Hopes for my son: That someday we will find the right combination of therapy, medications, behavior modification, and whatever else it will take for him to be able to function independently. Whether he flips burgers or attends M.I.T. and becomes a rocket scientist, it doesn't matter to me. I want him to be happy, healthy, and above all safe.
What I hope for our family: Peace. The luxury of having a family meal together without having to keep an eye on the knives that may be used as weapons against us later. The sheer joy of being able to ask my son to brush his teeth without being punched and pummeled. For the overall flavor in our house to be one of contentment and love, rather than the anxiety and fear that permeates our lives now.
What I hope for the system: It seems that after every major incident of juvenile violence (i.e. Columbine High School) there is an initial outcry for early identification and intervention for at risk youth. Once the initial outcry passes, it seems that blame once agains shifts to the parents (rightly or wrongly is beside the point). I hope that someday a parent will get direction from a professional, something besides "you can always abandon him/her". Identifying at risk youth does no good if there are no resources for the families. Yes, it all boils down to the almight dollar. But how much would the families at Columbine pay to have the violence there undone? And how much will the state have to pay in the future for those at risk youth who do not receive help and end up in a never ending cycle with the criminal "system"? Is this country so rich that we can afford to throw away our troubled kids?
Sue, Mom of four, wife of saintly husband
8 y/o male difficult child, ODD, ADHD, depression, bipolar, ? personality disorder, ? mood disorder, kitchen sink; medications: Depakote 750 mg, Risperdal 4 mg