Friday, July 22, 2011

When Will Michael Come Home?

I had a big meeting with the RTC my son lives in this week about discharge. We were told to expect it soon back in March and then we all thought July so he would start school here. Neither happened. They are no where near a date now.

The monthly review we get in the mail says he has been physically restrained numerous times and had to be chemically restrained a couple times this month. His moderate behaviors (4-6 times a week) are aggressiveness, conduct, oppositional, distorted thinking, sexual acting out, impulsivity, anxiousness, depression, and social withdrawal. He is only minimally challenged (3-4 times a week) by self injurious behaviors, hallucinations, poor hygiene, manic, and elopement attempts.

What that boils down to is he has 14 good days a month. He can't manage his emotions and behaviors. He is often easily disregulated. He has significant peer conflicts that stem from him starting the argument, the peer starting it, or more often a misperception of the situation. He is very defensive if it is suggested he has a role in it. He puts himself into others' conflicts not related to him and remains agitated. He refuses to use the skills he can easily describe when calm. To top it all off, he has a nasty habit of running out the door and has to be blocked or chased in this condition.

Remember when I used to talk about how my children hide their issues in school or around outsiders? I have been slammed for that by people claiming it MUST be me causing all this. It took awhile for him to feel like he lives there but now he does. He also feels like he is visiting us. Guess what happened? We don't see ANY of those behaviors here on his weekend visits. NONE! The same thing started to happen with Ruthie before she returned home. It's nuts.

After almost a year there, the RTC is thinking this may be his best. He will never be like other boys his age. He is so stunted developmentally that to "catch up" is not a possibility. The damage is done. When you add trauma and mental illness to the mix, his normal will need to be adjusted.

They would like to put all kinds of services in place for us before his release. I was all for it but am beginning to have a few doubts. It will mean we have numerous (6) professionals in our home weekly. While I welcome their assistance and advice, I worry how the kids will react. They freaked when DFCS was stopping by monthly last year for Emma's sibling group. I can only imagine their reaction to 6 people in and out of here. What if they weren't experienced with kids this tough? We have heard it from all of the professionals we have worked with, they are extremely difficult to reach and develop trust with. They run out of ideas. They never give up but there comes a point the kids aren't progressing any further in therapy. We do so much more work at home and bring it to their attention to reprocess. I have an enormous amount of respect and trust in the therapists we have worked with but I know these new people will not be nearly as qualified. Maybe I'm just getting cold feet because it's unknown. I'm not sure which way we will go. I'll have to talk a bit more with them, I think.

Summer is almost over here. Next week we have their open houses and back to school on Monday. I'm over the moon! They are really excited, too. Poor Kiki will be bred to death with just me and the dog.

Speaking of school, I took the kids shoe shopping last night with my sister and mother. All went well until it didn't. Kiki has way too much energy and we switched out the person that had to chase her up and down the aisles. Literally, this person had to run up and down. She paused briefly to be kneed in the nose and I picked her up to comfort her screams. Completely focused on her, I was surprised by the water I felt splashing on my feet. It only took a few seconds to feel the warm sensation on my stomach and I quickly realized she was peeing on me. Good times, people. My mother and sister laughed really hard. They were much more amused than I was. The poor 18 yr old salesperson was visibly relieved when I offered to clean it up, if she would bring me paper towels. On my way out the door, a little old man stopped me to tell me that was the quickest clean up he'd ever seen. He thanked me for the entertainment and wished me a good night. I'm glad every one had a good time. A little pee was worth it.

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