Miss Katie is doing well. We took her out last Sunday and she wanted me to take this photo of her. She's sees young women taking photos of themselves and each other all the time at the mall and she is a young woman, so she insisted I take a photo.
The last year was rough on her. Last April she had a few very bad meltdowns, one which including attacking me, another, attacking a caregiver. I didn't know what to do so I took her to emergency. There is not really any good psychiatric care for people with developmental disabilities. After eight hours we finally met a wonderful psych resident who recommended valproic acid as a mood stabilizer and after eleven hours, we left emergency with a prescription for valproic acid.
I can't say enough good things about the drug. It has dramatically changed Katie's life. She is no longer anxious, or rarely, and when she does become anxious, it is short lived. Her attention span has increased greatly and she is trying to fingerspell people's names and tries numbers as well. Because she's more relaxed and has quit attacking people, she only goes into her wheelchair when she's tired. The cape is gone, except when she's on DATS, because of an incident that happened six years ago. She attacked a bus driver, pulled their hair. When we wander around the mall with her in wheelchair, legs crossed, she holds up her hand and wants to high five everyone. She hugs freely as well. A lot of people who work at that mall know her.
She's more like her old self again. She's happy, smiling and enjoying life. Her sense of humor has returned and she laughs often and hard. She gets so excited at times that her body vibrates but she doesn't tip over into anxiety anymore, she's just excited and then it passes.
We were at the mall on Sunday and there was an International Judo competition going on. She's not a fan of conflict but when I explained that the contestants were "playing" she was okay with it. She sat in her chair and watched, mezmerized. She loves watching people. When we had to continue on to meet the big guy for lunch, she asked if we could go back to watch the fighting. I said later and she remembered that and held me to it.
During lunch the big guy asked if she wanted to go to the petting zoo and Miss Katie looks at me and signs fighting, later. I started laughing because I had already forgotten about that promise but she didn't. I kept my word and she made her choice, Judo over animals.
On the way home in the car she asked me to ask her caregivers if she could go and watch the swimmers at the nearby pool, so I did.
She's learning and growing and it blows my mind that after years of regression that she is now blossoming. I am thankful.