Sunday, May 31, 2015

Come and Color

The above writing is Emma's end of year penmanship.  Her penmanship has been a concern of mine all year.  I constantly had her rewrite her homework but she always came home with this chicken scratch on her school work.  I don't know how her teacher graded her work. Call me crazy but I would like for all of my kids to be able to write legibly.

Larissa complains of getting tired when writing and Emma obviously needs some fine motor skill improvements so enter the coloring books. Not typical children's books but very fine coloring books.

Before we started I explained that this is not a race, to color these correctly will take a long time. Take your time. They are also not required to work on it at any specific time, it is for enjoyment.

I have been working on one as well.  I find that when I sit down to color some kids will join me.

Anthony picked the most intricate one and is using colored pencils.

We started on them yesterday.  Last night Michelle went to color and came to me with her finished project telling me that she finished hers first.  Well, she started out in the fine detail then used the pencils and colored over the rest of the fine detail to finish first.  I reminded her that it was not a race and if it had been she cheated.  She is not allowed to start another one until everyone finishes their first one.

Today we had friends over after church......

Kids would come and go from playing and the pool, they were attracted to the coloring.

Little one wanted to join.

Larissa didn't want to go to bed, she wanted to color.

I sent her to bed telling her that she could continue to color tomorrow and I had to promise that I wouldn't color without her tonight.

Funny, I have found that I love coloring these pages.  It is so relaxing and I find that the kids are calmer when they color.  What about you, have you colored lately?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Award Ceremonies - Bad Momma Thoughts

Today I had two awards ceremonies to go to.  Anthony's at 8:30 and Larissa's at 10.

Anthony's was in the cafeteria.  It was agonizingly long.  I know, bad momma statement.  We were sitting on tiny cafeteria seats while they paraded the kids up.  OK, 3/4 of the fifth grade got stuff for PE and art, that took forever.  The same 4 kids got all the top 4 academic awards.  The kids were getting louder and louder.  The parents were shuffling around. Babies were crying. People were leaving. It was just too long.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for honoring the children's accomplishments. Truly I am.  But....perhaps it was the headache that I woke up with that put me out of sorts.  It had gone away until about an hour into the awards ceremony when it came back with a vengeance.

I watched Anthony walk across to get his 5th grade graduation certificate and then I had to run over to Larissa's class.

She was giving the welcome parent speech and was watching for me.

I love her teacher.  She had all the kids sitting in one area and had them stand while she called their names for their awards.  At the end of each category we clapped for the accomplishments.  Then at the end she gave each kid a folder with all of their certificates along with a copy of the class video.

After the awards we watched the class video and then had refreshments.  Larissa and I then ran out to go to Anthony's award ceremony.  It was now close to 11.  We walked in just in time for the lights to come on after they watched their 5th grade video.  We then got more snacks and cake and went in search of Anthony.  He didn't even know that I left!  He did say that it was too long and he slept through some of it. I think that a 2 1/2 hour award ceremony is just too long.

Perhaps I am a little jaded by award ceremonies.  My child who has had behavior issues all year and on the verge of failing came home with a stack of awards that she was so proud of. Basically they were awards for being there.  To me, really not much value.  The invitations say that all kids will get awards.  Hmm, may be not all kids should.  However, awarding effort I am all for.  Larissa got an award for most improved in math.  She is far from the best in math but for her she improved the most.  She put in effort. That means more to me than an award for always having a book at reading time (one of Michelle's awards). To me that is just a filler award, they feel that they have to give something so they make up stuff.  The most important award Michelle got was her promotion to the 5th grade.  Honestly, it was the only one she should have gotten because Michelle has the ability to do so much but instead did so little.

On the other hand, I have children with special needs who work so hard and typically get so little. They aren't the top in the class so are not awarded, I understand that. However, I do appreciate when they award for effort and improvement.

My thoughts on awards ceremonies may not be popular, but it is where I have gotten after over 20 years of attending them.. What are your feelings on awards ceremonies?

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Baby Announcement

We love babies.

All of us love babies. 

We pray that Little Man and Vaida have the opportunity to grow together. Play together.  Get into trouble together.  DisneyWorld is planned in 4 years.  What a blessing to watch babies grow into adults.

Now we have another baby coming along.  Kassi is expecting.  She messaged me, worried that I would be mad.  She has been with her boyfriend for over a year but the timing isn't good.  They really aren't in a good place to support a baby.  However, a baby is coming.  I am not mad.  I am happy that a baby is coming.  I am glad that she has chosen to parent her child versus not.  

