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Finding the Right Grammar School for Your TS Kid… I mean, Mama

Stink didn’t get into Catholic school. “He doesn’t hold his pencil correctly,” I was told by the principal. I looked at the Jesus statue above her head, his hands all folded into prayer, and I swear I saw his middle finger go up at her.

Cut to five years later and yesterday’s post. I am BEYOND grateful to have my son at a school where he’s nurtured academically and developmentally. There is zero judgement. They go above and beyond to work with where we are at. They find him to be a riot – in a good way. His handwriting is still more atrocious than a serial killer on crack, but they foster what is important: He loves writing and reading. A few tics? Meh. No biggy. They support him. And, well, they support me.

Take this letter I just sent off to the principal. Where else, but my kid’s wonderful public charter school, could I just be myself and state it the way it is.

Hi Principal Kris –

Sorry for being out of it this morning. Stink is on a trial medication study and it’s really affected him so poorly. I’m pretty upset about it. Either it’s the placebo which, giving a kid who tics 10 grams of a sugar pill/day is pretty stupid, or it’s the meds. Either way, his tics are through the roof –insane even for him – and his focus is abysmal. So now I’m taking my kid every week to UCLA to increase duck quacking sounds and have him sent to the office for being more unfocused than a drunk sorority girl at an archery match on doobage.

 Sigh…

 That’s my rant for the day. I hate everyone.

Andrea

————————————

Are you all happy with your kid’s school?

Chin up, people! It’s going to be okay! (As I tell myself while I down my third cup of Yuban which, if you think about my frazzled premenstrual nerves, is about as dumbass as thinking my pink umbrella toting artist ticker was going to make it through 8 years of parochial school.)

As I tell my kids when I’m mad I can’t think straight and am trying to hold it together, HAVE A NICE DAY!

 

* Photo of Stink with his steady companion, Z. As of two weeks ago, they plan on going to highschool together and continuing their sleep over traditions. Um, not so much.

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Consequences and T.S. – The Big Pay Off

When I was in the middle of my big “do I or do I not follow through with this UCLA study/medication” I spoke to one of the doctors. She once again told me the pro’s and cons of Intuiv. The pros: It’s been on the market for 20 years. It’s got very few side affects. The cons: It can make a child really sleepy and sometimes faint due to its blood pressure lowering attributes.

I was still so iffy. It seemed weird to push my kid toward medication when Stink was content with himself. “He’s happy. He loves his tics!” I said to Dr. J..

Her response was a bit startling to me. “Yes, you’ve said that and so has he. It seems kind of odd, though… this whole liking his tics thing. What’s the meaning behind that do you think?”

I had to pause. What was she implying? That somehow Stink was living in Delusion Land? That perhaps I, as a mother, had been feeding my kid the Kool Aid all these years? (Note: This Kool Aide would of course be organic and dye free.)

Dr. J is really great, so I’m not annoyed at her, so much as surprised by the reasoning. Isn’t it possible that a child could like themselves, despite a few tics and twitches?

Is it possible… not to pat myself on the back (but it beats the alternative of flogging myself with fear so go with me)… that Stink was brought up to believe that he, as a person… as a soul… is valid, despite a few “flaws” in the form of tremors and twitches?

And is it at all plausible that this self-confidence is not a side-effect of “potential” Aspergers – the syndrome where people are considered non-self aware and self-focused to an extreme – but the ease in his own skin has to do with the fact that… here’s the zinger, folk…. he actually likes himself.

This leads me, once again, to my feelings about God. (Sorry to you non-faith based folk.) As you know, I’m on a Christian path. It’s one where I have my doubts right along with my blind acceptance of improbablilty faith. But the crux of the matter is this: If some dude really came to life as God in human form, was nailed to a cross, then rose from the dead to have new life, isn’t it possible that my own very human son, through the grace of God, could rise above his own wonky circumstances and love his life?

From my impartial perspective (ha ha… like I could ever be impartial about this little Stinker) my son’s love for his differences come from a combo of 3 main things:

* Personality

* Home life

* Faith

Like the trinity I look towards as strength and support for my joys and sufferings, how can I not look to the trinity of those three attributes and give all of them a little bit of credit toward his contentment?

Never to be underestimated or overlooked, so much of who Stink is comes from his sister. She is his greatest fan and advocate. As the sibling of a “special needs” brother, I am acutely aware that she needs the same sort of honor and time as I give him.

