I had a chance to speak to Preston's Neuropsychologist today. The two items that stood out the most to me in our conversation were the following:
1) Do not engage
2) There is no cure for this neurological condition. It MIGHT improve as he gets older. He MIGHT outgrow it. Or not. In the interim, the goal is to learn how to manage it gracefully each day and aim for more good days than bad ones.
We talked about re-visiting medications, particularly a few non-stimulant medications. I haven't looked into these yet but my mom did and after regurgitating all the comments she read from the mom's of these kids I thought, "why add a few new problems to the already debilitating disorder for possibly slightly better behavior for a few hours out of the day?" Ticks? Tourettes? Continuously upping dosage? Honestly, I don't think going back to medication is in the cards for us. I thought again about the fact that ibuprophen was probably the biggest instigator in nasal polyps for me that resulted in three sinus surgeries. That is a very common drug and a side effect that no one knows about. My little boy is eight and who knows what other side effects are still cropping up from these meds?
In the meantime, by about seven o'clock (maybe around five on the days he has alot of homework) I'm ready to walk down the street into oncoming traffic and wait for a tractor or steamroller to come by (a compact car just wouldn't do it). What do I do? The toughest part, as mentioned in my last post, is the fact that he is so explosive and volatile. He came home early today and was an absolute angel until this afternoon when in the blink of an eye he exploded and went into the regular 'hate myself, hate you, you are the worst mom ever and you smell' routine. The 'smelly' comment actually gets a smile out of me but it makes me sad that he is digging to find stuff that will hurt me. *Sigh.* And no, I don't smell. Unless I just worked out. Or I was outside in the mud. But that one never really happens.
Here are my two biggest goals:
1) Have ten minutes of one-on-one time with him every day and read before bed
2) Get to bed by ten o'clock
They are both for the good of the relationship. I need all the strength I've got to not take his 'fight back with me mom' bait when he starts sass-mouthing me and being rude. The doc today said that despite it seeming counter-productive, he WANTS me to engage; in doing so I am actually inadvertently re-inforcing the behavior. On the one hand it makes perfect sense, on the other it seems like by ignoring this super-naughty behavior I'm letting him 'get away' with it. Anyone seen that commercial where the guy gets angry with his cable and has to wear an eye-patch after playing racquetball then winding up in a ditch because the guys on the bus thought he was tough because of the eye patch? It's terribly clever and so very funny. Well, maybe Preston would be scared of me and listen more and not test me so much if I looked tough and scary with an eye patch. Maybe I should get a metal hook to replace my hand too. That could be good. I might be on to something here...