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2son has now been at home for the best part of two weeks. What’s happened?

Well he hasn’t been to CATE.
He hasn’t got up before midday other than the first weekend.
He hasn’t brushed his teeth or had a bath.
He hasn’t left the house.
I don’t think he’s watched TV with his brothers.

The social worker arranged for a nice lady to come every day from last Tuesday to take 2son to CATE. From Wednesday she’s been coming in and spending fifteen minutes talking to him trying to wake up. This week she’s been coming in at 10 o’clock rather than half past eight which I did think was rather pointless. She’s very nice and it is a relief just to have someone else attempt to wake him up. I do appreciate her even if she’s not actually achieving anything.

But it doesn’t work. He’s basically spent the last fortnight in bed or up on his own at night; he’s getting up later each day. So other than the fact that he’s had a hair cut and is cleaner than he once was we’re basically back to where we were before he was sectioned.

He didn’t go and see his therapist last Friday but he did talk to her on the phone. She raised the issue of suicide as he had mentioned it to one of his friends on the ward and she had passed it on to the staff. This was the weekend when he used the word suicide twice, something he’d never done before and I passed it on to the staff so was aware. His therapist reassured me that 2son didn’t actually intend to take any suicidal steps, just that he felt that low. I didn’t think he intended to either.

I talked to him briefly about it a while later, saying that it’s really helpful to be able to recognise a sad thought and not follow it downwards into a negative mood but to let it go – a little bit of mindfulness. We have talked previously about how I saw the whole mindfulness CBT approach. He found it a bit silly as he’d been told to hug the tree and really feel the tree. He asked me if I was able to let thoughts go and I hesitated before answering. I try, I said, but it’s easier if you have some understanding of where these thoughts came from and why you should let them go.

I still think this is the fundamental problem. 2son has had no ‘proper’ therapy. No-one has pushed him on the whole question of being scared of growing up and how to resolve that fear.

I had an excellent conversation this morning with the EP (educational psychologist) who is assessing 2son for his statement. We talked about these adult fears that hadn’t been aired and he was surprised that this wasn’t mentioned in the last meeting, let alone been properly discussed. He shared my concerns about ASD diagnosis, saying he didn’t see any historical evidence of it. I suggested he talked to 2son’s primary school headteacher and he agreed that would help. He wants to have a conversation with 2son if he can’t assess him at CATE and will come and do a home visit if I can ever get 2son out of bed during office hours. We’ll try. He sounded honest, caring, reasonable and said that it all pointed towards a residential placement so far but agreed that he needed therapeutic support as well. We’ll see.

At the moment we’re just waiting for the statement. I haven’t yet asked the social worker how she thinks she can escalate help next week but I will. I’m feeling swallowed up and lost in all of this, even though I’ve freed up considerable amount of time by not fetching and returning 2son each week. I’m disappearing into an exhausted blur at the moment and we’re not even half way through the first half term yet.

P.S. He says he is brushing his teeth twice a day. Last time I checked his toothbrush was dry. Will have to try again.