5 Things To Do BEFORE Using Silhouette Sketch Pens

Recently, I’ve grown a newfound love again for my Silhouette Cameo. With all the amazing upgraded options they offer now and the ease of use in the software and newer machines, I couldn’t not divulge in the awesomeness while planning Kenedy’s fourth birthday which is, uhhh right around the corner!

One of my favorite things to use with my Silhouette Cameo is the Silhouette Sketch Pen Kit. Address envelopes, create coloring pages, wall art, and more with the touch of a button!

If I’m honestly speaking, the idea of using sketch pens in my machine really intimidated me for the longest time but, I couldn’t have been more wrong! It took forever for me to finally make the leap and just do it but, here I am *almost* a sketch pen pro sharing with you the 5 things I wish I had known before popping the pens into my machine!

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1. Check your new ink

Like any brand new pen, you need to give each of your pens a good roll before locking it into the cartridge of your machine. I made the mistake of not doing this and after several attempts finally realized that because the pens are just that: pens…not markers, they need to be tested first! Roll each pen along a piece of paper and then voila! Your pen is ready to go!

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2. Double, Triple check your cartridge placement

If you’re using a new Silhouette Cameo with dual cartridges, make sure to check the cartridge each of your pens are in before sending your project to the machine! There’s a blue and red circle on your machine atop each cartridge and in the send tab of your software. Make sure to double and triple check your marker colors and software before sending!

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3. Change your settings

Before officially sending your project to the machine, make sure to change your settings from “cut” to “sketch!” You can easily do this in the drop down coordinating with the “Action” and “Tool” selections.

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4. Reverse if need be

Reverse your project in Design before sending your project through when using vellum or a clear paper. Also, be careful of smearing with this paper, maybe stick to sharpies in a pen holder for this one!

5. Use the cut and sketch option together

Have a machine with dual cartridges? Make sure to put that to use! Save time and send your blade to cut immediately following your sketch!

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Well, there you go you crafty little thing you! Happy sketching + cutting!

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Give Your Kids The Greatest Summer Of All Time In Clearwater!

I know what you’re thinking, “SUMMER of all time in Clearwater?! We’re only right smack in the middle of Spring Break!” but, Summer will be here in no time and you’ll be looking for anything to get the littles out of the house while wearing down all of their batteries!

So, to help you cross one more thing off your long, daunting, never-ending parental to-do list, I’m giving you 3 totally awesome bucket list ideas to help give your kids the Summer of all time in Clearwater!

For all my Florida parents who follow along and even those just coming to our beautiful Sunshine State to visit for the summer, Clearwater is a must as your Summer vacay spot this year! Clearwater is home to one of our most beautiful beaches but, too much fun in the sun can get exhausting quick and a break from the rays does us all good. So, these bucket list ideas are sure to keep the fun rolling without burning you and the littles to a crisp while continuing to strengthen their brains!

Before adding these awesome spots to your summer bucket list, check out what Barbara over at Edutopia has to say about Summer Learning Loss! I like to encourage our boys to always do something fun but, stimulating for their brain…Something that will continue on the knowledge after the school year has ended!


1. Snapology

First on the list is Snapology! They just opened a brand new franchise in Clearwater and it will get your kids’ minds working as they play! Let them free to tinker, build, and experiment!  Snapology’s mobile service makes the fun super easy and they offer AMAZING summer camp opportunities! Need a break to get grocery shopping done or just want to lay on the beach solo?! Maybe a camp class is more up your alley! Enroll them in one of the totally rockin’ Summer programs offered at the Clearwater location!

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Your littles are guaranteed to leave wanting more so, once you’ve arrived home from your visit, check out more about Snapology online to stay up to date on classes, programs, and more! Better yet, live the Snapology way and open a franchise of your own! Check out more info on Snapology in my previous post HERE!

