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Photo by Katie McBroom / Katie McBroom Photography

Illustration by Brittany Granville

Photo by Alisann Elpers — Captured Studios Photography







By Barb Hartman






By Megan Seckman

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By Carrie Vittitoe




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SUMMER CAMP DIRECTORY Special Advertising Section




Spring 2018 /

Provided Photo

Volume 28 • Number 1 PUBLISHER Cathy S. Zion SPRING 2017 • VOL. 26 / NO. 1 PUBLISHER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Cathy S. Zion Anita Oldham EDITOR-IN-CHIEF EDITOR Anita Oldham Tiffany White EDITOR CONTRIBUTING Tiffany White EDITORS Lucy M. Pritchett Miranda G. PoppEDITORS CONTRIBUTING Elaine Rooker Jack COPY EDITOR/SR GRAPHIC DESIGNER April Allman Miranda G. Popp

This photo of my kids from many years ago is one of my favorites. Share some of your “not-perfect” photos on our Today’s Woman Facebook page.

when the picture isn’t perfect T “there are no perfect parents, and there are no perfect children, but there are plenty of perfect moments along the way.” — Dave Willis

The real moments of parenthood are rarely Instagram worthy. We see so many ideals of life on social media — all the perfect family pictures with the matching outfits, the clean, happy kids, and the spotless floors. Any parent knows better, but I think even the more seasoned of us can get sucked into thinking we are doing something wrong. In this issue of Today’s Family, you will meet several families whose lives are different than an ideal: Families who have had to cope with the loss of a father, with the fragile health of a baby, with a diagnosis that throws a family into being “not normal.” As you will read, these families have learned to adjust — to accept that love and fun comes in all kinds of forms — and to help us remember that there is not one definition of a perfect family. If your family is in a tough situation, look to those around you for support, ask for help, keep seeking what you know your family needs. And, if we at Today’s Family can help point you in a direction, let us know.

— Anita Oldham, Editor


Zaylie Ward, 9, and Lachlan Ward, 11, went on a four-month trip to eight countries that included some scuba diving and plenty of family antics. See page 10. Photo by Melissa Donald


DESIGNER/PRODUCTION COPY EDITOR/DESIGNERCOORDINATOR Jill Cobb April H. Allman DIGITAL DESIGNER/EDITORIAL ASSISTANT GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Aubrey Hillis Jessica Alyea PHOTOGRAPHER/PHOTO EDITOR Kathy Bolger Melissa Donald Jennifer Wilham OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Scheri Stewart Mullins PHOTOGRAPHER/PHOTO EDITOR Melissa Donald ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Susan Allen OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Amanda Peyton BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Rachel Reeves ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Susan Allen SENIOR MEDIA CONSULTANTS Teri Hickerson SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Teri Hickerson Joyce Inman Ann Hurst MEDIA CONSULTANT Deana Coleman Joyce Inman CIRCULATION MANAGER ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES W. Earl Zion Kaitlyn English Today’s Family is published monthly by: Zion Publications, LLC Donna Piercy 9750 Ormsby Station Road, Suite 307 Louisville, KY 40223 Phone: 502.327.8855 CIRCULATION MANAGER W. Earl Zion Today’s Family published by: Today’s Family is magazine is semi-annually published bi-annually by Zion Publications LLC Zion Publications, LLC and free to the people 9750distributed Ormsby Station Road, Suite 307 of metropolitan Louisville and Louisville, KY 40223 Southern Indiana. Circulation 35,000. The Phone: 502.327.8855 opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the position The opinions expressed herein aremagazine exclusively of the publisher. Today’s Family those not of the writers or and do not necessarily reflect does endorse guarantee any the position of the publisher. Today’s Family advertiser’s product or service. magazine does not endorse or guarantee any Copyright by or Zion Publications advertiser’s2018 product service. CopyrightLLC 2017 with all rights reserved. or use by Zion Publications LLC,Reproduction all rights reserved. of editorial or graphic content in any manner Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic is prohibited without permission from Zion content in any manner is prohibited without Publications LLC. permission from Zion Publications LLC.

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address for 12 monthly issues of Today’s Woman, with 2 included issues of Today’s Family.

Spring 2018 / BBB RATING

What’s New this spring? By Barbara Hartman


Through March 2021, SPEED ART MUSEUM is free to the public on Sundays, made possible by a generous contribution from Brown-Forman. The museum has lots to offer the family including workshops, tours, and films, as well as its current collections and exhibitions.

By far my favorite way to spend a weekend evening is by going to a LOUISVILLE CITY FC SOCCER match. Since coming to town in 2015 the team has been a local favorite, and it ended its most recent season as the United Soccer League season champions, an impressive feat for such a young team. The management, coaches, and players have embedded themselves in our community, making frequent appearances at and donations to various events. The team is currently housed at Slugger Field, but approval for construction of a new stadium to be located in Butchertown recently passed through a Metro Council vote.


MDLIVE TELEMEDICINE — the use of telecommunication and information technology to provide clinical health care from a distance — is saving you time spent in the doctor’s office. I have been offered this service both through my insurer and our primary doctor’s office. All you need is the ability to log in to a video chat program where you can enjoy face-to-face time with your provider while still in your jammies. Our “visits” are free, but that may not be the case with all service providers. Check with your doctor or insurer to see if this might be an option for you. The doctor can diagnose illness and call in prescriptions or may ask you to come in if your issue is more complex.

4. LOUISVILLE CITY FC SOCCER 2018 UPCOMING HOME GAMES 3/17 3:00 PM vs Nashville SC 3/24 3:00 PM vs North Carolina FC 3/31 3:00 PM vs Tampa Bay Rowdies 4/14 7:30 PM vs Richmond Kickers 4/28 7:30 PM vs Bethlehem Steel FC 5/19 7:30 PM vs Atlanta United FC 2 6/16 7:30 PM vs Penn FC 6/27 7:00 PM vs Pittsburgh Riverhounds 6/30 7:30 PM vs New York Red Bulls II For a complete schedule, visit


Spring 2018 /

Photo submitted by Louisville City FC

My husband and I sat in a parking space labeled #6, and he told me he was embarrassed that someone was bringing our groceries out to us. My response was simple: he was free to make that comment only if he had spent years of his life in stores shopping, loading, dragging kids around, driving, unloading, and putting away said groceries. His response: silence. WALMART GROCERY PICKUP makes life so easy! [Meijer and Kroger also provide this option.] Your journey begins at where you create an account. Search specific items or shop by department. The site automatically saves favorites so you can easily find them for future orders. You choose a pick-up time, checkout, and pay online. During checkout you can choose whether to allow the store to substitute items for ones you ordered that may not be available. You aren’t able to select your own produce and meat, but the personal shoppers at the Middletown store shop for me as if they were shopping for themselves. I have been very satisfied with their selections, but on the occasions that I haven’t, they have been easy to work with to find a solution. There are no fees associated with this service, and the shoppers are not allowed to accept tips.

Photo Courtesy American Federation of Arts


When it comes to finding out what’s new in the ’hood, I am queen. I have been known to research activities or good deals for an entire afternoon before uncovering the gem of the day. Here are some of my favorites.

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Today’s Family / Spring 2018


What’s New this spring? << PAGE 6


Photo provided by All About Kids

ALL ABOUT KIDS ( has two locations and offers a two-hour free playtime for kids on various days depending on the location. I recently discovered the punch card pass for members, which gets you 10 visits for $65, which is well worth the $25 membership fee if you will be a regular. Last summer the gym added the “Very Important Kid” pass, which is $50 for unlimited free play sessions throughout the summer. This deal was a fabulous use of our money, and they plan to offer it again this year. My son was there so much we thought about getting him a cot and making it sleep-away camp.


BIG CITY SCAVENGER HUNT is a great day out with the family that allows you to discover more about the city you live in or one you are visiting. It is designed to last about two hours so keep that in mind if you are planning on including younger children. Prior to beginning, your team leader — whoever you trust to be in charge — registers the group online at Every participant who has a smart device can be assigned a role for the day such as team historian, architect, or artist. Once registered, you will be given access to the address of your starting point, and you’re off! During the hunt, the leader receives clues that get the team to successive locations, where they may have to answer a trivia question, while the “specialty” members are sent text challenges such as “take a picture of something that makes you happy,” or “capture a photo of a specific landmark.” Completed clues and challenges net the team points that go toward an overall scavenger hunt score. (Inside tip: I found this event on Groupon, so start your hunt there.)


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SIDE-BY-SIDE WORKSHOPS Ages 2-5 can explore Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism then create their own Impressionist artwork on March 14.

I hate extra ticket fees, but getting out of the car to go to the box office isn’t always feasible, so THE KENTUCKY CENTER DRIVE-THRU TICKET WINDOW is an option. (It is located on Main Street just before 6th Street.) You turn onto a drive that goes under the center, pull up to the window, and tell them what show you are interested in. They show you a seating chart, you make your choices, you pay, and away you go. I have never had to wait.