She has a lot of work to do.  We have promised her a car whenever she gets her drivers license. Hopefully she does that soon.  Where she lives owning a car is necessary.  Our hope is that once she has a car she can work on getting her GED.  Getting a better job.  Getting a better education.  She needs to do all of it because very quickly she will have a child to take care of and I will have another grandbaby.  Little Man and Vaida will have another baby to play with.

So, we are excited for her.  We welcome another child into the family to love on.  We want her pregnancy to be one of excitement mixed with the usual worry of becoming a parent. Time to but her childhood behind and step up for her baby.  We will support her along the way.

Recital Night

We survived recital another year.  Between pictures and practices we lose about a week.  Anthony did two dances and Larissa was in 6. Unfortunately, she froze up on her solo. She said that she thought about running off but remembered me and her teacher telling her to keep dancing if she forgets anything.  So she kept dancing.  I couldn't see her up close because I was in the back but Tasha said that she was crying.  She finished her dance and was beautiful but she is beating herself up over the mistakes.

It is hard for a parent to watch their child stumble at something so important to them. However, I was so proud that she finished.  She didn't give up and she says she will do another solo next year. She danced 4 dances after the solo and was smiling and great in them, the show much go on.

Larissa plans on going to a bootcamp dance class this summer and then try out for the Nutcracker in August. Anthony plans on continuing dance but I would love to see him do something besides the hip hop.  I see him dance with much more enthusiasm in jazz.  He also doesn't like the outfits in hip hop, I wonder if tap would be better for him.

Emma says she wants to try dance again next year. The last time she was in dance she quit because it was too much work, maybe just one dance class.   Michelle says she wants to do dance too.  I don't know how I feel about that.  She was so disrespectful to the teacher last time and I haven't seen any improvements in that area.  She continues to get yellows at school, even got one on field day.  I feel that she needs to find her own nitche, I am just not sure what it is yet. I would love to see her find a passion in something. I feel that if she had something that motivated her to success it would help with her behavior. Something for me to think upon.

I took a poor video of some of the practice dances.  If I can figure out how to get them off of my camera I will share them.

Friday, May 22, 2015

New Picture

Michelle requested a new picture on my blog so here it is!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Pictures Done

Tonight we got all the rest of the dance pictures and practices done.  I can not post any of Anthony's pictures from Hip Hop because he does not like the costume.  He didn't want me to post any of those pictures so I won't.

During this week the kids take pictures and then do a quick practice in their costumes.  Larissa was practicing her solo and some girls from another class were watching.  One girl said that her solo was boring.  Her solo is classical ballet, Larissa's favorite dance style.  Larissa heard the comment.  She later told me that her eyes welled up but she didn't cry.

This really upset me.  She was already nervous about doing a solo but also excited.  This is something she wanted to tackle. It seems like our culture is turning away from respect and it isn't very pretty.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Dance pictures

I will have to wait for the pictures to get back to see how this one turned out!

Life Interrupted for Dance

It is that time of the year again, dance pictures and recital.  We have pictures on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night.  Pictures take a long time, they work with each child to get pictures you actually want to buy.  

Anthony really likes his jazz outfit.  He has Hip Hop tomorrow and isn't so keen on the costume.  He thinks that the top comes down too far, like a dreaded v-neck shirt.  He prefers to be buttoned up al the way.

Anthony is the only boy at the dance studio.  He plans on returning next year, he really enjoys it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

School Morning Routine

I very much dislike early mornings. Actually, I always have, I have always been a night time person.

Our routine for school mornings is pretty quick.  I get Anthony up at 6:30 so he can get in the shower. Once he is out of the shower I wake the girls.  Their only responsibility in the morning is to get dressed, brush their teeth and hair, take any medications, get their snack, grab their backpack and get out the door by 7ish. I then drive the kids to school where they have breakfast.

Sounds so easy.  It should be easy but not so much for my kids. I started driving them for two reasons; they couldn't get to the bus on time and they got into trouble on the bus.  In the mornings they are the first kids to be picked up so they spend a long time on the bus, too much time.  They take the bus home because they are the first dropped off.  They shouldn't be able to get into too much trouble in that time. However, they still find a way, Michelle did today.

