Update on my difficult child who has been in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) since late December

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by BeyondWeary, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. BeyondWeary

    BeyondWeary New Member

    Hello All - I need support and comfort from the enduring community

    I have been dilligently attending "family counselling" sessions to provide input on coping skills for my difficult child#1 who goes into violent rages. We have discussed at great detail the how, when, and why for the skills. The counsellor has told me that my difficult child has great coping skills where he is temporarily housed. (However, in 2 family counselling sessions he went into a rage with first me and then at another time with his dad. But evidently, this doesn't count!) In preparation for his release, the case manager wanted to transition him home with a couple of weekend visits. The last was a disaster.

    He came home for one night and he did OK. When his little brother began bickering and arguing with him, the difficult child #1 got up and went to his room. Alright!

    He came home for 2 nights and his old self emerged. The first evening he wanted me to buy him a little junky radio and I said "No". He cried, but didn't go into a rage. I offered a small nice radio that I had at home, but he didn't want it. The next day, I told him if he could vacuum the living room, I would take him to the thrift store and he could pick out something there. The store he likes has lots of toys and electronics. I told him to vacuum the living room and I redirected him a few times after he started. On the last redirect, he went into a rage - shouting me down, crying, cursing, exploding... he went down on the floor and beat his head with his fists and then beat his chest with his fists. He said he wanted to kill himself. He said " I'm not breaking anything!" (In the past he broke many things around the house.)

    I said "Sit on the sofa and TALK to me - let's work this out." No - just shouting me down. I went out on a walk with the dog. I called his Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and left a message.

    When I got back, he was still crying, but calmer, and he said that the vacuum wasn't working very well. I got another vacuum and said to continue vacuuming. I didn't want to discuss it and stir him up anymore! My goodness - all he had to do was say "Mom - stop telling me to vacuum, because the vacuum isn't working!"

    In the past, he would go in a rage when I would tell him "No", when he felt outdone by his little brother, or when felt entitled about something.

    As he began turning 13, his sense of entitlement grew exponentially! He went from sometimes indicating he was the center of the universe to demanding the acknowledgement that he is THE very center of the universe. His sense of unfairness is excruciating - of course unfairness to him - to heck with anyone else who may be suffering in his domain.

    TODAY: I met with the case manager and counsellor and they still want to release him because he didn't hit anyone!! I said "No way." I told them he didn't show coping skills, still goes into rages, didn't communicate, and said he wanted to kill himself.

    They have me scheduled to meet next week to discuss communication skills for the boy. This is SO surreal. We have tried so many medications and this is psychiatrist # 5!! Brain-wave training (biofeedback) was done when he was about 5-6 and it worked for 3-4 years, but it cost $3000. I have asked for his diagnosis several times and gotten no answer. I have asked for a neuro-psychologist to evaluate him. I have asked for an EEG. Nothing gets answered.

    I am considering long term placement to save my sanity! At least until his dad is able to retire and come home and share in the problem next year. Why don't I take him to brainwave training again? It takes a few months and I can't endure him home in the meantime anymore! Oh, In May I am scheduled for a series of appointments to get difficult child#2 evaluated by a neuro-psychiatric. Maybe they can give me insight and pointers for him before I totally lose my sanity. This is so surreal.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    My son is currently in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) that operates on some different premises that might make for better progress:

    First, real internal change takes time. My son has been in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) since the end of last August and will likely not be released until the end of this summer.

    Second, the entire family is treated, not just the person in residence. We as a family are being taught coping skills right along with our son and parenting skills that match his learning style.

    Third, the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is honing in on his strengths and challenges so we understand better what we need to do to help him along the way. For example, we never knew before that our son did had processing deficits so we now know that when we give him directions we need to give one instruction at a time, break things down, be concrete, be patient, be around in case he gets frustrated, be realistic in our expectations, etc.

    I think it is important for you to understand what is going on with your difficult child. Can you continue to press the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for a more thorough evaluation? Or will your insurance cover a private neuropsychologist evaluation? Or can you afford to pay for one yourself?

    One final thought: The Explosive Child by Ross Greene really does have some great tips on helping parent our extra-challenging children. If you haven't looked at in a while, it might be time for a refresher course.

    Hang in there.
  3. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Beyond, can you tell me what 'redirect' him means when he was vacuuming? What exactly did you say?

    I ask this because sometimes just a simple reword can actually make a world of difference.
  4. BeyondWeary

    BeyondWeary New Member

    Hi busywend, thank you for answering. By redirect, I mean the following: "difficult child - start vacuuming." "difficult child what are you supposed to be doing?" "difficult child get back to vacuuming please."