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2. Heritage Village

Once you’ve gotten their brain gears turning over at Snapology, go back in time at Heritage Village Museum. Wander around the grounds to get a feel of life back in the early 1900’s. Take in the school house, sugar mill, water tower, and over 15 other historic buildings! While you’re there, think of some fun questions to ask them as you explore! (i.e. “What do you think that does?”, “What would you say this cost back in the old days?”, “How do you think life has changed since this was used?”, etc.)

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3. Whimzeyhouse

Ready to zoom forward in time after your visit at the Heritage Village Museum? Slap on a yin-yang necklace with some bell bottoms and take the littles to see the coolest bowling ball collection you’ll ever lay eyes on! Todd and Kiaralinda Ramquist are owners of the super rad bowling balls and have an abundant collection of other quirky, unique gifts, art, and items on display! You’re guaranteed to leave here inspired!

snapology, clearwater, summer fun, kids fun, kids in clearwater, clearwater florida, things to do in clearwater, clearwater beach, bowling ball collection

Well, there it is! Can you tell we like to carry on the whole “learning vibe” even after the school year has ended and we’re enjoying the summer off!? Take it from Morgan and David over at Brookings: Summer learning loss can significantly change the way a child starts their following school year! We don’t want that now do we? So, add these spots onto your list and keep that craving for knowledge strong!

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What’s one of your favorite spots to continue education while having summer fun?

 

Comment below to let us know!

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Disguise Learning with Play using STEM! (+ A Snapology LEGO GIVEAWAY!)

I’m so excited to be partnering with Nakturnal for a giveaway! Read below to find out how you can enter to win a LEGO® brick set of the Snapology Mascot- Sebastian Gator! Find a full disclaimer on the sidebar of my blog!


It’s no secret that we eat, breathe, live LEGO and all things STEM-based in our home. Not a day goes by that one or both of the boys isn’t stimulating their brain with those small colorful blocks, folding a paper airplane out of an old piece mail, or manipulating K-Nex into crazy, crime-fighting vehicles and winding roads.

When we realized that Col was a little different than other kids, it took no time at all to see the potential benefits of what STEM-based learning could do for him. Writing, Reading, and Speech as separate subjects are definitely a must-have in your child’s learning plan but, for kids like Colin, a science and mathematical learning environment is the most beneficial way to grow their unique little minds!

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Fast forward to when we had K! We were quick to realize once he was at a play age that typically developing kids thrive in the same STEM-based environment as well! Which made play time between the two of them a bonding experience and way to encourage them to teach each other new ways of learning!

Now that you know our little back story, let’s get to why you’re really here: “How do I disguise learning with play using STEM and what exactly is it?”

  • What is STEM?

STEM is a way of learning based on the idea of educating children of all ages in four specific areas — Science, Technology, Engineering, + Mathematics in an applied, hands on approach. Rather than teach the four subjects separately, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications.

Pretty cool, huh?

  • What are the benefits of STEM?

1. It’s CURRENT!

In a technology-based society, science is forever changing and growing. As work places change by frequently updating their software, and equipment that we use in our daily lives becomes more advanced, STEM knowledge is vital. Staying up to date on the latest techy trends is a must in today’s world!

2. GET CREATIVE!

Creativity is one of the many benefits of a STEM education by implementing the idea of “Learning by Doing!”

Ironically, creativity is also the result of a STEM-based education ! STEM-based learning encourages students to get their hands ‘dirty’, solve problems, create new designs and functions, and make tools out of something that otherwise wouldn’t be!

3. INNOVATE, INNOVATE, INNOVATE!

With the growth of technology, is the freedom to invent and engineer almost anything you can dream of! Starting at a young age, we can encourage our kids to use their minds and create the impossible with STEM.

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1. OFFER THE RIGHT TOYS

I’m totally not suggesting that you go out and spend hundreds on an entirely new toy collection but, when birthdays and holidays come around, encourage friends and family to give more significant gifts that stimulate learning rather than the typical stuffed animal or piece of junk that will end up in a garage sale pile a few months later!

