Well, they lowered difficult child's Risperdal a few days ago from .5 mg twice a day to .25 mg twice a day to see if that would lessen/get rid of the side effects (sleepy, VERY blurred vision, and a vocal tic- clearing his throat every second). We've noticed that after a couple days on the lowered dose, he started to return to "normal"...less sleepy...slightly more "hyper"...a little more defiant/oppositionaly & irritable, and back to pushing peoples buttons and working angles, if you Know what I mean?. And the worst part, I think, is the working angles part, because just like when he was 2 years old and would "figure out" all of the behavior mods we & the preschool would put in place (reward charts, stop light systems, etc), I think he's working an angle to get out of the hosptial. I think the medication is helping him *just enough* that he can stay compliant there because of their VERY strict day to day structure...he can cope with having to take a shower every day if that means he's going to get out. His ONLY oppositionality with them lately is meals because they keep serving meals he won't eat...interestingly though...it's increasing to EVERY meal time it seems. So, I think he's working the angle...but I'm afraid on this lowered dose...with his now higher level of oppositionality, irritability, and manipulation, if you will, that when he gets back in the "real world" he's going to blow. Just my gut feeling. He's already telling us that he doesn't need the medication...that they said he'd outgrow his ODD by 8 (he's heard us say it to the Social Worker when we were forced to give his background in front of her), so now he's 8 and he can "control it"....he's in control and it's not the medications...so, I think he's internally prepping himself to refuse to take his medications when he gets home. He could surprise me, but I've put up with 8 years of this kid...I really think all this talk is his mental pep talk to himself. A build up for what's to come when he gets home. So...basically, I'm scared to death of what happens when he gets out. I'm not sure we're out of the woods yet...I'm more worried that he's figured out how to manipulate them into thinking we're out of the woods. I got a call from the SW today and the psychiatrist decided to switch him from the Risperdal to Zyprexa to hopefully alleviate the side effects (he only mentioned the sedation, though on the lower dose, he hasn't seemed sedated...I'm more concerned about the tic and the blurred vision) and they're looking at sending him home later this week...we're going in tomorrow (Tuesday) to go over discharge plans. I hope they're going to give us a game plan for if he refuses to take his medications, refuses to go to school, refuses to go to the day school, or goes back into crisis and starts trashing the house and attacking us again. I feel my anxiety and stress level rising by the minute. I just hope when they send him home that he's truly ready to come home and not just putting on a good show.