Many know over the past year and half I was battling and working intently on behavior issues with my Manimal. I am not pleased that I had to begin medications but I am very pleased with some of the results. I am not pleased with the weight gain and how much my Manimal’s energy level has slowed down BUT with that said, it ha…s no doubt helped his anxiety levels and has helped calm him down in order to tolerate things a little better and be able work on levels of emotions, etc. It’s been a year now since our first visit to the psychiatrist and we’ve had 2 visits to the behavorial psychologist and we are now in behavior therapy (in addition to the OT and speech therapy). He’s been through 3 medications all together, finding the 3rd one has been a good one for him. I still try to maintain a gf/cf yeast free, hfcs free, caffiene free and processed sugar free diet (TRY being the key word) and he still takes daily his multi-vitamin, omega 3’s, calcium, immune boosters and probiotics.
Fast forward to today. This school year has been awesome! (Hoping I am not speaking out too soon) EVERY DAY has been a great day! He’s been (with paras of course) going to some mainstream classes and even PE (BIG BIG BIG accomplishment) Science appears to be his favorite and has been known to stay in science class longer than the IEP time of at least 20 minutes, a couple of those times been in there up to an hour! WTG Manimal!
Speech therapy has been intense and OT therapy as well and we are constantly adding new goals when one is achieved. COGNITIVE THINKING SKILLS ARE STILL NOT UP TO PAR – but never give up HOPE and never stop trying. What I see today is amazing from a boy who 5 years ago only spoke about 5 words, wasn’t potty-trained and seldom ate and list goes on and on. Behavior therapy is going well too. Really liking the therapist. She even brought in some Thomas the Trains and Track to work with Manimal during therapy, incorporating the number scale on various levels of emotions leading to anger. She did a couple of months of evaluating and getting ideas of where he’s at, cognitive understanding, etc. Now he goes in the therapy and I wait outside and then go in for a portion of the time.
I’ve started placing some responsibilities on him and he looks at them as his “job” which they are. I sit the trash outside the door and he takes it to the end of the street. In the mornings, I make his lunch and his breakfast, BUT for his lunch, it’s his responsibility to put in his napkin and close the lunch box. For his breakfast, it’s his responsibility to put it into the baggie, into the brown paper bag and get his napkin. He’s too put both of these and his reading folder into his backpack. It’s his responsibility to tell me what time it is and when we need to leave. He does these things MOST mornings without a problem. There are still many things he won’t do (without a struggle), teeth brushing, face washing, hair combing and deodorant are a struggle even with visuals -lol, clothing never makes it to the laundry basket, shoes never make it out of the living room, and trains and track NEVER get put away – lol but one battle at a time. The OT therapist and I have been discussing new goals when he masters the ones we are currently working on.
He doesn’t always get “it” in situations outside of a theraputic atmosphere but he has started expressing his words of anger instead of always acting out. He’s learned to somewhat hold back tears in overload or worried situations (the bus was late picking him up from school the other day, he was about to lose it, but waited until he got home before breaking down). He has been able to show how he feels on the scale at times, it is slow process even getting to this point, but it’s been worth it. I just want to help him have more “good days” than “not so good days” in his life. Frustration, anger, meltdowns, anxiety overload can be hard on anyone but someone who doesn’t really know how to communicate it can be very hard.
All in all very proud of his accomplishments over the last year and ½ almost 2 years and this school year is going great (so far). Progress is just that progress. I learn not to be frustrated at the mishaps, the set backs nor the unaccomplished goals because in the bigger spectrum of thing the progress to date has already exceeded my expectations and that of what I was told to POSSIBLY expect. When something isn’t progressing, I break from that, focus on something else, and return to that goal at a later time. One day, one goal, one inspiration, one step, one smile, lots of hugs, many obstacles, set backs, good days and bad days and lots of time on bended knees make it all worth while.