We’ve been traveling a rocky road with the Captain since mid-October of last year. His behavior reverted to that of a first or second grader and has been on a hellish cycle ever since. He’s been suspended from school several times, each infraction a little worse than the last, when he said one of his teachers should be shot.
Even at home, his behavior that we’ve worked to modify under the scheme the therapists gave us many years ago (under Parenting with Love and Logic), acknowledging that his birth mother had left him with reactive attachment issues, * has gone south. He’s surly, uncooperative, passive aggressive and sometimes outright aggressive.
We had a long conversation the other night, just the two of us, where I let him say everything he wanted to say, ask all the questions he wanted to ask (you want to know how many ways I can explain why Dad and I get to make the rules and he doesn’t? A lot.) and the bottom line, what we concluded at the end was his assertion that he was going to continue to ignore our rules until he proved to us that we had to respect him enough to let him do what he wanted.
Fortunately or unfortunately, I guess it depends how you look at it, the school misbehavior has gotten serious enough that they’re looking at alternatives for him. Their suggestion at the moment is to send him to a partial hospitalization program over the summer, with intensive therapy and med management to hopefully get him under control before we’re back in school again.
Informal discussion with some of our long-time therapists yielded the conclusion, however, that we’re not going to be able to get the serious help he needs without A) spending $10,000 out of our already stretched budget for RAD therapy when he’s determined not to change or B) waiting until he actually hurts someone, and letting the corrections department deal with it.
How could we be in this place? No parent should be here. Not after providing the child with years of all the alphabets, good food, good health care, opportunities, encouragement…. it’s heart-breaking.
So, because at 14, children in this state can decline treatment, we wanted to make sure before we tried this summer program that the Captain knew we meant what we said. So I explained to him that we found this program to help him conform to basic expect human behavior for someone his age, and while he could opt out, it wouldn’t be what he wanted. If he doesn’t attend the program, I said, then he needs to pack a suitcase and call whatever relative he thinks will take him in. (Not many, based on our informal survey.) We can’t take the risk any more.
I hate having to choose between the children. But sometimes, I guess, you feel you have to save the ones you can.
* Yes and don’t start about how the DSM-whatever says you can’t be Aspie and have RAD. You clearly can.