Sunday, June 21, 2015

Brain Training: Twelve sessions in

Tommy completed his 12th session on Friday.  When we started this process they said we would start to see results in 10-12 sessions.  I'm not sure if the tics have decreased or not.  To me it seems like they are as present as ever.  Most of his tics are bilateral, meaning he moves both arms at the same time.  I have noticed that sometimes he only moves one arm.  Maybe that's forward progress, I don't know.

He has moved from playing games with his brain to watching movies.  Big deal, right?  Well, if his brain doesn't do what it is supposed to, the movie goes blurry and he has to slow his brain down in order for it to come back into focus.

I read a fictional book this week that hit close to home called The Perfect Son.  It was about the parents of an only child with Tourette's Syndrome.  His name was Harry and he was 17.

The mom was primarily in charge of the treatments, the visits to the psychologist, the psychiatrist, the therapist, and all of the activities he did, like vocal training.  The dad was very focused on his job and really had no idea what his son went through on a daily basis.  The mom had a heart attack and the family dynamic shifted and the dad had to be more involved in Harry's life.

The thing that struck me most was that Harry had a best friend named Max.  They had been friends for years.  Max was his best friend, his brother, his protector.  When anyone messed with Harry, Max was there for him.  When Harry's mom was sick, Max was there for him in an instant.  I know this book is fiction, but it made me think, WHY can't Tommy have a friend like Max?  He needs that, more than you can imagine.  This journey would be so much easier for him if he had a friend like that that he could always count on.

He HAS friends, but these kids are 11-12 years old.  They get frustrated with Tommy, he has impulse issues and says things before he thinks.  He gets angry easily.  He misjudges social cues.  These are all things tied to TS and kids don't get it and they distance themselves.

Middle school starts in August.  I really hope that Tommy walks into school and meets his Max. "Max" doesn't need to be perfect.  He doesn't need to be a jock, or a musical star, or the smartest or most handsome kid in school.  He just needs to be a friend that Tommy can count on through thick and thin.  Underneath the TS Tommy has a lot to offer.  He's funny and smart and "Max", if you are out there, Tommy is waiting for you.

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