Monday, April 04, 2011

Autism Awareness Day

Every day is autism awareness day at my house. My autism awareness is aided and abetted by my son, who has autism. He is 6'4" and weighs close to 300 lbs. He's hard to miss.

Turns out, autism (well Asperger's), is not the hardest thing about living with my son. I mean, we're kind of a quirky family, all in all. (They say that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, after all.)

But the past couple of years, I would say since 8th grade, the boy has been depressed. Severely depressed. Keep in mind, he has been seeing therapists on and off since 7th grade, now. I suggested, during a family session (because secretly, the therapist thought I was the crazy one), that W might be depressed. The therapist paused, and said, "I can see that" and spoke to the psychiatrist about Celexa. (Really? What was I driving to Little Rock and paying that man for, anyway?) The Celexa helped. For a while.

Fast forward to last year. W is going into 10th grade. We ended up having to get the courts involved because he was knocking holes in the walls and occasionally striking myself or the girls. He was completely out of control.

We found a new therapist, through a tip from the wife of a former student of mine who is a psychiatric resident in another state. The therapist is very behavior-focused which is wonderful.

With the new therapist came a new psychiatrist, who played with the dosages a bit.

That went on for a few months. In January, though, W became suicidal, and got a few days at Methodist, where they changed is anti-depressant and took him completely off of stimulant medication. He's on Wellbutrin and Abilify. There is night and day difference. Suddenly, the suggestions that his therapist made are working, and he is back to being a wonderful kid. Now, he is still a teenager. Still a bit socially awkward. Still a bit lazy. And disorganized. We've been using Flylady to help with the organization.  And Parenting With Love And Logic to help with general parenting. But now the programs are helping.