Wednesday 16 May 2012

Family Update

Things have been somewhat difficult the last few days.  Alex cut his forehead banging his head on a post at school so we've been trying to keep him from reopening it.  He's been very irritable and upset since it happened.  We knew to expect something like this since he had a lot of ice cream over birthday week and if he has a lot over a short amount of time, it generally takes a week or two for his system to settle down.  Normally we're very strict but once a year we give in.  Between his head and the sugar, it's not surprising he's having trouble.  Last night he tore up the Elmo poster I got him for his birthday.  I knew it was inevitable since he likes tearing up paper into confetti and stimming off it but I was hoping for more than four days.

Nathan is still getting up at four in the morning.  I'm getting better at keeping him quiet while everyone else sleeps but it means I'm staying in his room until it's time to get up.  Sometimes I'm lucky and he dozes back to sleep for awhile which means I can nap, too. 

We've also had a lot of activity with the past few weekends, which has left the housework in a state of catch-up.  However, I think we're slowly coming to the end of the chaos.  With luck, things will be settled by the time Dave begins the next round of tests and treatment for his cancer.

There's some good evidence that Alex's medication is helping.  His therapists and teachers agree he's been much more compliant and more able to focus on tasks.  The amount of aggression is still up but we're starting to see some days with no aggression at all.  His doctor is pleased with the effects and there are no signs of the usual bad side effects.  We're still taking it slow and we won't be making any changes to his medication level right now until he settles down again.  Overall, it seems to be giving him some more mental space to process what's going on around him.  If that's the case, it may make behavioural intervention more effective but it probably take about a year to be sure one way or the other.

It's a slow process doing anything with children with autism.  It will teach you the virtue of patience and persistence.  Times like these are difficult but we keep our goals in mind and do our best to keep everything consistent.  That's the key for success.

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