Monday, February 18, 2013

One Tough Decision: Does He Stay with Us or Go to a Home?

`I really did not want to write today, but yesterday I made a promise to myself. I made up my mind to write something every day, for 30 days. And let's face it, writing is cathartic. You can get all your thoughts and feelings and plans down on paper, all your emotions. You can write letters to people who intrigue you, bedevil you, anger you,  help you. You can simply write lists or fill the page with stuff that only you understand. Then you can hit send, hit delete, mail it, destroy it. I love having that power.
  While I will be writing every day, I don't know that all of it will end up being published to read. My goal is still two to three posts a week, and I've yet to meet that on a consistent basis lately. I'm working on it though.  I have a lot to say about life. I have way too much to say about autism. 
  Yup, still on that kick so far. I'm at a point of frustration at myself because there are days like today that I don't know which end is up. I know there are parents who deal with the negative aspects of autism on a regular basis like I do so when I talk about my experiences and thoughts, I want to be honest. 
  My son isn't always loving and sweet and kind. For whatever reason, he lashes out. He had a sonogram today to check his liver and within the next few weeks he will see a gastroenterologist. Somewhere along either of those two lines is the reason for his tummy issues. While I think that part of the problem is he has turned some of it into a "stim" (self stimulation, in short, a tic that a person does out of habit or as a way of calming or lessening self boredom), there is a medical reason behind the majority of it. The belching and the vomiting gets on his own nerves I'm sure, because he gets angry quite easily the regurgitation. 
  I know he goes through a lot, but sometimes I reach my own breaking point. While he does not get violent every day or for long when it  happens, it's wearing on the nerves. I hurt for him inside because I desperately want to fix whatever it is that is bothering him, frustrated because sometimes I just can't. I worry that one day he will progress beyond hitting or biting, and harm himself, or me. I'm a big girl, but he's a lot stronger than I am. 
  It's during bad rages that I begin wondering, Should I find a group home or a hospital/school in which to place him? It's not an easy decision, especially when you have two soft hearted parents and well meaning family who love to give advice on the matter. Most of the advice is, Don't do it. 
   As parents, we want to take care of him no matter what. At the same time he can over power me and can currently give his Dad a good run for his money. It's during the rages that i sometimes think, That's it. We have to place him somewhere. Afterward, when he's calm, I'm right back to thinking, nah. It'll be okay. And I'm good for awhile.
   I'm at a stand still for now. I've prayed about it, our church family prays for our wisdom in caring for J. We've talked about it all, my husband and I, on several occasions. While one or the other of us has at one time or another been for placing him in a home, the other shies away. At this point, neither of us is ready to commit to having J anywhere but with us. Until we both agree, we continue on. 
   One day we may have to go ahead and make that decision, once and for all. Neither of us is looking forward to it. It's not like we would find a place for him and then forget he ever existed. That would never happen. We would visit, bring him home at times, continue to care. So why does a decision like this have to be so hard?       


  1. It is hard I think because the thought of sending our kids away makes us feel like we failed them. I find myself overwhelmed often, and like you feel that I just cannot do this anymore, but then I find renewed strength in even a good few minutes. Sometimes I think a break would be good, and I know there are places that could provide this. I just haven't found one yet locally since we moved from Ohio. But I will find him an "enrichment center" where he go for a couple hours each day and learn some skills. Until then I struggle to search for answers and resolve through my fellow "puzzle parents".

  2. That's it, exactly! Those good moments help a lot. In my area in Ga there is nothing in the way of respite, which is really sad. So to "get away" for a few hours or so, I usually have to depend on my husband to stay home with J while I go do something. What i wouldn't give to have a few hours alone with my husband once in awhile, though. But like you, I continue on. We have to move from here as soon as we find a place closer to my husband's work, and then I'll be looking for an enrichment center myself. For now, J is home with me every day.

  3. I have a dear friend whose son became violent. He broke furniture, lashed out, attacked their daughter; it was dangerous.

    She made the painful decision to put him in a group home 5 hours away. She drove to see him every weekend and it was rough. She found something closer to the house, which is good. But it is still hard. She is a strong Christian who loves the Lord and wants what is best for her son and her family.

    Whatever you decide to do, make sure that it's *your* decision, that **God leads you** and forget about what everyone else says to do or not do.

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