Have any of you...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by mrscatinthehat, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    When your difficult children got to be almost 18 found you were torn at what to do. difficult child 1 is in Residential Treatment Center (RTC). We had been planning for her to get an apartment in May after she graduates and turns 18. Well now that we are 6 monthes out she is just not ready for this. We are faced with some decisions. Do we let her do this anyway and fall on her face? Do we push for dhs to continue guardianship? Do we push for taking over guardianship and have her in a group home? Do we just push for a group home? Do we push for civil commitment?

    I don't know if any of you were faced with this but thought I would see if some of you wise folks might have some insight. Just because her age says she is 18 doesn't make her ready in my opinion. Maybe I am wrong.

    I am just so down about this. I know at some point we are supposed to let go. But do you do this even though you know they will fail.

  2. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Beth, it's probably safe to say that ALL of us felt that same dilemma when our kids turned 18. I don't know much about your daughter but from your signature, it looks like she's been in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for over 4 years. That's a long time. And that's a very long time to be supervised, then put "out" by herself without some kind of assist.

    When Rob was moved from the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) to a group home, and then later from the group home, there was a "transition/step down plan" in place. It started several months before it took place and was designed to help transition him out to more independence.

    Start talking to the folks at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) now about what to do next. If she is being released solely because of her age and not because of a massive growth in ability, I think she is doomed to fail unless there are some strong supports in place.

  3. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    There is nothing magic about the numbers 18. In the eyes of the law they are now majority age. That's it.

    I totally agree with Suz - your daughter has had extreme structure and accountability for 4 years. If you just put her up in an apartment at this point - I do think she would fall apart.

    The Residential Treatment Center (RTC) should have a step down program in place. Your daughter is going to need to LEARN how to be independent. That is going to require further supervision and coping skills.

    My daughter came home when she left her Residential Treatment Center (RTC) - she was home two years before she left to live independently. She needed those two years to gain the confidence that she needed to stand on her own two feet.

    Letting go is a process - not an event that occurs just because our kids hit 18. in my humble opinion.
  4. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    I don't have any suggestions since I haven't been there yet. Mine is only 11. I have a feeling I will be where you are in a few years though. I think I would try for some type of guardianship. She really isn't mature enough to be on her own. very scary situation.


  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999


    Let me share my guilty selfish thoughts on the subject. I do *not* want to be thank you's guardian past 18. Realistically, obtaining guardianship would do squat for him. We could not dictate treatment or placement. We couldn't protect him from his choices. At best, we could financially protect him from blowing all his $$$ on ... whatever he spends it on but that's about it... and I cannot see a crispier heck than having him call me daily for $$$.

    I do not want him to return home to live after age 18. At that point, he will have had 9 years of Residential Treatment Center (RTC)/supervised living outside my home. He follows rules only when absolutely pushed, money being a huge motivater right now. We've already been there done that. Quite frankly, I'm just plain tired and more than a little frustrated at thank you's continued refusal to even remotely get with- the program.

    I don't believe there's such a thing as civil committment anymore, and I'm not sure that guardianship by the state would be any better than him being on his own (sorry, I'm cynical about adult services).

    Will he be ready to live independently? I don't know - it's up to him. But it was with the above in mind that we had him discharged from last Residential Treatment Center (RTC) to the TLP. He has the opportunity to learn money management, social skills, job skills, basic living skills. He's mastered public transportation, which he takes advantage of frequently when he goes AWOL. Sigh.

    We had his IEP mtg last week. Thank goodness he keeps failing gym, LOL. He's already pushed his graduation date back (based on credits - IEP goals are a whole 'nother story, but his continued cooperation with Special Education is also iffy at this point). *He* doesn't care about what his job will be, has no desire to work, doesn't care where he lives, and apparently hasn't given it a whole lot of thought in spite of husband and me talking to him about it for the last 3 years *and* in spite of the program he's in. It is, in my humble opinion, yet another situation of dragging my horse of a son to the trough and being unable to get him to drink. Heaven help me, I'm tired of it being *our* unsolvable problem. It's time for him to figure it out.

    I do think the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) should be able to direct you to transitional/step down programs. They seem to be fairly rare, but they do exist. Another thought is that if she has an IEP, graduation is not necessarily a given at age 18, even if she has the necessary credits. If there are social/emotional/vocational goals on her IEP that she has not met, then the school district needs to continue to fund her education and address those unmet goals. Certainly, if she is unable to live independently, I'd say there are some serious deficits in her education (for argument's sake with- school district). Can she balance a checkbook, plan a menu, make a shopping list? If not, sounds like school district still has some work to do in terms of life skills/transition education.

