“Whoa” -Janet

18May 2021

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Do you ever feel like all the work we do for our kiddos is not enough? How about feeling lost and deep deep pain when you see your child struggle every day? Lately, this is what has been running through my head. My family and I work so hard to help Caiden be successful with everyday life. Sometimes I feel deep down that it is still not enough. From the time we wake up to the time we go to bed I wonder if he will be okay without me by his side all the time. I feel so much pain for him when he has behavior after behavior after behavior on a daily basis. Recently, he decided that he no longer wants to go to school. I now need help just to get him loaded into the car. To top it all off, every day, like clockwork, we receive texts, phone calls, and emails from his teacher and principal with behavior reports. Getting these is the worst feeling in the world. How do we know if what we are doing is hurting our children or helping them? Continue reading

30Apr 2021

The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) recently hosted a webinar on the “Rare Sibling Experience.” As the mother of two children, one who is diagnosed with Creatine Transporter Deficiency (CTD) and one who is not, this resonated with me and I was very curious to hear from experts on the topic. Questions about how to handle the experience of my daughter as the sibling of a child with a rare disease often swirl around in my head. My son Cadman is 6-years-old and has CTD. My daughter Emma is 3. Because of their young ages, most of my concerns are about the future, how this will affect Emma as she grows up, and wanting to make sure that as their parents, we are communicating in a healthy, constructive way. The webinar covers communication tips for siblings of various ages (very different for a preschooler vs. a teenager!). Continue reading

01Mar 2021

I had just poured myself a cup of coffee and settled in for the 2-hour Ultragenyx Study, feeling I might have something to offer having been in the CTD world for 20 years, when the second question knocked the wind out of me: What is your greatest fear for the future? It happens every time that question is asked of me. It seems that the fear for the future is always lying just beneath the surface like an alligator waiting to strike. I immediately lost my ability to speak and raised my index finger, asking for a moment to gather myself. I’m surprised by my sudden and intense emotional response to that question, and I’m embarrassed. The ladies interviewing me are gracious and give me the time I need. I just met them, but I feel that maybe they have kids, too. Maybe they understand. I take a deep breath and attempt to convey how I feel, how I worry that my son will be mistreated, neglected, or abused without my vigilance.  I worry who is going to wipe his butt when he, a grown man, uses the bathroom. Or who is going to cut his food small enough so he doesn’t choke. Who is going to draw him away from his puzzles or iPad long enough to interact with real people from time to time? I worry he won’t understand where I went when I’m gone and that he’ll think I left him on purpose. I worry he won’t feel loved. Continue reading

20Jan 2021

We are very fortunate in our state to have scholarships for children who qualify for an IEP but don’t attend public schools. This helps with funds for a visiting Intervention Specialist (special ed teacher) as well as home-based therapies. Sonnet’s health crisis has resolved greatly since she was diagnosed and began treatment for GAMT. However, her neurologist and I vividly remember when she was dealing with fifty-plus seizures a day. It isn’t certain if a serious illness could cause another downward spiral, so our family has chosen to largely quarantine during flu season. This was extended and amplified during the pandemic. Continue reading

31Dec 2020

This essay was written by Laura Trutoiu, ACD Director of Research, with support from Erin Coller, ACD Director of Communications, and Sangeetha Iyer, ACD Scientific Advisor. 

#CreatineDecoded is a quarterly educational essay series that sheds light on research relevant for Cerebral Creatine Deficiency Syndromes (CCDS). The essays feature community contributors, often parents, who, with the help of the ACD, explore in their own words the CCDS science you want to know more about. Have a topic in mind? Send suggestions to Laura Trutoiu, ACD Director of Research [email protected]

When we got Rohan’s Creatine Transporter Deficiency (CTD) genetic diagnosis mid-2017 he was two and a half and had barely started to walk. Though sweet and loving, Rohan wasn’t using words and wasn’t quite doing what other two year olds do. It was a long road to a diagnosis and finding the genetic cause was a blow and a sigh of relief. I got the call at work and jumped out of an ordinary meeting into a brave new world full of genes and mutations.
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09Dec 2020

It’s 3 AM and I can’t sleep. Again.

I came across videos yesterday of Sam completing tasks for the learning program we were doing for a while (Relationship Development Intervention-RDI), and I was reminded, once again, how little we really engage with him now, how few activities he engages in. It bothers me. Continue reading

28Oct 2020

This essay was written by Celeste Graham, ACD Director of Education, with the support of Sangeetha Iyer, ACD Scientific Advisor. 

