Trying Meds

21 Apr

I haven't written a whole lot about my life as a parent of a child with ASD, as my work provides a good amount of daily drama. But this is not to say there is no drama at home to keep life interesting.

 

Thomas is our oldest at 7 years old, diagnosed with PDD-NOS which is on the autistic spectrum. He is currently in his second year in kindergarten. He reads on the 3rd grade level and has for quite some time. However the reason he was kept back relates to his behavior and his social development. Those who have kids with high functioning ASD know something about which I speak.

 

His behaviors primarily involve being easily distracted and being impulsive. "Easily distracted" meaning an inability to stay on an academic task for more than 5 minutes. "Impulsive" being defined as doing things that he knows better and will often express regret about right after doing it. But he still does it. Stuff like running outside and into the street. Or hugging his little brother or smaller classmates too tight around the neck.

 

Today he had his annual neurology appointment. And like last year, she wrote a prescription for Concerta. Unlike last year, we're filling it.

 

Going the medication route is a hard pill to swallow for this old behaviorist. I do have a considerable amount of his behaviors under stimulus control, with myself as the discriminating stimulus. Transferring that to Jane or his teachers has not been so successful. And it requires an inordinate amount of diligence to deliver consequences for certain behaviors and reinforcers for others. In fact, with all of the impulsive stuff, he doesn't have much access to reinforcement.

 

So the idea is that the medication takes enough of an edge off the impulsivity that he can get into a more positive cycle of reinforcement or what Alberto and Troutman describe as "trapping." Apparently, they are taking some data at school, so we'll see. We're going to try it this weekend before school starts to see what it does. We're planning on doing this blind with the school system, just to see if the data path changes. It's going to be an interesting week.

 

dick

 

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