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Sunday, January 29, 2012

On Second Thought...


One thing I love about the internet and autism community is the exchange of information that you may otherwise not get.  I wrote and shared this post, "Under the Rocks"  about how happy I am with our visit to the Pediatric Neurologist.  I felt so good about following my instincts and mother's intuition when it comes to my boys and the medications they are taking.

In this post I mention specifics about medications which if I had been in my right mind, I may not have done.  I mean the detailed information is a little personal.  But then again, my life is an open book.  And this blog is based on our reality.  As it turns out...it was a good thing.

My friend John Scott Holman an infamous Autism Writer, shared my post with his fans.  He also commented on my Facebook link after he read the post, "Be Careful with Effexor.  Focalin dose is too low.  Depakote did nothing for me and is very toxic to the liver and sedating.  Seroquel is extremely sedating and caused me to become lethargic and depressed."

Of course this gets me to thinking...WTH? I have not done my own due diligence by researching this medication myself.  Here I go...trusting the professionals.  The Psychiatrist originally prescribed this medication.  The Neurologist followed her cue and wanted to increase the dosage to the appropriate level for his weight.

The professionals don't live with my kid.  They won't have to deal with the fallout should this not go well.  So after John made this comment, I was all over it.

'Dear Google -what's up with this drug Effexor.  I need to know the good, the bad and the ugly?'

I review several web-sites.  The one I find most interesting is this site called Crazymeds.  The site gives fact, opinion and reviews from those who have used these medications telling us how it effected them.  There is also a little humor used in the descriptions, which of course, I love.  People who have used Effexor have either loved it and hale it as a miracle, or they hated it.  Almost no one said it did not work, but what they did say freaked me out.  Several users said things like:

"Don't miss a dose! Or you'll be sorry!"
"Coming off of this med is a nightmare!"

Under the category of Cons it says:

"For many people Effexor XR has the absolute worst discontinuation syndrome of an an antidepressant.  It is a medication that people utterly loathe to have taken. It is not uncommon for someone to fire doctors during or immediately after they quit taking..."

I post on my "Confessions" Facebook Page, I pose the question, "Does anyone have experience with Effexor?  I get the similar comments.

"It was effective, but don't miss a dose."
"...the biggest problems were if she missed a dose --she just fell apart and got paranoid and her school called me once because they thought she was suffering a psychotic break."

After reading this I am done.  I didn't sleep that night.  The following morning,  I call the Neurologist office and tell them I don't want to continue use of Effexor.  This drug sounds like where you go as a last resort.  We have not exhausted all of the possibilities yet.  I am leaning towards Wellbutrin as a result of my research and feedback.  At this point, he is only 3 days in to Effexor...so the doctor says it is fine to discontinue usage. We will discuss what we want to replace it with next week.

Oh and by the way...the blood-work came back and his platelets are low.  So we need to also decrease that Depakote, which could be causing the low platelets.   Not remembering what I learned way back in high-school and college about the human body I ask, "And what exactly do the platelets do?"  They apparently help with clotting.  If your platelets are low...you could bleed out from an injury. Good thing we did that blood-work! 

At the same time...I am already seeing more energy from him.  His moods are mostly good...but kind of all over the place like a roller coaster from moment to moment.   I have seen some aggression and cursing like a sailor.  I believe that I am seeing more of his personality.  Don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

The bottom line...adjusting medications is a real pain-in-the a**!  It helps, if you have a doctor who is listening to you.  But, there are no easy answers or quick fixes.  It is a painful, arduous process that requires a great deal of due diligence on the part of the patient, and in this case, the patient's mother.

If you haven't already...come and join me on Facebook.  The community we have is invaluable. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Under the Rocks


For months now I've had this gut feeling that Red's meds are not right.  Despite the meds, he is still very depressed and lethargic.  He's always complaining about being tired.  His social anxiety is still very much alive.  Sometimes, when a person is always complaining about something...it begins to fall on deaf ears.  But in the back of my mind...I know...something isn't right.

