Hi, my name is John. I first arrived at Crossroad when I was nine years old in June 2011, admitted to the PRTF program by my mom after I had been to Parkview Behavioral Health 3 times in a two month period. I was having continued problems at home, violently hitting and kicking my mom and sister, making threats and gestures to kill my mom and myself, and I once grabbed the steering wheel while my mom was driving. I have been abandoned by my father, have never met him, and I get very angry 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 a school IEP for Emotional Disability so that I could get Special Education Services. On the living unit, I was working on learning better hygiene skills and learning 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 and seclusions 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, playing in the side yard, and attended special events. After many, many tears during individual and family sessions, I was able to go home after six months with some 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 back to threatening and becoming aggressive with my family, especially when I thought my mom was being mistreated by others or when mom made decisions without considering my needs and anxieties. After the police had been called and charges were pressed several times, I was placed on probation in 2014. After a failed placement I ended up back at Crossroad in May 2015, this time placed by my Probation Officer, in the Open I program in the Elmhurst unit.
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 still attend school on grounds at Crossroad’s school program. I don’t always get along with those in my class and don’t always like being in class, but I try to do what I am supposed to prove to my Probation Officer and 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 difficult and upsetting 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 difficult life and social situations of others my age.
I enjoy getting an allowance on Friday before going on home passes with my mother to practice appropriate skills and safety at home. Although I have another nine months to serve on probation, I am looking forward to my upcoming court hearing as I want to be home with my family.