#CreatineDecoded is a quarterly educational essay series that sheds light on research relevant for Cerebral Creatine Deficiency Syndromes (CCDS). The essays feature community contributors, often parents, who with the help of the ACD, explore in their own words the CCDS science you want to know more about. Have a topic in mind? Send suggestions to Laura Trutoiu, ACD Director of Research [email protected].

Dr. Jonathan Schlebach, PhD (Indiana University-Bloomington) participated in the ACD’s 2020 Virtual Conference and gave an informative talk on the “Classification of the Molecular Defects Associated with Pathogenic Variants of the SLC6A8 Creatine Transporter”. ACD Director of Research, Laura Trutoiu, noticed a recent informative publication from Schlebach’s lab and invited him to attend the 2020 Virtual Conference. “It has been a pleasant surprise to learn about all of the exciting, ongoing research in the ACD community!” Schlebach noted. As a new member of the CCDS community, we are thankful that he has been willing to jump right in with presenting some of his lab’s research findings. Read on to learn a little more about Schlebach, his lab, and his research as it relates to CCDS!

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07Oct 2020

I recently joined the ACD as the new Programs Coordinator, and as part of my orientation experience, I had the amazing opportunity to participate in the 2020 Global Genes LIVE virtual conference. This event was not only educational but incredibly inspirational. I learned so much and came away from the experience with a greater understanding of why we do what we do at the ACD. I would love to share some of my highlights and takeaways with you!
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02Sep 2020

Pioneer. Verb. A person who is among the first to develop or be the first to use or apply (a new method, area of knowledge, or activity). Parent or grandparent of an individual with special needs, do you feel like a pioneer? Well, you are!

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02Sep 2017

Spiro holding his lunch bag in the kitchen

Do you ever have those days or seasons where things are just ‘alot’? I know my family goes through those days. They are hard moments… they seem consecutively laid and they are heavy. Alot of people I know have kids. I don’t walk a day in their shoes, nor do they in mine. But over the years I have come across those folks who complain about… well… in my opinion what would not even qualify as a bad day in my house.

I have 4 little ones, and my 7 year old has CTD and Autism. We have alot of ‘whoa’ moments in our home. Moments where a seemingly insignificant task becomes the battle of all time. And its in those moments, that I really absorb that a typical family never has to deal with this, and really, we are existing on different planets.

I have felt this divide for so long. So much so, that I have a hard time making casual small talk. You know… just carefree happy laughy chit chat with people. I find sometimes that my days and stress with dealing with Spiro are so heavy that even talking with someone is difficult. If you’re not a special needs parent you’re not going to understand… those heavy days… That great divide is often unseen by others. And because it is unseen, how do you get people to understand? You just can’t unload and rain on people’s cheery day to vent the life of Autism and CTD.

So I try and smile and keep my mouth shut. I try and smile and chit chat, although it feels like nails on a chalkboard. It feels like tension. I just keep plugging along… nodding at the traumatic story of potty training your 2 year old when my almost 8 year old wears diapers… agreeing with the stress of having your 4 year old complain that he didn’t want to eat his nuggets when I have to spoon feed my son his meals 80% of the time… Or nodding as you complain that your child cried when you said ‘No’ at a store to a toy, where I could not even get my child in or out of the store/car/house because of transition issues.

The list could go on and on and on… I have my hands full of kids and their issues. Am I the perfect parent? Absolutely not!!! But I’m doing my best, and if you know a special needs parent, hey, give them a call, bring them a supper, fold a load of laundry, take a typical kid for an hour, bring them a coffee, give them a hug, an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on…

But don’t, under any circumstances complain about your kid’s runny nose. Because if you do… I’ll be sure that you don’t leave until you’ve changed my 7 year old’s diaper and dosed and administered his 17 doses of meds a day… Just saying…

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Disclaimer: All thoughts and ideas expressed in the Creatine Community Blog represent the individual blog contributor's opinions and not those of the Association for Creatine Deficiencies. The ideas expressed in the Creatine Community Blog, and any other locations on the creatineinfo.org website, should never be construed as medical advice, even if the information relates to actual health care experiences of the contributor. Individuals should always follow the instructions of their physician and make no changes to their care unless instructed to do so by their physician.