You can enjoy LOUISVILLE’S NEWEST BRIDGES AND TUNNEL for a lower cost than listed just by registering your cars with RiverLink. The whole process can be done online, by phone, or at customer service centers, which are popping up all over the area. If you obtain a transponder, your vehicle’s information is captured as you cross, dropping the rate from $4 each way to $2. To take advantage of this offer you must create a prepaid online account. If you don’t have that capability, you can still register your vehicle’s license plate, which results in a drop from $4 to $3. Go to for more information.

Photo provided by

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Family / Spring 2018


An Unbelievable Trip: Four Months Abroad with Four Kids

Four months, eight countries, six small suitcases, one trip of a lifetime. These are the numbers involved when turning a dream into reality.

By Megan M. Seckman Photos submitted


egan Ward, a practicing family nurse practitioner, and her husband Scott Barber recently completed an epic family travel experience, snaking their family of six — yes, I said six — through the cities, valleys, and beaches of Southeast Asia. While most children were gearing up for state testing and end-of-school activities, their four children, ranging in ages from 9 to 15, were learning Thailand’s transportation systems. They took a sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, where they learned to hail a 10-seater taxi. They shopped in markets with the phrases they learned in various languages the night before, ordered dinner, converted money, and took traditional Thai cooking classes. Over the course of their four months homeschooling abroad, Finley (15), Whitman (13), Lachlan (11), and Zaylie (9) researched the world’s religions while in mosques, studied Hindu iconography in Bali, and celebrated the Thai national holiday, Songkran, by honoring the tradition of cleansing ancient Buddhist statues with water. (The kids joined in with the locals and used water guns.) They snorkeled from

a liveaboard boat outside Indonesia’s Komodo Dragon National Park, swam under waterfalls, marveled at new foliage and fauna, and, most importantly, learned to step outside their comfort zones. In each of these diverse settings, they journaled about their experiences every day, contributed to the family’s blog “Lemons to lemonade2017”, and read books from the Louisville Free Public Library on their Kindles. The idea for this trip began long ago. Megan and Scott wanted to take their tribe abroad, but the logistics seemed insurmountable. How would they put Scott’s law practice, Megan’s patients, their home, and the children’s school on hold to travel the world? But, in 2014, a life-changing event helped put the dream in motion. Scott was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and a year later made the difficult decision to take early retirement from his law practice. “We had a wake-up call. We had to decide what we wanted out of our life. This disease has no cure and it will progress, so we knew if we wanted to make this dream come true, we had to make it happen,” Megan says. PAGE 12 >>


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The Ward family toured the Petronas Twin Towers (in background) located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Family / Spring 2018


Scott and Lachlan ride down the Thu Bon river in Hoi An, Vietnam. The boat is made of bamboo and water buffalo dung.

“This disease has no cure and it will progress, so we knew if we wanted to make this dream come true, we had to make it happen.” — Megan Ward << PAGE 10 So the couple began the planning stages of their big adventure. Originally, the plan was to have Megan work remotely, but she found that this limited the scope of their travel because of bureaucratic and language barriers. She would have to work where she could speak English and many countries don’t recognize the role of nurse practitioners. Ultimately, Scott and Megan found a solution: they rented out their Highlands home on Airbnb to help fund their travels. Scott’s stepmother managed the property (which rented every day aside from one weekend), and the rentals were able to pay for the entire trip. Piece by piece, the plan began to unfold. Megan’s partners were willing to cover her patients, and Norton Healthcare was supportive of her time off. Scott’s secretary took their dogs. As far as schooling, Scott and Megan unenrolled their children from JCPS and officially home schooled them. Each principal (from three different schools, mind you) was supportive of the educational enhancement and agreed to save their spots. “The village was big. Everyone was so supportive,” Megan says of all the encouragement she received

in order to pull off a plan of this magnitude. After working out the “how,” they were then faced with the “where.” “A whole new world opened up if I didn’t have to work,” Megan explains. “We had a few criteria: a place where we had never been, somewhere we could live cheaper than in the U.S., and a place where we’d be immersed in a rich cultural experience. We wanted to go to a place where the different languages, cultures, and religions might make us feel a little uncomfortable.” Scott and Megan narrowed their choices to South America, India, and Southeast Asia, but decided on the latter. The couple then planned the first 12 days of their fourmonth trek, but kept the rest open and flexible. Once abroad, they were surprised at how inexpensive flights were; many flights they purchased for around $20. Typically they booked travel and hotels one to three days prior and waited to evaluate the mood of the brood before deciding on the next location. Southeast Asia is hot and the cities are crowded, so the family peppered in plenty of beach time or the countryside to balance out their congested city travels. PAGE 14 >>


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Megan and Whitman feed elephants at the Happy Elephant Home, which is an elephant sanctuary approximately 90 minutes outside of Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand.

Zaylie befriended a couple of girls while hiking the terraces in Sapa, North Vietnam.

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Family / Spring 2018


Photo by Melissa Donald The family orders food from this eatery in Luang Prabang, Laos.

k Accommodations The kids each kept a journal (above is 11-year-old Lachlan’s). Also they kept track of exchange rates.

<< PAGE 12 Amazingly enough, the family of six was able to visit eight countries without breaking a bone, losing a bag, or getting sick, despite the fact that two of the Barber children have severe nut allergies. Megan laminated a list of their allergies — translated into several different languages — to hand to servers across the region. She packed loads of EpiPens but didn’t have to use a single one. While Megan is still trying to figure out her favorite part of the trip — was it the snorkeling in Indonesia off a liveaboard or the seven-hour trek through Vietnam’s Sapa Valley? — she is certain of the impact this trip had on her family’s perspective. “We truly gained appreciation for each other. We bonded because we were all

put in uncomfortable situations and had to rely on one another, sometimes, just to cross the street. I was able to watch my kids in all of these new environments, and witness their exposure to different cultures and religions. I was able to see their individual strengths in how they navigated each new situation. Not only did they gain an appreciation for what we have at home, but they realized people all over the world have a lot less than we do, and (the families) are truly happy with having less.”

The couple then planned the first 12 days of their four-month trek, but kept the rest open and flexible.”


Spring 2018 /

The Ward/Barbers stayed in hotels, hostels, and inns. They were able to stay in most places for around $100 a night. Sometimes, because of the size of their family, they had to rent multiple rooms and divide the family up into pairs. They used the independent travel website to help plan their destinations and accommodations. Once Megan arrived at a new location, the first item on the agenda was locating a neighborhood laundress. Since they packed light, laundry was a necessity and the washer/dryer combos left their garments a swampy mess. Megan discovered that locals will launder your clothes and charge by the kilogram. This service was invaluable.

k What they packed

Megan dispersed EpiPens, antibiotics, hand-sanitizer, Kleenex, and Scott’s extensive medications throughout all the luggage. Each traveler carried a small carryon that included a Kindle, a journal, and a tablet (where the kids accessed Kahn academy, blogged, and conducted research), as well as one small rolling suitcase that contained: 1 pair of long pants 2-3 pairs of shorts 4 t-shirts 1 long-sleeve shirt and one hoodie 1 pair of sneakers and 1 pair of Chaco sandals 1 bathing suit They purchased and purged along the way as needed, but the biggest commodity abroad happened to be sunscreen. Megan says sunscreen was oftentimes $30 a bottle, more than airfare within the region.

k Not to Miss

Megan’s favorite was Vietnam, where her family trekked through the Sappo Valley with a native hill tribe. Their guide for the seven-hour hike was a young native woman who taught herself English and helped them navigate the rice paddies and steep, muddy terrain. Women and children from the village converged on the family, teaching them how to make jewelry with the ferns and fauna they gathered along the way.

