I've written here briefly before that something magical happened this summer. My son matured, as much as a six year old who is developmentally four years old can mature, over a few months. He demanded independence, he played alongside or even with his peers, and the length of his sentences became longer. And then in the early fall the decision was made to add Abilify along with his Ritalin to help with aggression and ADHD.
It's been about two months since we started the medication and the only negative side effect so far is that I need to have a small meal ready for him at 3:00pm or he breaks down. The medication alone didn't make the difference. It's the combination of the medication, the summer program with typically developing children, the new teacher and other support staff at school who understand his needs, and encouraging the new surge of independence. Oh, and his mom isn't half bad either. The iPad helps, too. This is the list of noteable accomplishments:
1. He wakes up in the morning and snuggles in bed with me for 30 minutes (with his iPad) every morning before demanding we get up and eat breakfast. No stomping. No running. No shouting. It's very peaceful.
2. He brings home papers every night that aren't shredded. He's written his name on the top, colored the picture, and kept it in one piece.
3. He walks down the hall at school or down the aisle at the grocery store all by himself. Sometimes at the store he still wanders off, but he listens when I yell, "Stay with mom or time out!"
4. He brings home papers in one piece.
5. When he goes to the integrated kindergarten room for Science and Social Studies, he offers answers to the teacher's questions. Like, she asks the class and he raises his hand to answer. And his answer makes sense.
6. Do you notice a lack of poop stories? That last one may have been the final hurrah. He goes all by himself, y'all.
7. He doesn't sit on his friends anymore, but he does still sometimes kiss them I think. And he hugs his best friend every morning. It's the cutest thing I've ever seen. Actually, in general, even though he's struggling with sharing his teachers with a new classmate, he's getting along very well with all of his classmates. He's just a little jealous right now.
8. At his last IEP, they said he no longer needs a behavior plan.
9. He plays pretend. He still won't use his Little People in the Little People Bus or House, he'd rather use cars or straws, but he uses them like they are people. It's less self-stim and more actual imaginative play.
10. He is using his words more and more to express his frustrations, his wants, and his concern for others. I was fake crying the other day (it's a long story) and he came over and patted my arm, "No cry. Is okay. Give me a hug." And today when I came home after his respite time he said enthusiastically, "Hi, Mom! Is good a see you! How your day?" And if my heart wasn't already melting, he showed me his artwork from school that was still in ONE PIECE!