We go in to see the Psychiatrist on a regular basis.  I voice my concerns and she slightly tweaks this or that, or adds this or that.  Things get a little better, or a little worse.  We go back and she changes things again.  This past week she finally kind of listened to the fact that he is lethargic...always complaining of being tired.  She orders blood work, which she hasn't done in I don't know...ever!  I'm not a doctor, but even I suspect that if you're taking several medications, sooner or later you should be evaluating the blood, doing weight and blood pressure with regularity.  This time she gives us lab orders to take blood to check his thyroid.  I have this little feeling that says, "Thyroid?  It's not his freaking thyroid!  It's this got dammed medicine!" But whatever...

A little over a year ago, I try to get an appointment with this awesome Pediatric Neurologist.  The practice staff gives me the run around.
'Since you used to see another one of the doctors in the practice...you have to wait so long and go through some shenanigans before you can get into see another doctor in our practice.'

Finally, I get approval to make an appointment with the doctor, however it would be 6 months before we would actually get to see him.  Sounds ridiculous...right?  I go ahead and schedule the appointment.  I heard through the grapevine, that this doctor is not all about how many meds he can prescribe.  Sometimes he even goes with herbal remedies.  Sounds crazy...unheard of right?  When you're desperate to make things better for your child...you are willing to look under every rock until you find the answers.

Another little tickle in the back of my mind has been Red's cognitive decline.  In elementary school, with hard work, Red was an A/B student.  There were not nearly as many accommodations like he has now.  At this point, his work has been cut down to a minimum.  He gets almost 1 on 1 instruction in math and language arts and he's still behind the curve.  His reading is way below grade level.  How can you at one time be commended on state testing, and now be so far behind? Something ain't right.

I chalk this up to ...he's so depressed and fixated on social issues that he isn't focusing on his school work.  But still...I have that little feeling that something isn't right.  Could it be the medicine that's slowing him down?  The more meds he takes, the slower is his progress academically.  He is still passing every class, but he can not carry a regular work load.  His thinking is slower.  His processing speed has always been slow...but it barely has a pulse now. What's really going on here?

Today, we finally have our appointment to see the Neurologist.  I share my concerns.  He hears me.  He hears every-single-word I say.  He agrees that I should be concerned about cognitive decline.  He too is concerned.  He sees that Red is clearly still quite depressed.

He goes through every single medication that he is taking and tells me which are making him tired, which are redundant and unnecessary, and what will probably work better:

Intuniv 4 mg at night --is making him fatigued and makes if difficult for him to get up in the morning and truthfully is not helping him all that much with attention.  We will be cutting this down and eventually out.  How can you pay attention if you're tired? 
Focalin -he is only on 5 mg in the a.m.  -we will be boosting it to 5 additional mg at noon.
Depakote --is a really "old-fashioned" drug.   He should be having blood-work done every 3 to 4 months while taking it.  There are other drugs you can take where you don't have to continually monitor blood (which hasn't been done any way).
Seroquel --he is only taking this at night.  It only stays in your system for 6 hours. This drug can also add to fatigue.  It's good for sleep but isn't helping with mood during the day.  He doesn't need help with sleep...so what's the point here? We will be tapering off of it completely.
Prozac (Fluoxetine) and Effexor (Venlafaxine) -the Psychiatrist just started him on the lowest dose of Effexor  ...did not adjust or take down the Prozac.  This is redundant, and Effexor will work better.  The Neurologist adjusts the Prozac down...and eventually out.  He adjust the Effexor up to the correct dose for his weight.

Before we leave his office, he has the lab take blood for a full blood evaluation...not just checking his thyroid.  He will also be doing an EEG and an MRI to look at his brain to get a clear picture of what is going on with him.  He will be doing cognitive testing so that we have something to measure and watch.  (Even the school has not wanted to take the time to do that!)

I leave his office almost dancing!  I am so happy that I followed my maternal instinct.  I am so happy that we are on our way to get a true picture of my son.  I am thrilled that I lifted those boulders so that we can see what is underneath, leaving no stone unturned until we have some answers.

Editorial Note: All medications do different things for different people depending on your body's chemistry.  I am not an expert on medications (although I'm certainly gaining a lot of experience).  You may have very different results. When all else fails...follow your instinct. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Wait For Me!!!

