Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Long Overdue Update

William is using his words consistently now, albeit still with great difficulty. We finally got him in front of a psychiatrist specializing in children with autism. Given Will's particular set of behaviors we agreed that a sedative (in this case Tenex) would likely be of the most benefit to him. After 2 weeks on it he had improved in some areas, but had become unacceptably emotional and withdrawn.

The next appointment had him on Adderall. We were warned with this transition that he might become more emotional, however, as he adjusted to the medication he became VIOLENTLY emotional. It became more and more difficult to get him to do the simple things that he hadn't really had any problem with before.. like getting ready for school. He also lost weight over the 2 week period, and this is a child that, due to his picky eating, didn't have much weight he could afford to lose in the first place.

He finally got to the point on Friday where we just could not get him to cooperate and he went without the medication. Friday was a "difficult" day for him at school, according to the report in his communication log. Saturday was worse and he refused to eat anything in the morning so he didn't get his dose that day either. His violent outbursts were downright scary. However.. as the day wore on he ate and calmed down. He spoke his requests wonderfully. He played, calmly, with his brother and sister. He did not hyper-focus on playing his complex computer games. He was likely the most "normal" I've ever known him to be.

The human brain is still a mystery. The experts have determined that the part of the brain that is responsible for controlling fever is also associated with autism behaviors. This was virtually unknown when I began writing this journal three years ago, despite countless care givers (including myself) having noted a correlation between fever and autism behaviors. As a sidebar, I'm really disappointed that there isn't more out there on this connection. The best I could find was this recent article, but it's just a rehash of what was being "announced" almost two years ago in April of 2009. I hope they're working on it.. because these two medications don't look like they're going to help my little boy one bit.

However, the processes his brain had to go through in adjusting to not only one but two rather powerful medications seems to have had a long term effect. He IS more stable. He IS more talkative. He is focusing well on his tasks. But not because of him being ON the medications. He seems to have experienced some perspectives in that wild roller coaster ride that have helped him now that he's OFF the medications. (Please.. it would be totally inappropriate for you to consider taking your child off of medications that are helping him/her without talking to your child's doctor first.)

Only time will tell if these changes prove to be lasting.. but for now.. he's a happy and content little boy who's eating everything in sight. =)

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