Our difficult child: lives with his mom, stepfather and 1/2 sister. My sister has the support of our entire family. difficult child has been to counselors, on every medication you can name (with serious side effects with each, from uncontrollable bowel movements to a weight gain of 43lbs in 45 days). He has been off all medications for 3 months for the first time in 5 years. Do I think that he is better? Unfortunately no, but the side effects were too much. We have checked into specialty schools (we do not have the financing for this....and that is with all of us pitching in)We have checked into the S.T.A.R. program, which sounds wonderful but we are waiting for the school boards answer. I have gone to IEP training through the Rochester Advocacy Center and that has helped with much of the lingo and railroading that the schools do when they don't think you know the childs rights to an education. I am not in anyway bashing the school system, I understand they have their budgets. They were shocked however that I knew they would have to provide a tutor for my wonderful difficult child at their cost after he was suspended for the 3rd time for insubordination. The oddest thing about difficult child, is if it was 20 below zero and somebody didn't have a coat, he would take the coat he was wearing and give it to the person without a coat and not think twice about it. I have been to almost every school meeting with my sister and her husband, not to argue, but to listen from the outside of the situation and write down everything said as I am sure most of you know how emotional these meetings can get and how much information can be lost because of emotions. I am not only difficult child's aunt, but a mother to a wonderful child as well. Which brings me to the other side of the spectrum. We do not mention or brag about any of our sons accomplishment and he knows as well not to mention them to the family. It truly makes me sad at times because we have never been able to celebrate an accomplishment with the family and it truly hurts when my parents tell our difficult child that if he can pass at least one subject they will take him to his favorite restaurant and so he does and they do. My son studies very hard and has never been rewarded by the family...(enough, apparently having a moment...will not happen again Back to the subject at hand..I am worried about my sister, I don't think she can take much more of the phone calls from the school and difficult child's ongoing struggles. I have mentioned counseling to her, but that didn't go over well. We as a family are at a stand still. How silly is it that I thought about writing to a talk show like Maury for help. That is how desperate we have become. On a differnt note and maybe a leap....... I have observed over the last 5 years, from going to the counselors, psychologists, doctor visits, school meetings that a large number of the children that have been diagnosed with my difficult child's exact symptoms all have some very common factors: 90% of them were: Blonde, Blue Eyed, Round Faced children that are quite genius in specific areas as math and global or social studies......any feedback is appreciated....still standingthank you!