Empowered

Bug had one of his regularly scheduled appointments with his psychiatrist today. From the first time she met with Bug, she has always honored his input and opinion on his mental health. This had not been the case with his previous doctor, and hence the reason we dumped her.

The standard protocol for his appointments is that he meets with her first, they hang out for a bit, talking and playing. Then, when they're ready, I join them and the doctor and I chat while Bug plays, joining our conversations as needed.

This means that Bug has been an active advocate in his care, a crucial role for a person with special needs. He knows the purpose of medications he takes, along with side effects. He also makes the final call on whether or not to take medication, period. The medications he takes are meant to make his life easier, and if he doesn't feel that's the case, he has the ability to speak up and say ,"No Thanks."

Today, Bug made the decision to reduce a second medication (having eliminated one after we began unschooling). The side effects of many of these medications would make your heart stop. So, it has not been an easy choice to have him take them to begin with. The hope now is that he is maturing to a point where he can manage many of the challenges Asperger's and Tourette's present without the aid of all of the meds he's needed to date. I do hope this is the case, as the one he's chosen to eliminate is most likely responsible for the significant weight gain he's experienced this year (40+ pounds).

These transitions are never bump-free, but we manage through them. The nice thing about unschooling is that his current stress level is reduced significantly. As an unschooler, Bug is the driver of his learning. I am merely the mechanic who keeps the car running, occasionally assisting with navigation.

What a different world, where children are empowered to make choices, experience outcomes and know success and failure BEFORE adulthood. In some ways, it's the good ol' days, in others it's a whole new world. [Cue Little Mermaid Song Here.]