Daily Archives: August 13, 2010

A Taste of 6th Grade

John took Lily to 6th grade orientation today.  Sounds like it went well.  She seemed excited and confident when she was telling me about it tonight.  When I left this morning, she ran out to the car and told me that she was scared to go to orientation.  I told her that was normal and reminded her that her dad was probably nervous about it too.  He doesn’t like new situations either.  She wanted to review where everything was at school, so we drew a map and talked it through.  

John said she remembered where everything was and showed him all her classrooms.  She’ll be in the two Gifted and Talented classrooms for most of the day, which we’re hoping eliminates some of the classroom-switching chaos.  As a twice exceptional kid, Lily doesn’t do well with transitions and change, especially when she’s overwhelmed in a loud, crowded situation.  

Lily practiced opening her locker and saw a lot of her classmates she knows from elementary school. Dad said the orientation was crowded and sweaty and loud, but that Lily handled it really well–didn’t get overwhelmed.  Help from the new meds?  Can’t tell yet.  But she did seem less tired tonight.

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Sleepy Pete

Summer’s almost over, time to make yet another attempt to dial in Lily’s medication.   We haven’t found the right meds yet.  We’re been trying since 2nd grade and now she’s going into 6th.  We’ve tried almost every kind and have come to the conclusion that stimulants just don’t seem to work for her.  Some of them suck all the personality out of her;  she withdraws into a hoody with dark circles under her eyes.  Others seem to make her more irritable and moody.  All of them take away her appetite and make it even more difficult for her to sleep.  

Lily’s never been a great sleeper.  As an infant she needed lots of movement to fall asleep–rocking, walking, jiggling and once she finally fell asleep she was easily awakened by the slightest noise.  Friends would describe taking their baby to parties with them and letting the kid sleep in front of the speakers.  We had to tip toe around the house to keep our baby asleep.  

As a toddler, we worked hard to establish a regular bed time with minimal parental book-reading and drink-getting.  Eventually, Lily was easy to put to bed, but it took awhile for her to finally fall asleep.  She is still that way and has a hard time settling down at night.  I’ve heard that a lot of kids and adults like Lily have a hard time turning their brains off at night.

This leads me back to Lily’s medication.  After meeting with her psychiatrist, we decide to try another direction, a non-stimulant drug called Intuniv.  Intuniv is a long acting form of Tenex (guanfacine). Although Tenex is primarily used to treat high blood pressure, it is often used to treat children with ADHD.  Lily’s doctor thinks that could help with the anxiety of starting 6th grade.  Lily has been on it a few days and has been sooo drowsy.  I come home from work and she can hardly keep her eyes open until bed time.  Hmmm… we’ll have to keep a close eye on that.

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