This morning was a typical one.  Anthony was showered and dressing when I woke Emma and Michelle. While standing in their door I noticed their dirty clothing pile.  Huge pile.  They had cleaned up their bedroom the day before and put all the clothing that was on the floor in the dirty laundry. I am sure that there are many clean pieces of clothing in that pile.  My laundry never ends so this greatly annoys me.  I tell them that when they get home they need to put their laundry in the laundry room.  I will take out all the clean clothing and donate it. This is a continuous battle every time I ask them to put their clothing away.  I think that they have too much stuff so I will help them out.

I then went to wake Larissa and she had a seizure.  That is not a good sign, I left her alone and she went back to sleep and slept until 10 am.  She has missed about 30 days this year.  If I wake her again after her seizures (she typically falls asleep after having one) then she will be very cranky all day and not work at school.  This is why we are homeschooling next year.  We can work on her schedule.

Emma and Michelle now own at least 5 brushes a piece yet they can never find one in the morning. They have a spot where they are supposed to place them but they seem to disappear.  Every morning they have to be reminded to brush their teeth and their hair. They typically find one brush in the drawer and fight over it.

During this time I am normally getting the baby changed and fed before we get into the car.  Since Sarah is home now I can let him sleep.  This means that the kids can't be yelling because they will wake him. This is a struggle because my kids aren't quiet.  Asking them to be quiet typically causes them to yell louder.

Michelle came down dressed in Emma's clothing.  Emma's clothing doesn't fit Michelle so she was sent back up to change.  Michelle must show me what she is wearing every day.  One day she snuck past me and I didn't notice that she was wearing something that she wasn't allowed to wear until she was getting out of the van.  She was good, hid behind the table and such.  Not happening again.

Emma looked acceptable.  She has that type of hair that looks a mess two minutes after it is brushed. She didn't have any tangle bumps after brushing so she was good to go. She got her medication, grabbed a snack and asked if she could go to the car.  I told her yes.  She is trying to stay out of the fighting and she knows it is about to start.

Michelle comes down and complains about the snack choices.  I tell her that she doesn't have to take one and she picks something. (I am really tired of the snack thing by now and don't stock it so they are down to the unpopular snacks). I hand her her Friday folder (again) so she can turn it in.  I hand out the rest of the medications and watch to make sure it is taken.

Anthony and Michelle head out to the car.  I look around for my purse (it is never where it belongs) and head out a few minutes after them.  From the front door I can hear the fighting.  Anthony and Michelle found something to fight over.

Our morning routine is quick so that the kids don't have any down time.  Down time is fighting time. It seems as though the more time they have the longer it takes.  I haven't figured that out yet.  The constant fighting is getting on my last nerve.  On good days we can talk about their upcoming day and have a pleasant drive.  However, more often than not they have been fighting and I am annoyed. Not a good way to start the day!  I don't know how to stop their little squabbles.  They drive everyone else in the house crazy.  I am losing my patience.  Summer is coming. I think that this is something that we are going to actively work on this summer.

I get home from dropping off the kids to find Michelle's Friday folder sitting on the table, again.

Anyone enjoy mornings out there?  Share your secret.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Our Weekend

Our weekend started with a sick baby.  Little Man was running a fever and sat still for more than one minute so I took him to his doctor Friday.  His white blood cell count was elevated so he got to go back Saturday morning for a recheck. His blood count was great on Saturday and got to eat two band-aids.

We got to babysit Vaida for the weekend.  We had a great time.  She is growing so fast and getting around.  She is pulling up to standing but doesn't know how to get down.  After falling on a doll and getting a bruise we learned to keep all hard objects away from the couch.

Little Man thinks that it is his job to feed Vaida.  She is also willing to have him feed her.  I do believe that these two will enjoy getting into trouble together in the very near future.

Larissa will dress anything that is sitting still....and try to feed everyone.

Jason had some excitement.  He is bartending and gets off work late.  One night he came out to get into his car when two guys tried to rob him.  One of them was fumbling while trying to get his gun while another one tried to get in the back seat of his car.  Jason pealed out of there with two of his car doors open.  He wasn't hurt but sure was scared. Oh, this all happened right next door to the bank...and the video camera.  The camera shows the guys going through his car and then hiding when Jason came out of the building. Yes, they can identify the guys.  One has already been arrested and they are looking for the other one.

Jason came by to chill and talk about his experience.  He is still processing the attempted robbery. 

These things scare me, I can't always keep my kids safe. 

Our busy weekend is followed by a busy week.  We have dance pictures this week with dance recital Saturday.  I also have a GAL visit and an IEP meeting.  Sarah is home from college and needs a new military ID card so we have an appointment for that as well.