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Family / Spring 2018


This family’s baby came early By Carrie Vittitoe Photo by Alisann Elpers – Captured Studios Photography


hen Michelle Runkle began experiencing contractions at 34 weeks of pregnancy in July 2017, she didn’t think much of it. When she was pregnant with her son Jackson, she had prodromal labor for a month prior to his birth, so she thought that the contractions she was having were the same. She went on with her day and even went out to dinner that night. During the meal, Michelle’s contractions showed no signs of abating and only intensified. Two minutes apart. One minute apart. She and Matt decided to go to the hospital, where she was informed that she was definitely experiencing real labor. Of course, as any woman who has experienced labor and delivery knows, babies don’t always follow the straightest path of arrival. “The contractions were so close together and strong for so long that they were affecting Caroline the baby,” Michelle says. Nurses gave Michelle medication to relax her uterus. After the third round of drugs, Michelle’s water broke. Because Caroline wasn’t yet full-term, Michelle says her doctor and the nurses prepared her for what would likely happen when she delivered, which would be that Caroline would be immediately taken to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Michelle says it was a very special surprise that Caroline was stable enough that Michelle was able to hold her, and Lily, Jackson, and her grandparents were able to meet her before she was taken to the unit. During her 26 days in the NICU, Caroline had to pass five “tests” that would determine her ability to go home safely. “She had to be over 4 pounds, breathe room air (no ventilator), have a consistent


Spring 2018 /

Michelle and Matt Runkle, Lily (8), Jackson (6), and Caroline (8 months) from Newburgh, Indiana

temperature, experience no ‘events,’ and feed from a bottle,” Michelle says. Caroline did have one “event,” which was when her blood pressure dropped, and she stopped breathing. Fortunately, she came out of it on her own without any intervention, but that event meant it would be another seven days before Caroline could be released from the hospital. Caroline had a feeding tube for a while and struggled to bottle feed. “This was the major thing we were waiting on,” Michelle says. Although Michelle had planned to nurse full-time, Caroline’s early arrival meant she had to be flexible. Michelle pumps full-time so Caroline can take bottles during the day and nurse at night. A new baby always changes a family, but Caroline’s early arrival has meant some precautions that most families don’t have to take. Michelle says Jackson is in kindergarten and has been bringing home every bug known to man, which means she has to work to sequester the kids to keep Caroline as healthy as possible. Everyone in the family, including aunts, uncles, and grandparents, had to get both a flu shot and a TDAP to reduce the risk of Caroline contracting whooping cough. Caroline’s early arrival has affected Michelle in a way that other preemie moms can understand. “There are times I get overwhelmed and anxious. If I hear a certain beep like the ones for the NICU, I shudder,” she says. Still, she feels fortunate that Caroline is so healthy and at this point meeting all her developmental milestones. “Twenty-five years ago, it was a different story. It is much easier now for a 34-weeker to be fine,” she says.

Mealtime fun includes: Lily: Drama Jackson: We dance. Matt and Michelle: We play “I Spy” and tell knock-knock jokes. Fun things that cost nothing: Lily: Camping in the playroom. Jackson: Bonfires Michelle: Family walks Fun things that cost: Lily: Staying in a cabin. Jackson: Going to the movie theater. Matt and Michelle: Disney or the beach. Guilty favorite snack: Donut Bank donuts The part of your family bedtime ritual Lily and Jackson expect they will remember fondly: Staying up; otherwise known as monkey business. Book the whole family agrees on: God Gave Us You. Lily and Jackson enjoy hearing about when Michelle was pregnant with them. An activity the kids have dragged the family into: Lily: Tumbling Jackson: T-ball

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Family / Spring 2018


After the Diagnosis By Megan M. Seckman Artwork by Brittany Granville


enry was never a stereotypically easy child. According to his mother, Scheri Mullins, he was excessively energetic and prone to tantrums. Although highly curious and intelligent — he learned to read before kindergarten — he wasn’t particularly verbal and had difficulty with fine motor skills. Scheri had him evaluated for developmental delays as a young child, before preschool even, and he had received speech and occupational therapies as a toddler. But he was a first child, and Scheri and her husband Chris were assured again and again that his behaviors were “normal” and nothing to be concerned about.

A Son’s Diagnosis It wasn’t until he enrolled in a small private kindergarten, with just seven boys, that a teacher voiced her concerns about Henry’s behavior and suggested that he should be evaluated for ADHD. By this time, Henry had a little sister — a very calm little sister — and Scheri could see the sharp contrast between her two children. “We weren’t surprised at all. He was a little hard to manage, and we were relieved to have a teacher who didn’t write him off,” Scheri said. Henry’s teacher set up a formal

ADHD evaluation with a social worker through 4-C, Community Coordinated Child Care. When the evaluator came to observe Henry, her report indicated that Henry’s hand was the first to shoot up and answer the teacher’s questions just about every time, but he happened to be completely upside down in his chair, raising his hand, enthusiastically, toward the ground. The other students around him were continually distracted, so the Mullinses were referred to a psychologist for a formal evaluation of Henry’s possible ADHD. After a three-hour round of testing with a certified clinical psychologist, Henry was officially diagnosed as twice exceptional: gifted with ADHD, sensory perception, and possible autism spectrum disorders, which was later confirmed. “We were new parents, and we just didn’t know what to do, so the diagnosis gave us something to name and research. We are very cerebral people, so this gave us direction.” Henry began his treatment at age

“we were new parents, and we just didn’t know what to do, so the diagnosis gave us something to name and research.” — Scheri Mullins


Spring 2018 /

five. He was placed on stimulant pharmaceuticals that showed immediate results. “Once he started the meds, he became more in control of himself; he became a better version of himself. If he goes unmedicated now, he gets in trouble and his self-esteem is affected,” Scheri notes, but, like many children on these drugs, his appetite suffers. Scheri says Henry is a very thin young man, and she has to supplement his diet with extra protein. Henry’s educational journey has been rich, to say the least. Through pharmaceuticals, private counseling and coaching services, occupational therapy, private schooling, and continual checkups at the doctor’s office, the cost of ADHD adds up. He is reevaluated every three years, as some ADHD symptoms drop off as children mature. Last August, the Mullins forked out $1,000 for testing, not to mention the cost of his private high school. According to Dr. David Causey, clinical psychologist and specialist in childhood development with Square One in Louisville, many patients are not diagnosed with ADHD until middle or high school, when parents notice a substantial drop in grades. At this time, the academic load makes it difficult for students to compensate for their lack of organization, poor time management, or inability to complete tasks. Henry’s experience with ADHD is similar to this trend.

While Henry made straight A’s in his public elementary school, his grades began to dip in the middle grades. Scheri advocated for Henry to be evaluated for a 504 Plan through JCPS. This proved challenging as Henry was a gifted child, and it was difficult for his teachers to see the need for added supports. After all, he was still making B’s, but Scheri knew Henry was not living up to his potential. Scheri eventually succeeded in getting Henry an accomodation, and a 504 Plan was put into place that legally granted Henry preferential seating up front to maintain focus, extended time on assignments and tests, and the use of a keyboard for note taking and assignments to offset his fine-motor disabilities. When high school came along, the more complex content and increasingly demanding social scene warranted the Mullinses to leave public school and pursue a private education where Henry would have access to more resources and smaller class sizes, a combination

Henry’s hand was the first to shoot up and answer the teacher’s questions just about every time, but he happened to be completely upside down in his chair, raising his hand, enthusiastically, toward the ground. necessary for his ADHD and autism spectrum disorder. Now, Scheri and Chris are preparing for the next educational journey: college. They know Henry will need a small university where he is less likely to get physically and metaphorically lost. Children with ADHD are more likely to suffer from substance abuse, more likely to drop out of college, and more prone to accidents. “I worry about his ability to manage practical living skills. He’s socially awkward and can’t find his way out of a paper sack. We are about to send him out into the world to manage his

own money, drive a car, show up on time, turn stuff in, and do his own laundry. We’ve managed so much for him, I worry about whether or not he can do it on his own. He has an Apple watch that reminds him to take his medicine, but he’ll tune that out. It’s been nerve-wracking,” Scheri says. But it’s also been a joy. Henry is capable of highly intellectual discussions and sees things differently than most kids his age. Scheri’s advice to parents who have recently received an ADHD diagnosis? “When you get the initial diagnosis, let yourself grieve. You will grieve because you will worry about the future. We knew our son was going to have to face more struggles than other kids. But grieve and then educate yourself. You will have to be the advocate for your child the whole way, so do your research and find other parents experiencing the same thing. You aren’t the only one; brainstorm solutions with other parents through social media [or support groups]. If you don’t, the child loses everything.” PAGE 20>>

Today’s Family / Spring 2018


<<PAGE 19

A Daughter’s Diagnosis

Need Help?

A social worker, your pediatrician, or a licensed psychologist can diagnose ADHD. Square One recommends seeking a psychologist because a diagnosis only requires an evaluation of a parent and an educator's checklist of symptoms. Sleep disorders also have similar symptoms.


