Chris recently underwent a med change at our local hospital due to increased agitation and other situations. However, the next step necessary to complete this med change is admission into a psychiatric stabilization unit and/or a nursing facility with a psychiatric lock-down stabilization unit. The usual pattern is that the individual gets the med change, has the psychiatric stay in the middle, and then after 30 days would be admitted into a residential center to live or go home if that’s appropriate. Now, Christopher has a likely residential center, that he can be admitted to in 30 days. It’s sounds pretty good, although it’s not perfect, and doesn’t have the extra autism and deafness therapies that Florida will provide. But we believe it will provide Christopher with a structured environment with professionals to meet his physical and medical and psychological needs.
It was very hard to come to this conclusion that Chris needs to go back into residency, but with his needs it had become apparent, and with a placement available, we decided to go ahead and pursue. However, with his needing a med change, we were awaiting an intermediate stay at a psychiatric center, and one could not be found in 5 days of our hospital stay. The social workers tried endlessly to place him but due to his age (either too old or two young) or his deafness or non-verbalness, no one would accept him. This is in all kinds of centers in probably a 200 mile radius from here.
We were floored, completely floored. We also inquired about how we can get funding for him to go right now to the Florida center. There is no funding known for it, though I Have not stopped looking. The center says we have to pay for it with MRDD or Mentor Health Board monies – we check with mental health board and they say MRDD should pay – and MRDD says they don’t have the funds for that at this point – we believe we need his I/O waiver to pay for it, which may come at some distant date – 10-15-20 years from now?
So, at this point, we are nervous about several things –
I want to find out what the problem is that there are no facilities locally that will accept individuals like Christopher for psychiatric adjustment of meds. What do people do? I’m sure there are other individuals like Christopher and probably some that have even worse problems. How do they get services? How do they stay safe for themselves and others? Something needs to be done in society to create more havens for helping individuals with aggression due to mental health or neurological needs. I am asking government agencies and laypeople to put their thinking caps on and come up with some additional treatment centers for autism, autism comorbidity (such as ours, autism and deafness), and other neurological and psychological problems. I had no idea that there were individuals that simply would not be treated. I knew I had the trouble in 2004 getting him readmitted for medical observation, but I really thought that was a one-time thing. With it now happening to us twice, I am appalled.
I do appreciate our local emergency room for taking Chris in and us for 5 days. I’ll never forget my “vacation” with Gayle and Chris in our little emergency room cubicle, with 2 cots and a recliner chair. We had two rolling tables and I had my computer set up on one, for work. The nurses and staff were great. We lived there for 5 days and ate, slept (a little!), laughed, and cried.