Posts Tagged ‘sensory’

About 7 years ago, our family began going through a drastic change. I say began because this change didn’t happen overnight.   7 years ago, our family was thrust into a new world as a result of one word: Autism.  In that 7 years time, our outlook on parenting changed.  Our feelings toward other misbehaving children changed. Our views regarding chemicals, processed foods, wheat, dairy, vaccine…..all changed.  And on some things (vaccines), our views changed more than once.

Our family’s vocabulary changed too.  We frequently began saying things  like “spectrum”, “IEP”, “sensory overload”, “motor planning”, “casein”, “gluten”, “meltdown”, “stimming”, “thimerisal”, “toxins”, “Jenny McCarthy needs to quit beating the dead horse regarding vaccines”………………This is all very common language in the autism community. Except for maybe that last part. The thing about Jenny McCarthy is just  my personal opinion.

So we have come a long way in 7 years and I have a feeling our vocabulary is about to change again.  As I have mentioned before, Matt has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder comorbid to his autism. In other words, autism is not the only thing going on with this child.  He’s been diagnosed with Autism and Anxiety Disorder-NOS (Not otherwise Specified) . The “NOS” part of the diagnosis is really a way of saying, “we know he has an anxiety disorder, but that’s all we know and we can’t narrow it down for you, sorry.” 

We have discovered this last week that the anti-anxiety medication Matt was taking has not helped his anxiety disorder at all. In fact, his psychiatrist has suggested that it could be making it worse, which would really explain the increase in  aggressive behavior on his part. Since my last positive, sunshine-birds-are-singing-life-is-great blog post, things went kind of downhill for Matt again.  Why would an anti-anxiety medication not help calm his anxieties? Especially after giving him a higher dose?  It’s a medication in the anti-depressant family of meds and the doctor told me “antidepressants can actually increase mania (such as in manic/depressive disorder)”.  So I asked her, “Are you suggesting that he has a bi-polar disorder?”  She answered. “It’s not important what we call the disorder. What’s important is that we find a way to stop these continuous outbursts and the way we might have to do that is by stabilizing his mood.”

I appreciated her response.  I know where she was going with it.  He has a serious mood disorder, but slapping a label on it at this point isn’t what our goal is here.  That’s fine with me.  We have a better goal now.  Stabilize his mood.  That means we jump back on our medication rollercoaster.  I think we are at our 3rd stop.  Since Zyprexa was a bust, we are now on Clonidine.  A high blood pressure medication that is often used off-lable to help with impulsivity and aggression.  So in conjunction with his therapies and help from us, I feel good about the direction we are going.  Its been 3 days since he’s been taking  Clonidine and his obsessive/compulsive behaviors have reduced by quite a bit.   

Here’s the draw-back.  That anti-depressant medication that the doctor suggested was making him worse, was also his sleeping aid.   Since weaning him off, Matt has been waking up several times throughout the night.  Ugh. We are still in the early stages of all this so I still have hope it will get better.  Here’s to a good night sleep…..maybe.


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