Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sometimes Things Don't Always Go As Planned.....

I have debated over writing this post or not for a while now. I guess for fear that I will be judged, and I have had a hard enough time dealing with it as it is, so I guess I have felt like I wouldn't be able to handle the judgement that was sure to come.

So I ask those of you who read this, to not judge until you have walked in our shoes, and know what it's like to have a child with an emotional and mental disorder.

Many of you know how we have struggled with Dakota and his issues. We have been doing alot of testing, and working on getting a DX for him, since we know that there is more going on than just simple Asperger syndrome. After some extensive tests we have found that not only does he have Asperger syndrome, but he also is Bi-polar, has Klinefelter syndrome, and has issues with his central auditory processing in his brain.

It's been hard dealing with everything. I mean, just the fact that he has so many things going on, when on the outside he looks so perfect.

Dakota has always kept to himself. He doesn't like doing things together with the family, and now we know why. Because he simply can't handle it. He can't deal with the confusion of three other kids running around, being loud, and playing. He can't deal with sitting down and having a family dinner and the sound of six peoples forks scraping on plates. It literally drives him crazy.

It breaks my heart to know what he has been going through for the past 13 years. It's no wonder he couldn't stand being passed around as a baby, and would only let me or my mom or sister hold him.

I can't imagaine what life has been like for him.

So when things started going down hill at his current school, and he wasn't getting the help that he needs, he had kids sexually harrassing him, and the school chose to turn their heads, I knew that I had to do something.

I met with his therapist, and discussed something that I never thought I would be able to do, but knowing that it would be best for Dakota, decided that I had to do it.

When we lived in our previous town, the Jr. High that Dakota went to was amazing. He thrived there, and got straight A grades. They worked with him, and knew his needs. They bent over backwards to help him succeed. This should be done for any child with special needs, and you shouldn't have to fight for it to happen.

So anyways, after much debating, and talking with therapists, Dakota, Andy, my Mom, and my Sister, we decided that it would be best for Dakota to move in with my mom so that he could go to his old school. Not only that, but living with my mom helps him so that he isn't always in the chaos of a large family.

This has been the hardest thing that I have ever done. I feel like I have failed as a mom. His therapists keep commending me for doing what's best for Dakota, and not being selfish, but I still am having such a hard time with this.

He is only 10 min away from us, and he comes home on the weekends, or whenever he doesn't have school, and I love it when he is here. I miss him so much, so do the other kids and Andy.

But Dakota is happy. He is doing so well, and is thriving with my mom and my sister. He is in a house of adults, and that is who he gets along with. He is doing amazingly well in school, and he is making headway in his therapy where as before he seemed to be stuck.

We have even been able to back off on some of his medications.

I never planned for this to happen. I didn't want it to happen.

Maybe it won't be permanent, maybe it will, I don't know. We just have to take things one day at a time.

Our only other option was to send him to a group home, and I just couldn't do that to him. We are so blessed that my mom and sister were willing to take him in and work with him. Not many families have that option.

Dakota is no longer a danger to himself, or our other children. He is happy, and no matter how awful I feel inside, and how hard this is on me, the only thing that matters is that he is thriving.

Still doesn't mean that I don't miss him.

35 comments:

Abby said...

Wow. I can't imagine what a hard decision that must have been. I am glad the he is close and you can still see each other whenever you want to. And I am so happy that he is doing so much better now! That is great news. It does make me sad that his school was turning their back on all the problems. I work in special ed and I know how hard it is to find the appropriate placement for some kids, but that is the school's responsibility and it stinks when people don't do what they are supposed to do!

Shelly said...

Don't feel that your a bad mom. Your a wonderful mom! This must have been a really really hard decision, but if it is what is best for him I commend you on your courage. I personally have no kids myself yet, But I know that it had to be heart wrenching to see him leave. Good thing is that he is only 10 minutes away and you can see him whenever you want. If anyone looks down on you for this, that's their problem. Your doing what's right for your son! and that's all he and you can ask for!

MJMILLS said...

I think that is incredibly awesome that you and your family are able to do that for him! If anyone judges, shame on them! That is just the best thing for him it sounds like! Go mom! Give yourself a pat on the back. He didn't need that hectic stuff going on at school. It is sad to see what kinds of things go on at school with nothing being done! I almost cried reading this, and I dont even know you or your family! Well, I guess in a blog sense I DO! Heehee! At least he is only 1o mins away like you said. Peace be with you and your son!

Midwest Mommy said...

No judgement here...you as a mother knows what is best for your child. I hope it helps him.

datri said...

You did what you felt was best and that's what's important. And it looks like you made the right decision. It's always hard making these choices.

ilana said...

You are a wonderful mom. You put your child first. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. I know it must have been hard.

kateypie35 said...

