It may have taken 5 years, but Jeffery finally has a reasonable diagnosis for what’s going on. I still think there is more going on but am satisfied with what we’ve accomplished thus far. He is ADHD, I disagreed with this at first but now after having multiple professionals agree with it, I agree as well. He also has Sensory Processing Disorder, I’ve agreed with this all along. The newest diagnosis took me for a loop but I agree with it, Depression.
The night after I got the depression diagnosis for Jeffery, I cried. I battle with this myself, and as an adult it’s difficult so I can’t imagine how it is for an 8 year old. I was diagnosed when I was 16 and have battled with it since then…sometimes with medication, but most of the time (like currently) I go un-medicated. In a way I was relieved to have a diagnosis that made sense, we could now work on treatment to help him.
Along with the new diagnosis, we got a new psychiatrist for Jeffery. The old one had him on one type of medicine that is used most commonly to treat high blood pressure, it’s being used in Jeffery to calm him down. Medication was our last resort, so I was leery when the new doctor suggested a new medicine…I was comforted in the fact that he wanted to wean Jeffery off the old medicine at the same time. We’ve been seeing the new doctor for a couple of months and Jeffery has went from 1 1/2 pills of one medicine 2 times a day to that medicine 1 pill only at night, but he has added 2 new medicines that he takes in the morning. One of them is to calm him down and another to stabilize his mood. It seems all is doing well. He hasn’t had any of the side effects of any of the medicines and his mood and behavior have taken a turn for the better. His tantrums have decreased to almost none, his energy level is what I imagine is a normal 8 year old boy’s energy level and not outrageous.
I feel as though we are finally on the right path…finally moving forward and not stuck going in circles. He is still in karate and everyone agrees that is one huge thing that is helping him. He will be testing for his blue belt in a few weeks. He still does Occupational Therapy once a week for his sensory and I was told he is doing so well with that and meeting all his goals that he may be transitioned out. He also still gets Therapeutic Day Treatment in school. It’s a counselor who helps him through the day if he needs it. He just got approved for 6 more months of services with them so we’re happy about that. Friday I go to a meeting for his behavior plan to see if we should adjust it. He’s went from earning 16 stickers a day to earning 8 stickers and he’s been coming home with all of his stickers. I’m pretty sure they’re going to want to adjust it again since he’s doing so well.
I honestly have fought tooth and nail for Jeffery over the past 5 years. All of this recent “success” I didn’t do on my own. I am grateful he has a wonderful support system in the school. His teacher would go above and beyond to help him any way she can. His TDT counselor calls each and every week to check in and let me know how his week has been. He also has a case manager who has helped me find the new psychiatrist and who told me about the TDT to get him into that. She checks in on him in school and today she was by the house to check on everything.
All the times I felt I was going in circles with doctors, therapists and clinics…sometimes I wanted to give up. Just suck it up and deal with an out of control, violent son. Those thoughts didn’t last long. Of course I could never give up on my child. He needed help and I was determined to get him the help he needed.