It's hard to tell sometimes what is typical teenage behavior, what is depression, and what is Aspergers and anxiety.  The behaviors are lumped together within my 16 year-old son.  He is hormonal, he is a boy, he has autism, and depression, he is defiant, he is a teen.   And to put it mildly...he is a handful of mixed nuts! He's kind of like the trail mix my husband buys.  I'd like to pick out the M&M's, the sweet part, take a little of the peanuts, and raisins and throw out the rest of the crap! 

My husband is so excited about seeing his dad.  His dad drives all the way from Savannah, Georgia with his wife, to San Antonio, TX to spend the week in a time-share.  We live 90 minutes from San Antonio.  So the plan is to come down and spend a long weekend with them.  Of course, his dad would like to see his son AND his grandsons.  I mean he drove all this way...right?? 

Red is on the fence about going.  His social anxiety has been a little high lately.  He knows if he comes with us, he will have to be on his best behavior because quite frankly,"Big Grandad" doesn't take any crap.  Big Grandad stands at around 6 foot 3 or 4. (which is much taller than the other grandads in our family).   He is a lovely man...really.  He is funny, and sweet, but he is also no-nonsense.  His wife, is no shorty like me.  I'm sure she stands around 5'ft 10 or 11.  She also is no-nonsense.  

Not to mention, if he comes he will have to be around us 24/7.  He will be on our schedule....not his.  There will be no sitting in front of a computer, hiding out in his room for hours on end.  There will be restaurants, people, activities that may actually require getting of your butt!  Who needs all that right?  Also, you will have to refrain from constantly harassing your little brother because Granddad just might knock you in to next week.  (Grandpa will not actually do this...but Red thinks he might...which is a good thing.) 

Aspergers Dad says, "We are leaving at 11:30 a.m.  If you are going...be ready!  We are not waiting for you!"  He is very clear and repeats this several times...stressing how important this is to him.  Aspergers Dad is really anxious to see his father.  He is also very thankful that his dad drove all this way to see us.  He is not going to be late!

Red packs his clothes but then farts around, talking on the phone to a friend.  Then he crawls back in bed and says, "I'm tired. I'm not going."  

My mother is staying at home.  If he doesn't go...he'll be "stuck with Nana" (as he says within her earshot by the way).

I warn him several times, "If you change your mind at the last minute, we will not wait for you.  We are leaving on time." 

We are of course running a little behind.  It's 11:50 a.m.  I say to him, "O.K. you've obviously made your decision.  We will see you when we get back.  I suggest you call some of our friends so that you have something to do while we're gone." 

At 11:55 when we start loading up the car..."WAIT!!!  I want to come!"  Aspergers Dad completely ignores him and continues loading the car.  "Please!!! Don't leave me!!!" he screams, but he is making no motions towards actually getting ready.  He has not finished packing.  Has not brushed his teeth or washed his face. 

I say, "We'll give you 3 minutes."  
"How about 5?"
He still is not moving.  He's arguing. 
"Dad needs to be more patient!" (Just like the school bus driver.  The world needs to learn how to Wait for Me!) 

Five minutes pass, he is still arguing.  We get into the car.  He runs outside, "Wait!!!! You can't leave me.  This isn't fair!"

I am crushed on the inside.  Aspegers Dad doesn't care.  "He's 16 years old!  He needs to learn.  He'll be fine."

We drive away.  Blue and I are upset with dad, but I kind of see his point.  Of course, I am the old softy mom, which is why Red is so freakin' spoiled in the first place.

Red does not call us all day.  I'm expecting him to call and say, "Mom...why did you leave me?  Come back.  I really want to come." He doesn't. Which says to me, he really didn't want to come.  This was all just a bunch of drama.  Instead, according to my mom, he plopped his butt on the couch and played the Playstation for 3 hours. 

We are here in San Antonio.  I am surrounded by 3 generations of my husband's genes. Blue is enjoying his Granddad.  They both have a love of cars.  Blue enjoys showing off his knowledge.  Hubby is in heaven being with his dad.   

This morning I sleep in.  I get up and write...while the guys are upstairs in Grandad's suite.

So far...it's been a peaceful weekend.  

p.s. Big Grandad is coming up to our house next weekend...so he will have a chance to see Red and Slim before he heads back to Georgia. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Weekend Torture

This weekend we are scheduled to go to San Antonio to a time-share resort.  We are meeting my in-laws who are coming in from Georgia.  They haven't been to Texas in a while.  Now that my Mom lives with us, it makes things a little crowded at our house.  So to have some quality time with them, we're going to meet them there.

