Is relinquishing custody best for everyone's safety?

Discussion in 'Failure to Thrive' started by foggybayonet, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. foggybayonet

    foggybayonet New Member

    Hello All,

    Fourteen year old son with multiple-diagnosis is in Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Current insurance, Tricare, is unwilling to pay anymore because of lack of progress. Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is recommending we relinquish custody to the state.

    Andrew has been diagnosed with ODD, Aspergers, Depression and ADHD (I might have missed some there). His problems started around at two or three with hyperactivity, got kicked out of pre-school for fighting and not listening. Struggled through elementary school bouncing from schools due to military. By the time we would get an IEP in place and a strong support team, it was time to move again. During this time lots of attacks on peers, younger siblings and adults. Started running home from school. Started playing with fire during these years and mutilated our pet fish and hid their bodies in his sisters drawer. During this time he is giving numerous medications by psychiatrist and is seeing a psychologist regularly.

    As we move on to middle school the violence and running increases. Has an incident with sibling with his pants off. Unsure of exactly what happened and have been advised by multiple professionals to not create something for the sibling if there isn't anything there. Started receiving ABA therapy and attends a partial inpatient hospital for a while. Now that we are in high school violence has gotten completely out of hand by this point assaulting his mother, constantly intimidating sisters and hitting them, destroying property, holding brooms, pencils etc as weapons. Kicked out of school due to violence. Now when he runs, we have to call 911 and enlist the help of the fire and police departments where he is usually found within two hours, but several miles away from the house. Have had to call the police almost every week due to violence and or running away. We were at our wits end couldn't get the police to help, filed an unruly child declaration with juvenile, couldn't get him placed in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) due mixing autism diagnosis, violence, Tricare insurance, "in a crisis", "not in a crisis", or no beds. Finally, after months and ER stays we found a place that would accept him.

    He has been at this Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for almost six months. We aren't allowed to visit or speak to him because we are considered a trigger. Now he is suicidal and doesn't go to their school anymore and is in isolation most of the time. They constantly call saying they had to restrain and medically restrain him. I have been terrified for years that he is going to hurt one of his siblings or someone else in the community. Now I'm concerned for my wife and I also especially sleeping. He has told his grandparents he hopes they die and rot in hell. Well he has told us all that, but the fact he tells the grandparents that baffles me. Now the hospital is recommending us to relinquish our rights as parents which I believe is the safest choice for everyone and will allow him to get further help to try to keep him out of jail and alive. I have accepted that his life will most likely be in a supervised setting, but the thought of relinquishing our rights as parents is a HUGE step that is permanent. My wife and I have very different opinions, but she is starting to really fear for everyone's safety and she knows he cannot be released to us.

    Many questions are running through my head now. We are residents of Georgia. Would we still be able to visit him? Would we be responsible for his actions? Would we be responsible financially for anything? What if he takes the news of this horribly, would we be notified when he is released from facilities or foster homes? Sorry I know this was long, but reading other posts and someone always asks for more details to advise.

  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Was he adopted or did he have lots of trauma and changes as an infant to five yeas old. Sounds like reactive attachmentt disorder/Conduct Disorder. I feel strongly that dangerous children should be treated outside of the home and away from siblings.

    We adopted a boy who molested his siblings and everyone was too scared of him (the kids) to tell us. A combo of liking fire play, peeing and pooping inappropriately at older ages, and cruelty to animals together are red flags for impending adult psychopathy. Its psychopathy in a child but cant be diagnosed yet. These three behaviors are called the McDonald Triad....look it up. Sounds like your don may fit.

    I would put him in foster care or anywhere except your home. Perhaps therapy can help. I am not a big believer that kids like this often get better. Ours is long gone....we had CPS take him, but he is still in trouble per FB. He is 27 now with four kids (full body shudder). We never wanted to see this boy again when we found out what he did (plus he killed our dogs and we didnt think it could have been him).

    Our other kids were terrified of him and we were horrified that he could have done this so many times to a 3 and 5 year old and strangle our dogs (we thought it had to be a neighbor. This son acted like he loved our dogs and our kids and us). And probably other kids we didnt know were also molested by him.

    He came to us from age 11 and left at 13. Maybe we would have felt differently if he had come as an infant. My other kids were also adopted but as babies. We wanted him out forever.

