Fun at Disneyland

Fun at Disneyland

Thursday, December 29, 2011

What is IT?

I was just thinking today about how much Autism Spectrum behavior I see in Blake - singing songs and substituting words (seems like he's trying to be annoying, but I don't think he has much control), MAJOR ADHD symptoms, often unable to sit still, doesn't ride a bike well (didn't take off training wheels until age 9), can't coordinate pumping legs on swings, rages, argues incessantly, BUT BUT BUT he is social, even seeks out people, he generally acts appropriately about other kids. He doesn't stand out at all as being different, maybe a bit bossy but nothing major. He doesn't have the flat speech, and the general lack of coordination. He is generally a skilled athlete (except for biking and swinging!)  Am I crazy for thinking it could be Aspergers? He does stim. Both finger movements and constantly throwing things up in the air and catching them. He has a lot of sensory issues, and struggles with fine motor; though I know both are seen in both Bipolar and ASD.

Having an HMO like Kaiser doesn't exactly give me access to the type of cutting edge doctor that will tell the difference. I want them to pay for out of network evaluation, but don't even know where to begin. Ultimately, I'd like OT for sensory seeking and fine motor and PT for the swinging and other movement. Also having some in-home therapy services would be fantastic. I don't even know where to begin to get these type of services.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Losing Faith in Conventional Medicine

I have made a fairly dramatic decision in Blake's treatment plan. I'm still unsure of the Bipolar Dx, (sometimes, I lean more towards Pdd-nos) but I know for sure that he had severe and dramatic reactions to both the ssri Zoloft and all stimulants. Excepting those reactions, Blake still has many areas that he needs to grow. His ADHD and ODD are still difficult, though the rages and irrational thinking (ie. "I'm going to run away because I'm sick of people telling me what to do" and then *actually* running away) is thankfully gone - those seemed to be more the side effects from the SSRI's and stimulants. So, while, Blake was improving, I felt that the improvement was more from taking the stimulants away in October than from adding these Antipsychotics and Mood stabilizers.

Additionally, as we were upping the dose of Risperdal from 1.5 to 2 mg., poor Blakey peed the bed. That night, he also told me that he had been peeing "just a little tiny bit" in his pants. I felt so sad for him and explained not to worry, that it was the medicine and that we would lower the dose.

That day, I began to read more about treatment of mood disorders with micro-nutrients. I have always been open to alternative treatments, but carry a healthy dose of skepticism. But I read lot about it and the research behind it. And more importantly, I read the stories of people that it had worked for, not just on the company's webpage, but on other unbiased message boards. These nutrients, along with diet, and therapy is really and truly helping a lot of children. It seemed like an easy decision. Try these supplements and phase out the medicines. The conventional treatment will always be there if this alternative treatment doesn't work.

So we started EMPower on Thursday. This is his third day on it, but he is still on his full dose of Lamactil (275 mg) and a slightly lowered dose of the Risperdal (1mg). The support staff at Truehope (The makers of EMpower) want us to give him the Empower daily (along with an amino acid and a probiotic) and then call them when Blake starts to show changes. Apparently, the micro-nutrients make is so that the medicines are better metabolized and cause the meds to have a greater effect. So in a sense, they become over-medicated. That is the point that we will back the meds down.

I want this to work so badly for him. It has an 80-86% success rate, which gives me a lot of hope. I am proud of him for taking all these pills. He takes 2 pills before each meal, plus 5 pills THREE times a day, plus his regular meds, which is a grand total of 25 pills. What a champ.