We will have a 2 bedroom suite with full kitchen, dining and 2 bathrooms.  My in-laws have their own room.  There is an indoor swimming pool, a golf-course and plenty of things to do in the San Antonio area that would keep the average family happy.

We are not the average family.
Nothing is simple for us.

The boys have been fighting like mad dogs lately.  Hormones, testosterone, along with their cousins depression, anxiety and autism have all gotten together to wreak havoc in our lives.  They fight over the simplest, in many ways typical sibling issues.  You know...we've heard it all before:

He's looking at me.
He's touching me!
He's biting his nails!
Stop to telling me what to do!
You're not my father!
Mind your own business!
You're an idiot!
You guys treat him better!
You baby him!
He needs to man up! (This one from Red...What the hell does he know about manning up?) 

The truth is they both stay in each other's business.  They both try to tell the other what to do and we can't seem to shut either one of them up.  Their Aspergery quirks and tendencies feed off of each other.

Blue is sensitive to sound.
Red makes annoying sounds (nail biting, singing).

Blue can not tune out ANYTHING.  He has to respond to EVERYTHING.
Red does things to make Blue respond.  He gets a charge out of seeing him lose it!
Of course we tell Blue you would win if you just walk away and not respond.  Most of the time he just can't do it! 

Blue is very rule following, rule enforcing.
He tries to parent and enforce said rules with his older brother.
Red is very anti-rule following.
He refuses and gets angry because his little brother is telling him what to do or what NOT to do.

They get mad when the other one has a meltdown and yells at me.  Yet they both do it!

They have very little sympathy or empathy for one another.
Red takes out his anger and depression on Blue.
Blue feels like a target.
Red does and says really mean things and a few minutes later, he's forgotten about it.
Blue is still angry about what Red has said or done.   
(You can't really blame him.) 
Then Red is mad that Blue is mad.
It's a vicious circle!
Get the picture??

I am not looking forward to traveling with these two.  Travel and change is hard enough because of Blue's anxiety.  Red...is in many ways just a teenager, who doesn't really want to be around his family especially 24/7 like we will have to be on this trip.  This is intensified by Aspergers.  Lately, his social anxiety is kicked up a notch.  When we go into a restaurant he gets this mean scowl on his face.

"I hate being around all of these HAPPY people!"
"Everyone is looking at me."  They're not looking at him, but if they were, could it possibly be the scowl on his face or that he's putting his head down on the table in a restaurant?  I mean this kid has a million dollar smile...when he uses it, but this face that he puts on is really unattractive, to say the least.  He looks like Anakin from Star Wars. 

It's really a shame that what could be a fun, family getaway feels more like an exercise in torture.  My husband is actually mad at me for not looking forward to it.  I think he sees it as a personal affront to his Dad who is coming all this way to see us.  It is so not about that!  I would love to see them and hang out with them...if it were really going to be fun!  The truth of the matter is...there will be a degree of anguish for us.  For Red because he really feels uncomfortable.  For Blue, because he hates being the target of his brother's anger.

We can hope that having the grandparents there will mitigate their behaviors.  But that only means as soon as we get behind closed doors...Red will probably blow a gasket!

Am I being negative here...expecting the worst?  Or is this just the reality?

Anyone have any sibling fighting advice?

Wish I could say I have all the answers here...but I don't.  I would really love some feedback on this one...HELP!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

His Future is Bright


"God doesn't give you more than you can handle."
"There is a reason why God made you their mom."
I can't tell you how many times I've heard these sentiments from friends and family.
Well, I often ask God,
"Really??? You think I can handle this!? Come on now! You can't be serious."

I write most often about Red.  He has always been a complete puzzle...a real piece of work since he was a baby.  He showed up to the party early...an emergency C-section.  He was the baby who cried and cried every evening for hours on end.  He screamed every time the car stopped.  One time my husband had to pull over into a Mc Donald's parking lot and walk with him until he calmed down.  He said, "People were looking at me like I had kidnapped him or something."  Even though, they couldn't look any more alike.

