Progress Report

Guys, I really think things are going very well! I’m just trying to wrap my head around the fact that Javan has had zero psychiatric medications for nearly THREE WEEKS. And he’s getting better, not worse. Much of this has to do with him not going to school anymore. He’s been relieved of his primary source of anxiety.

His homebound teacher came out for the first time last week and he did really well with her. He liked her, used his manners, and completed all the work she brought for him with no problem. For the most part, he’s also doing school really well with me on the three days a week that the homebound teacher doesn’t come out. I still have all my homeschool curriculum right where I left it last year, so we just picked right back up where we left off with that. Here are a few pictures I took of some work he’s done with me:

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In the picture above, Javan drew a picture of something that made him feel happy, sad, scared, and surprised. Being with Rosco makes him happy. When Rosco whines, it makes him sad. When Mommy gets hurt, he feels scared (that’s a bandage on my arm). And he feels surprised when Rosco jumps on him without permission and barks. Javans character is saying, “Oh!” when he  gets surprised.

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This is a math page for which Javan created his own number line. I snapped that picture because for one he took the initiative to create his number line on his own, and for two only three out of ten numbers are written backwards.

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The unit we just completed from the homeschool curriculum was all about weather. Above is a picture of Javan’s favorite kind of weather: lightning. I found it very interesting that he chose that as his favorite weather because he’s actually quite fearful of storms, thunder, the power going out, and possible tornadoes. I also loved his creativity with the colors. I mean, if lightning looked like that to me, I’d love it too. But not only is his lightning creatively colorful, there is hidden meaning behind the aesthetics. Each differently colored lightning bolt has its own special power that corresponds with Pokemon powers…black is dark energy, green is grass energy, purple is poison, red is fire, blue is water, and pink is fairy. His mind is super fun.

We’re still dealing with some rages, but we’re talking one a day instead of constantly all day every day. And the rages end much more quickly and easily than they did before. Our homeschool group meets at a local park once a week and we have gone for years, but we hadn’t been for quite some time because Javan was in school. We don’t do school on park days, because socializing for Javan is more difficult than schoolwork, so I count socializing as his schoolwork for the day.

He fought going to the park this week. He got so angry over it that he bit me, but I wouldn’t back down, insisting that friends are important. He said, “I don’t have friends and I don’t want friends!” I told him that’s ok. I even told him that he didn’t have to talk to or acknowledge anyone there, but he had to go.

He did awesome at the park. We stayed for two and a half hours. I was able to stay in the “mom circle” while he rode his bike around and around the huge path circling the park. He probably rode at least a mile that day. And I counted ten positive interactions with others, three of which were with other children. That’s just what I counted , but I’m sure he had even more positive interactions when I wasn’t looking. And zero negative interactions. Zero.

I had told him before we got there that if anyone upset or confused him, he was to come talk to me about it before confronting them. And he did! He got upset once when we were there and came telling me that a bigger boy on a skateboard tried to run into him on purpose. I told him I really didn’t think it was on purpose and that if it happened again to come tell me, but otherwise not to worry about it. He accepted my advice and there were no problems!

Then we got home and things got pretty rough. He’d successfully navigated the social anxiety of park day, but often after doing something difficult like that he’ll come home to his “safe place” and lose it because he reached his limit and needs to let off steam where it’s safe to do so. He wanted to do something that I wouldn’t let him do immediately, which lead to him yelling, throwing things, and getting destructive. It also lead to me yelling and getting in his face. We were both at our limits. So, we went and picked Dad up from work and then I took an impromptu night out.

I’m having a difficult time adjusting to having Javan home 24/7, especially because he is only sleeping an average of 8 hours a night and not taking naps. That basically means that I get absolutely no time to myself. Because I have to sleep when he sleeps. So there’s no time left over for me to watch Netflix in the evenings, spend time with my husband, get time alone (which, being an introvert, is something I need to survive), make phone calls, shower, etc. And there’s an energy deficit that I’m not sure how to deal with. Transitions are hard, but I’ll get the hang of it.

The one issue that’s really causing me concern right now is that Javan has developed a tic over the past week. At first, I wasn’t sure I was really seeing it, but it’s increased enough over the past two days that now I’m sure. It’s a neck tic I guess, where he turns and tilts his head to the left in a certain pattern and sometimes scrunches the right side of his face.

I called his psychiatrist about it and he said this has one of two causes. One, he could have had an underlying tic disorder that’s been covered up over the years by the medications he’s been on. Or two, and I think more likely, it’s a rebound tic from coming off all the meds, and hopefully temporary. He said to give him Benadryl, which has been helping a ton, and if the tic isn’t gone by Monday he’ll stay late after office hours to see Javan. Is this doc awesome or what?

And now we prepare for a new and very busy week, which will include two visits from the homebound teacher, three homeschool days, one intake visit from the TBRI therapist along with the school behavioral therapist, two trips to Tyler, one homeschool field trip, and one blessed Friday when Dad only works half a day. Wish us luck!

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