The little guy, as I call him, has been through a lot of different mental health treatments and he has come a long way. I'm so proud of him. The worse he has is his violent anger. It started by my doctor getting us a referral to the IWK Mental Health, which is for children. He began seeing someone who helped us a lot, but thankfully she recognized that he needed more. He got his diagnoses and onward we went. Last year, he went through the Day Treatment where he went to school there everyday for 3 months. He was surrounded by all various types of medical professionals who worked with the 10 kids. There meds were evaluated and lots of kids had different meds to try until the right one was found. Thankfully for us, we had found his. The best part of this treatment is that the doctors, nurses and councillors were there with the kids for 7 hours a day until parents picked them up.
The parents had to go to parenting class every Wednesday and it was great! They helped us understand our children and also how to parent these little ones. These kids go through so much in school, not being understood for who they are. They are not bad children, but children with disabilities, the same as any illness. The connections in their brain don't let them see and understand things the same way others see things.
Mental health needs to be taken out of the closet and put out in public where it belongs. I believe all of us at some point in our lives facing issues of mental illness; it could be stress at work or home, or harassment in the workplace or violence in the home or in other areas. But it is real. Our kids need support and encouragement because they don't believe in themselves, they don't have the confidence they should have and because they are different, they are treated different and that is wrong. If more of the world would just take a moment to try to understand that connections in their little brains are not all connected, they might just get it. Even today, I sometimes fail to get it and the result is not what he and I are working towards, so I need more patience and learning on my end.
When I took him to Egypt, I didn't know what to expect because he had been great when I took him to Las Vegas and a year later took both kids to Florida, we had a great time with no issues. During the cruise and the visits to the many countries, he behaved very well, except for a few times on the ship. But it wasn't major. He has more troubles with the kids in his school than he had with the travels.
After the Day Treatment, we were lucky enough to get in with the ICBTT which mean IWK Intensive Community Based Treatment Team which works with parents and kids in the home. They have been wonderful and I thank God all the time for our public health care. I couldn't even imagine what the costs for his many treatments would have costs me but I do know, I wouldn't have been able to afford it.
Today, he is in the IWK Compass program. It is an Atlantic program for the four provinces for children who face many mental health challenges and disabilities. He lives in the residence from Monday to Friday and comes home after I go to parenting group on Friday afternoon. It is a six month program and in January 2012, he will begin to start (slowly) going back to his own school and home. By the end of March, he will be home and in his own school all the time. The work these incredible health care professionals have done for him is beyond words... I can't thank them enough, to know that expert care is out there for our children through our public health care system. Now the government of Nova Scotia plan to cut some funding to the IWK and to health care in general. We the people, will not take this kindly or sitting down. We fought hard to get publicly funded/public medical through our Father of Medicare, Tommy Douglas, and we must continue to fight those who believe medicare should be for profit. It makes me sick to see companies making a profit off the sick, ill, dying and their families. I believe governments in all countries should ensure their citizens have free access to all levels of health care.
I will be picking the little guy up later this afternoon and he is so excited to come home, yet he really loves it there as well. He has other kids to interact with and play with. He went trick or treating with them and then asked me to adopt 4 more kids. When they first go into the Compass program, they are called Newbees, after a few months, they move into the oldies. This happens when newer kids enter the program. He is now an Oldie.
He has matured, learned social skills, coping with anger and other methods to help himself, including doing chores. He has set times for events and it helps keep him focused. He is my little munchkin and I love him!
Thanks for listening and letting me blow off. I have been travelling every week for over two months and I have one week left of travel. Thank goodness he is in the program otherwise, it would be difficult for him to be separated from me so much.
Chow for now!
This is a beautiful child