Monthly Archives: September 2015

Diagnosis For My Son

The doctor I saw today told me I was not autistic. He said I have Asperger’s instead, that I was definitely on the spectrum but fit into the category of Asperger’s far better than into the current DSM definition.

Just like my son.


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Tricky People

Stranger Danger is no more, if you hadn’t heard. Now it is Tricky People. I have been teaching my kids about Tricky People since they could walk, to trust their feelings about people and to run from people who ask them for help with finding lost pets. Just this week I learned the new term of Tricky People, and we started using it at the last Family Meeting a week ago, when we went over common tactics that adults use to lure children (there were some reported incidents this year and last year in the area). Just to refresh their memories.

Tonight the neighbor kid, who is fourteen, invited himself into our house when I was not home, but corralling up the bikes outside. He had struck up a conversation with my children, first through the screen door and then in the house in my absence. When I came in he was talking video games with the kids and though I stayed in the house cleaning up from dinner, I did not kick him out. I didn’t know what it was all about and I thought I would give him the benefit of the doubt.

After he left and I began cleaning up the video game figures my son informed me that he had been looking at our modem.

I spent the next hour reconnecting everything after changing our wifi password and then I had to talk to the children about how our neighbor is a Tricky People and cannot come into our house. I also had to forbid my children from talking with him, which was sad. I explained that our Tricky neighbor was not really interested in playing video games with them. Their eyes got very big at the thought that someone had deceived them. I told them I was sorry to have to explain it, that some people do things like this. I told them that I would talk to Tricky Neighbor Kid’s mother and that they were not to mention it, and my Middle Son was very proud of himself a half hour later when he walked by Tricky Neighbor Kid and said nothing at all.

Earlier today Middle Son freely admitted he got into a bit of trouble at school on Friday. He had been previously withholding the information, or trying to hide it, so I thanked him for his honesty and gave him a big hug. He has a reward coming at the end of the week if he can have five good days in a row. I think with his new meds he can manage it. I hope we have just started a new era of truth, I hope he learns he has nothing to fear from being honest.

So we have been talking a lot today about honesty and motives. I gave my son a reward for his “security tip”, as he was the one who caught Tricky Neighbor Kid looking at the modem and mentioned it to me. Tricky Neighbor Kid had come to the door a few months ago and asked if he could use my wifi. No, I told him. He argued, and I said no again and blah blah liability. So this is a kid who doesn’t take no for an answer. Very Tricky.


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The Pumpkin Farm

Today we went to gymnastics (Middle Child’s class), came back for lunch. Went to complete a little crafting at a craft show, came back for snack. Went to the pumpkin farm, came back for dinner.

Keeping them out of the house has actually been far easier than I anticipated (no complaints, no fits), but keeping Oldest Child away from Middle Child during computer turns has been impossible. Tomorrow he will be banned from the living room during his brother’s computer time and will have to sit in the kitchen instead. He tried to stay away and could not, he freely admits. He has been scheming how to get onto the computer since he was thirteen months old, so I suppose it is a deeply ingrained habit. The computer is his sun.

Middle Child started his Zoloft today and did better than usual this morning but did exhibit some aggressive frustration when his brother tried to railroad him on the hay bale slide at the pumpkin farm. I put him in time out immediately. He felt bad enough that he apologized to his brother on his own before the time out was finished and argued not at all with me about taking a time out. His brother refused to accept a simple apology, and requested a formal apology card due to the severity of the crime. Middle Child requested paper and a pen, which of course I neglected to anticipate a need for during a pumpkin farm outing. So he instead tried multiple apologies, which his brother did not accept but did allow as acceptable. Later I watched him replicate the scene by himself, as victim, to see what it felt like. So now he knows that people cannot breathe properly with their face down in a pool of corn, and that I meant it truly when I said he can never, ever hold anyone’s face down in anything for any amount of time without risking a horrible consequence. I am grateful that I am vigilant around him.

