Dear Blog Buds,
Something has just recently come up and I need your advise or the advise of friends and/or family who have gone through this. Last night I received a frantic phone call from my youngest, Ian. As I have mentioned, he is a high functioning autistic and has many behavioral and physical problems related to his condition. He begged me to pick him up because he was fighting with his step-mother about breaking a rule. Now, the rule he broke was trying to sneak candy into his room. He's not allowed to eat in his room at all at his father's house. Here it's a different story...he's allowed, but has to pick up the mess, plus, we have tile in his room so the clean up is easier for all of us. I could hear the woman yelling in the background and right then, his father called me on his cell. I told Ian I was not coming to pick him up, but would talk to his father to see what the big deal was. I told him to calm down, go to his room and just take some time to cool down.
His father told me that he does this every time he breaks "her" rules, I told him I was quite aware of Ian's tantrums, duh! Of course I don't criticize the woman since it is her house and Ian has to follow the rules, anywhere! I tell him he's doing wrong by breaking the rules, regardless who's house or rules they are. Well, I did tell his father that I had spoken with my daughter not long ago and she and my older son know they will inherit Ian when their father and I can no longer care for him. I told my ex that they resent the fact that neither of us really ever did anything aggressively to prepare Ian for a job. I had something lined up when he was living with me...training through his school district, but he decided when he turned 18, he wanted to live with his father. I was very reluctant since I knew I was the better parent and my sweet man a better step-parent. But I relinquished him to his father with hopes that his father could help him in a better field since that school district was more active in helping it's special students and their future because they were a wealthier school district and in El Paso, TX, that's not saying a whole hell of a lot.
Ok, here is where I need you advise. He told me today that his father is going to put him in a group home. I don't have a problem with that, but I've heard horror stories about these places, especially the local ones. I had a lit. prof in college who worked in the school districts at different levels of education before shifting to a university setting. When mentioning to her about my son, she said that the homes here are horrific, so I told his father this, but this was about 4 years ago. Since Ian will not leave the city, I need to do some research. I looked up those homes available here and of course they're in a crappy part of town...high crime area. I need to know what I'm looking for in a home, what kind of staff is needed to care for these individuals and how many patients per staff is a good number.
I'm sure there are many more questions I'll need to ask, but right now I'm so overwhelmed by this news, all I've done is cry in my studio...working of course!! LOL I have so much guilt that I didn't do something more for him and I'm sure his dad is feeling the same. He was in a very good program at his school while living with his dad, but the funding stopped and Ian is trained to be an assistant h.s. athletic trainer, but isn't being paid. I know his dad tried, but stuff happens, if you get my drift. Do to all kinds of laws, Ian is limited to what he can do with the athletic teams. He's not allowed to go on away games due to the heavy duty meds. he's on. It's not that he won't take them, the problem of having them around the students and they knowing he's on them could create a very serious delimma. There are other problems, but I won't go into them...not that important. My guilt stems from my gut feeling he would have been better off with me, but my sweet man assures me his dad did the best he could.
I can't help but feel this wife of his is putting the screws to him and forcing him to make some very serious decisions. She knew he had a son with problems and 2 other children when she decided to break up our marriage. I suppose she knew I would never let him go and she would be free to live out her life with his father....I don't know, it's all water under the bridge now and I have no real harsh feeling anymore, but I know she's behind it and who can't blame her. Ian is a handful and has many times behaved violently. When he was little, I could control it, but as he grew up, just his size and weight became an issue. I'm a pretty hefty size lady, but the step-mom isn't so I know she's had some scares. However, the last time he did this, my husband had to step in and hold him back from hurting me...that's been a few years now, thank God, but one just never knows when he'll blow and what will set him off.
Well, now that I have completely exposed myself to you all, if you can help, please do and if you can't, your prayers will do...yes, Anne, I have a box of St. Jude candles, so don't worry!!!! hahahaha!!!! Thanks for reading this long "blah,blah, woe is me" blog....just to knowing there are people out there that are going through this, or have or know other that are, helps. When he was an baby, I felt so alone because I didn't know what what wrong, but time changed that as did the research on his condition and others like him. Thanks and peace out.