The System is Failing Us
This post may ruffle some feathers, may even wad some uptight people's panties. So if you are easily ruffled or wadded, then walk away from this post.
This system is flawed. It's failing our children. Our children are sometimes in need of emergent care. It's NOT there for them. It's not fair. To them, or to the parents that care for them.
You see, last month, Liam hit rock bottom. I posted briefly about it, even blogged about in a round about way. (You can read that HERE.)
He had a regression of sorts. That's really the best word I can think to describe it. It started out of the blue. He came to us bawling. Told us his mind was telling him he might be gay, but he likes girls, so that can't be true. He was perseverating on this ideal, and he couldn't stop. He was crying, screaming, rocking, you get the idea.
His father and I tried to explain that it doesn't matter to us, or anyone in our family if he is heterosexual, or homosexual. He is still our boy. That didn't matter to him. Apparently some kid that was playing with Liam and a bunch of kids told Liam, "midgets are gay. and you're a midget, so you're gay."
Sounds stupid, I know, but to Liam, it wasn't. This then progressed. (Bear with me, this is hard to relive, and to actually type it is even worse.)
The next morning at 5 am, he awoke. He was sobbing and rocking uncontrollably. He told me that "because I am autistic, people think I am a killer. They said I will grow up to be a serial killer momma. I don't want to be that when I grow up. I'm not bad!" He really said all this! This was stemming from the news stories on Adam Lanza months back. He heard it, and his mind tucked it away for a rainy day.
(**Note: When you are watching the news, you may think your kiddos aren't paying attention, but I assure you, THEY ARE. Take my advice, shelter them from the heartless media.)
So for DAYS, his mind was taking that story and twisting it about in his mind. He wasn't eating. Barely drinking. He was inconsolable. It didn't matter what we said, or what his therapists said. His mind was set that the world thinks he's a killer.
Now, I have to stop for a moment and thank his therapists and his former doctor from Youth Advocate Programs. They ALL went above and beyond their duties to not only help Liam, but his father and I. Really, they were there, all day, and into the evening checking in on us. I couldn't be more thankful to them all.
(Picture above was written by Liam, it reads "My Brane will not lev me olone." (my brain will not leave me alone.))
But, here is where the system falls apart. Your child is in crisis mode. What do you do? Well, it got bad enough, that we had to take him to the hospital. Sadly, they point blank told us, "We don't know what to do. We don't usually have to deal with this stuff." Say what? You see, they aren't trained to care for autistic people. They aren't trained in protocols to deal with these types of emergencies.
Again, thank god for YAP. Liam's MT met us at the hospital. She gave them the back story. She told them the protocol. So, another social worker was called in to give Liam an emergency evaluation. We actually knew her because Liam used to get services from that agency. Now pay attention, here is proof that the system is flawed.
Here were our options: Since he wasn't considered a danger to himself or us, he could go home. We could then call on Monday (this was a Friday afternoon) and get on a WAIT list for their child psychologist. But we were assured the wait was long~ MONTHS. OR, we could call another provider and get on their list. Our other option was to take him to the hospital in the next town over. That hospital has a psych center, but not for Peds. So, if they found him in need, they ship us via ambulance to a pediatric psych hospital that is TWO hours away from us.
Let that sink in a moment.... We have a psych center here, but NOTHING for children. So, do they think our kids aren't in need????