We all talk about how children with Aspergers love routine and hate anything unplanned and after the past few months I would have to say that I guess there is a little bit of Aspergers in all of us.
I was so grateful to get back to normal routine with Harrison that I didn't expect problems that we would have settling Harrison back into school this year.
Of course a lot of this has had to do with all the medications we have mucked around with over the past four months but as I have said before Richard and I always believe that we must keep on looking forward for Harrison to give him the best chance at life that we can and sometimes that can be a bit of a gamble. Unfortunately for Harrison and I might add us things did not go well with Harrison on Strattera. It seemed like once the Ritalin was completely out of his system that he was on no meds at all. I might add here for all those parents contemplating a holiday in a 20 foot caravan with an ADHD/Aspergers child having a medication change - DON'T. I sit back at home now and wonder what the people on the campsite next to us thought was going on. Then I think well it really doesn't matter with a little luck we probably will never see them again - Australia is a pretty big place.
Anyway, as Strattera turned out to be a disaster we put Harrison back on Ritalin but decided to try the long acting so that he wouldn't have to worry about taking meds at school. Another bit of a gamble you might say but once again we wanted to give Harrison the chance to experience school like most other kids.
Things seemed to be going well we had no problems on the first couple of days of school and then we were into the week end. Harrison said he was happy and things had gone well. I did explain to his teacher that he was on new meds.
We started the second week and then our troubles began. I got the inevitable call from the school to say that Harrison had been in some sort of fight. He was ok but they just wanted to let me know that he didn't seem to have the same ability in the playground when it came to socializing as he had had last year. We all decided just to let him have some space and make sure this just wasn't due to the change in routine. But the next day came the next call and then the upset child saying he couldn't possibly go back to school again. Of course he did and this time after meeting with his teacher and special education teachers it was beginning to become clear that the long acting Ritalin just wasn't doing it's job.
I cannot speak highly enough of the school who immediately put in place some little things to help Harrison though the day. His teachers are wonderful and straight away they determined that they would keep a teacher with him during lunch break until we got the medication sorted and Harrison could cope.
So once again I contacted our Pediatrician and told Anthony what had been going on and that we wanted to go back to the old way of administering Harrison's meds. Anthony is fantastic he completely agreed that we had tried enough and that it was time to bring in the old faithfully 10 mg Ritalin that Harrison has always taken up until November and that he would suggest we keep this up until Harrison starts High School. Anthony, as always listened to us as parents. He never makes us feel like we don't know what we are talking about. On top of which he really cares about Harrison and our family life.
So things seem to be settling back - dare I say - into a nice routine.
Harrison is once again the happy go lucky, loving child we know. He even bought home a "Fantastic Super Effort Award" - for a wonderful day at school last Thursday, which is a huge improvement on those phone calls!
We seem to be back on track and have we learnt anything from all of this? - absolutely!
Sometimes you have to take a chance even if it doesn't turn out the way you expect. It may seem like one step forward and two steps back but each of these steps are taken together with the love and hope! You never know what might just be round the corner.