Bush/Adventure Therapy listings

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Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Bush/Adventure Therapy listings

Hi @Orbit64, I hope the reunion is the beginning of a fresh start -try and keep the expectations pretty low at this stage and I guess just show your son that you also are ready to start afresh . The mental preparation will help with this. At the end of the day he is your boy and he has not been a good place. This has impacted the whole family. But he is your boy and hopefully has had some intervention that has enabled him to gain some new perspective and strategies.

 

Do you get some sort of report from the Adventure Therapy Program?

 

 

 

 

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Bush/Adventure Therapy listings

Ooh fingers crossed here too @Orbit64

Prolific scribe

Re: Bush/Adventure Therapy listings

Son has come back from 2 weeks away.
Good pick up at the airport. Smiled, did not say much.

Got home and gave me some money as asked me to go and buy him a "pack of Winfield Blues". Explained that I as not going to do that. Then later on it was wifi access and a tantrum.

He did sit and have dinner with us. One positive.
When he broke half the flowers off a pot plant sitting on the kitchen bench, he did clean it up after persistent requests.
Took the wifi router. When asked to return it he did.
He got an extension of the wifi for 60 minutes.

So keeping low expectations was right.
We are keeping in the front of our thinking.
Firm, fair, friendly.
Have high expectations for him.
Have very firm boundaries.

However his presence is having a physical impact on my wife. Anxiety shaking while this went on. He would not have realised. She was firm and responding to him really well. We are working together on this and have to stay close in our thinking, supporting each other to address what is going on with consistency between us.

I do hope that he does not dig in and start all over again. I had hoped for a more significant change.
However, I do see positives from last night that he simply would not have done 3 weeks ago.

I just wish it was not so hard.
Super contributor

Re: Bush/Adventure Therapy listings

Yes @Orbit64 I think that is definitely one thing that we as parents can all agree on, wishing it was not so hard.

 

I'm glad to hear you guys had some signs of progress but sorry to hear how impacted you all are still, especially your wife. I hope you're all accessing some support.

 

I may have asked this already but is there a follow-up plan from the Outback people or some recommendations made for you guys?

 

I only ask because it can make a huge difference for everyone if you have a kind of 'continuum of care' in place. 

 

Super frequent scribe

Re: Bush/Adventure Therapy listings

Really am feeling for you @Orbit64. I understand the anxiety.  It's like once upon a time it would take months to feel anxiety, but now it takes just one thing then you're back fighting for breath.  I'm glad you can see the improvements and are positive about that.  And I imagine your son felt somewhat awkward having come from a place he knew he was there to "get help" from, then back home.  They find it hard to be venerable...instead react in ODD behaviour or anger.  One thing I was encouraged to do today is make a list of behaviours and their consequences...instead of having to have a knee jerk reaction or running off the top of my head.  Then you, as parents, and your son, can clearly know where his behaviour will lead him.  Also on the flip side, clear reward system for good behaviour...but this needs to be each day, as they can't look past the day they are in.  I don't want to go into what we are doing again Smiley Wink  but I am clear with my son where the boundary lies, which is easier considering his "physical position".  And the couple of times he has flared back up, he has had those "physical" boundaries put back in place, allowing us to feel safer and less anxiety.  He knows that he will receive only 2 warnings then the police will be called, for example, for breaking property or being abusive.  Also that he will be expected to pay for any breakages he incurs.

 I think your clear guidelines, Quote:

"So keeping low expectations was right.
We are keeping in the front of our thinking.
Firm, fair, friendly.
Have high expectations for him.

Have very firm boundaries."

are well thought out and wise.  You do also need to protect your mental/emotional health and your property also. Are you both able, for example, to schedule a day off a fortnight or so to spend together to relax & recharge?  I am glad your son has apologised after each incident, and that you have a moment to be able to praise him for that...I know too well how little opportunities there are to do that.  Did he go to school today?  Hope so Smiley Happy  Mine has, as he has been threatened expulsion if he misses one more day.  We'll see if that works...hopefully.  I hope you get enough support and the right advice as you continue.  Thinking of your family.  btw, I have had every professional say our choice of boundary was a good course of action, and no detriment to his mental/emotional/physical wellbeing...especially since he has greatly improved.  Have you room for a tent in your back yard with your balmy WA weather Smiley Wink

Prolific scribe

Re: Bush/Adventure Therapy listings

Ngaio and Designed.
Thanks for your response and concern.

Follow up:
There are three scheduled follow up sessions with our son and the leader of the Wilderness Therapy program. We also get a detailed report on Wednesday. I eargerly await this report. Will it add any other insight for us? Hopefully. They have a great support and reintroduction suggestions for the parents.

Depending on our sons peparedness to continue his engagement, I intend to maintain the counseling for him and us. The Program leader will have the best understanding of him considering they spent two weeks together.
Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Bush/Adventure Therapy listings

hi @Orbit64

 

The report will certainly make for some interesting reading and will hopefully give you a little bit of insight as well as ways to go forward.

 

What kinds of things were you and your wife able to do in terms of de-stress and self care whilst your son was away? Can any of those things be continued now he is back? The anxiety your wife was experiencing can be so debilitating so Im hopeful you can both find a way to access some time out.

Prolific scribe

Re: Bush/Adventure Therapy listings

Designed,

We will have to consider all options. We have an outdoor hot water shower by the pool. A camping chemical porta loo would suffice if we got to a stage of lock out. He has a tent.

He did go straight off to school today. I have a meeting request in place with the school to discuss how to deal with him skipping classes. They have figured out that roll call is first class in the morning and after lunch. If they are not in attendance first thing in the morning or after lunch we get a text message. However if they miss an intermediate class the roll does not appear to be collated till some time later. I want to talk to them about this.

We have one lever left for the smoking. Our son has played at State level in a ball and stick sport. He has been selected to trial for the Schools State u16 team. At that level all players and parents have to sign a no drug use agreement. As this sport is sponsored by Smoke Free, we advised him in writing while he was away that we would support his participation if he was drug and smoke free.

I guess we have to hold fire till we get his report and plan from there.
Super frequent scribe

Re: Bush/Adventure Therapy listings

Sounds like you have thought through a lot of scenarios. So exhausting for you both. But I applaud you for everything you have done for him...it shows a deep love, even choosing tough boundaries does (despite what they think). Hoping you have all patience, strength and humour Smiley Happy
Active scribe

Re: Bush/Adventure Therapy listings

Hi Orbit 64,
I hope things are going well for your son and your family since he returned from the camp.