I met with staff for the first time yesterday and difficult child is right on target. They said he is doing well. Monday morning we will have our first therapy session with both difficult child and myself. He has been meeting daily with the therapist. difficult child can earn his first 4 hour pass by the end of next week. He is really looking forward to visiting with the dog and going swimming. I talked with them about changing difficult child's medications. They said we will address it next week because the psychiatrist likes to evaluate them for a couple of weeks on the medications they are admitted with. psychiatrist has spoken with difficult child though about Abilify and Depakote - so we will see. The nurses and therapists remarked about how bright difficult child (perhaps too much at times), how aware of of why he is there and also the fact that he is working hard. This pleases me so much. I have told difficult child repeatedly that I am proud of the hard work he is doing. Last night when I went to visit difficult child they were just finishing up a group session, but difficult child got up to come over and sit with me - this was acceptable and normally they are excused and can then play games with parent or whatever. I was intrigued by the attendant that was talking though because he was talking about how they should listen to adults because adults (and he pointed out how many adults were in the room - I was the only visitor so there were 5 adults including me) were all kids once too and many times when adults tell kids not to do things it is because we have all been there done that. Anyway, I told difficult child to continue to listen and he put down his notebook and sat there listening (normally he would have just ignored what I said). The conversation was really kinda emotional because from what I understand the attendants son was killed this last weekend in a car accident. At one point, difficult child reached over and took my hand in his. This was so touching! At the end of the group, the kids were given a creative writing assignment. difficult child was told that he could do his later because he was visiting with me. Towards the end of our visit difficult child said he wanted to work on his assignment so he could have some free time later. The assignment was something about being on a deserted island and writing a letter to a loved one. Well, I don't think difficult child totally got the assignment but I was really touched by what he did. difficult child has a tough time talking about his father (who died in 2005) and will usually clam up when asked to talk about his feelings. Well, difficult child chose to write his letter to his dad. His letter made me want to cry. He wrote to his father how much he missed him and loved him. He said he was sorry. He wrote how that even though he wanted his father to quit smoking and drinking that he still loved him and that he hoped he was watching him. It went on and on. This is really a step in the right direction with his grief. He has had a real hard time with it and has a lot of anger towards his dad for dieing and even said at one point that he felt his dad got what he deserved. While I was reading the letter (I asked him for permission) difficult child was tearing up. I asked him what he was sorry for - he said for not telling his dad he loved him. difficult child then told him that he would have to read the letter aloud during group so that is why he didn't put his name on it - he put anonymous at the top of the paper and just signed it your son. When I was done reading it, difficult child reached over and just hugged me, telling me how much he loved me. I was so touched!! Thanks for listening! I just had to share with all of you.