A Group Home Decision, 2 Different Situations
Deciding whether or not to put your "special needs" child, either adult or a minor, in a group home is an extremely emotional and gut-wrenching decision. This isn't a decision that is made on the spur of the moment. It is done over many sleepless nights, anxiety-ridden days and moments of extreme guilt and indecision. In the end, it's a decision that is made not only in the best interest of the individual in question but also for the entire family. Unfortunately, many parents and caregivers are judged for putting their child in a group home, especially when that child is a minor. Admittingly, I have done this myself. I now know better. Unless you have lived in a day in their lives, you how no idea.
1 month ago, my very good friend and her husband had to make the unimaginable decision to place their 20 year old son Jack in a home with two other low-functioning autistic young adults. The reason they had to do this was because about 3 years ago their son jack started becoming violent towards his mother. He would pinch her he would grab her , but he would also come down to their bedroom every night and get in bed and snuggle with her. In any case, she was no longer able to be alone with him. Why do you think that Jack was acting this way towards his mother and what would you say to his mother so that she knows he still loves her?
Why do you think that jack was acting this way?
Jack just sounds frustrated.
What are some possible examples that frustrate you?
When I don't want to do something. Some times when I can't communicate. I feel left out of things. To have my body not focus. Very sad to see good friends struggle, I don't like it.
Are there any external things that frustrate you?
Yes.I don't know.When I get real hot. Less sound is better.
At end of the day, even after Jack pinched and grabbed his mom, would come and snuggle with her in the bed... what does that mean?
That seems to be his way just to sing his sorrow to his Mom.
What would you say to Jack's mother so she knows he still loves her?
Yes.Very don't know. Sometimes how he acted he can't control. Sometimes good kids make mistakes. Good Mom he loves you. Son dearly does.
Feels like sometime some days stop spinning. Soap to wash the day clean. I am aware enough to stop it from spinning. Can very much come from that control. Does anyone realize? Someday i'll know how friends are in some way involved. They help to keep hope going. Keep the world spinning. yes. good spin.
A few years ago, Brady told us when he turns 20 he would like to move into Peace of Heart, a group home in our community. I thought this was a good time to check in with him to see if this was still the case.
How do you feel about moving into Peace of Heart in a couple of years?
Hope, yes I want to move in with new dear friends.
Will there be new friends there?
Hopefully can't really really know.
How do you feel about the idea of moving out of your home and into there?
happy. I would not have to have come rely on the help of my mom.
Is that something that concerns you now?
People still in high school typically live with their parents and still rely on their moms so please don't feel rushed. When do think you'll be ready to move to poh?
Like months or in a year or so? Timeframe?
Move dont know.yes.
Do you want to give me an age you'd like to move out?
Yes. 20 or 30. Either.really want twenty.
I was so relieved to hear this. Moving into a group home is what he wants, and it will work for our family. For other families, this may be the case. They may prefer to stay with their family. To each their own.
As of now, the original Peace of Heart group home is at capacity. We are always fundraising to help build a new home. Hopefully, by the time Brady turns closer to 20 than 30, we will have the new home built. If you wish to contribute to our fundraising efforts please click on the link to Peace of Heart on our donation page. Or if you have any fundraising ideas or would like to be involved in helping us raise money, please reach out.
We usually end our post with a poem. Instead, I’d love for you to watch a segment that was on CBS Sunday Morning about Dan Bergmann, a nonverbal man with autism who graduated from Harvard. We see a lot of Brady in this young man.
Maybe that will be Brady one day!