I know it's been a long time since my last post, but I did want to update and share how everybody's doing. We are all well. Things are still certainly a daily challenge with both boys and now an often demanding three year old, but we have a LOT of good times together and I am seeing real growth in both Blake and James.
Unbelievably, we are still uncertain of Blake's (age 11) exact diagnosis. But for now, there have been no more aggressive actions and he is less oppositional. Not even close to agreeable, but still, he's better than before. We having just started seeing an amazing child psychologist. He came highly recommended by both a well respected friend with a son with bipolar and also by our school advocate. He is not a Kaiser Dr., but it's obvious to me by now that there are no competent doctors within the Kaiser system as it is currently set-up. Dr. S is very knowledgeable about kiddos like mine and at our intake appointment, he assured us that Blake is like 90% of the kids he sees. Dr. S will be looking at all of Blake's previous testing results and see what he finds out. I am looking forward to working with him and for him to work with Blake. He also knows a top child psychiatrist in the area that can look at both boys and their meds and make recommendations to Kaiser. That would be a dream!
James, age 8, is currently on stimulants for his ADHD. He still struggles with emotional overreactions and severe impulsivity, but he's doing OK this year. His 3rd grade teacher is really good with him and provides a lot of structure and clear expectations with a lot of love. He does well with that. He has found a new sport, swimming, and really loves it. Its great to see him getting better and for him to have something all his own like that.
Both boys are still at their current charter school. It's a good fit, in many ways, but I am also worried that Blake isn't getting the real help he needs to get better at writing, organization, reading comprehension and executive function issues. They do work with kids when they have conflict and I know they have great love and respect for their students, but I'm not sure the structure of the school is right for Blake. (Or for James in the long run either). But I'm OK with staying this year and exploring my options for next year. I want to also get the opinion of Dr. S on that.
So, all in all, we're hanging in there. We still have daily challenges, but also have more faith than ever that we are all going to be OK in life.