I'm unhappy to report that The Kid's experience at the new school was not immediately good. He exibited the same behaviors, only worse. And added to the mix is extreme anxiety. He knows that something's not right, he can't sleep without a heavy dose of benadryl and he's been really amping up at home as well, getting angry and acting out in the one place where we've been free of the anger.
On his first day, he exploded when a child laughed at him because he dribbled food on his pants (applesauce, the offending food). He's reacting poorly to the school's behavior management programs, in fact, they are his worst trigger for outbursts. He kicked his teacher and hit students. It's not been good.
On Monday of last week, I expressed my desperation to the school psychologist. I explained how the psychologist is saying everyone should wait until she can treat him with the right meds, how he's just getting worse on them and we're running out of time. School is not a safe place for him or with him in it. I asked him what was next. He said "Day Treatment." This is supremely frustrating because I pursued day treatment a month ago, but was told by his psychiatrist that it wouldn't be necessary.
The school psychologist and I contrived a plan to get him into day treatment at the best hospital in town, with or without the consent of our psychiatrist. I agree that he needs intensive help, and I'm not waiting for the psychiatrist to fuck The Kid up with lots of crazy meds and no therapy. So, we waited for The Kid to get angry. The second he compromised the safety of himself or others, we called 911. Long story short, ambulance, emergency room, admission to day treatment. The psychiatrist has no say, although when she called me back (eventually) after my voicemail informing her of the week's events, she acted like she thought it was the best possible treatment for him all along. Grrrr.
So, next week we start "hospital school." It is an intensive outpatient system, wherein he is in a small classroom, does some instruction, but mostly moves around to doctor to psychologist to group to specialist if necessary. I wish I could say I'm hopeful that this will be a solution, but if I don't find a psychiatrist that I have a good trusting raport with, and if I don't find an ongoing therapist, anything they do there will pop up again in a few weeks, months, years.
I'm starting to realize that The Kid is far sicker than I ever imagined he could be. That he has a crippling mental illness that causes significant disability, not merely a challenge or a set of obstacles as he moves through childhood. I lay awake at night and imagine myself at 60, 80 and more taking care of my mentally ill son. I know that's defeatist and just unbelievably sad, but it's part of the greiving process I'm going through. He's sick. He'll never be 'normal,' not even in a nice sense of that word. As he gets older, this is going to follow us. I just hope we find the right resources to help us navigate that future. And that he has the fortitude to remember his good side, his strengths and his ability to succeed. I hope I can do the same.