About a year and a half has passed since Blake has been to her diagnostician. At the end of kindergarten was when she was diagnosed with dyslexia, dysgraphia and ADHD. She has come unbelievably far in the time she has had at Key School and I was so excited to take her back to the diagnostician yesterday to see her progress.

The main questions I wanted answered were

  1. Is she progressing academically and at least on grade level?
  2. Are we at a point where we can move her to a mainstream school after 2nd grade?

Blake was all set to arrive and begin the long hours of testing at 8:30 yesterday. Since this is a private diagnostician, you get in quickly, you get your results quickly and the reports she gives are so thorough and completely fascinating. The cost is $1300 and insurance does not cover it. I dropped her off and was asked to come back and get the results and have a conference at 12:30. Blake gets very excited to go, so I know the testing must be somewhat fun for her.

This time around I wasn’t nervous, we already have a diagnosis, we already have Blake in a specialized school, we are already working with a psychiatrist to get her on the right medications, none of this is new.

I can tell Dr. Claridge (the diagnostician) loves Blake! The two doctors that tested her think she is hysterical and told me they would have rather not tested her and sat and talked and played with her the entire time. She says funny and cute things often, has a big imagination and doesn’t think or speak about things that most kids do. I don’t know how to describe it, but she isn’t like your standard imaginative 8 year old, it goes far beyond that.

So now it’s time to sit down for the results, I am already low on time, which is unfortunately the story of my life with 3 kids and a business, so we are planning on meeting again to discuss further.


First the good news. Blake has a very high IQ. She is very close to being Mensa. Dr. Claridge told me she will likely qualify for Mensa next time she is tested when her focus has improved some. From my understanding that just means you are in the top 98th percentile for IQ. These are your genius level people. Praise God for this! Right now she is in the top 95th percentile.

Now the not so good news. Basically when your IQ is superior plus, and your academic achievement testing is average, there is more than a standard deviation difference and that is how you know there are learning differences present. If Blake is likely the smartest kid in the room, she should be having no problem flying though these academic tests with ease. Since this is not the case, we know there is still a big problem. Her dyslexia and dysgraphia diagnosis still stands and now we have added on the dyscalculia diagnosis as well. Of course ADHD is still very much a diagnosis too.

So now what? Dr. Claridge recommended she stay at Key School for all of second grade and all of third grade and then reassess. Blake also needs to start seeing a speech therapist to work on her eye contact and staying on topic in conversations. As you can imagine, with severe ADHD, her eyes dart around looking at everything and she changes the subject every two seconds.

She sent me on my way with two books to read “The Whole Brain Child” and “Social Rules for Kids”

I’m not overly excited about the results and was really hoping the gap was closing between her IQ and academics. But no. And that’s ok! We have a plan in place and we know we have to take it year by year and that a curveball can come flying at us at any time. Early intervention is key with these kids, I am so glad we hopped on a treatment plan immediately instead of using the wait and see approach. It’s not easy, it’s not cheap, but we do what we have to do!


Kylie and Aven

As expected, Kylie and Aven transitioned into the school year with zero issues. They are my easies. As a former first grade teacher and lover of the idea of being a little older, a little smarter, a little more mature, Kylie is repeating kindergarten. She has a May birthday and although she rocked kindergarten last year, I just can’t imagine her being one of the youngest in her class. She is already very shy and I knew this extra year would give her extra confidence.

She got a fantastic teacher and we are very impressed with her school so far. At some point we will transition Kylie, and all of our kids, over to a private school, but for public elementary, her school is as good as it gets. Go Tigers!

Aven LOVES school! She would rather be there than just about anywhere else. She has a bestie and a boyfriend, so what else could a 3 year old want? She was in the car about 12 seconds on Wednesday and told me she already missed her teacher Miss Connie.


Blake has two baby books that she adores, hello first child! Kylie has a baby book that I filled out but didn’t put any pictures, same with Aven. Kylie wanted to look at baby pictures of herself yesterday so I cranked up the old blog and scrolled through. It made me realize how important this whole blogging and documenting thing is. If nothing else, your pictures are in order and all in one place. So let’s take  minute to look at fat Kylie……whoa.


I’m hoping to blog a little more frequently, not to become a millionaire blogger, I already have all my eggs in the millionaire photographer basket.

Also, seeing this picture makes me realize I’m not one of those “slow down time” “please time stop” “don’t ever grow up” moms. I see this hashtags and phrases all the time on Facebook. In my opinion, each stage of parenting has it’s challenges but I am beyond glad to be to the stage that  I am in. It’s always getting better and more fun. If given the opportunity to go back to having Kylie at this stage, although cute, I would say a big fat HELL NO . Sorry fat baby Kylie, I am enjoying your kindergarten self plenty. I try to embrace each stage and move on when it’s over.

Blake’s 1st Day

Here we are at the beginning of the school year again. This time 2nd grade! Blake is still at Key School and doing so well there.

The quick story of how she became a student at Key School:

She went to kindergarten at All Saints. It’s a beautiful campus, fantastic school and absolutely not for dyslexic ADHD kids. At all. We visited her diagnostician for a second round of testing when there was about 2 months of kinder left, she had already been tested as a 4 year old. The results showed dyslexia and ADHD as well as dysgraphia. Our diagnostician (Dr. Jill Claridge) referred us to several schools that specialize in these issues. We fell in love with Key School, because they fell in love with Blake, and we have been there every since the last 7 weeks of kindergarten.


Blake thrives there. They challenge her high IQ and meet her where she is with skills she is needing extra help on. The class size is so small, sometimes only 2 kids per teacher.

She was excited to start school, and she made up a song about all the potential problems she could face and sang it last night to calm her nerves. “whaaaaaat if there is a bullllllly?…..what if I don’t know anyooooooone?….I’m pretty nervoooouuuuuuss”


I love that they see Blake as the creative, brilliant, out of the box thinker that she is. They don’t see her as a problem that they need to fix. She is amazing!

Kitty back pack from Pottery Barn Kids

A long hiatus


It’s been, I don’t know, at least 2 years since I have blogged about happenings in my life. But you are never too old for a comeback, right?! Now is a great time for me to hop back into this because

a. I am pregnant with #4. 10 weeks along. Yes, it was planned. No, we weren’t trying for a boy.

b. my business is thriving and I have a little more time to myself now that I have a studio manager running the show.

c. lately I have had several people ask me why I stopped blogging and encouraged me to try again. It doesn’t take much to get Paige Walker up and moving, so that was motivation enough.

d. I have a ton of crap to write about. Having too many kids, running a business and balancing family, stuff I like, things that makes my life easier. What you will most definitely not see here is crafting, pinterest-y bullsh, projects, recipes, diy. NO!

I’m not even sure if anyone out there is still blogging, I mean in 2010 blogging was everyone’s jam.

The old blog is still up, looks like I left off with great detail about the good ol’ nose job.

It feels good to be back!