Saturday, February 27, 2010

Some outdoor fun


Got this keeper of a photo of the boys this afternoon when Ashton wanted to go outside to play. I thought it was cute :) Once it falls off the main page here, I'll retire it to the sidebar, because I think it's *that* cute! ;)

Have a great night everyone!

Sleep, it's such a precious thing!

Ashton's been sleeping...... ALL NIGHT LONG!

Yep, whispering and yelling at the SAME TIME! LOL

Wednesday and Thursday nights he slept from 9pmish to 6:30am. I swear he must hear my alarm clock go off, because as soon as I hear it go off, I hear him stirring and waking up.

Friday night (last night), he slept until almost 7am! Woot!!! *happy dances*

Even better ... ? I've been able to cut his Melatonin dose in half (5mg from 10mg) and his Clonidine dose in half (.1mg from .2mg) and he's STILL SLEEPING ALL NIGHT! I guess the Abilify really has been knocking him on his putt throughout the day if it's helping him sleep this well at night.

Now, he did decide to go out on our back porch patio to swing on the swing back there this morning. The bad thing? It was 7:00am. The second bad thing, we have a house alarm and because he opened the door before the alarm  had been disarmed, it set it off. The scary thing... WE DIDN'T HEAR THE ALARM GO OFF!

The alarm company tried calling the house but we didn't recognize the number, so therefore didn't answer the house phone. We typically have our cell phones set to mute/vibrate at night, so we didn't hear THOSE ring either. What made me get up to investigate, was the strange number calling and that I had heard Ashton wake up. So I came downstairs and panicked when I didn't see or hear Ashton anywhere. Since we hadn't heard the alarm go off (the alarm company had disabled it) I didn't realize that the alarm was still sending a signal to the company. I yelled upstairs for hubby since I didn't see Ashton anywhere. He had the wherewithal though to look at the panel and see that the back patio door was the one that had been set off, and there Ashton was, sitting on the swing, clapping and flapping his happy little self away.

Tried calling the alarm company to let them know it was a false alarm, but police had already been dispatched. When they got here, I just explained to them that my ten year old autistic son had went outside in the backyard and had set off the alarm. I said he didn't realize that what he had done was unsafe. They took down Ashton's name and age and my name and age. fun.... :P

Since this has become a recent trend, we're taking steps to prevent this from happening again. We've put a wooden rod down in the track for the back patio door so he can't get out that way anymore. Then, hubby is currently at Lowe's getting a keyed deadbolt set for the front door (if he gets out that door and takes off running.... he'd be lost for sure....) and also something for the door from the laundry room to the garage.

SCARY morning but alls well that ends well ....  and the all night sleeping IS a very welcomed thing.... Zzzzzzz

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Finally! Our specialist appt @ CHKD

I had no idea what to expect.

Things with Ashton have been calming down, and he's become a lot more pleasant to be around. There are still some lingering issues; mainly having to do with sleep (too much during the day, and the lack thereof at night) as well as some lingering OCD issues. He's also got some major attention/impulsivity issues, but who knows what is tied to the Autism or what is manifesting itself as ADHD or OCD.

Anyways .... this doctor, is the director of Psychiatry at Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters (CHKD). All I knew is he has a specialty in pediatric psychopharmacology (big, fancy term for dealing with children and medications that are used to treat mental diseases and/or disorders).

I went into this knowing that this isn't a long-term care type place. They help you sort out the issues, treat them, and get your child "evened out" so to speak, so you can go back to your regular doctors and have them manage your care. We get there and they do the whole basic thing of checking Ashton's weight (87.2lbs) and height (4'7") and blood pressure. He was absolutely fine through all of this. It does bare mentioning that we had his portable DVD player (thanks Grandma & Grandad for that Christmas present!) as well as a boatload of snacks. Since Ashton is GFCF, I tend to take a lot of snacks since you never know how long you're going to be gone and what foods will be available.

Then, the doctor comes out and asks to speak to Ashton, by himself, first.

Ok, I admit it... at this point I'm wondering .... what exactly does this doctor hope to gain from talking to my autistic child, by himself? Not to mention, what was Ashton going to do without me in there? .....

Oh mommy of little faith..... he did just fine. Turns out, it's pretty routine. He wanted to get an unbiased feel for Ashton's personality. He only had him back there for a few minutes. The doctor then came and brought Ashton back to the waiting room (my wonderful mother-in-law went with me) and it was my turn.

We then spent about forty-five minutes going over Ashton's medical history, developmental history, our current problems and issues, etc. He actually listened! Now, I don't mean to say that other doctors haven't listened (you hear me Dr. Madren..... you too, LISTEN! ;)) but then after listening, he actually explained medical things in easy to understand ways. We talked about different medications, side effects, what medications work for what conditions, etc. It was just a different knowledge-set that he can better explain since pediatric psychopharmacology IS his specialty.

He then had me go back to the waiting room while he looked over all of his notes, my notes that I had taken in, and came up with what will be our initial game-plan. We then talked another thirty to forty-five minutes talking about family history, what our issues with medications have been, what we need to prioritize as our most important concern, and came up with a game-plan.

