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Great Days! (May 02, 2010 - 6:01 a.m.)

A little more than a month later, and there is good new to report.

The first is kind of bittersweet. The dog mentioned in the previous entry, Tigger, got away again the next week. The only thing I can figure out is that he managed to squeeze underneath the gate in our fence. The hole is not that big, so I'm not sure how he did it. Nevertheless, he was, once again, lost.

Around 4:30 the NEXT day (I think...memory is fuzzy, now), I got a call from a guy who had found Tigger on his front porch, covered in mud and shivering. He took him in, cleaned him up and then called us. There was a message on the phone when I got home from picking up Stephanie. The man actually sounded disappointed when I told him who I was.

We agreed to meet at a local convenience store. After talking to Christi and Stephanie, we agreed to see if the man wanted to keep Tigger. I took his papers with me to the store. When we met up, the guy recognized our car...turns out he lives right around the corner from us. We could have walked to each others' houses! Anyway, he happily said that they would like to keep Tigger. I warned him that Tigger had resisted house-training, but if they had a little more time to work on it, maybe he would come around. So...kind of sad, but happy ending. And honestly? Duke, our older Scotty, hasn't missed him one bit. And the cats definitely have not missed him. So I think we are all better off.

Now for Stephanie news.

At the time of the last report, we had just started giving her the enzymes. January turned out to be a pretty good month, but February was not so good. Spotty, at best. I don't recall any super-serious meltdowns or tantrums, but it was still stressful. During that time, the pysch doctor wanted to increase the dosage of Adderall to twice a day at 10 mg each. We tried that for about a week or so. Shortly before Spring Break, in March, we dropped the Adderall completely. Hang the doctor, this stuff just wasn't working. We kept trying to get him to explain to us how a drug that is supposed to increase focus is good for an autistic person who hyper-focuses on everthing. Adderall is indicated for ADHD. We have a good friend at church whose daughter takes it and they have great results. But Stephanie has NEVER been diagnosed ADHD. Heh. If you know her, you know there is nothing "hyperactive" about her at all!

We were still continuing the enzyme treatment, which she said was helping her with digestive issues, and I still had not given up on it helping her behavioral issues.

From March until today, May 2, there have maybe been 3 days that could be said to not be "great." And, during those few days, she was not feeling well, physically. The worst of those just happened to be the day of her last psych appointment. (Incidentally, he didn't object to our cutting out the Adderall and agreed to leave everything alone for now.) Since that day, there have been "smiley faces" on every single day of the calendar!

I am dropping her off and picking her up at the front of the school, now, where all the "normal" kids drop off and pick up. That was at her request. She no longer has to be escorted out by one of her teachers. Last week, she endured the state appointed torture known as TAKS tests. She had to stay about 30 minutes late for math and science, but finished the history one before lunch! On the math day, she did "shut down" for a time, but actually recovered! This is monumental! Last year, there would have been NO recovery from a "shut down."

And the most recent milestone happened this past Friday night. She went to a youth lock-in at church. She stayed all night.

We are so proud of her and her accomplishments. We understand (albeit not very well) how difficult this condition must be for her. Is it the enzymes? Is it the stopping of Adderall? Is it the Risperdal? Who knows? Yes. Maybe all of the above. I choose to believe that the enzymes have been a major player in this journey. And one of the reasons for that is that, at one point, we allowed cheese back into her diet, and had no adverse reactions to it.

Sometime this summer, I'm going to get really brave and let her have some ice cream.

TTFN, y'all!

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