(cars driving by) (insects chirping) (music playing on tablet) SHAYNA: No, I want to see you do it.
AMBER: That's how I do it, trust me.
You so stingy.
Amber is my mini-me, she's ten years old.
Having breakfast with the girls.
SHAYNA: Let's see what you got.
Aw, aw, sugar, honey, iced tea.
Kennedy, you want to say hi?
SHAYNA: Kennedy is my three-year-old, and Tearah is the oldest.
- Hi, happy holidays.
SHAYNA: Happy holidays, Auntie says she missed you.
- Miss me.
SHAYNA: There's definitely something missing with Tearah not here.
Y'all say bye!
SHAYNA: Listen, happy Sunday.
Y'all, y'all be blessed out here.
♪ ♪ Tearah has developmental and intellectual delays.
She's also deaf.
- Mother, father, brother, sister, daughter.
♪ ♪ SHAYNA: When Tearah was younger, she would bite other kids, she would bite other adults.
You figure she went three years without any language, so that's how she expressed anger.
At that point I don't know if we knew how intellectually delayed she would be, but we knew that developmentally there was some things she had missed, and that attributed to her behaviors.
(Tearah screaming) (screaming continues) We did see a continued decline in her behavior, that she was more erratic.
She became more physical.
(screaming) And when Tearah is not at baseline, it poses a risk for danger for the other children.
♪ ♪ There was one day, my fiancé Robert and the kids were in the car, and I said, "I'm going to go in the house and use the bathroom."
I went inside, and she wanted to go inside, and Robert was saying, you know, "Your mom will be right out, "she's going to use the bathroom really quickly and come out, we're not staying long."
Tearah had just kind of lost it at that point.
♪ ♪ When I came outside, she had ripped off the headrest, she took his hoodie and tied it and was choking him from behind.
I've always been able to help her in any situation.
I've always been able to talk her off the ledge, but this was something I couldn't fix.
The only choice I had was to contact 911.
The hospital got her stable.
But once she was home, Tearah quickly declined.
♪ ♪ She began to fight on the school bus.
She attacked the school bus monitor.
She was back in the hospital by January 19.
♪ ♪ (alarm blaring distantly) (phone ringing) Being inside the emergency room was horrific for Tearah.
SHAYNA: You're talking about a room that has no windows, a TV with protected glass.
It's a cell.
STEVEN ROGERS: Being confined to one room for days on end, all of us would get stressed out and become very unhappy.
SHAYNA: Dr. Rogers, along with other doctors, were in agreement that Tearah needs a higher level of care.
(typing on keyboard) They just didn't know how to help me access that.
ROGERS: We just happen to not have inpatient psychiatric facilities here, so we actually have to send all of our kids to outside psychiatric facilities.
But there are limited beds throughout our state for kids with aggressive behaviors.
So we often see these kids being stuck here for days to weeks.
♪ ♪ (door clangs shut) ♪ ♪ SHAYNA: Tearah was stuck in the E.D., and we were stuck at home trying to figure out, "How do we access services for Tearah?"
But there were no beds.
♪ ♪ Tearah does not have services, then they want me to take her home, and she is very, very sick.
♪ ♪ They would be like, "Oh well, if you don't come get her, we're going to have to file a petition for neglect."
Neglect would have been me doing nothing.
Every time I left that emergency room, I thought, "Wouldn't it be just so simple if I could just bring her home?"
But I had other kids to think about.
♪ ♪ SHAYNA: Bradley Hospital is a hospital for children, and they specialize in psychiatry.
(turn signal clicking) Thankfully, Tearah was able to access the help there.
But having to go back and forth to Rhode Island, it's about 90 miles one way.
And so I'm having to take time off to be able to take care of Tearah.
(Shayna laughing) - Have a nice visit.
- Thank you.
(kissing) What's up, girlfriend?
What's going on?
(Shayna laughing) SHAYNA: I brought you things, I know you needed some things, right?
I know; I remembered some, but not all, okay?
First, should we do hair first?
I knew she was going to like this yellow comb.
SHAYNA: That's me on Mother's Day.
I was eating, I stayed in bed.
I missed you, that's why.
SHAYNA: I don't know when home yet.
I don't know.
I hope soon.
