Where Can I Send Him Away to?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Carolyn9595, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. Carolyn9595

    Carolyn9595 Guest

    I'm sorry to be only negative here but I put on my coping and optimistic face in public. Here, I'm going to get to the ugly facts.
    My son, adopted at birth, age 15, height 6'2, ADD/ODD, failing 10th grade, bullies us every day, insults us and calls us names. There is no good day with him. He has been difficult to say the least all his life. He is now on Prozac and Vyvanse but I don't see it helping him. He's been in counseling off and on since he was young but the talking doesn't mean anything to him. Then when the counselor hits a nerve, he refuses to go back. He is on juvenille probation for shooting a lady with a bb gun. He just snuck a rifle size bb gun out of the house last night to give his friends. My husband is 60 and exhausted. He loves this kid so much but it is taking a toll on him. The boy is so gifted in athletics and could be scouted for his pitching but his grades stink because he chooses to sit and stare. He is hell to live with. You all know this whole scene. I sometimes fantasize about staying a few nights in a hotel so I don't have to go home. I find minimal conversation is best. Some nights and weekends have their positive moments but it doesn't last long.

    I would like to send him to a treatment facility or a special camp for boys or somewhere this summer to give us a break and maybe the place will help him change or want to change. A Christian camp? I'm willing to move money from somewhere to do it. He could get worse in the next few years and I don't want to regret not taking a bold step now. We live in Florida and have a car but no relatives.
    Where could I send him? How could I get him in the car? How would he qualify for someplace? He has insurance.

    I can't tell you how thankful I am for you all and your compassion and expertise!
    I know I can turn to you all and say what I'm thinking and you will understand and help me. No psychiatrist at even $100 an hour could replace this board!
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Has he ever had a neuropsychologist evaluation? There are many RTCs and summer programs. But without knowing exactly what is going on, it will be hard to chose the right one to help your son.

    I'd be very concerned about that medication combo -- especially as you say it isn't helping. Who rx those medications?

    I strongly recommend you remove all guns from the house. Especially since he has already shot someone, your liability is huge.
  3. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    I would recommend you find an educational consultant and ask them to advise you on a wilderness program. It will help you and your husband get on the same page with him. Maybe somewhere here could recommend a site that has independent consultants (e.g. not ones paid by the programs they recommend). I recommend that you find one in your state that you can meet with in person. There are transport people that come would escort your son. It sounds terrible but isn't so bad.

    good luck
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry things are so stressful. I completely understand how you feel.

    An educational consultant is one of the best resources you can use to find a program. They will cost some $$, but far less than putting him in the wrong program would cost. You will need to find a program that is the right "fit" for him, and that can be a challenge. Many parents look for someplace close in proximity, but that is often a mistake. The close program that doesn't meet his needs will either make things worse or not make a difference, and thus be a waste of money. A far away program is harder to visit (and for him to run away to come home or to go to his friends) but if it meets his needs it is a wise investment.

    His medications are alarmng to me, esp as they are not helping. SSRI's can make some disorders WORSE rather than better. What is your son diagnosed with? if it only the ADD and ODD? Many of us feel that ODD is not a real disorder but instead is a symptom of many (most) disorders. If the underlying disorder is treated, the ODD symptoms go away. Knowing what the underlying disorder is can tell you how to help him, but knowing he has ODD gives you ZERO direction for choosing the right treatment. For treatment purposes, ODD is useless simply because it isn't going to give ideas for figuring out how to help him. neuropsychologist testing is the best way to really get a handle on what is going on. You may have to bribe him to get him to do it, but that might be worth it.

    Have you drug tested him? Drugs are a huge problem and can cause the behaviors you are seeing. I don't know if the courts have drug tested him, but I would insist that he take a test for drugs either at the doctors office or at home. It will be a fight most likely, but you can remove ALL privileges if he will not do it.

    If he is taking things like a bb gun with-o permission, it may be time to put sturdy doors and deadbolts on all the doors and closets. Even to get a storage unit to keep certain things off the premises. Be sure to keep keys on your persons at ALL times because if he can get a key then he can make a copy. I would keep his medications locked up, the bb guns etc... locked up, and anything of yours that he can get into that has value locked up.