I know it must be so hard for you - I can' even imagine. But I for one think you are a fantastic mother - you put the needs of your child ahead of your own desires. And look at the result! You said he is thriving. He is lucky to have you as a Mom, and he is lucky you were able to find a solution that suits him. I can't see why anyone would judge you...you are a good parent. Be gentle with yourself!

Anonymous said...

You are doing the hard part of parenting, doing whatever is best for your child, without being selfish. You are a wonderful mom and are doing a wonderful job.

I can imagine it is hard (I can't imagine how hard), (((Hugs)))

We still love you Pam, as does Dakota and the rest of your family.

T.

Niksmom said...

Oof. Pam, I can't imagine how difficult this has been for your whole family. There is nothing to judge at all. You have done something that is in the best interests of your son and his future. The situation at his old school is horrible! I hope you can maybe find some legal counsel who can help you resolve the situation; I think you are doing a potential disservices to Dakota and to other students if you *don't* pursue it in some fashion. Even if it's just some kind of acknolwedgment from the school that they failed your son.

Heartbreaking.

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

Pam, I can't imagine how hard of a decision that was, but you're doing what is best for your son and that's so selfless of you. I am sure that HE knows the reasons that you chose this, and the fact that he is happy is SO great. I am SO glad your mom and sister are helping out and I do. Please keep us posted on how he's doing?? You're such a great mama!!

The G Fam said...

Pam, Wow! You have been juggling SOO much and I can only imagine how hard it is to be so open. It is so difficult to not have your child under your roof, but what a blessing to have such an amazing Mom and sister. We will pray for peace and strength.
Heart hugs,
Emily

Tina:0) said...

A bad Mom? Those words don't describe you in the least! You said it yourself... you do what's best for your child. As someone else said, that's parenting - the most selfless kind!

Its so nice that you have such a wonderful support system, & that he is relatively close to you. All of this & he's thriving too?! I think that says it all!

I'm sure its very hard right now... I cannot even imagine going through this. But know that him making progress is validation that you did something that many would not have had the courage to do! You should be commended!

Lacey said...

Wow, I'm so glad that he's doing better. I can't imagine not having one of my kids at home, it would drive me crazy, but if he's doing well than thats what matters. It has nothing to do with you being a bad mom, we are struggling with Tanner at this school, and I've considered driving him to his old school, but then that would be another change for him and he would go nuts. Its amazing how some schools do not help special needs kids at all.

Heart Mommy said...

I look at it like this, if Rhett- man is sick we take him to a hospital to get better... Well this is a sort of hospital for Dakota, Right? Only even better because it is with family who love him so much and it is only ten minutes away instead of 60.... I bet it is hard. I am sure you miss him like crazy. Best wishes...

Anonymous said...

I have followed your blog from another "heart baby"s blog for over a year now. You are an amazing family, dealing with more than any of us should have to. As a mother your first priority is to care for the needs of your children. You are doing just that. And the fact that you are even struggling with it shows how much you care for all of your kidos. On a side note I just want you to know that your family makes an impact on all those you meet. Our family recently donated something to the make a wish foundation, while we were there they gave us a short tour and I mentioned how I loved reading your post about your visit. They still remember all of you especially little Rhett. Keep up the awesome job of raising your little flock. Luv Mindy

Stephanie said...

You did what was in Dakota's best interest and for the best interests of the family.

AZ Chapman said...

that was a good thing It is so hard liveing withother stuff besides AS (or NLD )guess what day I had today.

Anonymous said...

While I don't know you, I can tell just from this post YOU ARE AN AWSOME MOM!!!!! Don't let the guit get to you. I know this is easier said than done. My son has Down Syndrome and many other medical issues inclusing silent aspiration. He gave no outward signs that he was drowning in his feeds until he was to the point he had to go on the ventillator - 16 times. You cannot believe the guilt that I have felt not knowing that my baby was drowning!

Our jobs as parents are to prepare our children to live their best lives possible. This doesn't mean that we have to LIKE some of the decisions that we have to make. Your payoff will be a happy, healthy little boy who thrives and will most likely be able to be MORE a part of your family in the end.

Stay the course, have courage, and we will keep you all in our prayers. (((((HUGS))))))

Steph and Christopher in IL
www.carepages.com
OurLittleMan

Amy said...

No judgement here. I have a 6yo with sensory processing disorder. There are days that I get so frustrated with him and his issues. But I try to remember how unsettling it must be to be him.

Often the best decisions are the hardest. The choice you have made is the loving one.

Colleen said...

I can't imagine what a difficult decision it must have been to have Dakota move in with your mom and sister. I'm sure it broke your heart to know that this was best for him. But I commend you for making that decision. It's quite obvious how well Dakota is doing with this arrangement on so many levels. And hopefully this won't be permanent, but at least he is living with people he knows, and not strangers in a group home setting. And, he is not so far away that seeing him at any time would be difficult. Don't beat yourself up for having to do this for Dakota, because you would do anything for your kids, and this decision was the best one for his needs and happiness.
~Colleen :)

Anderson Family said...

