Asperger's, Epilepsy, ADHD, Sensory Integration Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, Non Specific Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Austism Spectrum Disorder, BiPolar Disorder... all these labels one confused boy.
My son is 8. He exhibits severe antisocial behavior. It started when he was two. He began having "tantrums", he would bang his head, and make disturbing noises. He has struggled acedemicly although he has tested well above average on IQ tests.
I thought I could help him with therapy until the day he threw a ball full force at his three year old sister's head as she rode past him on her tricycle. I decided to try medication. That was a year ago. He was on Risperdal (antipsychotic) for 9 months until he started exhibiting one of the side effects. The particular side effect causes my son's muscles to tighten and eventually atrophy.
The hard part about this medication was the fact that it worked. It tricked me. I forgot that my son was different. He had friends, he played games with other children without hitting or biting, and he drew. He began writing stories and illustrating the pages with magical drawings that could take you to another place. For the first time I could see inside my son's head. I knew what he thought and cared about. Then it was gone. Without warning, my son was gone.
His tantrums became worse, he started swearing, and he became more violent. I believe that my son's frustration has turned into aggression. He knew he was different on meds. He knew he could pretend to be "normal". His friends pulled away. Teachers didn't know how to handle him. He could not be left alone at any point.
I was determined never to put him through the pain of medication again. I didn't want to see my son hurt. It hurts so bad to have your eyes opened and then slammed shut. I tried natural medicine. Cod liver oil and blood cultures. I was told my son had too many metals in his blood. I got some stuff to take the metals out. It made him worse. He attacked me. Then he turned on his brother. He picked up a knife one day.... it scared him just as much as it scared me. He started to cry and fell to the floor.
Back to the doctor... Please help my son. She said we will try Ritilin. Didn't work. We will try Depakote (antisiezure). Didn't work. Ok mom, we have no other choice...we have to go back to the family of medicines that worked. Seraquel (antipsychotic) started working well. We took baby steps with the med so he wouldn't start the same side effect again. School started. One week into school his muscles in his leg began tightening. I took him off the med imediately. The doctor calls me four days afterward and says, "Mom, I think we should put him back on the med. We can step down the dose and monitor him closely. We have no other med to try that may work. The only other choice is send him to a hospital for a while and have him examined." How do I make this decision? Put my son on a drug that could paralyze his muscles for the rest of his life or commit him to a hospital.
He is back on the meds. We monitor him closely. (The school and myself.) I am getting him in to see a pediatric nuerologist soon. This Dr. might be able to tell me what is going on with my son.
I apologize for the awkwardness of this entry. Its hard to talk about this and harder to proof read.
The reason I decided to share this... today my 6 year old neighbor asked me if my son would be "good" when he grew up. After explaining to her that my son was good and how hard he tried to be "good", I started crying. It hurts so much.
He has the most beautiful heart. He is a talented artist. And he needs help. He will never be cured. He will probobly need medication for the rest of his life. Knowing this I realize that for the rest of our lives we will have to watch my son alternate medications to avoid side effects. Just so maybe he can get through school. Life is another battle. What will his future hold? How can I as a mother be any better prepared? Why doesn't anyone have any answers? How can I care for him without making my other two children feel unappreciated?
Mother of three
Power, Peace and Love I seek
Grace, hope, and strength
I will need
The mantra is not always enough
I am strong but yet i fail
Growing and Learning Everyday
Happy laughter far away