I have a lot of projects that I am in the middle of and I can't seem to finish any of them!  I am painting Larissa's room and trying to start a little Etsy business.  Tomorrow I am going to Jason's place to paint his bedroom.  Anyone out there ever finish your projects?  Perhaps I am too ambitious and start too many.


As I was sitting there in shock at church the father's girlfriend arrived.  I know her.  Not one of those talk daily know her, but a facebook friend.  We went on a Guatemala mission trip together.  I talked with my husband on one side (OK whispered) and a friend on the other side.  Passed notes with Sarah and texted other adult kids.  I wasn't sure if I should say anything or not.  Finally in the end I decided that I would give my friend a short note.  If the situation were reversed I would want to know.

I wrote a short note in cursive.  The kids are younger and I am pretty sure can't read cursive.  I wrote that the kids she was with were half siblings to my baby and handed it to her at the end of the service. After church she asked me if she should tell him.  I told her that she knew him better than I do, would he want to know?  The kids wondered off and she told him.  His eyes got huge as he looked at Little Man.  I wonder if he noticed the resemblance to his younger son like I did.

We talked for a few minutes and he agreed that he wanted the kids to meet at some point.  His oldest son was told about Little Man at school but the younger two don't know about him.  I told him that we would respect his choice and allow him to make the decision when to tell the younger kids.

Today I have been talking with my friend a lot.  They were not aware that the mom is back in town. Actually she is in the next town over, where he lives. There have been issues with harassment in the past so it is good that they know.

Yes indeed, it is a very small world.

It's a Small, Small World

I was sitting in church this morning when a family sat in front of us.  As the children sat down I thought that I recognized the children.  Suddenly it dawned on me that I was looking at the half siblings of Little Man.  Their mom is Little Man's mom.  She has had her parental rights terminated and they live with their father.

I have talked with their grandmother.  Actually she has been to our house.  She had contemplated trying to get Little Man at one point so that the siblings could have contact.  I had told Little Man's aunt (who visits with him at our house) that we didn't have a problem with the children having contact.  It is because of this grandmother that I know that Little Man's mom did drugs and drank the entire time she was pregnant.  Explained why my little man had such a hard time sleeping and was so fussy when he came home.  I suspected, it was confirmed, he was a drug baby.

I digress, the children know that Little Man exists but their dad wasn't ready to meet.  I knew he was sitting right in front of me but he had no clue who we were.

So what do you do in that situation?

Friday, May 15, 2015

More on the Brain

After looking at my post about functions of different areas of the brain I realized that I didn't put in a link to the page where I found the information.  I can't find it.  However, I did find one where the frontal lobe functions are explained. The site is discussing brain tumors but is applicable in the functioning.  It is amazing how different areas of the brain do different functions.

Frontal Lobes
The frontal lobes are part of the  Cerebral Cortex and are the largest of the brain's structures. They are the main site of so–called 'higher' Cognitive functions. The frontal lobes contain a number of important substructures, including the prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, motor and premotor cortices, and Broca's area. These substructures are involved in attention and thought, voluntary movement, decision–making, and language.
Associated functions
Executive processes (voluntary behavior such as decision making, planning, problem–solving, and thinking), voluntary motor control, cognition, intelligence, attention, language processing and comprehension, and many others.
The frontals lobes are the brain's largest structures and consequently have been associated with a large number of disorders. These include ADHD, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder (prefrontal cortex).
Symptoms of brain tumours affecting the  Frontal Lobe
The frontal lobes determine personality and contain the area called the motor cortex that controls movement of the muscles of the body (the motor cortex on the right half of the brain controls the left side of the body and vice versa). The frontal lobes are thought to be the area of the brain most involved in conscious thinking. Symptoms of tumours affecting the frontal lobe can include:
  •     Personality change
  •     Disinhibition – loss of inhibition leading to offensive behaviour which is out of character for that person e.g. swearing, rudeness, inappropriate sexual behaviour
  •     Irritability
  •     Aggression
  •      apathy – loss of interest in life
  •     Difficulty planning or organising
  •     Weakness of one side of the face or body
  •     Problems walking
  •     Difficulty speaking

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Challenges in Foster Care

We have been fostering for over ten years. Some days that seems like a long time and others it seems like such a short time. Our fostering days will end this year. In our state you are only allowed to have 5 kids under the age of 18 in your home so we are full. Once we adopt our last little one we will close our license.

It seems strange, we didn't start to foster to adopt.  We just figured that we would adopt if our foster child(ren) didn't go home.  At some point we decided to go straight adoption and then get out of foster care.  With Emma and Michelle we did have the adoptive placement but we didn't stop fostering like we planned.  We didn't stop because there is such a huge need for foster parents.

