I’m new here… been reading some of the other topics, trying to figure out what’s going on with my 21 year old (step)grandson.
I don’t want to get into the specifics of how he came to be living here with me, other than to say he was on his way to a homeless shelter in a big city in another state. I told him he was coming here to live with me.
He’s been here just about three months and the change in him has been very dramatic and for the positive. We found a good therapist, got his meds refilled (took an entire month to accomplish this), and he has been working since his first week here.
I gave him driving lessons, took him to get his license (he passed the first time out!), and we bought a used car together.
He “appears” do be doing very well, although he tells me he still is having hallucinations on occasion. His doctor told him to take an extra 1mg of Risperdal in the afternoon when they start up, and it seems to be helping. He is also taking Benztropine since a while back he was MS-like symptoms, which was actually being caused by the Risperdal. The lockjaw and muscle tightness are no more, as long as he takes the two together.
So, to my questions…
“K” is nothing like the descriptions I’ve read here so far - he is pleasant to be around, very positive, very active, and very people-friendly. He has always been a kind-hearted person and a joy to be around.
The “problems” I see, that I want to try to help him over come are his apparent inability to think ahead, make plans, or set goals for himself and follow through, and his inability to see the “big picture.”
He will do anything that is asked of him, without complaint… the trouble is, he can’t think to do it on his own. Example: Laundry. First time at the laundromat, he brought the basket out to the car, he hadn’t folded the clothes, so I made him go back in and fold them. Next time he folded them, but when we got home, he left them all in the basket. I told him to put them away - when I checked later in the day, he crammed everything into one drawer. This last time, I told him to put his socks and underwear in the top drawer, shirts in the second drawer, and pants in the third. When I went over to his house to check, he had done exactly what I asked.
It was the same thing with making his bed. I had to tell him repeatedly to make it and it always looked sloppy. One day I made him watch me, explaining every single step and since then he has done it perfectly.
It’s like, no matter what it is, if I say, "Please do “this,” he doesn’t have a clue what I am talking about - unless I physically show him.
Another example is if I ask him to get something - it is impossible for him to do this! When he was a child, we would tell him to go get his shoes… he would “look” all over the house come back to the same spot and be all upset because he couldn’t find them - they would literally be right in front of him! Still has the same issues. This is what I refer to as him having tunnel vision and not being able to see the “big picture.”
Is this due to the brain damage caused by the disease? Is it something that can be fixed through practice, or is it something he will always have a problem with?
He is perfectly content with his life as it is now - living next to granny, going to work, and listening to music or playing video games. he has very few needs and even less wants. I am happy he is happy, but I’m wondering if we need to be setting higher goals? He has accomplished so much since he’s been here, the last thing I want to happen is for him to get stressed out and have a relapse.
Would it be wise to leave well enough alone and acknowledge there are limitations to what he can accomplish, and let him set the pace for his own growth? Is he even capable of doing this on his own? Is it likely he will need adult supervision the rest of his life?
I am afraid for him and what will happen to him when I am no longer here - I want to teach him as much as I can so he can be as independent as possible.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and for your thoughts.