Monday 15th November, 2010

It’s Monday afternoon now. When we last spoke I had been to see Dr Mark and told that he wanted me to see our paediatrician in regards to Beth’s dreadful behaviour since getting her period. I couldn’t get in until the 21st of January so I called and made an appointment with Dr Jeff who runs the practice where we go. He’s very difficult to get in to see as he is the head doctor there and is very experienced and just wonderful with his patients. As he is more senior I wondered if he would feel happier about making such a decision about Beth.

My appointment was for 2pm on the Thursday. I love going to see Jeff because he usually gives you several alternatives to what you can do and explains in detail what each one entails. I explained the issue with Beth and agreed that she had been almost depressed since getting her period 3 months prior, not her happy self at all. While putting an 11 year old on the pill certainly isn’t something that I want to do, I hoped that we could try something for the 2 months until my appointment with the paediatrician. Jeff as usual was excellent and said we had 3 alternatives. Firstly he said he could call the paed, stick his hand down the phone, grab him and let him know that no, 21st of January just wasn’t satisfactory, we need an answer now! I liked that answer! Secondly we could try to make an appointment to see the endocrynologist who we had been seeing on and off for years. Jeff originally suggested that we go there as Beth is (and always has been) such a tall girl. I told him that we had only seen him last year and that he was not concerned about her height, in fact that she had nearly stopped growing. I asked Jeff if it was true that there was a correlation between girls getting their periods and stopping growing and he said that there was. The third solution was the Jeff decides to put Beth on the pill himself. He did have another one which in his words was “suck it and see” but as he didn’t factor it in his number alternatives I chose not to even think of it!

Jeff asked me what I thought. I explained that while I fully appreciated Mark’s reticence at putting Beth on the pill, if we tried anything after January we wouldn’t necessarily see the difference it would make in the school situation. She’d be in a new class at the beginning of the year and may be acting out anyway. At least if we tried something now I will know when we go to the paed if it has worked or not. We can then see what course of action to take. Jeff agreed and said that he had no qualms putting Beth on the pill. As he pointed out, she has been well developed for quite some time and has the body of a 13 or 14 year old. Therefore we decided we would trial the pill. I know that it’s not what any mother would want for her 11 year old but the big picture is that she’s not a happy girl and consequently she’s making our life not a happy one. She finds it difficult enough to understand her feelings so it must be so awful for her not knowing what is going on in her mind and in her body. It may not be that it’s hormonal after all and we’ll have to think of something else but I think it’s worth a try.

Friday was Bridie’s 6th birthday so we went out for dinner to our fave pizza restaurant, La Collina. Saturday was meant to be the school fete but due to the forecasts predicting flooding it was cancelled. Beth hadn’t understood properly as, at Bev and John’s in the afternoon, she came out demanding that we go to the fete. It was 4.30 and it took a while to calm her down, she wasn’t happy at all. She cried most of the way home, insisting that we turn the car around and go to the fete. It’s heartbreaking to see her like that. If I put myself in her situation and she really didn’t get that it wasn’t on, it must have been so disappointing for her that it wasn’t.

I had a HAGS (happy autism group support) meeting the morning. A few of us have done stories about our educational experiences and problems. Mine in particular was about the hope to get Beth into the autism specific high school. We’ve drafted various emails with information to many many politicians and to newspapers and news type tv shows. Surprisingly we haven’t heard from as many as we thought. Still, the local paper came and took a photo of a few of us along with a story. We weren’t allowed to smile as it was a serious topic. I hope it does some good, something needs to be done with this near epidemic of kids with autism.

About Sarah

Mother of an autistic child wanting to write about my personal experiences
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