Friday, July 4, 2008

Attacked In My Sleep

Early this morning (and I’m talking early), about 1:00 am or so, my daughter came into my room and attacked me in my sleep--YES, that’s right! This is not too unusual! I know, you’re probably thinking--OMG, right? What I mean is that it’s not too unusual for Meghan to get SO frustrated that she comes after ME--and only me (thanks goodness not her brother) and pulls my hair, pinches, bites, and bruises the living heck out of me. It’s never pleasant, certainly, but 1:00 in the morning while I’m sleeping--nice and cozy in my bed--how traumatic, would you say!? Fending her off can be, at least, a few minutes or until she realizes that I’ve had enough and takes a break. This is my opportunity to run like hell or try to calm her out of the situation/conflict.

Why does she do this, you ask? Well mostly because she has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)—not uncommon for people with autism—and she tends to get SO focused on something, usually something very little, like how her underwear “feels” on her body, or how her clothes “feel” when she puts them on. I know this might sound strange to those who don’t understand extreme OCD, but it’s what we live with for the moment.

This is one of the biggest reasons why she is going to a residential school--in two weeks. We have been on a “kind of “ waiting list for the school of our choice--and she got in! Yahoo! Here, they will work with her OCD—try medications (possibly) and be able to administer and monitor her on what works best for treating her OCD. Our neurologist once told us that treating OCD with medications for children with autism has about a 30% success rate; we will see! The other reasons for her needing to go to a residential school is so that she can have teacher STAFF around her at all times; they will maintain an extremely structured schedule and environment for her (obviously, much more than we can do at home) and involve her in learning a vocation, so that she can work with a job coach in the future. Her future looks brighter! But beating her mom has got to stop, yeah?

By the way, she wanted fresh underwear—fresh from the dryer—the other 100 pair in her basket were not good enough for her and she wanted the ones in the dryer. And 1:00am is the time that she decided she wanted to change her underwear. Could she not have just nudged me?

Now off to the donut shop to buy a dozen to stuff my feelings!! Hey, I could be a drinker!


Bonnie Sayers (autismfamily) said...

I believe my 13 year old also has OCD and maybe even the younger one. I tried to get a dx but was told by regional center that it is part of the autism spectrum.

What meds are your kids on, if any? My 12 year old is on Geodon for about 4 years and prior to that Risperdal.

My 12 year old sleeps in same bed, just to be on the safe side.

Holly Nappi Collins said...

Hi Bonnie,

My daughter in not currently on medication for her ODC. This is something that her new school will help us evaluate--so far we have gone without meds. I will keep you informed on this subject, however.

Have you had success with the medications that your 12 year old is on/has been on?