Susan's Blog

Monday, March 26, 2007

Control Tweak

The only thing that remains the same about life is that nothing remains the same. Nat has become increasingly animated, which is wonderful, but also increasingly fixated on routine. This heightened animation reminds me of his developmental burst that occurred when he was 9. At around that age, we had started him on a course of Zoloft, which I chronicled in my book. The Zoloft first helped calm down the extra noise in his perceptions so that he could focus better on the things we wanted him to focus on, such as communicating directly with us. He began to talk more, and his language was more sophisticated as well. He started commenting freely on things he saw, and he started making jokes. (Pointing at me, and saying, “It’s Max, yes!” So funny!)

What’s going on now is probably due to the fact that Nat has grown a lot in the last year or so, and yet his dosages of Clonidine, Risperdal, and Luvox are very low. We do not want to increase any of the calming medications like the Risperdal or the Clonidine, because he ends up becoming too passive and quiet. I don’t know how he would respond to an increase in Luvox, which is an SSRI like the Zoloft. We will be taking him to his psychiatrist soon to explore this.

But we had a bit of a rough weekend with Nat; rough for him, that is, poor guy. There was no aggresssion; it was all about obsession, an issue near and not-so-dear to his poor Mommy. Nat has been obsessing about the routines of his family members. He noticed, for example, that Max sleeps late on the weekends. He did not like that. “Max will get up!” He kept saying. We kept explaining that Max wanted to sleep. Eventually Nat snuck upstairs and said this to Max, who then woke up, of course. Max good naturedly said it was okay, but really. Let a sleeping teen lie! Nat also had a big problem with our town’s new recycling policy: If you can rip it, recycle it! So when we put cereal boxes in a paper bag to recycle, he became very upset. “Frow in trash!” He even bit his arm, he was so mad. Stupid Recycling Policy! (Said like Homer Simpson or Lucy Van Pelt).

But seriously, all weekend there were these control struggles with Nat. I find myself alternately frustrated with his obsessiveness, and then proud that he is so aware of the things around them and articulating his awareness. At times we would be rolling our eyes, like when we were trying to frost the orange lava birthday cake for Benj and Max and I realized it was a bad kind of frosting. Nat had mixed it up with the green, just right, (although we soon realized we didn’t need green!) and I noticed it looked too fluffy. I tasted a tiny bit and it was almost tasteless, or rather like sweet air. I said, “Ew, Max, taste this.” He did, and made a face. We started to get rid of it, and Nat became upset.

“Nat, it’s the wrong kind!” I explained. “This other one tastes better!”

“No taste better. No wrong kind!” he shouted. He retrieved the container from the trash. “No wrong kind!” (Jumping up and down as if the pantry floor were a trampoline. This room is 9 x 6)

I had to show him that the other, heavy vanilla frosting was better. In this case, there could no argument: that stuff was such fluffy barf, that Nat would have to agree. After several animated go-rounds, Nat let it go. But after that, he was watching everything Max did, right over his shoulder. This pissed off Max, so I had to gently ask Nat to step back a little. The old kitchen where we do our cakework is really a tiny pantry (we do it there so that the birthday person won’t see and will be surprised), so to have the two Giant Sons and me in there was kind of a crowd.

I think tweaking his Luvox will help control this control-thing just a bit, but you never know.


Hang in there. It is hard getting meds stabilized and just when you have got it, our bodies adapt. It keeps the doctors in business though! And congratulations on Tabblo’s takeover. How exciting! Tabblo really works well for my paintings.

— added by Mom on Monday, March 26, 2007 at 4:20 pm

Yes, I too finding ‘changing gear’ and adapting to whatever is levitating or decompressing with any one of them, a challenge.

— added by Maddy on Monday, March 26, 2007 at 4:47 pm

Good luck with the tweeking. We might be tweeking a little Friday at Sam’s doctor appointment too. He is on clonidine and risperdal too. Isn’t it amazing the things/routines they notice of others. Sorry he had a hard weekend. Teaching them change is so hard sometimes.

— added by Laura Cottington on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at 12:09 pm

Have you heard about the trials of prozac for ASD? We have our son on prozac, and it really helps things like stimming and rigidity. You have to be careful with the dose, though, because in kiddos prone to physical aggression (like my son), if the dose is too high you can get increased aggression. Here’s a link you may find interesting:

Lots of moms in my area have their kiddos on prozac with good results.

Hang in there.

— added by ASDmomNC on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 at 10:07 am

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