Struggling as a father of children with special needs

Struggling as a father of children with special needs

Marc,

I am struggling today.  Well actually, I have been struggling for a while, I am just now manning up and admitting it to myself.

Marc, you require a lot of attention.  At some times the attention involves raised voices.  We do everything we can to not let the other kids yell at you, but when it is their things that you are stealing, they need to be able to vent for a couple of minutes.

PALO ALTO, CA - OCTOBER 06:  Apples and an iPo...

No matter how many times we discipline you for stealing electronic gadgets from other family members, you still do it.  Last week it was in iPad.  In the past, it has been an Android tablet, a Kindle Fire, multiple iPods, mp3 players and cell phones.  As I write this it is Sunday, and you have stolen one iPod three times, and another once.

Locked doors are not a barrier for you.

So I struggle.  I have four kids at home.  Three that hide in their bedrooms because you are not good for their mental health.  One that is off in college and doesn’t want to come home very often in part because she doesn’t like your behaviors.

This summer we applied to a residential facility for a bed for you, long term.  Last week they told us that it would be two weeks.  Two weeks will be up this coming Friday.  As I try to determine when you are moving there, I am torn between needing you to go, and needing to keep you at home so that we can keep trying.

But trying at what expense?  The mental and emotional health of all of my kids is very important to me.  Do I put your needs above theirs?  So we move forward.

You were diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder in the past.  Will moving out of the family home have an affect on that?

I don’t know.

You have been diagnosed with a lot of things in the 9 years since you came to live in our hearts.

There are no easy solutions to the difficulties we face raising you.  We take steps everyday to ensure that you hear us tell him how important you are to our family.  And that no matter where you live, you will always be a part of this family.

I guess I need to take my own advice to heart.  I tell other people who are dealing with similar blessings in their lives that they aren’t giving up on their child, they are just moving to the next level of care.

Marc, we aren’t giving up on you.  You will always have a place in our hearts.  We will always love you.  Just because you are moving to a residential placement doesn’t take you out of our family.

Love,
Dad.

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