Elijah kicked out of children's counseling center!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by jcox, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. jcox

    jcox New Member

    :surprise: Last week my son had his first appointment with his new counselor. It was mostly an intake with lots of questions etc. She told me she had a lot of knowledge of children with his diagnoses including bipolar. He was a little hyper, but there were no big issues. This week he went for his second appointment. I went in for the first twenty minutes he was fine like the perfect child sitting in a chair coloring. Then she wanted to see him alone because that is how they do it there. They like to see the children individually. That lasted about three maybe four minutes tops. She came out to get me. As soon as I left he tried to call 911. She told him he could not do that but he insisted. After she told him he could not use the phone he pulled her glasses off her face, quickly broke them, tried to bite her, threw things all over her room including her papers and a lamp, grabbed her vaginal area and breasts, and tried to hit her with the lamp. The counselor and the director told me that Elijah can't come there anymore, that they can not meet his needs, and that outpatient counseling will not be beneficial for him. I was amazed how quickly they could kick him out. I tried telling them that he might do better if I went in with him next time, but they told me that they would not be able to do therapy that way. On our way out Elijah turned around because the director was following us and he gets nervous with people behind him. He just turned to see who was there and I never seen somebody jump so high. She seemed scared of my six year old! Then I had him sit down to put his boots on. He was trying to open the toy box and she was closing it on his hand without telling him anything. I told the director that it makes no sense to me that they are not helping the children who need it most. That is a children's counseling center that this happened at. As soon as we got outside he was very calm. He told me that he hates that place and never wanted to go again. He told me that he wanted to go see his old counselor. I called the counselor later in the afternoon just to clearify what happened. She said everything happened almost instantaneously and that she was frightened he was going to hurt himself or her. I explained to her how he loves to test new people. Also how he does not like new people or places. We had left his last counselor before this one because she told me she did not know how to help him and that we needed somebody with more expertise. I did not think she was getting very far with him, but atleast she had the patience to deal with him. He acted up in her office sometimes and she would just do the therapeutic hold with him to help him calm his body. She never kicked him out. We learned that sessions went better if I or my hubby went in with him though. She told me she would take him back. I am confused about if that is what would be best for him. Atleast he had a connection with her and often greeted her with hugs. He did not talk much about things with her though, but was begining to identify the feeling face pictures before we left. That was something he has always had a hard time with was how other people feel. He has no clue. He has always been in his own little world. I am still amazed how quickly the center kicked him out. His old counselor told me she would take him back, but I wonder what is best? Maybe his new psychiatrist in Boston and his team could give the old counselor some ideas about how to work with him.

  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow. Well, obviously they aren't up to serving all children, and I'd just dump them. I don't think counseling is what Elijah needs the most anyway. He needs an evaluation by a top notch professional (I suggest a neuropsychologist) so that you can get to the bottom of what is wrong with him. in my opinion that is what is best, not just therapy. You don't know if he has bipolar, they don't know either, and therapists aren't very good at diagnosing. I'm sorry you went through that, but it's them, not you. They just aren't equipped to deal with kids who have more needs than just an ear to talk to or behavioral therapy, which is very basic. He has already had counseling and it hasn't helped him--I would go further than that. It's time to find out what makes him tick. Obviously, you know he's not a typical child and the sooner you find out what is wrong, the better it will be for you and for him. JMO
    My thoughts are with you both. I'm so sorry.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Personally, I think he needs a thorough MDE and stabilization before any private counseling with him is going to be effective. I feel for you-
  4. jcox

    jcox New Member

    What is an MDE?
  5. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    It just amazes me how much incompetence there is. The new center was correct they don't have the knowledge or skill to help him at all. That is not your fault, they are the incompetence ones. Seeing the old therapist is better then no therapist until you find something that works. Keep him there and keep looking.

    Next time you might want to go without him and explain the situation. A good therapist will lessen to and work with you. If they are not willing, keep looking. When you find someone you are willing to try, schedule some times where all you do is go to the waiting room and look around. No appointment just become familiar with the environment and how they run things. You want to leave with him wanting more. Then, the first time he should meet the new therapist he should only meet him/her and then leave, no session just an introduction. When he finally has a session, you or your husband should go along. If the therapist does not agree to this before hand keep looking. Wish I knew were to point you though.

