Friday, April 18, 2008

Melatonin

Today I took Nick back to see Dr F. We had a lengthy discussion on how Nick is progressing. The words "Classic Autism" were thrown into the conversation. Basically it means that if Dr. Leo Kanner himself had seen Nick back in the 1940's; he would have diagnosed him with autism. Classic Autism is on the severe end of the spectrum, and comes with such things as Mental Retardation. I, for one, do NOT think Nick is mentally retarded. We will not give up on therapies of any sort. We will NOT give up on Nicholas. He wants to be seen and heard. I knew in the back of my mind that he fit more of the classic autism than anything else, but just hearing a doctor say it was very different. But, Doctors don't know everything. The brain is still very much a mystery, and autism is even more of a mystery. They don't know our Nick!

That being said; we did have some issues that need to be resolved. We started Nick on Melatonin tonight. Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the body to regulate sleep cycles. Kids with autism often do not produce enough of this hormone; and that leads to erratic sleep. Nick would spend sometimes 2 hours in bed stimming off toys, light switches(we had to unscrew all the light bulbs in their room-he figured out the switch cover and would constantly turn the lights off and on)or anything else he could find. Then, once he did fall asleep, he would not stay asleep. You can imagine how much a sleep deprived brain could function-not very well. It affects the short-term memory; so he is essentially having to re-learn everything from day to day. We are hoping the Melatonin makes recouperative sleep a possibility for Nick. This has been going on for a while, and we decided it was time to pursue options. We started him on 1mg tonight, and Dr F said we could go up to 6mg if needed. Wish us luck! Wish us SLEEP!!

Another thing we did was give Dr F a stool sample. NIck is still plagued about 1-2 times a week with mushy poo's. We want to make sure he is not having troubles digesting his food. We should know the results in a week or so. We also put in a referral for a visit with a psychologist. They are supposedly going to help us potty-train Nick. We shall see! It would be wonderful if he were to be out of diapers by summer!

Other than that; not much else is going on. I am also starting him back on Cod Liver Oil. Fish oils are very good for the brain-so we hope to see ANY improvement.

3 comments:

Michelle said...

That's right - Doctors do NOT know everything! YOU know more that they, because you live with Nick and see what he is like all day long.
And, right again, you have no reason to give up on him. You have to keep fighting alongside him to help him achieve to be the best that he can be - in other words - see him grow to his full potential.

I hope the melatonin works. We went through a time with Dylan where he could not sleep either. We were Rx'ed Atarax. It's nice being able to sleep...I hope the BM tests are telling of something so that they can be remedied. Good luck with all this!

Amy said...

Thanks Michelle! We are going to have to increase his dose-1mg was not enough :( He still woke up at about 2am; and was awake when I went in his room at 7am. Who knows if he actually went back to sleep at 2am?

WherestheBox said...

Melatonin has been awesome for us. We are now at 2 mg for our son as well. (He is also on GFCF and Feingold diets, which helps him all around, including with sleep.)

I hope you see some good results with it!