    Your son exposed himself to a sibling. You dont know for sure what else he has done. We didnt know. CD kids are sneaky and scare their victims. "If you tell anyone about this I will kill Mom and Dad and then you." My littles believed him.

    It is your call. My own opinion is that the other kids at home must be protected. He needs help outside of your home. Dont bring him home. My strong two cents.

    If you relinquish your rights you no longer have any legal connection to him and are not notified of or responsible for his actions. If you keep custody and he, say, goes to foster care you can visit if social worker allows it and you pay child support to the state and are still responsible. You cant see him if you give up your rights. He is then a legal stranger.

    I have no opinion on whether or not to give up your rights, but you still seem attached to him so maybe not. We gave up our rights but our son had only been with us three years and we were not attached to him yet like we were to our littles who came as infants and are our hearts and souls, so for us it was no issue once we knew what the older boy could do and did do. Plus we loved our pets dearly. I would almost call that boy evil. He had no problem hurting animals and people. No conscience. Without a conscience, how can you ever learn right from wrong???

    Blessings and hope and prayers. I know its awful.
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    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  3. foggybayonet

    foggybayonet New Member

    He is not adopted, both parents are biological. He did fall off a playground at about 3, which is the only traumatic thing we can think of. The Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is actually testing to rule that out. Haven't received results on that yet. Thanks for replying, I had seen your posts on another thread and was hoping to hear from you. Going to look of the paychopathy now.
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  4. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    I'm so sorry you are in such an impossible situation. It's agonizing to give up custody, but I don't think it's safe for him to be in the house. Please look up the Macdonald Triad. I really hope he gets the therapy he needs. How old is he? I think he might be eligible for more services if he is in the care of the State. I don't know what help would be available after age eighteen.
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  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Oh. Normally I do not post at all anymore unless I find something very important to me. Feel free to talk to me in private message. I wont post again but I care. Just click on my user name and send. I talk to lots of people that way.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Dear James

    Some of questions you ask are legal ones and you would best be advised to seek legal counsel, with respect to the ramifications of your decision.

    I agree with the others. He should not be home or close to your family. Too much has already happened. Not only is he dangerous. He has not responded to living in a family situation. What good could come of it? He requires a setting where he can possibly be helped. There is no point to returning to a situation that clearly is not only highly risky, but insufficient for him. He is served by being contained and treated.

    There are many parents that relinquish parental rights, for reasons that you describe, but also when their child needs medical treatment that is unavailable to parents. It is not you who is choosing this. The circumstances are mandating your range of choices. If you are no longer able to fund care for him, and he is unsafe in your home, what other choice do you have? From what you say he needs round the clock custodial care. He may for the rest of his life.

    What you do not speak to is his level of attachment to the family. Does he have any relationships to which he responds? I cannot get a feel whether these vicious things he does and says are sporadic and there are periods of normalcy or closeness. This does not alter what is possible or necessary, but it may change how you approach this.

    My heart goes out to you and to your wife. And to your son.

    PS If you are in the US have you spoken with Regional Center. I understand they assist children and adults with developmental disorders. Perhaps they would be a source of funding. Also, what about an IEP? The school district would be on the hook to pay for a large portion of the Residential Treatment Center (RTC), because he has qualifying disabilities for an IEP. Again, that is in the USA.
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    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  7. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    So sorry to hear of your circumstances.

    So glad that you found this site though! You will get a lot of knowledge and support.
  8. foggybayonet

    foggybayonet New Member

    He is 14, the MacDonald triad is some scary stuff which are the types of things we are worried about.
  9. foggybayonet

    foggybayonet New Member

    He use to have a really close bond with his mother, but over the last year has attacked her also, and she cannot get him to calm down anymore.

    I will look into the regional center and haven't thought about the IEP helping to cover costs. I will research that too!
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  10. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    So difficult.

    Please keep us posted.

    We are here to help and at the very least, offer support.

    I would get to a therapist for myself ASAP.
  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    The law says that the school district must pay to educate any child who qualifies under special education law in the least restrictive environment it takes. That includes hospitals, residential treatment centers, non public school, no matter the cost. There is no way that your child does not qualify for this. But school districts don't necessarily make it easy.

