Autism, AD/HD...Meet your friends: OCD -Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, TS - Tourette's Syndrome, Anxiety. They’ve been hiding, lurking in shadows, waiting to pop out when we least expect it.
When we let our guard down, basking in our achievements and moving towards further progress. Boo! We’re baaaaaack! You’ve met them before, we thought they were just casual friends we knew a long time ago. But now they've returned for an extended visit like an unwelcome relative. Yikes! Yup, G's newly renovated space has been invaded (so by default, our family too).
Eek! At our last med check, I was blindsided emotionally by the additional Dx's, though I knew intellectually, and from recent research/googling tics and side effects of meds. No doubts, no easy solutions. G’s MD softened the blow by saying, G’s not classically autistic, but high functioning. He’s OCD, but not all-consuming, life-inhibiting (yet). He’s Tourette’s, but not obscene or disturbing. ADHD meds have highlighted (stimulants - stimulated) our hiding friends, causing them to appear en force. No subtle sneaking in, but a wild cacophony of a crash landing. But thinking back, looking at my reams of paperwork, they were there all along. Now that G can stop, think, focus - he's over-focused. So much that he's/we're at our wit's end. Tourette's (vocal and physical repetitive behaviors) bothered us all so much that I reported his behaviors to his MD to see if we could find an instant fix. We’re trying new meds for G and now the OCD is bothering us so much that we hardly notice the Tourette's.
This can't be happening, I haven't finished my readings on autism! I’m only beginning to grasp AD/HD. Sigh. If only it were this simple. I'd laugh, but I'm too busy researching (and writing partial blogs). C'mon, God(dess) of Autism: we were just making headway on social stories and safety issues! Sometimes it seems no 2 days are alike. We seem to drown in the sea of alphabet soup that was once my miracle baby boy with the shining smile, bright eyes and gorgeous blonde ringlets. Where G used to want to do, go - moving in obsessive sensory-seeking mode, or conversely to hide and avoid certain sensory stimuli - he now has objects and rituals to protect his sensitive psyche. Is this progress? Surely it doesn’t feel like it. These OCD manifestations just break my heart. Painful to the core. He gets anxious, intent that he MUST have some obscure thing a particular way. He cries, whines, repeats the question, paces, throws tantrums, follows us around. Talks to himself (that's entirely new, I don't like it).
I've started and abandoned several unfinished posts in the past few months. Some elated posts about our long avoided, newfound miracle of pharmacotherapy: ADHD meds (cue Alleluia choir!).
Others posts wondering, speculating, more research. Others about my quest for help with his kindergarten IEP. I'm breaking the cycle of leaving them unpublished. It seems I can’t publish, can’t call a friend, if I can’t make a positive out of a negative. I strive to find a way to spin the truth into hope. Truth is, at times I’m so bewildered, so exhausted from coping that I just CAN’T spin cheer. I must learn to give up and share. This is about truth, not about being a happy mom.
I'll return to the many posts I’ve begun and try to glean some understanding of this slippery slope. We will not, can NOT give up G's focus and attention. He's begun to spring forth and show personality, buried thoughts and knowledge that were hidden beneath his fight or flight sensory system. The first day the meds worked he began citing mathematic equations in the car! Simple addition, but better than Garbage Truck talk for sure! That week he began reading. Real, sound it out, beginning reading. He knew all along. He began performing better at sports, showing an incredible stamina and drive to succeed in Taekwondo, basketball, swimming, now bicycling. What else is G hiding in that wondrous mind? We look forward to finding out as we try to lessen his anxiety, his obsessions, his tics.
An arrow can be shot
only by pulling it backwards.
When life is
dragging you back with difficulties....
it means that its going to
launch you into something great.