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Loving father or irresponsible father?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by vart, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. vart

    vart

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    I've lived across the street from a family since I moved to my home 5 years ago.

    They are good people and good neighbors with 2 teen boys. The younger boy is around 12 or 13 and is a typical kid who likes to run around and play airsoft and ride his bike.

    The older son is 19 and obviously mentally challenged. He is over 6' and lanky, but walks with his head down and shoulders stooped.

    He walks around his yard and on the street for hours looking for shiny objects. I've waved to him several times but got no response.

    He will occasionally throw temper tantrums and you can hear him yelling and screaming 3 houses down.

    My next door neighbor told me when I first moved in that the family were good, honest people but that the older boy was mentally challenged but harmless.

    I've helped the father a few times while working on vehicles and yesterday he came over and helped me with the brakes on my Suburban.

    I felt that I built up enough of a friendship that I asked him gently if his older son was developmentally challenged. I wanted to start the conversation because I've volunteered for groups that work with mentally and physically disabled people and was interested to see what group has been working with his son and maybe I could volunteer.

    The response I got was totally unexpected...

    The father said he wasn't challenged in any way and was just a slow learner. In fact, he's very smart but learns at his own pace. The father also said he's trying to get his son to sign up for the Air Force but he hasn't taken the ASVAB yet.

    The father is in total denial about the reality of his son's condition. He went on to tell me that the school district kept encouraging him to sign the boy up for SSI before he turned 18 or else it would cost a bunch of money in lawyers once he's an adult.

    The school also put him in special education and he had to re-take his senior year even in that program.

    That tells me that professionals have recognized this kid needs some help and have reached out to the father and he has rejected it.

    I admire the father for his obvious love for his child and his willingness to have the kid live as normal as a life as possible, but I wonder what harm is being done in that the kid is not getting all the treatment and therapy he obviously needs.

    Now, it's obviously none of my business and I won't judge the father either way or interfere with the raising of their son.

    Just wondering what the GT perspective was on the situation; are the father's actions doing more harm than good? Or is he doing the right thing?
     
  2. BlownFiveLiter

    BlownFiveLiter

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    Let whatever department of family services your state has handle it. An anonymous call to them would get them to come out and evaluate the living situation there.
     

  3. Kentucky Shooter

    Kentucky Shooter NRA Life Member

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    Tough call, but I think the father is in the definite minority for not trying to milk the situation for all its worth as far as SSI, etc.. His intentions appear noble.

    But on the other hand, he needs to be thinking about what will happen to his son after he is gone and he is on his own. If he is incapable of holding a job once dad is gone, he will need SSi or some means of living.


    Without knowing the full story, the dad needs to be doing what will give his son the best quality of life and the best hope for long term independence.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  4. vart

    vart

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    I would never sic family services on them; the son is not in any danger, is not being abused, has a good home and loving parents.

    The question was whether or not you agree with the father's decision to deny his son has problems and just treat him as a normal functioning adult.
     
  5. ray9898

    ray9898

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    Many people refuse to face reality when it comes to their children. It is unfortunate because if the problem has not been fixed by the time he is a senior in HS then not much will change.
     
  6. stolenphot0

    stolenphot0 RTF2 Addict

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    He is denial. It's a long time coming, but he needs to recognize it for his son's sake.

    On the other hand, it could also be his way of just pushing off non-relatives from prying too much.
     
  7. zoyter2

    zoyter2 Yeah, so what?

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    First, and this applies to almost every situation that one will ever encounter dealing with neighbors.....Stay the hell out of other people's business when it comes to their family. There are times one must intervene but THIS is not one of them.

    Second, You probably don't have the knowledge, experience or background information on the son to offer anything other than an intrusion into their world. Either distance yourself from the family or continue as a neighbor forgoing any good natured but misguided attempts at "helping".

    It is not up to anyone in this world to decide what is best for the son except his family. Expect further attempts to be met with well deserved hostility towards someone who is meddling in family affairs.

    This comes from someone who, after 10 years of caring for a mentally retarded handicapped sister, came to really REALLY resent (and made that resentment very obvious) attempts to offer me "advice" on what was best for my sister. Unless someone has spent a lifetime personally caring for these types of people, they have nothing to offer.

    Let me make it clear that I understand the OPer isn't doing these things, and that he stated he is not going to, but this is for those who will think they should get involved in a similar situation.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  8. dango

    dango

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    You have made mention of a potential problem and are already in his mind , that's all really you should do.
    Be there to answer any questions and guidence he may require
    but , don't ,(even though you're intentions are good) , get any further in involved. OMHO......!
     
