So Tim started his sixth therapeutic day school program at Metro Prep in Des Plaines. While we really liked the staff there, particularly Tim’s therapist and his one-on-one aide, Tim’s rages were getting more intense and more frequent. The school operated on a point system – get points for doing positive things, get points taken away for negative things. If you have a kid with bipolar or another mood disorder, then you know – points systems nearly always fail. Why? Because one you’ve lost points, the entire day is shot – might as well lose them all. Tim most definitely operated this way.
It was during this time – and the several inpatient stays needed during his time at Metro Prep – that we finally found a child psychiatrist that believed us – Tim had something going on besides oppositional defiant disorder, or a conduct disorder. Tim wasn’t autistic. Dr. D (as we call him) listened to us, worked with us, and wanted to help us. It was a strange but wonderful feeling to find a professional that WANTED to work with us.
Tim’s rage got to be too much for Metro Prep, and they gave the district 30 day notice that Tim could not come back. We’d worked with the school district, and we were pushing for a residential program – Tim had blown through six day programs, and there were other day programs that would not accept him. But the school district refused to hear it. They felt we had not exhausted all of the day program options.
There was only one other day program in a 40 mile radius that was willing to consider taking Tim in – Northwest Academy at Streamwood.