Yesterday was Josie's second autism evaluation appointment to see if she has made any progress with the things we have attempted to do. While she has fewer "bad" days, her bad days are worse and she's been asked to leave school for the rest of the day for biting. There have been quite a few days where Daddy and I are at our wit's end. We have tried music therapy, dance therapy, schedules, counseling, cooking, monitoring her sugar intake, watching for food triggers, being extra firm but allowing more time, and the list goes on. She even only wears certain colors like pinks and yellows because for some reason blues, browns, and black or sometimes even green lead to "bad" days. We have found that asking her "what colour is your sky?" gives us an indication of what kind of day we can attempt to encourage or avoid.
we've reached our limit. Nothing new, old, or in-between is working for her anymore. We have improved what seems as far as we could without medicinal intervention. Our counselors say so, the teacher believe it, and the specialist we drive 400+ miles each way to see agrees. Daddy couldn't go with us yesterday, so Josie and I were alone to hear the diagnosis and I had to make a decision.
Josie has autism - Asperger's syndrome and she is very intelligent, this is what we were working with. She has some sensory loss and needs occupational therapy for balance and fine motor skills especially on her left side. With the combination of her biological mother's mental health history and her maternal grandmother's plus the extreme peaks and valleys Josie is displaying - her doctor believes they may be precursors to her being bi-polar.
What!?! (Deep breath) Okay, we can handle this (repeat as a mantra). Then the doctor went over some medications for getting her to focus, getting around her rigidity, and the peaks and valleys. She asked me which barrier I felt she needed to most overcome with the use of medication. (Oh, dear God, I'm considering medicating my kid. But I can't help her alone anymore, she needs something) I believe she needs to focus if she is going to do as well in school as we know she is capable of doing. Crying, I agree to try the ADHD medication, explaining that I feel like the worst parent in the world because I couldn't fix the world for her. Peter and I had agreed that medication would be our last resort, and here I was making this decision without him. But he did agree with my decision when I got home, it really is wonderful to have someone support your decisions about "their" child, makes me feel like I am the mom here.
So, we're going to try the medication over Spring Break, I'm taking the week off to see how she does and because it would cost more than I make to put the kids in camp for the week. A friend of ours suggested (and we had heard at the support group) that using the medication and fish oil seems to work wonders. I'll be researching more about this. In the meantime, I'm praying that this works because she really is a wonderful little girl and I want her to enjoy the world.