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Residential Progress

Last fall, we admitted our son to a residential facility, expecting a 30- to 60-day stay. Just to get his head straight.

From then through early spring, his behavior spiraled so far out of control that he didn’t have an off-campus pass until mid-spring. He earned a 6-hour off-site pass…and promptly spiraled again. He didn’t even wait 24 hours. His next off-site was three months later.

In the last two months, we’ve seen steady progress. He has yet to identify the catalyst, although we and the therapists are trying to find it. If we’re able to find the prompt, we can help him find his way to us again if he slides back into the dark.

No major crises or incidents in the last two months.

Last week, during free play, a basketball hit him in the face hard enough to leave a mark. In January, he would have tried to punch the face of whomever last touched the ball.

This time, he walked away and got an ice pack. Feels like a miracle.

I’m not relaxing yet; he has a lot of motivating factors at the moment and we’ve seen temporary success when he’s motivated, although this is the first time he’s managed past 30 days.

But we’re celebrating each good day.

It’s a long road; if you have a child in crisis, know you’re not alone. Whether you are able to manage in-home or whether your child requires more assistance than you’re able to provide, we’ve experienced both. Remember that finding the services your child requires makes you a GOOD parent.

People outside the experience may not understand why you “sent them away” or “can’t parent” them at home. I’ve learned to accept support and encouragement from anyone and everyone, but only accept concerns from those who’ve lived this. They may have the best intentions, but they have no clue. Smile and nod and thank them for the time they spent thinking about your situation…and then move on. (Unless they have a great idea; in which case, by all means, try it.)

You can do this. WE can do this. I promise.

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