Now that I am done with the catch up posts I will go back to what I always do and write about autism. I am going to try to not be judgmental but we will see how it goes. Ten years into my autism journey and I find myself far less able to hold my tongue and keep my thoughts to myself. Well ok, you got me, I wasn’t really good at that before, however I did have more of a filter in the past than I do now. I guess I just don’t care what others think anymore, and I just don’t have time to to deal with people not understanding, and being ignorant. As all of you know, autism never goes away, and although it sometimes gets easier to deal with when the children get older, it generally just mutates into a different form.
my oldest, my son Z is 13 and his sister, is 12, and both of them have been going through some issues lately. The issues revolve around hormones and behaviors brought on by them. All of us who have our children on meds know that a particular Med or combination of meds only works so long before you have issues. Generally it revolves around weight and the dosage of the meds so a little tweak in dosage generally does the trick. Sometimes though you have to change to another Med entirely, and when that happens things get tricky because you have to start at square one and play with dosages until you get it right. Most of you know it often takes weeks before you get it right, and in that time you are going to have some rough times. I think we all expect this, and we all question whether meds are the right thing to do. Most of us come to the conclusion we need the meds and the transition without them tends to prove that true.
Right now to add to the Med changes we are dealing with puberty in my household, and not just one child but two. My daughter is developing early due to what we think we’re meds she used to take, but it is so hard to tell for sure. The way children are developing these days it is hard to exactly know if it is meds, it is foods, or if it is the environment itself. No matter what it really is, we just have to deal with it, and it isn’t worth the time to grasp at straws and figure it out for sure. I have gotten into the Med battle, and I have gotten into the food battle before so I won’t do it here. Maybe I will in another post sometime but not right now. This is one of those times where I remind myself that I just have to get through the transitions and things will work themselves out.
Chickie has come a long way since being in residential, and she tends to deal with changes better than she used to. Other than her sensory issues, transitions have always been a problem. The school suggested that we let them have her more, and not take her home as much, and as much as we were against it, we knew they were probably right. We did try this and it has helped, but it has proven she still needs her home time as well. It took some time but we now have a combination of school and home time that works so we have tried to stay with that balance. When we do veer from that balance we do see pretty quickly that we shouldn’t do that. She really likes her home time to be just staying home and chilling out because she is under demands and schedules at school, so we let her do that as much as we can. I can say puberty is rough on her, with the irritability and the cravings, so when we know that is going on we try to back off even more.
When it comes to my son Z he is high on the spectrum but he has social, emotional, and anxiety issues. He has had some struggles lately because his meds have caused him to gain a lot of weight over the last year. This is very concerning to us because he is going into high school a year early because of the closing of the middle school in town, so that change is going to be tough on its own. If we add the weight gain to this equation, it just gives older children an extra excuse to be mean to him. I have to say the school system doesn’t have a rampant problem with bullies but it can always happen no matter how good the school. Z has also had to get back involved with intense therapy again as his anxiety and thoughts on the world have changed a little. We have now made the decision to take him off the Med that is causing the weight gain while he is off for the summer so we can get things under control before the new school year starts. What this means is we have to work with another Med and dosage combination and that is never easy, it also means no summer school because that extra anxiety would be really bad. I know we will get there but it is going to be a rough summer for him and us.
I have to say our original thought of having children close in age has come with a price. We thought we would have a few children and go through rough times early on and when they got older it would be easy because it was all at once. At the time we never considered autism, or even knew what it was, so now having two autistic teens at once is something we could never have foreseen. As many of you know, it never ends with autism so you just have to chug along and make the best of it. To say this has made my wife an I stronger people is an understatement, I think it made us superheroes. We will just handle these struggles as a team as we always have and we will get through it. We always end up telling each other it could be worse, and it could for sure, but it will definitely never, ever be entirely easy.