Saturday, November 5, 2011

It's been three months since my last confession

Wow, I can't believe it's been three months since I've posted about Joseph.

The new school year got off to a rocky start. After about the first month, Joseph started refusing to get on the bus about have the time. Eventually, we started driving him, but he would refuse to get out of the van. Then I'd go to pick him up and he would refuse to leave the classroom and fight me when I tried to strap him into the van harness.

Tantrums got worse too. One day, at my parents house, we told him he couldn't go back outside to the backyard. First he started knocking things over, I tried to restrain him, but he struggled harder. I ended up having to lay on him for at least an hour while he screamed and thrashes. He bit my arm twice, so hard that it was bruised for a week.

I think it was the day after this incident, he had a particularly bad tantrum about having to get in the car to go home from school, his teacher asked me if anything had changed, if Kristy had gone back to work, or there were any changes to his meds. I told her no, but when I got home and I mentioned it to Kristy, she said they had reduced his Adderrall from 15 to 10mg because he had been falling asleep at school and sleeping through his whole school day. I told her to start giving him 15mg again and he showed an immediate improvement. Not perfect, but he had ONE perfect day last week without any meltdowns.

Since the beginning of the year, he's continued to make progress. In fact, one Friday he came home and just wouldn't shut up! And he wasn't just scripting or talking to himself, he was walking up to adults and saying, "Excuse me! Excuse me!" and then asking us things or telling us things. I emailed his teacher and she said she was going to ask us about it as they'd noticed that afternoon as well and they had no idea what triggered it. He's not talking quite that much now, but still much more than he had been.

Speech therapy in the morning has been, on average, a success. He still has trouble some days, but he's had a lot of great mornings when he cooperates for the entire 45 minute session. His SLP from Children's re-evaluated him and said he's made so much progress (since he was 99% non-verbal) that we need to set new speech goals for him.

He's got a new favorite activity. He draws with crayons in comp books. He carries 3 to 5 of them around in his bookbag and will draw a little in one, then switch. It's very cute and some of his drawings are better than mine. :) I'll scan some and post them later.

Joseph now has disability Medicaid. The kind that, for now at least (thanks Kasich) is unmanaged so we can use it to pay for a home health aide to come and help him with daily living stuff and play with him in the mornings before school so that we can get something done without having to turn the TV on to babysit him. Eventually, this will also pay for ABA aides. We're still looking for an aide at this point.

I think that's everything of note about Joseph. I started a new post back at the end of August about the experience of having a baby after getting an ADHD dx for one kid and an autism dx for the the other. But it sort of went off the rails. I think I need to delete the draft and start it over from the beginning. There's still something there that I need to say.

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