Monday, December 31, 2012

The Switch From GABA To Risperidone

     Approximately four years and and nine months ago, our son Nathan was diagnosed with Autism at the age of almost five years old. We tried for almost three years, to get Nathan's pediatrician to acknowledge that something just wasn't right with our son. I always had both of the boys with me when visiting the pediatrician's office. It was very smooth how Nathan's pediatrician was able to manipulate the situation but, every single time that I brought up something related to my son's behavior, he managed to turn the conversation in a different direction. It was only after we received an educational diagnosis for Nathan, from the evaluation team at our school board of education, that he wanted to take notice of what I had been telling him for almost three years. Nathan's pediatrician wouldn't accept the Autism diagnosis...he was intent on putting him on an ADHD medication, right away! Of course, I wasn't going to let that happen. My husband and I decided to move Nathan's and his brother's medical records to the office of our family physician, at least until we found a suitable replacement for a pediatrician and possibly one whom had experience with children on the autism spectrum. 

     We researched a variety of over-the-counter supplements to help Nathan with his attention deficit and his behavior. My husband and I eventually started Nathan on Attend mini's by VAXA for his attention deficit. For almost about a year and a half, this o-t-c supplement, in combination with the efforts of his Special Education Teacher, had been very successful in keeping Nathan focused and on task while doing his schoolwork. Unfortunately, he was having a problem with negative behavior towards his Teacher and classmates. To help Nathan with these outbursts, we added a new supplement to his regiment called Behavior Balance by Food Science of Vermont. The number of pills that my son was taking on a daily basis concerned us enough to continue our research. 

     A year and a half ago, we took our research to our family practitioner who approved Nathan for the switch to GABA Calm which promotes sleep so that he can "shut down" at night. Our son was able to get a good night's sleep, so that he could handle almost anything, when taking this o-t-c supplement! Another bonus was that instead of taking ten pills every day, he was only taking one at night before bedtime. The only thing that we had to remember was that our family practitioner said that Nathan had to take a daily multi-vitamin when taking this o-t-c supplement. Nathan was extremely happy that he was getting a full night's sleep and only having to take his daily vitamin plus one melt under his tongue before bed each night!

     My son's Special Education Teacher of four years, who was also his Case Manager, unexpectedly moved when her military husband was transferred to another state this last May. Nathan handled her leaving quite well and it wasn't until the 2012-13 school year started that we noticed that he was starting to have outbursts at school. They were becoming more frequent, unpredictable and aggressive towards anyone who might get too close for him to tolerate. Nathan's Special Education Teacher had been a "calming" influence on him. His elementary school has not been able to replace her and the remaining Special Education Teacher is doing the job of two educators, to the best of her ability and to no fault of her own. Nathan's IEP Team and I have met several times since the beginning of the school year to what we can do to help Nathan self-correct his behavior. My husband and I bought him a noise reduction headset to help filter out the stimulus of his surroundings, which worked to an extent.

     Three weeks ago today, more research led my husband and I to consult our family physician on Nathan. However, this time was not for an over-the-counter supplement but, for an anti-anxiety medication called Risperidone or other wise known as Risperidal. My husband and I noticed a difference almost immediately in Nathan's behavior, especially how he reacted to the never-ending stimulus on the day of the school Christmas Party! This even made Nathan happy because for over two months he has not had a scheduled recess due to his uncontrollable behavior and he wants to be given the chance to prove he can handle being outside with his peers for recess. I think that his teachers and classmates will have to agree that he has made an improvement in his behavior once they spend some time around him upon return from Christmas Break. Please pray that Nathan will get to participate in recess whether it is outside or inside due to the weather. Thank you for your continued support!

1 comment:

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