The pumpkin farm staff knows us. The owner came up and said “Back again this year, eh?” “Every week!” I told him. It’s an exchange we usually have on the second visit each year, so I must be making an impression, if we can have this conversation in the first hour of arrival on the first opening day.

His wife is from a country that I knew a few native words of. My ex had taught me a few words of the local language, years ago. Last year I told her I knew a few words, and mentioned the one my husband taught me to say to children who had big fat faces like my son. She laughed nervously and immediately clapped her hands over her daughter’s ears. So that is how I found out that the children’s father had taught me sexually explicit phrases and misinformed me of their meanings. So embarrassing. I hope she does not hold it against me, that is not the impression I am trying to make. I am one of those people who does not swear or drink or gossip. I don’t want to be known any other way.

I suppose my ex told me those words meant something else so I would not figure out that he was actually talking to his mistress on the phone, instead of the moon-faced man down the road that he told me was calling him every morning. But that was not the first time he had done this. He taught me the incorrect meanings for words in his own native tongue, too. I think so that he could continue to insult me and I would not suspect.

So, even years later he is isolating me, through his gaslighting. The farm owners are lovely people. So are their cousins. My favorite family in town, really. I don’t want them to think of me as the woman who insults women married into their family in their own language. I don’t want to be the lady that people hide their children from.

Today I did not have the hours of whining and complaining that I usually have, and I can only think it is from Zoloft. Middle child told me that he feels calm when he is upstairs by himself on my laptop, watching Minecraft videos. If he can find some channels with decent language and stick to them, he is welcome to spend his turns like that. If Middle Child can figure out how to stay calm, then I am happy for his progress.

Tomorrow we hit another farm, this time for the animals, and go shopping, too. I am tired of my kids shivering through winter and their shoes falling apart six weeks after purchase. I am going to get them some quality things, instead.


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Changes Recommended By The Psychologist and the Psychiatrist

Both boys met with the psychologist today, and the psychiatrist reached me as I was driving away from the appointment. The psychologist said that if the aggression was stemming from anxiety rather than ADHD/PTSD, then the Zoloft would work. Middle Child had mentioned last month that he has anxiety symptoms, and I suppose the psychiatrist remembered when she recommended this change. So the Zoloft is appropriate, and safer, than the Clonidine ER.

The psychiatrist wants the Clonidine to continue. So I am layering them, starting one over the other, and if the Zoloft shows an improvement, I will taper off the Clonidine ER. This way if there is no change then he is still on the Clonidine ER, rather than nothing. I hope it takes.

Today Middle Child talked to me a lot about psycho killers and people who get violent for no reason. He developed a fascination for guns out of nowhere (today!) and apparently has been playing “army” with a new friend. A NEW FRIEND from school, in his class. This could be the cause of his constant triggering, his relapse into aggression. A child who has been traumatized with war scenes and slapped around by a guerrilla fighter of course would be affected by this. I reminded him that playing army is not good for his brain, and asked him to play other pretend games instead. He seems to be in agreement, but I am not sure if I trust him to do it. He has been a bit evasive lately on all matters school, to hide the trouble he is having with it.

Today he was so hyper before bed that I let him run around the building ten times. I think he walked some of those times, but hopefully it helps. Right now he is splashing in the tub. I want it to relax him enough that he can get to sleep on time. Tomorrow is Saturday and we are going to be out having fun all day.

This is how I used to do it, keep him out of the house, always busy, frequently fed. It was exhausting, but it cut down on the fighting and there were no injuries, no bad memories formed of each other. I did this for a few years, and this year I did not have to, thanks to meds. Meds that do not seem to be working right now. The skills therapist told me that sometimes just before a growth spurt hormones can rev up out of control and make the meds seem ineffective, that many parents complain about behaviours that settle back down after a shoe size has increased. I hadn’t known that before.

We made a plan for the weekend, each boy has agreed to leave the other alone during computer turns, which is where I find the frustration escalating. They have to be in separate rooms during computer times. I hope I can get it all done and find time to cook, too, without having to constantly police them. I don’t want any more fits and crying like last weekend over the lack of control and consequences for such behaviour. It’s not fair to be six and to be so upset.


