Love and Cannabis 0015: Kindergarten, the second time around

Aiden Stephen's epileptic seizures disrupted his development to a point where he was not keeping pace with his classmates.   Osiris Stephen and Nina Simmons talk about all the factors that helped them make their decision to have Aiden repeat Kindergarten.   After three weeks of school their very difficult decision seems to be working, Aiden is doing great.

Produced by MJBulls Media | Cannabis Podcast Network 

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LC0015 D.mp3 was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best way to convert your audio to text in 2019.

Dan Humiston:
For too many years, families of children with devastating illnesses felt helpless as they watched their child suffer. Today, they're taking matters into their own hands and finally, finding relief. Treating No Child with Cannabis. This is one family's story.

Osiris Stephen & Nina Simmons:
Welcome to another episode. Love and Cannabis. I am Nina Simmons and I am Osiris Stephen and we are the proud parents of a Aiden Stephen.

Osiris Stephen:
Hello. Hello. Yes. Another episode. Another one. I hope you guys have been having a great week. And oh, my God. Summer's over. Is just over. Most school starts is over. It is a wrap. It's just this. I don't know how this happened. I mean, it's been a whirlwind since school started. This was so much going on. Yeah. Back to school life here. Right.

Nina Simmons:
So for those who do not have kids, do not really know what this is like. So this is basically 10 months of torture.

Osiris Stephen:
Like this is a whole lot of running run do all the routine. I mean, this is not bad, but at the same time, it's just like, wow, I a lot. It's like there's no break in between doing that and going to work.

Nina Simmons:
And it is intense and I'm definitely feeling it. Well, Paula, butt out.

Osiris Stephen:
But is it the kids, a gone, six to eight hours a day. What do we do with that tie? I mean, I'm working. Well, yeah, nobody goes by. But you think about summer. So is it really that bad when you go back to school is usually a happier time.

Osiris Stephen:
But does a lot of work because I mean, for us, because our situation us, I mean, I don't want to just say special a special needs child.

Nina Simmons:
But I think for us, for me particularly, I take school a 8 and be in school very seriously. I do, too. So I spend a lot of pressure on myself for him to get, you know, the material. Yeah. So, I mean, a lot of this poverty means putting the pressure like I will. Did I start this mode on my own curriculum that I developed for him to help him with this with the school curriculum. Then I start making flashcards, then I'm looking up stuff online and talking to other teachers. So it's like now that I go back, go back to work myself. And then he goes back to school and then starts the homework.

Osiris Stephen:
Well, I mean, you're just I mean, you going back to work? Is you going to school? Yeah. Because you work in the school. Yeah. So you had so basically you both had the summer off.

Nina Simmons:
We both aiden and I were together for the whole summer.

Nina Simmons:
So, you know, now both of us are back to school and it's pretty exhausting because they know in the summertime he may slack off some things like he may sleep in a little later. A little. Yeah, go back. I'll go.

Nina Simmons:
I know that it'll have to be such a strict schedule, a bedtime routine. But any for excuse me. It's just a thought that we were also is going through chances of him having multiple seizures like his son was really kind of it was somewhat rough, but we had some good time. But he did have a tail end or you start.

Nina Simmons:
It's sort of like that. Before school started this, he just started picking up a little bit. Yeah. And I think I think we could chew with that because we actually end up changing oils towards end of the summer. Yeah. Let's talk about that. So aid has been on for the summer, two or three in total. He has been in like five different oils since he was diagnosed.

Nina Simmons:
Yeah. At least we did mention that. No.

Osiris Stephen:
Yes.

Osiris Stephen:
Actually, more than fine. Yeah.

Nina Simmons:
So with CBT, you know, you have no two are the same in the no two ways are the same.

Nina Simmons:
So yeah, you gotta keep trying. But as you were kids, sometimes they have a growth spurt and their brains are still developing. So maybe when oil worked, say when they were four and then that oil may not work when they're sick. So yeah, we had the change in oil and then we had to also look at what was in the oil.

