I've sat down to write this update so many times and then walked away, unable to put words down. We are living day to day and taking each hurdle as it comes - looking at the big picture of changes is really difficult for me still. All my time and energy have been thrown into readjusting to what has become our new normal.
We began weaning off arbaclofen and started adding racemic baclofen on June 9. We have been off arbaclofen since June 23 and on our current dose of baclofen since June 16. Current medication is 10mg of baclofen 3x per day.
We have seen good and bad with this change. The best part is we have not seen much regression of language. Ayden has actually added more words to his vocabulary in the past six weeks. The regression is seen in how often and when he is speaking. It's very difficult for him to initiate conversations or even simple requests now. He has a difficult time walking into another room to say hi to someone even. He's still able to isolate most of his sounds, when we can get him to sit still at least.
Which brings me to one of the biggest changes....focus. Sitting still. He quite literally cannot stop moving himself or something he is manipulating. Sitting down to read and/or work on writing has become near impossible. We were around 15-20 minutes right at the beginning of the summer and have now regressed to around 3-5 minutes. It has made things very challeninging for me. If I'm not occupying his time with productive things every single minute of the day he is stimming in some way or another.
Stimming has alos gotten much worse. Most of Ayden's day consists of him attempting to stim in some fashion. Spinning toys is the most prevalent of those, which is not surprising as he did it so much before. I find it interesting with the stimming that it is actually worse than it was pre-arbaclofen. I think this is mostly due to the fact that Ayden is older now and he's learning how to deal with these urges and anxiety he hasn't had to in months. It's a lot to cope with, and I see this as his way of handling it.
Onto the anxiety...oh the anxiety. It's prevalent in everything he does, everything we do. It's taking a lot more prompting and a lot less doing 'things'. Probably the most heartbreaking for me was to see how anxious he was when we went to the splash pad last weekend. We made sure to go at a time that wasn't too busy, and that did seem to help. He just couldn't run through it like he previously did. He played with some of the things on the edges, but for the most part hung back and just watched the other kids playing. Seeing him wanting to go do something he loves and just not being able to get his body to cooperate rips my heart in two.
We have watched fairly carefully over the past month or two and thankfully have seen a leveling out of these behaviors. That is, they are not getting better or worse. With this all of what we have been seeing, we decided to stop the baclofen. We don't believe it is helping him and if it is - the amount is much too small. We've been working closely with our clinic doctor and decided to try treating his anxiety and focus for now. Our goal is to have his medication stabilized for when school begins. Our hope is by focusing on those two issues, we will see improvements in other areas as well.
On Monday we began the process of weaning off racemic baclofen. The past few days were pretty horrible - it was much as I expected. Night waking, higher anxiety, more meltdowns, totaly disregulation... the poor kid is a mess. We will more than likely add his new medication starting next Monday when we drop his baclofen dose to 1x per day. This is going to put us on track for around 1 month on his new medication before school begins.