The Story Of The Beautiful Poobs :(

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Keri every once in a while will say “My hand lines are beautiful.” Or she will say “My nose holes are beautiful.” Along the same lines of “My eyes are beautiful.”
Keri will say that naming different body parts.

She was sitting on the couch a few weeks ago doing this same thing. Except this time around, she says “My poobs are beautiful.”

Now I am half hearing her. I am in the kitchen doing dishes. Keri says it again so I come out of the kitchen to see what she wants.

This time she says it with more finesse “My poobs are beautiful.” All the while rubbing both her hands across her chest!

Ok, I get it this time … she is saying her boobs are beautiful! Yikes, I am panicking because boobs is a word not used in our house and the fact that she is rubbing her hands across her breasts. Keri is starting to develop a little, but how she is saying it is purely innocent.

So she named her breast “Poobs”. On occasion she will say “Poobs will magically grow”. Or say “My poobs are beautiful.”

I try not to encourage her, but wish me luck – she is starting puberty 😨

To Medicate Or Not To Medicate?

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Often I will see posts on message boards from other parents asking advice regarding a certian medication or if they should medicate their child.

I am not talking about vitamins, other supplement, or esstinional oils. I am talking about medications like clonidine, abilify,  depakote, ritilan, lithium, etc. The list can go on and on, but this list gets the idea acrossed.

I always answer the same way …

Trying to decide if you should medicate your child with Autism (adhd or any other condtion) is a very personal and difficult decision to make.

First you have to decide if aggressive behaviors or focus issues can be tolerated. Not just for the parents, but also for the child’s quality  of life.

Do these behaviors make it hard for the child to learn both at home and in school?

Also does the child’s behaviors create a concern for their safety and the safety of others?

Has the use of therapies help to ease the behaviors? Like Aba, RDI, Son rise, horseback riding, etc?

Have dietry changes been tried? GFCF diets, the removal of certian dyes?

Has then been any medical testing done to rule out any other conditions? Like Celiac Disease, seizures, any vitamin deficanities (vitiman d, b12, etc), food allergies?

Information on Autism.

Other medical condtions that  are similiar to autism.

10 medical conditions that are mistaken for ADHD or Autism.

Have any hollistic approaches been tried? Like cranial scryaial therapy, esstinional oils, DAN doctors, acupuncture, supplements, etc? Often these approaches are costly and not covered by insurance. Also there are certian “treatments” that claim to cure or help Autism, but do nothing or harm the child. ****SO RESEARCH ALL HOLISTIC APPROACHES THROUGHLY!!!!****

If these approches alone have failed, then maybe it is time to see a Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician or a Psychiatrist and discuss the possibility of using medication to treat the behaviors.

Now understand that the use of medication will not fix all of the issues 100%. It will take the edge off the behaviors, but it is also up to the individual to take themselves the rest of the way. Meaning that depending on the level of understanding/ mental abilities of the person they may not be able to make the connection that they have to stop certian behaviors on their own – or simply they cannot help themselves and it is beyond their control. (Much like my daughter.)

Also understand that using medication is all trial and error. It is about finding the right drug for the individual. So it may take trying several different medications before finding the one that works. There may be a few increases that are needed in the dose of the medication. There may come a time when the medicaton may need to be changed because it has stopped working and the dose cannot be increased. A combation of different medications may need to be used.

Another thing to understand, is that because each person’s body is different, medication will react differently for every person. One person’s miracle drug maybe another person’s worst nightmare.  So when asking for advice online about medicine take what people say with a grain of salt and do not accept it as the final word. You have to experience the medication in action to know if it will work or not.

One other thing to do with medication, research and do more research! The pamphlets that a pharmacy hands out or even what the doctor hands out does not provide all the possible side effects. So research the medicine on the internet with several different websites. Also research possible drug interactions with any other prescribtions, over the counter medications, vitamins, supplements, and food.

If possible, try a new medicine on a weekend or school vacation. This allows you to see how your child will react on the new medication.

