Help with school issues
I posted this on the oCD board, but will post it here too:
Hi. I'm the mother of a 14 year old son who has mild Tourette's. The physical tics really aren't a problem at the moment - but the ADD and OCD are really interfering with his performance in school. I'm hoping some of you might have some input.
He's actually a brilliant kid (taught himself to read at 3), so the difficulty of the coursework is not the issue. However, the ADD causes him to miss assignments and not hear when tests are going to be given, so his grades are very erratic. The oCD must be distracting him in the classroom too (currently he has a counting obsession, so whenever anyone is peaking to him, part of his brain is counting the letters in the words. He used to visibly tap along with this, but that stopped, so I stupidly thought the counting was getting better - yesterday he informed me that was not so.)
The biggest problem with the oCD, though, is the "getting stuck" on negative thoughts. "The teacher hates me, it's stupid to have to show my work on these simple problems, " etc. etc. Sounds like simple oppositional teen behavior until you try to have a rational conversation about it, then you realize that no matter what you say, he keeps going back to the same idea over and over.
He started high school this year, and for the first time tried an ADD drug (stimulant). His school performance was improved at first, but by Thanksgiving he was clinically depressed and losing weight, so we took him off. Schoolwork has been poor ever since. Mood has improved somewhat but he is still irritable and somewhat depressed (of course now his poor school performance is depressing him too!).
I've been trying recently to "medicate" him with vitamins - 5-HTP for the depressive stuff and the oCD (raises serotonin), tyrosine to try to improve his attention, magnesium, zinc, multivitamin. Can't say there has really been any change.
I'm thinking about letting them try him on Prozac - although high-dose Prozac made my anorexic daughter ditsy and ADD-like, it did work for her oCD stuff. I'm worried it will make the ADD worse, although I can't really tell whether the mood, the oCD, or the ADD is the bigger part of his school performance problems.
He also refuses to attend a different school for social reasons.
Anybody out there with experience, either with meds or advice about dealing with the high school?