So today our family is going for Michael’s first visit to a psychiatrist. This has been initiated by me, and supported by our home Psycho Educator, as an important step in dealing with increasing anxiety and challenging behaviors that had started back in the summer. Of course though, as in most cases, when children go to the doctor’s they are at their healthiest. Michael, being no exception to the rule, has been calmer and less aggressive in the last month than in the last year. Not that I’m complaining. I’m very happy. And he’s been using many of the tools that the school psychologist has been showing him to reduce his anxiety since October. She is also accompanying us today for this visit. As for everything else I am grateful for, my son’s adapted school is one of our very appreciated blessings, always, as well as the people in it.
So, he is nervous about tomorrow as am I. What can we expect? What will the doctor say? I plan on telling him about Michael’s challenging behaviors at home, and though these behaviors have been going down, I still want to have them checked out, to rule out more serious mental health issues. Not that autism and its co-morbid conditions are not serious, but as one Mom I knew put it, we know about them and how to help our children navigate them. They have been demystified and so can be handled with more ease, at least most of the time.
I have told Michael and he has repeated back to me why we are going to see a psychiatrist tomorrow. He understands it is to him give him new tools to handle new anxieties that are arising, new methods for all of us to help him continue to grow into the amazing little person he is becoming. And yes, even on horribly tough days when I feel discouraged, I see how amazing Michael is. He is smart, funny, likes to strike deals and debate, and he is kind, loving, creative and very spontaneous. I don’t want any diagnose to get in the way of him developing into the incredible adult he will become. Therapy, and sometimes other options such as medication, can make a great difference in a child’s development.
I am keeping an open mind about both, and for Michael, will explore whatever is necessary to help him be at his best and not say to me, as he did a few months ago, “Mommy, please help me.” This was said after a particularly angry meltdown where glass was broken and he was aggressive toward himself and me. After he crumpled in my arms crying and I joined him briefly, I vowed to myself that I would ask everyone around me, parents, his school therapists, outside therapists and doctors for new tools. That is what was needed I was sure. I hope I am right. I hope that for the future, should aggression and anxiety escalate to the breaking point once again, the new tools I hope we learn in the coming months, will be our help to get Michael past this next realm of difficulties.
Exceptional Parents, what tools have you relied on to help your Exceptional Children? What professionals and the non-accredited professionals, have helped you and your family? We all know deep down inside what is the best way to reach our children. No one knows them better than us. This sometimes means taking that step into the scary unknown for your child’s sake, and showing them that you and they are in it for the long haul. Good luck to you on your child’s future medical excursions. I wish you the confidence and peace of a parent backed by wonderful professional support, trust in a Being higher than you, and of course, in your own parenting instinct, the most important one. Until next time.