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In asking you to help my sister - son going into residential care

(37 Posts)
2littlepiggies Sat 17-Sep-16 21:51:56


I'm wondering if anyone can offer any guidance or support to my lovely sister at a very difficult time. Her son, my DNephew (16) is going into residential soon as he has learning difficulties and epilepsy and is difficult to manage at home as he's got older.
They have found an amazing place and couldn't be happier with it. He's visited and loved it.

Of course my sister is feeling extreme guilt, sadness, anger, and a whole host of other emotions I can't begin to imagine at such a difficult decision as a mother.
She said she wants to disappear and she's devastated to the pit of her soul sad. She is very up and down at the moment, so I thought of MN.

Has anyone been through this? Any advice is welcome. Thank you

Rainbowqueeen Sat 17-Sep-16 21:57:42

No advice but flowers for your sister
You might get more responses on the SN board. There are some amazing posters o.n there

PacificDogwod Sat 17-Sep-16 21:59:32

Yes, post in the SN section - amazing posters there.

Light and strength to your sister thanks

2littlepiggies Sat 17-Sep-16 22:03:40

Thank you, which part as I checked and it seems very quiet - only 1 or two replies per question. Maybe I'm looking at wrong section.

lazyarse123 Sat 17-Sep-16 22:04:36

Sorry no advice but she must be absolutely distraught she is obviously doing the right thing for her son. It's a very unselfish thing she is doing and I wish her and the rest of your family all the best flowers

Stripyhoglets Sat 17-Sep-16 22:10:10

She's doing the right thing. Just because your DN has lds doesn't mean he won't want independance away from his family as any teenager would, and this is the best way for him to gain that as he wouldnt be off to uni etc like otjer teenagers, and hopefully the space will allow the time they spend together to be calmer.

SlinkyVagabond Sat 17-Sep-16 22:22:54

My son had a friend at primary, v similar to your DN. He has lived in residential home since 16, he lives semi independently, he is happy, looked after and still loved very much by his dp, who he visits a lot and it's improved their relationship massively.Your sister is being very brave and unselfish and I'm sure it will help them too.

2littlepiggies Sat 17-Sep-16 22:26:57

Thank you flowers

JudyCoolibar Sat 17-Sep-16 22:31:26

SN Children is the busiest part of the SN board.

ThatWasThat Sat 17-Sep-16 22:35:41

He sounds delighted to be growing up and moving out, which is always hard for a mum, but its a success! It's a very emotional time, but if it doesn"t work out, he can come home. I hope it's nearby and she can check up that he's okay.

Imnotaslimjim Sat 17-Sep-16 22:40:55

What a tough time for your sister! flowers for her, she must be heartbroken.

Tell her that by doing this, she is giving him the opportunity to learn the skills he'll need to lead an independent life as an adult. She isn't abandoning him, she's giving him the room he needs to grow and learn.

PacificDogwod Sat 17-Sep-16 22:45:11

Maybe you can reframe this for your sister: not as an abandonment but as him moving out like many young people do not that much older than him.
Emotional and hard, no doubt, but the right thing to do - for him, mainly, but like the sounds of it for your sister and her family too.

2littlepiggies Sat 17-Sep-16 22:58:01

Yes that's exactly what I said Pacific - she said that helped and was true. She still is v upset but is very confident about where he is going

They are going to teach him lots of new skills- like swimming for example.

longestlurkerever Sat 17-Sep-16 23:01:12

No personal experience OP but dsis has a family member with severe epilepsy and LDs. He has lived in a specialist care home (in a flat with as much independence as possible) for many years. She describes it as an amazing place. Perhaps it's the same one, or somewhere similar?

Araminta49 Sat 17-Sep-16 23:03:13

Hi , my daughter , now 27 , first went to a special residential college at 17 for three years , and has been happy in a residential placement since then .

She has autism and epilepsy , and can appear fairly able but has very poor social skills. It took us a long time to find the right place for her , and to secure funding . It's further away than we would have liked - an hour away by car .

