I tell you, anyone who meets difficult child today would have a hard time believing the struggles we have gone through this past year. His is unfolding as another success story. Last year on this date, he was so broken down. Was not making it through a day of school even with me at his side. He lacked all energy. As the days went on, he started with the self harm thoughts which scared him so much - he felt his body wanting him to do things he did not want to do. By Halloween, he was even feeling "evil" and believed that satan was coming to get him. This was scary because he is more spiritual than any kid I have meet. His faith is so strong. He even visited with our senior pastor to address these concerns. I requested the pastor visit him at the psychiatric hospital on Halloween day. This lead me to ask the psychiatrist to test for a rare Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) based on spirituality - that came back negative. The right medications were found immediately for difficult child. Clonazepam was meant to be short term but when I tried to decrease it in December, we found it wasn't time yet to start taking him off. As the school year progressed, difficult child became more and more disrespectful to teachers and fellow students. It got to the point that even parents didn't want him around their kids. It broke my heart in so many pieces. These were my friends and they didn't know how to address this and they didn't want to hurt me but they did need to protect their own kids. I felt I was loosing some friends. We learned that the Clonazepam causes kids to talk back - as it lowers the high anxiety level, it also takes away a certain fear kids have in discipline. I think the word is disinhibitive? I prayed that it was the cause of this and once off things would turn around. Clonazepam is also an anti-seizure medication and with the termination of possible epileptic auras, I cancelled a 48 hr procedure. I figured the Clonazepam may be addressing that if there is/was any seizure activity. I am waiting for return of symptoms before aggressively going that route again. We are certain he has a migraine variant and not seizures. School ended with classmates not wanting anything to do with difficult child. In the meantime, difficult child really worked hard on behavioral issues and struggled in some classes. He wants so much to be able to show that he is a good person and to reach his dreams of working as an adult. This summer, he had the summer that every 11 yr old should have - 1/2 days with an attentative 15 year old boy who took him on bike rides, played board games, practiced baseball, ect. - bowling once a week - 1st time on a baseball team with a fantastic group of boys who respected and lifted each other up - tons of activities in the cities when we did go - and the list goes on. I think all this lead to him gaining more self confidence. He was weaned off the Clonazepam early this Summer - at first it was too fast but once we slowed it way down, things went fine. He has been so much more respectful to adults and kids so maybe it was that medication? So, he starts this school year and I pray the kids (and teachers, though I know they wil) will give him another chance. I had heard that the teachers were preparing for a plan of action for him - they were going to address issues from last year and make it clear what his boundaries were and what would happen if he crossed them. The other kids and the teachers are seeing a new positive difficult child. One boy who did not want to return to school this year because difficult child was returning told his mom that the old difficult child was back (he likes the old difficult child). I beg to differ just a little, the old but better difficult child is back. He has so come out of his shell over the last year - I am looking forward to the school musical this Spring - he never wanted to be in front of a crowd but did such a good job performing in last Spring's musical. This is his last year at this small private school. I was unsure last Spring if he should return but with this change in personality, I think it was important for his old and lost friends to renew their friendship with him. Maybe it will help them in life to know that people can change. I am celebrating in a way we don't always do on our kids' birthday. I am celebrating that difficult child has become so much stronger and healthier since last year. It certainly is more than the typical one year older. There has been an amazing miraculous change in difficult child. I credit it all to his hard work. I can do everything to give him tools and point the way but he is the one that needs to want to do it and to actually change. This has gotten long - and I know there is always the possibility of backsliding (I do occassionally see something that I do not like) but I am going to rejoice in this day. Thank you for all your insights and help along the way.