Tuesday, October 12, 2010

On the line....Part I

Wow, what a crazy week it's been.

As, I sit and ponder over it all, it's starting to all make sense. I won't lie and say I don't feel guilty for not recognizing things sooner for Blake. Now, the more I learn and see symptoms, I am acutely aware and find myself watching Emma like a hawk for anything. At times, I see beginning signs of the same things Blake did. BUT, at 17 months, is it a baby thing she's learning, maybe at daycare, is she growing out of it, or should I immediately ask for referral to a specialist and try to catch everything much earlier than I did with Blake. I think the main reason I missed a lot of things with Blake is because he was so sick much of his first 2-3 years of life. 8 hospitalizations for dehydration secondary to reflux giving him pneumonia and him immediately not wanting to eat. A fundoplication at 2 years old and immediately, medically, he was "fixed." Not one hospitalization since that surgery and no more problems with reflux, no medications. He was above target for his age. He could read by 3, talked good (fast, but understandable), loved to ride a bike (at the time), had (still does) a photographic memory and could tell you how to get to his favorite places. Sensory is everything I missed and I could kick myself for not realizing was a problem at the time. Very particular about his foods, textures, loud noises, eye contact, fascination with legos and Thomas the Train, all the stimming...bouncing, spinning, flapping, eye blinking, hitting, running into things, furniture, tantrums, not realizing danger, sun sensitivity...I could go on and on, thing is, I just thought all kids were different and he was like that because of being sick all the time when he was younger and now having to catch up to everybody else and he was on overdrive.

Preschool came and that's when I got the bombshell, something WAS different. The teacher suggested it was ADHD. Paperwork was filled out by myself and the teacher. I didn't take it in to begin with. I didn't want to hear news that my child, my whole heart, something could be wrong. I could tell by his handwriting and him never wanting to touch a pencil, it was going to be very challenging. During the summer before kindergarten, our pediatrician sent us to a psychiatrist for "testing." His testing consisted of asking a few questions, looked at the paperwork both the teacher and I did and said he has Aspergers and ADHD. Didn't say, we need to see a psychologist for testing or anything, just here's your diagnosis and here's 3 prescriptions. Talk about shock planet!! I don't remember driving home that day. I had never heard Aspergers at that time, no explanation of what it was, was there a cure, what the options were, just diagnosis and prescriptions.

What that doctor didn't know, is this momma isn't a here do this kind of momma. I am my child's only advocate and I'm not just going to throw him on some medication and take the easy way out without checking on the side effects. I did finally agree on letting him go on medication for ADHD so he could do well and learn at school. 5 medications later, we finally found one that agreed with him. His concentration got better, he was able to pay attention more, but outbursts, irritability and sensitivities continued. He was still not sleeping at all at night, so we agreed to try him on medications for this short term. It has helped him to sleep, calmed the tantrums some, BUT he has bad stomach problems (aching, constipation) from it and has gotten some worsening of tics (eye blinking, stuttering) associated with side effects from his medication. UGH!!! Poor fella. I just want what's best for him, in the here and now and in the long run. I have been thinking of taking him off of the night medication, but didn't want to take him off cold turkey and throw his system into a major fit. That would not be good for him, for me or I am sure for people he was around.

Part 2 next.....

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