    There are free resources to help parents, that provide advocates, and attorneys. I don't know where you live but when we lived in California, my son had his own free attorney that represented him in IEPS. He had a taxi come every day to take him 45 minutes each way to the non-public school which they also paid for. Other children have the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) paid for almost completely. The school district has to pay for the educational part of this, which includes the residential component, if this is included in the IEP. It is the law. School districts can be abusive and intimidating to parents, because they don't want to pay. But they know once it is written into the IEP, they have to pay.

    It is way better to have support, and legal advocacy. The agency I worked with is called Disability Rights. I do not know where else they have offices. But I would bet that if you were to call the Berkeley office they would help you connect with resources.

    The obstacle you have is the medical care part. I don't see how in the world the insurance company can deny coverage. There argument that your son is not responding, is ridiculous. He may not have responded so far, but with the next thing he will. He surely will not respond, if treatment is stopped.

    There must be an ombudsman in your state, to which to appeal. I would go to your state's Department of Insurance (phone call and in writing). I would go to my congressperson, to both senators and to the governor's office. Put everything in writing. Each of these elected officials has a staff that only deals with issues such as yours. They should go to bat for you. I would fax or email a letter and I would call.

    I would start out with something like this in the letter: The insurance company has advised us that they will no longer cover necessary and urgent medical care for my son because they say treatment is not working. I have been advised to surrender parent rights, so that my son can receive the care that he needs. I need your help so that my son can receive the medical treatment that he needs. He should not have to lose his family who loves him, and we should not have to surrender him to the State, that he receive necessary medical treatment.

    Then describe his diagnoses, his behaviors, his symptoms, why he needs this level of care, etc.

    I am not sure if Regional Center will pick up the cost of medical care if the insurance company will not. Eligibility here, I believe, is for kids with developmental disorders. Asperger's is a disability disorder. I think he should be eligible. I would try. You can google for more information. In my own experience regional center picks up things that other programs, insurance do not. (My son was Regional Center for a short time, as an at-risk infant.) They also provide case managers.
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    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Clearly he is severely mentally ill. And the professionals have not yet found a way to reach him. I have seen adults as ill or worse, respond to treatment. Even after a long time in a worse state than is your son.

    Which does not mean that he should be at home or in the community. Some day, g-d willing. But not until he is stable and safe.

    I hope that your elected officials and the department of insurance help you. There should be a parent advocacy group for IEPs in your area They would know where to start.

    There are parents here who I can think of who have gone through a very similar circumstance. In the case I am thinking of the son got better. If you keep posting these parents will see your threads. They can give concrete and specific support .

    Your son could and should be able to stay in a secure treatment facility until he is 18 and at that time the government will take over.
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
  13. B’smom

    B’smom Member

    I have a 10year old son with multiple special needs, he at times, is extremely violent and verbally abusive. He’s also currently in “long term” Residential Treatment Center (RTC) (up to one year). We’re 5 months in and he’s making some progress but we are absolutely terrified that when the time comes, we will have no choice but to sign over our rights in order to keep everyone safe and healthy.

    It breaks my heart, to even think of it. We aren’t there yet like you and your family. We still have time but the pressure we are already facing is exhausting.
    I don’t have any words of wisdom, just wanted you to know you aren’t alone in your fears. I’ve literally asked the same questions, will I get updates? Can I still see him? I cannot imagine my life without B but I also cannot imagine my life with B either.

    Just remember that you will make the best possible decision you can at that time with what you have.

  14. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    I would not hesitate to sign custody over to the state. It's so heartbreaking that he is your child, and he is this mentally ill. But it's good that you have accepted the fact of the situation. You cannot allow him to terrorize the other members of your family; you cannot sacrifice them, for him, perhaps literally, as you may already realize that your boy has all the hallmarks of a psychopath.

    Don't let further tragedy happen, and your son's illness is indeed a tragedy. But you can prevent further harm to others both inside and outside of your family. Make sure he is never permitted to hurt anyone or anything else, including pets. As an animal lover I was sickened to hear of what he did to your pet fish. Don't ignore this most serious of warning signs, along with the fire fascination.
  15. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member

    I agree with the advice you have been given here. You have to consider the safety of your other children . Another consideration is your relationship with the others when they become of age. One of my sons has almost completely cut himself out of our lives because of his brothers actions. He moved far away and hardly ever comes in. He says it is because of the trauma of living with his brother and blames me for the amount of attention he needed. Your other children need you too.