I have to admit, this post title is a little bitter sweet! The reality of sending your child or someone you love to treatment, no matter what the circumstance, is that there is a whole lot of work to be done by everybody involved. Honestly, I did expect that there would be a lot more down time at home, now that Chloe was off “getting treatment.” But as my therapist so bluntly said, “Don’t think that she’ll just come home and be fixed. You guys have a lot of work to do!”
Boy was she right! First, as a high maintenance kid, Chloe makes sure that we’re “present” as much as possible. Whether it’s our twice a day phone check-ins, meeting her at the mall on a group outing, going up north for joint therapy, or partaking in an organized family activity, Chloe continues to advocate for her needs.
While Chloe is home on weekends, we all are working hard to implement new family and parenting strategies that are most effective for kids on the autism spectrum and those with mental illness. They call it collaborative proactive solutions and while it is super effective with her, it takes about 10 times as long as the “old school” method most of us were raised with. But if you have a challenging child, checking out this method is a life-saver!
Last weekend was our third weekend with Chloe home. She has been doing great but understandably struggles transitioning back to the treatment center. If we have one more successful weekend this week, we will all earn the next weekend with two nights with her home instead of one!
We realize that the process with Chloe will be lifelong and the hardest part is yet to come, after we take her home for good and put our work into practice consistently. People on the autism spectrum have a neurological condition, which can never be “fixed.” Mental illness requires constant management of emotions and circumstances and in Chloe’s case, medication that helps stabilize her brain chemicals and mood.
For More Information about Collaborative Proactive Solutions: