I'm going to try to not make this into a novel while still including the pertinent info. Not an easy task with such a complicated situation... difficult child is now 17 and attending a boarding school for kids with learning disabilities. While her grades are ok, her behaviors and choices are spiraling downhill. The latest is getting into (and being the instigator of) a fight at school the other day and ALMOST getting into another one yesterday (a staff member just happened to be there and was able to intervene). If she continues to escalate to the point of physical violence, she will be suspended. Meanwhile, the latest testing that she did resulted in showing that while she is 17 years old, she has the mental functioning of a 9 year old (and in some areas, that is a generous number). The psychiatrist was very blunt and honest, saying that even as an adult, difficult child might be able to reach the functional age of 14, but she doesn't see much hope beyond that. She probably will be unable to function as an adult and tend to things like a steady job, paying bills After a looooooong talk with this psychiatrist, she also has prepared an "official" diagnosis for difficult child (which for privacy's sake I won't mention the exact wording - I know my mother in law is googling). She came up with this diagnosis after I explained to her more of difficult child's issues - namely, people with difficult child's issues cannot learn from their mistakes, and they cannot control their impulses. With these issues, combined with the very low functional age, we have a very serious situation on our hands. difficult child is VERY vulnerable to getting taken advantage of by anyone who wants to exploit her - the psychiatrist used the word "catastrophic" to describe the severity of potential danger - rape, drugs, alcohol, etc. We have many decisions and Plan A, Plan B types of things to think about for difficult child's future. Her being of legal age is looming ahead of us - even though that is several months away, we need to be working on things now. Complicating the matter even further is the fact that I CANNOT deal with difficult child living in my home anymore for any extended period of time. She is such a toxic, unhealthy presence, and I don't trust her around my children. We are tossing around the idea of my husband trying to obtain legal guardianship of her for after she turns 18, mainly so she wouldn't be able to leave whatever school/program she may be at and go live with her bio-mom. I have mixed feelings about that. I'd welcome any input that anyone has; I have to stop now because husband just got home. I can go into more detail later if needed.