Sometimes we do things with the best intention in mind. We do what we feel is right for the time and situation. We study. We research. We ask. We think we have it all figured out.
Then we realize we don't.
If you've been following my page for the last couple of months you may see where this is going. The kiddo was diagnosed ADHD last summer. I had held of on doing it officially but decided that it was time so we could do something about it as it was affecting him at school. You can read about it here. The problem with Autism/ADHD is that it is EXTREMELY difficult to know what is the Autism and what is the ADHD. Extremely. Like, to the point of impossible and it's really just a guessing game.
Naturally, the doctor wanted to start him on a stimulant. This seemed to work at first but every couple of weeks it would seem to wear off and they'd up the dose. Eventually we got to a point where it couldn't continue. By the end of November his tic was so bad he couldn't speak, he was getting headaches, he was drawing incessantly (and crying over how he couldn't stop himself), and he stopped sleeping entirely for 2 weeks until he was pulled from that medicine. (It took that long because the doctor was consistently out of the office and the nurses were afraid to pull him off of it due to the nature of the drug. Ugh....)
They switched him to a non-stimulant. I won't go into detail but let's just say things got a lot worse and reached crisis levels. Every day wasn't all bad, just a lot of not so good stuff. My son was gone. He was saying and doing things that no parent ever wants to experience. His main complaint was that he didn't feel like himself. He was depressed. He was angry. He was irritable and uncooperative. The agency he gets services from was becoming increasingly concerned. We got in to a psychiatrist to take over management of his medications. We got approved for family based services.
Our first appointment with the psychiatrist was earlier this month. My first words? I HATE his medication, it made him WORSE. The recommended medication change was as I expected: Risperdal. It is very commonly subscribed to Autistics. But I had a very important question for the guy. The question
is this: how do we know that his behaviors aren't a result of him being a high anxiety child? What
if he's unfocused because he's busy worrying about his plush toys or if
mommy will be home tonight? What if he's just appearing hyper because
he is nervous and antsy over what may be happening later? What if his
tantrums and meltdowns are solely because he is so worried about
something that when he's prompted to do something it causes an abrupt
stop in his thought train that he just can't cope and we don't know that
is what is happening?
I wanted to STOP the GUESSING GAME!!!
He seriously just sat there and looked at me for a minute. Then he agreed with me. Then he suggested a much more conservative approach. We are trying a low dose anti-anxiety medication.
It has been a little over 3 weeks since we quit his last ADHD medication. It has been 3 weeks since he started the anti-anxiety medication. While the new medication has not been around long enough to do anything significant yet it has been plenty long enough for the other stuff to get out of his system.
The results are amazing.
To put it simply, I have my kid back.
He's running. He's jumping. He's giggling. He's grinning. He's cracking jokes. He's the goofball we all know and have been missing all these months.
When asked how he feels.... He is saying HE IS HAPPY!
My intuition has been that we were missing the mark. It seems my intuition was right.