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.
The process I used follows …
Step One – Identify the Goal: To provide Jack with the best environment to advance academically, learn healthy coping skills for ADHD and anxiety, develop frustration tolerance (resilience), and work on social pragmatics. We also want to support Jack’s feelings around being adopted and his dependency on technology as an escape from the daily demands.
Step Two: Identify Options: A) Build a Home-Based Program, or B) Pursue placement at a Therapeutic Boarding School
Step Three – Gather Information: In the previous post – Evaluating Options – I shared our criteria for a program regardless of location and the list of questions I asked schools and programs.
That brings us to weighing the options and making the decision.
Step Four – Consider Pros and Cons:
|Home Based Program|| Jack comes home
Continuity of some of the providers
Friends and family
Addressing Jack’s needs early
Need to change schools for special education supports – private to public
Technology everywhere – harder to manage addiction
Home environment unstable with brother; would need to hire in-home support
Pieces and parts of a therapeutic model – coordination of care falls on me
|ABC Therapeutic Boarding School (we narrowed down our options to one school)||
Continuity of care under one program
Strong academic program for kids with ADHD and anxiety
Adoption program and digital literacy program
Clear, strength based token economy system
Comprehensive therapeutic model
Addressing Jack’s needs early
|Far from home
Cost of program
Cost of travel
Finding care for Jack’s brother when we travel
Unknown of the milieu
Step Five – Make Your Decision: We made the decision to send Jack to a Therapeutic Boarding School. Only time will tell if we made the right decision. We do have tremendous confidence in the program we chose and believe Jack will thrive there socially, academically, and behaviorally.
Again, we want Jack home. However, based on Jack’s pattern of behavior over the past eight months coupled with the reality of our home life (having a special needs brother and one parent home during the week), we did not feel as if we were setting Jack up to succeed if we brought him home at this time.
We did not want to put Jack in a situation where he “fails” and then perceives therapeutic boarding school as a punishment.
Our hope is that we made the best decision for Jack with the information we have today in order to provide him with every opportunity to be a successful and happy young man.
The journey continues …