From the inbox, and the waiting room
My thanks to all who have looked at this blog so far, and who have provided comments. Very much appreciated!
A few of you have sent emails that contain comments, stories, or resources that are worth sharing, so that’s what you’ll find below.
One mom commented on how we’ve all experienced dead ends “in the frustrating labyrinth of experts and evaluations that often ultimately lead nowhere. Every parent of a child with neurological issues can relate.” Well put, don’t you think?
An email from another mom who has been up the cinder cone included this: “I love that you are doing this. There is so much stigma, and it is so hard to get the right kind of help and support.” I agree; attitudes have improved, but there’s a good amount of unwelcoming sentiment still out there.
A mom with a bipolar son, who also possibly has Asperger’s, talked of burnout (oh yes! we are familiar with that feeling!). She also said her son was found to have a serious Vitamin B12 deficiency, and wondered if that might connect to some of his symptoms. Has anyone else heard of this?
A mom with a dyslexic son responded to the post on vision therapy. Her son was VERY left-handed, so part of his therapy involved wearing headphones that beeped louder in his right ear than in his left. “He had to track dots and dashes (as if reading) with his right hand as well. It is kind of a left brain training/retraining. Dyslexics have a tendency to be left-handed, creative and have a fear of heights. The fear comes from the perception problems they have when looking down (escalators kill them.) Dyslexia is more than reading and is very rarely diagnosed.” Interesting stuff! (I’m not dyslexic or left-handed, but I usually do at least a double-pump before stepping on an escalator. Probably some sensory integration stuff going on there.)
In this last entry from the inbox, a mom shared two websites, neither of which I’d heard of before. They look like they’d be very worthwhile if your teen/young adult is getting into drugs and other extreme behaviors. The first is Families Anonymous: http://familiesanonymous.org/ The second is Because I Love You: http://bily.org/
I looked at the resources page at bily.org and found one that intrigued me, under Websites for Parents: http://www.capps.ucla.edu/. It’s all about the “prodromal syndrome,” which is a term I hadn’t heard before (one of many, I suppose!) It’s when there are “specific groups of symptoms that may precede the onset of mental illness.” Many of us would have liked a better grip on this when some worrisome signs appeared. The site is worth a look if you’ve got questions in this area.
Okay, now for a story. I’m sure we’ve all logged lots of time in waiting rooms of mental health professionals, so I’ll bet you can relate to this. Nathan’s current psychologist has a sound machine in his waiting room that sits on the floor in the corner. It has 16 buttons for 16 different sounds (presumably to prevent those of us in the waiting room to hear the voices behind the closed office door.) The good doctor always has it set on “Ocean Surf,” which is OK by me but apparently has become irritating to Nathan.
A few weeks ago, I left Nathan in the waiting room before his appointment started. When I came back a few minutes before the appointment ended, the sound had been changed to “Summer Evening.” It had crickets chirping, but it also had a woo-oo-ooo-oo sound, the overall effect of which was to put me in mind of waiting in line for the Pirates of the Carribean ride. When the session was over the doctor and I realized that Nathan had changed the setting. We laughed, and the doc scrunched down and changed it back to “Ocean Surf.”
Last week the same thing happened except Nathan had changed the sound to “Rainfall.” After 30 seconds of listening to “Rainfall” I was ready to head to the restroom. So I scrunched down and pushed the “Ocean Surf” button to save the doctor the trouble (and me the trip down the hall.)
Today, Nathan was tired. As soon as we get to the waiting room he reaches down and yanks the plug of the sound machine out of the wall, scoots his chair forward and puts his head down on the magazine table. I wait til his appointment starts and then practically stand on my head to plug the thing back in and set it to “Ocean Surf.”
I am now kind of looking forward to what else will happen with the sound machine! Am I enabling Nathan’s sort-of-rude behavior? Probably wouldn’t be the first time. But I put it under the category of “picking your battles.” To me it isn’t worth having an escalating argument with him over the relative merits of “Ocean Surf.”