Saturday, June 5, 2010

Those Magic Little Pills

Now I've got you thinking, haven't I? Could be so many types: anti-depressants (yes, been close to that), anti-anxiety meds for Boy 1, sleeping tablets for the household...

So what does the title refer to?


Miracle pills, at least in our case. Okay, here is the story whilst you try and stop giggling, thinking Madmother has finally lost the plot.

Many years ago, when Boy 1 was in Grade 1 (aged 7) and after we had trialled Dexamphetamine (urgh - at paed's insistence, not a good result) and dabbled in the Mannabear culture with little success, we decided to give fish oil a go. After a disastrous attempt to get Boy 1, with all his sensory and food issues running rampantly high, to try a couple of liquids (thinking we'd minimise the gag problem - aah, wrong) we resorted to chewable capsules. Unfortunately the covering they were in had some sort of colouring that sent him off the planet. Our final recourse was to give the Efalex capsules a go, thinking he would refuse to swallow them. Boy 1 took one look at those shiny gold crystal orbs, and pronounced them to be magic brain tablets. Of course, it greatly helped that one of his obsessions was/is crystals. Without a protest he swallowed six, YES six of the soft capsules every morning. At the end of the twelve week compulsory double dose (three is what is recommended for NT children), we decided to continue with it. I had no doubt that it helped a little, but was still wondering how much was all the other intervention therapies, him growing up, and how much the fish oil really contributed.

If you had asked me in that first twelve months about it, I'd have answered: "Yeah, I think it helps a little." Then we went on holidays just after Christmas. And I forgot the capsules. Thought meh, I'll grab some in a few days, and within 24 hours my child had morphed into what I call the TT (Today Tonight- current affairs show here in Oz) ASD horror. Meltdowns erupted for nothing. He was moody, angry, short-fused, volcanic. I ran to the nearest pharmacy and grabbed a bottle of the golden remedy. And never doubted again the validity of the way they helped my son function.

I discussed this incredibly fast deterioration with a pharmacist once. Not our regular chemist, but another. Asked him why it was so quick. If these products took twelve weeks to build up enough in a child's system to have effect, why did my son became horrible within a couple of hours of missing his morning ritual?
His answer was that a study had just been completed into this very thing. Most people were helped by fish oil, but that a small percentage of special or high needs kids (it was around 20%) reacted incredibly well, but also were the ones whose bodies shed the products remarkably quickly.

I must admit I feel a bit silly not thinking of increasing the dose as puberty hit. It has only been a fortnight, and those two extra capsules of a morning have him balanced again. I feel so lucky that he is one of the blessed 20%, and that these pills really, absolutely without a doubt, help him focus and calm so much. Worth a try if you haven't. Oh, and different brands/blends work for different kids. Give it a shot.


Jen said...

I have another brand in the cupboard and I forget to give them to K. I will have to set an alarm to give them to him daily and see if we see any improvements. Thanks for sharing this MM

Veronica said...

I might have to give this a go with Amy. Goodness knows anything that helps to balance her out is going to be a good thing.

Epskee said...

My sproglet is ADHD and ODD, not aspy as you know, but I agree wholeheartedly - FISH OIL is almost the miracle cure!

And I can tell when he hasnt taken his for a day or so as well.

Funnily enough, I have always said I would be one of those mums on ACA (just as bad as TT) when he reaches 10-12yrs old, being paraded to the country as someone who has an "out of control child"