Scheri’s sister Sara Alvey was no stranger to ADHD. She was an elementary educator, who observed Scheri’s struggles with Henry throughout the years, and her husband was diagnosed with ADHD as a child. But when her only child Payton was born and began exhibiting symptoms of ADHD, it took a while to put the pieces together. Sara first noticed that, as a small child, Payton was disinterested in her toys. Henry used to fixate, even obsess over his play things for long periods of time. (One myth many hold about those with ADHD is the inability to focus. According to Dr. Causey, people with ADHD exhibit hyperfocus on subjects that interest them, but the mundane, i.e. chores and homework, are what cause an inability to hold focus.) Payton would jump from one toy to another without any extended play; nothing seemed to hold her attention. She did not exhibit any of Henry’s hyperactivity or impulsivity. In her early years of school, she was never a behavior problem; she just seemed to get distracted and needed a little redirection after directions were given. It wasn’t until second grade that a teacher recommended Payton, now almost 9, be tested for ADHD. The teacher documented that Payton had a difficult time with directions and had to be redirected in small groups. She had difficulty focusing her attention to task. At home, Sara was struggling with Payton’s tantrums. Like Henry, she was very routine-oriented and didn’t handle change well. “I was getting frustrated at home. I couldn’t understand why she couldn’t give me 20 more minutes of focus on her homework, and her tantrums were extreme. Every year we’d think she’ll outgrow them. But anytime she didn’t get her way or if her routine was broken, she’d go into a tailspin of screaming violent words, beating on the walls, and breaking things. You couldn’t rationalize with her during her tantrums; we’d just have to wait it out. We were worried that she’d hurt herself,” Sara said. Sara mentioned these concerns to her pediatrician, and she was referred to Square One for a formal evaluation. Payton was given a dual-diagnosis: ADHD inattentive type and Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder. The latter behavior disorder is treated with a mood stabilizer, and she takes

Spring 2018 /

Concerta for her ADHD. In addition to the medication, Payton and her parents also participate in monthly behavioral therapy sessions. Payton has been given strategies to cope with her anger, and Sara is learning the delicate balance between what Payton’s brain is capable of and what she is choosing to display. “The full battery of tests gave us a better picture of what was going on inside her little brain. Hearing that we didn’t actually suck as parents — that there was something causing her behavior and that she needed extra support to manage it — was incredibly helpful to us. I remember listening to Henry’s stories and thinking, how bad can it really be? Turns out, it is really hard to raise a child with ADHD,” Sara says with a laugh.

to written directions, a snack, a quiet environment if requested, and extended time on assignments and tests. Sara anticipates that as Payton progresses in school, her inattention to tasks will be more difficult to manage. In third grade, she gets multiple chances to perfect her assignments; as she ages, the stakes will get higher. “There are many multi-step directions in school. She said, ‘Mommy, I know there were three steps, but my brain can only hold two things.’ That is going to be a challenge, but my main concern as a mother is teaching Payton to advocate for herself. Grades are not the be-all-end-all to me. I want her to learn, of course, but I also want her to take care of her social/ emotional health.”

“[Payton] controls her behavior all day at school, and is often worried about what her peers and teachers think of her, so by the time she gets home, she’s exhausted.” — Sara Alvey

“She gets home, and we don’t get to see the best version of Payton. She controls her behavior all day at school, and is often worried about what her peers and teachers think of her, so by the time she gets home, she’s exhausted. Her symptoms have always been worse in the morning and at night, so we try to keep things routine and get her plenty of exercise.” Payton plays soccer two or three nights a week. Sara says the physical discipline is a helpful tool in managing her behavior disorder. She is also a firm believer in pet therapy. Since Payton feels remorse for her behavior and is highly concerned with how others view her, she will self-correct her behavior if she feels like she is scaring the family dog. At school, Payton has received a 504 Plan that grants her access

Dr. Causey says that the ADHD inattentive type is noteworthy for several reasons. It is the only subtype of ADHD that goes underdiagnosed. It is usually not diagnosed until adolescence, when the academic rigor becomes unmanageable. Students with inattentive subtypes are often “under the radar” in classrooms as they are not behavior problems and try to compensate by working harder. When their hard work is no longer enough to mask their disorder, they often become frustrated, unmotivated, and demoralized. Students with ADHD usually have average or above average intelligence, but their grades don’t often reflect their intellect. This type is most frequent in girls, who work hard to please within the classroom. Girls who go undiagnosed often suffer from depression and lose hope for their academic future. That is why it is so important to diagnose this type of ADHD, so that girls like Payton receive the support they need before their self-esteem is damaged and their amazing potential is squandered. See for a list of helpful resources.

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Family / Spring 2018





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Artwork by Brittany Granville

ometimes my therapist suggests I meditate to bring awareness to my lifelong gift of distraction. Recently I focused on a typical day in my ADHD life. I woke up and took my strobe light mind toward the shower. I decided to make the coffee first or the whole family would be upset. The dog became aware of me stirring about and started whimpering to go outside. Still in my bathrobe, I took him out and then engaged the paperboy, who proceeded to tell me about his new girlfriend. Then my wife yelled out the window asking why the shower was running with no one in it and why there was a coffee filter full of coffee sitting by the door. I made it to work, and it turned out to be a normal day, meaning my boss had to send out a search party for me for being away from my desk. After lunch I headed to Carpool Rider Line to pick up my distracted offspring. When we got home we tried to focus on getting all the homework done before the recurring activities of dance and sports. On this day my daughter’s science assignment threw us way behind. She was to watch a DVD on Physics. When the television remote wouldn’t operate, it didn’t take long for a group of ADHD minds to figure out the batteries were dead. And with no batteries to be found, the best option was to shoot the weakened infrared signal through binoculars at the TV. We contemplated using the telescope, but it was on the roof, and we just didn’t have time to get it. Binoculars worked like a charm, and we were even able to control the TV from the next room by shooting the signal off mirrors. (Be advised this comes off as horseplay when mom comes home.) When Mom came in she was completely aggravated and started wrestling with the dog, who had just eaten a whole package of cheese singles, wrappers and all. She told us to move on to making dinner before anything else went wrong. And disregarding the research that says processed foods can intensify ADHD systems, we turned

to the busy family’s best friend: the microwave. When the dog was done throwing up, and we had cleaned up, we heard the smoke alarms going off. We noticed something wrong with the microwave. In case you’ve ever wondered, if you leave a fork in the microwave it comes out looking like a deformed spoon. The smell is horrible, and it really smokes up the house. The good news was my daughter was able to take the mangled silverware to her science teacher for extra credit in molecular metallurgy formation. This was good, for we never watched the DVD. So this is a typical day with the gift of ADHD: a gift where you get to learn a little bit about everything! I gotta go now. I have an overwhelming urge to arrange the canned goods in the cupboard in alphabetical order. I just can’t decide whether to do it by food title or by organic ingredients, like I did last time.

i made it to work, and it turned out to be a normal day, meaning my boss had to send out a search party for me for being away from my desk.

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Family / Spring 2018


One chore that the family loves? The Murphy family fights over who gets to mow the lawn. Shawna believes that is because of the fiveplus hours it takes that you are outside riding in peace. A chore the family can’t stand? Cleaning the rabbit trays. They are large trays that are difficult to maneuver, and, well, it’s a stinky job!

The family that moved to a farm By LaDonna Kennedy Photo by Melissa Donald


he Murphy family is giving the classic TV show Green Acres a run for its money. The family consists of Shawna and Kevin and their five children: Jonah (12), Elijah (10), Sam Isaac (8), Eliza (7), and Anna (4). The family was living the quiet, suburban life until much of what they knew changed. Two years ago, Shawna heard about a property for sale and fell in love with it. Shawna grew up on a 5-acre farm. She helped her father tend to peacocks, chickens, and other livestock. She wanted a more “wholesome” life for her family. Shawna always dreamed of returning to the farm lifestyle but had no idea it would happen so quickly. Kevin was leery of the move but soon accepted the idea, and then the children got on board. The family moved to the 10-acre property and began collecting their menagerie of animals, most of the feathered variety. All the children have learned to adapt to farm life, and they all help on the farm when they are not in school. They all have areas in which they excel, and they all enjoy some aspects of farming more than others. Living on a farm sometimes means having superpowers. Jonah is known as the “chicken whisperer.” If a bird wanders off or needs to be seen for any reason, you can count on Jonah to catch it. He says that he uses food and bird calls to get them to come to him, and then he gently scoops them up. Shawna says her superpower would be having a green thumb. She has learned how to till the soil with the best of them. Elijah says his superpower is to be a great explorer.


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The children all agree that one of the most significant challenges is living away from most friends. They can’t jump on their bikes and ride over to a neighbor’s house. Playdates must be arranged and coordinated. Shawna notes that her biggest challenge has been bearing witness to the life and death process on the farm. Last year she found herself with a baby sheep and no mother. She bottle-fed the sheep and watched him flourish, only to witness his unexpected death months later. She says, “You learn to be thankful for the time you have.” The farm isn’t all work; there is plenty of fun, and there are surprising times. The family spent several hours coaxing 60 turkeys into a trailer for processing the next day. Once the turkeys were secured, they left for a school function and returned home within a couple of hours. As they neared the house, they saw on the barn the silhouettes of several turkeys roosting on the edge of the barn. They quickly realized that most of the turkeys in the trailer had escaped and were now on top of the barn! They all flew into action and were eventually able to get most of the birds back into the trailer. Shawna says, “We learned from that experience and laughed a lot once it was over.” The family credits friends and neighbors with helping them to get settled. They often barter for supplies and trade advice on farm matters. Shawna has been struggling with a beehive, and a neighbor recently gave her some information that she plans to implement in the spring along with a grant that Jonah secured to further the beekeeping on the farm.

An activity the entire family enjoys? When the family can get away, they love to visit family in Ohio. On the way they enjoy stopping in Newport, Kentucky, to visit the aquarium and have dinner at the German Hofbrauhaus restaurant. What do you hope your children will remember fondly about the farm? “I truly hope that my children remember what it feels like to be connected to the Earth!” said Shawna. “I also hope they remember the neighbors and community we have created here with people willing to work together and help each other out.” An unexpected expense on the farm? The farm has had its share of expenses. The tractors and lawn mowers need to be maintained and repaired often. The materials for the birds, such as incubators, cages, and bird runs, are all much more costly than the family anticipated.

