Diagnosis: Tourettes--5th grade presentation

Just when you think you are settling into accepting a medical diagnosis that may change how your tween reacts in middle school, you show up at his middle school family fun night and observe him.

Quiet, sullen, alone and seemingly ignored around a crowd of energetic, happy and enthused tweens. Tears freely surface as I reflect on the other occasions (too many to list) that this observation has occurred.

No one knows their children like their mother and I have had the privilege to learn so much about my third son by participating in his medical appointments and therapies we have chosen to support to help him understand and deal with his tics and lack of attention.

He is honest, caring, capable, determined, talented, observant, and loved by so many--just not kids that attend his middle school!

Doesn't every parent want their kid to be accepted, loved, and included in school classes and activities?

In 5th grade, several classmates have inquired (some in more teasing and demeaning ways) as to why he does not stop his behaviors because it is annoying to them. He will stand in front of those students and explain to them all about his "syndrome" and educate them as to why he can't control his tics.

The Tourettes Syndrome Association and our psychiatrist provided us with a thorough presentation that is kid friendly. (contact me to learn more about the PowerPoint presentation)

My son says he is RELIEVED to be telling his peers and not nervous.

Here are other links to therapies we used during our son's elementary school years:

Habit Reversal Therapy with Dr. Ed Christopherson

Here is the list we used during our sessions of Habit Reversal Therapy
1.  Send the tics to prisoners in China
2.  Focus on "visual image" when anxiety arises--St. Louis Arch--in your mind focus on one very detailed part of the picture--car on bridge
3.  When urge occurs, train the muscles to redirect--put tongue on top of mouth instead of outside of mouth

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

(this therapy proved most beneficial to me and not as useful to my son)

Education and understanding is key to this syndrome and it is my hope to continue to do this with his peers, teachers, and leaders.

The is the reason I have opened this dialogue on my blog with hopes of providing a bright future for my son. He is a delightful boy with so much potential. Even though there is the hope that his tics will disappear into adulthood, he still needs to survive adolescence and all the challenges and trials that come with maturing.

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