Osiris Stephen:
Well, yeah, I think it had to do with us also monitoring everything about him and noticing, hey, there's a hiccup here. Hey, I don't like the way this looks. Seizures are starting to pick up. Yeah. Oh, he's starting to do different types of seizures or he's staring more often. So it's like acknowledging those things and recognizing early enough to say, OK, what was different? And we were logging in. So, yeah. Now we're down.

Nina Simmons:
So yeah, at the say what was different that, you know, is triggering Montes and also like sleep is a big thing. Yes. Sleep. That's why you're the line. Honestly, if there's a clinical epilepsy, if you're sleep deprived no matter what, it is a trigger here.

Osiris Stephen:
But the amount of hours he needed was about take for his aids was like 12 hours. Yes.

Nina Simmons:
So some these are there's a range and he needs like that upper limit of that 18. He needs like eleven or twelve hours a night.

Osiris Stephen:
And that's kind of challenging to get home from work. Got to get dinner ready. Oh, cleaning up. This was good to get him involved with that process.

Osiris Stephen:
You know, with just the fact that trying to get our schedules together, trying to get routine.

Osiris Stephen:
Who's doing what? And then us participate in the PTA. Oh, yeah. This is totally different than last year. And what we're doing. I mean, last year, we were just basically going to meetings here and there.

Osiris Stephen:
Listen, what's going on, communicating with the school and then to have the meeting about him being repeating the grade kindergarten, which was like, yes, I was a tough decision to make in that.

Nina Simmons:
Yes.

Nina Simmons:
So we decided, of course, with this teacher recommendation and that came as a team. We came to this decide that you was going to repeat kindergarten. OK.

Nina Simmons:
Have had it for you. How did you feel about that?

Osiris Stephen:
I didn't. At first I didn't really agree with it, but just spending some time with them and just seeing his limitations and how far he has gone.

Osiris Stephen:
I had just had it given to the idea. You know, it's not the same as we once were. Oh, they'll they'll catch up. They'll catch you get steak, they'll catch up. Now is to say we got to meet them where they are. And he wasn't where he needed to be because I mean, there was still the behavioral issues that were coming out, because if he does have a breakthrough seizure, it would just totally disrupt him for that moment. But it would carry over to as well sometimes. So it was a challenge.

Osiris Stephen:
But knowing this and realizing the background mind, this may be something that's gonna have to happen.

Osiris Stephen:
But then to actually witnesses say it has to happen because there's been very little, you know, progress in certain areas.

Osiris Stephen:
I mean, thinking about when you matching the age in the development. Yeah. And you forget all the seizures. Yeah. So now.

Osiris Stephen:
But then how do you Matt, didn't how do you determine if that child's success will not always succeeding in comparison to home? Because if people were not recording that, you know, this show has this particular ailment. How does he fare against other children who are the same age, who are at the same development? You know there.

Osiris Stephen:
How are you going to compare that and say, OK, we successful, so we had to create our own parameters, saying if he achieves these certain things? Yes. You know, if he learns another 25 to 30 sight words, if he's able to count ships or numbers and read his colors, I mean, that is surprising to find that you have to think about like these are things that he needs to know.

Osiris Stephen:
But other kids who are younger than he is would know that some of these things already but does. Again, this from the seizures it was taking, it was taking so much from him, it was Robin's development. Yeah, I think what it was.

Nina Simmons:
The way I looked at I was from the beginning. Even before Aidan started kindergarten, I knew that this year starting kindergarten would be hard. The first time around, yeah, I knew he was in kindergarten ready. And I just knew that this year would be a challenge. Did you think that? Or did you have something else in mind? When he was going into the kindergarten the first time I was I could tell.

Osiris Stephen:
But something that we shared a bit more, especially on my part.

Osiris Stephen:
But it was the work scheduling challenges. So that made it difficult to like implement the things I really wanted him to do. And then you were home with him most of the time. So it was like, OK.

Osiris Stephen:
I can't have her implement the ideas that I have because there's certain techniques and I got to spend time doing with you.