Also there may be some side effects of a mediation that you will have to decide if they can be lived with or not. For example, Abilify makes it harder for my daughter to regulate her body temperature in extreme heat or cold. I had to decide if having her aggressive behavior be off the charts was worth watching how long I had her outside on hot days or extremely cold days. Having Keri’s aggression being lower won out in the end. It was worth having to limit her outside time in the summer or winter. Also, I refuse to have my daughter on any medication that will make her a zombie. I want my daughter to still have her personality and be able to enjoy life. I will not keep her on medication that will endanger her health morw then what it needs to be. Keri was on one medication where there was extreme weight gain. She could not control her eating and would just eat and eat. I had taken her off that medication asap!

Speaking of side effects, if there is a side effect that you do not like or is extremely harsh – then do not be afraid of taking the child off the medicaton. Check to see if the medication requires gradual removal first and always talk to the doctor when taking a child off the medication. The doctor may prescribe something different.  Depending upon the severity of the side effect, you may have to take thw child to the hospital.
The very fist medication that Keri was on worked great the  first day. Then the second and third day things were much worse … Keri kept repeating herself and getting stuck on one vowel. Her aggression was 10 times worse and she was clingy. She wanted only me near her, which was never an issue before. Keri’s stomach was hurting her. I called the doctor and she prescribed two different medications. From there , Keri has been on several different medications, some have worked great, others not so much.

Sometimes, there has to be a combination of therapies, dietry changes, and medications going at the same time before improvements can be seen.

I know this to be true with my daughter. Before medication, Keri (who has adhd, autism, spd and possible mood disorder-nos) was extremely hyper and most of the time unable to focus. She would be all over the place. I constantly had to be 2 feet behind Keri at all times. She would focus for a few seconds on music video or a song. Then she would be off again, into something else. Keri would destroy things, be aggressive, and was non-verbal. Once she was on medication, Keri started to learn, she became more verbal, she is now able to read, write, and do basic math. She is able to focus on thingd and sit still for a while. I do not have to constantly behind her all the time. Keri is sleeping through most nights. Before she would scream, fight and cry until she was exhausted. Sleep would come to Keri only then. She would sleep for 2 to 3 hours and wake up for a few more hours before sleeping again for a few more hours. She would play or smear feces on the walls during her wake up time before falling back to sleep. I never had a true night’s sleep in several years during that time. Some how I managed – but would never want to go back to that time! With the medication, she still is aggressive and I never know what I am going to get from her moment to moment or day to day. But for the most part, Keri can go out and do things. Once in a great while, I can go out and have a social life. That wad not there before. A little progress is better than no progress.

Three More Sheeps (sleeps)

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There are 3 more sheeps until Keri’s actual birthday. (Keri will mispronounce the word sleep and it sounds like sheep – it is a running joke between us!)

So far her behavior has been pretty good. There has been a few whining moments, but no aggression. If Keri keep up the good behavior then she will earn build a bear for her birthday. Then on Sunday,  we will go to Uncle’s for her birthday.

So 3 more sheeps to go ….

Only In An Autism Household…

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Sometimes in an Autism Household there things you find yourself saying that most regular people with NT childern (neurotypical = NT) would never say …

My saying for today “We do not wash ourselves with spit and a sock. Keri do you want to take a bath?”

Keri was sitting on her skateboard with a purple sock in her hand. She was wetting the sock with her spit and washing her body. She was fully dressed.

Snow day

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So we are not buried under hundreds of feet of snowy goodness …

But there is no school for Keri today and no work for me.

It is only 9:30 am in this Autism household and there are many hours still to cover.

We are still in our pjs for now.

Our game plan for today …

Keri’s: do homework, paint nails, find ipad and help mommy clean.

Mine: drink coffee, clean, binge watch The Walking Dead and Triva Crack. Of course help Keri with homework and nails.

Also today is day 4 of clonidine .1 mg given in the pm. So far behaviors are reduced by a lot and there is no zombie effect. All good in my book.

