Saturday, November 17, 2007

How is The Kid doing, anyway?

So, this is supposed to be a blog about The Kid. My Kid. Because of the persistent blogging this month, and because I'm normally getting my post done at ten til midnight every night, I've not taken the time to update on The Kid in quite a while.

First, academically. Great. His reading is on par, he's a little easily distracted, so it's slow going, but he understands everything he reads. He rocks at math. I've never really had concerns about his academics because he's just so naturally bright. If he doesn't get it today, he'll get it pretty soon.

His behavior at school is a different story. He's had a rough go of it lately. He has such a hard time in the classroom. I don't know what is going on. He gets stuck on ideas and tasks most of the time, and then the class has to move on, and he's not willing to go with them. I think that, essentially, is the deal. His reactions are all over the place. Most of the time, he gets so frustrated and angry he has to take space to calm down again. I don't think he's missing too much school time, but he has to go through this 'leave the classroom' thing about three to eight times a day. It's been rough.

I don't know how to make it better. It's school. It's kind of outside of my realm, if you know what I mean. I will help them in any way, but when it comes to how he reacts to their structures, I can't do much from work or home. Or, more than we already do, which is talk about the day, every night, and do lots of work with doctors and therapists outside of school. So, it's not like I'm doing nothing, but in the moment? It's up to The Kid.

Medically, well. Oooph. Six weeks ago he had a blood draw at the doctors office. Everything was okay, but his cholesterol levels were high. Yeah, he's seven. We've cut back on fats, for him and for me, and the food I have been preparing for both of us has been more healthy. We went again last week and his numbers are better, now on the high side of 'normal.' The doc is worried that the real culprit, however, is the weight gain and his metabolism from his meds. We are cutting back on his atypical antipsychotic, Abilify, slowly but surely until we will be done with it, hopefully by the end of the year or at the very latest, January. This is all good news to me, as I've been asking for a good justification for his taking it for about three months now. So glad to get this drug out of his system.

The Kid's therapist let a bad 'by the by' comment slip to me on Monday, however. He said he'd talked to the school, and, his words, "they are really against dropping meds." Naturally, they would be against dropping meds that worked to relieve aggressive behaviors. I would too. But these meds are not working very well against his aggression and frustration (see above, he's been on them with these cycles of anger and difficulty remaining safe in the classroom), and they are making him gain weight in a gross way (8 pounds in six weeks, on a good diet). I really wish he hadn't told me that. I really don't want to know what the school thinks about The Kid's medical info.

Of course I updated the school on the status of The Kid's meds, and now I worry that they will be pointing toward his behavior as caused by his meds being dropped. We're all keeping a close eye on him, and he is definitely going to have some difficulty while we take them out of his system. It may take the rest of the school year, in fact, to truly see a Kid without Abilify. I just can't let it go on that we feed him with this med that is not proving to work, that is pretty much definitely causing damage to his body (weight gain). It would be immoral of me.

So, in the meantime, the only real effect of lowering the dosage of the med I've seen (we've only cut the dosage back by 1/3, and it's only been five days) is difficulty falling asleep. He has been pretty much the same, easily overstimulated but incredibly funny and smart kiddo. I can live with this kiddo. He's a great kid.


Liz Ditz said...

I just sent you an email loaded with links from this SchwabLearning discussion

Resources for Developing a GOOD behavior support plan.

Hope it helps.

Alison said...

He is a GREAT kid. Love that kid!

Leslie Dillinger said...

The Kid ROCKS! Can't wait to hopefully see him this holiday season. I got my tickets already. 10 days in CO! Whoo-hoo! Will be there the 22nd . . .

JohnL said...

Mol, if the school folks could document, behaviorally rather than anecdotally, the frequency and duration of problems on an on-going basis, y'all could check whether there are trends in those problems as the meds are reduced. It'd be better than a by-guess-and-by-gosh record, no?