Chicago's Black Children Slipping Through the Cracks!

Written By: 
Miranda Gonzalez,

My son Christian A. Walker (14years old) has had behavioral concerns since he was 10 years old.  I had them addressed earlier on when he would express suicidal thoughts on several occasions which led the school he was attending to commit  him to Mount Sinai Hospital 5/16/11. He was diagnosed with (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) and my role was to follow-up with a Psychiatrist. And I did with the Toys Program.  

Christian saw his father beat me, divorce, and his father’s inconsistency, broken promises, rejection and a deep secret between him and his brother that haunts him etc) were the reasons behind the madness.  In addition; I pursued a behavioral IEP for 2 years  as a means to keep him on task.  

Thank God , because there has been a lot of discrepancies with that as well and with all the behaviors he would’ve been kicked out of the school a long time ago. I even lost a job, which was an onset for panic attacks…because I would get a call almost every day concerning my sons disruptive behaviors (foul language, fighting, outburst, bullying, knives, porn cds  he stole from a teenager in neighborhood and his own obscene videos) therefore on 5/1/13 Christian pulled a knife on his brother and ended up in Hargrove for a week. He was treated for (Impulsive Control) disorder. Shortly after, he was remitted on 5/29/13 and treated for mood disorder and prescribed Risperdal. In-between these incidents cigarettes , marijuana, stealing, were on the scene.

I have filed 5 missing reports and had to fight a $500.00 fine in Court of Cicero on two occasions (Curfew). I been to 26th and California 6-7 times last year…Ive been in and out of court since May 2014 to present. My son has been arrested at least 10 times or more , but there wasn’t enough points to convict , he has been arrested for (trespassing, stealing from stores, curfew,carrying knives, and the last case of Battery lead him into court. 

Its crazy because teachers and officers  encouraged me to get him to a judge and I would definitely get help. And what’s even crazier is all the behaviors in school and me requesting Therapeutic Day school the IEP team failed to mention their ability in a day program to get him into a Residential Program.

My efforts have been counseling with him though the following  agencies ( TOYS Program, Mt. Sinai, Church,) Also I had him assessed on April 10,2014 through (HDRI) for counseling he was diagnosed with (Depressive Disorder, Conduct Disorder, and he admitted to Illegal Drug Use…he could no longer continue treatment he was no longer in area due to fact he moved back with me after me trying to give his dad a shot for (5 months) at taking care of him , As a result, he was severely beaten for all his behaviors so my son ran away.  My son watched his dad use and transport drugs. Then I took him to Pilsen Village for Outpatient Drug treatment and Saint Anthony Hospital..he skipped (always known as flight risk) out and the counselor changed this was not successful. 

He was transported to Roseland Hospital prior on 3/3/14 due to school witnessing passing and smelling drugs, flushing them down the toilet. There he was diagnosed with (Mood Disorder) and released by SASS to follow up with counseling which I did with HDRI. My son has been Evaluated by SASS on 4 occasions, their findings were Substance Abuse/Mood Disorder, but referred to outpatient treatment.  And I did that as well.

Also, the school he was at (JN Thorp Elementary) their irresponsible interventions were to have dad come up to the school and beat him or he run. Later, they were in violation for the way they handled my son neglecting the IEP which was also written inappropriately.

As of today I’ve attended at least 15 court appearances or more to get my son Residential Substance Abuse treatment.  I tried a lot of outpatient services that didn’t pan out either because my son runs off or his counselor and insurance changes. And his actions have proven outpatient services were unsuccessful. My son was arrested and convicted of battery resulting in 18 months probation. 

Part of that was residential drug treatment. Nevertheless, my son sat at the detention Center (1100 S Hamilton) for 5 ½ months for Substance Abuse Residential placement , 2 of those months I fought against DCFS involvement to assist with placement and funding with no fault of the parent. I believe we could’ve found a drug program with his insurance.  However, we ended up giving DCFS a shot.

The Judge typically gave them 30 days which turned into 60 days. In that process, they couldn’t do better either.  The options they presented were ones I tried before they entered the picture. My son was denied (Gateway, Rosecrance and other agencies not on record) due to the him fighting to defending himself and  clean drops he didn’t meet criteria, although his substance abuse need was identifiable . 

However, Abraxis was an option, but since I challenged the intake worker on the process of getting him screened she immediately went in defense mode and didn’t do intake, as a matter of fact I was encouraged  by the probation Officers supervisor recently  to try to be nice to her in efforts to get one done. Nevertheless, I was called back into court by the judge 2/2015 because my son had sat too long and no programs were on the table to take him. I cried and pleaded because his Substance Abuse outweighs Mental Health. 

I was told by his probation officer try not to worry, he got a team together to support him at home. Now his probation Officer is known as one of the best and has gone above and beyond. And the judge, probation Officer and case mangers were convinced he was changed and will do well.  I knew without Impatient Substance Treatment , lack of coping skills, impulsivity and neighborhood friends,  it wouldn’t work. Therefore on March 21, 2015 my son was released with no school to attend. His home school  principal has never met him but based on records she wrote a letter he be better of in an alternative school, and Nancy B Jefferson failed to modify his IEP in December, 2014 and they had him in the wrong grade.  

So I had to reach out to the Special Education Manager and his IEP was Modified a couple days before he gets out , but keep in mind it could take up to 10 days for Therapeutic Day School approval and we has to find a school that will accept him. In the meantime he went from a structured environment to a Sanctions program 9 -11 am he didn’t come home with 30 day supply of medication .  

Task should have been involved, but wasn’t. The team the probation Officer put together his school probation officer reached out a week later, but I had already been in communication with the president over the Therapeutic programs. As of today the grade was fixed after weeks of fighting ,but still my son has no school attend.

The probation Officer put two referrals for counseling Westcare (CBT) program which reached out to me a week before my son was released. And I was told by probation Officer on March 26th the MST program will reach out soon. That happened around the 28th. Keep in mind the probation officer didn’t want to overwhelm him with programming. 

The MST program manager and I spoke about me keeping him in one program or another, but if one counseling program doesn't work I will have MST to fall back on. However, that was communicated to the probation Officer as a denial of services.

Nevertheless, my fight has been for substance help! Since my son was released there has been  no drops. I started to see signs of relapse and sent pictures to probation officer not knowing he was officially on vacation when I was expressing deep concerns. However, when I did reach the probation Officer I told him my son had violated house arrest, his friends bringing drugs when I was gone reported by my neighbor to our window. 

We discussed pictures of my son involved in illegal activities...his response to that was I can’t go off pictures because those could be any type of pills. I told him i.e. Probation Officer he stopped taking the medication, which he only had 2 pills left and that I caught my son , along with the signs and symptoms associated. 

He replied that he was tired of me talking about my professional years of experience in the field. And he told me that he just issued a warrant for my son's arrest due to failure to comply (my son didn't fail to comply. He did try, and participated in programs). I haven't seen or heard from my son in 3 days, so now when and if he's  picked up he will be arrested and sent off to St. Charles Department Of Corrections, a  juvenile prison. 

I spoke to my son's Probation Officer's supervisor. She felt he just said some things out of frustration but I’ve been trying to reach him and even sent more evidence to support my son losing control over his soul and the Probation Officer I knew to give all recently appeared to given up due to me being right on how it played out or being too aggressive in striving for impatient substance help.  I guess its easier to send him away than to deal with a soul in crisis with mental health n substance issues.

Please note , I told the probation Officer my son shouldn’t be released without strong substance Abuse that my son violated EM due to his urges he wants to send him away to prison! 


Miranda Gonzalez 
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