Friday 20 April 2012

Update on Medication and School

A week ago, we began a very low dose of an anti-anxiety medication for our son, Alex.  We're seeing some mixed results but nothing beyond what we've already seen.  Several of our therapists and helpers have said that Alex seems calmer this week, more willing to work on tasks.  Aggressions are actually up in number, but not beyond what we've seen before during difficult weeks.  He has been indulging in less self-stimming behaviour but we've seen an upswing in verbal stimming, where he repeats bits of commercials or television shows over and over and over again.

Figuring out if the drug is helping or not has been complicated by a loose tooth.  It finally came out on Thursday, the last of the baby teeth to fall out until the molars start going in a few years.  With Alex's oral sensitivities, loose teeth are always a difficult time.  He yanked it out before it was quite ready, so I suspect his mouth is still sore.  He hasn't been eating well this week, which might be a sign of tummy aches, which is a side effect, or might just be the result of the tooth. 

This is the really frustrating part.  People want answers and aren't shy about demanding them.  The doctor is going to want to know if the drug is helping and if we want to increase the dosage.  And right now, I have to say that I honestly don't know.  The amount of information we have is incredibly limited and could point in multiple directions.  What we need is more time. 

We have another week before we have to decide about upping the dosage.  Hopefully some of the picture will have changed by then which will give us a clearer idea of what we're dealing with.  All of what we've observed might have nothing at all to do with the drug.  Since it's not beyond what we've experienced before, it's a distinct possibility.

Alex's school is still having an extremely difficult time with getting him to work with them.  It's discouraging to have the behaviour problems continuing even with the expert support.  The longer this goes on, the more it will limit his potential.  However, these problems weren't unexpected and we have a plan B in place.  I suspect the majority of Alex's academic learning will come from his tutor.  The school's job is to teach him to comply with instruction and authority figures.  It's the harder job by far but it's the key lesson which will allow him to integrate into the rest of the world.  If he can't learn it, he will have to be segregated.

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