While in PHP (the partial hospitalization program) we would get a sheet home at the end of the day. On it, they score E on his participation in each element of the program each day. Sometimes he didn’t participate. Other times he was crying or upset. Sometimes he did a great job. A typical 11 year old. I wrongly assumed that they were working on getting him to participate. They were the experts right?
On one of the last days before discharge we were brought in for family therapy. To be honest there was not therapy. It was just talking, a Q and A. They told us that discharge was happening in a week and we needed to make other arrangements. They then proceeded to list what we should be looking for. I could only think “Why didn’t you tell us he would need more therapy when he first started.” Programs for children his age are few and far between. When you find one to take him, the waiting list is usually weeks long. What to do?
We (the school district and I) decided to start E back to school on a partial day. We would then work up to a full day. I did alert the school that he had not received a lot of therapy and coping skills. I was hopeful that by the end of the school year in early June he could go to class for three hours.
The first day we got into the building and sat in the office for the third period. I congratulated him. I asked him if maybe he could try five minutes of class the next day. We got back to school the next day and he made it to class for third hour. The teacher said he did great.
I was so pleased. I was sure that he would go again tomorrow. Tomorrow came and E was so nervous. He didn’t want to go to school. I was able to get him there. We go inside and for twenty minutes we are in the main office. I try to encourage him to go to class. He has a meltdown. So we sat in the office with him clinging to me and whimpering. We left early. The day after he refused to go at all. I was able to convince him to let me drive him to the parking lot and we would sit in the car. So we did the care for 15 minutes.
The next day we increased our car in the parking lot time to 25 minutes, then so on. When the next week came we started going into the building and sitting in the counseling office. First for 5 minutes again and then the rest of the time in the car. I also did the increase as this week went.
We also found time to sign E up for next year. He chose computer classes for his elective. I am hoping he will be attend class. He has now been able to sit in the counseling center for the entire 3rd period. He has been able to do it for 3 days in a row. For the first 2 days, he had panic attacks at the end of the time. He wanted to leave, but I wouldn’t let him. He finally was able to get a hold of his anxiety. I am hoping if we can still go next week.
Next week, we are going to an intake meeting for a new day treatment program. It should be a half day program in the Summer. I’m not sure what good it will do. It is with a different counseling center than what we have been dealing with. I hope it will be helpful. I feel like he hasn’t gotten any help yet. We were told by the PHP that this is a step down in care. I’m not sure. He hasn’t had any care yet and I am concerned. If they enroll him right away we will not be able to try to go to school again.
There isn’t much time left. School is ending soon. I had hoped to be further along in his recovery from anxiety and depression. I just have to take it as it comes. I would prefer things to be more planned. I’m not able to plan too much as I have to rely on other people. (doctors/therapists)
I did send some flowers to E’s case manager/teacher. She has been super helpful. I have always been amazed how accommodating the school has been. It is a complete difference from my experience with his elementary school. I’m really grateful that they have been so accommodating. The stress would have been so much greater than if they were not helpful.
I have also made the decision to break ties with E’s old therapist and have gotten him a new one. I told my son the new therapist is closer to home. Which is true, but not the main reason. We really have to see more concrete effort. It has been months and he has gotten worse. I have high hopes for this new therapist. It will take E awhile to warm up to them.
I have also arranged tutoring for E this summer. So he will be caught up academically by next year. We also went back to see his old Psychiatrist. The Psychiatrist said he would increase E’s medication slightly but he is concerned that he hasn’t made any progress. So I told him about the new therapist and other things. I also created a plan to help him for the summer. I am hoping that it will help him overcome his anxiety and depression. I am hoping he can make it next year. I only have 3 months to help him.
There are so many things that I need to do in regards to E. I can only do so many things at once. The big thing is to get him in control of his anxiety and depression. After that is done I can address other things.