Some of our favorites:

  • LEGO
  • Magna-Tiles
  • Tegu Blocks
  • KIDS FIRST Engineering Tubs
  • Marble Run
  • Lincoln Logs

When choosing toys, try to make sure they incorporate and/or encourage one of the following: tinkering, building, circuit creation (adding pieces and parts to the toy that make it GO! or turn on and off), problem solving, or tech-based growth and learning.

Does the anticipated and totally loathed “LEGO dump” have you resisting adding them to your STEM collection?! Check out my post to help with that!

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2. ALLOW UNINTERUPTED + FREE WILL TINKERING

Sometimes, regardless of the mess it makes, you just have to let your little ones free with their tinkering toys without borders. I know, I’m with you. Walking into our home to a ‘road’ of K-Nex that stretches from the front door to, well, I don’t ever really know where, can be super annoying and seemingly pointless but, they’re actually using their little minds to create something super awesome and through the mess is some really great learning!

3. HELP + ANSWER WITHOUT FRUSTRATION

I know this one can be a bit difficult, especially when your knee deep in your own project but, when your little comes to you for advice or answers, they’re seeking you out for a reason! Curiosity is natural for growing minds and by shooting them down or showing frustration when they’ve asked the same question every single day for a week, you’re discouraging one of the greatest forms of learning. If you don’t know the answer to a question yourself, let them watch as you figure it out. Whether it be from a book, video, or the internet, seeing you seek out an answer encourages them to continue doing so through you.

4. ALLOW FREE PLAY WITH CRAFT SUPPLIES

Yes, for real. I mean, don’t give your kid all access freedom to liquid glue and finger paints but, offer them a bucket of dry supplies! Rubber bands, tape, twine, paper clips, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, clothespins, dowels, empty toilet paper rolls can all be used in creating some really awesome things. Change it up every other week or so with fresh supplies and new tools!

5. TRY A “BUILDING SNACK” TRAY

Similar to free play with random craft supplies, you never know what your little one will come up with when you offer them a tray of “building snacks” at the table! We love pretzel sticks, mini marshmallows, grapes, sliced olives, cheese cubes, and cheerios. You’ll be amazed at their first cheese cube-pretzel stick car with grape wheels!

6. INCORPORATE EDUCATIONAL SHOWS DURING SCREEN TIME

If you allow screen time in your home, there are a TON of education shows that go hand-in-hand with STEM-based learning! One of my favorite things as a mom to my littles is walking in on them super indulged in old school Bill Nye and The Magic School Bus. I love when they approach me to spill their guts about friction or some other super sciencey topic three days after watching an episode. It’s always a proud moment for us, even if they got it from a screen!

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We use all of these tools in our day to day life as a family and although it took a little practice, it’s now just routine! Our family truly enjoys play time together AND apart because of this method and as parents we’ve learned to embrace the repetitive questions and constant mess of LEGO!

 


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Giveaway closed.

Congratulations to Jenna!


Want to win a Snapology Sebastian Gator LEGO Set?!

(Recommended for ages 6+)

As parents of special needs + typically developing kids, we know from experience that every child is different and so is their preferred method of learning. So, as a soon to be family of three crazy boys, all different and unique, we’d love to know: Which of the ideas in this post is your littles’ favorite way of STEM-based play? (Haven’t tried one yet? Answer: Which idea are you most likely to implement first?) Comment below to be entered!

*Winner will be chosen at random 10 days from the post date on July 23, 2017 and will be notified via email. US entrants only please. Prize is a LEGO® brick set of the Snapology Mascot, Sebastian Gator, mailed directly to your home!


Curious about Snapology?!

Snapology is a STEM-based kids’ facility that hosts totally rad play dates, birthday parties, field trips, workshops, + summer camps where littles (ages 1 and up) use LEGO, K’nex, art + mosaic, code, robotics, and more to learn through play! Sounds super awesome right?! Well, they’re looking for someone interested in becoming a franchise owner in the Central Florida region! Give them a call or apply online today if this sounds like the spot for you!

