Mom, What Mental Illness Did Hitler Have?

Ben and I were watching a documentary related to Hitler and World War II.  When the show ended Ben asked me what mental illness Hitler had and if he was going to be like him? 

We try to shield both kids from the news; yet it is impossible to completely control what they hear and read.  Unfortunately, the media has a tendency to link mass killings with mental illness.  I did not realize the extent to which Ben internalized this connection.

Continue reading “Mom, What Mental Illness Did Hitler Have?”

The Facebook Illusion

Ben and I were driving home after spending four successful days in the Philadelphia area.  He was sleeping in the back of the car and I was thinking about Facebook and my reservation to post pictures from this trip.

Twice I started a Facebook post and twice I hit cancel.

Continue reading “The Facebook Illusion”

Saying Goodbye …

It never gets easy … saying goodbye after visiting your child at a therapeutic boarding school.  

Having gone through this with Ben when he was at a residential treatment center, I should be a pro at saying goodbye.  Not even close!

My husband and I just spent three days with Jack.  He earned off campus privileges and spent two nights with us.

It was an awesome visit!

Continue reading “Saying Goodbye …”

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”

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”

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”