I honestly don’t know where to begin this. I guess it should be with the JMU CDC (local college Child Development Center) results. We got them the other month and I was honestly speechless when I got them. We went through everything, my concerns, their tests…then the dreaded word….”DEPRESSION” was number one on the list of the diagnosis list. I felt like a train hit me. He’s 8 (was 7 when testing was done)…how can he be “depressed”. She explained that his depression comes out as anger, that made it make more sense but still heartbreaking for me to hear. The next on the list was ADHD, he was already being treated for ADHD so that was no surprise. Of course there was also Sensory on there too. I guess the hardest to swallow was the depression, being that I suffer from it as well and knowing how hard it is for me, as an adult, to manage…I can’t imagine how he feels inside battling it. It makes sense though, I’ve noticed some of his tendencies are similar to how I am when depression is swallowing me up.
I’ve been fighting for 5 years for a final diagnosis for him. For SOMEONE…ANYONE, to see what I see on an almost daily basis. Now that I have it…it’s hard to admit it. If you were to meet Jeffery you wouldn’t know anything was going on, he rocks when he’s in one spot but that could be passed off as a nervous trait. He loves people, he loves to laugh, he is for the most part a normal 8 year old little boy…until he gets mad, until something doesn’t go his way, until that little switch in his brain is flipped…then it’s WWIII. It’s unpredictable and we sometimes walk on eggshells to prevent it from happening.
We have also switched psychiatrists. The old one I felt like he was pushing the blame on me, like I was a bad mom. I couldn’t just sit there and listen to that when he was that way in school too and I also have other kids in the home who act NOTHING like him! So far we’ve seen the new one twice and he’s ok. He’s pushing meds like crazy and I am not liking that but he’s listening to me and he’s talking to Jeffery. He just added a 3rd medicine (the old one had him on one and we’re weaning him off of that…then we’ll be down to 2) and I was nervous. I asked about the side effects and they weren’t too bad and if they do come up we can stop it. We have a good support system in the school who will watch him once he’s started on it for those side effects. So far he’s on one medicine to clam him down (the first doctor’s medicine), one is a mood stabilizer, and the new one we’ll start tomorrow is one to settle him down (kinda doing what the first one does, but better…which is why we’re weaning off the first). The reason for the third is because everyone (home and school) have noticed his energy level increase over the past couple of weeks and it’s starting to affect his classmates and his work. The new guy is keeping close tabs on him, seeing him every 2 weeks. Which is a lot more than the other one was, we only saw him every other month or so.
While writing this post, I got a call to go to a meeting for Jeffery’s behavior plan at school. I actually look forward to those meetings we have every couple of months. It evaluates his progress with the plan and last time we adjusted it because he was doing so well. He is doing well on the adjusted version and honestly they brought up adjusting it again but we all agreed that with all the changes in medicines and some things changing in the class it’s best to keep it as is. They are all wonderful. His teacher has been so wonderful and patient with him. I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher. We were discussing a OT thing for his seat, they ended up giving her the wrong thing and Jeffery didn’t like it…she tried it out and she told us it’s uncomfortable! We all had a good laugh. She keeps his sticker chart updated and when he don’t earn a sticker then she writes me a tiny note on why (this is a chart that is sent home every day and I have to sign and send back). He has a wonderful TDT (Therapeutic Day Treatment) counselor who checks in on him many many times a day. She is his support if he’s having a bad day, she talks him through things and she has helped me on a few occasions when I knew things would be changing at home…she talked to him about it and made sure he was comfortable with it. She also calls me once a week for a check in about the past week. His principals are on the same page as us too, they are willing to do whatever necessary to make him successful. So far it’s working. We’re over halfway through the year and he’s only had a few issues…none that was anywhere near as bad as last year or the year before.
We’re making progress. That’s all I can ask for. I do have a smart amazing 8 year old son who I will go to the ends of the world to make sure he’s getting anything and everything he needs (I would do that for all my kids!)