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stem, autism, special needs, homeschool, LEGO, giveaway, win, LEGO giveaway

DIY Valentine’s Day Slime

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You’ll Need:

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INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Pour liquid starch and clear glue into your Ziploc bag (in that order).
  2. Shake, shake, shake your bag!
  3. As you’re shaking your bag, mush the glue to spread it throughout the liquid starch while the bag is still zipped.
  4. Open your bag, pull the slime out, leaving excess liquid behind, and start molding, twisting, and mushing it together. It will be super gooey and slimy but, the more you mush and twist it together, it will form into a not-so-sticky and slimy, slime! This could take a few minutes so, don’t get discouraged and DON’T wash your hands with water! As your slime starts to form, it will collect all of the goo from your hands! Adding water will double this process time because of the extra moisture on your hands!
  5. Once your slime has formed, add your glitter and sequin hearts!
  6. Store in a Ziploc bag or airtight container. We found these really great small storage containers for all of the kids at our play date at Hobby Lobby! (I love to use plastic test tubes for our Halloween slime!)

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FREE Dinosaur Valentines

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! Are you spending time stressing about finishing up your littles’ valentines this week?!

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Head to the Dollar Store, Amazon, Target, or your nearest toy store for a set of plastic mini dinos! Spend no more than $10 on this fun, one of a kind valentine that your sweetie is sure to feel proud of!

Just PRINT, tape, and sign!

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Grab your FREE set of DINO Valentines HERE!

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FREE Hiking Scavenger Hunt Printable

Going hiking? Sometimes it’s hard with kids! Make it interesting and purposeful for them with this FREE Hiking Scavenger Hunt!

Download your FREE Hiking Scavenger Hunt here!

 

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Hiking Scavenger Hunt

The Happening Housewife Blog | 2016 For personal use only. Not to be copied, distributed, altered, or sold. thehappeninghousewife.com | themomsofmeltdownmadness.com

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FREE Doctor Play Set Printables

Does your little one love to play pretend? Mine do! To make their set up more fun, add this free printable set to your little Doc’s kit!

Laminate for best results!

Print HERE!

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The Happening Housewife Blog | 2016 For personal use only. Not to be copied, distributed, altered, or sold. thehappeninghousewife.com | themomsofmeltdownmadness.com

FREE Around the House Printables

Is your little one itching to start reading? These Around the House labels will help get your child reading ready!

Print, cut, and pick up some label pockets like these ones I found at Target, for a fantastic visual aid to prep your child for reading!

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Around the House Labels Page 1

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The Happening Housewife Blog | 2016 For personal use only. Not to be copied, distributed, altered, or sold. thehappeninghousewife.com | themomsofmeltdownmadness.com

They Say He Has Genetic Disorder…PART 2

Alright, so where to start, where to start…I guess where I left off, right?

First, I want to say that I am in no way, a Dr., Genetic Specialist, Scientist, Therapist, or really anyone that can asses or diagnose your child. I am however, a parent going through some pretty tough shit. 🙂

Back in my last post (if you haven’t read it yet, you can find it HERE), I mentioned something about a new test we were waiting to get approval for (the one that costs $7,000 up to $23,000-which insurance doesn’t like to cover AND that we thought would take two years or so to get). Well, I am happy to say that shortly after that post went live, we had a genetics appointment at Nemour’s Children’s Hospital where we had been seeing our Geneticist since day one. She told us that the test had been doing very well with her patients and other patients within her board who study children similar to Colin. This test isn’t offered for everyone, it’s kind of the last resort when there’s no where else to turn. Not only was the test getting great results but, insurance was starting to approve coverage on it and she wanted US to apply for the test! Yay! ABSOLUTELY, ABSOLUTELY, ABSO-Freakin’-LUTELY! So, we did! She applied for Colin to have the test and approval or denial takes about 6-8 weeks- we waiteddd. Before leaving our appointment, we learned all about the test. Here’s a quick outline based on what I gathered from her and personal research:

Test Name: Whole Exome Sequencing

How test is done: Blood Test drawn for Biological Mother, Father, and Symptomatic Child-In office

