Category Archives: Elusive Tranquility

Elusive Tranquility is my personal blog about parenting a special needs child and her siblings. I started this blog many years ago as a way to share my parenting stories and to connect with other parents of special needs children. I have three children, Jenny who is in college, and Anna and Dominic, both in elementary school. After having Anna, the way I view the world shifted. Anna has PDD-NOS (a form of autism), intellectual disability, epilepsy, microcephaly, hypotonia, hypothyroidism, kyphoscoliosis, sensory integration dysfunction, hearing loss, high myopia, mood disorder, and was failure to thrive from 6 months to 3 years. Bless her heart, her life is hard but she never complains. My son, Dominic, also has ADHD and is intellectually gifted. Anna experiences life at a different pace and with a different viewpoint, and has challenged everything I know about motherhood. Having always been very empathic myself, I feel what she feels and see what she sees… and this gives me a unique vision when exploring my artistic side. I have connected with many other special needs parents through this blog and love hearing from you.

2014 TPW P52 ~ Week Twelve

The Photographer Within’s Project 52 ~ A Year in Song has been an amazing journey to watch! Each week, our TPW members continue to inspire me with their artistry and creativity. The lyrics for Week Twelve are from Closer to Free by Bodeans and the lyrics we had to shoot were “Everybody wants a good good friend.” Last year, Anna’s […]

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Anna - Beautifully written! If I was living close I would wrap my arms around her to be just there for her.

Tough Day, Tough Love, It’s All Tough

Something isn’t quite right with Anna. It started Tuesday night. Dominic is in the choir this year and has been practicing for a couple of months for the holiday show. Mom and I strategically planned the whole night. She brought Anna in later, right before the show started. I had seats saved near the end […]

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beckie - (((hugs))) I do not have experience with special needs children so I’m afraid I can’t offer any insights or advice. I simply wanted to say that I admire your openness and willingness to say things that others may not understand. To put yourself out there like that takes guts – and commitment and passion and love for your child(ren). I hope you find something that brings peace to your home and peace for Anna soon <3

Nina - I’m sorry it’s been such a rough week. Tomorrow is a new day and you already made it through most of this week. Hugs, friend. <3

Kimberly Leverett Osburn - Hi Holly,

I wish there were something I could do to help. My daughter has two boys with Asperger’s Syndrome. It’s difficult to manage everything on a good day, much less when you, the child or maybe both of you are having a “bad” day. I pray the “good” days will out weigh the bad for you and your family. I wish you and Aimee could meet and talk. I know you’d have a lot in common and perhaps could lean on each other.
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Misty - You are a beautiful, patient, and truly great mother. Hugs to you as you all move through this. If I can help be an extrensic motivator let me know (movie night with Misty and Macie, etc.) Love you guys!

Ashley Spaulding - Your honesty is so amazing. I know it can’t be easy for you to speak from your heart and share so much, but I hope you know you’re helping someone, somewhere. You, Holly, are a beautiful person and a wonderful mom, and even though it’s easier said than done, try to remember that you’re doing the absolute best you can…and your absolute best is a darn good job.

Tracy Bradbury - Hugs Holly, you are a wonderful Mum and I too know all too well how difficult bringing a special needs child up is, we do need to talk about these things as all too often they just get swept under the carpet! Remember you are doing a fantastic job <3

Heidi - You are an AMAZING mother! <3 You inspire me Holly-you really do. I know that what you go through is not easy-very few ppl get how gut wrenching it is, how hard it is to just carry on with a regular day and maintain some level of sanity and peace, and you do that AND more-Before I had a special needs kid, I admit that I did not 'get it.' Did I ever judge? NO. But nothing prepares you for how hard it really is or what families like ours go through, and your honesty in sharing it helps us all. <3 Before Joey, I used to think that my kid's behavior was a result of all my parenting decisions. Ha!!!! How naive I was…Then we had Joey and he has suffered from behavior like Anna's. And I KNOW it is not anything I have done, I KNOW it is totally 100% beyond my control and a result of his diseased brain. And I know that even though you know that, and I know that, we still question ourselves-it's what moms do. <3 But these things are beyond our control, and I want you to remind yourself of that when you doubt your decisions-you are managing this storm gracefully, Holly. You truly are. Some days are hard. You are strong my friend. <3 Praying for better days my friend. <3

Rebecca Spencer - My dear sweet friend, you are a fabulous mother and have offered me so much support with my Theo over the years. Even last night you were there listening to my problems when you were so worried about your own child. Remember Holly please just how much you are loved and how many lives you have touched with your kindness. Rebecca xxx
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365 in 52 [2013] ~ Week Thirty-Six

Anna is having a hard time at school. Every day she comes home with her glasses completely cloudy with dried tears. And it’s making me heart sick for her. I met with her teacher Friday afternoon to discuss why she’s crying. The theory is that art class, one of only two classes where she is […]

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365 in 52 [2013] ~ Week Seventeen

Well… as good as last week was, this week wasn’t so hot. Anna was suspended from school on Thursday for an incident that happened on Wednesday. I debated on whether or not to share the details, but decided that Anna deserves to have people understand her behavior… and if you see someone agitated and acting […]

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pam - Why did the school stop using her BIP? Does the BIP state different levels of consequences? Does it state what they will do if she get’s physically aggressive? I had an autistic girl a couple of years ago, who would have these meltdowns around her cycle too. It was obviously PMS stuff. We learned to handle her a little more gently around that time, and sometimes I just pulled her into my classroom until she calmed down and was able to go back to her class. There are options.

Holly - Hi Pam, thank you for your thoughts. We stopped using her BIP in January because she’d had no incidents of aggressive behavior all year. What she’s doing now is completely new, so we’ll have to write the BIP from scratch and I’m going to push for consistent consequences as apposed to escalating consequences. It is very helpful to hear from teachers and get another point of view, so thank you very, very much for chiming in. <3
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These Are the Things You Don’t Want to Hear

So we saw Anna’s geneticist Tuesday morning. Really the only changes since the last time we were in three years ago is that Anna developed hypothyroidism, she has increased laxity in her joints, and her kyphoscoliosis is worse. There is an additional test we could run now if wanted, but it’s quite expensive… $7-9K at […]

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Rebecca Spencer - Oh Holly my friend. Yes this is amazingly hard, far harder than anyone should have to deal with and these new challenges sound tough. But please remember how far you and Anna have come already, these years have not been easy and yet look at how wonderful Anna is. She is a beautiful young lady and I have every confidence that you will together, with the support and love from your family and friends, cope with these new challenges and the reality will be much better than what you are imagining right now. You are loved Holly and we believe in you, please remember that. Rebecca x
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Jesi Langdale - I just want to say that your daughter is beautiful and your love and respect for her is so so so very beautiful. I could never imagine the challenges you face and you are a wonderful mother. <3

Nina - I completely agree with, Rebecca. You have been through so much with sweet Anna, but yet you both continue to grow and thrive together. All these things you don’t want to hear — will only make you all stronger. :::hugs:::

Jill Cassara - Oh Holly, I’m just stumbling on all of this after checking out your Facebook page. You are so strong and such an inspiration. Big hugs.