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Family / Spring 2018




hen did encouraging our children become so darn complicated? If we tell them “good job!” we aren’t being specific enough in our praise. If we leave them to their own devices, we are neglectful. If we push them, we are domineering and putting too much stress on their shoulders. There is no winning in modern parenting. Overall, it seems that if parents err on any side, it’s the side of encouraging our children to be independent, and then doing much more for them than we should.

Pare down the word “encourage” to its root, and it simply means to give courage. The word presumes something difficult, scary, or unknown, something that would require courage. As parents, part of our job description is to give courage to our children in the scary, unknown experience of growing up and becoming self-sufficient adults. What is troubling is that many young people do not feel courageous at the prospect of growing up; they feel doubtful, confused, and ill-equipped to handle it. Elizabeth Cassady, assistant dean of students at Bellarmine University, says she and her colleagues began noticing a generation of incoming students with high levels of anxiety and a need for affirmation and guidance at each step of assignments. This topic of young adult neediness received a lot of traction when Julie Lythcott-Haims, who served as a Stanford University dean, wrote the book How to Raise an Adult, focusing


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on what she witnessed among incoming freshmen. “Resiliency is a buzzword, but it’s relevant,” Cassady says. “If students do something wrong, they don’t have the skills to dust off and move on.” So what’s behind this avoidance of risk and independence and the students’ fear of failure? Some of it may stem from high-stakes testing, where students are taught content over and over instead of active problemsolving. “There is a lack of emphasis on independent thinking,” Cassady says. Some of it may be the unintentional result of parents responding to the different stressors of modern parenting, such as school shootings and competition to get into high schools and colleges. It is critical, though, for children to develop thicker skins as they become young adults. Cassady says it is important to be able to take some criticism and feedback by the time a person is in college. In the professional world, “No one is going to want to work with you,”

“If students do something wrong, they don’t have the skills to dust off and move on.” — Elizabeth Cassady Assistant Dean of Students Bellarmine University

she says, if you crumble without constant affirmation and hand-holding. Lauren Keeling, associate dean of admissions at Bellarmine University, recognizes the dilemma parents face in navigating how to encourage children. “We say that parents are doing too much, but the reason is we’re expecting too much of the children,” she says. College competitiveness (or even high school), means we expect students to do community service, keep their grades sky-high, and be involved in extracurricular activities. It may feel like a Catch-22 situation for many parents. Those who encourage to the point of being highly involved helicopter parents or lawn-mower parents (going before their children to smooth the path in front of them so it is clear and easy to navigate) aren’t doing their children any favors. Of course, parents who give their children total responsibility for applying to high school or college are questioned for their lack of encouragement. “We want to criticize parents for being over-involved, and we criticize when they aren’t involved,” Keeling says.

How to encourage without doing too much So how can parents effectively encourage their children without doing too much for them? On the college or high school application end of things, Keeling says, “Students need to speak for themselves.” When students are completing housing applications for dorms, for example, it is essential that their preferences are shared, not their parents’ preferences. Answers to those questions “are going to dictate what the students’ experiences are like,” Keeling says. Elaine Jack, an editor of this magazine, recalls taking her daughter, Amanda, to orientation weekend for college. “At one point, they split the parents into one room, and the kids went off with their mentor groups,” she says. As parents listened to college representatives speak on a variety of topics, someone mentioned that the kids were completing their fall schedules in their groups. “One parent about had a heart attack, and I think she had to be talked out of dashing out the door to go find her kid. I remember she said something like, ‘How is he going to be able to do that without me?’ I wondered if that poor woman realized her kid was going to be going to college!” Another important thing Keeling says parents can do is to have a conversation with their children about independence and encouragement. Every child is different, and some need more guidance than others, but Keeling says it might be that the student wants to do things on his or her own. Children who want independence in certain areas of their lives (like a car) may need to be told that that means having

independence in other areas of their lives, too (like paying for maintenance and insurance of the car). Denise Smith is a mother of two college-age daughters in Jeffersontown who seconds the need for parents to have this conversation. She asked her daughters explicitly, “What could I do or say that would encourage you?”

unless we want to be shepherding our children when we’re 80 years old, at some point, and certainly by the start of college, it is critical for parents to back off. Her general theory on raising her daughters has been “less pushing, more backing up.” She has allowed them to find their own way and make their own mistakes. “I’m a part of their story, but I don’t write it. I’m going to walk with them in whatever choices they make,” she says. Even though we’d all like it to be so, “there is no cookie cutter way to encourage,” she says.

Painful failures What most parents intellectually know but emotionally fight against is that all of us, including our children, learn more from failure than success. But it is downright painful to watch one’s child struggle and fail, especially if we know we could help out and keep it from happening. Still, unless we want to be shepherding our children when we’re 80 years old, at some point, and certainly by the start of college, it is critical for parents to back off. Backing off is allowing children to make their own choices about activities, which may mean the parent doesn’t think they have

enough for a high school or college application. “There is a fine line between adding stress to them and encouraging them,” Smith says. She and her husband, Bob, knew they didn’t want to run from activity to activity, so they let their daughters determine their interests and involvement level with the understanding that Audrey and Lauren could each do one thing. Having realistic expectations is also essential in the encouragement game. Maybe the parent’s expectation is unattainable, is not something the child wants, or is not something the child is good at. Smith says she hears stories from acquaintances and wonders if their children are only doing things to please their parents. “My children were not put here to please me,” she says.

Can you be consistent? Consistency is a core part of the encouragement playbook. Telling a middle schooler that he is responsible for packing his lunch but then running a lunch up to school when he forgets it is not consistent, and it doesn’t encourage him to remember next time. Cassady says, “‘No’ doesn’t mean ‘no’ anymore; there’s always a loophole.” She has seen situations where college students unhappy with a situation will ask if they can talk to someone above her. Or they say they will have their moms call her. If young people think there is always a loophole, it is probably because their parents have always given them a loophole in the past. As a parent, it is really hard to stick to the consequences you’ve outlined, but it is necessary. Feminist Ellen Key wrote, “At every step the child should be allowed to meet the real experience of life; the thorns should never be plucked from his roses.” Parents know there is much that is both beautiful and hurtful in life, and sometimes they are intertwined. The hard part is encouraging our children to experience what life offers while keeping our pruning shears in the garage.

Today’s Family / Spring 2018


Nancy Bickers, mom to Miles (15), Lucy (12), and Ellery (9) do enjoy playing basketball in the cul de sac.

The family that suffered a huge loss N By Carrie Vittitoe Photo by Melissa Donald

ancy Bickers met her late husband, James, at a Bible study when she was 19 and a student at the University of Louisville. She married him when she was 21. James died on September 29, 2016, from the effects of alcoholism. He was 45 years old. “I did not expect to lose him at such a young age,” Nancy says. “When you get married, you expect to be married 50 years.” When Nancy talks about James and his addiction, she does so with love, sadness, and a quiet honesty. As a young married couple, they didn’t have a dime. They started a graphic design business together called Images and Words Inc. Nancy says James was a good writer and “was so talented at being creative.” He was always a bright person, having skipped the eighth grade and entering college at 16. Many Louisvillians know of James from his long career with Louisville Public Media and loved hearing his voice on the radio, but Nancy says James never realized just how wonderful he was. “The funeral was so healing for me. If only he could have seen how important he was, it would have changed his life. He never felt good enough,” she says. In January 2016, James was first hospitalized as a result of his drinking. “I knew he was drinking too much. If he had gotten sober, his body would have recovered. He wasn’t ready to give it up, though,” she says. At the time, she was so angry with him, and the kids were, too. Part of what the family


Spring 2018 /

has dealt with in their grief counseling in the year following James’ death is all the different emotions they’ve experienced — from anger to sadness to guilt. Nancy looks back on James’ last months wistfully. “I wasted time being angry, not going to the hospital because I didn’t want the kids to see him. Maybe that was God’s way of sparing us,” she says. There is no good time for children to lose their father, but puberty is definitely not the time you’d pick if you had to. Miles, Lucy, and Ellery are doing well in school, but Nancy says sometimes it is hard for her to know whether outbursts or moodiness are a result of grief or just normal teenage behavior. When the kids fight, as all siblings do, she says it is so refreshing because she feels that at those moments the family is dealing with “normal issues.” Nancy continues to go to counseling. “I feel like I’m starting my life all over again,” she says. She and James were married for 25 years, and she says her entire existence was their family of five. She and her children are learning to navigate their new normal, and it is difficult: “It’s not what we’re used to, and we don’t know how to do it,” she says. Still, Nancy is hopeful. The support she has received from people has been overwhelming: “I feel like in the long-run, I’m learning how to be a more loving person, a more open person, allowing God to work letting love in. We’ve allowed people in to help us.”

