How far have we come?
This schoolyear has been diffcult for my daughter, who the p-doc has come to call The Princess. She is still raging and tossing desks, but she is not running which is a bonus. She has been suspended about 7 times this schoolyear thus far, but the dear sweet principal at her school is so kind. He knows we are working with her and he knows my fretting and tells us each time about the progress she is making. Last time she raged toward the end of the day, she calmed down immediately and instead of having to call me they simply sent her home on the bus like they do every other day. It was major progress.
We did see an increase in her aggression with the 100 mg Zoloft so we retreated back to 50mg. We also could no longer handle her rapid weight gain and switched her mood stabilizer to Geodon from Risperidone in August. It does seem to work to keep the rage at bay most of the time although I think the Risperidone worked better. We are working on giving her some more skills to manage her rage better on her own as well.
The p-doc and I had what I like to call a "come to Jesus meeting" a few months back. He basically told me in no uncertain terms that she was a brat. The words he actually used were, "I see a real sense of entitlement in this child and I need it to be fixed, NOW." After a huge cry and a tough talk with the husband we reallized that we have definintely propogated that in both the bio-kids. I think we have pandered to them because life with the FAS brother is hard and stressful and we have tried to make up for that. In the process we "ruined" our kids. We decided then and there that changes would be made. This is where my OCD comes in handy. Once I get something in my head, I must make it happen. Things must be fixed NOW, there is no other option!
We immediately implemented a token economy where the kids fill jars with pennies. Pennies are given for kindness, chores, good behavior at school extra. Special amounts are given for not arguing, not backtalking, etc. Basically we are bribing our kids to be nice. It works. We have tried token economies in the past and they have failed, this one I think works because they see their progress in filling their jars. They are filling pint ball jars and when full they get a date with the parent of their choice. They will go eat at the restaurant of their choice and then visit the grocery store's coin counter and they get the pennies they have earned. So far, so good.
I had to revisit the p-doc in two weeks to talk about her progress. I really really REALLY wanted the husband to go, because I wantedto avoid the p-doc, but he would not allow me to slink away. I went and it was good. We talked about our progress and said he was proud of us. I told him that I understood his concern and I really needed to hear it. He said, "I only was harsh with you, because I knew you could make it change. I knew you would do better." Oh how I love that little indian man! We are blessed to have him as our psychiatrist.
More on the FAS child and my OCD manifestations later. Take care dear friends.