We are beginning to see the affects that the budget cuts are having on David’s care here in North Dakota. As a part of his ongoing care, I am trying to determine what services will be needed in the community for him to return home. I am all about long range planning. One of the key services that we utilized before placement was mentor support. Where he spent part of a day with a mentor doing things away from the home. It gave David a break from us and it gave the family a break from David. Due to the budget cuts that service is largely unavailable for him now. One mantra that we have heard here in North Dakota is that the budget cuts aren’t affecting people. I beg to differ. Not only are the budget cuts affecting people, they have long reaching consequences. We can’t get a
So, evidently, a majority of David’s team at the Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) thinks that he is ready to come home. Never mind the self-harming and manic episodes from last month. Never mind the negative behaviours or need for him to have a highly structured environment. So while his Mother and I don’t think that he is ready to come home, and that his primary doesn’t think he is ready to come home, and that some of his care team that has been with him since basically the beginning of our struggles to get him services doesn’t think he is ready to come home… There is a pretty fair chance that he will be released in the next two to three weeks. Today I was asked if there was a discharge plan in place. HELLO?!? Up until last Friday we had no idea this was even on the radar!
David. Fixates on things. So when he asked about discharge from the facility he is in, I explained that before he could be discharged, a facility needed to be identified and either restructured or added on to, in order to house a child with Autism. Evidently he is under the belief that he is being discharged. And discharged to a specific place. Since I listed a number of facilities that could potentially be adapted for the needs of kids with Autism, he decided the one he is going to. Hate to burst his bubble, but unless things have drastically changed in the state of North Dakota’s mental health institutions, he isn’t coming home soon. Much as I want him home, it would likely be a huge step back for him to come straight home from his current facility. How do I know this? Simple history. It has happened before.