Following My Thinker

We are at least close to having Javan on the right meds. If we’re not there yet, we’re at least heading down the right path. He’s on two meds, Risperdal and Depakote, and the best part is he’s on a fairly low dose of both! The Abilify worked, but not this well – I didn’t know anything could work this well – and he had to be on a really high dose. He still gets overwhelmed or frustrated and screams or cries or whatever, but it’s short-lived. And I don’t remember the last time he’s actually hit me, much less thrown any large objects towards me. Other family members have even mentioned that things that normally would have completely set him off don’t seem to be a big deal anymore. And this is after only a few weeks on these meds! His laugh is back! It was completely gone…I missed it so very much that my heart ached to hear it. And it’s back! He laughs all the time – and he has the best laugh.

One side effect that we’re noticing with these meds though is that his processing speed has seemed to slow. And it was already slooooow. He’s as smart as any kid, and in many ways much smarter, but he can’t process information quickly. It takes him forever to complete a thought. So much so that sometimes the people who do realize he’s not finished talking try to finish his thoughts for him or otherwise interrupt him. They give up on him being able to do it. And the people who don’t realize he’s not finished, which is the vast majority of people, just keep the conversation moving along and then don’t understand why he’s frustrated or non-responsive! I don’t think it hurts his feelings, though. I think his attitude towards those people is like, “Whatever. They’re not good listeners. Just another grown-up who doesn’t have time for kid stuff.” I think in his eyes, he’s not speech deficient, grown-ups are listening deficient. And a lot of times he’s right. I’ve been guilty of it myself on more than one occasion. Sometimes I really don’t have time to let him finish a thought. Anyway, like I said before, his processing speed was already slow before the meds. And it may be that this side effect of the meds will fade soon, just like nausea does with other meds.

Another thing I’ve noticed lately, and I’ve shared this in other recent posts, is that he’s really trying hard to communicate difficult concepts about himself! I am amazed – more than amazed, but there’s really no word for it – that he can even recognize these things in himself at such a young age, and even more amazed that he can make me understand them! Case in point: today in the car, which seems to be a place where he does much of his thinking and communicating, he said out of nowhere, “When I say bad things and wrong things, that’s not just me following my thinker. That’s my head not knowing what’s going on inside my head.” Whoa. I don’t think I know any kids his age that can think on that level. I am so filled with hope at this revelation of self-understanding. Not only is he capable of and willing to think about what causes him to act out, he wants to do something to change it! Maybe I’m just a fawning mother, but that’s a level of maturity most college kids have yet to achieve.

I did ask some questions about what goes on inside his head when he doesn’t know what’s going on inside his head….I know, a very circular question, but I’m trying here. He just said, “I don’t know the answer to that yet.” Yet! Which lets me know that he is working on coming up with an answer and will communicate it to me just as soon as he’s ready. There is more understanding and healing coming!

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