Update on Keri

image Since there has been no new updates on Keri other then October, I figure this is a good time to do just that. In October,  Keri’s old out of district  (ood) placement, the teacher was doing very little to help or teach Keri. Between the one on one aide and the home school district seing the same concerns, Keri was placed in another OOD placement. A much better program and her teacher is a BCBA. However, Keri’s behaviors are about the same. She has a good days/moments and bad. I just never know what I am going to get with her. I recently had to cancel her birthday party. That may sound mean … but Keri has to “earn fun things”, and she did not earn her birthday party. I will not reward bad behavior, regardless of what caused her to at out. At some point in time, Keri has to realize certian behavior are not ok. Autism or no Autism, she has to learn acceptable behavior! Last Monday, Keri had off from school for MLK day. She had an eye appointment to check her eyes and pick out glasses. I had used a social story to explain what would happen at the office. I also explained that if glasses were needed, she would not take them home the same day. The exam part went fine as well as picking out the glasses. When it came time to measure her pupils and hand the glasses over, Keri lost it. She start crying and screaming so I escorted her out of the office. Once outside, she started to bite herself and scratch herself. She tried to break away from me and bite me as well. Keri then tried to run back towards the doctor’s office. I was able to get a hold of her and get her onto the car. Inside the car, Keri the proceeded to pull her hair ou and continue with the scratching. I got her home 20 mintues later and then she calmed down. On Tuesday, she acted up for her grandfather. He gets her on the school bus in the mornings. Keri was good for the first part of the morning. Then the grandfather decides to take her to Wawa like he does sometimes when she is good. He will let her pick out a little snack and he gets milk or a newspaper. Well, that morning, Keri broke away from her grandfather’s hand and starts running all around the store. She thinks its a game and funny – all the while laughing and running around. Then Keri goes behind the deli counter and her grandfather has to go back there to get her. He left the store with her and Keri did not get anything. On the ride home, Keri is throwing stuff at her grandfather WHILE he is driving. He was able to back to his house, but that is not safe for him or her!!!! I have had plenty of these moments with her in the past and going back several years. These two incidents back to back is what cause Keri to loose het birthday party. I will not have 20 people over to celebrate a fun event for a child who may not behave. Keri knoes exactly why she lost het birthday party. If Keri can maintain a certian level of behavior this week, then I will take her to build a bear and her uncle’s this weekend. If not, then she will loose those activities this weekend too. Right now she is at level zero … she has not been to a store last Tuesday. The only places she has gone is to school and her psychiatrist’s office. I did on Thursday have a meeting with her case manger and her therapists. We are pushing residential placement as her behaviors and elopement issues are a safety concern for her and those around her. It will take any where from 1 to 6 months to place Keri. She is 9 soon to be 10. Her behaviors have remained the same despite OOD placement, 6 hours of in home therapy, horseback riding therapy, and a slew of different medications being tried. In the past other therapies (both holistic and traditional) have been tried with dietry changes, and still no improvement in the behaviors. She is officially to strong for me to try to restrain when she needs it. Plus she has tried to hurt me with out being sad or mad. Keri was completely calm and tried to twist my arm earlier this month. I could barely get her hands off my arm. Then at her psychiatrist’s office, Keri started to throw toys and rip up game peices. I asked her to pick the items up, she refused and laughed. I tried to get her to sit in a chair and she kept getting up and dragging me to the ground … Keri is 9. She will be 10 soon. Keri weighs 110 pounds. She is nearly 5 foot tall. Keri is strong – stronger now then me. Keri is a danger to herself and those around her … It is time the hars decisons are made. It is time for Keri to be placed in residential. It is not an easy decison , but has to be done. She is only 9 and still a child – this is a parent’s hardest choice to make 😟:😦:😭

Happy Monday

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Happy Monday where there are early school dismissals, loss of working hours, and a blizzard warning!

Yay, it is Monday 😕

Keri will be homr around 1:30 and I will be done with work around 10:30.

Keri’s mission today is to clean her room. She decided last night at 1 am that it was time to do some light reading and have a snack.

Amoung the giggling and moans, I told het to go back to bed twice. Round 3 was taken care of by my boyfriend. He found Keri’s snack was indeed her book.

Yes, that is right, she was chewing on her book. So her room will be cleared out of any paper products latet today.

She started clonidine on Friday.  Not sure if it is Keri being Keri, or something from the meds.