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I’m skipping #15 today.

This week I went to a review meeting about 2son. We had quite a good team together, with his EWO (Education Welfare Officer), his CATE leader (Continued Access To Education) and both CBT therapist and consultant psychiatrist from CAMHS (Child and Mental Health Services). That’s a bit of a mouthful.

I talked about his behaviour over Christmas and the fact that he had perked up a little, mainly for playing games on Wii but that he had ultimately got on with visitors over Christmas. I spoke of the game I’d bought him for his birthday that he was contemplating earning game play time for. He’d said that he would see his doctor on a home visit in exchange for computer time.

This is all talk with no action but he spoke to his therapist on the phone last week for a full 50 minutes for the first time. He’s got three more sessions over the phone before she wants him to try visiting him. 2son told her that he just found the outside world too bright, big and noisy, nothing surprising there considering he hasn’t ventured out for what is now 4 months.

The only idea for moving forward is the doctor’s home visit. She’s agreed to do one but I haven’t been able to set a date despite frequent phone calls.

Other than that the bad news is that the EWO is closing the case. Not because she wants to but because she’s in a different borough, along with 2son’s original school and they took him on because my local borough EWO refused to. It all comes down to whose budget the funds come out of. She’s been ever so good, understanding and sympathetic and I am sorry to see her go. I’ve had no contact with the EWO in my borough except for a five minute visit from one who graciously told me that they wouldn’t be taking me to court for not getting 2son to school. I didn’t know whether to thank her or punch her. So I did neither.

The comment from the consultant psychiatrist who has only seen a sleeping 2son from the bedside when she tried a home visit before Christmas was that unless he’s deteriorating then there’s nothing extra they can do. If the self-neglect was worse than they could start talking to social services about getting him admitted to hospital overnight for an assessment. I’m not sure how useful that would be but there’s that terrible feeling that he has to get worse before he can get better.

He’s not clinically depressed. On the basis that he still cooks for himself at night or in the day, mostly filled pasta and packet noodles, with the occasional giant size bacon sandwich for breakfast. He does have baths and changes his pyjamas when he wants to, not just when I tell him to so he is making decisions about his self-care. He’s making choices and not ignoring the world completely. So he’s either got to decide for himself that he wants to fight this, at which point we can all step in and help him or he’s got to get to a dangerously low level such that concern for his self-care and health trumps his rights as a child to say no.

It’s painful to talk through, and despite the fact that I have got a good team on his side who are trying the best they can for the most part (I’ll except Social Services here who have done absolutely nothing), they can’t actually do anything and are tied by his refusal to participate. For that I sometimes want to just scream “Do Something” at them.

I do understand that he needs to make his own decisions in his own time and that nothing else will help. My worry is that like an addict he will need to hit rock bottom before he can decide to start climbing out of it. All I can do is watch, wait, listen and tell him that I love him.