The family’s superpowers: Miles plays an instrument. Ellery can memorize movie/show and Youtube channels. Lucy is great at applying makeup and being on stage. Nancy can pick out who is who among her three children from only a cough or a footstep and is amazing at cheering people up. Fun that costs nothing: Our favorite thing is playing Rock Band! We love singing and playing the drums/guitars. The whole family agrees on: Any Pixar movie because they are classics, and we grew up watching them. The Incredibles and Monsters, Inc. are our favorites. We watched them with James, and we’d laugh a lot. We haven’t watched them as much since he’s been gone. A household task that no one can stand: Doing dishes. We try to take turns, but Mom always ends up doing them mostly. Favorite snacks: Chips and salsa, fruit.

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Family / Spring 2018


SUMMER CAMP DIRECTORY Abigail Academy Scripture + Cooking + Fashion Camps is what you’ll find girls ages 5-13 having a blast with at The Abigail Academy this summer, June, July, & August! There are 3 sessions of creative camps for each age group, so your girl can participate in all three sessions, or just one! Morning and afternoon options available, and limited space, so use our easy site:, and register now! Cooking Camp is for the girl who wants to learn how to cook, show off her skills, or just have fun! (baking + healthy food prep + manners) Parents can expect a new more confident kitchen helper after a week with us! Fashion Camp is for the girl who has artistic dreams, and wants to learn how to make them a reality! (sewing + designing + painting) Parents will be surprised by all of the positive life lessons we fit into one week of camp! T-shirt + Supplies + Snacks included with camp registration. Join us for an open house on April 30th from 6 -7:30pm to preview where the camp fun will happen! Abigail Academy is where girls shine! SUMMER CAMP REGISTRATIONS: WWW.ABIGAILACADEMY.COM Camp inquiries: 502.500.7071

The Academy Tutoring & Day Is your child bright but school is overwhelming? Does your child not test well or need a boost in scores? DO YOU NEED PEACE OF MIND? Make An Educational Plan for Now and Beyond With Owner Jenny Osborne, 502-897-0444 SUMMER MINI-SEMESTERS (All Ages, All Subjects) • Skill Building, Enrichment, Meaningful Study Skills and Preview of Upcoming School Year • Keep the Brain Trained! • 1 – 3 Day Weekly Program for 2 hours a day (you choose the weeks) ACADEMY SUMMER TEST PREP – Summer Prep Sees the Most Gains in Scores! • We gladly work around other summer activities! • ACT, SAT, HSPT, CoGat, High School Entrance Exams, GRE and other standardized tests. • FREE UNLIMITED PRACTICE AT OUR FACILITY Ask about our COLLEGE-BOUND SERIES & ADVOCATE PROGRAM FOR LEARNING DIFFERENCES


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Camp Palawopec

Camp Walden

Is your child in need of intervention during the summer break to maintain or build their literacy skills? APT offers several different camps including Reading Camp and Kindergarten READiness.

A good old-fashioned fun camp in the hills of Brown County, Indiana.

We believe summer camp should be a challenging yet fun adventure, engaging your child both creatively and academically. Camp Walden provides the total package in a 7-week experience packed with a medley of sessions, including Culinary Studies, Video Game Design, Spanish, Art, Coding, Futsal, Science, Drama and more!

These camps are hosted by the APT Learning Center and taught by certified teachers. Offered for different age groups, at several of our area locations. Please check our website or call for pricing and details. or 502-633-1007

Activities include swimming, mountain biking, canoing, soccer, basketball, climbing, campfires every night, Indian lore, crafts, horses, archery, etc. Great summer fun in a relaxed outdoor setting. One staff for every three campers. AGES:

Ages: 8 – 15 years


One week session = $695 Two week session = $1295 Three week session = $1895

DATES: Coed sessions: June 3-9, June 10-16, July 1-7, July 8-14, July 15-21 Boys session: June 17-23, June 24-30 Girls session: July 22-28 3497 N Clay Lick Rd, Nashville, Brown County, IN, 47448 • 812.988.2689 •

Commonwealth Theatre Center Commonwealth Theatre Center summer camps are going to OZ! In addition to Oz programs for ages 3-13, fun skills workshops and Art Camps engage confidence & imagination all summer, for up to age 18. No experience necessary! Summer Academy (ages 8-13) 3 weeks Kids work on and perform The Wizard of Oz, a classic tale of a girl in a world that’s wildly off-kilter. Students get the experience of rehearsing & performing a play complete with sets, props, & costumes. 8 sessions avail.

GRADES: K–8th COST: Camp Sessions (9am-12pm or 1-4pm) = $140/ week • Theme Weeks (9am-4pm) = $300/week DATES (Mon-Fri): Camp Sessions: June 4-29 • Theme Weeks: July 9-27 4238 Westport Road • Louisville, KY 40207 502.893.0433 • •

Kentucky Science Center School’s Out Science Camps

Louisville Youth Choir

727 W. Main St., Louisville, KY 40202

Bella Voice Camp - 9th-12th Grades Engages serious solo singers. Curriculum - Vocal Literature: from Classical Style to Musical Theatre, Vocal Pedagogy, Resume Prep, Breathing & Vocal Mechanisms, Vocal Health, Keyboarding & Theory for Singers: Rhythm & Pitch Basics, Interval Recognition, Solfege. Includes Private Voice Lessons & Master class opportunities option to work with a teen Life Coach. Singer will be contacted regarding a vocal assessment (if needed).

Launch a lifetime of S.T.E.M. learning while having a blast at Kentucky Science Center’s School’s Out Science Camps. Themes like LEGO robotics, animation, wizardry, and roller coasters make science accessible by making it fun.

Pre-School, Art, & Imagination (ages 3-11) 1 or 2 weeks Children expand storytelling foundations with a twoweek Imagination Junior Academy (ages 5-7) that takes an adventure “Over the Rainbow.” Pre-K camps (3-5) take our youngest kids on a “Journey to Oz” and more, or kids can explore their inner artist (5-11) in one-week Art Camps.

Enhance your understanding of disciplines like chemistry, forensics, engineering or find the science in your other interests, like puppetry, cooking, music, and dinosaurs. Summer also offers career immersion, project design, and advanced coding for high school students.

Skill-Building (ages 9-18) 1-3 weeks Young actors 9-18 hone theatre skills in a range of offerings, from a 3-week Shakespeare Intensive or the 2-week Contemporary Acting based on BFA acting programs. Also avail.: Audition Skills and Scene & Song Study!

All camps are hands-on, interactive, and engaging the best way to combat summer slide and keep your kids ready to learn all year long. Do Science with us! | 502.589.0084

In July, things heat up with our Theme Weeks, each providing an exhilarating, theme-centric focus: make DIY instruments with musician Ben Sollee, take the stage in a Broadway musical or learn to “use the Force” at the Star Wars Padawan Academy. With nearly 40 sessions to choose from, we guarantee Camp Walden will provide a memorable summer for any camper with a taste for fun and hands-on learning!

Week-long camps for ages 4-15 begin May 28 and continue through August 7. Prices range from $210-$285. Call 502-561-6100 or visit to register

July 23-27, 2018

Summer Vocal Camp - 3rd-8th Grades Daily choir rehearsals, music theory, group voice instruction, audition preparation, rhythm outdoor activities. Camp is for all singers entering the 3rd-8th grades. No audition is required. Sacred Heart School campus Monday - Friday: 9 AM—4 PM Closing Concert: Friday 4-5 PM Camp Fees $250 Includes lunch, snack, group outing, t-shirt and camp materials Register (502.896.5859)


Associates in Pediatric Therapy


Weasie Gaines Photography

Louisville Zoo

Oldham County Schools Arts Center

The Parklands of Floyds Fork

The Wildest Camps in Town are at the Louisville Zoo!

Summer Camps in Music, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Dance

Get Outside! Summer Camps at The Parklands of Floyds Fork

Pre-K through 6th Grade

New camps every week! June 11 – August 3

Details and registration at

Are you hoping to improve acting, auditioning, or musical theatre skills? Would you like to dance like a Disney Princess? Do you prefer creating with your hands and would like to explore mixed media or clay sculpting? Does jamming in a Bluegrass band or a group guitar camp sound super fun? Summer is a great time to try something new or improve your skills!

Hurry and reserve your spot! Louisville Zoo Spring Break Camps run April 2 – 6. Summer Safari Day Camps (May 29 – August 3) are also on sale now and better than ever. Campers can enjoy a wide range of exciting specialty camp topics geared toward their grade level including Animal Olympics, Fantastic Beasts, Dinosaur Detectives, Photo Safari, Vet Camp, Backstage Pass and more! Safari Day Camps include Zoo walks, large animal presentations, attractions rides and up-close encounters with live animal ambassadors. Plus, extended hours and convenient car line drop-off service makes Safari Day Camp a perfect choice for kids and parents. Enroll online by April 30. Use promo code EARLYBIRD for discounted registration. Enroll now to grab your favorite — spaces fill up fast!

