It’s been a good week. Anna’s visit with the neurologist on Monday went well. For a little girl who was never on the chart for height and weight until she was 3 years old, she is now in the 90th percentile for both. We discussed her behavior and mood. She’s been on Risperdal for mood swings, aggression, and impulse control for 3 years now without much change in dosage. Since she has very strong reactions to medications, we haven’t wanted to make any changes but Risperdal causes weight gain, sedation, and sometimes early breast development. Her weight is a concern, especially considering her low tone, and we can see that her lordosis (swayback) is getting worse, but we are keeping her active and she is healthy. Over the last couple of months, Anna has struggled with aggression and I thought she either needed to increase the Risperdal or go off of it completely. We tried a week off of the medication and saw a dramatic increase in anger, moodiness, aggression, and lack of impulse control. The deciding factor to go back on Risperdal was when she was playing with the neighborhood kids and started picking flowers in one of the kid’s front yard. When asked to not do that, she reacted by hitting the child, then hitting two others, and shoving yet another while sticking out her tongue. She was walked home by one of the older kids and I sighed when I realized that she just took a big step backward in her social relationships with the other kids. Her neuro said we have room to nearly double her Risperdal dosage so we’ve been ramping up the dose this week and we are starting to see our sweet, sunny little girl returning.
Dominic is doing very well on the Focalin. It is quite amazing to see him in control of himself. He is focused, attentive, and quiet. When I ask him to do something, I am not getting the five minutes of negotiation, just a “yes, ma’am”… what a refreshing change. I am feeling more optimistic and it is much easier parenting happy children than moody and angry children.
The kids got haircuts this week. They look so much older all of a sudden! Anna got into Jenny’s makeup that morning, so you can see a faint hint of blue eyeshadow on her eyebrows, lol.
We had our monthly visit with our MHMR (mental health and mental retardation) caseworker this week. Anna had her 3-year reevaluation with the school district this spring and she continues to test in the mild-moderate MR range. The psych did say that Anna is hard to test. She needs instructions to be repeated and the directions to be explained one at a time and they are not allowed to do that in the formal testing setting. I told Kara, our caseworker, about Anna’s current challenges and her disappearance earlier this week. I was excited to learn that she thinks she can get Anna a child locataing GPS as an adaptive aid and can get us special alarmed door locks also. That is such a relief, those things are expensive! They are also continuing to cover respite (my mom is a registered contractor with the state so that she can provide respite… in fact, my mom took the kids last night and is keeping them until this afternoon! Thanks, mom!!!) and they are covering the cost of overnight pull-ups for Anna also. She’s outgrown the store brand, so I have to order them from Adaptive Child. I am really impressed with the Tranquility overnights, though she still leaks about 3 nights a week.
Anna and Joseph were playing together yesterday and I got this great picture of them together. They both declared that the other is their best friend. So sweet! (If you remember, Joseph is 14 and also MR.)
One of Anna’s talents is sports. She is good at just about everything! Swimming, basketball, baseball, tennis, soccer… you name it. She can’t quite manage playing on a team yet, but we have fun just playing outside. Curtis has been working with her on her overhand jump shot and she is really getting it. I got the incredible picture of her mid-jump. I had to try extracting her too, to really emphasize the movement in the picture.
Well, I should really get to work… I think I have 11 requests for siggies pending and I’m starting a collaboration with a professional photographer to offer my editing and graphic design skills as part of his service offerings. We’re still trying to find a puppy too. Yellow girl did find a home, but I couldn’t afford her anyway. The breeder in Dallas looks promising but I haven’t heard back from her yet after completing all of the paperwork for the donation.
Thanks for reading and for all of your support!