  9. RonS

    RonS Millennium Member

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    You have to do what is best for the kid but I don't see how family services could do anything to help. Might as well remove a splinter with a chainsaw. I'd just keep in touch like you have and if the dad is ready to look the situation in the face be ready to talk with him about it.
     
  10. Kentucky Shooter

    Kentucky Shooter NRA Life Member

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    I think this is a very good post-- much better insight than what i posted earlier
     
  11. ICARRY2

    ICARRY2 NRA Life Member

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    This. The school knows what is going on and will contact, if neccessary, the appropriate authorities. I bet they have tried to talk to mom/dad numerous times and received the same response you did. Dad is in denial and there isnt anything or anyone who can change that.
     
  12. HKLovingIT

    HKLovingIT Resident Evil

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    Whut?

    The "kid" is 19. There is no allegation of abuse, just that he is developmentally challenged and it sounds like OP was trying to strike up a conversation with the father to get a feel for the situation since OP has some experience volunteering.

    In whatever way the father and mother are dealing with it is up to them, whether we agree or not. From the description it sounds like the school district is aware and he's in special ed classes, so that's a wrap.

    Call CPS. Sheesh.
     
  13. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    That's one of those things I would write off as "odd but not my problem" then I'd have forgotten about it in a couple of days. I have very little interest in my neighbors.
     
  14. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

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    [IMAGES][/IMAGES]

    FINALLY, a topic I am an expert on - I am a retard. :cool:

    What Ray says is correct. In almost every single case I have seen where pre K and Kinder teachers recommend folks get help for their kids, the teachers, who interact with 40-50x as many kids as the parents do in any given year have better instincts, training and more exposure to kids.

    By the time the kid is in the 4th grade a lot of traction has been lost. By the time a kid gets to the 8th grade, 2/3rds of what was treatable and correctable is now much harder to deal with.


    So yeah, sometimes it is up to the rest of the world to decide what is best for your kid or family, because MOST PEOPLE end up calling on the rest of the world to resolve their problems when they can no longer deal with that dependent, or when the dependent gets of age.
     
  15. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

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    You already know what your part SHOULD be. Now listen to that voice.

    No abuse, no criminal activity, you voiced an opinion. Now butt the hell out of another family's issues.
     
  16. vart

    vart

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    Please tell me where I indicated that I was going to butt into their issue?

    I simply noted the situation and shared my thoughts on it on GT and asked what their opinion was.

    I really don't understand the hostility...:dunno:
     
  17. tantrix

    tantrix J'aimeLouisiane

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    If he's mentally-challenged, no amount of treatment or therapy will do him any good anyway.


    As long as his father is providing for and looking out for him (which it sounds like he is) he's doing his job.
     
  18. devildog2067

    devildog2067

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    You already did.
     
  19. KommieforniaGlocker

    KommieforniaGlocker

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    I have learned something in my experiences with my son, and the "system."

    Many parents are just "ignorant." Not bad, but just think 20 years ago, the concept of Autism, Asperger's Spectrum, learning Disorders, ailments. etc.

    We are now finding out that many people were not diagnosed, because alot of disorders and ailments were not classified or identified. Maybe 30 years ago his son, may have just been a "Slow Learner.," or just lazy,

    Then you have the second group of people, that have been told but are in denial. (I was in this group, luckily for my son and marriage only a couple of months) If he is in denial, then he knows, deep down inside he knows. It just hasn't hit him, and when it does, and he will say good bye to the "idea" of what he thought he son was gonna be like, he will do what most of us do.

    Lock our selves away, (for a couple hours) fall to the ground and explode, maybe in tears, maybe in rage, then will come acceptance and coping.

    Unfortunately for his son, this should have happened atleast 16-17 years ago.

    I would strongly advise you not to intervene, if he is not accpepting it right now from seasoned professionals he will write you off as being nosy, regardless of your intentions.

    The first person who told me about my son was my cousin who was a Special Education Teacher, his intentions were well, some day I hope I can thank him and he can forgive me for the way I behaved to him.

    My advice, if you want to help, and you feel that strongly about it, call in anonymously and provide details. BUT REMAIN ANONYMOUS. If he tells you act surprised, and stay out of the way, after that leave it at that.
     
  20. KommieforniaGlocker

    KommieforniaGlocker

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    Could be this, I think maybe this