Pawsitively Fun Camps Lifelong Friends Camp (ages 6 to 11) Children ages 6-11 love the Kentucky Humane Society’s animal-focused Lifelong Friends camp. Offered June through July, these week-long day camps help your child build a sense of kindness, respect and responsibility. Campers are immersed in animal care via hands-on activities with shelter dogs and cats, demonstrations, games, crafts, skits and more—learning compassion while having fun with friends both two-legged and four-legged. Special guests teach children about other animal species, dog training and more. The Lifelong Friends Camp is located at the Kentucky Humane Society’s East Campus, adjacent to Westport Village. The cost is $200 a week, with extended care available for additional fees. For more information, contact Shelby Schulz, 502272-1062, or visit Kentucky Humane Society’s East Campus 1000 Lyndon Lane, Louisville

You can do it all with over 40 camps for ages 4 -18! Most camps are half-day which can be combined to create a full day camp experience. Ballet/Tap classes and private music/voice lessons are also available. Please call the Arts Center at 502-241-6018 for more information or visit for a complete listing of camps and to register online.

Summer Stretch at Kentucky Country Day School You can find nine weeks of summer on the beautiful campus of Kentucky Country Day School. Visit to register or see our camp listings. You can also give us a call at 502.814.4329. We offer campus for all ages, including many camps for kindergarten-age children! In the past, camps have included Messy Fun, Field Hockey, Cooking, Soccer, American Girl, All About Animals, Ninjago, Tennis, Dinosaurs, Fishing, Chess, Minecraft, Cupcakes, Paperfolding, and more! We also take great pride in our academic offerings for middle and upper school-age children. In the past, we’ve offered camps such as Decimals, Fractions, Grammar & Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, SAT Prep, and more. Our camps start running in June and wrap up in August. Camps are usually one week long. There are no camps the week of July 4. Have questions? Give us a call at 502.814.4329 or visit

Campers in grades K-6 spend their days participating in discovery-based field experiences and science investigations in The Parklands Outdoor Classroom. Get Outside! Camps are based in Beckley Creek Park and the PNC Achievement Center for Education and Interpretation (1411 Beckley Creek Parkway). These full-day programs (from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.) include hands-on classroom activities, field hikes, “Sprayground Wednesdays,” and so much more! Summer Camps take place over eight weeks from June through August. Each week includes one camp for campers entering K-3 and one for 4-6 graders. Our 2018 topics include Water Warriors, Paddle The Parklands, Winged Wonders, Rangers in Training, Grossology, Wilderness Explorers and Feeding Frenzy. Summer Camp pricing is $220 for Parklands Members and $245 for non-members. Save $15 when you register by Friday, May 4. Become a Parklands Member at To register, visit, call 502-5840350 or e-mail

Trinity High School You can find multiple ways to Rock the Summer at Trinity High School. We offer a variety of camps for children in the third through ninth grades in both athletics and academics during the months of June and July. Visit our website at and follow the Rock the Summer link on the main page to learn more about all our camp offerings. You can also call 893-ROCK or contact the camp director to learn more. Our athletics offerings include baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, football, lacrosse, soccer and volleyball. Our academic camp offerings include grammar and writing, math, quick recall and science. We also offer special interest camps for drum line, debate, art and robotics. For incoming students, we offer special opportunities including a week-long study skills course and a freshman experience course which eases the transition into high school. For more information visit and follow the Rock the Summer link or call 893-ROCK.

Join us on Thursday, July 19 and Friday, July 20 for a two-day Aviation Camp at historic Bowman Field! Sponsored by the Louisville Regional Airport Authority and conducted by the Aviation Museum of Kentucky, campers (ages 10 to 16) will learn about flight navigation, computer flight simulation and aeronautics. Additionally, aviation camp students will have the opportunity to co-pilot an aircraft with a FAA certificated pilot (weather permitting). When: Thursday, July 19 and Friday, July 20 Where: Bowman Field Cost: $269 per student (ages 10 to 16)

Whet Your Palette

YMCA – Camp Piomingo

Whet Your Palette is excited to offer you another summer of rip-roaring fun! In the summer of 2018, you’ll find some of our campers favorites such as Brownies & Fairies Camp, Star Wars and the alltime favorite MESSY Camp. This year we’re rolling out new camp adventures including Knights & Damsels Camp, Lego Camp, A Day at the Beach and what’s sure to be a favorite...Disney Camp. This summer, all of our campers will learn about 5 different famous artists including Van Gogh, Calder, Picaso, Kandinsky and Polluck. Campers will also experience 5 different art techniques including paint, sculpture, perspective, mixed media and abstract art. This summer we invite you to join us on an artistic adventure as we explore some of our favorite things in new and exciting ways! Our fun and talented staff will guide your young ones to discover their inner artist at our Art House.

Camp Piomingo is the region’s premiere overnight camp for kids ages 6-16. Campers share outdoor adventures and experience fun activities like high ropes, the zip line, horseback riding and swimming in our awesome aquatics center. Our experienced and high-energy staff help campers gain self-esteem, make new friends and develop interpersonal and leadership skills.

AGES: 4-12, Three age groups with small class sizes. Space is limited! WHEN: 9 camps weekly beginning May 30th. M-F: 8:30-11:00, 11:30am-2pm & 2:30-5. Full day camp options available. COST: $125 per camp • • 502.438.8865

Note: Student Financial Aid applications are accepted. For more information and to register, visit and click Camp. Aviation Museum of Kentucky 859-353-0467

Your child will grow on the inside …. by being outside. We offer a variety of overnight and equestrian camps from June 10 – August 4. Nestled in the beautiful woods of the Otter Creek Outdoor Recreational area just 45 minutes south of Louisville, a week at Camp Piomingo will create memories that will last a lifetime. Visit us online at or call us at 502.942.2616. Reserve your bunk today! The Y is for everyone. Financial assistance is available.

Derby Dinner Playhouse Performing Arts Academy - Summer Musical Theatre Camp Derby Dinner Playhouse Summer Musical Theatre Camp is a one-week performing arts camp for students ages 7 to 17 exploring drama, music, and dance. Taught by Derby Dinner theatre professionals and focusing on creative dramatics and scenes, songs, and dance from Broadway musicals, the camp culminates in a final sharing on the Playhouse stage. Five Weeks of Options Week 1: June 11-15 Week 2: June 18-22 Week 3: July 16-21 Week 4: July 23-28 Week 5: July 30-August 4 Tuition: $175 Ages: 7 to 17

Assumption High School Enrichment & Athletic Camps

YMCA - Summer Day Camp Your child can enjoy a happy summer that lives forever! At the Y, campers will discover a sense of accomplishment and belonging, while staying active and engaged. One week or the whole summer, your child will build confidence and friendships in an enriching environment. Choose from over 30 locations in Jefferson, Bullitt, Clark, Floyd and Oldham counties. We offer a full day of exciting activities for ages 3-15 including field trips, swimming, sports, games and plenty of fun. Staff focus on safety and helping children thrive, while modeling our core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Registration opens February 14. Register online at by April 16 and save! Use promo code: CAMP25. The Y is for everyone. Financial assistance is available.

Enjoy a summer of learning in a fun, safe and caring environment. Taught by our award-winning faculty, Assumption High School is offering multiple enrichment camps in areas of drama, choir, French, grammar, leadership, baking, girl empowerment, Spanish, math, digital photography, art, and mythology to name a few! In addition, our topranked coaches will lead athletic camps in volleyball, soccer, basketball, field hockey, cross country, softball, lacrosse, cheer, and archery. Affordable opportunities for every interest! Camps are available for children in grades K-11 beginning June 4 and run throughout the summer at our centrally located and easy-to-access main campus or at our nearby outdoor athletic complex. Camp sizes are limited and will fill up fast. Early registration is recommended. Visit for dates, details, and easy online registration or call 502-271-2675.

Time: 9am to 3pm Limited Availability – Register today! For more information contact or visit

Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana / JA BizTown Camp 2018

June 11-15 June 18-22 July 9-13 Ages 9-12 • 9am-4pm • $195/week At this camp, the kids run the place. That’s because the place is Sam Swope JA BizTown®, a 7,000 squarefoot mini-metropolis. JA BizTown is home to Papa John’s, Stock Yards Bank, UPS, Kroger, WDRB Fox 41 and other businesses you find in our own region. JA BizTown Camp gives kids the opportunity to experience what it’s like to work in a job and run a business. But it’s much more than that! JA BizTown Camp is an indoor, academic camp that combines classroom-style teaching with hands-on activities. Much of the camp experience includes working with other campers of different ages on group projects. Concepts learned and applied at camp: Entrepreneurship-brainstorming ideas and bringing them to life Job preparation-applying for/ interviewing for a job Teamwork-working with a group to reach a goal Marketing-why and how to communicate your products or services. And much more! Register today! 1401 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd (40203) 502.561.5437


Aviation Camp at Bowman Field




or me, elementary school was a nightmare. When you fail a grade so many times and you’re learning to shave amongst classmates half your size, an indelible mark is placed on your self esteem. And I don’t blame the nuns, or my parents, or the many social workers who tried to help me. It’s just the way it was.

