Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Let there be light

Rang Autism Victoria and got some help at last!
Some plainly spoken, commonsense suggestions to help us navigate the maze of puberty and the spectrum with Tourette's, OCD, ADHD and Goddess knows what else the kid has on board.
Had some blunt conversations with Aspie teen, also, and sorted out a system for him to learn to recognise the stress indicators in his own body - like sweaty palms, toes/fists clenched, frowning, heart racing, breathing faster, snapping or speaking rudely, etc.
He claimed to know what the indicators are at first but when we sat him down and got him to discuss it properly he admitted that he didn't really know, that he just finds himself exploding without warning, scaring himself into the bargain which feeds his stress and anxiety even more.
He's a clever clogs and knows what the 'correct' or expected answers to most questions are so he rattles them off, yakking on about things that never happened, conversations that never occurred and events that are very different in everyone else's memory to that of his.
The 'correct' answers thing is ingrained from mainstream school where he wanted to fit in desperately so...you give the expected answer and fudge your way through so that you don't stand out, that you're the same as the rest of the herd.
Like claiming to know, at first, what the stress indicators are; he told me what he thought was the 'correct' answer and what he thought I wanted to hear rather than admit he was as lost as the rest of us.
He's gone from a great communicator to a kid who babbles incoherent prattle in the midst of a meltdown and who cannot remember clearly what happened.
Which is common.
He claims to remember - cos this is the 'correct' or 'expected' answer - but he has great gaps missing in his memory.
And It Is Common!!!!!!
The stress and anxiety that causes the meltdown feeds the fear and it continues to build - and not recalling all of it is very common due to the high anxiety levels, even in the aftermath when he might appear settled and calm.
Autism Victoria is a bloody wonderful body who have helped us out several times and may have given me a little bit of sanity back.


Cheryl D. said...

I hope so! Best of luck!

LceeL said...

The med I mentioned yesterday is Buspar. 5 mg. A light dose and it just turned him around.

We hesitated about meds - after all, he's not 'sick'. But after a while we began to realize that the only way to give him hope of learning to manage his 'issues', was to find a way to allow him to face those issues one at a time.

Buspar managed his CAD.
Ritalin managed his ADD. That left his Aspberger's Syndrome for him to learn to deal with on his own. And he has done. He's in his second year of college. He's majoring in Japanese.

Are all his 'issues' resolved? Not on your life. Is he further along than either one of his older brothers ever got? Absolutely.

He WILL be able to live on his own and, eventually, establish a relatively normal existence for himself.

We were told he might never.

River said...

Well thank goodness for Autism Victoria! it's great that they are able to help you through this maze, and even better that your boy is willing to sit and discuss these issues with you, and work towards resolving as much as he can. He sounds like a wonderful boy.

Fi said...

YAY for autism Victoria!

And if I haven't said it before Ro - you are one amazing mother!

I love how well you know your boy and it shows how much you love him because you will obviously go to great lengths to understand him and his world.

You're an inspiration to me and make me want to be that kind of mum!
Thank you!

Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

Have you heard of Sue Larkey? She really knows her stuff about meltdowns and stress.