It seems as though there haven't been any great improvements in foster care since we started.

The subsidy rate of a little over $11/day hasn't changed since 2001.  I do believe that the cost of living has increased in all that time.  In our home we have always lost money when we foster. Our foster children are treated the same as the other children in our home. They go out to eat with us, go to the movies and family trips. We also do all transportation although DSS says that they can offer it.

Support has pretty much disappeared.  There was a time when you could call the social worker if you had questions.  Now a majority of the time you get a voice mail and no guarantee that they will answer.  Our babies foster worker has been out to our house only a few times in the last 15 months. I am OK with that because I have gotten to the point where I don't need that much support. However, I hear new foster parents complain about it. New foster parents don't always know what to expect and how to navigate some of the aspects of being a foster parent.  They drop this kid off at your house and leave.  Then what?

With our current baby Sarah and I went to the NICU to take infant CPR classes and then I took the baby from his mom.  No social worker showed up for that.  That was the first time I had to take a baby from the mother.  No, it is not fun and didn't feel that it should be my responsibility. Even the nurse on duty was a little surprised.

I then did all of his follow up appointments, his well baby check ups, his cardiologist appointments.  I was responsible for all of it. I transported him to town for his appointments and discussed his medical condition with his specialists.  I then called his social worker and left her messages on her voice mail to let her know what was going on.

Visits with his mom stopped in July (because she moved out of town) so he no longer went to DSS. For months I had no contact from DSS and no one checked up on him.  At some point it started to feel as though he was our son.

Recently he was wheezing so I took him to the doctor.  They were hesitant to do a breathing treatment because of his earlier racing heart issues.  After a quick consult with the cardiologist they decided to give him breathing treatments. (Which he enjoyed)

However, they were leery so I had to keep bringing him back to have his heart checked.  I was told to watch for problems with a racing heart. It is at those moments when you really think to yourself that this is not my child that I am responsible for. He didn't have any racing heart issues so has been cleared.  DSS didn't even realize what we were going through with his breathing issues.

Communication has really diminished.  Most of the information I get is through the GAL.  Very little information comes from the social worker.  I hear that this is a problem with many foster parents. Foster parents need information.  They need to know what is going on and need to know that they can talk to someone about their foster child. When they can't get answers they tend to get frustrated. Frustrate a foster parent enough and they quit.  When enough foster parents quit you have kids sleeping in hotels and at the DSS offices.  We have had toddlers go to children's homes because they don't have enough foster homes.

Our county is in the middle of a crisis and the social workers are struggling to keep up. In spite of all the challenges I encourage others to foster.  The children need good foster homes.  However, connect with other foster parents.  Find a mentor.  No one else really understand what you are dealing with more than another foster parent.

So, I am curious.  Any foster parents out there?  How are things going in your area?  Is this just a local problem or is it more of a national issue?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Never Shake that Baby

Please go to the link above and read the article.  If you are a foster or adoptive parent read it.  A shaken baby does not always have severe damage.  Sometimes the damage can be silent.  Sometimes you won't understand why your child is struggling.

Both Anthony and Larissa have been diagnosed with damage caused from being shaken.  We received Anthony at 2 1/2 and Larissa at 4 months.

Anthony was nonverbal, wild and thought to have mental retardation (an Intellectual disability in today's terms).  Anthony received services at home and when he turned 3 received services at school and extra private speech services.

By time he was in kindergarten he was in a regular class and although he had some delays and behavior issues he was able to learn with his peers.  He repeated kindergarten because of his immaturity (his birthday was a few weeks before the cut off date so he was the youngest in class).  He went to therapy for his violent behaviors and sexual acting out.  Therapy was worthless as the therapist kept comparing him to her son and recommended interventions that worked for her son. I studied his issues and worked with him at home.  It was at this point that we adopted both children.

He was diagnosed as bipolar but I was not able to get him medicated until a later age.  Once he was medicated for mood disorder his world improved greatly.  His resource teacher still remembers that time and the profound difference in his behaviors with the medication.

Anthony will soon be 12 and the brain injury is starting to really catch up with him.  He is getting further and further behind and is struggling in all areas except for dance and art.  He loves to dance and participate in art.  As his struggles have increased so has his anger issues.  I wonder if perhaps it is time for a different mood disorder medication.  Either way, he needs to learn some better ways to deal with his anger so I will work on that this summer.