In the late 1960s my ADHD was misunderstood. Not even the principal’s paddle, riddled with holes for faster blows, could whack me to attention to complete my assignments. And the alchemy of cocktails and research drugs, many of them narcotic, did more to qualify me for 12 Step Programs than help me to focus on my schoolwork. By the time I reached middle

school I was completely adrift in addiction, uneducable, and on my way to teenage life on the dark side of society.

My mom, who had previously divorced my dad for similar traits, had no choice but to have me removed from the home as an uncontrollable child. I became a ward of the state. My 20s were mostly a blackout, with many trips to sanitariums, jails, and treatment centers. My lifelong curse of ADHD,

addiction, and self hatred left me unable to fit in society. So I decided it was time to end it all. Trying to end the despair, I tried numerous attempts at suicide. However, the last attempt changed everything. Flatlining in the back of an ambulance, with frantic workers in blue trying to revive me, I did something I hadn’t done since getting walloped in the principal’s office many years before. I said a prayer. I prayed that if I could get back to my wretched life I would become the most positive person I could be. I would reverse my self-centered lifestyle and the attempts at ending my life.

They pulled me back from death’s door that day, and that prayer gave me a second chance. I immediately went

to work eliminating the obstacles I could control. I purged all the negative people from my life, and in the first decade of my recovery, I got my high school diploma, a business degree, and an engineering degree. With the help of some positive mentors, I landed a technical job only a person with ADHD could pull off. The engineering work I did would’ve landed most people in a straightjacket with the constant interruptions and multitasking.


Spring 2018 /

Being pulled from one project to the next, in a minute’s notice, had me right at home. When I met my wife Cheri I knew I’d met my soulmate. Ironically she was studying to be a child guidance counselor and receiving training in ADHD. She was most likely another answer to that prayer in the back of the ambulance, for multiple health professionals told us we’d never be able to conceive children. It’s really neat explaining all this to my three daughters, the ones we weren’t supposed to be able to have. Probably the greatest gift I’ll ever give my daughters is what I learned since making it out of that ambulance: the gift of a

lifetime of feeling useless.

I let them know that when I was told I had a frontal lobe deficit and different brain activity than other kids, I somehow let that paralyze me into accomplishing nothing but a drug and alcohol habit. I advised them to look at it differently. Most people spend their whole lives not knowing who they really are. And thanks to my disabilities, I’ve learned to accept myself exactly as I am, and I’ve learned to work with my strengths, not weaknesses.

I knew my message was getting through when I saw my daughters learning to dig deep within themselves to fight the demons of “I’m not good enough.” When

my oldest daughter started high school she was the target of a hefty dose of the mean girl syndrome, both electronically and in person. Because of strong parenting, she was able to beat back the negativity to become one of the top students in her program.

And my middle daughter has all but defeated her ADHD with a strong passion for athletics and the camaraderie of teamwork. One day my youngest daughter came home from school and reminded us that if Helen Keller could graduate from Radcliffe College (Harvard) cum laude and communicate in four languages, then this little brain issue she inherited was nothing she couldn’t handle.

I’ve often wondered why I couldn’t hear the people trying to help me when I was my daughters’ ages. Believe me, people tried. Then I realize everything has happened the way it’s supposed to happen. For without that prayer in the ambulance, there’d been no job, no wife, and no daughters, for there would’ve been no me. So if you end up blessed with a child diagnosed with ADHD, consider it an honor. After all, you can find a normal child anywhere.

Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Family / Spring 2018


What I Realize Now:

FAITH, CHOICES, AND WISDOM THE FAMILY: Tonya Bordy is a case manager for Centerstone KY; Neil is an attorney. Paige, 27, is a pediatric physical therapist in Chicago, and Morgan, 25, teaches third grade at Wellington Elementary. Caitlin, 23, is an expert on American Girl catalogs, and people all over town save them for her. She has CHARGE Syndrome and lives at home. Tonya and Neil met, married, and raised their family in Louisville. What was your biggest worry when the kids were little? “Religion. Neil and I are different faiths, and it was a big relief when we decided to raise them knowing both and allow them to choose. We did an unconventional thing, and we’ve not regretted it,” Tonya said. “Faith is important, and we both wanted them to grow up with a path.” The Bordy family attended Christian services and observed the Jewish holidays. Until Neil’s mother died in 2006, the family went to her house for Shabbat meal every Friday night. “From the age of two, we told them, Mom is Christian, Dad is Jewish, and one day you’re going to choose. They grew up knowing ‘I’m going to choose.’” Paige chose the Jewish faith, and Morgan chose the Christian faith, and both participated in confirmation and youth group activities in their chosen faith communities.

What was your biggest decision? “Every decision we made, every time we moved, it was all about education: where they would go to school.” Tonya said they agonized “for about a minute” about whether they should send their girls to private school. “We believe in public education, and we have no regrets.” She said they even visited some private schools, but “they had no diversity in any form or fashion. How could we send Paige and Morgan to a school that wouldn’t accept their sister? How with a clear conscience?” Tonya said at the time they worried a lot about the decision, “but if you make education important in your home, and you’re present with your kids, it doesn’t matter where you go. We shouldn’t have worried.” Was your parenting ever against the norm? “I worried we weren’t strict enough; we gave a lot of leeway. With other families, rules were all-encompassing, and the rules were the most important things.” For example, some of the girls’ friends’ parents were constantly after them to clean their rooms. “We said, ‘you need to clean your room because your grandparents are coming.’ And as they grew up they realized they wanted clean rooms, and started doing it. We said this is a family and we all help out. You don’t have a chore, but if I need you to unload the dishwasher or take out the trash, I’ll ask you to do it, and you do it without argument, because you’re part of a family and everyone chips in.” Daughter Morgan remembers,“We never talked about rules, other than not drinking and driving; you harped on that incessantly!”

What did you say no to? “Spring break trips! Kids going in cars to Florida! I said, ‘Spring break trips are great; I’m going, too. We didn’t allow them to travel with people – other families – we didn’t know that well.” Much to Paige’s horror, Tonya called other parents to confirm that a party would be chaperoned. Something your kids always knew? “We knew you always loved us unconditionally, and nothing would make you not love me,” Morgan recently told Tonya. “As young adults, they’ve found that not everyone had that,” Tonya observed. How did you make decisions? “We talked a lot about decisions. We discussed it and they helped make them. In middle school, Morgan’s teacher thought she should be in the advanced program. She didn’t want 36

Spring 2018 /

Photo by Katie McBroom / Katie McBroom Photography

By Elaine Rooker Jack

The Bordy Family

to. She was a social kid, she was into things outside of school, she was a gymnast, and that was important to her. She practiced 20 hours a week. She would not have been able to do that. We didn’t make her do it, and we don’t regret it, and she doesn’t either.”

Any regrets? “We didn’t emphasize music and art. Now Morgan has learned the benefits; that music, especially in elementary school, is good for the brain.” What do other parents seek your wisdom about? “Lots of people come to me about issues for children with disabilities, because of my work and because of Caitlin. Most recently they ask about the transition from school. When you’re in school, things are golden . . . When you leave, you lose all your doctors, you lose your daily structure. People ask me, mostly, ‘what do I do now?’ It’s terrible. Mostly I commiserate. If you want to send your child to an adult day treatment facility, that’s a depressing search. We visited 16, and I liked two of them. And neither would take Caitlin.”

What do you do when people stare at Caitlin? Or say inappropriate things? “Depends on the day! Mostly it’s kids that stare, and the parents who hustle them off and say stupid things. Most of the time I have compassion, and I get the kids to join in in some way. I might say, “you have a yellow shirt. This is my daughter, Caitlin, and she loves yellow.” Sometimes I ask them if they have any questions. I got a wonderful question a couple of weeks ago. The little boy – he was about 5 – asked ‘what does she know?’ I told him, ‘well, she knows she has two sisters – do you have brothers or sisters? – and she knows her sisters love her a lot, and she knows she likes to look at magazines and books – do you?’ She was fidgeting, so I said, ‘and she knows she doesn’t like to be in the grocery store when Mom is doing not-fun things – what about you?’ Some days I don’t feel like it, so I tolerate it and go on. But other times I feel it’s my job to do.”

What’s a fun thing you are really glad you did? “We spent a lot of time at home. We couldn’t do things spontaneously. When we travelled, we had to plan ahead. So we played a lot of games at home. I didn’t put much emphasis – to my mother’s horror – on cleaning house. If they wanted to do something fun, I stopped and did it with them,” she said, adding, “We figured out things we could do at home, and that yielded benefits: being together and making fun at home.”

Today's Family Spring 2018  
Today's Family Spring 2018