Wow Pam - you have been through a lot recently. I see your decision as being the most unselfish thing you could have done as a mom. You have placed Dakota's needs before your own need to have him at home. Because of this decision he will thrive and be able to make some progress.

I bet you and the other kids are missing him terribly. We will send prayers your way that you will be comforted and at peace with the decision you have made. You are an awesome, awesome Mom to all your kids!! We think about you often. Give Rhett a big hug from us!!

Kristi

Tommy's mommy said...

From the most northern part of Washington state we yell "Pam you are an awesome mom" and "Dakota you are super cool". You have made the best decision for your son and it is hard. You do an awesome job. I'm glad you shared the details.

Shari said...

I know about hard decisions Pam. No wonder the poor boy has much trouble. I am so glad he will be with your Mom so he can go to his old school. I know that you will miss him. You are a wonderful Mom! Thank you for the time you allowed me to spend with you when we were talking about helping him. Keep up the good work.

Wendy's Mom said...

Pam, you are not a bad mother in any way, unless being a bad mother means caring, loving and SPOILING little kids. (JK) LOL!!
Seriously you did what you had to for Dakota and that is what a REAL Mother should do. It is not easy I am sure but be so thankful that your Mom and Sister are there for you and are willing to help take care of Dakota. That is awesome. I think it is also wonderful that he is doing so good and that shows you did make the right decision.
If others do not like it then they obviously have never had to make a decision like that.
I was on the side of the fence of doing what your Mom and sister are doing and that was helping other kids. Trust me they are just as happy as can be to be watching him do so good.
Feel free to share any thing with us. After all you do have a lot of blogging friends that DO care about you and your family. I know I do. LOL!!

Love,
Sheila

Aimee said...

Well... you know where I work but I'd rather not tell everyone else. Anyhow, I think that this is a great intervention. In working with troubled youth, I wish that there were more mother's like you. Let me know if there's anything you need or just someone to talk too.

Mia said...

You made a very wise and caring decision. Honestly, when I starting reading I thought you were going to say you had to put him in a residential treatment program so reading he went to your mom's house seemed less difficult than that (although for some kids and families residential treatment is the only option).

You are blessed to have family members willing and able to provide for your son. It seems like a great solution. I hope he continues to thrive.

Travis said...

pam, I think you are a very good mom. You did what was best for him. It must have been very hard to make that choice. my son that is almost 14 wants to go live with his dad. he just got diagnosed with ADHD and is doing better, but I know I need to let him go but my feelings are getting in the way I would feel so guilty if anything ever happened to him if his grades are bad if it gets some friends that are not very good friends it would all be my fault because I let him go. I also, feel like I am giving up on him the therapist is trying to help me see that that isn't the case so that I can do what is best for chandler. logically it makes sense but it doesn't make sense to my heart. I admire you and thank you for being a good example.
angie

Mrs. C said...

Actually, when I read this post I was very thankful for you that your family is there for you. That they would go to THAT LENGTH for Dakota. That is *awesome*.

Caralee said...

What a hard decision that must be for you and for your family! I am sure that he is missed deeply but it sounds like he is doing well. I think that is the most important thing, doing what is going to help him the most! Your Mom and sister are saints to help you out so much! I am happy that they are such a help to you in your family's time of need!

Kathy said...

who could judge you negatively for that? Jiminy Christmas, Pam. The boy needs to be in a calm, setting, free of kids to unwind, he needs order. You couldn't send the rest of the flock away to provide that for him in your home, so you did the only other thing you COULD do. I'm thankful too, for your mom and your sister. anybody who passes judgement is childless, first, heartless, second.

Our Crazy Life said...

Pam we had to do the same thing with our oldest son. It was the best thing for him and although it was hard for me, it helped him A LOT!!!!! Years later I recognize that it was harder for me than it was for him!

RK said...

The bottom line is that he is doing well and you've done what's best for him. That's great. Nuff said.

I can see how it is hard for sure, no doubt, but let yourself off the hook, my friend.

My Three Sons said...

I just wanted to let you know that I'm catching up and I think that your decision was a very unselfish act. If that is what he needs to thrive than that is the right thing to do. I applaud your mother and sister as well. They truly put your family first as well.

FBF Rothkopf said...

Hugs, honey. You did exactly what was best for your child. No one said being a mom was easy - you certainly know that! And at least he's 10 minutes, not 10 hours, away. Thriving. I like that.

Anonymous said...

Failed as a mom?! Honey, you have more wings than any other mom I know right now. It must hurt your heart not to have one of your own in your home. But golly, what you did is the most unselfish thing a person can do; set up your child to thrive in the environment that is best for them. My prayers are with you that your heart won't hurt so much and that you won't feel like a failure mom. You're anything but that.

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