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Notes for the Psychologist on Friday- On Medication

Middle Child has been exhibiting poor impulse control. He spent the weekend without electronic privileges because he could not keep himself from poking or squishing his brother when frustrated. He was very upset about this. Not about the consequences, but about not being able to avoid them, as he felt he had no control.

Sometimes when I pick him up from daycare I can see in his eyes and the tone of his voice that he is triggered. There is an aggression and a stare that is not there most of the time, that had been absent for most of the past year on the Clonidine ER. His thoughts go a mile a minute and he has to get them all out. Thoughts about what he learned at school, things he has deduced in science or art. I don’t know what is triggering him. I don’t know if it is his natural unmedicated ADHD state that I am seeing, or if his PTSD is rearing up and overpowering his meds. Both situations look exactly the same to me.

I left a message for the psychiatrist this morning, she called back and left a message for me that she wanted to put him on an antidepressant, the same that Oldest Child is on with a bit of success, Zoloft. The psychologist had said a few months previous that all we can do after the Clonidine ER stops working is to put him on an antipsychotic. I don’t want to move ahead without understanding what she meant. I meet with her tomorrow.

Today we met with the skills therapist, who I asked to work with Middle Child on identifying escalating emotion so he can learn to cope with those impulses. The therapist threw him some CBT (belly breathing -not helpful with panic attacks), too, as Middle Child did well on talking about how his body lets him know it is overwhelmed (wet palms-serious stuff). My biggest problem with my PTSD was going from zero to sixty in a second flat. I got on a beta blocker and quit caffeine and it is about gone most days. I am just horrified that a six year old who takes in no caffeine is finding himself in the same spot I was in. He is less able to deal with it, treat it, or fight it. Never mind six. He was like this at age three.

When Middle Child is upset or aggressive I am triggered. This morning he had a fit of temper that lasted over twenty minutes. I am tempted at this point to start taking supplements for my adrenals again, just so I can tap into that perfect calm I had last winter. It messes with my memory a bit, but it helps so much with coping with triggers and dealing with angry children that it might be worth it. I bet I can handle it for a few months. I cannot explain what PTSD feels like, physically, except that I can feel it rising, like blood pressure or something. I have been a bit up for a few weeks now. I could try something else. Some vitamin B or St. John’s Wort or something with mild benefits and little side effects. It wouldn’t hurt.

I am just praying that the no dairy diet has some sort of effect. Perhaps I can put off the psychiatrist for two weeks, to decide if the no dairy is beneficial. I would so much rather be able to control his symptoms and issues through diet. I want a magic wand, not complicated chemicals with scary side effects that quit working during the next growth spurt.

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Filed under ADHD, Child Abuse, Child Psychology, Domestic Abuse, Domestic Violence, Medication, PTSD, Trauma

First Day of No Dairy?

So Middle Child was excited about having soy milk at lunch, too. He said it was better than regular. Of course it was chocolate. He picks chocolate milk when he has the dairy kind, so I have to stay competitive. He will not always have soy milk at breakfast. We don’t do cereal every day. But if he likes it so much at lunch I think I will fork over the cash to send it with him every day, because I don’t want him to grab the dairy kind if he gets a chocolate craving in the lunch room. I know how hard it can be to resist those.

I was very happy to hear that he liked his soy milk. I have all the other kinds, too, some I need for baking and some I need for drinking, and we are figuring it all out. But he told me this at daycare. That he liked the milk he had for lunch. He told me while carrying an empty bowl to the counter. Whatever had been in the bowl was smeared all over his collar and he was licking it off his face, too. I asked him what it was. It was strawberry yogurt.

I popped into the director’s office and told her I was taking him off milk. She remembered, then. She said she would post it up tomorrow. So I suppose tomorrow will be our first day of no dairy. At least I hope it will be. I will bring a doctor’s note for it. That might prompt her memory.


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Quitting Dairy

Middle Child likes soy milk on his cereal. What a relief.


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