kitchen table math, the sequel: group home 3.24.2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

group home 3.24.2009

first night


Ben Calvin said...

Best wishes and good luck to all!

Kim said...

What a huge step.

Barry Garelick said...

Yes, a huge step for Jimmy and you. All the best.

Catherine Johnson said...

Hi you guys --

Yes, a huge step.

A wretched week. Jimmy wet the bed, something he hasn't done in years here; in the mornings he was lying on the sofa crying, and he was chanting "Never go home, never go home."

I spent 3 days crying, & I am a person who never cries. Well, I cry in movies. I don't cry in real life.

We all felt a bit better on Thursday, when I called him up and he said, to me, "Be quiet be quiet be quiet" and then, to M. (nanny) "Goodbye goodbye goodbye" - then hung up on us and went back upstairs to watch his Kidsongs DVD.

Christian & Andrew & C. & I went over to the house and took him for a walk to the grocery store where we bought junk food (yes, I know); he cheered up in the store but was looking somber when we got back to the house.

I just don't know about this. Our house already is a group home; we've got 3 kids, 2 with autism, and two "helpers" ---- I don't know.

In California you can have the group home be your house; the state pays an aide to work in your home. I'm wondering about that.

I'm also thinking that since the group home is so close by (2 and a half miles away) we might just establish a two-house rhythm: certain days will be here & others there.

I always read that children of divorce hate having two homes, and I can't tell whether that situation is analogous to what I'm contemplating. I'm thinking 'no,' but I'm not sure.

Kim said...

I can't imagine what a tough decision it must be. So many different goals to take into account. I'm sorry to hear that Jimmy didn't adjust easily.

I would think the biggest issue is the different expectations and rules of the separate houses (speaking of my own experience with my step-daughter). And also it is an adjustment to learn where to put the bread or even whether you clean up your own plate after dinner. It seems that the situation might be similar in that regard. And with autism, the change in routines would be particularly hard to adjust to, right?

I can't imagine how hard it is. With the baby (I have a 15 month old), when I put him to bed at night and he's crying because we stopped letting him fall asleep with the bottle, I know I'm not supposed to give in and give him the bottle because then it would just take him longer to get used to the change. But those weeks it can take for the new routine to establish itself are really hard. I can only imagine that is the tiniest bit of what you and Jimmy are dealing with.

Catherine Johnson said...

Hi, Kim---

Thank you!

That's a VERY good point ---- about the adjustment, the changes, etc.

He's not happy about the situation.

Christian & Andrew & I took him out for a walk to the grocery store on Friday; then today C. and I picked him up and we went out for brunch. Then I decided to take Jimmy to his regular YWCA program, which we've paid for, because not too much was going on at the group home.

When Ed and I picked him up from the program and drove him past our street and on to Hastings, he was TICKED.

Not happy at all.

So we'll see.

I'm not sure about this -----

Boy, this does take me back. It's exactly right to bring up babies & bottles & going back to sleep.

I haven't felt these kinds of emotions since Jimmy was very, very young.

As to sleep ---- we had fantastic success with Ferber. Richard Ferber, right?

I bet his book is still in print --- !

Good luck!

Tracy W said...

The change is a biggie. I remember my first few weeks at university. Lots of homesickness amongst my fellow students, and their parents.