Hi, my name is John. I first arrived at Crossroad when I was nine years old. I was admitted to the PRTF program by my Mom after I had been to Parkview Behavioral Health three times in a two month period. 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 I did not always have the best of care from my family. 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 side yard. 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 of them being older than me. Some kids get jobs, and some go to public school, but I attend school on 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 are 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 that 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.