We certainly could not have coped caring for her full time , she has a full programme of activities based around her interests . When she comes to stay with us for a few days she is always happy to go back to her friends - and I am exhausted . I have not had feelings of guilt over her move to residential care , it is definitely better for her and better for us ! It is great not to worry about her constantly , we are involved closely in her care, but I find that i need to step back and let staff manage things with her . We talk most days on FaceTime , visit and she comes on family holidays .

I hope thing settle with your sister and nephew - it can be a positive experience !

StarryIllusion Sat 17-Sep-16 23:05:44

Agree with Pacific. He is moving out of the nest like all teenagers do and is lucky to have found such a good place to live that is able to cater for his needs. It isn't abandonment at all, just the next stage in his life and he will love it. It must be so hard for her though, having him move out. flowers to her.

AtleastitsnotMonday Sat 17-Sep-16 23:05:48

I used to work in a residential school for children with autism. It was an amazing place and it made the children's lives so much easier as everything was set up for their needs there and the staff had such expertise that you just wouldn't find elsewhere. The children really bloomed and the time they spent with their parents was real quality time as their parents s got some much needed rest bite and were there for fresh and energised for their kids when they went home. They didn't have to do the nagging and the teaching for once they could just be mum and dad again.

2littlepiggies Sat 17-Sep-16 23:08:17

Longest - it's near Hertfordshire.

Araminta- great to hear from someone with first hand experience. Glad it's been a positive experience for you. This is about an hour away too so sounds like similar scenario. She wants him to visit lots too and it has an open door policy.

TheLastHeatwave Sat 17-Sep-16 23:09:54

He visited & loved it. She needs to cling onto that like a life raft!

She's not abandoning him into care - she's enabling him to take up a fantastic opportunity.

Good places don't come up very often. It's a (I'll repeat it 😁) fantastic OPPPORTUNITY for him. Much like going to university - brilliant for the kids, upsetting for most parents, but ultimately the making of all of them.

Children need to be allowed to grow up, that's no different for kids with SN. It's different for every child, especially those with SN, but just as essential that they are allowed & encouraged to be as independant as they can be.

longestlurkerever Sat 17-Sep-16 23:11:51

Yes, that could be the place. It is a bit North of London - Amersham way maybe? I could have that slightly wrong. flowers to your dsis. I hope your DN is very happy there

Screenburn Sat 17-Sep-16 23:14:11

Well done to your sister OP - it must be hard on her to let DN spread his wings but that's what he's doing really. She sounds like an amazing mum, flowers for her

ShtoppenDerFloppen Sat 17-Sep-16 23:15:47

One of the important things to remember is that the staff in the residential care setting come to work for a set number of hours, but then they get to go home, and they get a break, and are able to live a life separate from providing care. They care deeply about the individuals they provide support to, and part of their ability to care comes from their ability to get a break.

Your DNephew going into care is not about DSis not caring about her son, but about her caring so much that she is determined to find him a setting where he will thrive. In that, she is also caring for herself, which is crucial.

My DD is 10 now, and the reality of needing life long care is in our faces. As a parent, it is a tough thing to face - but it isn't a shortcoming, it is just a different reality. We can't do this 24 hours a day from the rest of our lives without there being a cost.

MammaTJ Sat 17-Sep-16 23:18:20

I am willing to bet that more than once it had been suggested she leave his upbringing to others before now and she hasn't!

She has stuck with him and done her best until a time when many his age are leaving home or moving on in some other way. She has nothing to feel guilty about, she is allowing him freedom and that must be hard and is to be admired!!

2littlepiggies Sat 17-Sep-16 23:19:05

Longest - i might pm you if that's OK.

Thanks for lovely replies. I've passed on thread to my sister to see

YouTheCat Sat 17-Sep-16 23:40:33

My ds is severely autistic and has been in residential care since he was 14 (he's very violent and I just couldn't cope any more). He's 21 now and couldn't be happier. He does so many activities and has a brilliant social life.

I felt huge guilt when he first went away and it's really only seeing him now and realising how far he's come (very few violent instances these days) that I appreciate that it was the very best decision for him. I visit him often and he doesn't get upset at me going because it's like I'm popping by his flat with cake.

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