I've been observing the tweedles for the past month or so trying to decide typical 12-13 y/o behaviors versus difficult child outlandishness. It's a toss up at this stage of the game. However, I've had to put on the "brakes" of typical or "normal" kid stuff because it tends to escalate into major difficult child issues. Case in point, the weekend I took kt down to my dad's for the annual cook off. There was a point during that very stimulating evening that kt was showing off & singing & dancing with her cousin in a fairly age appropriate (but loud) manner. AND I could see the escalation in her eyes...the inability to put the brakes on, if you will. Very quietly I asked kt to take 5 & catch her breath. Ten minutes later, she'd gone into a disturbing dissociative state. It's very difficult to balance the needs for our difficult children to have normal experiences while watching their "inability" to handle the same at their level. I'm rambling here.... As kt is scheduled to be home soon, I keep hearing how typical she is being; in the next sentence I hear how minutes later she's falling apart. Have you noticed the same in your difficult children? How did you balance this phenomenon? Were/are your difficult children able to accept cues?