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  1. As some of you other "old timers" know, we've been here since approximately October 2010, when we first discovered PANDAS played a role in our DS's long, hard fight against OCD. We will be forever indebted to everyone here and to the whole ACN family for helping us find our way through. When we began, DS was 12, completely non-functioning, curled up in the fetal position on the floor of his room, unable to do even the most mundane tasks, let alone actively participate in school or the "normal" life of a pre-teen. Four years later, two of which included antibiotics, he's doing so well and making us so proud, I just needed to brag for a minute and hope that his progress might inspire some other kids/families that are looking for their own light at the end of the PANDAS tunnel. Over the summer, DS began learning to drive, he worked his first part-time job, began his own consulting business, and attended a week-long media arts camp at a well-respected media arts college. He also did some college research and got very excited his future prospects. School started last week: his junior high school year. He's enrolled in AP and honors classes, participating in the school's robotics competition team, and digging his challenging course load thus far. The "ice cream on top" came yesterday when he had his first date with a girl in his class! Honestly, I wasn't sure he would ever get to the point where he would be comfortable with dating, let alone the first week of a new school year! I don't intend to mislead anyone. Plagued by OCD behaviors since the age of 6, he still contends with some of that; he's a bit of a Mr. Clean as well as a perfectionist when it comes to his school work. But rather than it bossing him around these days, he truly seems to be in charge of it, unwilling to let it get in his way either academically or socially. So things just seem to get better and better on our end (knock on wood), so I feel certain they can for most of us. I realize a four-year path may seem unthinkably long and protracted for some of you, and I know some have been able to walk a quicker path to overall physical and mental health than we have. But quite honestly, I'm so proud and happy in the present, and thinking of his future, that I find I don't regret those years. They've become a part of who he is and who we are as a family, and I know we're all stronger and more compassionate for it. Thanks again to you all, and much light and love to everyone and their kids!
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