Well supporters.. we did it.. grab a coffee.. (or not, its late),I have a lot to say!
In case you haven’t heard… Preston is in Great Lakes Treatment facility. Yes, you read right! He is in treatment!!!Its such a bittersweet feeling. I miss him something awful. It’s a very mixed array of emotions that i deal with by the hour. My husband passed away when P was only 18 months old. From the minute it happened, Preston became my world. Literally. I’m feeling very lost without him. However, I know it’s for the best. I cannot thank everyone enough for reading my blog, for caring about us, for helping us, and for the emotional support. Blogging and social networking has been my lifeline. I am going to answer a few common questions about his treatment the best way that i can.
How did I get Preston placed into the facility?
It wasn’t easy and in all honesty I’m not sure I can say it was exactly one thing or another. I believe that it was the combination of the endless phone calls, proof over the years of his behaviors that were undeniably unmanageable, countless hours on the phone to any and every person that i thought could help like autism alliance of michigan, the ARC, disability network, the governors office, endless conferences, emails, and most of all dealing with medicaid and the state of michigan, including CMH. The combination of these things and the letters of recipient rights complaints, the support, and basically the state of crisis we were in. Finally it was realized that Preston really did need treatment and help.
Where is Preston placed?
This center is called Great Lakes Center for autism treatment and research. It is in Portage Michigan and they specialize in treating behaviors with autism using a type of intense therapy called “ABA” which stands for applied behavior analysis. It is the only proven approach that has helped decrease undesirable behaviors associated with autism. I have my own opinions on this treatment, but in all honesty, I’m desperate. WE were desperate!
How long will Preston be in treatment?
I have no idea. It is a month to month thing. I know one “client” of the center that was placed and discharged after 3 months. It all depends on many components. How treatment is going, homelife afterwards, and probably mostly… the dreaded funding.
Do I get to visit and how often?
Yes I can visit during the centers visiting hours but they are pretty flexible. The problem is that it is 2 1/2 hours away. 😦 But I’m doing the best i can.
What will I do when he gets home?
I have no idea, right now I still feel as though P should be placed in a permanent residential facility. ( aka group type home) This is hard to admit and I may change my mind. However, I know what is best for my son and myself and I am doing my best to accept these feelings and admit it.
Where do we go from here?
I have no idea. I have a plan… kind of. Like fixing my house and selling it. Trying my best to find a home to fit both of our needs knowing that he may possibly come back “home”. I need to get a job, finish school, deal with his treatment, deal with the grieving process that i never went through in losing Chad, going to therapy for myself, breathe, breathe,and breathe some more. I would like to do my best to not feel guilty for enjoying my life right now. You know like drinking water, a dry floor, a clean bed, enjoying times with friends and family, etc. Its way harder than i ever imagined.
So hopefully this helped answer questions. 🙂 On another note there is something very heavy on my heart and mind. The infamous fundraiser that was put on for my son and I by a total stranger and the community of caring people that surrounded us.
Everyone has issues in their lives. I’m not “special” in any way shape or form. I KNOW that others have things to deal with. Death, financial issues, children, husbands, exes, boyfriends, girlfriends, careers, etc. I’m not exactly sure why God has put people in OUR lives that have helped us with our moment of despair. But I’m grateful. I’m over the moon grateful. The volunteers, support, love… its all priceless. I CANNOT express this enough: I was not well. Neither was Preston. We were in a state of crisis and looking back on what seems like was an eternity ago, I realize just how awful it was. Like it was a surreal experience. I honestly cant believe the stories from the people in those pictures and posts. Thank you for saving us. Because you did. That’s a tough one to put out there too. Its embarrassing to admit that you are drowning. I fought for so hard for so long….alone. Hiding in our “prison walls”. It feels good to know that people care. It feels amazing the support that has literally lifted us in every way. How did we get so lucky!????!!!?!? Thank you. Thank you to my amazing family who is having a huge garage sale next weekend and telling me to go up north and spend some moments with friends and my soul sister Kelli S. 🙂
So i sit here. It was a long and emotional weekend. Who am I kidding… lol it was a long and emotional life…..I got a ton of sincere hugs. I felt so proud to be blessed in the presence of such amazing people. The only thing missing? My son and my husband. I guess its time to move on in my life. Time for the next decade….time to have hopes for my son. I used to pray that he would talk and be placed in a general ed classroom. Now I just pray he is safe, loved, and happy.
In the end… isn’t that all that matters for all of us?
Life is crazy……live it….thanks to you, I’m going to give it my best shot. I love you. All of you.
PS… the recipient’s rights letters can stop now. The state keeps calling me…lol I promised I would ask our supporters to stop sending.. 😉