Length of time between test and results: I’m sure this can vary but, ours took approx. 12 weeks

Purpose of parents having blood drawn: The purpose of the biological parents having blood drawn for this test, is to give a baseline, should the lab results come back with anything alarming from the child’s DNA (i.e., deformed or mutated gene’s, genetics that indicate high risk of disease or illness such as cancers, etc.). Upon dissecting the child’s blood, if they find mutated gene’s, they will look at those gene’s from the biological parents to determine where the mutation came from. The same goes for the high risk of disease- this only means, if the test comes back negative for high risk, that it does not COMPLETELY disqualify the child of cancer(s) or for being high risk but, it gives a good idea, and they would not look into those indicators from the parents if it came back negative. 

Back to the approval of the test…We waited to hear back from the genetics department to know if we had approval and finally the day came! We got it! We were approved coverage for the test. Our appointment was made and we each had blood drawn- Colin, myself, and James We were asked to sign consent forms giving either approval or denial, that if the lab specialists should find Colin at high risk for cancer(s), once they research James and I’s blood, whether or not we would like to know if we are each high risk cancer as well.  Either way, the lab specialists would still look into our genes to find where the risk came from but, it was a matter of whether or not we wanted to know for ourselves. After a total breakdown and anxiety attack, I approved, and James did too. This choice really had me squirming. Would you, or would you not want to know if you are high risk for cancer(s)? (If you remember by the time you finish reading this, I’d love for you to comment your answer and reason below!) I finally said “yes”, after contemplating “no”, for this reason: My immediate reaction was “No, I do NOT want to know.” Not because I didn’t want to know for my family but, if it came back with a yes, I really didn’t know how my mind could actually handle knowing that every single day for the rest of my life. Even though you may be at high risk for cancer, it doesn’t mean you WILL get cancer, it just means you are at a higher risk. With that said, I have EXTREME anxiety that I am still battling with on a day to day basis and I just didn’t know how I could function everyday with my mind worried about something that I could have said “no” to. BUT, I have two children that I love more than anything in this world and a husband that I want to have me as his one and only wife for the rest of our lives so, my reasoning for saying “YES” was for them. It was for us to know as a family so that we could make sure all of the proper care was taken to prevent the possibility of a late diagnosis of something like cancer later down the road.

That was it. We signed the consent forms, gave a little blood from the three of us and were on our way to wait for 12 weeks.

UPDATE:
During the time while we were waiting for the test results to come back, Colin was given an Autism diagnosis from his PCP as well as an Individual Education Plan (IEP) from a local public school. We applied, and struggled, to get him into the Special Needs Pre-K program at one of our local public schools for a few months. Let’s face it, the poor kid needed some REAL social interaction and day care would likely kick him out on the first day based on his behaviors. Best scenario would be the teacher going home from his first night at the day care with only a couple bruises on her. So, we needed a place that he could not, would not be kicked out of and that he could learn social skills, proper behaviors, and really, give me a little break. A friend of ours and our AMAZINGGGG behavioral aid helped advocate for us to get him into the program. (See one of the steps HERE.)

What is an IEP, you ask? …and how do I get one?

IEP stands for Individual Education Plan

Before an IEP is written for a child with a disability, the school must first determine whether the child qualifies for special education services. To qualify, the child’s disability must have an adverse effect on the child’s educational progress. This is determined in a series of tests conducted by specialists within the field (behavior aids, speech therapists, special education experts, etc.) The school you are attempting to attend should give you the proper information and connections to have your child observed for these qualifications. If you are approved, should you feel the need to change your child’s IEP by adding goals to it, you can call a meeting at any time to do so.