He struggles with friendships and his anger and rudeness gets in the way of maintaining meaningful friendships.  Right now his best friend is the son of my best friend.

Anthony also has the capacity to be very sweet and compassionate.  He has a huge heart for me and wants to please me.  I have decided to not homeschool him next year for several reasons.  We will work on home issues at home and leave the educational issues at school.  I don't feel that I can do both and homeschool Emma and Larissa as well.  I do plan on requesting that he go to art class at school and I know that he will get a lot out of that.  I will see how the next year goes to determine what I will do for the following year.

I am still trying to determine what resources I should get for him.  Comments from a reader about labeling drawers and such has made me realize that I need to pull out my training experiences and see what I can apply.  My master in special education is in severe and multiple disabilities and autism.  I wonder if some of the training for autism would cross over into TBI.

When we received Larissa her head was tilted to the side and her arm on that side was straight with a bent wrist.  She also has swallowing problems. She also received services at home until she turned 3 and then she went to school for services as well.  She was diagnosed with selective mutism at the age of 3.  Three years of visitation really impacted her in a negative way.

We moved to Texas for a year after we adopted the kids and it was there that she was diagnosed with seizures coming from the frontal lobe.  She had actually had seizures for a while but it was misdiagnosed here in South Carolina. 

Larissa received services until after her kindergarten year.  When she started kindergarten we put her on anxiety medication and it really helped with her selective mutism.  Research in that area showed that medication was the best approach.  We had taken her to a play therapist who claimed to specialize in selective mutism.  After a short period of time she refused to see Larissa anymore because she wouldn't talk to her, uh, I don't think she really understood selective mutism. She has not been to any therapists since.

At the end of kindergarten the school took Larissa off of her IEP.  That was a huge mistake.  Her first grade was horrible.  She started having major mood swings and major crying issues.  She was diagnosed with bipolar earlier so we were able to switch her seizure medication to one that covered mood disorders.  That helped with the mood swings but not with her struggles in school.  Homework took hours and was agonizing.  Her seizures were not controlled, she was tired all the time.  

I homeschooled her for second grade and I could really see her struggles with math.  At home we were able to get her back on grade level for reading and limped along in math.  She wanted to go back to school so this year she went back.  It has not been a good experience.  She quickly lost grounds in all areas.  She was so tired that she couldn't function and she currently is going half days. She thinks that going back was a mistake and wants to be homeschooled....for as long as possible (her words).

Like Anthony she enjoys dance and art. She is very loving and has no social problems.  Her selective mutism merely comes across as slight shyness.  She no longer takes anxiety medications, only seizure medications.  She has some type of sleep disorder that has not been determined and it really impacts her daily living.

She is able to do multi-step tasks and is better able to function at home.  Academically she is struggling and losing ground.

Both kids have frontal lobe damage.  Both can not do math and struggle with very similar academic issues.  However, emotionally, socially and life skills they differ.

Functions- Frontal Lobe
  • How we know what we are doing within our environment (Consciousness)
  • How we initiate activity in response to our environment
  • Judgments we make about what occurs in our daily activities
  • Controls our emotional response
  • Controls our expressive language
  • Assigns meaning to the words we choose
  • Involves word associations
  • Memory for habits and motor activities
Observed Problems
  • Loss of simple movement of various body parts (Paralysis)
  • Inability to plan a sequence of complex movements needed to complete multi-stepped tasks, such as making coffee (Sequencing)
  • Loss of spontaneity in interacting with others. Loss of flexibility in thinking
  • Persistence of a single thought (Perseveration)
  • Inability to focus on task (Attending)
  • Mood changes (Emotionally Labile)
  • Changes in social behavior. Changes in personality
  • Difficulty with problem solving
  • Inability to express language (Broca's Aphasia)

To a lesser extent, they have damage to the parietal lobe.

Functions- Parietal Lobe
  • Location for visual attention
  • Location for touch perception
  • Goal directed voluntary movements
  • Manipulation of objects
  • Integration of different senses that allows for understanding a single concept
Observed Problems
  • Inability to attend to more than one object at a time
  • Inability to name an object (Anomia)
  • Inability to locate the words for writing (Agraphia)
  • Problems with reading (Alexia)
  • Difficulty with drawing objects
  • Difficulty in distinguishing left from right
  • Difficulty with doing mathematics (Dyscalculia)
  • Lack of awareness of certain body parts and/or surrounding space (Apraxia) that leads to difficulties in self-care. Inability to focus visual attention
  • Difficulties with eye and hand coordination