But I don't know, I don't have definite answer, okay?
But when it happens, and I know for a fact that you're going home, I will tell you, okay?
- But I don't know yet.
You've been so patient, thank you.
I know you're like, "Come on, I want to go home."
But soon, I think; I don't know.
♪ Only you.
♪ I miss you.
TEARAH: So cute.
(Tearah laughing) Nobody knows how to play numbers.
(hand slapping continues) (engine humming) Residential care runs in the hundreds of thousand per year.
I could not afford that.
Insurance certainly doesn't cover that.
I had began contacting different resources to try and figure out what I could do.
And I was pointed in the direction of Susan Shatney, who is a counselor at the Department of Rehabilitation Services.
And she says, "I don't fully understand "why you were directed to my office, "because everything that you're looking for "and need for your daughter does not exist.
But I will help you try to figure out how to get it."
SUE SHATNEY: For Tearah's situation specifically, it made sense for residential.
Sent it out as a fax, correct.
Residential treatment is more like a dorm.
You stay there, you sleep over, you get your meals there.
It's similar to what mom and dad would be providing you, but except they have specific trainings to meet the needs.
The difficulty was who was going to pay for it.
♪ ♪ If you are lucky enough to have the Cadillac insurance plan, that would provide that-- very rare.
School systems could pay for it, but they don't do that often.
So the primary place to go is the Department of Children and Families.
♪ ♪ Finding services through DCF, through their Voluntary Services program, it's not an easy task.
SHATNEY: We had the recommendation from CCMC saying, "Residential."
We had it from Bradley, "Residential."
And DCF said that Voluntary Services couldn't provide residential, because that's not what-what Voluntary Services is for.
SHAYNA: Voluntary Services offered equine therapy and yoga as in-home services.
SHATNEY: This kid is hurting herself and others.
"Eh, she could ride a horse for a little bit, and that'll help."
Sometimes our families do not know the wide range of services that are available within communities.
There are certainly times at which we offer our service array that a-a caregiver may not agree to.
It's not DCF that is moving away from residential treatment.
It is a national movement to recognize the importance of families.
Children thrive in the context of their family unit and the context of communities.
We found that an overreliance of children in residential settings create a structure that is unnatural.
♪ ♪ SHAYNA: I don't know what I'm going to do.
All I know is that I can't stop.
♪ ♪ (birds chirping) (objects rustling) (man chattering) (Kennedy cooing) Amber, all of this can go in the trash.
(Kennedy speaking indistinctly) SHAYNA: There's no reason to save this stuff, hmm.
We're in the middle of being evicted, because I don't have the weekly steady income.
And the money that I do have coming in, because I am on leave, I'm using that to go back and forth to Rhode Island.
(Kennedy grumbling) It's going to be all right.
Look at me.
We're not going to throw it in the trash.
Some stuff has to go in the trash.
Look at me.
Some things have to go in the trash, but not your toys.
AMBER: This is mine.
SHAYNA: All right, are you keeping it?
AMBER: Oh, yeah.
SHAYNA: All right, I'll give Kennedy's stuff that we're keeping, and you go from there.
Here you go.
What kind of sneakers do you want for school?
- I don't want anything fancy.
SHAYNA: Nothing fancy?
SHAYNA: Yes, honey?
SHAYNA: You sad?
(Kennedy babbling) I think one of the hardest things is to consider what this is doing to your other children.
You going to fold that for mommy?
- Aw, thank you.
SHAYNA: Because I'm not just Tearah's mom.
I have two other children who are living this with me.
You going to be a kangaroo for Halloween?
What's going to be best for them?
It says "Amber has been a joy to have in class this year.
She has shown improvements in areas of math and language."
You did amazing!
- I want to read it.
SHAYNA: How do I care for all of my kids when one of my kids remains in crisis mode?
♪ ♪ SHAYNA: There's so many families that are fighting back and forth, there's parents who had to spend every dollar that they've had gaining mental health services for their child.
♪ ♪ WOMAN: Isn't it ridiculous?
I mean... - I didn't even know that was serviced, you know?
WOMAN: Oh, Shayna.
Oh, it's so good to see you.
Thankfully, I met a family.
You know, I met people who I... for once, I... a lightbulb went off, and I said, "I'm not by myself."
