Monday, April 2, 2012


1 in 30,000. The chances of my child (and yours) having schizophrenia prior to puberty is 1 in 30,000 (according to ABC's 20/20).

I've read and heard other numbers quoted since the diagnosis. I don't actually know what the numbers are and I'm getting the impression that no one really does. I spent a good amount of time looking for information, resources, anything really... anything to help me understand and gain some perspective. I looked up pediatric schizophrenia, early onset schizophrenia, childhood schizophrenia, very early onset schizophrenia. (Side note: Why the hell have so many names for one condition??) I really didn't find much. What I did find, however, was this:

Now, being the type of person I am I begged a few people that know my girl very well to watch it. We all had the same reaction. Her mannerism, her speech patterns, her expressions, and even her wording sounded just like these girls. One of the besties pointed out that she even does the same hand wringing that was seen in the video. I didn't notice but apparently its obvious because her husband noticed it too when he saw the episode. I've been watching for that.

Up until I saw this, I think I was fairly disconnected from the diagnosis. I think I was still stuck in the "Okay call it what you want" mode. I was accepting, but not completely believing. I simply wanted an answer and that one made sense. I hadn't started to think about what we can expect for her future. Once I started doing that I started to hurt for my girl, badly. And then....

...I realized I was reacting to something that hasn't happened yet. My emotions and my reactions were based on speculation. Getting caught up in that emotional turmoil over something that hasn't happened yet isnt going to help me or my girl. It isn't going to help the other 3 kids that need me to be on the top of my game... and it definitely isn't going to help me focus on school work and pull out good grades.

I have to relax. We have an amazing team in place for my girl. Our pediatrician is amazing and supports our decision not to medicate right now. Her therapist is awesome and also supports our decision to withhold medicating. We do, however, already have a pediatric pharmacologist in mind for when we do decide we might need to medicate.

Next comes the school battle. Since this district already hates me I'm positive this won't be fun. It's entirely crazy to think that this public school system has the resources needed to appropriately support and educate my daughter. Her IQ is in the superior range and her social skills are seriously lacking. They aren't able to set up her school day in a way that supports her need for advanced work and delayed social skills. They don't have anyone on staff that has ever worked with a child with this condition.

In other ongoings....

Alexander is still rocking. I'm sure I've mentioned it before... its been going on for close to a year. He's now rocking so hard he busted a hole in the wall (with his pack and play, not his head). Last week our family therapist said  "This might not be a great time to mention this, but we need Xander evaluated.". She's right. I tried like hell to get EI to take me seriously when I kept begging them to evaluate Xander. They swore it was simply self soothing behavior that he would grow out of. They said I was seeing things because Beth and Peter have their issues. Fast foward almost a year.... and its worse, not better.

And Joelene.... can no longer get through a school day without being spoken to for something. Her teacher said its like an odd cycle. Jolie's academically above her class and clearly bored. Some weeks Jolie is on target and behaving beautifully, and some weeks she's not listening at all and being a major disruption. A few years back we were told by the psychiatry department at UMass that Jolie was possibly bipolar. Her behavior improved so much that I figured whatever it was she had grown out of it. Boy was I wrong...

So.... both Xander and Jolie are going to be followed for a little while to see if we can figure out what exactly is going on here.

Yes, really. All 4 kids.

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