Fun at Disneyland

Fun at Disneyland

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Neuro-Psych Feedback Meeting

The long awaited feedback meeting arrived today. Blake has been to UCLA three times this month for very comprehensive neuro-psych testing and my husband and I met with the doctors today to discuss the results and their recommendations.

The Doctor said first that he is a very bright child and that educationally speaking, they did not see any concerns, other than his fine motor control (they recommended OT for that) and his ADHD. They saw his ADHD symptoms (lack of sustained focus, need for movement, impulsivity) and agreed that he had ADHD.

Primarily, they believe he has a lot of anxiety and some depression. They do not believe he has bipolar mainly because he does not experience the sleep disturbances and the grandiosity. They recommended cognitive behavior therapy to help him reframe his thinking and said that they believed his anxiety triggered a lot of the opposition.

They recommended that Blake continue taking the mood stabilizer (Lamactil) but agreed with me, that it was probably best to just do the Lamactil and add the Abilify later if needed once the Lamactil was at a therapeutic dose. They also recommended that we consider medicine for his adhd once his mood was stabilized. They agreed that Blake having the in-home therapy would very beneficial to both him and to our family. Lastly, the main psychologist told us that she felt very optimistic about Blake's future.

I left feeling good about everything, but also a little confused. My head has been swimming with more and more questions as I absorb all of the information. The doctors will complete the written report and mail it to me along with their specific suggestions for the cognitive behavior therapy so that we can share that with the in-home therapist.

I have been reading the book, "Lost at School" by Dr. Ross Green. Though I had read his most popular book, "The Explosive Child" years ago, This more recent book of his is truly revolutionary. His ideas about discipline and behavior are so dramatically different, but make perfect sense.

I was struck with many things, but one thing, especially, stands out to me from the book - "Diagnosis" isn't really all that important, it's the children's lagging skills that need our focus. And right now, that makes more sense then ever. It's a good feeling to be able to have some clear goals for Blake (based on his lagging skills) and to be working with a therapist to reach those goals.

Good day. Hope springs enternal, right?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hanging in there

Things are going fairly smoothly lately. No major rages in about 2 weeks. Blake is still really obsessing on Pokemon (on his Nintendo DS), but has done well with me setting a limit of 2-1/2 hrs./day. Which even looking at that number, seems like WAY too much. But the thing is, I can see that it helps him cope and channel excess energy, so I compromise.

Blake has done his first day of testing at UCLA and goes in on Monday the 13th for the other half. He is being a really good sport about it and we've had fun driving the 405 in bumper to bumper traffic. We actually have! I put on some music, we put the windows down and cruise (at 15 mph, but still!). It's been nice having it be just he and I. We don't get to do that enough. We were talking about the students at UCLA and Blake informed me that going to UCLA was his dream. He could do it too. I know he could. He has his challenges, and they can be huge at times, but he has so many amazing gifts as well. I pray that his challenges don't hold him back from his dreams and most days, I feel optimistic about his future.

Blake had a major accomplishment today. At a school performance, (with lots of students and parents watching) Blake played three songs on his trombone with the school's elementary band - made up of 6 kids. He did so well! He says he wasn't even nervous, which is surprising. He has had issues in the past with performing in front of a lot of people. Though, I believe that was when he was on the stimulants and they all gave him all sorts of anxiety. Anyhow, today he did so great and he also smiled a lot which is the best thing in the world to see.

James has his first OT therapy tomorrow. I hope she is good at motivating resistant kids because when James gets frustrated, he is D-O-N-E and I've found that if I push, he gets very angry and emotional. So, fingers crossed she's a good one!

I am enjoying the last days of having the boys in school. Even though I am busy running to and from near daily appointments of various doctors and therapists, it's still manageable with only one of the boys and the baby. But when it's the 3 of them, the boys get each other going, get loud, get rambunctious and silly, bug the baby, fight with one another....

Oh summer. Must you come so soon?