Residential Treatment, Again?


15 yo DS has been spiralling for over 3 months. Staying out late, refusing to follow simple rules, cutting school, no drugs or smoking, thank goodness. Police called for running away. No consequences have made a difference. I am looking at residential treatment again. He was in it for several years from 10 yo to 13 yo. Now he's 15, stealing any money he can get his hands on, panhandling or doing who knows what to get money in the community, lying for any and all reasons. Extremely manipulative to get something he wants, and then turns on me within minutes of getting a treat, or whatever it is that he wanted.

I feel as if I am almost out of time to help him turn towards a healthy lifestyle.

But therapist keeps pressuring me to NOT have him go to residential. Therapist keeps denying the seriousness of the stealing, lying, junk-food addiction, and manipulation. I feel that now, at 15, if we don't do something drastic, he's going to end up being one of those adults who blame the world for his problems, and live in misery without being able to sustain or nurture relationships.

His recent neuropsychologist & psychiatric evaluations confirm that he has Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, and PTSD from childhood trauma. Also insecure attachment. Adopted at 3 years old.


Roll With It
I am so sorry. This is such a hard thing to go through. Kids that age are normally a total PITA, but our difficult ones know how to really make it extra hard for us. If residential is what he needs, then it is what is best for him. Sadly, some people just don't function well (or at all) outside of residential institutional settings. Often they sadly end up in the prison system, but any effort you can make now may help. Some just sort of figure it out in their mid to late 20s, once the chaos of teenagerdom has passed and their brains are fully awake. I don't think your son will stay out of trouble that long though.

What do your instincts tell you? Follow them. Ignore the therapist. She sees him for an hour and likely only knows what she hears from him (and you KNOW that isn't the truth!!!). He has likely snowed her into thinking you are an overprotective helicopter mommy who still wants to wipehis tushie. We know better! If you say that he needs residential, then I believe you. I had a son who wanted to kill me. No one believed me either. They thought it was a figure of speech. Even the cops thought that. I had to find another place for him to live or someone was going to end up dead or seriously hurt. I stuck to my guns when even my husband (who was gone 12+ hrs a day) didn't fully back me. We got good results - he is an absolute delight now. Had he stayed in our home? He would be dead or in prison. I probably would have lost my daughter also. I trusted my instincts above else, and I advocate that other moms do that also. Ignore the therapist when she doesn't want him sent to residential. She doesn't have a clue.

I hope this helps. We are here for you!