Behavioral Health

Friday I took our Little Man to his evaluation for in-home therapy. We were told a few days in advance and I expected his evaluation to be similar to our oldest daugher’s evaluation. Her evaluation was with one man (social worker? psychologist? psychiatrist?) who went over her background, transition to our home, and current emotional state. I figured it would be similar for Little Man and prepared him for lots of talking. We arrived early and while we were waiting our county case worker showed up, which was a surprise because I had just talked to her and she didn’t mention that she was coming with us. She called me at 8:30 to tell me that she had been in training all week when I called/emailed. Obviously we were already driving to our appointment so there was no need to move it.

We went into the room and there were six adults, plus myself and Little Man. Apparently it is part of some “Children’s Clinic” through the county so there were people from various different county offices and nonprofits. They began by introducing themselves and their organizations. Little Man was not having it. He shut down. He is usually very outgoing and active but he was already super nervous for the evaluation and all those adults did nothing to assuage his fears. He sat with his head on the conference table or on my lap for the entire meeting. Poor baby. I’m still not sure why he had to be there, no one had to talk to him directly and I couldn’t be open and candid about his behavior since he was sitting right next to me and I did not want to embarrass him or make him angry.

The head of the county’s behavioral health outlined three choices for us. The first choice was something called  PCTI which is a parent and child therapy where the child is in the room with a parent who has an ear bud from the therapist. The therapist watches from a two-way mirror in the other room and directs the parent and child through the ear piece. 

The second choice was in-home mobile therapy just for Little Man. Seemingly once a week.

The third choice was called Homekeepers, something that is in every county in Pennsylvania. These therapists come to the home after school/in the evening a few times a week and hold individual, group and activity sessions for the whole family and focused on only one child. The “team” will sit through routine activities and watch for behaviors to crop up, then will guide the whole family through the resulting feelings/actions.

I could only choose one of these options at a time because of insurance and I felt pressured to choose on the spot (I felt that it might allow everything to move quicker). I was deciding between the in-home mobile therapy and the Homekeepers option. I finally chose the Homekeepers option so that we could work together as a family to stop bad behavior and not just have Little Man holed up with a therapist.

I think I have made it clear that I strongly dislike our county worker. Our social worker again used the excuse that she “just got their case” when asked about pertinent information regarding his past therapy. Our social worker also talked about permanency in front of Little Man, talking about the potential adoption date of November 7th despite our agency worker saying they have not yet received the referral for the adoption home study and that these home studies usually take three to four months.

I am glad that we have progress for Little Man. Now we just have to wait for the insurance so that he is approved for the services.



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