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    “We must carry on our work with patience. We must bear with many abuses and injuries from those to whom we seek to do good. When we have studied for them, and prayed for them, and exhorted them, and beseeched them with all earnestness and condescension, and given them what we are able, and tended them as if they had been our children, we must look that many of them will requite us with scorn and hatred and contempt, and account us their enemies, because we ‘tell them the truth.’ Now, we must endure all this patiently, and we must unweariedly hold on in doing good, ‘in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God, peradventure, will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.’ We have to deal with distracted men who will fly in the face of their physician, but we must not, therefore, neglect their cure. He is unworthy to be a physician, who will be driven away from a frenetic patient by foul words. Yet, alas, when sinners reproach and slander us for our love, and are more ready to spit in our faces, than to thank us for our advice, what heart-risings will there be, and how will the remnants of old Adam (pride and passion) struggle against the meekness and patience of the new man! And how sadly do many ministers come off under such trials!”
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14 Year Old John

This is an email I received from a mom who is dealing with her 14 year old son with FAS and his residential center. I’ll be posting her emails, telling her story over the next few days. It is somewhat comforting to know others have struggles with their children like we have had, but at the same time, how does one consider it comforting when others are suffering?  It is a conundrum!

I will refer this mom as “Mrs. Smith” and her son, “John.”

For those of you who have been following my saga regarding my son in residential treatment…. I drove to [my son’s residential facility] today for my monthly family therapy session with John and his therapist. John is in a “leveled” program where there are 6 steps. These 6 steps are in two categories: progressing through 6 steps of talk therapy, and progressing through 6 steps of behavioral improvements on the residential unit. As I expected, he is talking his way right through the 6 therapeutic levels and is on level 5 after one year. As to the relational and behavioral progress, he has regressed back to level three. John’s therapist had promised that he would have John through the program in a year or less…. all 6 levels. The therapist was expecting him to be like most kids who do just exactly that. He looks and act like most kids, so I can’t really fault the therapist for expecting this initially.

He is on the learning curve for FASD.  After a year in this facility, John’s talk therapy level is almost what you would expect. His behavioral level is about half. This is just about right for an FASD kid. I would expect he could make it through his behavioral levels if allowed to stay for two years…… he just needs about twice as much time as most kids. In the course of the family sessions over the past year, the therapist has discovered that everything they are trying to do on the unit, I have done at home. I have achieved about as much success as they are achieving.

Today in the therapy session, the therapist announced to John, “You know, your mom is a very smart person!” Yeah! My IQ just went up! I hope it is reflected in their progress report when they evaluate me next time. :~) I think he is making them crazy with his obsessions. Obsessiveness happens to John when he is on attention meds. I had warned the therapist, but he “knew better.” Now that my intelligence has gone up, the therapist took notes when I mentioned that the meds contributed greatly to the problem, and that neurobiofeedback (he needs another dose of treatments in teen transition years) will give him the benefits of attention without the side effects of obsessive anxiety and irritability.

 Tomorrow I will post the evaluation report that “Mrs. Smith” is referring to in the above paragraph.


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