I’ve had a day of mixed emotions today. Friday is my favourite day of the week as I have art class with a group of friends in the morning. This morning though I had a meeting after assembly with our principal and Beth’s aide which I was dreading and had me in tears, even before I got in there.
Last night our principalÂ phoned me after school. Beth had been at Sensational Kids so had had the day off and her aide had been organising things in the classroom to make Beth’s time there a bit easier on her.Â The aideÂ had been away with a broken ankle for some weeks and when she came back she had observed Beth in a different light. Sort of when people tell you how tall your child has gotten though you haven’t necessarily noticed yourself. The aide had had a talk with our principal and with Beth’s teacher and said that she thinks that Beth has got severe depression. The awful thing was that as soon as our principal said it to me I saw it too.
Ever since Beth got her period her whole mood has changed. She’s gone from being a happy go lucky girl to a moody girl, not wanting to do anything or talk about anything. We put her on the pill to help her outbursts at school and for a while thought that this had perhaps helped. In a way it did as it made her aware of when her period was due and made it not as painful as it was when she first got it. It never really seemed to help with her behaviour at school however which was spiralling out of control.
Beth’s aide said that it’s quite common in teens with autism to get depression but it’s often not picked up because it’s put down to their autistic behaviours and adolescence. She said that Beth often appears lost and sad, two words that break my heart. Being a sufferer of depression myself it’s gut wrenching to think that she’s felt like this for the last year and I hadn’t picked up on it. They even told me that she’s lost her appetite at school and when thinking about it I realised that there are times when she doesn’t want to eat at home either.
The positive thing it that if it is depression then at least we can do something about it. Beth is on anti anxiety medication which helped immediately with her selective mutism, allowing her to speak in public without any fears. There may be a combination of anti anxiety/anti depression medication that will help her. I just want her to be happy. The aide has changed things around in Beth’s Disney Room, making a craft station for her and having everything on hand that they may need. They’re doing a bit of a roster for all the other kids in the classroom to spend time with Beth as she’s not even liking being with her friends at the moment which is so unusual for her. Once again it shows how amazing our school is, they could easily say to themselves that it wont be their problem next year but they want to make Beth’s last year a positive and happy one.
I’ve got an appointment to take Beth to our paediatrician a week on Tuesday to talk about our options. I was lucky to get in so early, they had a cancellation. I hope there’s something we can do, I hate to think of my baby feeling like she is.