About

A bit about me.  I am a teacher.  I have a BFA in fiction writing, a M.Ed in secondary education, and a M.Sped in special education.  I’ve taught in Illinois (in the US in case you aren’t sure) since 2004.  Three of those years were spent in a suburban school.  The other nine were in rural school districts.  Only two of those years were spent teaching regular education (reading, writing, speech, and drama).  The rest of my time teaching has been spent in special education (my true passion if you want to know the truth).  I have spent the last five years in the same district as my kids.  I quickly moved into more and more responsibility (not to brag, but I contributed to many different facets of the school).
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I am also a mother of three children.

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My eldest, Monkey was 14 and going into year 10 (9th grade in the US) when we came here.  She was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) previously Aspergers and ADHD Inattentive right before Christmas 2017.


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My middle (my only son), Bub was 10 years old and a year 6 (5th grade in the US).  He has really come into his own here.  He has a load of friends and tons more freedom to have adventures.


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Lastly, there is Monster.  She was 8 years old and a year 4 (3rd grade in the US) when we came to Hong Kong.  She was diagnosed as Dyslexic, ADHD Inattentive, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) previously Aspergers in September 2016.  In June 2018, it was suggested she has verbal processing issues as well as working memory issues as well as everything else.


 
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Then there is B.  He is from the same area as me.  We attended the same high school but at different times.  He works as a systems administrator and is a magician when it comes to technology.
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We’ve been together 17 years and married for 14 of those years when we came here.  We met in his final year of high school and I was completing my second year of college.  We were friends at first as he and my cousin sort of attempted to start a relationship.  I started a relationship else where.  Less than a year later, we found each other again.  We made it almost 17 years married and almost together 20 years before it completely fell apart.  I will always appreciate that he was willing to go on this adventure.  
 

So on to the why of our situation.  Ready?

 

Arrival into Hong Kong on 25th July 2016

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2016-2017:  All three kids attend the same school I taught in.  There were questions regarding Monster’s abilities.  Within months of starting school, she was assessed by a educational psychologist and given a diagnosis of dyslexia, ADHD inattentive, and ASD (previously aspergers).  Bub struggled with being away from home.  He did start to come out of his shell and make a ton of friends.  Monkey was able to go to Taiwan for the EOTC trip during her school year.  It was such an incredible experience for her.

July 2017 in Sai Kung, New Territories

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2017-2018:  With this school year, Monster was moved to another primary school that had a specialized program to work with her.  She ended up loving the school.  So much so that she hated missing school (which was a huge change to her trying to get out of school any way she could).  Bub is still struggling with the distance from family, but he has so many friends and so much more freedom to roam around.  He is in secondary school now and really enjoys those freedoms.  Hong Kong is such a safe place where he can go out with friends.  Monkey finished up her MYP.  There were discussions about where she should go next.  Our school only really offers the DP, and I didn’t think Monkey would be well suited to that option.  With the help of a dear friend, we found a program for her at another school in the company in the BTEC program.

25th July 2018 in Manila, Philippines

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2018-2019:  Monster remained in her current school as year 6, so it was her last year there.  It was stressful waiting to find out which school she would end up at.  In the end, she will be going to the same school as Monkey.  It was a great year though.  She has made so much progress and done so well.  

Monkey ended up doing really well in her BTEC program.  She wowed her teachers with her abilities and creativity.  She has one more year there.  Over the summer, she went back to Columbia College Chicago to take an illustration class.

Bub had a rocky year.  He still struggles with being here even though there are things he likes, I think he misses family so much.  He will remain with me at school.  He is the luckiest right now with the commute since it’s only a 5 minute walk to school.  We also live in a compound with a lot of his friends.  So hopefully that will help him.

For the summer time, they all went home to the US to spend time with family.  They have been there from the 1st July and will come home on 8th August.  I miss them to pieces.  I can’t wait for them to come home.  

 

July 2019- Hong Kong International Airport saying good bye to my monsters.
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