The journey to specialists can be a long and frustrating journey with hopes of discovering additional information or alternative ways of doing things from highly trained and well respected individuals. This summer we were on this journey...
We waited and waited and waited and finally had our appointment with a developmental pediatrician and child psychologist. I had hopes of discovering more information about sensory processing and strategies to help Crash as he enters school. I came in armed with his IEP, school evaluations, IFSPs and reports from other facilities. I explained my concerns and after 10 minutes received a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder that would most likely require medication to control. How many years of school did it take to reach this diagnosis?? Of course Crash has ANXIETY! He doesn't process the world like a typical person. Things are always too loud, too squishy, too scratchy. He will tell you straight up things are too scary. Of course he has anxiety then about his shoes, or shirt, or messy food etc...He knows before touching things or experiencing things that it will not be pleasant.
The specialists say, this is a typical generalized anxiety disorder that he was born with and that you can not change. Medication can control the symptoms since it involves a chemical imbalance in the brain. Occupational Therapy doesn't hurt anything but isn't necessary. So...if I understand this right, Crash is fearful or anxious of tags, socks, snow pants, boots, shoes, coats, sweaters, sticky things...hummm interesting. Well, I thanked them for their opinion. I do understand that the medical communities views on sensory processing disorder is swaying more towards anxiety at this point in time and that their views seem to always be shifting.
I will concede the anxiety. I will not go as far as to call that the root of the problem or accept medication as my solution. I have seen changes (huge changes) with therapy, and am very happy to continue down this road.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
One of the biggest changes this summer for Crash was SLEEP! When summer started Crash went to bed at 6 pm but didn't fall asleep until 9-11 pm. He was up several times a night and was terrified of the dark, his bedroom, his bed, etc... We would find him sleeping in the hallway on the floor, on the floor of our room, basicly any where but his bed in his bedroom. With one sleep deprived child in the house, you can imagine the snowball effect that can happen and how it can wreck havoc on an entire family. We were all a little on edge. Crash was already seeing an Occupational Therapist, but it really seemed as though we needed more help (or hard core drugs for everyone).
After bringing this up to Crash's Occupational therapist, she suggested trying melatonin (a dietary supplement). After consulting with Crash's pediatrician, we determined how much and when to take each dose. Melatonin is a
"neurohormone" that is produced in humans in the pineal
gland. It governs the body's circadian rhythms helping the
body ease into a restful sleep."
In other words...it takes a child who is typically high energy full steam ahead and allows them to slow the engines down and begin to relax. This occurs naturally in more people, but is very difficult for Crash.
Crash takes the liquid sublingual form (finding this gluten free was challenging and had to be ordered online) and after 20 minutes he is rubbing his eyes and ready for bed. He is becoming more flexible on his bedtime routine, stays in bed, sleeps on his mattress, and sleeps all night, and sleeps in the dark! (Granted he still sleeps in the hallway...but we will take that for now). A well rested family is a much happier family.
Ok Summer vacation is over time to get back to work...