Help! Is this normal for a private Residential Treatment Center (RTC)?

Baggy Bags

Active Member
My son messed up again and bio-dad is putting him in a private residential treatment center (in Mexico) because he (finally) sees that he is not able to take care of him. I just talked to one of the doctors at this place and he tells me that we will not be able to talk to my son for the first 6 weeks!!! This scares the crap out of me. Is this standard? What if he's being abused or something and can't call us?? They say that talking with us will interrupt the process, but it just doesn't sound right to me. They say that they can send me pics, but no phone calls.


Well-Known Member
Yes. In my experience there is an interval of no contact. Six weeks does seem a bit long But I have heard of one month. I will see if by googling I find out more

I do not think 6 Weeks is qualitatively different than 4 weeks.

Baggy. If it were me I would not let this be the deciding point. If all and all this place seems reasonable, I would do it.

You cannot any longer fully protect your son. You can try to but he has gone down a path where he has delimited his options.and your ability to protect him from consequences. He has done this to himself.

There are no other options that seem reasonable or responsible. You have explored them all. The only thing I can think of is that he come back and live in a Casita in your area. The hope would be he works things out, magically. But he is escallating. And you would not be safe

If he goes to jail it is your fear he would be greatly harmed. I think this fear is well-founded. If he runs away there is real risk, too. Great risk. If he harms himself, too.

There is no option, variable that offers a guarantee of safety. I think the responsible decision is this treatment program, or one like it, where there is the possibility, not the probability of risk..
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
I would ask to speak with other parents. I would also ask for a staff person contact, a liason, for this interval.

Baggy. From a therapeutic point of view, the isolation establishes boundaries so that the child cannot so effectively manipulate the situation playing both sides against the middle to gain power. Which is exactly what the teen would do. Cry abuse. Think about what your son did to you. How he described you. And how he was believed.

The containment also establishes a therapeutic millieu so treatment can be effective. It establishes context.

If L called you and described abuse you would believe him and yank him. And only ask questions latter.

I am not justifying their practice, just putting it into context.

What would be the alternative?

I could not find standard intervals of LTD communication. And guess they do not want parents to freak out. When my son went there was an interval and it did not bother him at all. The time went quickly. But in retrospect it was no big deal. But he was 8 years or so older.

Could you visit before he is placed?
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
When I was a 23 year old married adult in a psychiateic hospital (not rehab) I could not call out for a month. People could call me but there was only one pay phone family could call on and the phone had restricted hours so that phone was so busy during that hour that very few people got theough. So it was a while in between calls.

I think.this is common in all psychiatric facilities maybe so you cant cry to come home or focus too much on home and focus on
getting well. I didnt mind.

Your son may care, but drug addicts are very manipulative with all sorts of ways to beg abuse and to try to come home and also often to rain the abuse to us for putting them there.

Can you call the nurses to see how he is? If he is over 18, maybe not.

All in all I think its great he got in and I wouldnt take him out for that. With all the cameras they probably have, abuse in my opinion would be hard not to see. Back in the day we had no cameras. But Staff was diligent and the psychiatric hospital was a very good experience. No abuse at all.

Baggy Bags

Active Member
Thanks. Yes, I'll ask about cameras. He is 16.

You're right, Copa, there are no other options. Part of me feels huge relief that he is finally going to be in a professional facility, under supervision, no drugs, no internet... But then I remember the few horror stories I've read about kids being abused in places like this.

I'm such a gigantic PITA that the doctors agreed to let me talk to him the first two nights and then once on the weekends after that. I was able to talk to my son on the phone - we haven't spoken in months - I just said "If you need me to come get you out of there and you can't speak freely, ask me about the dogs, that will be the code." He just said "ok" and that was that. I know that with that I probably just set myself up for easy manipulation, but there it is. Ugh.

I also wasn't impressed by how the doctor talked to me. They think we're all idiots. Like "Hey, doctor, don't you know that people have internet these days and can read?" He actually said something along the lines of "Just try to stay calm and pray. We're going to save your son." WTF??? You're going to SAVE my son? You don't even know what's wrong with him. And he acted like I was from another planet when I told him that they were not to give my son any kind of medication without my authorization. He said no other parent has ever asked for that before!!!

