Several people have asked me for a follow up blog post on how Cephas is doing and what we found out from our brain scan. If you haven’t read my previous post on our adoption journey with Cephas, you can read it here: http://houstoncertifiedmidwife.com/our-adoption-story-and-rad-journey/. Things do not seem to get any easier with Cephas. Our summer with him was quite intense. We came to a point that we needed to find him some place to go for help. We drove to an interview in Fort Worth, another in Round Rock and countless phone calls and we continued to hit dead ends. No homes want to take him. Every one says the same thing, he is much too severe. At this point, about our only option is a Residential Treatment Center. We are still in the process of getting him SSI and getting this Medicaid stuff fixed. No possible way we could ever dream to afford an RTC as they run hundreds to thousands of dollars a day. We have definitely felt pushed into a wall. For the sanity of every member of the family, we came to the decision that Cephas had to go to school. For a lot of reasons, public school is the absolute last option. Several private schools did not work out. Thankfully, Cephas got into Waller Christian Academy and started school in August. We all enjoy the much quieter, peaceful days Monday through Friday. The weekends are horrid. Grade wise, Cephas is doing well. Behavioral wise is another story. He has not be afraid to show his true colors here and there after the initial honeymoon phase. It is unfortunate, but we have already had to deal with stealing, lying, arguing and anger at school. I am praying he does not get kicked out of school. In August, I took Cephas to a therapist who was specialized to do Quantitative EEG’s. We had been looking and considering beginning neurofeedback therapy with Cephas to see if it would help his behaviors. (Read more about therapy and RAD here: http://www.centerforbrain.com/conditions/attachment-disorder/) The brain scan was at 11am, the most optimal time to read brain activity. To start, she put this cap on Cephas’ head that looked like a shower cap and gooped up the holes. She then attached the wires before beginning the reading. She had Cephas stare at an object in front of him with his eyes open for ten minutes. Then she had him sit still in the chair for ten minutes with his eyes shut. She was alarmed by the reading on the computer from the start. She encouraged us to have the results to sent to neurology to see if a neurologist could diagnose any trauma to the brain. It was apparent just watching the screen that something wasn’t right in the way his brain functions. Two long months passed, and I finally got to go back in and get the results. It was very discouraging. The encouragement is that we did the brain scan and we can see that we aren’t crazy. He really has an insane amount of issues. The results gave us little hope for help… and help is what we really need. I will do my best to explain. It definitely was a ton of information. Initially, the therapist discussed Cephas’ ratios of alpha, beta, delta, gamma and theta. Cephas’ brain produces way too much theta, particularly in the left parietal lobe, which means his brain does not think well. His brain can’t problem solve or put the whole picture together or understand complex ideas well. Over the years we have had Cephas on multiple mood stabilizers and anti-psychotics, but they never worked long. The therapist said never to put him on another psychotropic medication. Those medications cause theta production, which cause the brain to move slower. His brain already moves slower, so it goes to reason that he would have more manic out bursts on those sorts of medications. A big concern on the maps is that Cephas has two isolated “blobs” that are, for the most part non-functioning. One is in the frontal lobe and the other is in the occipital lobe. This plays a big part in his ability to reason, think causes and effect and his ability to learn. Neurology could come to no conclusion about things with our limited knowledge of his first four years. The unfortunate thing is with the drugs and abuse, there is no way for us to ever know what has caused these damages in his brain. Here is a couple of the images of his brain: All of the blue, particularly the light blue, is concerning. One really crazy thing that came about was the way Cephas’ brain speaks to itself. Here are the maps with his eyes open: His brain speaks to itself at a fairly normal speed so to say. It is about the only things that came out “normal.” However, when his eyes were shut: this is what happens: His brain goes crazy. It does not rest. It does not slow down. As long as we have had Cephas, he has never slept well. It looks like we have a reason for that. His brain becomes activated when he tries to rest. The notes I took while she talked was his brain fits classically with a child with RAD (thanks! I didn’t notice… I feel pretty cynical at this point when it comes to Cephas). He has high markers for anxiety and depression. We don’t currently see that, but she said it could come up as an adult. He lives in a constant state of a stage 3 sleep. He can’t make a decision. He is easily overwhelmed. His left side of the brain should move faster than the right. It moves considerably slower. This causes major issues. The synopsis, in plain English version, that I got is the following:
- He has trouble making sense of or managing information received through his five sense.
- If he cannot manage this information, they either become very agitated or shut down. (I wish he would shut down. Unfortunately, Cephas lives in a manic state. Either silly or angry.)
- He has a wave known as “Mu” present. This is a sign of numerous issues that could be an issue. I am still researching the significance of Mu waves.
- He is easily over aroused and has little ability to understand it, think about it and problem solve responses.
- It is a continual challenge for him to keep up what is going on around him and within him.
- He also has excess alpha which makes him have little motivation to do anything about his problems.
Basically, we have a ten year old that is stuck as a toddler. That can’t function beyond what a toddler can function at. It is tiring. Neurofeedback is a therapy that can help retrain the brain. Think of learning a new language. You have to go in for lessons regularly, but over time it gets easier. Neurofeedback is the same way. They have to have regular therapy sessions (2-3x a week) to retrain the brain. The problem with Cephas is there is a laundry list of things that need to be worked on. We were told RAD children are hard to help anyway, but the significance in his issues we would have to bring him in three times a week for up to 100 sessions before we would see a sparkle of change. On top if it, we would have to pick out ONE thing we want fixed on him to concentrate on for 100 sessions. I have felt very discouraged the last couple of months. We don’t have the money, time or energy to try another thing with Cephas that most likely won’t even help. We are still in prayer at what we should do. We have also considered cranio-sacral adjustments and/or acupuncture to see if it will help. We are in every way tired, and hoping the next step will be abundantly clear to us. Hope this update gives those interested the info they were looking for. We are always open to answer questions in regards to Cephas.