Residential treatment in California

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by rlsnights, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Been off the board for a long time but back for advice.

    DS 15 is finally having serious issues with school after years of "he's fine when he's here" behavior that has made it tough to get him services at school.

    At home it's another story of course. He's sunk deeply into believing he's powerless to change anything about his life, that only bad things happen to him and that it's OK to unleash his anger and disappointment on his family. That's on top of the mood swing and anxiety issues.

    He's been hospitalized 3 times in the past 9 months with medication changes each time. These have been helpful and he's better in terms of mood swings. His migraines are gone thanks to Topomax.

    But he's now sleeping 11-12 hours a day and refusing to go to school for more than 2 periods a day (out of 6). That's been going on since November. The past 2 weeks he has refused to even go for that shortened day 2 or 3 days. So I don't think it's very long before he's refusing to go at all.

    We have an IEP as OHI because of his multiple disabling conditions. So far the school district has completely refused to do anything more than refer him for 26.5 services because his behavior at school is acceptable. He doesn't yell at anyone, doesn't throw things or act aggressively, he is polite as a general rule, and, up until now, has been making reasonable academic progress.

    His behavior at home is confrontational and sometimes aggressive. If he decides we are depriving him of something he wants or should have he is more likely to get in our faces and get threatening than not. He has started breaking stuff like trash cans and throwing stuff around that's not really valuable but makes a big mess. Lots of drama.

    He's clearly becoming more willing to get physical with us. His psychiatrist and my therapist (he won't see one) both recommend residential treatment and both say they think he would do well in RT.

    We took his Xbox away 2 weeks ago after he went on a rampage, breaking stuff, throwing my art supplies on the floor, taking some of them, taking the modem so no one could use the computer, threatening to break the computer, and shoving me around. All because I had set the family timer on the Xbox to 2 hours.

    We have no way to pay for RT without bankrupting our family and our health insurance doesn't cover it. We live in California and are under the impression that there is no money from school district/county mental health for RT as there has been in the past.

    Because he has been "normal" at school, the school district has been completely unwilling to consider NPS or even an ED classroom or category for him - despite multiple letters from 2 different psychiatrists recommending it.

    Well now he is still fine when he's at school - but he's not there.

    At first this was blamed on a possible sleep disorder but that has now been ruled out. Same with medication side effects.

    If you have any advice for me on how to find RT, how to pay for it (we are already mortgaged to the hilt to pay for his physical health care) and anything else you think would be useful - please share.

    I am so sad and it has been a struggle to come to grips with the need for this but it is also very clear to me that, for this kind of intervention to be successful, it needs to happen now - not 2 years from now. And I don't want anyone to have to live with the consequences if he actually really hurts one of us, his twin sister or himself.

    Thanks so much,

  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Funding for Residential Treatment Center (RTC) really has become THE issue, hasn't it? The only thing I have noticed is that, as Medicaid, health insurance and state agencies have stopped funding RTCs - the student loan companies have begun offering loan programs specifically for Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and wilderness/boot camp programs. The repayment terms are similar to student loans...
  3. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Thanks Daisyface -

    Yes, well we are already up to our eyeballs in debt and I doubt anyone would give us a loan at this point. Our health insurance is an HMO and there's no coverage there at all except for the standard crisis inpatient and ongoing outpatient care. I'm grateful to have that of course, don't mean to sound like I'm complaining.

    It's so hard - I ask myself - if he was sick with cancer and it was going to cost us $50,000 for treatment that would improve his chances of survival - what would we do? Would we go into bankruptcy to get him that care? I'm not sure I know the answer but somehow when it comes to physical health issues it seems simpler - the outcome more predictable and the treatment concrete. You know what you're paying for and you have a rationale that leads to a hoped for outcome.

    When it comes to RT it feels like a totally different question. Mental health treatment methods have huge variations, even within the same treating organization. As for the outcome - the chances of success feel remote. Makes me think of jello - you can see it, you can feel it, it seems like a solid but it's all wobbly and if you try to hold onto it it just melts away and returns to it's liquid state.

    Having trouble staying hopeful today - I feel full of grief. I think some of that is a necessary process that will clear the way for more realistic goals and to help me see my son for who he is today. But it still hurts.

  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Has your son been found eligible for AB3632 services?

    Unfortunately, the services are in limbo at this time because the Governor in October suspended them and there are now three lawsuits pending.
  5. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Yes, he currently is receiving 2x/month counseling from 26.5 services. So far Sacto county has found the money to continue to pay for these services at a reduced level. Thanks for the link to the updated status on AB 3632
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    From what I understand from my online friends in California, AB3632 is how they pay for residential treatment. But, as I said above, the funding may be in limbo at this time. However, it's worth asking around.