We've decided to move Ashton's morning dose of Abilify to the evenings. It seems logical that the Abilify might be what's causing the morning sleepiness and extended day-time naps at school. Since he's also not sleeping through the night on a consistent basis, (but seems to nap on a consistent basis) the hope is that the Abilify will help him sleep at night. Well, for the last two days, he hasn't fallen asleep during the day. He's a tad more irritable, but then again, his schedule was messed up yesterday with no school and then a pretty lengthy doctor's visit. But, the best news is..... HE SLEPT ALL NIGHT from 9pm-6:30am! Yes, I typed that in really little letters... I just hope this sticks and works! I am to call him back next week with an update, and we'll go back for a follow-up appointment in April.

The hope is, if the Abilify works to help him sleep at night, that we can decrease (or eliminate) some of the other medications he takes to help him sleep. Now granted, keeping him on Abilify for sleeping issues, long-term is not ideal. Abilify can have some pretty serious side-effects (weight-gain, increase in cholestoral and sugar levels, etc) We're considering doing a sleep-study to get a better idea of Ashton's sleep patterns and see if we can possibly figure out why he wakes at night. We'll discuss those at our April appointment. We need to figure out if the stress that the sleep study might cause Ashton will be worth the knowledge we might gain from it.

We have a check-up with Dr. Madren in a couple of weeks, so that'll give us a good couple of weeks to completely sort things out and hopefully get Ashton on a better sleep schedule and routine. Hopefully we have better news for Dr. Madren at this upcoming appointment rather than the news we had at our last appointment in January (when we were in the thick of things with the aggression, mood issues, defiance, etc).

Thanks for reading.... time to go watch "Burn Notice"! :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

KID - isms.... Out of the mouths of babes

You know, those funny things your kids say that you just HAVE to write down for posterity. Well, I was sitting here listening to Ashton ramble on about some movie, and a couple of kid-isms came to mind that my boys have said. I'll quote them here as I remember them .... some are just a line or quote, some are actual stories..... Enjoy!

Now some of these are especially funny when you keep in mind that Ashton is autistic and also that some of these things were said a few years ago when the boys were younger.

Ashton (age 10) - "Hey Ladies! What's crackin'?" - don't ask .... I do NOT know where he picked this up! LOL

Holden (age 5) - "Mom, what was life like before cars?" - I couldn't help myself, I BUST OUT laughing at that one! At the time, I was thirty years old, so therefore, am not aware of what life was like before cars. HAHA :P stinker! We told him that even his great-grandparents (Granny and Papa) don't know what life was like before cars.

Ashton (age 10) - "I'm getting married today!" - this is a line from a movie, not quite sure which one but he was walking around and saying this at Thanksgiving - TOO funny!

Holden (age 3?) - "I'm going to take you out like batteries!" - said one night while horsing-around with his Daddy. He said it with the fiercest little look on his face. To this day (nearly five years later) we're not sure where he picked up that saying from. We've googled it and searched for it on IMDb as I thought for sure it'd be a quote from a movie, but alas.... nothing.

Ashton (age 6?) - "But it's not on my schedule!" - Keeping in mind that children on the spectrum are pretty schedule-dependent and need consistency, Ashton said this one evening while out at his grandparents house. We were attempting to get him to use the bathroom as well as get ready to leave and this lovely gem of a quote is what he came up with. He was SO RIGHT, it was indeed, not on his schedule! LOL

Holden (age 5?) - "I'm going to build a tunnel from my house to your house Grandma and everytime my mommy yells at me, I'm going to come over." Then when he was asked what would he do if mommy came through the tunnel after him, he quipped "Well, I'll just make it small enough so she can't fit through!"  HAHA! He's such a little charmer. This was prior to his ADHD diagnosis and we'd been going through a rough patch with discipline and behavior. Thought this was pretty funny :)

----- More to come as I remember them ----- 

*edited 2/24/10*
Told ya I'd be back when I thought of some more! 

Ashton: Some acquaintances have "interesting" names! ;)
Corbin was "Baby Cornball"
Ella was "Baby Elephant"
Camille (former teacher's aide) was "Ms Chameleon"
Holden is "Baby Swinub" (a pokemon character) - NO IDEA why he calls his brother that! LOL
Dr. Madren is "Dr Magic" .... Dr. Madren has gotten quite a kick out of this comment :)
Dr. Dozier is "Dr. Bulldozer" ... hahaha, sorry! I think it's funny! ;) 

Ashton: Fictional Characters
Abominable Hulk "Obama Hulk" - HAHA!!! ;) 

he came up with a list of names for family members once:
Daddy was a "Vampire"
Mommy was a "Mummy"
Ashton was a "Skeleton"
Holden was a "Ghost"
Grandma was a "Witch" (later corrected by Grandma as a "nice witch" LOL!)
Grandad was a "Werewolf"
Papa was a "Zombie:
Granny was "Herky Jerky"
Uncle Kevin was a "Prince" 

*edited 2/25/10*
Ashton said this wonderful gem last night
"My, this is a tasty, tasty meal" .... huh?! LOL! I promise you, this was not anything special..... all he was eating was some ham and some pretzels. Apparently, according to him, it was quite tasty! LOL

Again..... more to come later :)