Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Caution: Pre-Teen Ahead II

How the hell do I gauge when a behavior is due to the Autism and when it is due to being 10 years old? Both can be difficult. Am I worried over something that, in the end, is pretty darned typical? Example: Isaac is being quite negative. He is under the impression that his parents are being unfair, and that we "hate" him. That we are not listening to him, and we don't understand what he is trying to say. Yes, he has used these words. I'm torn between taking his concerns seriously and being jazzed that he can communicate these feeling to us so well. Not to bad for a kid giving a Dx of moderate to severe autism when he was 4 yo. My perspective is rather tangled, I know. For now, I guess all I can do is take him seriously and not giggle and smile when I hear I'm go on like this. Good times.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Caution: Pre-Teen Ahead

From the day that you start to suspect, through the day it's diagnosed, the therapies chosen, the special classes attended, through all of the books read, the conversations with friends and specialists, all of the way through the paranoia, the fear, the optimism and the hope. To the day, this day. After all of my fumbling and fussing, today I realized that life takes its' own course. All of the progress and often the lack of progress is really up to them. I look at Isaac, and the strides he's made recently. He seems more self aware, more in control. More MATURE. His curiosity has been turned on, the world is opening up to him. The good and the bad. And I have no idea why the change. Totally bewildered.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Time to digest...

I know it's been awhile since I posted. Things have been...complicated. And let's be honest, I can call it complicated, I can blame exhaustion or some personal energy barrier, but the truth is that I needed to ride the wave for a bit. Things were difficult in the spring. Isaac had started Zoloft, was suspended from school multiple times within a very short period, and suffered from a very low self-image. Our focus this past summer was to bring back our boy. We tried upping his meds. We continued our therapy with the behaviorist. We spent an amazing amount of time just supporting him. He started to have problems sleeping, and there was a visible surge in his anxiety. Then, there was this one day in August. He had another horrid session with the behaviorist, where we had to physically restrain him to keep him from running out of the room. The session was cut short and Olivia started her session. Now Olivia's sessions usually are a dream. But this one was not. Olivia was tearful and frustrated. The behaviorist came out to discuss both sessions with me. Things were not good, she said. Things were in fact very bad. Isaac's behavior was "scaring" her, and now Olivia was going down the same path. Ok. I'm like any parent. Hard to see your kids in a negative light sometimes. We left her office, and I was in shock. Was it really that bad? Was I raising a couple of bi-polar rug rats? I came home. I digested, not just her words, but the last 9 months. In session, Isaac had been upset for months. Cried, was frustrated, occasionally would toss a toy at the wall. He was stubborn and inflexible in his thinking. But did this give the behaviorist reason to be "scared"? And why was it only right after these sessions that Isaac would have incidents at school and summer camp? And in the past 9 months, had I seen improvement in either Isaac or Olivia? And why we she use words like "scared" to describe her patients, and in front of those very young patients? You can guess where I am going with this. We did not simply stop going to sessions. We DUMPED our behaviorist. Dumped, as in Hell No dumped. And it felt good. Sometimes, as a parent, I can get just as stuck in my thinking as my kids. I rigidly think certain kinds of therapy is supposed to work, regardless of the imperial evidence in front of me. We started executive function training with our OT, increased swimming lessons with one on one sessions, and just spent more time together. We approached 4th grade with a goal of starting in the mainstream class, something we had not done since Kindie. And somehow, someway, it's working. Isaac is in a gen Ed class 70% of his academic day. Holy crap. He's learning about history, geology, division. He's speaking up in class and doing well. He still has anxiety, but I can see that his perspective is changing. I'm still trying to figure out the "why" behind this change. More digestion.