Monday, August 29, 2011

Sure We Will Try It!

A lot has been happening since I last posted.  I will start with doctor stuff.

MK started back into therapy last week.  It seemed to go very well.  She said it was, "The best morning of my entire life".   We're not 100% sure this therapist is right for her, but we decided as a couple to let MK choose if she wants to stay or try someone else. 

Additonally, MK has changed from Vyvanse to Intuniv for her ADHD.  The Intuniv isn't my favorite fit for her.  It makes her very sleepy, and she is still becoming easily overstimulated and that is effecting her impulse control. 

We start seeing a developmental pediatrician for both girls in October.  We hope they will have much more insight into the medications needs for management of the girls anxiety, depression, and ADHD. 

Layla will start therapy on the 8th of September.  I met with her therapist, and I really like her.  She focuses on anxiety and behavior modification, so we're hopeful she can help Layla with some of her quirky behavioral issues. 

Layla is now taking Prozac instead of Mirtazapine.  So far she is sleeping okay again, but it takes her a good hour to finally fall asleep.  We might have to add a sleep aid into the mix, but we will look into that once we see the new doctor.  For now, 10mg of Melatonin seems to do the trick. 

Moving on from the doctor stuff, we are also trying a new method for positive reinforcement of good behaviors.  This method came from Layla's new therapist, as a "try it and see" thing to help curb her defiance. 

So the idea is come up with a small number of simple rules.  Then you get the kids a small container and either mark a line, or have a line for them to fill to.  Then you give them a penny whenever you catch them following the rules (subsequently, you can remove a penny after one warning for not following the rules, after a month, you just immediately remove the penny).   Once they reach their line they get to both keep the pennies, and choose a prize from the prize box.  On average, you want to give them 7-8 pennies a day.  It's great because it's a forceful reminder to us that we need to praise the kids.  The prize box is just cheap stuff.

So far, it's going pretty well for our two. 

We let the girls chose the rules, and I must say it was a great test of their knowledge of our normal rules, because they included all of the for the most part.  We kept it to 5 rules, with some encompassing a few different rules.   These rules apply everywhere, home, school, outings, etc.

Our Family Rules:
1)  Be kind and respectful to all people, pets, and objects.
2)  Keep hands, feet, teeth, and objects to yourselves.
3) Think before you speak and do.
4) Always tell the truth, and do not sneak.
5)  Have a GREAT day at school.

Like I said, simple rules. 

So I will update on our progress.   I bought these cute containers at the Dollar Tree.  They come two to a pack, and we can grab them to take with us when we go places.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Happy Gotcha Day!

Yesterday was one year since we got the girls.  How crazy is that?  One year.  I mean you have it all here on this blog.  A year of our ups and downs.  A year of learning, growing, and healing.   It's a fun ride though.  The girls are generally doing really well.  Most days we have no issues.  Some days when we do have problems they are age appropriate and tolerable for us.

I will leave you with a cute "Gotcha Day" picture.  It happened to be school picture day too.  Of course the girls had to dress alike!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New Meds, door alarms, and therapy... OH MY!

Now that I stay home full-time, I am not strapped down to a desk blogging about every thing we do... it's actually kind of nice because I don't really dwell on all of the little day to day things the girls do wrong.  I've certainly become more of a "big picture/grand scheme" kind of thinker.  Which is really what needed to take place.   I fell in the trap that most of us therapeutic parents fall into... I started over analyzing all of the things the girls did. 

Overall, the girls are doing really great.  August 17th will be the 1 year anniversary of their move-in date.  It's crazy to think it has ONLY been a year.  I feels like so much longer.  We've accomplished so much in a year.  It's truly amazing.

The main changes we have had lately are medication switches.  Layla's Mirtazapine (Remeron) stopped working rather suddenly.  It left us with a very anxious child.  We've switched her to Prozac and so far she seems to be doing well.  We had one night of her not sleeping well, but we added 10mg of Melatonin (she was on 5mg before) and that seems to have sorted out the sleep issue.  The other thing we did, after finding her roaming the house at 1:00am, was we bought a door alarm for her room.  We got a 2-pack for $3.99 at Harbor Freight.  Totally worth EVERY penny!  I would say it is the best money we've ever spent.   Layla doesn't sneak because she wants something... she sneaks to see if we will catch her.  It's a little test that in her head goes something like, "I am going to sneak, if they catch me, I can trust that they are keeping me safe, if they don't catch me, it obviously must mean they have no interest in keeping me safe or showing me love".   This lead to several tantrums, so the alarm was a physical reinforcement that we are keeping her safe.  She loves the alarm.  In fact when I told her I was buying it, she requested I purchase a purple one!  LOL

MK has also switched her ADHD medication.  The Vyvanse had gotten to the point that she wasn't able to focus well or stay on task, and she was very fidgety.   We switched to Intuniv and we're on a low dose that will increase in the coming weeks.  So far, aside from needed reminders to stay on task, she's doing pretty well with it.  Hopefully, it will continue to be even more effective as we increase her dosage.

Lastly,  we are starting therapy again for both girls.  MK's therapist is going to help her with her peer relationships, her processing the past trauma, and her feeling comfortable in her new life as a family girl.  Layla's therapist specializes in childhood anxiety and behavior modification.  Since we've already completed attachment therapy, I think it is important for her to get a better grasp on controlling her anxiety so that eventually, we can think about taking medication away.

Despite their struggles, they are doing very well.  School is going great (outside of peer issues with MK).  They are making good grades, and being home fulltime has allowed me to have lunch with each of them during the week.

I will try to get around to updating a little more often! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Poetry From MK

MK's teacher ROCKS this year.  I mean calls every few days with an update and listens and helps MK.  It is SO nice to have someone like that on our team!

For her spelling words, she gets to pick from a big list of activities to practice the words.  Today, she chose a poem.  Not so bad for a 2nd grader!

When I am a wife
I will have a lovly life.
My husband will rake,
while I bake a cake.
He will be all mine,
even when we're ninety nine.
I will kiss his face,
no one will ever take his place.