To start, I want to make it clear that I am pro psychotropic drugs for any person, including children, that need them. GB has Bipolar I with psychotic features, as well as ASD and FASD. When she is stable on the right medication her joy is infectious. I know she will be on medication for the rest of her life and I am grateful that there are medications that work for her. My feeling about Hope and medication are different.
Hope is not Bipolar, ADHD, FASD, or ASD. Hope is RAD. Since all the other disorders were eliminated, one by one, by seeing various medical professionals, the goal has been to help Hope heal, and ultimately have her medication free. When she came to us, the first thing we eliminated was clonodine. That left us with .75 mg of Risperidal a day. We have gradually reduce that over the last four months and now Hope is only getting .25 mg a day. Until she spoke to her first adoptive family (AKA, The Texas Parents), she was doing OK on the reduced dose of Risperdal. Since then, she is back to long rages again.
Last night, at gymnastics, Hope raged in the waiting room. In the almost an hour it took for The Dad to get to us from work, I manged to restrain her and keep her from hurting anybody but me. When The Dad showed up to take over, I was bloody, my arms were swollen, and I had bruises all over. I gave her .5 mg Risperidal last night and it still took her 1 1/2 hours to go to sleep. The Dad wants to go back to Hope getting .25 mg after school and .5 mg Risperidal at night.
I understand his feelings. I look beat up today and looked even worse last night. BUT, before that phone call, we could contain Hope on .25 mg of Risperdal and were contemplating eliminating it completely. And that is my dilemma. Hope’s issued are caused by trauma- trauma she is not responsible for and should have never happened. GB will always be Bipolar I… Hope can heal and have healthy relationships. Medication is a given for GB. Medication for Hope appears to be about controlling her behavior.
I have never believed in using medication for the sole purpose of controlling a child’s behavior. So now there is a decision; to medicate or not. What is in Hope’s best interests?