But we get home, we get exhausted. But to answer your question, I thought about a lot of things that we could have done or should have done. Even on my part and seeing the things in his state of development, which wasn't that great at times like this is going to be really hard. It was going to be really hard. It's like he would have to want to do it. We couldn't force them. We couldn't. You know, there's only so much we could do. It's like he had had the desire to do it. And I thought, yeah, this is it had it just a decision that had to be made. I mean, again, like I said, I wasn't really happy. But I know someday I was needed here.

Nina Simmons:
I mean, if I was you know, I was upset to upset. Man at work. What could have done more to hurt me isn't even the first week of school.

Nina Simmons:
It is like, oh, yeah, he's doing kindergarten again like me.

Nina Simmons:
You know what? What went wrong? And then you know what? Nothing went wrong. Everything went right.

Nina Simmons:
He was eased about 2 years, a year and a half behind.

Nina Simmons:
So it makes sense for him to do kindergarten again. Yes, true. So grow into that and then rattle is that is. So just to give you update. So he's really kindergarten ready now? Yeah. He's picking it up. He's picking things up. He's doing what he needs to do. Yeah.

Osiris Stephen:
That's crazy. He is like oh about to say. Well he's finally following directions. He's able to put about them without getting into any trouble. Yeah it is. I think he just doesn't do it because he doesn't know how not to control Hemp and you know not to control be able to control self. I'm sorry to be able controls and not do certain things. It's not necessary for you to walk by the table across the room to pick up something off the table. You sit in your seat. You know, everybody's sitting down. You know, just little things that, you know, you pick up and you hear about in the classroom. OK. We've got to work on those skill sets.

Nina Simmons:
Yes. There's a lot of what's going on now is f a lot of kids are repeating kindergarten, even kids who don't have seizures.

Nina Simmons:
It isn't is very high. Like, if you never do homework with a kindergartener doing, then you ask the Common Core is like, what in the world?

Osiris Stephen:
Well, the interesting thing about that is not as many as you think it is, because a lot of schools are you know, they go by the No Child Left Behind.

Osiris Stephen:
So they're pushing for it would have to be somewhat severe for them to retain kids. And I've seen where there's like six kids are selected to be retained, but they pick like the least the least ones that they felt didn't have to be repeating. So they'll move them forward and take the ones like, yes, these guys have developmental, they have social, they have emotional issues.

Osiris Stephen:
They can't go to the next level where there's so much independence that let's show them a class sense of a lot of parents or is a new thing called Red Shirt.

Nina Simmons:
So Red Shirt thing is really it took a turn on the football. Football. OK. So it's very popular. And like, please explain to middle class area.

Nina Simmons:
Now, I was on this thing called Long Island Moms.

Nina Simmons:
So, yes, so that that shooting is basically purposely holding your kid from kindergarten. So you make them do pre-K twice. So as pre-K, not kindergarten. Yeah. You better the kid in pre-K.

Nina Simmons:
So I have a mom who I work with now. She was like, oh, no, as I always say, I'm going to kindergarten. Oh, no. He's not ready. I'm ready churning him.

Nina Simmons:
Wow. And he's become very, very popular. But you have to have money to register your kid. Even. OK, explains a lot. The city is not going to pay for your kid to do pre-K twice.

Nina Simmons:
So what they'll do, they may what they are what they do is go to the public school for what they call for pre-K and then do a little restaurant year in a private school, Catholic school.

Osiris Stephen:
This is only happening in New York.

Osiris Stephen:
No. Oh, really? It's happening everywhere.

Nina Simmons:
It's a thing, is it the wow says it is something parents who think their kids are not ready for kindergarten. Well, red shirt and pay, I guess, twice. Oh, again, for pre-K. Just about twice as interesting. One of the teachers, she told MJBulls, I don't want to put my son through that. That Common Core and that stress.

Osiris Stephen:
So it's all my investing to your child's education early.

Nina Simmons:
Yeah. So that's.

Osiris Stephen:
So there I could see that. So you sit. You do it early enough as opposed to Wheaton. In the year.

