It’s been a long time since I have blogged. I guess the old saying is true, “no news is good news”. Things have been crazy but good. I guess I’ll start with the personal stuff…Yes I had a boyfriend named Todd for a while. We had some issues and we thought it was best to end our relationship. Well, that didn’t go so well and we ended up working out our “wrinkles” and we are now happily back together. We live together and do our best to mesh our lives and families. He has two children that are 18 and 14. We rarely see the 18 year old but spend as much time as we can with his 14 year old. He’s a fun dude and I love them both. We also got a dog… he is the most amazing dog. He is exactly what I needed and is great for my heart and soul.
Now about Preston. Lets start with a timeline…
1—-On July 29, 2013 Preston was placed at Great Lakes Center for Autism and Research (GLCAR) in Portage Mi, near Kalamazoo, he had just turned 13 years old. The facility is for those with severe autism and behavioral issues. They use intensive treatment and therapy called Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). It is a lock down facility, meaning in order for Preston to go outside use the bathroom, or go into his bedroom, he had to get a staff member to unlock the doors for him to do so. There was nothing in the rooms for him to get to without staff getting it for him. It is sort of what you think of when you think of a prison. I hate to say this, but it’s true. He went to school there and I wasn’t extremely happy with his treatment or the school. With that being said, Preston’s behaviors DID decrease and ultimately I had to think of it as tough love. After about 14 months Preston’s “team” (myself included) decided it was time for him to move on to another facility that was a least restrictive environment (LRE) because his behaviors had substantially decreased. SO the process began to find an appropriate place and we decided on Wedgwood Christian Facility in Grand Rapids Mi.
2—-On November 5, 2014 Preston was transferred to Wedgwood Christian Facility in Grand Rapids Mi. It was a really unorganised and chaotic transfer. I was an emotional wreck. It was the day before my wedding anniversary to his deceased father, Chad and he was now 15 1/2 years old. Wedgwood was a step down from GLCAR. This facility was still a restrictive environment with cement walls and everything was locked. He still had to let staff know if he needed to use the restroom or go anywhere outside of the main room where he spent most his time with other clients. The main differences and positive aspects of the new facility were that there was a huge window in the main room for the clients to look out of, in addition he had a window in his room. The window was locked but could be opened if staff did it. It had a metal grate like cover though. This was so that he couldn’t break the window and of course to keep him from getting out of the window. The staff at Wedgwood was much more relaxed and personal. They used the ABA therapy but generalized it into his daily life. It was no longer intense one on one every day. He was also allowed to go into the community on outings with staff in a van. This is when he discovered the store, $5 and below.. 🙂 His favorite outing. His behaviors stayed at a reasonable level and still decreased. Around August 2015, the team decided that Preston was ready for his next transition to an even more LRE (Least restrictive environment). It took a long time and much confusion before we knew where he was going to be placed. The most crucial decision was also documented at this point. It was stated and documented that even though Preston’s behaviors were decreased, he still required constant 24/7 care and supervision. He still has massive meltdowns and rage, it’s just not as often. He cannot be left alone and will require 24/7 care for the rest of his life. NO DUH! lol However, this is what the state of Michigan needed to hear from professionals over the years of documentation. So there it was. Mission accomplished. Preston will nopt come back home. Not that I am happy about this, but obviously I can no longer care for him the way that he needs. It takes a team of staff members. We finally found a suitable place for Preston’s best interest. This place was also in Grand Rapids and he would not have to change schools, which is fantastic! I absolutely love the school he goes to.
3—-On October 28th, 2016 Preston was transferred to Glen Hollow home in Grand Rapids (Kent County) Mi. He is now 16 1/2 years old. He would be a junior in high school. Once again it was a tough move but an exciting one. For the first time in 3 years, my boy has a bed that was custom made by my bf Todd. Glen Hollow is a test. A HUGE TEST… a test that determines his fate. It is basically a “regular” house in a “normal” subdivision. He lives with 3 others in the home and has 24/7 staffing. There are no locked rooms. He is free to pee!!!!!!!!!!! He can go outside, in the kitchen, in his room, in the basement…. all at his own convenience and desire. It’s a great place and it has only been one week as of today! The goal is for him to be able to be in a group home for adults when he is 18. So far he is doing okay. he is still smearing his poo all over the place but that is what he does under stress. I am going to visit today and the director believes that he should get a tablet for his entertainment! I’m nervous and excited about this, because a tablet can also bring on behaviors. If the battery dies-meltdown, if it isn’t working the way he wants- meltdown, if he has to go do something like chores or go to school and give the tablet up- meltdown. UGH I am praying it goes okay. Time will tell. Let me note, it is also 2 days before mine and Chad’s wedding anniversary. We would have been married for 16 years!!!!
The next step for Preston is a group home in Genesee County…. Hence Pal’s Place.
*************** Here we are signing on to the new house for Pal’s Place************
Preston And Lisa Sain’s Place (Pal’s Place) will be a small group home for up to 6 adults with developmental disabilities and delays. (DD) It’s a huge venture for me and also a huge dream. I wanted a daycare for special needs, but it never happened. Now I know why. God is funny like that…. he leads us unto the right path. I am so grateful for the guidance. So in a nutshell, that’s what has been going on. I know many have been confused and not completely understanding the situation and I hope this clears up the confusion. Soon I will be posting a link to Pal’s Place so you can see how that is going. It’s keeping me extremely busy and poor Todd is working night and day…. he is a manager for a major supplier for GM and then comes home to my moodswings. I’m generally a hot mess. LOL “hot mess express”. I worry about Preston, his future, my future, the new business and whether or not I can make it a success, not just for P but other adults like him and their families.I’m lucky to have this amazing man in my life. He pushed me to finally do it. He made me cry because one night he just said… ” I believe in you. You need to follow your dreams, if you don’t try you will regret it for the rest of your life”. The next day I started looking at properties and well…. here we are. He is helping me in every aspect! Not to mention my family and friends. I couldn’t do it without you!
So it goes…. moving on…. Keeping on keeping on. 🙂 We are in a good spot. As a parent of a special needs child with severe issues and behaviors we will always worry. Just like a “typical” parent of “typical” children, but different and more. I am doing everything in my power to make Preston happy, safe, and healthy before I die. I have no doubt Chad would be happy with my choices and where our son is now. Not to mention a man in our life who supports us and loves us. Instead of being sad on our anniversary, I will think of it as a celebration. It all happens for a reason, I do belive that damn cliche!!! Thank you for helping me make all of this happen! I love you all!!!! xoxo
Peace, love, health, and happiness to you all!
Lisa and Preston booty boy peanut boodah… 🙂