Red was hospitalized @ 17 months with Kawasaki's Disease.  This strange high fever came over him for days while we tried to figure out what the hell was going on.  Finally the 3rd day, he woke up swollen all over, eyes, lips, face, fingers.  I rushed straight to the Pediatrician's office where they sent me directly to the hospital and he was admitted.

He was speech delayed, with his own garbled language.  As his mother, I knew something was off, but the Pediatrician dismissed my feelings.  Finally, at age 3 after having his hearing tested by an Audiologist...I had him tested and put into Speech Therapy and Pre-school for Children with Disabilities.  In 1st grade we got the ADHD diagnosis, which did not fully describe him.  In 4th grade he was pretty severely depressed and finally in 6th grade we figured it out!  He has Aspergers!  A huge light-bulb moment!  It explained so much!

As he storms through the teen years, we have also been given a mood-disorder diagnosis, subsequent to  Aspergers.  In other words, his depression and rages come as a result of his Aspergers.  He can really lose control when he's in his worst depressed state of mind.  When you're 5' 10 and 200 pounds,  the meltdowns are not so cute!  In fact, they look pretty darn scary.  Therefore he takes medication to keep those rages under raps.  I am hopeful that as he matures, and his hormones balance out...he will be able to control his moods a little better.  Key word here is "Hopeful."

If you've read my blog, you know that Red is hell on wheels!  He is a real-hand full to say the least. Therefore, he requires a great deal of my time and attention.

I started out writing this post not about him.  It's about my "Easy" child.  My Angel... Little Boy Blue.  Who since adolescence began is no longer such an Angel, and is definitely not little!   I think I've scared some of my readers of younger children with my exploits with Red.  Every child with Aspergers is different.  This includes Red's brother...my youngest son, Blue.

Blue was diagnosed with Aspergers shortly after we discovered Red's diagnosis.  There were eery similarities between them, although, they are very different!  Blue's Aspergers is very much anxiety based.  He also misreads social cues, and has very rigid, black and white thinking.  He is however, an excellent student, a very-hard worker and wants to be perfect at EVERYTHING!  He wants to be a good son.  He wants to please his parents and teachers, whereas Red couldn't care less.   At least all of this was true until recently.

Puberty hits...hormones kick in and now...watch out world!  I have hell on wheels number 2! Still he is not like his brother.  He has a number of friends, most of whom are on the spectrum or have ADHD.  He is still an excellent student with an A average.  He is a leader and an a compassionate friend.  In fact, in some ways he is very typical.  He would definitely rather be around his friends and their families than be around us.  Yesterday, I took him and his friends to the mall and they pretended not to know me. That was pretty funny and kind of cool at the same time.

As the hormones kick in...I no longer know anything!  He knows everything.  When the anxiety and fatigue kick in...I am the ball he kicks around in frustration.  When the meltdowns come...everything is all my fault.  I am the worst mom ever!

"I hate this family!" he screams.
"I'd rather be at school where people appreciate me!" he hollers!
"Oh great...schools out today, I have to be around YOU PEOPLE."

He thrives on the schedule and dare I say, pressure of school.  He is very independent and would really like to do his own thing most of the time.  He always plans his social calendar, so that he doesn't have to sit around spending time with us...especially with his brother, with whom he fights like cats and dogs, oil and water, fire and ice!

Our new routine is that he goes to the public library most evenings after school for a couple of hours to get his home work done.  He just can't work with the distractions here at home.  Of course, he refuses to close his door and work.  It's almost like if he has an audience, he will perform.  "Oh my God! This is so hard!  I'm so tired!  This is ridiculous! Why do they give me so much homework?  This is really cutting in on my free-time!"

If he's on his own...he just gets it done.

One night last week, Hubby calls him and says, "Are you almost finished? I need to pick you up around 8 o' clock."
"I can't make you any promises, " he says.

Over the Christmas break...he really put me through hell.  He hated all of that free time.  It was just more time to think and be anxious about what he was going to get for Christmas.  He revised his Christmas list after doing detailed research about 8 times!  I couldn't wait for the so-called break to be over!

As they say, "If you've met one child with Aspegers...you've met one child with Aspergers."  They are all very different and special in their own ways.

Where I worry non-stop about Red...as I wrote here, "Dear Worry"
Will he ever be able to make it in the world out there on his own?
Will he ever be truly happy?
Will he take his special interest and turn it into a career and be able to take care of himself?
I have many doubts and fears....yet, I remain hopeful.