Nina Simmons:
Okay. So they can feel confident. And that's what I do see is probably that would end. He's getting more confident and it's less stressful.

Osiris Stephen:
Dad is really stressed and proud to be a parent these days. Yeah, it is. I think it is better to do it that early. Yet it doesn't affect them socially and emotionally as if they were like in third or fourth grade. I think really like it does happen around fifth and sixth grade. Dena. infuses way a lot of our routine. Yeah.

Osiris Stephen:
Remember when schools worked out, we retained about seven 8 kids. It was crazy.

Osiris Stephen:
The head of a classroom of 25. So it was. Yeah.

Osiris Stephen:
It does not work.

Nina Simmons:
There is a shame like when you your kid is, you know, repeating a grade stigmata. I feel like a stigma, too. Or you feel like people are looking at you like your child.

Osiris Stephen:
Yeah. OK. Well, my daughter my son is going to this grade.

Nina Simmons:
So you feel, oh, they're you know, other kids are reading and what level what grade level is high on my Z level, Zee?

Osiris Stephen:
What do you think about it this way? We are breaking so many stigmas going into the stigmas themselves of having a child with a disability. You know, being two parents married. So there's a stigma there. You know, there's never a father in our household. And now we're changing. So. Dealing with these days, it shouldn't be a problem.

Osiris Stephen:
In doing so many things that goes against the norm, we're facing so many things that, you know, you look at as there's either a stereotype or a stigma or just something, whether it's positive or negative.

Osiris Stephen:
But that we are doing we're experiencing because we're taking so many chances, so many chances.

Osiris Stephen:
And I just want to oh, I just wanna say to those parents who are out there fighting about just really protecting your race, your First Amendment and protecting your child, you know who you are supporting you guys, because now is like your First Amendment, that window. That's another story in itself.

Nina Simmons:
So it's over the fight. You know that.

Osiris Stephen:
That's the thing you're fighting for everything you're fighting and everything. And every day is as it is.

Osiris Stephen:
This is crazy struggle. I think I was talking to someone else today and they said, you know, this time has flown by and it's been like the past three years, just been like. I'm like, oh, my God, we are about to go into the holidays.

Osiris Stephen:
Like everything goes by really high on Thanksgiving and then Christmas and then New Year.

Nina Simmons:
Yeah. So if think goes by fast in a school year goes by pretty fast too. Yeah. A says Aiden is doing kindergarten again. I am on like who is you on 12. Yeah. I'll tell you. No. We're not messing around like you're getting this.

Nina Simmons:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That second time. Yeah. Right. And again, you're right. All right. Saturday Academy.

Nina Simmons:
You know, Saturday reading my own Saturday meeting program. Yeah, we're totally involved.

Osiris Stephen:
I mean, we did the tee ball throughout for the springtime. Now we're PTA members in the school.

Osiris Stephen:
So we're involved parents really of all. We just.

Nina Simmons:
Nina, just put the teachers a Kerry coffee machine. We want to be Jay's got them bottles of water so that they can have to keep teachers happy.

Osiris Stephen:
Yeah, you do. Happy teacher. Happy kids. Kids that learn. Yeah.

Osiris Stephen:
And we have a lot of great teachers. We have some really special teachers that are working with our kids, especially with aid.

Osiris Stephen:
And they're starting to understand them, especially the new teachers, starting to get really set his behaviors, his, you know, those characteristic skills that he has of making people smile, but also making people shop the things that he does sometimes. But he's gotten better. I always sleep has gone bad. That was like a major issue. Oh, is. Let's update everybody on that. Yeah. The people need us say our routine, though. Our routine is not for the week. No. It's just not every day. It makes you want to cry. Think about what we have to do just to keep them healthy. Yeah. Yeah. On top of our fishery, like a family is just seems like a pharmaceuticals. You know, a pharmacy use was really.

Osiris Stephen:
Wow. Was a lot of vitamins and nutrients on here. What's going on here? So we have and we don't use it for help him.

Nina Simmons:
We do a lot to humanity. I mean, we have to make sure he gets enough water. So that's like a job with it.

