Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Medication changes and regression, or "MEETCH"

Jaymes has been going through a strange phase lately! Might be a result of his Risperdal being less effective, could be the 2 weeks off of school during the Snowsplosion, could be having missed four OT sessions (finally, he'll make it to tonight's session! Could just be his semi-annual verbal regression phase. Who knows.

I've been somewhat dismayed to notice that (at home and therapy, anyway) Jaymes is very rarely talking spontaneously like he has been. Where we had been getting beautiful whole sentences, I'm seeing a ton of echolalia and lots of what I call his "continuous chatter loop" which includes the following sets of sentences:

1. "Birthday cake, eating the birthday cake. Look at the balloons. Balloons up there, up there. Eating the birthday cake, Jaymes eating the birthday cake. Jaymes like'n the birthday party hat." No birthdays recently, or coming up. He just seems to like the topic of conversation.

2. (Talking about a kid in his class at school) "Nikolas poppin' the ball, goin' to time out. Bad Nick. Nikolas ate miss Tasha, Nikolas breakin' the fridge poppin' the ball, goin' to time out. Nikolas lickin' the ball."

3. (Anytime there is a baby nearby, on TV, or he hears one cry) "Baby's ok. Baby's ok." Repeated until you reassure him several times that baby is indeed ok. If baby is crying, "baby sad. Baby sad. Baby drinkin' the milk, baby puttin' the bottle in the mouth milk in the mouth."

4. "Red, yellow, blue, green on up there. Look at the up there. Red up there." No idea where this one came from.

It's quite frustrating because he will get stuck on a neverending loop of whichever of those options he chooses. The current favorite, and most annoying, is the colors loop. Even if you repeat what he is saying and agree with him, he can't seem to stop repeating it. It makes it hard to do anything, or to have any kind of conversation because to Jaymes, it is of the utmost importance that I understand and hear what he is saying. Poor guy, it matters so much to him!

The other things he says frequently, over and over throughout the day are the word "meetch," said at a painfully high pitch at the top of his lungs, and "Si-Si murrrrrr" in his strange low voice. He says these hundreds of times through the day. I'm not sure where either came from, or what they mean, but I do know that repeating "Si-Si murrrrr" to him makes him wiggle in delight and laugh his little head off. What can I say, the boy is a strange little soul. I think it's why we get along together so well!

Anyway, I'm sad to see that most of his "real" and spontaneous talking has disappeared yet again. But, on the other hand, his behavior has been excellent. The tantrums are less frequent, and his behavior in general is just that of a happier, more content boy. He is happy to snuggle with me after his bath, goes to bed without a screaming fit, and politely does what is asked of him. It's very nice, but I can't decide if the lovely behavior is worth losing the awesome speech we had going on.

At the beginning of the month, it was decided that Jaymes' 4 years on Risperdal have come to an end, as he seems to have become fairly tolerant of it. We switched over to Abilify, and I'm trying to tell if the Abilify is the reason the behavior is better, or if our starting it simply coincided with Jaymes normal cycle from challenging behavior and lots of talking to great behavior and not much talking. He is now on 2 ML of Abilify in the morning, 1 ML in the afternoon, plus his Clonidine morning and night, and the Atarax, which really is for his eczema and itching but has the helpful side effect of mild sedation. It complements the other meds really well, without making him overly sleepy.

I took him in to Allergy/Immunology a couple weeks ago for more allergy testing, because the Eczema is just terrible. They said that he is not allergic to anything. Go figure. Went back to Dermatology, Dr. Pitchardo prescribed a new med that I cannot spell and am too lazy to go get the jar to type it out. Something with a T. It's a steroid gel. We lotion him twice daily at home, the school lotions him three times. Even with this ridiculous amount of lotioning going on, poor Jaymes is still scaly. But, his tummy is softer than it's ever been, and he is not itching himself bloody, so although he is still itchy and scaly, it has at the very least become more tolerable for him. The bad news is that it's spread down to his feet now too, poor kid. The good news is that I think we've gotten it all off his face. He has not been scratching it and there are few, if any, scales.

The spitting on the hand then wiping it across the face is bad as ever, but it seems to be staying at the same level now, not becoming more frequent. The lotions keep the face from being chapped by the constant spit wiping, but it's still pretty gross. He often smells like rotten fruit (you know, that saliva smell), and people look at him funny when he does it in public. He still has to stop during some activities that he enjoys to wipe, but it isn't as bad as it was a month ago. It's showing no sign of going away either, but I'm just glad he's not getting worse with it. There is much face washing, because after a few dozen spit wipings, Jaymes develops this thick, gummy black line that runs from one ear, over both eyebrows, to the other ear. Overnight, it collects around his eyes until he looks like a raccoon. Doesn't seem to bother him, but it makes me insane!

Jaymes has mastered the whole one-to-one correspondence counting thing. I got him some suction cup froggies for the bathtub, and he loves to line them up, then count them. Sometimes he forgets and counts the same one twice, but in general I am sup[er impressed with him! Good job, Mrs. Colditz, she's doing really well teaching him the skills he needs.

In other news, school is kicking my butt, as usual, and I am looking forward to the end of the semester so that I can enjoy the summer without worrying about papers, quizzes, and math!

This month is an exciting one for us, my friend from Australia is coming to visit, and it will be a ton of fun!


BEE said...

hope you get past this part soon
i know it is up and down constantly
my prayers are with you guys

leah said...

Oh, the regression must be tough. I hope this phase passes soon. The ups and downs can be so very challenging! Thinking of you guys!