A Mother's Choice : One Year Later

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by PorcupineWhisperer, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. PorcupineWhisperer

    PorcupineWhisperer New Member

    It's been awhile - nice to see some of the same faces still hanging out - or is that hanging in :)

    A little over a year ago, I posted about a mom who was torn between accepting her 'pre sociopathic' son back home after he was prematurely discharged from an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). After his discharge from the Residential Treatment Center (RTC), difficult child (then 13) was placed in a teen shelter for 90 days, in hopes that a local therapeutic foster home might be found for him. difficult child has had 8 short term hospitalizations, 3 Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placements and almost 1 year in a state hospital.
    difficult child was a 'major player' - aggression, animal cruelty, self harm, fire setting etc - for some reason, they were unable to find a foster home for him (can't imagine why..... :).

    So at the end of the 90 days, mom was faced with allowing him to come home or have CPS (she placed him in CPS custody to get him long term care) start to look outside of the Dallas area for a placement at which point, he could have been placed anywhere in Texas (and Texas is a BIG state :).

    Well, Mom chose for difficult child to come home and despite some rough spots, nearly a year later, he's still there (with no further hospital placements). He is now 15 and is a lot less sociopathic now and more a 'typical ' Bipolar teen. Both he and mom have worked REALLY hard at changing old patterns of interacting and are able to work through most conflicts without a major meltdown (although I have gotten a few crisis calls with difficult child screaming in the background).

    I would attribute difficult child's success to the effort by he and his mom, two really good CPS caseworkers (one replaced the other when the latter decided it was time for a career change). He has a good psychiatrist and fairly decent therapist (yours truly). The big struggle right now is school. Unfortunately, the system that they have in place to manage behavior in his self contained classroom is very frustrating for him and this often leads to significant raging on his part. Thankfully there has been no aggression towards anyone thus far.

    Hopefully things will continue to improve and maybe he'll live happily ever after - or as close to it as a difficult child can get. :). I'll keep you posted.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I love happy endings. Thanks for posting this. I like people to remember, there is hope. Even the worst difficult child can turn it around!
  3. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Hi PW, what a great update on someone who was suffering(child and mom). Fingers crossed that it continues. There is no replacement for an educated, committed team. Thanks for sharing and nice to see you.
  4. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Wonderful news, PW. Thanks for sharing.
  5. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    PW, great to hear from you. Thanks for posting this uplifting update. Gives hope that we can make a difference in our difficult child teen.

    Don't be a stranger.

  6. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Wonderful update! I would look into (if you haven't already done so) re-opening the IEP at the school and have the FBA and BIP reflect how you want him handled in a crisis at the school. That would make the interactions extremely concrete and would give the teacher (s) insight as to how to handle specific issues.

    Congrats! He sounds like things are really coming into focus.

    I'd say that he's got a really great therapist in his corner! ;)

  7. maril

    maril New Member

    PorcupineWhisperer: I had found this site about six months ago and am glad; am still new to this group.

    Love your moniker -- thought about it and said -- aha, what a clever person. (like the Cesar Millan of the difficult children :D).

    What a positive story. Thanks for sharing their good news. I am happy for mother and son. It gives me hope! Living with a teen who rages is definitely a challenge.

    Re your signature: 'Vincent's Ear' brought tears to my eyes.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Wow, that's a wonderful story! I am very impressed, and relieved. That's a difficult diagnosis and he has come a long way (with-everyone's help).
    I love your moniker, too ... Porcupine Whisperer. LOL.
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    That's really positive, considering how things could have gone.

    A thought on school - is there another route he can take, to get an education? Here in Australia we have colleges of further eduction where adults can go to fill in gaps of their education as well as kids, to get education in a trade. Ours are called TAFE - colleges of Technical And Further Education. I've just been talking to them today about difficult child 3's options (as well as difficult child 1's). We have the option of pulling difficult child 3 out of school, enrollinghim in a fairly simple practical course in how to work in a store, how to manage the basic tasks needed etc, and from there, they would consider him to have finally got enough education to then ewnrol in further courses more specifric to his e (IT, in his case). Because TAFE is aimed at adults returning to education, it is more uni-like in how they treat the students, and the support is fantastic. The worst support is in secondary school, TAFE & uni are brilliant by comparison. Also, after a certain level of coursework has been achieved at TAFE, a student can then bypass usual uni entrance requirements and get into a uni course in the same field, often with advanced standing (ie skipping the first year or so of the uni course).

    If a kid is struggling in school for whatever reason, this for us is an alternative direction we can take. And often once they are involved in something that is more in their area of interest, as well as in an environment where they are treated as adults (even if they don't deserve it) they often do better.

    Do you have anything like this? For us, this can start at 15.

  10. Stella

    Stella New Member

    Thanks for posting this PW - there is always hope!!
  11. PorcupineWhisperer

    PorcupineWhisperer New Member

    Fran, TL, LDM - Nice to see you guys are still around. I really need to drop by the board more often just to keep up with how people are doing. By the way it's so funny to come back and see how much the kids have 'grown'. I mean the Tweedles are 14 ?!? The last time I was here, I could have sworn they were around 9!

    nvts - We are going to address his BIP on Wednesday. I will admit I'm frutrated with the school since we have been talking since September about what to do and not to do to help him be successful and they continue to do the same things that cause him to escalte and then blame him when he does - not cool. :(

    marilynne - When I heard the lyrics to 'Vincents' Ear' it made me think what it must be like to be a difficult child.

    Marguerite - The school program you describe sounds really good, but unfortunately the mom and difficult child don't have an option like that one. Hmmm, maybe I can talk them into moving to Australia! :)

    Stella - I think that's the primary reason that I posted about this family is to let others know that there is hope. This is a Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) kid and one can only hope for the best. :)
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I described the program partly to show how ours works, but mostly to show that somewhere, somehow, there can be alternative routes to get where you want to.

    A suggestion for you - find places that give adult education in various ways (I include i=university here) and ask them about ALL their entry requirements. For example, a lot of universities have much broader acceptance requirements for older people on the grounds that if you've been out in the workforce for a few years, or raising kids, then you have enough life experience to compensate for lack of academic learning.

    Also to look for - places that provide an education tailored specifically to practical learning, trades, etc. These are the places most likely to help a difficult child find their place in te world because often they are used to teaching people who aren't good at lessons but who have a passion for a particular industry or interest.

    I don't know how it works in the Us, but as I understand it, many countries in the world have ways of education the people needed in very hands on careers. And a kid who isn't necessarily good at learning dates of kings and queens may happen to be VERY good with her hands.

    What does she like? What is she good at?

    There is also volunteer work and often you can create opportunities that otherwise haven't been thought of, purely by starting doing something you enjoy, for free to begin with.

    Is she good with people? Or does she need to develop her skills at talking to people? In which case, volunteering or just plain visiting people in a nursing home, can be a great way to get her started and boost her confidence.

    Lots of ideas...

  13. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Thanks for updating us. It is wonderful to hear that in what seems to be the worst of situations, there is hope, that there can be a positive outcome. I love being able to start my day with excellent news:D!!! WFEN