As was detailed in the October 16 Carroll County News-Leader feature “A Mother’s Nightmare,” local resident Tena “Summer” Holloman has struggled for years trying to get her adopted son, Dylan, 11, the level of psychiatric treatment he needs.
Adopted by Holloman at age three, Dylan has exhibited disturbing and violent behavior that has grown increasingly severe and potentially dangerous as he has grown older in spite of countless counseling sessions, numerous placements in residential treatment facilities, and all kinds of prescribed drugs.
Holloman believes that Dylan could be helped if placed in an inpatient treatment facility that provides neuropsychological evaluation and treatment.
And that’s exactly what a state judge ordered back in 2017, requiring that TennCare place Dylan in such a facility and pay for it.
But, according to Holloman, TennCare has not yet complied with that court order – though TennCare representatives claim that their agency has technically satisfied the requirements of the court.
Since early August, when Dylan’s placement in a special therapeutic foster care situation was discontinued, Holloman has been trying her best to handle Dylan at home, but her son’s erratic and violent behavior, along with developing health problems of her own, are making that increasingly difficult.
Holloman said she has been getting some help from the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS), which has made arrangements for Dylan to get a few hours of in-home counseling per week, though they’ve had to contract with a company outside this area to do it.
“He has been turned down by every local in-home intensive counseling program,” said Holloman. “They all say he is too extreme for their level of care.”
Holloman said there is a ray of hope as the DCS Children’s Crisis Team in Nashville has been trying get Dylan placed in a residential treatment center (RTC), and while most have turned him down because his behaviors are so extreme, the Oak Plains RTC in Ashland City has agreed to take him once a spot opens up.
“They have a 90-day program,” she said. “We have no idea what to do after that. TennCare still refuses to follow the court order for psychiatric hospitalization.”
In the meantime, Holloman is fearful of what her son may do to either harm himself, which he has done repeatedly since she brought him home, or harm someone else.
She is particularly concerned about Dylan attending a local public school and the disturbing comments Dylan has made about wanting to harm other students.
“I am terrified that he will hurt someone else’s child,” she said.
Holloman said she has reported these comments to school administrators, and, according to her, they have hired an aid specifically for the purpose of monitoring Dylan throughout the school day.
“I wish there were an alternative, and I fell terrible about using the school’s limited financial resources for this,” she said.
Holloman also mentioned critical comments that have been made on social media since the original story was published earlier this month.
“To the person on Facebook that thinks I am damaging my son by telling our story: There came a point that I had to make a choice. Do I continue to fight on my own and continue to lose our battle or do I go public and hope that we can get some help with our fight,” she said. “This is not just Dylan’s story. This is our entire family’s story. Every person in our family is effected by this, and we are all in this together. It is our story.”
Dylan’s name, as well as personal and medical information regarding Dylan, have been published with the full, knowing, and willing consent of his adoptive mother and sole legal guardian, Tena Holloman.