[No, no, I’m not actually auctioning off Adderall…hold your horses!]
I almost feel like this is an auction. 5mg! Do I hear 5mg?! Okay, 10mg, 10mg? 10! Can I get 15mg, 15mg, anyone? You! 20mg – do I hear 20mg? SOLD! 20mg!
We went up to 20mg, twice/day, over the weekend and saw such an improvement! Midday report from school also came back saying he was having a wonderful day today.
Yesterday, Colin did something I haven’t seen him do in months. He sat down and completed a puzzle. This used to be his favorite thing to do – he can knock out a puzzle faster than just about anyone I’ve ever met. And then a few months ago, he stopped enjoying it as much. When he would sit down with a puzzle, he’d get frustrated or distracted when he was part of the way through and give up. Yesterday, he picked one of our more difficult puzzles – a map of the world – sat down and knocked it out. He was so focused! He even sat down and read a book at one point this weekend – without any instruction or guidance to do so. He wanted to.
I was worried that the meltdowns would return in the evenings when the meds wore off, but so far so good. What little anger/upset he’s had, he seems to be able to control fairly well. I’m still worried about his sleeping. I wish sometimes that we could rig a camera in the living room with motion detection. I could have sworn I heard him up around 3am this morning, but the dogs didn’t budge or notice at all, so I figured I was dreaming. He can be pretty sneaky when he wants to be. He was up entirely too early over the weekend, too. 6-7 hours of sleep is not enough for a 7 year old. (It’s not enough sleep for Mom and Dad, either!)
I ordered some books this past weekend – I’m hoping they may help us explain things better to Ryan and Robbie. I’ll do a full review once we’ve tried them out, but here’s what I picked out.
Otto Learns About His Medicine by Matthew Galvin – A story about medication for children with ADHD. In this book, Otto is a little car whose engine runs too fast and no matter how hard he tries, he just can’t stay on track and keeps getting in trouble at home and in school. Otto finds a special mechanic that helps him by giving him medicine for his engine.
Why Does Izzy Cover Her Ears? by Jennifer Veenandall – This is a story about a little girl named Izzy who is often misunderstood as she attempts to deal with sensory overload.
I found a few others that I want to try, but thought I’d start with these two. I’ve tried in my own words – Rick has, too – to explain what Colin goes through to our other boys. Best we’ve come up with is that you shouldn’t judge people – or make fun of them – for being different…and you need to have patience and be kind. We’ve explained that Colin can’t always control himself and that he says things he doesn’t always mean. I’ve tried using the word “autistic” a time or two, but those conversations never seemed to go smoothly. We want them to understand him so that they can learn how to have their own relationships with their brother. I read through probably two dozen book descriptions trying to find ones that matched our boy. A lot of the Autism acceptance books out there deal with the non-verbal side of the spectrum, it seems.
I also bought a book for myself. I’m hoping the boys will enjoy it in a few years – I’m not sure they’re ready for it yet. I couldn’t pass it up. They might be ready sooner than I think. The boy in this book sounds a lot like Colin.
Rules by Cynthia Lord – “Twelve-year-old Catherine just wants a normal life. Which is near impossible when you have a brother with autism and a family that revolves around his disability. She’s spent years trying to teach David the rules from “a peach is not a funny-looking apple” to “keep your pants on in public”—in order to head off David’s embarrassing behaviors.
But the summer Catherine meets Jason, a surprising, new sort-of friend, and Kristi, the next-door friend she’s always wished for, it’s her own shocking behavior that turns everything upside down and forces her to ask: What is normal?”
Do you have books that you’ve used to help others – your other children, classmates in your child’s school, family members, etc – understand your child’s disability? What words do you use to make sense of it to siblings?