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”

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!”

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”

A Different Perspective on New Year’s Resolutions

Champagne, the count down, celebrate, resolutions, kissing family and friends at midnight, the ball in Times Square, hope and promise …

I have been thinking a great deal about this annual milestone and reflecting on feelings of sadness and loss.  Living with mental illness has a funny way of changing one’s perspective on everyday experiences and expectations.  This is especially true for holidays. Continue reading “A Different Perspective on New Year’s Resolutions”

To Board, or Not to Board … Evaluating Options

As I mentioned in my previous post – To Board, or Not to Board … Our Current Dilemma, our youngest son is at a wilderness treatment program.

We are in the process of deciding whether he will come home or go to a therapeutic boarding school. 

When we went through this process with our older son, we hired an education consultant.  This time we are flying solo. Continue reading “To Board, or Not to Board … Evaluating Options”