    I don't know, Beth. It's a tough spot to be in. So much of it depends on our kids. I think the hard cold truth is that *they* are the ones who dictate what happens to them, regardless of who has guardianship. Treatment and supervised living cannot be forced on them. We cannot protect them from their choices if they're bound and determined to do their own thing.

    What does you daughter think of it all?
  6. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Beth, I thought of you when I posted the frontal lobe dev. article in the general forum. If our kids are not just emotionally delayed, but also physically, does it not make since to treat them according to where they are really at, rather than their chronological age?
    I think numbers mean nothing - but unfortunately they base everything on them in our society. You need to go on what you feel your daughter is ready to do, and if that is stay in a group home, than start working on finding the best one for her. Do not feel bound by anything but your intuition.
  7. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    She is resistant to everything. We tell her she needs to get ready. The answer is no. We tell we will help her get there. The answer is no she won't do it. We tell her that if she doesn't work on it she will go another route. The answer is no. Are you following my theme? She is not ready. As her counselor said she has the maturity of a 15 year old (at best) and we all know 15 is not an age to be on your own generally speaking.

    I too am tired of the brick wall husband and I run up against. Until it was mentioned yesterday no one had considered a step down type program. Of course most parents aren't as active as we are and as demanding (maybe we should back off some but I don't know how).

    I know the battle never ends even when they are out but I guess I just want to know we gave her the best possible chance at success.

    I think this is so hard because I know that difficult child 2 is so resistant to what he is supposed to do also. He is of course his own person and is in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for sex offending which take us on a whole other path but I just see the future playing a similiar tune for him.

    I think difficult child 1 would be capable to do the things she needed to do if she were not so darn resistant ( I know that is the issue) but I feel like after repeating ourselves a billion times I might just as well say that's it. You do what you want and let us know you are alive occaisionally please. I just can't quite bring myself to that point yet. I can detach so much more easily from difficult child 2 (oh the reasons for that are many).

    It never seems to get better. You think it might then bam. I just don't know how many times I can go through the cycle. It :censored2: the life out of me.

  8. KFld

    KFld New Member

    I think a step down program is giving her the best chance at success. My difficult child only spent 45 days in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for drug addiction, and we never allowed him to return home after that. It was a very hard decision to make, but because we didn't allow him to move home, he moved into a soberhouse where he lived for a year and learned the life skills he needed to move out on his own. Without this house he moved into, I truly believe he would not be where he is today.
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    If you have a caseworker or someone like that - see if they can help you find a place that houses teens for Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) (independent living skills)

    They have to get a job, learn how to ride a bus, manage money, have chores to do, and have to get along in a house with others of the same sex.

    Usually there are pretty strict guidelines to living in the place, and failure is TOUGH LOVE -

    We've done it with Dude, and have no regrets. He's doing better than he ever did. He hasn't quite figured out that he's becoming responsible for himself but he's getting there.

    He sees what other teens have that don't have the same disability as him and he wants some of those things, and the teens are better at relaying HOW to get those things (car, stereo, job, girlfriend) than I could have ever done...and teens don't listen to him whine - because everyone has a "story".

    The hard part for me will be should he fail there - he isn't allowed to come home. So I kept going to therapy to learn how to detach best I could and pray he gets his proverbial mess together.
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Beth, does the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) have any post release or transitional planning available? I think it's reasonable to approach them with your concerns, and to ask that all options be considered. It's possible that difficult child is concerned that her life plans aren't going anywhere, too, and that having a plan that would prepare her for transition into her own place instead of to the family home might be an incentive to succeed at Residential Treatment Center (RTC).
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Travis is 21 and I'm just sort of getting that feeling that the time is coming to push him from the nest to see if he can fly solo. But realistically, I know he just might end up right back here. With the brain damage, the visual disability, and the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) it is very iffy whether he'll be able to live independently.

    But I'll be doing handsprings if he can. And not just for him, but for me too. lol I don't feel guilty about it, it's darn had to have an adult disabled child living at home.

    I'd see what transitional programs might be available.

  12. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    My son was thrown out of the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) before any type of plan was in place. He spent a year in jail and now is in a group home through a socialization program. It basically has several levels they are to work through until they are on their own. I would look for something like this for your daughter. Contact MH and ask about all their programs. -RM