Monday, August 22, 2016

"Is your child on medication?"

Okay, fair warning.  This blog post is going to be a bit of a rant but you all seem to like it when I let my mouth fly, so buckle up! Here I go.

"Is your child on medication? 

You know the only person that's allowed to ask you that?  Or let me put it this way, the only one that SHOULD ask you that?  A medical professional. A doctor.  A nurse. I'll even give you an EMT.  That's it.  Not a single other person should ever even think of saying this to you.

And yet, here I am.  A good eleven years into all this autism stuff with my Kiddo and I heard it again and again and again this week.  Three different people and no, not a single one is a developmental pediatrician in their spare time for kicks.

I'm really getting tired of being asked if my Kiddo is on medication or having it implied like it has never even occurred to us to put him on medication.  It's always said in a tone of "Silly Mama Fry. Aren't you a lucky one to have run into me so I may bestow upon you such an idea." I'm suppose to either bow to their greatness to have told me about it or launch in a diatribe of why I am violently opposed to the idea.

Spoiler Alert! He already is and guess what, it's not the magic bullet that folks seem to think it is. While it may make some symptoms of his autism, OCD, anxiety, and ADD a tad bit better, it's not wiping the slate clean here with the issues and challenges facing him daily.  I have no beef with medication.  Hell, I'm even on some myself! I also have no problem with folks who want to go a different way about it.  If that's your jam, you do you.

What I have a problem with this idea that this is going to be our problem solver cause it's so far from the case.  For every case of kid on them that has seen good results, I can give you countless emails from parents who have tried the latest wonder drug only for their kid to have every horrible side effect known to man and then a few extra.

If you are a teacher, speech therapist, teacher's aide, or any sort of school professional, you know what might be a better way to inquire if the behavior you are seeing in a client and or student is medication or non medication related? Here's how to word it.  My piece of advice to you. I won't even charge ya for it. ;-)

"Have you talked to your child's health care provider about these issues?"

Isn't that lovely? Not only does it address the issue but it reminds the parent just exactly where to go if that is an option that they may want to explore or not.  Boom! You're job is done plus it opens the door for the parent to volunteer information like "Yes, we had to make a recent dosage change." or "Well we have thought about it but maybe it's time."

Pros, I have no problem sharing any information with you about my Kiddo that might help you do your job to the best of your ability.  What I have a problem is when folks who aren't medical doctors starting throwing about the whole medication thing like it's going to be the salvation of my Kiddo that I was too stupid to even think about doing.

I warned ya I was feeling feisty. Now I'll just sit back and wait for all the comments from the pros who think I am Satan incarnate. ;-)

"Is my child on medication?"  only makes me want to reply "Are you on any?" 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

August Angst

"Aw crap" Me, to my calendar.

We are entering the Hell Zone time of the year with the Kiddo.  ESY (Extended School Year) aka Summer School is wrapping up this week.  Full time school will not return to these parts till September 6th.  We have no major plans like a big vacation or anything else going on.  Lots of free time and we don't do to well with lots of free time. Traditionally, this is the part of the year where things get dicey.

Plus, we are in a very strange transition phase with the Kiddo.  While ESY at the middle school has gone much better than I could have anticapted, I'm not holding my breath that we are out of the woods just yet.  Sure, he's gotten to learn about the layout of a new building. He's been spoiled in a way because it's litterally two classes of kids there.  In a few weeks, hundreds of other kids will be going there too.  The bell will be ringing between classes.  Lots of new staff and teachers to get to know.  Despite dipping our toes in the water all summer, I suspect we will be up to our noses with surprises and transitions again in a few weeks.

Or he could surprise me completely and go with the flow and be all "What Ma? I'm fine!" even though I won't believe it and will still be on edge for weeks.

He's started to ask about what his jobs there will be.  At the old school, they put that Kiddo to work! Which I loved because a busy Kiddo is a happy and content Kiddo. Taking the lunch orders down to the cafeteria, delivering messages to teachers, sorting the mail in the main office, and stalking his favorite custodian Mr. "T" till he got a turn with the big vacuum.  He more than liked it, he loved it.

The old school even gave him this postal shirt to wear while he worked and then they let him keep it when he "graduated" because they enjoyed making me bawl over leaving. 

Now that's he's kind of in his groove, he wants to expand his comfort zone.  That's awesome but it's also filled with "Well, we'll see.".  Because he is the new guy and no longer the top dog. There may be kids already doing those jobs. We have to see what jobs are available and get a bit more settled.  I tried explaining that to him but it kind of fell on deaf ears with him.  So, he's a bit buzzing about that a lot.

My personal schedule has been a bit all over the place.  My father had a long hospital stay which meant I was running back and forth. It's also left me a bit stressed out and I'm not sure who was happier when he came home yesterday.  My father or the rest of the family.  It's been a long two and half weeks. Kiddo has been pretty good about it all.  Mostly.  ;-) We had a few head to head "Quirk offs" as I call them, where his needs for accommodations and my own clashed. Stuff like this is part of life and although I understand it's a challenge for the Kiddo to put himself in the shoes of another person and their viewpoint, he still struggles with it.  When my own stress level is kind of through the roof, it's really freaking hard to think "Well, this is a teachable moment for him!" and be all jazzed about that.  I just want the Kiddo to cut me some flipping slack already!

The Kiddo lives for "And then?".  That's his mantra. If it was the 90's, he'd have it tattooed around his forearm with a tribal pattern.  It boils down to I have to find an "And then?" activity for the Kiddo every day, several times a day.  Even when all I want to reply "And then Mama Fry has a margarita! Go fire up the blender. I'm going to show you how to make one."

But no bigger reminder that it was August were not one but two calls from school today about his behavior and his anxiety. To say it was through the roof was putting it mildly. This new school hadn't seen him at this point yet, so they sure got a lesson in it today.  Let me tell ya something, there is nothing like getting a call from school asking for help with what to do with your kid.  Because seriously, is there not an IEP and a behavior plan that came with my kiddo?  Did you think I would hold something back?  That I alone hold the secret to his autism and his meltdowns? Cause I assure you, I do not have it. The tips and tricks you seek are all in that nice little pile of forms with his name on it.

No, I did not take him home till it was time TO go home at his usual dismissal time. Cause there was no way on this planet Mama Fry was going to teach the Kiddo "Just have a meltdown at school. I'll come get ya."  NOPE! So on one of these last days of ESY, I too got to spend two and half hours at school.

I'll get through it because what other choice do I have here? I'll also ride out the Back to School transition too because again, it's what's next.  I'm just going to be earning quite a few more gray hairs while I do both of these.

I swear I'm just drinking this tonight for the antioxidants.