Friday, February 26, 2010

A Different Child

After just five days on Prozac, one Ben Schaefer is a different child.

Now I know you mother-types out there are probably horrified, and believe me, this was NOT an easy decision.  But since about Day One, he has been a moody, sullen and unhappy child.  Yes, you're right.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, but in the last six months, he's become increasingly disagreeable, difficult to manage, to enjoy, to communicate with, to mother, and, last but not least, a little bit scary.  His relationships with his teachers, what few friends he has, his family--are all combative, guarded, mistrustful, defensive, and antagonistic.  It's all been very difficult for a mother to watch.  His behavior was affecting the whole family, coloring the atmosphere of our house--and I finally decided to do something about it.  After five months of counseling, his counselor referred us to a physician who could prescribe medication.  She talked with Ben, with me...and wrote him a 'starter prescription'.

After just five days, the resulting changes have been, in short, phenomenal. 

For one, he now takes 'no' for an answer.  ["Mom, I don't want milk."  "You have milk first and then you can have a pop."  "Okay."]  He listened to and participated in conversations going on around him.  He accepted interruption during said conversations.  At the grocery, he came running when I barked.  He tried to help us problem-solve a transportation issue for tomorrow.  As he is a low talker, I frequently have to say, "Louder, Ben!" when he's in the back seat of the car.  Usually he gets mad and says, "Just forget it, Mom!!!" or he purposely repeats himself perhaps even more quietly.  Not tonight.  He spoke up with what he had to say.  I don't think I've heard an edgy tone, a contradiction, or any arguing all day.  His countenance is relaxed, almost at peace.  It's all I can do to keep my mouth from dropping open with each interaction.  

Give it a couple more days and I'll try something that...two weeks ago....would have have rendered him immediately oppositional--I'll check his homework.  THEN, we'll see.  Say a prayer.  Keep your fingers crossed...