With Blue...I know.

Although this adolescent phase where hormones rage, there for he rages, explodes and generally drives me to drink...
I have no doubt that his future is bright.
In fact it's so bright...it burns my eyes.
Where are my shades? 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Agent 007 -Aspergers Mom

Saturday night I am totally buzzed from French Martinis, the drink of the night.  Hubby and I are back in the hotel room as we await late night room service.  I check out Facebook on my phone to see if there are any responses to the picture I posted at the Charity Ball we were attending. There are pleasant responses to the picture that bring a smile to my already happy face.

I also note Red's Facebook status which reads something like this:
"I am so tired of seeing couples every where I look.  I am so jealous.  Because I have so many problems, I will probably never have a girlfriend or a wife.  My life sucks!"  This is a kinder, gentler version of what he said.

He is at home with my Mom in his room, obviously feeling a little lonely and bored.  I've told him a million times before, when you put these heavy messages on Facebook, you are not showing yourself in positive light.  If you want your friends to have "good thoughts" about you...you have to be more positive. I really think he believes this will make some girl feel sorry for him and go out with him because of being sympathetic.  That's not going to happen.

I respond to his post, "Go to bed Red."  That's all I can muster in my slightly inebriated state.

When we get back into town the next day, the funky state of mind is still in full effect.  He is invited to a movie-birthday party that night.  When it's time to go...he crawls into bed to hide.
"I'm not going."
"Why?" I ask
"I just don't want to go."
"You're really going to disappoint your friend, which is sad.  You always complain that you don't have any friends, yet, you're risking hurting your friend's feelings.  But hey...it's your life.  I can't live it for you. You have to call him to let him know you're not coming."
"I'm not doing that. You call him."
"Nope.  He's your friend."
"Besides...I don't know what movie they're going to watch.  Everyone will probably ignore me." Aah...there we go.  It's anxiety.  I may not have control over the situation.  That's why I don't want to go.
Luckily a few minutes later, said friend calls.  They talk about the movie.  They agree to watch Harry Potter.  So off he goes. Yay! He reports having a great time...by the way.

Sunday the funky mood lingers.  By Sunday night we are adamant, "I'm Not Going to school tomorrow.  I hate school!"
Great here we go again.   We went through this same time last year.   Again he goes to post some negative diatribe on Facebook.  I tell him to take it down.  What does he do?  He un-friends me.  "I'm tired of you baby-sitting me on Facebook!" Not acceptable.
"Either un-block me or shut down the account," I say.
"Fine! I'll just delete it."

Monday evening I get text from my son's girlfriend.  "I'm really concerned about Red's status on Facebook." Apparently...he's back online. Before I can go talk to him about it...his phone rings.  It's Slim Shady (his older brother).  He wants to know what the heck is going on and why Red is posting such things.

Here's where Agent 007 Aspergers Mom goes to work...

I go to his computer while he's on the phone.  I log into his Facebook account...luckily he has his password set on "remember me".  I add myself back as a friend.  And I read the status which basically says, "I hate my life.  No one cares about me.  I should just commit suicide."

What the heck is going on?  Why is he suddenly so animated and depressed?  My older son makes him take the message down.  Talks to him for a while.  It's apparently about not having any friends...although he does, and especially about not having a girlfriend.  Slim convinces him to shut the computer down and go to bed, which he was refusing to do for me.

 I go back to my room and answer my "friend request" that I sent myself from his computer.  I get straight to my detective work.  Apparently, a young lady who he considers to be a good friend, posted on Saturday night that she is now "In A Relationship" along with a picture of her new guy.

Red's response on her post? "What the heck???!!! That's not fair! Who the heck is this guy???"

So here we go again.  All of this is about a girl.  He has no intention on harming himself.  This is all about attention.  What he doesn't realize is this is not the kind of attention that he wants.  Your average typical teen, can't deal with all of these heavy feelings.  The thing that's really scary, is that it seems we are right back to where we were last year when another female friend entered into a relationship.  That did not end well.  By the end of the school year, he was in the hospital.  I don't want to go back there.  I remind him of this fact.  He doesn't want to go there either.