    Going to a motel for a couple of night is NOT a bad idea. It would give you a break and a chance to recharge. You and husband should discuss each taking a night or 2 or 3 away every month or so. it is hard to get respite care for an older teen, so we must do whatever is needed to take care of ourselves. Obviously one of you needs to be at home with him, but you could each get a break. It would likely be an excellent investment in yourself and your health and your family. Is there a teacher that your son likes? could you pay this person to come stay with him, or to have him come to the teacher's home, so that you and husband could get a break? I have an aunt that used to do thsi when she was single. She taught at a private school and a number of parents would pay her to either house sit or to stay with their kids if they needed a break. The kids were usually better behaved for her than for their parents.

    You have probably read a lot, but I do recommend 2 books that can be very very useful. Parenting Your Teen with Love and Logic is a great resource, and so is The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. They each can be a great help with a difficult child.

    Welcome to our forum!! I hope some of this helps.
  5. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Hi Carolyn, nothing to add to the good advice the others have given. Just wanted to say welcome, and I can understand how you're feeling, my husband and I have shared many of your experiences.


    P.S. That medication combo bothers me a little bit too
  6. Carolyn9595

    Carolyn9595 Guest

    Thank you all so much! I will work toward the neuropsychologist visit and the educational consultant. I want to make it plain that the bb gun he was sneaking out of our house was Not Ours! I have no idea who is belonged to and he made his friends come take it away. I was out there scolding them and telling them the police suspect you are carrying a gun and they will shoot to kill. I printed a page from the internet with five headlines as proof.
    Today he got into a fight and broke his hand.
  7. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Hi there, we had to get rid of BB guns and they were Ours!

    I'm glad the hand that is broken is not yours.

    by the way I think the motel idea is great!

  8. novangel

    novangel Guest

    I would consider changing his medication if it's not working and if things persist some sort of military camp would probably be beneficial. Good luck.
  9. cboz

    cboz Guest

  10. Jena

    Jena New Member

    you can click on wilderness programs, they all offer the same stuff for the most part. when you do a search on the internet just call each and jot down points of each on paper. pick 5 that look good. than you can review them. meanwhile get the neuropysch testing done. you wanna move quick im thinking and dont wanna wait it out too long.

    id' do a sweep of the house, anything that looks like it could be used in a violent attack sort of thing. sounds dramatic i know yet its better to be safe than sorry. medication combo yup i agree with-others seems off also. those places will help you transport him to an extent if he wont' get into the car. i know i've called them. some are very good yet they are expensive. the one iwanted to send my easy child to was 100k i know there are cheaper ones out there maybe 50k and the other ppl here can give you specifics since their kids went.

    good luck stay strong tell your husband to deep breath he's at an age where he does have to take care of himself also and you too. for now i'd make some basic rules simple stuff just keep it calm till you transition him to a place that'll help him.

  11. Jena

    Jena New Member

    oh and if he gets verbally abusive with you, i mean bad dial 911. i'm serious. again sounds dramatic but u dont 'need to be abused. and maybe the police sitting him down and telling him that will make more of an impact till you transition him into a place that'll truly make the difference.
  12. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    One thing I would also do looking into those programs is call the police dept that has jurisdiction in that area and inquire about the place. If they get a lot of calls out to it, if they've seen a lot of successes come out of it, etc (as I'm sure plenty of the kids there are locals they're familiar with already). I know a lot of court records in FL are available online to some degree, and I'd check to see if the place has been sued or anything in the past, too. You likely can't get the case file or anything, but if you see a long list of (parents vs. whatever) it's likely a good indicator to look elsewhere. I grew up in FL and I would hear about a number of the juvy and bootcamps just the cops in my area said are bad places to do anything but train criminals.

    If you have to call the police on him, make certain they are aware it's in regards to a MENTALLY ILL kid and his age, so they know what they're walking into.
  13. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Not all wilderness programs are the same. I wouldn't send my child to one unless it were recommended by a reputable educational consultant. Our ed consultant only sends kids to ONE wilderness program because he knows the therapists who work with the kids and he knows that they do good clinical work. Be very careful with any program you choose.