Because for a long time I took it personal, because I said, "This...
I don't understand why this is happening."
WOMAN: You go out of your mind, practically, trying to find the resources to get the appropriate medication, to find the appropriate therapist, while it's like, "What the hell is a matter with those parents?"
So you're constantly working against that while trying to deal with your kid.
WOMAN: I've been so concerned that if we didn't get my daughter the help she needed early... - Mm-hmm.
- You know, what's going to happen when she hits puberty, and we still can't get her treatment?
Sadly, and I hope I'm wrong... - No, you know!
- I hope I'm wrong for all of you that are sitting here.
My son right now is sitting in adult prison in Rhode Island.
- At age...?
- At age 17.
♪ ♪ SHAYNA: (voice breaking): I wanted Tearah home so bad.
- Oh, (inaudible) nice!
SHAYNA: You like?
♪ ♪ You have all these summer months just going by, and I'm like, "Is my daughter ever going to come home?"
♪ ♪ Hi!
(phone ringing) WOMAN: Bradley Hospital.
I know she's probably ready to come out of here.
- Oh, I'm sure she is.
Come here, girl.
SHAYNA: More kisses.
(makes kissing sound) More kisses!
(music playing on speakers) TEARAH: Yeah, right guys?
(people laughing) SHAYNA: You might get addicted.
(chattering, music playing on speakers) - You're going to be dancing, girl.
♪ Clean jeans on... ♪ - Hey, hey, hey, hey.
- ♪ Okay, okay ♪ ♪ Ah, what y'all doing... ♪ SHAYNA: As I'm very excited, there's a lot to be done.
Also I'm a little anxious about her reaction to life again.
(hip-hop music playing on speakers) I know what I'm doing.
(chattering and laughing continue) (birds chirping) Kennedy, come here!
What did you eat?
AMBER: Oh, what did I eat?
Um, chicken... chicken and waffles.
SHAYNA: Show her the sign for waffles.
AMBER: You know this sign?
SHAYNA: Show her the sign for waffles.
SHAYNA: That's waffles?
No, that's pretzels.
- Oh, waffle.
SHAYNA: Waffle, waffle.
I got meds, three got meds... three are taken on Tuesday.
SHATNEY: Shayna was able to access a specific pot of money through the Department of Developmental Services.
We were kind of ambivalent on it, because it had its pros, it had its cons.
It had Tearah home, had her out of the hospital, it had her back at school.
But at the same time, it wasn't the best.
There was services that we still couldn't access, like a psychiatrist.
They also just kind of came in and said, "Okay, we have this money.
Now you, Shayna, need to go out and hire people."
(chattering) It can be challenging with in-home services, how, as a parent, do you manage that?
It's a everyday job, where you're figuring out what works, what doesn't work.
She has gone after the interpreter, um, if I'm at work.
We've done our best to kind of figure out our way around that.
The way we have the setup is that Tearah has a sensory area, right?
Because she has, um, depth issues when it comes to sensory.
So that if she's becoming anxious, she doesn't have a way... you know, we might drink a cup of coffee... TEARAH: No!
- Maybe have a cup of... yeah.
TEARAH: No, I need more time!
- She's upset.
WOMAN: Do you want to go... do you want to... you can go... - She'll come for me, she'll come for me.
I need more time!
I need more time!
(screams) She's anxious, there's a lot of people here.
Have a seat, have a seat.
Park, park, park, park.
(Shayna groans) (breathing deeply) Okay, we're ready.
(groans) She's 17 now, so my job is to not coddle her.
It's for Tearah to figure out, "Okay, "why do I feel the way I do?
"How do I express that?
How do I get past where I am right now?"
♪ ♪ Tearah is going to be productive.
Tearah's is going to work.
She's going to be able to be independent.
♪ ♪ But it's my responsibility as her mother to make her feel safe and let her know that we will get through this together.
- You see this?
Two years ago today.
- You remember this?
- It came up this morning.
- Oh, my Lord.
- Oh, God.
Look at that.
(Tearah talking on speakers) TEARAH: Amber, what did you do to your face?
How do you feel about seeing that video?
You feel happy?
Because you're home now?
Who's turn is it?
♪ ♪ (dominoes sliding) (laughing) ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