We have a long conversation before he goes to bed that night.  I remind him of all the things that are good in his life and the things he has to look forward to including, a C-Squared club meeting the following day.  C-Squared is a "No Place For Hate" anti-bulllying club at school.  I encourage him to be positive so that he can attract the right girl at the right time.  (I know...Good luck with that one. )

His Facebook status on Monday night reads, "Much better day today." And the girl...the one in relationship, "Liked" his status.  Positive thinking works.

Agent 007 Aspergers Mom is on the case!  Can you hear the music? 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Silly Rabbit...Trix are for Kids!

There are no secrets in our house.  Even things that are supposed to be kept secret sooner or later come out.  Why? Well number one, I live with some very nosey people (including my mother).  Two, because no one can hold water!  With the boys, and most of the time with my husband, if it comes to mind they say it or ask it.  Somethings...I really don't want to know.

For instance, "I really want to make out with a girl!" Red
"I never...ever want to have sex!" Blue
"Mom, why are you putting on that makeup? No one looks at you." -Slim (my oldest) Yeah...lovely!

Red also asks me the funniest questions, "Mom...Why do you think I'm so lazy?" Wow! He actually admits to being lazy.  Part of it is just being a teenage boy.  He doesn't want to do chores.  Doesn't want to do homework.  Barely wants to take a shower.  Yet, he wants us to give the best of everything.  Boy is he going to be in for a rude awakening when real adult life sneaks up and slaps him in the face!

I do think he's lazy.  However, I don't want him to know that.  Unfortunately, I can see my lack of follow-thru in him.  At his age, I only wanted to do enough to get by, especially if it wasn't a subject I was thrilled about i.e. Algebra or History.  However, if I loved the subject I would give it my all 110% i.e. English, Composition and Yearbook.  I did what I had to do to pass, but I certainly did not enjoy it or try to excel in it.  I do however, give my all to any job I have now, especially motherhood.  His dad and his brother are two of the hardest working people I know, so I can't blame this one on Dad.

This was my response to the lazy question. "You're not lazy.  You only what to do what YOU WANT to do.  If it's not fun...or interesting to you, you don't want to do it.  It's all about MOTIVATION." (Of which he has very little.) I pray that it will show itself in him eventually.  I still thought it was pretty funny that he actually asked the question.

His eyes barely open this morning, as I try to wake him he asks, "Why do I have to be forced to go to school? And why does America care about it?"  Obviously, he either went to sleep thinking about this or he dreamed about it.  He wasn't even fully awake.
"You have to go to school because America doesn't want a bunch of criminals who have no education or jobs running around the streets.  The government doesn't want to take care of people with no education...and neither do I.  So get up!"

*******

Yesterday Blue, comes to me and says, "I have autism right?  Autism is a neurological condition, so why don't I see a Neurologist?"

Wow!  I'm blown away by this one.   It turns out he was talking to a friend who is also on the spectrum, who does see a Neurologist.  I received Blue's diagnoses after getting Red's.  I realized that they have many of  same traits, although in many ways they are very different.  We see a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist, but it's been difficult to get into to see a pediatric Neurologist.  I finally have an appointment coming up this month.  I made this appointment 6 months ago.  

I want a second opinion with regards to treatment for the boys.  The trial and error process of medications to "help" with depression and outbursts is frustrating.  I am hoping to get some new insight and suggestions on ways to help them manage. I guess Blue wants to make sure I'm on the job.

My kids may asks a lot of questions and say a lot of unexpected things.  One thing for sure...they keep me on my toes.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Depressed Mind

Their feelings lay across me
Heavy
Wet blanket
Weighing me down

Reality?
Blessings abound
Warmth
Mobility
Family
Love
Confessions
My Peeps
Community
Friends
Freedom
Writing
Mothering with purpose
Sans the weight of an employer's demands

I want for little
Yet, I want for much
I teach to count blessings
Yet, my thoughts are not pure
Why can't they be happy
Why is this so hard
Worries of their futures

The depressed mind emerges
Negativity boundless
Thinking warped
Blurry
Not clear
Outward smiles
Truth hidden
Giving
Giving
Give more
Ingratitude
Disrespect
Inward cries
Longing
Soothing Wine
Happy Pills?
Not happy enough
Heart lifts
Head spinning
swimming
drowning
knowing
you should be happy
you're not

Forward movement
I mother
I wife
I friend
I daughter
I advise
I search
I pray
I fight
This is my journey
God give me strength

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year?

