Why is adapive age different at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) then at home?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Hanging-On, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. Hanging-On

    Hanging-On New Member

    Info: I've always tried to think of what skills my children will need once they are grown up, so I give them these basic things as chores based on their age. Picking up your shoes and put them by the door, how to separate clothes to then wash them, how to do a load of wash and dry it, how to fold and put it away. How to make a table, the clean the table, do the dishes and put the dishes away. How to pick up the house, vaccum, dust, mop floor. How to raise the farm animals for food, how to ranch, how to garden and land care. Now my parents never really "taught" me really anything. My dad was a high powered professional who also did all the farm/ranch/handyman stuff, and my mom was a stay at home mom who could cook gourmet to hand sew better then professionals. (think Martha Stewart and you get the picture). So if I was taught what they knew, wow I would have some awesome skills but, I wasn't. I was thrown into everything and said to sink or swim. I tried to watch them and learn that way, but I had no instruction. So I can function in some of these things, but I can't do them with the skill my parents did. I want to do better than that for my boys, so I try to have them work beside me and learn.

    First some age info: difficult child is 11 yrs old, adaptive functioning age much less than that. When he was 6 yrs old, they said his adaptive age was 1.5-2yrs old. Next Neurophsyic evaluation is this winter, so I won't know the new adaptivefunctioning age until then. But if we use the same ratio, then his adaptive age is 2.75-3.67 yrs old. difficult child was in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for a year, between the ages of 9.5 - 10.5 yrs old.

    When difficult child was younger 3-6 yrs old, he not only learned chores...but did them. He'd put his toys away, pick up his room, separate the laundry and then I did it and he would help me hang it out to dry and then take it off the line, help pick up his stuff around the house, and help make the table for meals, and fed/water the house pets, gather the eggs, feed the chichens. When I needed help (not often, but when my hands were full and needed another pair), he'd also help me with the horses and other animals, clean the barn and throw hay. I thought that was enough for his age, and he did everything about 90% of time. Then he went to kindergarten in the elementary school and was put with a normal class and EVERYTHING about him changed. He went into crisis, started to run away, severe ODD, violent, and NEVER did chores again. (Now, he's always been difficult, and very jearlous of easy child, and picking on him, and acting on the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), and nonverbal until 4.5 yrs old.....but he and I got along even though he always seemed mad at me, and he pretty much listened to me).

    BUT once in public school, his difficult child'ness really came out. It just get a thousand times worse. Then all the therapists etc, which made him disrespect me more....then Residential Treatment Center (RTC) last year.

    So, when he started doing CHORES at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) (his laundry, cleaning his room, making and cleaning the table, vaccuming the common arean) I thought wonderful they got through to him and something changed for him....great. BUT, when he came back home he did chores at first but now 3 months later....nothing. We are back to the "I'm tired, can you help me." So easy child and I are doing everything, and he just creates more. He could be standing over his toy or clothes on the floor, and I ask him to reach down and pick-it up and he'll fall on the couch and say "I'm tired, can you help me" which means ."you do it". OMG, no difficult child WE NEED YOUR HELP. Now that he is home the amount of work has exploded 10 fold. I'm not asking him to do the farm/ranch chores, I do that. I'm not asking him to do the laundry or anything else. I'm only asking him to pick up HIS stuff and clean HIS room.

    At the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) I saw him act and talk older then his adaptive age 2.75-3.67 yrs old. He truly functioned closer at his real age during that time 9.5 - 105 yrs old. But the second he came home he litteraly turned into a toddler in front of my eyes. His speech and actions are now back closer to his adaptive age. WHY???

    WHY is his adaptive age different at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) then it is at home. What happened? And does this mean he's better off growing up in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC), then home, so he can function at his real age? ALL of this is breaking my heart and I don't know what this mean? It's really making me afraid for him.
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Absolute structure and lower expectations. My Kanga functions far better in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) than she ever did at home. There are far less demands on them in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) (contrary to how I thought it would be). I think a lot of difficult children thrive on a strict schedule. While in Residential Treatment Center (RTC), a lot of the normal demands of life aren't there - any conflict with a peer is quickly moderated by staff; staff tends to speak only in calm soothing tones; paid for everything in either points or cash. Residential Treatment Center (RTC) does not do a great job in preparing kids for reintegration into the real world.

    The other possibility - since you said he did comply for 3 months - is that he is entering a depressive cycle or school phobia is rearing its ugly head as the start of a new year approaches.
  3. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Hangin, both the tweedles did very very well in Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Outside of that level of structure, not so much. Like Triple J's Kanga, the add'l staff helped especially wm regulate behaviors/choices. Helped with conflicts & conflict resolution.

    However, with as many interventions we give our difficult children some of these life skills just do not become internalized ~ for whatever reason. The reasoning, ability to put the brakes on, etc just goes out the door with-o a one on one. wm is functioning emotionally & cognitively at the age of 7 most days. He's extremely intelligent but cannot internalize all that he is taught on a daily basis.

    Just answering your question with my experiences. Doesn't mean the same for your difficult child.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    While they are in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) the structure does not bend to them, they bend to it. At home there are not enough people to maintain that structure and they can wear family down to do it for them, so they do. Try throwing away anything he won't pick up himself. Don't give chances to earn it back. If he wants another one he must earn the $$ to buy it.

    Read Love and Logic Parenting by Fay and Cline - they have excellent advice that really works. You can learn more about it at www.loveandlogic.com .

    I ignore most of the adaptive age stuff. I was pretty sure my son could do a load of laundry at age 8, whether they said his adaptive age was 2 or 20. I knew because I had seen him do it. Ditto for many things. Often we hear the adaptive age and then dumb down info and requirements which lets our kiddos work on an easy level and think they can stop working to reach a higher level of functioning. This is only my opinion, but often it worked for my kids. Some tdocs were horrified but it didn't matter to me. I figured that if he could do it before I knew his 'adaptive age' then he could do it after, even if it didn't technically fit that age.
  5. Hanging-On

    Hanging-On New Member

    Thank you all. Suzie, I think like you. difficult child was doing
    most of this stuff before all the "professionals" came into our life. Now I have a more helpless difficult child, and I wonder if it's because he always has one of them helping him with everything. So now he's spoiled. And now he'll live up to their "age expectation" , which to me has lessen his abilities.
  6. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Techincally, Tigger is an adaptive age of about 4 and Eeyore of about 10. But I have learned that adaptive age is just an average. Both boys can do somethings as well as any high school senior and other things that a 3 year old can master are beyond them. I just look at each task and determine (a) can they do this independently (b) are they ready to learn this (c) can they do this with supports or (d) not ready yet.

    I would sit down and make a list of all of the things you know he can do and then enforce that he do those things. Then start adding in things you think he is capable of doing.
  7. Hanging-On

    Hanging-On New Member

    Thank you.