Friday, December 28, 2012

School vacation

Today is the 8th day of winter break... the kids will have been home for 8 days (counting weekends) when today ends. In past years this was meltdown time. Beth would cry and beg for school to start again. She'd promise to be good, in between sobs, as she begged to just be allowed to go back to school. It was frustrating and heartbreaking as we tried for the 400th time to explain to her that school would start again soon and how we would show her on the calendar where we had it marked out and were counting down the days.

That was before. That was when she loved school. She says she loves school now but this child is as disconnected from school as a kid can get. The school says this is age appropriate. I call bullshit. I don't believe we are looking at an age appropriate shift of attitude at all. When school is in session now her hallucinations are hard, harsh, violent, and mean. She sees zombies, dripping blood, and develops mysterious headaches and bathroom accidents at school. When school isn't in session she rarely mentions a hallucination (although I can see her reacting to external stimuli), has no unexplained health issues, and never has any time of bathroom accidents. When she does mention a hallucination its a harmless (as harmless as a hallucination can be) one, or a fun (to her) one. 

In just a few short weeks we are meeting again with the district to go over whether she has made effective progress this year. The school swears she has but her medical and therapeutic team (and myself) sees a marked regression. Its a tough spot and I pray we can all come together and put in place what will help her learn and grow appropriately. I know the schizophrenia is the sticking point here. The school is frustrated because they believe there's a miracle pill that will take away the hallucinations. I believe if we medicate we have a strong possibility of opening pandora's box... and I'm not ready to make things worse for her. She's alienated enough as it is and she knows it. Other children pick on her at school already because she's in a general ed classroom due to her highly advanced academic abilities. What happens if the medications cause tics or aggression? Add that to the high risk of physical side effects and I just can't do it just yet although we are reviewing her current hallucinations and symptoms with our pediatric psycho-pharmacologist after the holidays. We may not medicate but we do stay current with a prescriber in case that has to change quickly.

I did some serious looking around and there isn't a lot around here in terms of day programs for schizophrenic children. There are a ton of options for autism, not so much for schizophrenia. The few that are within an hour of us she's pretty much to young for. It really cuts down options as we try to decide how best to help her. To me its more important that she keep learning how to be positive, how to learn to identify the different between hallucination and reality (to the best of her ability) and other non chemical interventions. I know these will only work to an extent and only for so long before medications have to be introduced and that's fine. Ideally I'd like to make it through puberty before we start medicating so we know for sure what changes in her behavior can be attributed to hormones vs trying to narrow it down to hormones or medication and because most of these meds are less risky for teenagers.

So that's where we stand right now. Hopefully we will have some better answers for her in a few weeks.

1 comment:

  1. That's a good idea trying to wait for puberty. Hopfully you won'thave to medicate at all. ~snuggles~ I wish we could do more to help.