Colin completed his evaluations for the IEP and at first was denied..YES, denied. Even though BOTH teachers who did the observation agreed that he could not withstand attendance at a mainstream preschool. These evaluation and test results are not based upon the expert(s) just physically looking at and examining your child and making a quick decision, They have to follow a set of guidelines, and fill out packets of hundreds of little bubble marked answers based on the child’s reactions and abilities to certain physical/hands-on tests, tally up the results from each category and if your child falls ONE or TWO (like Colin), points within the category, they are denied. HOWEVER, DO NOT, i repeat, DO NOT be discouraged. If you feel that your child is in need of a special needs program for educational development, YOU FIGHT for your child. You CAN call a meeting with the board from the public school’s Special Education department to fight for your child to get into the program. There is no guarantee that they will then make a place for your child in the program but, if you feel strongly enough that this is the path for your child, you CAN resort to this. We did. The experts who evaluated Colin briefly mentioned that they could call for a meeting to evaluate the results of Colin’s tests and see about him getting in….boy, did they not realize who they just said that to. I was a momma on a mission and I WAS getting my kid into that program or I was going to be moving to another county to get him into one there until I found one to accept him.

*Reminder: We’re still waiting for results from the Whole Exome Sequencing…

Colin’s assessment was done the week before winter break so, I was on the phone EVERY single day that week making sure the school had everything they needed to set up that qualification meeting for him.. sure enough, Mission Impossible: CONQUERED. Cha-Ching! Proud moment right there!

By the time school came back from break, I waited and waited to hear about the meeting. Luckily, we had a family friend to help bump things along but, if you don’t do not give up. To put it clear as day for you: HOUND THAT SCHOOL UNTIL THEY GIVE YOU THAT MEETING. 🙂 *I do apologize to all of you who work within the school system reading this, I am one of “those” parents and I am terribly sorry that I am encouraging other’s to be the same 🙂 But, you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

Our meeting was scheduled, we received a letter in the mail to confirm our date to sit with the Special Needs director and teacher of the program, as well as others at the school Colin would hopefully attend. The meeting was great. They had already looked over Colin’s paperwork and results to find that his behaviors were EXTREME and HIGH RISK and some of his intellectual skills still needed some slight tweaking and stimulation. Although some of his scores were above average and fell into a category of a very intelligent child for his age category, those behavioral attributes just proved what we had been telling the school. So, they approved! Colin started school two weeks later! Yay!

He’s doing fabulous! To wake him up in the morning I simply have to say the words, “Colin, do you want to go to school?” and from a dead sleep, he SHOOTS out of his bed like it’s a missile launcher! His speech is phenomenal, still very hard for outsiders to understand but, we’re working on it! AND, he’s even verbally spelling his name. He’s finally singing to his little brother and dancing when songs come on at times! He likes to play dress up at school (fire fighters are his fave) and even makes his own choices when given two selections of things (meals at a restaurant, shoes, clothing, or toys.) We still have intense melt downs and tantrums at times but, it’s been great!

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL-

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DRESS LIKE A TEACHER-

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CAREER DAY-

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RESULTS ARE IN!!

Nada. Yep, you read it right. NADA. NOTHING. ZERO.

The test results came back with nothing but some mutated novel genes.

What are novel genes?

Novel genes are uncharacterized genes that scientists have not previously identified to a gene family in human’s yet. Scientists are not sure that they do or don’t have major value within human’s at this time.

However, these particular genes in our case, have been tested on rats. Mutations in genes can either have no effect, alter the product of a gene, or prevent the gene from functioning properly or completely. Since we do not have research on these genes within human’s there is no way to determine at this time whether or not the same affects that these gene mutations have on animals (rats, in this case) would be the same for humans. Some of the gene mutations Colin has within his DNA are common in rats with cardiovascular problems.

So, stuck back at square one.

Anddd, I know you’re curious. Colin did not come back high risk for cancer so, they did not test our DNA to find whether or not James and I were.

During our appointment to hear the results of the test, the fire alarm went off in the hospital building. Everyone evacuated and upon reentering the building after it was cleared, our Genetic Specialist’s partner (the one who observed Colin in my previous post) stopped our Dr. and asked if Colin was the same child she quickly assessed a few years back. Our Dr. answered yes and told her that we were in for results of the Whole Exome Sequencing, one of the BEST tests available to us right now, and that nothing came back. The partner was just as astonished as our Geneticist and they both agreed to have pictures taken of Colin to bring to their next board meeting with the other part of their Genetics Team from out of state during the following week. As for right now, Colin just has “Colin Syndrome.”

