Thanks for the bump. I have been so busy today that this is the first chance I have had to respond.
WannaBEanRN, I can totally relate to taking forever to get the right diagnosis. Not only did it take a long time to have him diagnosed with ts, but then we had to go through various trials with the meds. We would start out with little amounts and then by the time we would get to a regular dose we would realize that we would have to switch to something else. We have had IEPs since he was in 1st grade. I am glad you know about your rights because you are right that the school will get away with whatever they think they can. I am lucky because my mother married an attorney (her second marriage after my father). After he retired, he started working CASE work so that he would learn more about Anthony's (my son) situation and be able to help. He always goes over the IEPs with us and has even driven down to attend the meetings a couple of times. You should see how the teachers and administrators straighten up when he is in the room too. They are actually pretty good even when he isn't there, but definately more alert with an attorney present. Plus, since he is my step-father, he doesn't even charge us at all. The good news is that you do learn little things over time. Sometimes they don't work forever and you need to change to something new, but at least you learn to be very flexible.
mommythegr8, what you thought about ts is so common. That is all they show in the media most of the time. In actuality, it is less than 1% of the people who have ts that show that symptom. As I am sure you know, anything with syndrome in the name is just a group of symptoms that can't be labelled as anything else. Each person with ts is different than others and even different from themselves from day to day. Usually, there is a period of difficulty when the child is first diagnosed. Once things stabilize, there is a brief period where things aren't as bad. Then when puberty hits, all bets are off again. That is where we are again. Supposedly, when the hormones start to settle again things get better again. One important thing to remember is if your son has OCD, it can actually end up being a good thing when he becomes an adult. There are famous sports players and actors and very successful people in other fields that owe their success to the drive that accompanies the OCD. Also, while it is a sad book in some ways, it is also inspiring due to the ignorance and increased difficulties associated with the time and setting, "Icy Sparks" is something I would recommend you read if you haven't already. Another one is "The Rescue" by Nicholas Sparks. Get your kleenex ready while you read though. As for how he presented, it was a number of tics and inability to concentrate. We eventually saw a NP who asked questions for about 3 hours and then saw a pediatric psychitrist/ neurologist who made the diagnoses. He is now taking BuSpar for anxiety and Risperdal for OCD. His only tic right now is that when he gets tired or anxious, he starts looking up and has a hard time stopping. We have taught him to focus on his index finger for a few minutes and that usually snaps him out of it. Another thing that in the past has helped, believe it or not, has been just a bit of cooled down coffee. The caffiene tends to have the reverse effect of kids with ts than what would happen with other kids. It seems to help them get back in focus. Just a couple of things to discuss with the psychiatrist. Of course, the meds your son will take will depend entirely on his individual situation.
Achoo!, my son also has been labelled "ed". He has been going to a special school where he has counseling available and less kids per teacher. He has made so much progress that he is now being slowly integrated into a regular high school. Of course, with everything else it can sometimes be one step forward and two steps back from time to time. Just remind yourself that his emotions are his emotions and not yours. I would get myself sick from feeling his emotions too much at times. Also, the very best thing I have ever done is time outs. It is important for you and him. He can be in a quieter place that has less distractions to upset him and you can have some distance. There would be times that Anthony would get even more upset at first when I would send him to his room, but it would never last long and then he would be able to get in control of himself. They even use this technique of seperating him from the class at school to a quiet place now and it has helped there too. They just get overstimulated and can't process sometimes.
To all of you, thank you so much for replying. I am sorry about the length of this post, but I could probably write a book from everything I have learned from being Anthony's mother. Once when asked what college degree I had, I responded that I have majored in my son. Another thing for all of you to keep in mind is that kids like ours have difficulties in some areas, but are usually exceptionally intelligent and caring. I know Anthony has some amazing qualities that I just love about him. Keep in touch and let me know if anything happens to any of you that you want to just vent or bounce ideas about or whatever.