Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Out of School and Taking Medications

I have made the decision to keep Griffin out of school and do my best to get to North Carolina this summer so that he can attend school there in the fall. There is a reason why Griffin is not doing well in school but does fine when out of school. I spoke to the doctor yesterday and we decided to increase the Abilify by 2.5mg and so far it seems to be helping a lot. He had one meltdown when we were out buying at TV because he broke his so, I think that he didn't want a new TV; he just wanted his old one to work. But it didn't last long and he pretty much calmed himself down. Since being home he has done nothing other than use the computer and make crafts all day, being completely calm and focused.

His teacher, his shadow, his speech therapist and I are going to have an IEP meeting next week and I am going to request that he have a shadow when beginning the second grade. I just don't think that he is ready to go it alone in what might just be an overcrowded classroom with one teacher. I hope that by then we will have his meds all straightened out and that behaviors will be under control and actually I am hoping that he is either in a private school here or in North Carolina public school system by the beginning of school. There are 8 autism classrooms in the area where I wish for him to go in NC which translates to the fact that they are better trained and also have a great resource in the autism teacher if there were to be any issues in the mainstream classrooms.

I spoke to my dear friend in Alaska who was Griffin's very first therapist to work with him at age 15 months until the age of three and she has faithfully kept up with what goes on with him; she thinks that it is best for him to not be in the classroom because there are probably a lot of changes going on that is bothering him. She was a teacher for many years and told me that this time of year things are more lax, there are things be changed all around. This is true because Griffin was scheduled to not see his speech therapist and math teacher anymore. Even when the changes are small it still effects him.

That is one very legitimate reason why he could be misbehaving so badly. His doctor told me that the Focalin XR would show a difference immediately and that it is not like other meds that need to reach a therapeutic level. So since that didn't work then maybe the Abilify will. I like what Melissa H. said about the thoughts of taking a child off of a drug that helps them cope with their behaviors; she likened it to taking insulin away from a diabetic child. And it reminds me of when people tell me that there is nothing going on with me when I in fact have Bipolar Disorder and could not live without my drugs, yet they dispute that I need anything at all. Griffin is no different, he needs those meds to help him get through the day without hurting himself or somebody else. Without his meds he is angry, totally disorganized mentally/emotionally, and has absolutely no control of himself.

It is a shame when people do not realize how mental illness and instability completely wrecks any quality of life that one might otherwise have. I fought for years to not give Griffin meds for insomnia and it was pure hell for both of us for a long time. We were both a big mess, I had no patience, I was unstable and neither of us had much fun at all during those long months. That was just plain ole stupid! Neither of us need to go without sleep for very good reasons and we both need to be stable so that we can thrive and make progress in our everyday life.

I have to have faith in the medications because the alternative is absurd and I trust his doctors, the ones that he had in Anchorage and the ones here. The way I see it is that if a child of a young age can have chemo and live through it then taking low doses of medication is not going to harm them in the long run. The body is an amazing machine that can take a lot more than some people think that it can. I am a good mother and I feel that I am doing the best for my child concerning meds and the school situation.

We will get through it no matter what, one way or the other.


Melissa H said...

Still here and listening, Lora. This is just hard stuff. I often wonder if I'll ever know if I made the right decisions, the right choices. But, one thing I do know? I will NEVER look back and wonder whether I gave everything I had to helping my child. You should take solace in that. You're amazing.

FableForge said...

HI. I just happen to see your stuff when I googled "autism blogspot." Am still reading but what caught my attention is the medication you give your son. You explained the reasons for this. You see, my son will also have tantrums but this is due to the fact that he is losing in his game. He had broken down his Gameboy SP because he is losing with his Kirby's Amazing Mirror game. After some crying, he is fine and looked for other things that will interests him. We do not give him anything - no medication at all.

Anyway, I read one entry wherein you said that you took him off for awhile. And he was fine. Well, I just wish that he will always be fine and hopefully he will be out of it.

Take care.