Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by witzend, Apr 28, 2008.
How'd difficult child's court date go?
Thanks for asking Witz.
YAY! all charges were dropped!
The judge agreed with difficult child's psychiatrist's assessment that he does not have the ability to understand the court proceedings, or his own responsibility in the matter.
He further agrees that the therapy he is receiving at his Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is doing more good for him than he would receive in jail. With the tight security at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC), he is not considered to be a threat to society, and neither punishment nor rehabilitation provided by the jail would be meaningful to him.
So...difficult child was required to sigh a peace bond, agreeing that he would remain under the direct supervision of husband and me, and follow all orders we give him.
I am SO relieved, I feel drained of all energy. husband has been weeping happy tears.
difficult child...he's happy that he doesn't have to wear the scratchy dress shirt anymore because it irritates his neck. Diminshed capacity, indeed!
Thanks for all of your good wishes, kind thoughts and bead-rattling everyone. I'm sure that's the only thing that kept me from passing out today.
The power of the board is wonderful. Glad you got through this and can put it behind you!
That's really good news! I'm glad that he is in a safe place and that they are helping him to learn and grow. There will always be frustrations, and sadly he will probably always have limitations that others don't have. But that doesn't mean that they can't help him recognize those situations and deal with them better - or walk away. It's really very hopeful!
Happy you recieved a little judicial wisdom.... Hope your difficult child can make some progress and not find himself in that situation again.......
I can't describe how blessed I feel about difficult child's results.
The last time I was in the Youth court, I felt like I was in some sort of surreal deli counter. All of the court staff and the judge just seemed to be processing orders, and the children looked so wizened, with old sad eyes.
difficult child's lawyer has an Aspie son, so I think he was really able to understand and explain what we were dealing with in difficult child's behaviour. And the prosecutor didn't want to take it to trial if he didn't think he could win.
All of the stars just lined up for difficult child.
I don't know how much difficult child has learned from this. But he loves the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and the staff, and the crazy-tight rules he's living under. I guess that's the best possible thing to have come out of this...finding out just how tightly we need to restrict difficult child in order for him to be happy. With the added bonus of very little risk to his safety.
What a wonderful and scary thing at the same time! I mean, it's wonderful that he loves the place and that they are so able to keep a tight rein on him. Maybe it's different in Canada than it is here, but if he were here, that tight rein would be gone way too soon, and there would be no opportunities for him when he got older - they'd just let him go without any preparation for the real world.
What I am hearing from you and from Carolanne, it seems like your mental health system is so different there than it is here. With our election coming up, health care is a hot topic, and I don't know who to believe or what is right, but obviously, some things work better there than here. Can you tell me how comfortable you are (or aren't) with opportunities for growth for your son within the system? Will the place he is at now try to work with him on becoming more independent? Or will that happen in a transitional situation to a different program? Do you have confidence that he will move to an appropriate place when he is ready to move on, or do you worry that they will be done with being able to help him where he is and just shove him out the door (like they would here...)?
I hope you don't mind my asking for such details and specifics, but I am really curious as to how people in other parts of the world (you're so far away!) deal with the changing needs of their child's mental health issues.
I think there are some great things about the Canadian mental health system. However, there are lots of drawbacks. "Universal" healthcare often means that everyone has access to the services that are offered through the medical system, but that a lot of services just aren't offered.
For example, difficult child's psychiatrist visits are covered, but his therapist visits are not. Dental care, vision care, physiotherapy...unless you have an insurance plan through your employer, you have to pay the full price out of pocket. Same with prescriptions. It can be very confusing.
The government-run organizations didn't have anything (other than jail) that could accommodate difficult child's very difficult combination of diagnoses. Bipolar, Aspergers, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and the aftermath of years of abuse by his biomom before husband was finally able to have her denied access...they've taken their toll on my poor boy.
He has been asked to leave 15 different schools in the last 10 years, INCLUDING a private school which specialized in autistic children. At Lunch Hour. On his FIRST Day of school!
I am very comfortable with my son's opportunities for growth and development in his current living situation. Honestly, it's the best chance he's got to have any sort of rewarding or happy life. They will support him as he grows and as his needs change, give him as much independence as he can handle, and be there to support him for those things he can't manage by himself.
The reason for my confidence is that husband and I put it all together. We spent months interviewing and hiring staff, and worked with his treatment team (therapist, psychiatrist, lawyer, the school board, the family centre, his autism consultant, etc.) to put a viable program together. It is working well for him because it is designed for him. So it will definitely meet his needs.
The frustration lies in the fact that we had to put this all together, because the "official" service providers couldn't do it. I think about the struggles we've had to line this all up, then I think about all the parents out there who can't do the same for their children, and I weep.
Thanks, Trin. So I'm understanding correctly that where he is at is a public facility, and that you were able to get him there through lots of research and pushing and phone calls etc? (Warrior mom!) Or did you have to go private to find someplace that fit his needs?
Actually, Witz, we had to take it even one step further than that. We built it, from scratch. We arranged for accommodations, contracted the staff, set up the treatment program, got standing with the courts and with the government as a recognized Residential Treatment Center (RTC), put the treatment programming in place, and then when everything was ready last fall, we moved difficult child in.
We looked at the public facilities AND the private ones. The best of the private ones (3+ hours away from here, and run by a fabulous team of people) could only accommodate him for a few months. Even for them, our difficult child was too much.
Just like so many who have gone into social work or psychology because they have experienced the system as a client and see the need, husband and I have set up an Residential Treatment Center (RTC), because there was nowhere else to put our son when he so desperately needed help.
You're worth your weight in gold, sweetie. You really are doing things right.
If I were twenty years younger I would be doing happy flips for your family. How wonderful it is to read that one of our family members has gotten help, support, justice and a chance for a future.
Thanks Witz and DDD. Your kind words remind me to be happy for the thing we've been able to create for difficult child, when I get too wrapped up in the daily grind of bad behaviour and other minor miseries.
I'm grateful for running into lawyers, judges and court services people that have direct experience with autism/aspergers and knew what my boy was facing. And, I'm grateful that my training and the work I do, although in a completely different field, are also applicable to this.
During this whole journey, I have met or heard about so many other families with children like difficult child who just don't fit anywhere in the system. Now that husband and I have laid all this groundwork for our boy, it doesn't seem fair to keep it to ourselves. So...we're on to the next phase...
I am so happy for you and for your son. What a gift to have found an attorney with a son like yours who understands and can explain to the judge.
I was hoping for the same in our sons case but it's not looking good. I still believe....
Hugs for the great news.
I'm very happy that everything worked out so well for you and your difficult child. I'm sure putting together that Residential Treatment Center (RTC) program was a tremendous amount of work, and that your difficult child is doing well there must be the huge reward to make the work worthwhile.
Regarding the mental health system in Canada, it differs some from province to province as well. Here, all kids up to the age 18 get psychiatrist and therapist services. The bad thing is the wait to get in to them initially (6-8 months). Once you're receiving services, there are a lot of programs that become available - difficult child went to 2 week day camp type activities in summer 3 years no fee to us. There were several other programs we could have put him in, but the hours didn't work with husband & my work times. Children here also get dental (based on income), eye care (glasses we have to pay for), physio, all under the health care system. This year they also started an autism program at one of the high schools, though psychiatrist didn't think difficult child needed the level of support it offers we could have sent him there. The bad thing is always that the programs are available, but getting into one is sometimes hard because they don't have enough spaces for the kids needing it. Always a wait list for things here it seems.
Hope your Residential Treatment Center (RTC) continues to be a success, and you can help your own difficult child and many others.
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