Tuesday, November 27, 2012


photo credit-Tim Green
creative commons license

Life is full of so many milestones for your kids-the first time they roll over, crawl, and talk.  Some kids hit all of their milestones "on time", some are delayed, and some never hit certain milestones.  Others, they hit some other milestones...

like the first time they're admitted to an inpatient psych unit.

Buddy Boy is almost 13 now, and his behavior has become more problematic since this last summer. He's been not only much more argumentative, but more angry (screaming, yelling obscenities, and sometimes hitting, kicking, and throwing things).  We've figured it was the result of puberty kicking in, and old medication regimens becoming ineffective.  Besides his autism and ADHD, Buddy Boy also carries a psych diagnosis, and has occasionally had suicidal ideations since he was at least 4 (it really hurt to write that last sentence).

We've been working with Buddy Boy's psychiatrist to get him evened out, but mounting behavioral problems (with daily calls from school) finally led to a mutual agreement that led to him having "homebound" school starting in mid-September.  We still haven't had an IEP to chart a future for school.

Over the weekend Buddy Boy was perseverating over an erector set project that we've been working on.  The kit is a bit above his level, but he's been wanting to do it, so we've been helping him alot.  Saturday Buddy Boy announced that we promised him we would complete it by the end of the weekend (neither of us had promised this, but he insisted).  I worked two hours on it with him on Saturday, and another two hours on Sunday.  Today he managed to finish it, but it (a motorized forklift) didn't work right.

When Liz pulled into the garage from picking up Sweet Pea from school, Buddy Boy was standing in the garage, reeking of the smell of week killer.  He spit two batteries out of his mouth before starting a tirade against Liz, telling her how this was all her fault, and that he had drank a cup of week killer.

Liz grabbed the week killer and Buddy Boy, told Sweet Pea to stay in the house, and sped to the Emergency Department (ED).  She rightly judged that she'd get there quicker driving him than calling and waiting for an ambulance.  She called me from there, where I joined her.

In the past, Buddy Boy has threatened to do things like cut himself, but we've always been able to fairly easily and quickly talk him into putting the knife down.

When I got to the ED, Buddy Boy was sitting on a cart, with a fairly angry look on his face.  He told me couldn't wait to get out of there, so that he could really get back at us.  Evidently he had repeatedly voiced to the doctors at the ED that if he went home, he would repeat the same thing.  So they wouldn't release him.  He admitted after awhile that he hadn't swallowed any batteries (he initially claimed he had, so they had to x-ray him), but still said he drank "some" of the weed killer, though from talking to poison control he was showing no signs of it.

He remained relatively calm until we took him to the unit.  They insisted he take off his "Ben 10" wristband, and he was told that neither of us could stay with him.  He lost it, screaming, crying, saying he wanted to go home.  Liz held it together, though it had to have been one of the worst days she's had.  She's only been away from him for a total of 4 nights since he was born (two to attend the out of state funeral of her mother, and two to take a short trip to see a friend).  I've been away to at least one conference a year, but still it will be hard tonight.

I'm just hoping he can get it together enough to get out of there quickly.  We've done anything to avoid inpatient placement, as I just don't believe in a "good" inpatient setting.

Prayers and well wishes welcomed.