Celebrating diversity and making lemonade...

Celebrating diversity and making lemonade...

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Joshua Update

In Salt Lake...

Our youngest son, Joshua, is currently at a residential treatment center (Benchmark) in Salt Lake City, Utah.  (If you are not familiar with the situation, you can read all about it in this previous blog post.)  We were planning a trip to visit him the end of March.  However, with the COVID-19 happening, we had to cancel our plans.  The facility where Joshua is staying is still in lockdown.  We are waiting for the facility to allow "passes" again for family visits and then we will go down and see him again in person.  Can't wait!

I had always suspected that Joshua had some depression and anxiety.  He also has pretty severe mood swings.  In January, Joshua was assessed by the psychiatrist at Benchmark.  He was given a bipolar diagnosis.  I had also suspected this.  If  you did not know, Joshua also has an autism diagnosis.  Autism is a developmental disability.  Bipolar is a mental health diagnosis.  So now, Joshua has a dual diagnosis. 

Some good news...

The good news is that Joshua had made some great progress with his treatment.  There are 4 phases to the treatment at Benchmark.  Joshua has been in Phase 1 since he started there in April 2019.  It has been going really slow.  Joshua does not seem to be in any hurry to complete his treatment.  He worries about coming home and hurting us.  Last week, we finally got some good news that he completed Phase 1.  FINALLY!!! 

We have been told that Phase 2 is much quicker to complete.  Then, Phase 3 is a little longer again.  Phase 4 is basically getting everything put in place for Joshua to come back home.  Right now, that is the plan...for him to come back home.  Some kids go to a type of Group home before being assimilated back in to the family but we are fairly certain that he will be coming back home.  As a side note, his release date is October 2020 but I don't believe he is going to have his treatment completed by that time so this will likely be extended.

More good news...

Last week, Joshua began our family therapy session by asking if the Principal had called us.  I was really confused (and started feeling a little dread - usually a call from the Principal is not good news).  However, it appears that Joshua is doing so well in school that they need permission for him to take some extra classes.  This could lead to him graduating early.  My feeling of dread then disappeared and turned to elation.  The Principal needed our permission to allow for this.  Joshua is REALLY excited at the prospect of finishing high school early.

To give some perspective, when Joshua was 14, before he went to Benchmark, he was perseverating and obsessing about the fact that he could drop out of high school when he turned 16.  Joshua just turned 16 on May 14th.  Obviously, school is going well for him at Benchmark.  I am pretty sure that we will try the alternative high school when/if he gets back home before he graduates.  Moscow High was just too much for him.
Overall, he does sound really good when we talk with him on the phone.  It is great to hear him talking positively about school.  This is something I never thought would be possible.  We can't wait to be able to see him again!


  1. That is such good news! I'm so happy for you, and I hope Joshua gets back home much sooner than you were thinking.

  2. Very happy to hear about Joshua!! Sending Love and Hugs his way and to all of you!! (( <3 <3 ))