Over a month ago, we decided to see if Alex still needed his anti-anxiety medication. So we began slowly reducing it.
It turns out, the answer to our question is yes, he needs it.
We've had more incidents of aggression, a lowering of his ability to cope with frustration and more obsessive behaviour. He hasn't been able to focus as well and is more disruptive. All by lowering his medication by 1 ml per day. So clearly, the medication is having a strong effect on him.
It's good to check on such things but, despite my firm dislike of medication, I'm not so proud and arrogant as to deprive my child of a tool he obviously needs.
We're going back up to the full dose and we'll keep careful track of any changes. Our doctor told us we would have a good idea within a week or two as to whether or not the medication was having an effect. We gave it longer since we were also dealing with the holidays but I think we've given the experiment a fair opportunity.
If other parents are considering a test of their child's medication, I'd recommend keeping a behaviour journal for two weeks before the change. We didn't do that, so we didn't have hard numbers to compare with. We did keep a journal afterward and checked in with each other frequently to see if we both had the same impressions. But if we'd had a baseline, we might have been able to be certain after a few weeks rather than having to extend it.