Traveling: Sweating the Small Stuff

I LOVE to travel!

I love to explore and experience new things.  Getting off the main road and finding local gems is the BEST!  And I LOVE the idea of family adventures.

Well, my love for travel does not bode well for Ben and his anxiety.  And I mean anxiety with a capital A followed by many exclamation marks! Continue reading “Traveling: Sweating the Small Stuff”

What’s In A Label

I recently had coffee with a friend.  Her high school aged son has received many diagnoses over the years.  The question of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) remains on the table.

She asked my thoughts on pursuing a formal ASD diagnosis.

For me diagnoses, or labels, serve three main purposes.  To help me better understand what makes my kids tick, to provide others with guidance, and to secure services. Continue reading “What’s In A Label”

My Beautiful Destinations

I recently attended a four-day parent workshop at Jack’s therapeutic boarding school.  This is an opportunity to spend time with your child, meet the kids and their families, and learn and grow as a parent.  It is one of the few times during the year that you are with families who truly understand what it is like to raise a child with significant behavioral challenges. Continue reading “My Beautiful Destinations”

Segregation is Alive and Well

My father recently had surgery on his spine at one of the top hospitals in Boston.  I brought my son to the hospital to visit his grandfather.  This is the same hospital Ben spent four days at in the psychiatric emergency department waiting for a bed at a psychiatric hospital. Continue reading “Segregation is Alive and Well”

The Casserole Theory

I recently watched a 60 Minutes Overtime piece, Stigma of Raising a Mentally Ill Child, and it got me thinking.  Mom’s were asked how raising a child with a physical illness is different from raising a child with a mental illness.  

The response in unison was casseroles!

Continue reading “The Casserole Theory”

I Quit!

Warning:  A pity party to follow.  

Every so often it just builds up.  Everything in our life requires so much effort and energy.  We are limited in what we can do.  And when we do attempt typical family outings, we often times pay the price.  I get tired of being the face of strength and grace. Continue reading “I Quit!”

Ask Questions & Then Ask More

A friend of mine recently had a scary experience with her 12 year-old son.

He developed a life threatening side effect to a recently prescribed medication, Lamictal.  

The mom and dad met with a recommended psychiatrist to discuss medications to help their son with depression and a mood disorder.  The psychiatrist recommended Lamictal and shared that it is a highly affective medication with a low risk side effects.  She did mention that some kids develop a mild rash, but that was it. Continue reading “Ask Questions & Then Ask More”

Making a Difference One Story at a Time

To quote a dear friend of mine … “be the change you want to see in the world.”

I was recently reminded that story telling is a powerful tool to create change in our world.  My 13-year old son and I testified during our state’s legislative public hearing in support of a bill to study wait times in emergency departments for receiving acute psychiatric care.  We told our personal story to a room full of state representatives, consumers, advocates, health professionals, and more. Continue reading “Making a Difference One Story at a Time”

Reflections on Wilderness

Our 11 year-old son just graduated from a Wilderness Treatment Program in North Carolina.
He spent 8 weeks in the woods with a thirty pound backpack from mid-November until mid-January.
Jack missed Thanksgiving and Christmas at home.
He experienced the devastating forest fires, hiked over 200 miles, and slept in a tent with temperatures in the single digits.

Continue reading “Reflections on Wilderness”

To Board, or Not to Board … Our Decision

What’s the best therapeutic environment for Jack?

 In the two previous posts … Our Current Dilemma and Evaluating Options, I shared how I organize my thoughts, develop a decision-making criteria, and evaluate programs.

Trust me, we want Jack home!

I know when I am exhausted, I do not always make the best decisions.  My emotions get the best of me.  Going through a proven decision-making process helps me stay objective and have greater confidence in the final decision. Continue reading “To Board, or Not to Board … Our Decision”