Oh that's right. I have a son with Tourette's.
You know, I have to smile when I realize I hardly ever post about Tourette's. This means that Pokemon Boy hasn't been manifesting TS much. At least, not in a physical way. And most of his issues related to his anxiety disorder are the kind of anxious foibles most 8 yr olds are dealing with. Maybe his are a smidge higher up on the drama scale because of personality, living with divorce, having a bad day. It's hard to say. And I am loathe to chalk every action or reaction up to "Oh, that must be the Tourette's."
But I thought I'd give you an update on how he's doing.
Pokemon Boy (aka: The Litigator, Mr. Attitude, The Certified Genius - all depending on the day and who you ask) has been having some physical tic-like things lately. God rocks. And I say this because his tics are nothing in the spectrum of what could be. I think I mentioned this in an earlier post. He has most of his repetitive actions happening in the face. The mouth, mostly. Right now he does this thing with his lower lip that I can't even do. Like, have you ever flipped your lower lip way down (I have to use my hand to do it) so that the inner part of the lip is showing? Does that make sense? Well, PB can do it by sticking the lower lip out and doing a smiling motion. And it just flips his lip down. Then he pops it back into place. It all happens in just a few seconds. But he usually does this quite a few times in succession. Maybe 3 or 4 times in a row, just a second or two apart. The other mouth thing has been less this week. Man, it's really hard to describe these things in words. And you know what? I can't. I'd have to post a video showing you and I don't feel like doing that in case he looks at this. But it's almost like he quickly bites the insides of both cheeks and then slowly pulls the cheek muscles back to normal. It's very quick and repeated a few times in a row.
Those are really the only things I notice. I actually think the lower lip thing resulted from some bad winter chapping of the skin right below his lower lip. I think it morphed into a repetitive motion for him. Last night he did it quite a few times in front of me and it was rather noticeable. So I just asked, "Hey, what's with the mouth? Anything going on?" He just said no and that was it. Sometimes he'll take that opportunity to tell me how it feels or if it bothers him. So this must not bother him. And that's great.
That's the physical. Like I said, not much. By itself, it's nothing you'd even really think about. So thank you, God!
Emotionally, I'm not really sure. He has a lot of anger lately. Some of his recent behavior reminds me of kids I've known that are more like 12. You know, that surly preteen stuff that signals, "Oh boy, here it comes." I told my mom, man, if this is any indication, the teen years are gonna be a LOT of work. But I refuse to pay into self-fullfilling prophecies. Nothing HAS to be. So my mom and I have started attacking this with prayer. I'm just asking God to show me what the anger is from. Show me what he needs. Show me how I can give him what he needs. I don't know if he just needs a guy around. He really thrives when men visit and spend time with him. I don't know if he just needs to be outside running himself ragged more. He and Lil'Bro are rather addicted to screens (TV, computer, friend's video games). But even when they're not doing screen time, they love indoor play. And as a single mom who is usually working, it's hard for me to take time out to get them outside. Our area is safe but not enough for me to send two little boys outside by themselves to play in the neighborhood. Or maybe it's the whole divorce thing. You just never know when and how that hits. So often he seems fine with it. And if that IS his issue? He's not saying so.
The good thing here is, last month, he asked to see his play therapist. Since I just got my severance check, 'tis time to make an appointment.
My never ending question remains: When do you chalk behavior up to a kid being a kid and when is it their bigger diagnosis at play? Thankfully, I don't really need to know. I just keep asking God to show me.
Oh, and here's a nice little example of Mr. Surley Pants: yesterday, I took some of my savings and bought an iPod Touch. It's not the phone. It plays music, videos, accesses the internet and has a ton of fun free games you an download. So I brought it home and downloaded lots of kids' games. When PB got home, I said, hey I have a surprise for you. And I showed him the iPod and told him I'd share it with him and Lil'Bro as long as it didn't get fought over and they asked permission, etc. He immediately set about learning it (faster than I did). He loved it. But suddenly he was calling it HIS iPod. Asking, "Where's my iPod?" There were comments made about how he wouldn't be sharing. It was really really odd. At first I thought he was just joking. But he was dead serious. At one point, after a particularly snotty exchange, I told him, "You know, I have 30 days to return this for a full refund. If we butt heads over this, it will go back and I won't even bat an EYE!" He was mellow for the rest of the night. But this morning, our school-ride buddy showed up and he said, "My mom gave me an iPod." I was all, "Excuse me?" So at this point, I really am thinking I don't need such a decadent toy and I might just return it. And this is definitely making me rethink the possibility of getting him a Nintendo DS hand-held gaming system for the end of the school year (if he gets all A's the whole year, which he's on track to do).
This is an interesting ride.