To rule out other ailments that may go along with a genetic disorder, Colin will have a sleep study and cardiovascular assessment done in the coming weeks. For now, we will wait until our next appointment or until the next big thing in genetic testing comes out! We will also be participating in Colin’s first fundraising event at the end of this month, May 30th for Autism Society of Greater Orlando as Team: Colin’s Colossal Cronies!

Thanks SO SO SO much for reading and for following along with our family!

I appreciate the shares on Facebook, the messages, emails, group adds, and loving words more than I could EVER express.

Hope that you all have had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

xoxo

The Wentworth Family

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Profile View of Physical Deformations: Epicanthal Folds of Eyes,Nose lacking bridge, Low set ears and tilted back,Strange hairline and eyebrow turns

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In the meantime, the INCREDIBLE founder and owner, Kristy Corley at The Mom’s Magazine, asked Colin and I to be on the cover and share some of our story in January. Follow The Mom’s Magazine!

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Colin Bear Colin Bear, What Do You Hear?

Earlier this week we had an Audiology appointment scheduled for our little guy, which is just included in the process of getting him into the Early Intervention program at one of our local schools. Once he turns 3, we loose our Early Steps program, the program we have been getting our therapy services through thus far. I was honestly just anticipating us going into a classroom, sitting with some ear phones, and waiting to see if Colin would somehow know to raise his hand when he heard a “beep”, boy was I wrong. That sounds simple right? Once I learned what the hearing test entailed, I was WISHING we were just doing the headphone “beep” test! Colin has a handful of sensory downfalls, he gets overstimulated easily, and doesn’t like to give up control to someone he doesn’t know. Wait, who am I kidding, the kid doesn’t like to give ANYONE control but, especially strangers. We had never been in a school environment before, he’s only 2, nor had we ever met the counselor we were seeing either. Which right there should tell you, a boy who easily gets overstimulated and doesn’t like strangers is not going to do good in this situation. Once we kind of, sort of, got situated in her office, between myself, my 6 month old, and Col, she guided us into this 6 by 6 box type room, full of tables and wires, and shut the door. She asked that I keep Colin on my lap and after an almost 5 minute struggle, I finally got him there. I looked up wondering how she was going to do the hearing test since she wasn’t in the room with us. Come to find out she was actually across the room from us in another tiny box with a window separating the two rooms, which we could barely see into. Our box wasn’t very lit and had clear acrylic boxes in different places with these creepy looking stuffed animals.

So, let me wrap this whole scenario up for you so far, in a sensory overload filled box with a bow on it….Colin easily gets overstimulated and needs to be in control of his environment, we’re in a place he has never been in before, we’ve seen about 60 kids walking too and from lunch (hello, play time! Can you say simulator?!), and now was just crammed into this little dark box with a lady he doesn’t know looking in on him. Imagine my surprise when he wasn’t cooperating. She started lighting up one of the creepy stuffed animal filled boxes and talking in a high pitch tone to get his attention. Basically, she was trying to see him turn or signal that he heard the sound. This would indicate whether or not he has hearing issues.

After a good ten minutes (15 all together) of me battling him in the box, with a woman I have never met before watching me scold my kid for, really, behavior he couldn’t control, she finally let us get out and said we could reschedule again in 6 months once he is more familiar with the whole “school thing.”

Whew! And that was only at 11 AM! Imagine how the rest of my day went after that!

I hope this helps give everyone a little update on where our guy is at and how much closer we are getting to the next step of our treatment process and education plan! I really wrote this one to let any of you other mommas out there know, who are beginning therapy or moving over into this step of the treatment process, what these little appointments are about and what to expect!

colin park

colin park 2

After peeling him off of the floor and bringing him down from a tantrum, I did take him for a nice lunch and to hit up the park for the Captain for practice his skills!

colin park 3

Thanks for reading!