Sunday, October 16, 2011

An Exciting New Adventure - Sort Of...

My oldest son, Trevor, has Asperger's syndrome. He's five years old and between his diagnosis and his age, he's a handful. Thankfully, thus far his academic career seems to be doing fine. (we're about 6 weeks into his first year of school) But life at home can be crazy difficult sometimes.

Several months ago, after Trevor was diagnosed with Asperger's for the second time in several months, it was suggested to us that a significant amount of anxiety was present and was interfering with his ability to communicate ideas and make decisions and just function in general. After conferring with his psychologist, we decided to pursue treatment with an SSRI, which is pretty much the only medication approved to treat anxiety in children.

Trevor started taking Prozac several months ago and within a week or two, we saw a profound difference in him. He was able to get through a meal without reaching peak levels of stress which reduced him to tears. He was able to get a handle on his emotions a little better and dealt with new situations a little more easily. By no means was this a quick fix. He still has quite a few issues, but like I said, the difference was great and so we decided to allow this course of treatment for now.

The problem is that taking an antidepressant is (in my mind) not an acceptable form of treatment for the next 20+ years. Trevor is going to need a different kind of solution ~ one that addresses the problem, not just the symptoms. Also, reducing his anxiety has not eliminated all of his other issues and so there are still many battles fought which shouldn't be as difficult as they are.

I started looking into alternative treatments and discovered Brain-Based Therapies for children, specifically, Hemespheric Integration Therapy. This is a neurologic type of therapy which is based on the idea of right hemisphere dysfunction. This means that the left hemisphere is more developed than the right hemisphere, due to abnormal development of the right hemisphere. The claimed end result of this type of therapy is elimination of or a great reduction in the symptoms related to the autism.

I found a local chiropractor (with a specialty in neurology and a very good reputation) who performs this brain-based therapy and we have a consult scheduled for this coming week. I am slightly skeptical, but very excited to hear what possibilities may lie ahead of us. I would love to be able to get Trevor off the medication and improve his day-to-day experiences. Instead of breaking down emotionally and being confused socially, perhaps he can just be the happy, sweet little boy that he is in those moment in between episodes.

Hopefully I'll be back to post at the end of the week with an update. Fingers crossed for good stuff!!

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