Is it Time?

I keep thinking about blogging again.  Really.   It seems like I blog to get the pain out & I’m feeling it again these days.

Nathan is 2nd grade now.  He reads at an age-appropriate level, though not as well as some of his peers.  He spells well, but his handwritting really holds him back.  He has friends, but doesn’t “get” sports. 

He’s been a tough kid to live with these past few months.  Tantrums, anger, hitting, back-talking….nothing I can’t handle and yet, awful all the same. 

Neil wants to try medicating his ADHD.  I am undecided.  I hate the idea of putting my baby on medication, but yet he isn’t making the gains he needs to either.  We’ve been doing the GFCF diet, supplements and therapy up until now.  It truly changed his life. 

But now, I wonder.  Does he need another life changing moment?  Does he need to try “western” medicine?  Or, is it a phase?  Will he get better or worse?

I’ve asked his teachers for their opinion & our next IEP is coming up at the end of the month.  My cousin, who finally had his ADD dx as an adult, insists we need to try it.  His words    “I finally didn’t feel like a failure all the time”

That’s a pretty powerful opinion.  Have you got one? What has your experience been with ADHD meds?


The Dx Blog

So, now I am ready to talk about it.

Nathan’s psychiatrist has diagnosed him with the following (pretty much word for word from the report):
Axis (I) (a) Autsim Spectrum Disorder/Pervasive Developmental Disorder – not
otherwise specified
(b)Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder…the cognitive difficulties
are secondary to the diagnosis of Austism Spectrum Disorder/Pervasive
Developmental Disorder NOS

Axis (II) Developmental Delay
Axis (III) Speech/Language Delay
Axis (IV) Strabismus
Axis (V) Global Assessment of Functioning 45-49/100

That is a pretty harsh list of stuff, if you ask me. I’ve come to realize that none of it changes him and shouldn’t change how I think of him. It does. But not necessarily in a bad way. Some of the changes are to make accomodations for his diagnosis. It is reassuring to know that some of his “Nathan-ness” is part ASD.

The one, concrete thing it has done is to refocus our efforts on getting him ready for Kindergarten. I’ve been actively working at “Learning Time” every day. This is when we work on letters, colours, sounds, puzzles, games… for an hour if his patience holds out. He HATES counting, but loves to colour. I think numbers make little sense to him yet, so he can’t be bothered. He looks forward to the time & I have found that I do as well. It is easier now than it was 6 months ago. He’s able to do so much more & I’ve found better resources.

So, we’ll keep pushing & pulling that kid all the way to Grade 12. Maybe he’ll surprise me one day & tell me “Back Off. I get it.” That would be great.

A Day Off??

My father in law, bless him, was laughing at me a little today, commenting that today is my “day off”. Well, it is from the paid job, but at that point, I had done 6 loads of laundry, hung on the line to dry & some even put away; made cookies & started on cinnamon buns, cleaned the kitchen & washed the floor; cleaned both bathrooms (gross); made lunch; cleaned up from lunch; did dishes (twice); and still managed to get in a shower & some clean clothes. So, there I am, hair in a ponytail, but the wind has caused the wispy bits to pop out, in my John Deere apron, with dishes draining, laundry flapping & kids running through the house. No wonder he was laughing.

We got basically nowhere with the mental health nurse. She’s going to score Nathan’s Conner’s test & write a report & we’ll see the pyschiatrist in June. She doesn’t think she’ll have enough time to get the reports done for May 5th. I am glad she is honest, although I was hoping for it to happen faster. So, I have no idea of what she thinks. That is a little irritating, I was hoping for some indication of what she thought. I am not sure that ADHD is a fit for Nathan, maybe anxiety is a better thought. He wouldn’t even look at Stacey for about 15 minutes. Once he warmed up he did manage to answer a few questions & look at her (eye contact!) for a couple seconds.

It is getting so beautifully warm here finally, spring is definitely here. Thank goodness, I have had enough of the snow.

Testing One-Two-Three

We’re off to see the Mental Health Nurse right after lunch today. Nathan’s teacher & daycare provider each filled in the Conner’s Teacher Rating Scale, with suprisingly different results. I don’t know what that means.

I feel like a horrible mother though. Eric was really sick last night & still feels pretty awful, but Nathan has this appointment that I can’t or don’t want to miss. So, here I am, at work, because I want to go to the appointment, instead of at home with my icky feeling kiddo. At the same time, he isn’t sick today, so I probably would have taken him to daycare anyway. It just feels like I dragged them out the door because of the appointment.

I am hoping we can have a definitive answer today about the ADHD. At least, I am hoping it is NO. That puts us back to square one again, but I am not so sure I am interested in medicating the life out of my kid. Maybe I just don’t understand the drugs or the way they work, but I don’t want to gain a compliant, quiet kid and lose a delightful whirlwind that keeps us guessing, hugs with enthusiasm and explores every inch of the world.

I wonder though, if medication will help him to learn, catch up, be more successful? OR will it simply be another thing to try & abandon.

Colds Suck (but I do feel better)

I just have to say – colds suck. The sneezing, the runny nose, the cough, gross & yuck. I think I have not had a really bad cold for a long time, so perhaps this is the doozy for the year. I sure hope so. We’re all better today and I am back to work. Good thing too, I have a pile of it in front of me.

Next week is spring break for my daycare, so the boys are off to Grandma’s for part of the week. My mom spoils them rotten but still manages to insist they eat properly & go to bed at a reasonable hour. I have the best mother, really. Even my husband thinks so. (Don’t tell his mom that. We think his mom is awesome too!)

Right at 5:00 last night, I got a call from the psych nurse to set up an appointment with her about testing Nathan for ADHD. That will happen in mid-April. If she thinks he should be evaluated further by the pyschiatrist, that appointment is already made for the first part of May. I can’t believe it! We’re actually going to see a specialist without waiting 5,6, 7, 8,…..months! That just doesn’t happen very often, so I am very grateful.

The nurse also suggested another avenue to explore: PDD-NOS (pervasive development disorder, not otherwise specified), if the Fragile X testing comes back negative. Best as I can tell so far, this is the diagnosis you get if you have some of the characteristics of autism/asperger’s/rhett’s but don’t fit those diagnoses either. I think it is a blanket “well, we don’t know what is wrong with him, but he is definitely delayed” diagnosis. At this point, I don’t care. Find a label, slap it on & do it before his school transition meeting at the end of May. At least then they can apply for aide funding for him. We can always change the label later, that’s what I am told.

So, I’ve looked up PDD-NOS & frankly, I am not sure that it is a great fit for him. Although, to be fair, there is very little specific information on this diagnosis. Most of the reading is about autism, not PDD-NOS. AGGGHHH! I am so irritated by all this wondering.