I'd like to start the New Year with all goodness and light, and my positive resolutions...but that is not  my truth.  New Year's Eve starts off fine.  My husband and I have the entire house to ourselves for a few hours, which is a rare treat.  We have a quiet, champagne infused dinner. We watch a movie in silence, with the exception of the sound of our own laughter.
 
Where were the kids?  God blessed us.  Blue went out to spend time with his friend and his family...you know, people he can actually get along with.  They had a blast! Dinner, bowling, games at his friend's house.  His friend J's mom sends me pictures of him smiling...an expression I haven't seen since early Christmas morning.

Red...went off to a church function with his Pastor and family.  Everything is all good until 10 p.m., when Red came home and started ranting about who knows what.  Scratch!!!! Party's over!  At least we had 3 hours of peace.

New Years Day, the anxiety about starting school sets in and Red is hell bent on fixating about it until the point of meltdown by the evening.  We try to mitigate the situation by taking the family out to one of their favorite places, "Fry's Electronics" for a little shopping.  Then off to Red's favorite restaurant for dinner, "BJ's".  He sits at the table with the ugliest mug he could possibly put on his face...as if he was being water-boarded and tortured there at his favorite place.  This was enough to make hubby want to walk out after we got our drinks.  After dad threatens to walk out...he changes his attitude long enough to eat and order dessert.  After that...it's on!  Full steam ahead towards meltdown!


His mind is on school that would start the following day.  


"I'm not going to school tomorrow!  I hate that school!  I hate my teachers!  They treat me like I'm a baby! They don't give me any freedom!" etc.
"I'm not going to sleep tonight!  I'm going to stay up all night playing games!"

A little tricky micky said otherwise.  Gave him a little medicine to help him calm down and by 9:30 p.m. He was out like a light!

Now what idiot in our school district decided to start school on Monday, January, 2nd...I do not know. But it was a dumb move!  No time for transitioning from the holidays.  Families are traveling, etc.  Every other school in the area and across the country, starts on the 3rd or after.  I was really annoyed.  Me not being a rule follower and all...I had half a mind to keep them out for the day.    In truth, it doesn't matter when they start...Red and most teens with Aspergers, would have a hard time transitioning back to the school schedule.  Besides, I'd had about enough of both of both of them and could use the break.  You know what they say, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder!"

Now Blue...is pretty happy to be back to his school routine.  However, what we used to think was a miracle in the form of Abilify...has now become a bad dream.  It's not working for him anymore.  We have increased it, added to it, and still he is a ticking time bomb...ready to explode at any given moment.  It probably has something to do with hormones.  The loose schedule and the anxiety of Christmas doesn't help...but geez!  My "easy" child has turned into...I don't know what.  He's almost unrecognizable...at least here at home with his family.

After a long first day back at school, Blue has a D.I. (Destination Imagination) meeting.  He comes home and goes bananas on his brother who is "Not playing the game right!"  "I'm just trying to help him...but he's such an idiot!  He won't listen to me!"

I feed him and get him out the door because he insists that he has to do his homework at the library.  He gets home at 9 p.m.  I ask him to take a shower.  He goes ballistic!  "I'm not doing it!  It's too late!  I have to go to bed early!  Did you think of that?!"  He argues a good 15 minutes...in which time, the shower could have been taken already.  He finally gets in, but he's banging on the walls.  In hindsight...I probably could have let this one go.  But it was just the belligerent tone, and disrespect that made me stick to my guns.  I felt like...if I start letting him get away with talking to me like shit and refusing to do things...it will only get worse.

He has worked himself up so much...that he is now too angry to go to sleep.  The easy answer here is that he hasn't had any downtime.  It's been an excruciatingly long day.  But these kind of meltdowns were not happening a year ago.  And even with the tweaks and additions to medication, they are happening more frequently.  He becomes frustrated with himself.  He hates feeling so out of control and angry.

"I hate being a teenager!" he says.   I don't think I like all that much myself.

Oh yeah...Happy New Year! I don't know about that.  Perhaps it will be...but not yet.