I've been absent. Yeah, I know...but I have a lot on my plate these days. I've wanted to write about what was happening here, really I have, but I just didn't know where to begin.
I want to make one thing clear before I start this....my purpose in sharing our struggles is to give other moms dealing with Autism some shred of hope. Okay?
In January, Rylee's behaviour took a turn for the worse! She was defiant beyond words...screaming her dislike for everything and everyone. She would tell me several times a day that she didn't want to be part of this family and certainly didn't want me to be her mom. She did NOT want to be a girl anymore either. Her tantrums, several times a day, were outrageous and out of control. And before you say, oh all kids go through a few tantrums in their day....uh yeah, witness an Autistic kid's tantrum first hand and then we'll talk! The best way to describe her is primal. In that moment, she is all animal, non-thinking, just reacting! And mean!! She would just strike out at anyone who got in her way. J would try to hug or kiss her to make her feel better and Ry would just kick, push or scratch back! We were beginning to fear for J's safety...it was getting that bad!
By the third week in January, we were in desperation mode....a family in crisis - sleep deprived, upset, hurt. It was time for medication. I called the Paediatrician for help! Her assistant told me that because we hadn't seen the Dr. for 18 months, we'd have to go through our regular Dr. to get another referral...that would take weeks...and frankly, we didn't have weeks! We just couldn't go on like this! I'm afraid I lost it completely on the phone...I was crying and desperate. She took pity on me and scheduled an appt. Finally, some hope.
Well, the appt didn't go as planned. LOL Instead of drugs, the Dr. instructed us to give Ry Melatonin to help her sleep. She also felt that if we gave her a daily laxative, it would alleviate some of her problems. She set another appt for 4 weeks out but I could call at any time if I felt we needed to. I gotta tell you, I was not exactly on board with this so-called solution. We had tried Melatonin before and it just didn't work for her.
Well, wouldn't yah know it...the melatonin did work this time! Yeehaw! And we actually got her moved into her own room to sleep. Baby steps. Her sleep habits improved but her meanness was still in full force. I had to schedule another appt. This time, Ry stayed home so I could really talk with the Dr. She agreed that Rylee had some other issues and was quite the complex little girl. Yes, she had Autism, but she was very high on the ADHD scale. Then there was the whole abandoned/mentally abused part of her past that was always just under the surface. I cried during this appt....sad for us as a family and definitely sad for this 6 year old little girl who was born on the other side of the world, abandoned and left to languish in an orphanage. She would spend endless hours alone in her crib, sick and crying.....but no one came to help. The Dr. said she will probably never get over that!! And I cry some more..... Then she told me something that I will carry with me the rest of my days....she said that I might not be able to mother her and that Rylee needed me to be her therapist first and foremost!
Well, we talked about all of the options in medications that might help her....and all of the side-effects!! Just wild! We agreed on a small dose of Resperidone but first we'd need to do some blood work. So, off I went with a prescription for a powerful drug that should lessen Ry's aggression, a request for blood tests at the lab, and a prescription for Ativan to help Rylee get through the bloodwork. That was Tuesday Feb 9.
On Wednesday February 10, we witnessed a miracle! Big Daddy and I took Ry in for her bloodwork - yes all jacked up on Ativan - and she did great!! She was a totally different little girl for the rest of the day. Just after supper, she was still feeling the effects of that pill, which she shouldn't have. I found her at the top of the stairs dancing with her coat....she was hallucinating and singing to her "partner". It was a little scary. I coaxed her into her pj's in between bouts of falling to the floor in a heap, crying and babbling incoherently. She crawled into her bed by 6:30 and the mean and aggressive Rylee never came back!!
We're still not 100% sure what happened. We have a few theories that I'll share with you later, but in the meantime, our old Ry is back!!! She is happy, healthy and in no need of Resperidone.