So, a bit of back story....my son has atypical autism and frontal lobe damage, and stopped developing emotionally at age 3. He qualified for disability so we could get respite...just a baby sitter for him, more than twice a year. There were no providers available, so we opted for foster care instead of state hospital. (care facilities are not acceptable, for some reason)
The main problem has been, since the day my son was born, the experts don't listen to me and it hurts my son. I said cut me open, he's not coming out. I was told I didn't know what I was talking about. 5 hours later, emergency C-section. The neurologist says that's what made him susceptible to the brain injury, and the birth trauma is why he's autistic.
So, skipping over the flaws in the system, when he qualified for disability so we could get one day of babysitting a month, instead of 2 a year, the only real option was foster care (long story I don't want to go into).
So, after about a year and half, we started asking about getting him back. Our caseworker told us if he comes home, he loses his disability. OR she would say "When he's 18 he'll be in a group home with roommates and it will be so much fun" concluding that there's no point in bringing him home since he'll be 18 in four years. Of course, any time I say the foster parents need training in autistic kids if he's going to stay there, I'm told they don't, but I need to continue parenting classes so I can understand his autism isn't going away.....(I have done more research on autism and frontal lobe injury than the rest of those people combined)
Then, my husband and I get sick of the foster parents not getting autism, us being vilified and made out to be ignorant, and other injustices. We were supposed to have him when they went out of town, or had out of state visitors, but they would never "let" us have him, because he had tantrums when he went back to their house after being with us for a long time. the judge ordered it, but the caseworker always backed up the foster parents. this and other things prompted us to decide, for what we pay in child support, we could afford a babysitter at $20/hr a couple of times a month, and afford one or two after school activities for him.
Then we get a new caseworker. Every time we have to deal with someone new, we have to start over convincing them we're not incompetent, unfit bastards. So I was not looking forward to this. However, things got nasty in court. I told the judge the sate had endangered my son's life a few times and I wanted him home. the judge got snippy with me until I pointed out that my son was getting beaten up at school by a staff member, repeatedly, despite my pleas for them to keep an eye on him with this guy. The judge was incredulous, until I told him the after school aid saw it when he went to get my son, reported it, and the guy took early retirement. The judge had no idea that had happened. He should have been told by the court appointed legal rep for my son. Guess who got in trouble and hasn't been at a team meeting since? Also, the judge turned to the caseworker and told him to get my son home.
Then, I found ot from new caseworker that my son does NOT lose all his benefits if he comes home. We still get about 10 hrs respite/mo (maybe a week) and probably get to keep 3 days of after school program, & even get some overnite respite. That is more in one month than we had in a whole year with family and friends helping. New caseworker say he believes the parents can do a better job than the state can. Far cry from what the other one said.
Court date for a trial home placement is Dec 13th. We will have him 10 days before that while the FP have company (this caseworker told them they have to do what the judge said, and let us have him instead of sending to a respite house).
So, through this nightmare, there is finally a dawn. Who knows....it may not work out. It will be more work than the last 2.5 years have been, but less than the previous 8. And we won't have the frustrations of injustice. Best part so far: my NT son said it will be the best Christmas present he gets this year, getting his brother back. (he knows the plan....autie son doesn't...perseveration thing and all).
I just wanted to share the good news and happy turn after all the frustrations I have posted. A season for miracles, a season that started in September when we got the new caseworker.