*For any confused readers - my son is in Mexico because I live in an even less developed country, so Mexico was the better option.


Well-Known Member
I did not realize he was THERE already!

Very smart thinking to insist on your authorization of any medications. Send a fax or email requesting written acknowledgement.

I have lived 9 years with a mexican male. Who if he had his druthers would have prohibited me from leaving the house after 5, because I'm old. Give me a break. He too casts this as "saving" me. Please.

Don't personalize this paternalism as it is their problem. Actually. There have been times I wished somebody would save us.


Well-Known Member
Copa said"Baggy. From a therapeutic point of view, the isolation establishes boundaries so that the child cannot so effectively manipulate thesituation playing both sides against themiddle to gain power. Which is exactly what the teen would do. "
This makes sense to me. I know there is a period of no contact i am not sure how they determine the length. In my opinion you need to give this a chance.


Active Member
I will be worried about a placement out the country. We look at lot into the program we sent out daughter to and found some incidents where children were hurt and they were investigated thorough by the authorities. Who will investigate incidents in Mexico?

And 6 weeks is too much. We were without contacts for some days and even during that short period something happened which caused her to cut of contact with us.


Well-Known Member
Dear Luce

This poster lives outside of the USA. The biodad lives in MX. The mom lives in another third world country where she has researched all options and found none that were viable.

Her child has run away, been suicidal and has threatened her.

Yes. Bad things can happen in any situation but considering the circumstances I believe this mom has made a reasonable and responsible decision .

Baggy Bags

Active Member
I talked to my son again last night and he said the place was good, that he thought they could help him (!!!!) and that everything was going to be okay (!!!!!). He even said that he loved me before he hung up (!!!!). He has only spoken hate to me over the last 8 months, so that is something, even though I no longer let my hopes get up.

I will be making it very clear to the staff that I am ON IT and that they better not do anything to harm my son. I think they've probably already caught on. lol I honestly do not care if they label me "crazy mom" again. I will be heard.

Thanks for your responses <3


Well-Known Member
Very wonderful news and post. You will do what you do but I do not think it either realistic or politic to think that your warning to them can control their intent to harm or indifference to neglect if this is who they are. (I think L has good instincts.)

Bad people don't give a :censored2:. The same with indifferent people. Good and well meaning people would only feel very, very sad and possibly offended. Your best bet, I believe is to stay engaged, involved, neutral and professional. The kind of parent who will leave no stone uunturned to protect and advocate for their child. And pay a legion of attorneys if necessary (but this is left unstated.)

I am so very touched that L reassured you and feels so hopeful and secure there. I am thrilled for you.
Last edited:


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
I'm at work so can't read entire post but YES. The last program my son was in was like that and it was the ONE THAT SAVED HIS LIFE.

It was also faith based so God was in charge and that's what really saved his life.

Good luck.

Baggy Bags

Active Member
Nightmare from hell. I finally managed to get a hold of the psychiatrist. Get this!!!
He's saying that it is of utmost importance that my son get an electroencephalogram and some other tests, because he thinks there is something structurally wrong with his brain, but not like ASPD. So what else??? Do you guys know what that could be???

Anyway, the doctor said something along these lines - "Biodad says he doesn't have any money and he gives me the impression that he is just going to abandon your son here. If he was irresponsible when your son was a baby and abandoned you, know that HE IS STILL IRRESPONSIBLE."

So, freaking out on the one hand, on the other hand hoping for some real answers from this new doctor.


Well-Known Member
Honestly? The doctor SCARES me. I think his point is to scare YOU into getting money. Please read.

What scientific evidence did Dr. Feelgood present to explain why he thinks something is structurally wrong with his brain? Smells fishy and wrong to me.

In the U.S. you would receive all the info and a choice based on your knowledge. The doctor would explain in detail exactly what he is looking for. Sounds like you got no info. Fishy with chips to me.

This may not be a popular suggestion, and I know you dont live in the U.S., but I would not trust this doctor AT ALL unless he explained IN DETAIL what the hell he is thinking and WHY.

With no other choice right now and this seedy doctor in charge, I would pull him out of this so called hospital and do my best to try to somehow get this kid into the U.S. maybe just across the border.

