I don't have a lot of knowledge of what you're going through but did have a difficult child with ADD (but wasn't diagnosed then) as a youngster who now has PTSD and ADHD. Nothing in comparison to your struggles. But what I do remember as a young Mom was a lot of sleepless nights, lots of crying by myself wondering how on earth were we ever going to get through it. This started even in Kindergarten. I remember praying and saying, Lord I don't even know how he's going to stand still in the entrance line to get into school in the morning. He was always zipping around here and there out of control. That was just the beginning and it was a long uphill battle. Many parent/teacher/principal conferences on his bad behavior.
My husband at the time was opposed to having him seen because he didn't want to have the stigma of any diagnosis put on him. I'll be honest, I didn't have much say so but kind of felt the same way (at the time). I feel like now, if I had just known what was going on with him I would have been in a better position to help. Instead I spent years and years what felt like beating my head against the wall with constant troubles and issues that just made him always look like a bad boy and me a bad mother who didn't know how to control him.
When you know better, you do better so I will try not to beat myself up. But now I clearly know that having knowledge about whatever "issue" it is we have, whether it's a child with mental and emotional issues, children/husbands/wives with alcoholism or drug addictions or addictions of any kind, moves us out of denial and secrecy.
I feel anything that is kept secret or hidden by temporarily fixing with some kind of gratification either by us (through our own perhaps, compulsive shopping, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), overeating to name a few) or by temporarily gratifying the person with the problem by bribery with a toy, promises, or restrictions made when we are out of control, is only a band-aid on the problem.
I know you are "trying" to find out what B's issues are and based on the sounds of your determination, I think you will begin to find the answers. It may take time but you are opening the door and letting the light shine in. Keeping knocking on all doors until something opens up. Once you begin to "get answers" you can begin to put those actions into place for his healing and ultimately yours and the whole family.
I can also add my own family's story. The scenario is very different in some ways but in case there might be an elemental truth that may prove helpful, I will offer it here.
My oldest stepson was deeply troubled from a very young age. He is also academically and intellectually talented, and these masked some of his issues (but not all) until he reached HS age, when he could no longer camouflage them.
We got him as much help as could be agreed upon by his parents, who had a very high conflict divorce and to this day, cannot co-parent effectively because of the rancor between them. He was in therapy weekly, he was on psychiatric medications until he decided not to be compliant in his early teens, he was hospitalized inpatient and partial.
None of it helped. He went further and further off the rails. He grew strong and tall and began to use violence and intimidation with his family to get his way. He developed a drug issue on top of all of his other problems. He dropped out of school and couldn't keep a job, and stayed in his room when he wasn't selling drugs. This all happened in the home of his custodial parent - not us.
He is now a legal adult and finally just beginning to shape up - only because he faces jail time if he doesn't.
Looking back, should my stepson have been sent to a military school or something similar the instant he indicated that he couldn't and wouldn't accept authority? Probably so. Doesn't help us now, but I hope our story might help you feel less alone and also more certain that when the right option opens up, that it's worth taking. My stepson has done SO much damage not only to himself but to all of us - our trust in him, our relationship with him. And of course, his own life. He's still young but way behind where he should be.
Don't hesitate to take the steps that are necessary. I wish we had done so.
B falls through the cracks because he doesn’t qualify for a lot of supports or funding- he doesn’t have an intellectual disability, autism or a physical disability “the big 3”. So he doesn’t qualify as per our government/ministry for A LOT of supports. There’s a home away from home program where you keep legal custody but they live with someone else- but he doesn’t have any of the big 3. So they won’t take him
He doesn’t qualify for mental health services because they’re geared for “normal” people with mental health issues. Not someone who has the functioning of a 4 year old with lower average IQ. They won’t do talk therapy with him because of this- it doesn’t work- we tried. We also tried play therapy to help with his mental health diagnoses but they also didn’t work.
They have mental health respite homes but they won’t take him because of his behaviours. They’re not “equipped to deal with someone like him”
We’ve looked into military boarding school but we cannot afford the 55,000$ tuition fees.
He needs further genetic testing that our ministry won’t pay for (must to send to the states) and we cannot afford to pay privately. Our medical insurance doesn’t cover that type of stuff here because our health care system is supposed to. It’s dumb.
Canada is basically a wait list. We waiting 10 months to get into an institution, then saw a doctor, then waiting another year to get him into residential that lasted 9 weeks. He came out worse than before because they literally let him do whatever he wanted. (Went to bed at midnight, went to school at 11 with two bags of toys and a blanket, etc). Then they sent him back with a new list of diagnoses and said he’s all ours. We waited from beginning of October to mid December to get him into the long term residential treatment facility in another city. After six months they called and told me to come pick him up. That he’s basically too aggressive and they can’t help him. So since May, we have been sitting and waiting. Our coordinator decided that August is a great month to take off. We’re sitting ducks with no where to go. Fun stuff Canada is. Lol
I think in the U.S. he would definitely get an autism diagnosis. I think he has it . Of course, I am not a doctor. Just know many people and some have auristic kids that have been diagnosed. It sounds familiar. His behaviors. I feel terrible for you.
Hugs and prayers. I don't know about National Healthcare. Maybe the goverment cuts corners.I am sorry.
Wow, B's mom, you are being kicked in the teeth by the system on top of struggling to deal with B's needs.....you are truly a warrior!
In the US it is possible to obtain the free services of a special education advocate who can assist families with obtaining PROPER diagnosis and placement. Now this is educationally based, and works within the school system, not the medical system - and you'll likely need both medical and educational assistance to build the case that B does in fact belong under that "big 3" umbrella. Is there such a resource in Canada?
Additionally, I would contact one of the major universities closest to you with a medical school, and ask if they offer autism screening on a sliding scale. The gold standard screener for autism (unless it has changed) is called the ADOS and must be administered over several days. It consists of a great deal of observation in different situations. I would insist that he receive this screening.
I don't think he is properly diagnosed and I think that if he was diagnosed appropriately you would be able to place him in the setting that would be best for him.