Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fork in the road

The past few weeks have seen us come to a real fork in the road with therapy for Izaak. He has previously been assessed for a program called The Extra Lesson and to be perfectly honest I don't think I would have known about the program if it wasn't for a friend who is a practitioner and is just getting herself set up after having time off to have her own babies.
During the assessment Izaak was his usual combative, defiant, non-compliant self. It was tedious. Anyway, the assessment basically showed all the things that I knew about him as well as a few extras. He has too much cranial pressure. And he has auditory processing issues. The cranial pressure is being worked on by a local osteopath who has made some interesting observations about my little man. His hips are not aligned and as a result his neck is compensating. We are progressing well and will see him weekly for a while to see if we can get it sorted out. Back to The Extra Lesson though - they recommend an auditory program to help him with his auditory issues which I'm okay with - until I heard the cost is upwards of $1000.00. I don't want to sound like a stingy parent and I do have the funds to cover the cost of this treatment but I am extremely wary of shelling out that sort of cash on a program that doesn't have main stream science or the ASD community behind it. This is along the 'alternative' therapies stream and while I am willing to try almost anything to help my little boy, I'm not sure that it is really the best option given that kind of money would buy us almost 20 occupational therapy sessions.
So totally opposite to that philosophy - we went to see the paediatrician yesterday afternoon who couldn't believe that we had made it this far without medications. He has prescribed Izaak a mood stabilising drug and a sedative. Given that he has really poor sleep patterns I'm all for the later - he goes to bed between 7:30 - 8:30 and at 11:30-midnight is still wide awake. So tonight I gave him the first dose at 7:30 and by 8:20 he was sound asleep. Amazing.

Although it's working (well it's only night one so I'm cautious of saying that but after so many of unsettled nights, even one is 'working'!!) I'm struggling with the social stigma and judgements of people in regards to medicating my eight year old. Effectively I am giving my child psych drugs. I don't like how that fits, how it feels but I am coming around to the fact that I have to do what is best for him. As the paed and my family have all said - there is potential that is being hid away behind all the behavioural issues. Hopefully, the medication plan will lessen the behaviours so we can get more of the learning in. Tonight he read me two home readers that I thought were at the level he needed. He read both without missing a single word. I need to get over myself. If only it were that easy!


Michelle said...

Oh Bec - that's a hard one! I can see the paed's point - that one issue could be masking another. If it's any consolation I remember being around Izaak's age and having such a hard time of everything - on top of growing too fast and having an over-active imagination, I was having issues with a teacher and waking up screaming every night. I stopped learning at school and became severely antisocial. I probably should have been on anti-anxiety medication and a sedative, but it was the 70s and doctors didn't do that with 10 year olds in those days. I'm glad the sedative is working for Izaak. I'm hopeful you'll see a long term benefit from it.

Do your research (as I know you will) about the auditory therapy. You don't want to be feeling like you've been sucked into something that you aren't sure of. It's great that the osteo is working out for Izaak.

I'm hoping that things will sort themselves out soon. Big hugs!!

Bella said...

I have seen time and time again how lack of good sleep impacts on a child's behaviour and learning abilities. If nothing else, enabling him to get good sleep will help his brain have some "down time", and hopefully make his "up time" easier for everyone.

Pfffttt to the stigma - society doesn't have to live with your son and work out the best things for him. You do. And really, it's none of anyone's business if he is taking meds or not.