Osiris Stephen:
So yet all this starts at 6:00 a.m.. Yeah, it's about 6:00, 7:00 a.m., especially when his bus comes at six fifty five. So everything starts at 6:00 a.m. and we get him up. He picks up his own clothes. Well, one person is in the kitchen making breakfast, the others making sure he can dress as his clothes ready to go.

Osiris Stephen:
And it's just ongoing nonstop for those.

Nina Simmons:
It's like it is to us. Only an hour. Know, getting him ready in bed with me out of is how it is the most intense out. Everybody's doing something. Yeah.

Nina Simmons:
It's amazing to watch because my wife been in the kitchen, you know, be in the kitchen making breakfast. I'll be in the bedroom making sure he's getting dressed once he's done dressed. You bring him to the dining room. You have him sit down and wait for breakfast. Breakfast on table. Now we're making putting together his CBD oil. You know, his fire him is with embryos, violin, making sure we measure, what, eight ounces of water, six to eight ounces of water. So one person with him at the table, the other person in the kitchen.

Osiris Stephen:
All these things together. And when we line them up, separate his vitamins, his supplements, and then the water and the CBD oil. And he has to take all these things with about 25 minutes.

Nina Simmons:
That's if it's crazy.

Osiris Stephen:
He's like three eggs. He's in a bowl of yogurt with prunes. Help the digest system. And then we have all these pills. I know. And he has to face this within 25 to 30 minutes. So you get brushes, teeth, brushes here and get ready for the bus. This Maisie is amazed I had to stop one and just look what we're doing.

Osiris Stephen:
My gosh, this is five days a week.

Nina Simmons:
is a lot. So, yeah, I think parents who start recording like put a GoPro on their heads or so everyone's going.

Nina Simmons:
Put a text as it to all your p out there. That got your kids to school on time. Yeah. Fed clean.

Nina Simmons:
Shout out to you guys. It's not easy. It's people who applied. You weren't needed. That is not easy.

Nina Simmons:
Some kids say they have good answers every morning. I don't want to go. They don't want to do anything. I want to eat. They don't want to know what you think.

Nina Simmons:
Say Groundhog Day on a morning. But we've been lucky. We have a lovely way. And we know he does that. He just eats slow. But for the most part, he did. And he was.

Osiris Stephen:
Yeah, his eating skills like almost 20, 30 minutes now comfortably for stocks, though. But what I've noticed about him is something he really likes.

Osiris Stephen:
You think he'll eat, sit there at the table smiling. There was a little dance. He'll eat. What if something it is that he likes and usually has a scrambled egg with cheese and bacon, sometimes bacon. So it is an interesting year. So far he's only been one month and.

Osiris Stephen:
Wow, nice. He hasn't been a mom with my time. It's only been like three weeks and I'm already exhausted and exhausted.

Nina Simmons:
So we did some changes with Aidan that we've seen some really positive things and implemented fish oil.

Nina Simmons:
Oh, my God. Get out of oil. Yeah. That's been helping. It's a lot of that. The way he is, I'm really happy with it.

Osiris Stephen:
But it's something we have to do because lately was experiencing that he was having grand malls like at o'clock in the morning and we're like, wow, he would. He'll have a problem right before he fall asleep or jerk or twitch as he's trying to get into REM. And he'll be in REM for a while. Really? Until the four o'clock in the morning, 3, 4 o'clock in the millions. And he breaks into a grandma. So we jump up and now we're contending with this at the diagram all he falls back asleep and sleeps for another two hours. And where are we? That's what we have to take them to school. He slept for so long because he was exhausted. But we turned and decided, let's try another different oil.

Osiris Stephen:
Yeah, we had a shop around because for some reason certain oils, like I said, aren't the same. So we tried another one. We changed our dosage singing. Now what? We used to just wake them up at 10, 8, 10 p.m. to take his nightly dose. Now we just give it to him at 7:00 and then wake him up at 10:00 because that seemed to carry him over into the morning where he has no gram was no sees, no jerking twitching before he goes to bed. So it's been great. I think now he has maybe one or two episodes a day and they seem very well.

