It's time for me to send my odd teen away.. Help!

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    • #135747

      It is with great sorrow I’ve come to the realization that my last resort is sending my 14 yr old diagnosed odd son away to save him, our relationship, and our family. A little background… His father has severe mental illness, of which he hid very well until I was pregnant. Then he became downright scary, I left him. Soon after he went to prison while I was still pregnant, he just got out last yr. I’ve raised our son by myself. As soon as he was old enough to walk n talk I realized he was not like my older son or other kids. By age 5 he was diagnosed with odd and medicated (which I wasn’t fond of). It Didn’t work well I took him off the meds. By age 8 he was in a behavioral day school. Made him worse,took him out. I’ve tried every possible resource available to me. Counseling, therapy, a mentor program, behavioral school, meds, perform care, reward systems, consequences, talking to him, punishment, love, more love, and when all else failed the old school but whoopins I was raised on that worked for me and my siblings. NOTHING has worked. Here we are 14 yrs later and I’m just done. I can’t help him. This is my last resort. I tried so hard to help him because as he grew older I saw so much of his father in him it scared me. I thought well maybe if I get him the help his father didn’t get growing up I can fix him. Didn’t work. The kid who once called me his best friend now calls me every derogatory name in the book, as well as everyone in his family. Our relationship went from best friends to almost hate and contempt. He’s disrespectful, angry, volatile, explosive, defiant, and the list goes on. The most normal every day things set him off. He is destroying our family. I need help. I love him so much and don’t want to lose him. He needs a deeper level of care. Not a boot camp but a therapeutic setting to address his mental health issues. I am a single mother of 4 children. I live paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford a a pricey therapeutic boarding school. I’ve scoured the internet desperately and haven’t found anything. Can anyone please tell me off any low coat or free residential programs for teens that they may have had or know someone to have had success with. Please! I’m desperate! Doesn’t matter where, I will send him.

    • #135785

      I regret that without geographical information it may be hard to answer your plea, however I’ve had more than one thread here feel like hollering down a rabbit hole, so I will add my thoughts.

      In the US there should be IEPs and 504s backing up your journey with your son. Scarily it may be hard to get him placed into residential care without school district help. It’s your school district I would start with, in the US anyway.

      • #136398

        I have found Calm the Chaos program and the book so helpful. Look up Lemon Lime adventures for more information. Dayna Abraham is a lifesaver for parents and kids like this.

    • #135816
      Penny Williams

      It sounds like the may need an updated neuropsych evaluation. It’s important to get to the root of the behavior, no matter what the diagnosis — that’s the ONLY way to change behavior.

      If you haven’t already, I strongly encourage you to read Ross Greene’s “The Explosive Child.” Not only does he offer deep understanding of defiant and angry behavior, but he outlines a parenting approach that works for kids and families with these challenges.

      I feel about 80% of behavior is a result of the way we parent, and changing the way we parent. We can’t change our kids’ brains or who they are, but we can parent with more flexibility, empathy, and compassion, and those traits are magical.

      You may need to consider Autism Spectrum Disorder as a possibility. I am seeing so many kids and teens who have been identified as having mood disorders and ODD that are actually on the autism spectrum (my own kid included). The literal and rigid thinking common with autism can explain oppositional and angry behavior. That, coupled with no one understanding them and what they’re going though, can create explosive behavior.

      For that matter, anxiety can as well. Anxiety isn’t just fear behavior. It’s very often lashing out, anger and refusal.

      I know this didn’t answer your question about therapeutic schools. The one I know of personally is SOAR NC and it’s PHENOMENAL for kids with ADHD and/or LDs. It is very expensive, of course, but they do have a scholarship program.

      Time for Plan B? 10 Tips for Dealing with an Explosive Child

      Professional Guidelines for Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder

      Q: Should I Have My Child Evaluated for Autism Spectrum Disorder?

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

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