I dont trust this doctor at all and wonder if he just wants money.

If you cant afford it and doctor wont explain in detail what he is looking for AND WHY I wouldnt do it. Your son IS in danger in my opinion from this doctor and maybe the whole hospital staff.

I smell a big scam for money.

I am sorry that I cant offer a better opinion. Others will come along. The U.S. isnt perfect but I think you would get a much better experience here than there.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
First. Ohhh no.

I have a another way of looking at this.

Out of nowhere L.changed. I never bought the aspd. You know that.

Every time a case of a child is presented by a parent here where it is unclear what's going on the posters suggest a neuropsychologist exam, and urge many times a child neurologist be consulted to rule out brain abnormalities that have surfaced/manifested.

You are in a tough spot. L. In one country where you have no ties or benefits.

If it was me I would go there.

To me the doctor sounds reasonable. That does not mean you should not question this.

He told the truth about biodad

L. has settled down in this situation.

I would first ask this: what makes you suspect a brain abnormality?

In what part of the brain? What would be the problem?

Can you tell me the name of this and where I can learn more?

How much is this costing? What will the brain scan cost? Is this the right facility for this? If not where would he go?

What would be the treatments? And cost? Are patients helped? How?

What are options?


The thing is this: where would the treatment he done? What is the treatment?

Is his biodad a citizen? Is L a citizen by way of his biodad? I understand public medicine in MX is poor.

All of these things might be irrelevant but to know the next step you need to have a context.

I would go. This does not sound like a scam to me. It could be. But that's not my gut feeling.

I think you need to go there.


If this MD was only in it for the money he would have already cut loose your son knowing biodad is a deadbeat. You are likely untouchable out of the country. For all intents and purposes this MD is treating son for free.

I agree with swot about USA. Anybody indigent in CA can get emergency medical care no matter the cost. M is undocumented. He pays nothing .
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
With extreme respect, I gently disagree, Copa. Doctor is trying to get money. I have seen and dealt with the psychiatric community from 1977 to now and this is highly just not the norm. Never got more than an EEG, epilepsy test and verbal/written tests.

I can see an EEG or epilepsy test but nothing else.

There is no way I would let any doctor play with my child's brain or even my own. Certainly not without a detailed explanation of why and what. I am not an idiot and can understand doctor explanations and so can the poster. She deserves a full explanation of exactly what structual damage he is looking for, why he is looking, and how risky are these tests. These are reasonable concerns. They need to be explained. They should be explained.

I dont know about ASPD, but he has no symptoms of any brain illness or structural damage. That still leaves open other behavioral disorders. Which is more likely, even if not ASPD. I think he is too young for that diagnoses.

Now ex. So ex was a deadbeat. There is more to it than that. This is probably not his fault unless he is Paris Hilton wealthy.

Does he have maybe $500,000 or more to pay for a bunch of tests that will probably come back normal? My hub is a GREAT father, but he couldnt pay that kind of cash no matter what. We dont have it. This bio dad may not either. That is ALOT! Not everyone can pay hospital bills with no insurance even if they desperately want to. Where will he get tje money ?

Poster can do what she decides is best. I would be heading for the hills with my kid. No offense meant Copa. My opinion is no better than yours. We give her choices and options to chew on :)
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Reduced white matter of the brain can be related to impulsivity, risk taking, suicidality and other mood disorders, aggression, psychosis, euphoria. An MRI is indicated. The articles I read say early diagnosis helps to target treatment and improve outcome.

The thing is there are realities here.

Who pays? You know nothing about this facility or doctor. Is he willing to help you make a plan? What happens if the suspicion is confirmed? What is the treatment and where does L go? Cost? There needs to be some thought here.

Why does this MD suspect this? He needs to tell you. Who is this guy? This MD. What is this place? Have you googled them? Can the psychologist help you?

How can you go forward without being present there?

It is completely necessary for this MD to tell you all of this. To tell you what the treatments would be, the costs, why he suspects this, etc.

I agree with swot. We know nothing about this guy. Or this place.

But that does not mean that he is not responsible and ethical. But I believe you need to go there to talk to him.

Have you signed anything?
Last edited: