Friday, October 10, 2014

World Mental Health Day - Schizophrenia

Did you know that October 10th is World Mental Health Day? Every year a theme is chosen for World Mental Health Day. The theme for 2014 is Living with Schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia may not have a huge following such as Autism Spectrum Disorder - so I am thrilled that they decided to give this disorder the attention that it deserves.

As I have blogged about previously S was officially re-diagnosed as schizoaffective disorder - bipolar type(SA-B). Ultimatly the research suggests that individuals with SA-B are more similar to individuals with schizophrenia. Some research suggests that individuals with SA-B in truth have both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Other research suggests that SA-B is a subset of schizophrenia that also contains a mood component. For more information check out my blog post about SA-B.

What is it like to live with SA-B? The only perspective I have is that of a mother. Sometimes I just look at my daughter and wonder what thoughts are going around and around in her head. These are the times that she is the least connected to 'reality'. Then there are the times where she is mostly connected but she is twisting aspects of the world. During these times she just appears to be paranoid and fixated. These are when we have discussions about her having to do a homework assignment that never existed because otherwise something horrible will happen to her at school.

Other times she seems firmly grounded in the same world that I occupy (or a similar one, since my world has an ASD slant to it). The older she gets the further away these times come. I do not think it has anything to do with her condition getting worse. I do think it has to do with me being able to recognize it more as she is getting older and less sheltered at home.

What does the future hold in store for my daughter? Honestly I have no idea. Without outreach and programs to help her I am very apprehensive about the future. Although, I do know that my daughter's potential is unlimited. She can go down as the greats such as Picasso and van Gough. Yet neither of their lives were all that stable either.

Either way our family celebrated World Mental Health Day in style. My darling son decided the way to go was a metal rod through his door. Good thing tonight is our sparing class. . .

Hope you have a wonderful day spreading your own sort of awareness.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Paleo Weekley Menu - 9/18 - Easy Kid Friendly Ideas

It has been a tough month with every bill seemly costing more then it should. With the extreme heat in CA our electric bill was fifty dollars more then expected. We canceled our internet, but they still charged us and we are awaiting a refund. Then there is the normal co-pays and other expenses. I am wining, I know.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Update - L's new diagnosis

With the last therapist that L had they did there best to make me feel crazy. The therapist switched out three times, going up in level as her behaviors deteriorated. The last therapist saw the 'attacks'. She was completely helpless to do anything about them. But my daughter was so cute that she would come to therapy - when she remembered - and just play with her. The final verdict was that she was throwing temper tantrums due to bad parenting. She declared this in front of the psychiatrist who reminded the therapist that L was justifiably on anxiety medication and mood medication.

To me the most frustrating thing is to have someone who does not take the time to listen to what you have to say. It is even worse when they listen but then have forgotten it all by the next time that they have seen you. The least a therapist can do is relook at my kids chart before an appointment.

It is no wonder that we decided to switch services. Although officially it was due to a change in health insurance.

I have aspergers. This means that I really do not over-exaggerate situations. If anything I tend to underemphasize them. Three days of non stop raging tends to be described as a tough weekend. When L had her rage I just let the bruises speak for themselves. Maybe this is why it is so easy for a therapist to brush away my concerns. I respect any psychological professional who listens to what I have to say, and respects me for the background I have both with my child and educationally as well. I do have an MS in developmental psychology, and do have professional experience working with children with autism.

L is afraid of the psychiatrist. I think it is more that she was ashamed of what she did. I think she should be ashamed of what she did, so we can make better choices next time. What I tell her is that it is in the past, here are the consequences of your actions (she has to continually see the bruises) and we need to do better in the future. Then I dropped it. I knew that it was enough for her, unless she does it again.

I really like it when my children act up at their appointments. It makes it easier for them to see what I am talking about.

This Saturday was great, the more I talked the more the psychologist nodded her head and said "I can see why you say it is aspergers" or "maybe it is aspergers". L walked out with a new diagnosis, one I think is more appropriate then her last diagnosis - which was mood disorder - nos. She is currently diagnosed with aspergers (yes I know it does not technically exist - but it will not go away despite what the DSM people say) and bipolar. I am not sold on the bipolar - I believe the aggression is a part of the aspergers. You can read all my posts on violence and aspergers to see my view point on that. However, the aspergers diagnosis will now justify the services that she is already suppose to be receiving - such as help with transitions, and social skills support.

Monday, September 15, 2014

What is in the News - Asperger's and Violence

This week instead of recent news stories I will give you a collection of articles on violence and autism. Why? Because when the kids go back to school the stress has seemed to override all the progress we made over the summer. I am hopeful things will calm down. However, not without leaving marks (on me). I am baffled that my son thinks it is ok to hit me as long as I already have bruise, so he does not have to justify causing one. Then he honestly believes it is my fault. It is this completely illogical train of thought that had me searching for articles today. Hope they help.

Violent Aspergers Children: What Parents and Teachers Can Do

A good blog post that outlines reasons for violence, and a response to it. It is more geared towards the elementary age Aspie.

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The Monster Inside my Son

Here is a story courageously told by a mother of a son with high functioning autism who becomes violent once he reaches adulthood. It was written two years ago, since that time numerous acts have been committed by individuals with autism - and people are still too busy denying any connection to find ways to actually help.

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Experts: No link between Asperger's, violence

Here is one of those articles trying to quickly disassociate autism from violence in the wake of the Sandy Creek shooting. My question is. . . how many other people are going to be hurt before people stop worrying about the stigma and start helping?

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Emerging Perspectives on Adolescents and Young Adults With High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders, Violence, and Criminal Law

Here is a research article looking at the connection between violence and those higher on the autism spectrum. It was published in April of 2012, eight months before the article was written saying that there was no association with autism and violence. Unfortunally it is more of a case study as opposed to research, but it still shows that the question should be asked - not brushed under the rug.

John Odgren Guilty: Asperger's Not Guilty?

Here is a look at the outcome of a young man with aspergers who walked into a high school and stabbed a fellow student in the heart. Did his aspergers play a part? This article seems to suggest that it was at the very center of the manner. It also links to MORE research showing a connection between aspergers and violence. I do not understand why people are more then willing to brush a connection under a rug because it is difficult, rather then meet it head on and actually give these kids HELP!!!

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