Going back to the beginning of September, we had a few issues with Blake. First, we started noticing that he seemed to not be hearing very good. He was asking "what" a lot. A few days after school started, his teacher emailed me and stated she had concerns about his hearing. So we went to the pediatrician. Turns out he had fluid in his ears. I also mentioned to the doctor that he breathes quite loud and raspy at night. The doctor thought this could be related to the ears. Scheduled a hearing test just to be sure. Hearing test came back normal. The doctor prescribed Flonase and Zyrtec to clear up the fluid in his ears and any congestion. He needed to be on these for 4 to 6 weeks. No serious issue. We were grateful.
After the first week of school, we were contacted by Blake's teachers telling us Blake has been refusing to do his work and has just had a bad attitude. I also had noticed that he seemed a bit more mouthy lately. He always seems to have a difficult time adjusting to school in the Fall, so we all thought that was the issue. I had a good talk with him explaining that he had to do his schoolwork and be respectful to his teachers. We were hoping things would improve in a week or two. I was still a bit concerned because his behavior had improved so much during the Summer. He was respecting authority and tutoring went exceptionally well.
Over the next two weeks, things were not improving. At the very end of the third week of school, I received a phone call from his teacher and an email from his skills support teacher. Blake had a major meltdown - kicking, screaming, hitting desks, flailing temper tantrum, all over something minor. During his flailing, he hit his teacher. After two teachers were able to calm him down, he was sent to his skills support teacher and had another tantrum while talking to her about the first one. He received a "write up" at school which meant he had to apologize to his teachers, fill out a questionnaire on making good choices, and miss two recesses. A school "write up" was a new experience for me.
I was shocked at his behavior. Blake had not had one of these tantrums in almost two years. He had several of them during his first few months home. After Bruce returned home from work, we had an initially very calm talk with him. We asked him if anything was bothering him at school. No issues that we could decipher. We explained his school consequences to him, and he accepted them fairly well. We had talked a head of time and decided that he would lose all privileges for the weekend at home. We felt he needed to know that this behavior is not acceptable. When we told him about his consequence at home, the gloves came off. Another major 30 minute long tantrum ensued. He finally calmed down and the rest of the weekend went fairly well.
Bruce and I were still concerned about this drastic behavior change, as were his teachers. We just didn't think it could be related to starting school. We began reviewing any other changes that went on with him during that first week of school, since this is when the change in behavior started. Then Bruce asked if I thought it could be his medication. I double checked and we started him on the Flonase and Zyrtec shortly after the school year began. I went on the Internet to look at potential side affects of Zyrtec. Now Nicole had taken Zyrtec at some point when she was younger and Emery had also taken it hto clear up fluid in her ears awhile back. Never had any issues. I immediately found several people who said that their child had severe reactions to Zyrtec, including dramatic demeanor changes and violent outbursts. We immediately discontinued the Zyrtec. We had absolutely no issues with Blake the following week at school. His attitude was very good and he was doing his work as requested. At home, his behavior and respectfulness were every bit as good as they were during the Summer. Whew! I was very glad to have that resolved. We have not had any behavior issues with Blake since. I guess you never know how any medication is going to affect your child. I know we will not be giving him any Zyrtec anymore. Grateful we are back to normal in this house!