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My journey

Posted 09-10-08 at 11:32 AM by Lady Lark
Updated 09-10-08 at 02:04 PM by Lady Lark
So, I'm feeling a little lazy, and I figured if I just posted the whole thing I wouldn't have to keep retyping it. So here's my journey with Steven.

Early on we realized that our kiddo is smart. He had every child lock on the market mastered, climbed out his bedroom window once, could count to 0 and knew his alphabet by 2. So basically if you didn't want him to know how to do something, don't let him see how it's done.

Not to mention he was doing everything early. Walking, talking, running. He was rolling over at 10 days old. He hit the ground running, and hasn't stopped since.

Now being a (mostly) only child, and with no kids in our area, we figured that he could probably benefit from some social interaction. We enrolled him in a preschool. He did great, for a bit. Then things started to slide. And finally, just a few short weeks before I was due to have Brandon, he got kicked out.
"We can't discipline him. He doesn't listen, and being sent to the office doesn't faze him."

Great. You couldn't have waited three more weeks?

(Note that at this time we had no idea what was coming. We just thought that this is how Steven was.)

So I have Brandon, and then Mark and I start to realize that we need a bigger house. Sure, it's fine for the four of us, but every summer there's six, and it wasn't enough house. Then Mark throws out moving back to AZ. Um...OK.

So we get packed, and haul away to Az, completely disrupting Steven's existence. That worked well for him.

Now we're living with my sister, waiting for the house to sell so we can get our own place. Did I mention that my sister is BP?

Anyway, so living at my sister's , Steven in kindergarden, and we finally got our wake up, 2X4 upside the head moment, courtesy of my sis. After one of Steven's famous meltdowns, she looked at me and said, "That's not a six year old who's upset, that's a two year old throwing a tantrum because he didn't get what he wanted."
*light bulb*

After looking around, we're thinking you know, he's probably ADHD. See, it's not that I though the whole ADHD thing was BS, just over-diagnosed. But somewhere in my brain the thought must have been, "It's over-diagnosed, so Steven doesn't have it." Not even a conscious thought either, but I know somewhere I made that conclusion. Then came the guilt.

If only, I had drunk more water while pregnant, gotten more exercise, sacrificed a virgin, stuck my tongue out the whole time, etc. I kicked myself out of that real quick. I've only failed as a parent once I have failed to help my kid.

So, we try behavioral modification, mostly because Mark is not thrilled with the idea of medication. Too many "coma kid" horror stories, not to mention the stupid idea of, "I want to take it so I know what it will do, and I'll know it won't hurt him." even though he knows that medication reacts differently per person.

That so didn't work. The one good thing that came out of seeing the psychologist (besides the diagnosis) was being told we weren't bad parents. In fact, he was amazed at what we had tried over the years to teach and discipline Steven. It made us feel better.

So, off to medication. Concerta was first, and the first day (after about 20 min of explaining how to swallow a pill), it was amazing! it was the first time EVER that I didn't have to remind him to finish his lunch. He just sat there, ate it, and then got up and put his plate in the sink. No nagging, no asking.

Then it started being less effective, so we increased the dossage. And again. And again, until we were at the max for his weight, and still no effect. Ok, let's try Adderall. Nothing, every.

Now, at this point I've done more reading, and I'm starting to think maybe it's not *just* ADHD. Looking at Steven, and looking at info I was starting to think it's probably early BP, or Asperger's too. I got back to his pediatrician, and tell her what I'm thinking and she agrees that it's probably not just ADHD.

Then she does something that makes me so happy she's my kid's doc. "You're probably right, and I have to tell you if it's not we're getting into areas that I'm not comfortable medicating." I love a doc who won't try to cover up their own ignorance, or who will forge ahead even if they don't really want to.

Off to psychiatrist number one. I go in the first time, and we talk. I'm not so sure I like him, but I write it off as disappointment that we're not getting a diagnosis right away.
(Mistake #1, not going with ye olde gut, and dumping him right there)
We're going to try Daytrana. Steven hated it, never wanted to wear it, and even asked, "Can't I just take a pill?" Good thing for us it didn't work.

So I go back for the 2nd visit, and we're talking and I mention my BP, Aspie theory, and never get the sentence finished before he but in saying, "Oh, BP is a fad, it's the new ADD." Ok, so you're blowing off me, his teacher, and the special ed teacher who after seeing Steven on the playground for 10 min, asked his teacher if he was an Aspie? KMA buddy.

Onto psyc number 2. This one listens, explains, and doesn't talk to me like I'm a toddler. And we finally get a diagnosis, ADHD and Asperger's.
(Which leads me to mistake #2, looking at ADHD to the exclusion of all else. If we had been more open minded, we might have caught it sooner, instead of wasting a year.)

Onto, Strattera, which works. And keeps working. So we add Tenex, and that helps greatly too. We also add a play therapist (at the psyc's suggestion), and things are going great. (we also get out of the apartment and into a house). Life is good.

School is going good, with the few exceptions, and a frustrating try at an IEP that I probably got screwed out of (another story). Then comes the gifted testing, which shows us we probably have the next Einstein, or Hawking.

Now he's in a self contained gifted class, and doing great. Still a little bored by some things, but not everything. We dropped the psyc, not because I didn't like him, I just like the developmental pediatrician better.

He's on Strattera, Tenex, Omega 3, and a multi vitamin, cause he doesn't eat well (not a medication thing, he never has), and play therapy every other week. Course it's all about to change cause apparently the Strattera is making his stomach upset, and he says he has a hard time focusing.

So there's my long, rambling journey through my kiddo's mental health.
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  1. Old
    Rabbit's Avatar
    Very courageous blog ... exactly what is needed in that it increases the level of awareness about issues that affect children at an age before they can describe what they're experiencing. And conditions that many including me don't know about , Asperger's being one of them. As far as your decisions being biased, I have no doubt that the overwhelming bias is love for you boy and if it's possible to see through another eyes, Mom's and young children would be the place I'd look for examples.

    Posted 11-24-09 at 04:46 PM by Rabbit Rabbit is offline
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