Ok – so tomorrow took a bit longer than I thought. Life happens.
So – where were we? Oh yes – Tim’s first therapeutic day school in Illinois. Without naming it – but think of a musical starring Robert Goulet and you’ll get it – it was an unmitigated disaster. This program does great with autistic kids, but with a kid like Tim who, in all fairness, we weren’t totally aware then, was all about anxiety and psychosis, it was chaos. Tim had to be physically restrained nearly 50 times in the 18 months he was there. The last day there was interesting – I went to pick Tim up to take him to see a new psychiatrist, and he attacked me, in the classroom, in front of the entire staff. They were horror stricken, but to me, it was life as normal. I was used to being beat up by my 11-year-old.
That led to Tim’s first inpatient hospital stay, also an unmitigated disaster, but I’ll save that for another post about what to do if your child requires hospitalization. If I knew then what I know now, that first hospitalization would have gone far differently, particularly in how we interacted with the staff and doctors.
Tim came out of that hospitalization and into another location of that same program, but that didn’t go much better. On the typical day, Tim’s anxiety level would elevate, and he’d be chased around downtown Des Plaines by a staff member for a good portion of the day.
Tim was on four different meds and had three inpatient stays in 2006, and near the end of the school year, the therapeutic school gave our district 30 days notice that they couldn’t serve Tim any more. He’d been asked to leave his second program in Illinois, fifth over all.