Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Regression and mania

Two weeks ago we had our last neurofeedback session. During the last month of sessions, we were beginning to see a lot of progress with attention and even speech. I was feeling very optimistic that this meant we had his ADHD under enough control for him to go without medication.
Here we are, two weeks later, and Perrin seems to be regressing rapidly. He has lost over 20 sight words that he had mastered, he's reversing his numbers again, and he's been mildly manic for over a week. I'm trying so hard not to be devastated, trying to convince myself that this may just be a minor setback, but this has been one of those weeks where it seemed like trying to teach Perrin was a waste of time, since he doesn't seem to be retaining anything or sustaining focus long enough to even be instructed. He was doing math on the computer this morning, a program where it will flash a very simple addition problem (2 +2), and he would type in the wrong answer. The computer corrects him, and he has to type in the correct answer before moving on. Then he would just retype that same number for the next problem without even looking at it.
His tics have become so frequent that every task takes twice as long. Reading a book has now become a 20 minute process of reading a sentence and then ticcing for almost a full minute before moving on. He's forgetting  words he used to know and becoming more and more frustrated by my corrections. He licks his lips to the point where they're cracking, he's walking on his toes and tapping them periodically. He makes almost constant loud explosion noises, which is exceptionally challenging during school work. He's so hyper and manic that it's difficult to carry on a conversation with him. He is currently giggling and babbling directly into my ear and refuses to talk about anything but Power Rangers. If we try to change the subject, he simply ignores anything we say and returns the conversation back to this new obsession.
He paces around the couch for up to 15 minutes at a time nonstop singing songs that he makes up on the spot. While quite adorable,it is exhausting. We are now back to repeating directions several times with little success.
He's happy, almost deliriously so. He laughs a lot during our school lessons, but he's not paying much attention at all to what we're doing. I now have the difficult decision of whether or not to put him back on the stimulants that will worsen his already frequent tics, that make him crabby and argumentative. Yes, he'll probably learn better. Yes, he'll likely be able to sit in a chair for a few more minutes. But he'll be unhappy and difficult to deal with.
I am angry that I have to make this decision for him. I hate that I have to choose between chemically altering his brain so that he can learn or allowing him to be a happy child. It's unfair that he can't have both. I'm holding on to a scrap of hope that this is a short lived setback and that soon we'll again see improvement. I'd love to have a coherent conversation with my son again. I'd love to see that spark in his eye from feeling he's doing well in his school work. I suppose only time will tell. Perhaps this is just a manic week, and he'll come down soon.

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