The other day, I said to her, “Pip, you know, there are groups for sisters of kids like Stink. I could totally sign you up if you’d like.” Her eyes got wide and she squealed, “You mean, a group for sisters who have brothers as awesome and funny as Stink?!”

I laughed out loud. What do I owe such an amazing daughter to? Perhaps more of the 3 above. I’m beyond grateful.

In closing, going along with my gut (or as my faith calls it, The Holy Spirit) I really felt compelled to follow-up on this drug study, despite Stink’s protests. “I won’t do it!” he stated in the bathtub one night. “I will spit out those pills! I will pretend like I’m swallowing them and stuff them down the toilet!”

“UCLA is going to give us $25/week for eight weeks for participating in the study. I’ll give it to you to save toward Disneyland tickets,” I offered, figuring he’d turn me down anyway.

“Sounds good to me!” he conceded.

I’ve now got a son fifty bucks richer, two times more hyper likely due to a sugar pill and one happy sibling who will be tagging along with him to the Happiest Place on Earth.

This Jesus of mine clearly has a good sense of humor.

* Photo taken last week before the kids’ music show. That’s my Pip on the left. Miss L is on the right. Stink is, of course, front and center. It’s shocking he’d pick out clothes that would make him stand out so much, huh?

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Where I’m Really Ticked Off – A Hideous Few Days

Stink started his medication last Thursday. At least we hope it’s medication. There’s a 50% chance he was given a placebo. Based on his disposition the past week, however, we’re pretty sure what he was given a form of FDA unapproved BOC.

Standing for Behavior Out of Control, this pill has caused the following side affects:

* Uber lack of focus causing his teacher to send him out of the classroom with the following words, “I’m Done.”

* Passive aggressive meltdown post-school at a friend’s house where he “forgets” his writing journal, proceeds to lock himself into the bathroom, later crawls out of the bathroom on his belly and hides under said friend’s bed when I tell him we’re leaving, forcing the same words out of my mouth as his teacher’s, “I’m Done.”

* Being sent to principal’s office the following afternoon after being warned twice to calm down in music class. Apparently sticking his face into another girl’s face unannounced and then sucking in air like a gaseous puffer fish was not appreciated

* Unprecendented (even for Stink) aruging with siblings and parents, sloppy dinner behavior and more defiance than an O.D.D. kid raised in a barn

I’d love to say this is all an effect of the medication, but given Guanfacine’s (Intuiv’s) main side affect is exhaustion, I’m thinking my son is truly just experiencing B.O.C. which is making me experience LMS – Lose My Sxxt Disorder.

It must be a full moon or something, because many mothers on my beloved Twitch and Bitch private complaint support board are experiencing the same thing.

After talking to the beloved Dr. McCracken at UCLA yesterday, he affirmed that while anything is possible, this upswing in Stink’s turd-like behavior is likely not due to meds. He says that “kids like Stink” go through periods of this where it’s like a trickle effect – one bad event leads to another.

I’d like a trickle event to happen in my life, too. I’d like one glass of vino to lead to two glasses to lead to three glasses followed by a one year stay at a bed and breakfast where I’m served Yuban for hours by a twenty two year old Italian named Roco.

Wish me luck.

PS: Turns out Stink had an awful sore throat last night. “Oh, good,” I thought. “Maybe that’s the reason his behavior was so bad.” No excuses, of course, but could be his impulse control was even less due to illness.

I kept him home today from school so he could rest. I can report, with nothing but pure relief, that he was on the mend by 10:30am! I mean, look at him taking his bath. It’s like a miracle happened! Praise God!

I. AM. DONE.

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I Changed My Mind on Meds – Because I Can

I’m back.  I’ve missed you all. How have you been?

I’ve been busy Ebaying and organizing my office. I’ve been swimming in Great Grandma Stella’s pool. I’ve been attempting to get in shape and get more sleep and pray and laugh and maybe, just maybe, I’ve been obsessing a teeensy bit more than a boatload of elephants at a circus parade about my decision to keep Stink off focus medication.

To be more specific than last time – because it’s just easier to not be cagey (like those poor elephants in the previous paragraph and shut up about that joke it was funny) – the idea of high functioning Aspergers came up at our last UCLA meeting. As I mentioned also, combined with many visits with teachers over the past few years, I decided to look into it more via a UCLA diagnostic study.

Shock of all shock, Stink fits the description for being “on the spectrum” and is a candidate for their drug study – one that uses Intuiv.  Intuiv is used for ADD and UCLA wants to see if it helps kids deal with Asperger symptoms. Continue reading “I Changed My Mind on Meds – Because I Can”