Nina Simmons:
So we so don't give up. He got a chat. Try different oils.

Osiris Stephen:
Yeah, you do. And also, Doc, I mean, like you said before, your document, what's going on? Log it and also pay attention to the labels. Yeah. Within the oil. Yeah. Patented it because one day, you know, one order you'll have everything you've seen before. The next batch you get will have an a certain ingredient. You're like not thinking about it. That ingredient may have an effect on shore.

Osiris Stephen:
That's how we found out about a couple of products that had a specific ingredient that triggered AIden.

Osiris Stephen:
And so, you know, we're not above basically aligning ourselves with any particular brand as long as it works.

Nina Simmons:
A is actually as long as it works, its trial is fine. That's one thing I was for years because your brain's over changing when they're a kid.

Nina Simmons:
Yeah, well, that's why sometimes they may work one year and it may or may not.

Osiris Stephen:
But we also see a lot of pharmaceutical drugs. Same same thing. Exactly.

Nina Simmons:
So we also started doing Omega. Yeah. The official of the last one was a Nordic. Yeah, we did. You know, know naturals. And then we saw it. I think olive oil, which is interesting. And the healthy fat. Yeah.

Osiris Stephen:
I'm on the fence with the one to see what happens.

Osiris Stephen:
But the D.H. A this is very helpful that I don't mega is very helpful.

Osiris Stephen:
So there's this so many things easy, you gather research and do I know one of the things that past may have which kids is eating?

Osiris Stephen:
We got lucky.

Osiris Stephen:
Aiden loves his vegetables. He'll he will sit down, eat the broccoli.

Osiris Stephen:
He will ask for broccoli or spinach is another one of his favorite avocado. He has no problem with also kale.

Osiris Stephen:
He's kale. He'll eat a salad. My due in large bowl of spinach.

With all that, all the fakes, the famous tomatoes, salary and all these other things they're in.

Osiris Stephen:
He eat it. I would say surprise. Like, wow. So we got nothing. I'm lucky. So.

Nina Simmons:
So that's where we are. I mean, kindergarten is going great. It's intense, but we definitely see was worth it. So if you ever on the fence are embarrassed, you know what?

Nina Simmons:
There's nothing to really know early morning about anymore. But things have changed. Things have changed. Is it the benefit of the candid? You don't want them to be struggling their whole lives.

Osiris Stephen:
They're always going to be behind, tackle it early, give them much fair chance, build up some self-confidence and work with them. So it's it's education has gotten fun as of late. It's been a go, go, go, go. There was a time where kids loved school, loved going, wanting to learn.

Osiris Stephen:
Now it's just almost military like information. You have to keep going. And I think that, again, that comes from the Common Core. They haven't to do a lot of catch with that. So we had to also make some time for him to relax and enjoy the week last year. Yeah. And have some fun tomorrow, Saturday.

Nina Simmons:
But I think that is it for this episode.

Osiris Stephen:
Yeah, we're doing okay. Yeah.

Osiris Stephen:
Well I miss Holly bid three weeks. Check back with us into November. Right before the holidays.

Osiris Stephen & Nina Simmons:
She was so thin air, even house hunting. Yes. Another one talk. All right, guys. Raff in New York, a.. That's a story itself, Aiden. It seems to be enjoying it.

Osiris Stephen & Nina Simmons:
Yeah. All the. Oh, this could be my room. This is a remote. Yeah. We'll see that again.

That's another conversation itself, because so much we're learning.

Osiris Stephen & Nina Simmons:
Look, we should do episodes that keep you posted and other things are going. Things that are going on. We're gonna tell them. OK. All right. Thanks for tuning in. Yeah.

Osiris Stephen:
And a shout out to Dan Humiston MJBulls. Wishing you a speedy recovery, my friend. Get well soon. See you soon. Have a good one.

thanks for tuning in. Another episode love and Cannabis. I'm orisis stephen and im nina simmons be strong and empower.

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