Hi, my name is John. I first arrived at Crossroad when I was nine years old. My Mom admitted me to the PRTF program after I had been to Parkview Behavioral Health three times in two months. I had continued problems at home, violently hitting and kicking my Mom and sister, making threats and gestures to kill my Mom and myself, and grabbing the steering wheel while my Mom was driving. My father abandoned me, I have never met him, and I get furious and hurt when thinking of him. I entered Crossroad with a diagnosis of Mood Disorder and Impulse Control Disorder.
While at Crossroad, I was able to obtain an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for Emotional Disability so that I could get Special Education Services. On the living unit, I learned better hygiene skills and how to get along with other kids my age. I was able to thrive and take comfort in the stability of the routine, as my family moved around a lot, had many family members in and out of our home, and did not always give me the best of care. Although I had some rough times in the Grinnell Unit, needing restraints on occasion, I did like talking to the staff, and I made some good friends there. I was able to earn off-campus outings, regular recreation in the gym, and playing in the sideyard. After many, many tears during individual and family sessions, I was able to go home after six months with continued outpatient treatment.
I enjoyed being home and tried to use the coping skills that I learned from my therapist and direct care staff. Despite all this, things didn’t go well at home or school. I reverted to threatening and becoming aggressive with my family, especially when I thought others were mistreating my Mom or when Mom made decisions without considering my needs and anxieties. After several visits from the police, a Judge placed me on probation. My probation officer sent me to another residential treatment facility. When I was not successful in that placement, I ended up back at Crossroad in the Open I program in the Elmhurst unit. I was 13 years old.
There are different kids in this new unit, many older than me. Some kids get jobs, and some go to public school, but I attend school on the grounds at Crossroad Academy. I don’t always get along with those in my class and sometimes don’t like being in class, but I try to do what I am supposed to do to prove to my probation officer and the Judge that I am ready to go home. My medications for my current diagnosis of Bi-Polar Disorder help me to manage my anger and mood while working on my upsetting and challenging family issues. Working on my anger issues is hard when kids, who have their own set of problems, irritate me and make me upset. On the unit, I continue to struggle with hygiene, but I’ve had only one restraint, not like when I was younger. I still need redirections for bossing around my peers and not taking responsibility for my actions, but my therapist is helping me work on these. I regularly attend life skill groups on the unit to address my problems and the complicated life and social situations of others my age.
I have nine more months on probation, but I hope the Judge will see how hard I am working and allow me to return home soon. I want to be with my family but continue to see my Crossroad therapist and attend school at Crossroad.
Julie is a 15-year-old girl referred by a local physician. Julie’s mother noted that she was pulling out her hair, and was depressed, isolated, and highly anxious. There was a history of sexual abuse by a paternal grandfather, estrangement from her father, and a situation including domestic violence with both Julie’s mother and stepfather. Julie was also traumatized and out of school for a year due to serious medical issues, so school phobia was also a severe issue.
Julie and her mother come for counseling regularly together and have developed a safety plan for themselves and the other children in the home. The therapist is also dealing with the mother’s family of origin issues and Julie’s social anxiety. Diagnoses for Julie include Persistent Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Julie is now attending school regularly and passing her honors classes. She is seeing some friends on a regular basis and has obtained her learner’s permit. She is finding her voice both with her mother and with her friends; this was an essential goal of her treatment plan. Julie’s confidence has increased, and risks at home have successfully decreased.