, she worked hard with the prosecutor to make sure the driver would not spend the rest of his life in jail, while working to compensate for his bad judgment. This kid is a felon – and it is only through my neighbor's forgiveness that he won't spend his life in prison.

Part of his community service requirement is to help my neighbor with some projects, including starting and raising money for a nonprofit. They will get to know each other very well through this, and it cannot be easy for her – even though this is (well, otherwise) a great kid who works hard and should have a bright future.

I didn't think this would affect me; I barely knew Torey. But today as I was walking out to my car, 16-month-old child in my arms, I realized the man cutting my neighbor's grass is probably "the kid who killed Torey." And my stomach just dropped, with fear and anger. I held my son tighter and didn't waste any time getting to the car and going. Wow. I realize I will have to do some forgiveness, and it will take a bit of work. This is nothing compared to what my neighbor is feeling, but to actually feel this …

I still believe in restorative justice. But now I have more understanding for victims who say they "just can't." It is a lot of work.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Update on Buddy’s Therapies

I haven't updated here for a while, so wanted to post an update on Buddy, for anyone who is interested.

His IFSP is going well. He has a very supportive team – it was AMAZING that the initial meeting was so supportive! We had to have another a couple of months ago to add a service, but not as many people were there – and it was very quick and easy, with no resistance.

He is receiving Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Speech Therapy every week – one hour of each. Since Buddy is under 3, the services are provided "in the child's natural environment," which is at home, except once a month he gets OT and PT at daycare instead. He enjoys playing with his therapists, and since they are at our home, I am learning things to do with him at home to aid his development.

After a few weeks of therapy, the PT suggested we look into orthotics for his feet. This can be done through FirstSteps as well, saving us a TON of money (I think they were $700!). We had a meeting to add this service, with just the PT and Service Coordinator. Everyone else on his team was invited, but did not think it was necessary to be there so they did not come.

The orthotics are making a BIG difference, and we can already see him standing better, and more confidently, even when he is not wearing them. At the beginning of May, he started taking a few steps on his own. He still doesn't have a lot of confidence in his balance, but it is improving!

Because he is small, the pediatrician recommended we talk with a Nutritionist. Surprisingly, this is also a service that First Steps provides. I talked with our service coordinator, who set up an evaluator. Buddy will have a nutritional evaluation next week. His size may just be genes, and not a problem, but – why not get it checked out now, if we can? If we discover a problem now, it will save us lots of headaches later.

I'm so glad we have a supportive IFSP team and that we are getting early intervention for Buddy!