Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Atypical Nation: Soapy Water Version

I kind of feel like someone’s dropped by and I have curlers in my hair and my kitchen is a mess. All I’ve had up on this blog for the last month is a quickly written musing about The Kid's lovely nose-picking…

Today, Philip Dawdy of Furious Seasons has linked over to me. Philip is a journalist and mental health advocate who was instrumental in planting the seeds of skepticism in some of the advice I’d been receiving on how to help The Kid with his difficulties in school, primarily in the realm of the medications he was being prescribed, primarily the atypical anti-psychotics.

The Kid took his last dose of Abilify in January. Philip has shared our recent success, and my strong belief that The Kid’s so-called bipolar diagnosis was an effect of medication side effects and bad diagnostics more than actual baseline functioning by him; and a rush to react to his behavior (in school, mostly) rather than find the underlying causes.

The Kid has been doing really well. It took about two months to really lift the fog of rage and aggression at school. At this time I can confidently state that I do not see so-called “mood” issues, and neither does the school.

I am pissed about the damage that has been done to my son over the past two years, the atypical years, and the slew of bad advice that I’ve received since I first went to his pediatrician to tell them about my concerns about his development, his hypersensitivity to sound, environment and food. I am pissed that I am complicit. I am pissed that these years have engendered bad habits in my son, I’m pissed that even though we’ve ironed out this ‘bipolar’ thing that he remains challenged, disabled.

That’s the problem. And I’m scared of being linked to by Philip because many of his readers have grown so skeptical of psychiatry and psychology in general that they find it impossible to believe that any child can be disabled, have developmental delays, have a mental illness. I do not need that wrath right now.

If someone were to spend an afternoon with my son and I, they would see a really extraordinary child, but one who does not fit within anyone’s definition of a typically developed kid. Perhaps we will see further improvement over time as the atypicals slowly leave his fat cells (the last place that I understand they cling to… Which is ironic, because one main side effects of the atypical antipsychotic class of medication is severe weight gain… Talk about poisoning over poisoning, and then making it even harder to get off of these medications), his motor skills might improve, maybe we’ll see his social skills improve too. Only time will tell.

The Kid’s just gone through a new set of assessments, to cement his diagnosis of ADHD, and to further explore where he fits on the Autism spectrum. These things do exist, my son will need special education and constant support for the foreseeable future. I just think there are a lot of very careless practitioners out there, and parents, who are not entirely careless, but instead are overly trusting of these practitioners. I also think doctors would do well to spend more time to listen, truly listen, TRULY LISTEN to parents. I also wish schools didn’t suck so very much, but that’s a post for another day.

Anyway, thanks Philip. Your support has meant a lot to me.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Booger Question

At what age to children normally figure out how to blow their noses? Seriously, I thought The Kid would have this down by 8. Then again, he still hasn't figured out how to fall asleep.

Currently, tissues are used as fluffy, papery finger condoms, all the better for picking the more dastardly boogers from those hard to reach nose crevasses.