    Good luck.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Multi-Disciplinary Evaluation. This should include neuropsychological testing, and than a thorough review/evaluation by several professionals- a pysychiatrist, psychologist, educational specialist, maybe a neurologist. They work as a team to put the pieces together from the different perspectives of their professions. You would get this from a children's hospital or teaching hospital, probably. You should get the testing results, a diagnosis, and a recommended treatment plan, to inlcude medications, iep recommendations, therapuetic recommendations, and anything else necessary depending on the problems found- they might recommend Occupational Therapist (OT), for example.
  7. jcox

    jcox New Member

    They are in the process of doing something similar in Boston at Tufts. The psychiatrist we met with there scheduled him for some genetics testing and to the Center for Children with Special Needs that does the full battery of educational and psychological evaluations. He had a neuropsychologist back in August, but I requested an IEE from the SPED director that included another neuropsychologist. I just gave him the letter today so I am awaiting to hear if the school will pay for another as well as independant educational testing. The psychiatrist says after the genetics testing then he will send my son for an MRI of his brain with the neurology department and an EKG to see if his panic attacks were something else. Tufts has their own Floating Hospital for Children where the majority of the testing is to be done.

  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Did he see a private neuropsychologist? I wouldn't trust the school district to test a dog.
  9. jcox

    jcox New Member

    Yes he did have a private neuropsychologist that I found on my own, but was paid for by his medicaid. I was not satisfied with the testing though, because it was only two one hour sessions one of which just consisted mostly of asking me a series of questions. To me that does not seem good enough.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow. That's really short. We had ten hours and we're also on Medicaid and we saw a really good neuropsychologist who used to work at Mayo. Two hours isn't enough. You're right!
    Good luck next time :)
  11. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hi Janice--

    FWIW--I never cared for counselors who were so quick to get parents out of the room with a child that young in the first place. He's only six! Geez...

    I agree with the others--that place is not right for your child. Not your fault. Not your problem. And don't waste another moment or another penny trying to convince them to take Elijah back--they won't be good for him anyway.

    Sending warm wishes of support your way--I hope you'll find someone great for Elijah very soon!

  12. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member


    been there done that. I know how you feel. Logically, you know it is the counselors shortcomings but it still hurts, doesn't it. My son knew he had been rejected and it made him terrified of any new therapists. The clinic actually assigned us to a student intern (after the full time staff couldn't handle him!) and it was a very lucky day for us. The student had no airs about him and was quite willing to admit he didn't know everything. He ended up teaching me how to do Cognitive Behavior Therapy and we saw great improvements in Tigger (he was 6 at the time) but I had to do the therapy because Tigger wouldn't stay alone with anyone - ever. But to this day, private therapy is not really available to Tigger because we have not been able to find anyone competent in dealing with his issues.

    Sorry you have to go through this,
  13. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Hi Janice, sorry you're coping with such a difficult situation. Has your son acted this aggressively toward anyone else in the past? How is he at school? The extent of violence and sexual acting out is concerning. I agree that an immediate MDE and stabilization would be very important. Until some evaluation is made of his aggression and fear (i.e. not liking people to be behind him) and other behaviors, therapy won't be useful. I would suggest that just returning to his old therapist would not be the best move. She has admitted that he needs someone with more expertise and it sounds as though she's right.

    The testing you mention sounds good but in the meantime I would suggest getting him back in to see the psychiatrist on an urgent basis; tell the booking clerk exactly what happened with the new therapist so she doesn't book him three months down the road.

    Best of luck, and I'm sorry this is happening.
  14. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    A therapist should be in it for the long haul regardless of what the diagnosis is.
    We are with a new therapist. We met with her first for over and hour to realistically discuss K's issues. How she *may* tear apart her office!
    How she may hide, how she might be fine for the first few months even the first year but who knows?
    I feel a good therapist takes her time to truly get to know your child, build up trust, through play and games etc.
    They slowly enter dialogue and tease out thoughts and feelings.
    The child will slowly open up as trust is built.
    The other thing is that if this is a long term relationship built up over time, this could be someone that your child will turn to, hopefully when they are feeling upset or just don't want to talk to you or can't.
    Through play our therapist was able to really see how K isn't able understand the difference between reality and fantasy in a lot of situations.
    Most of the people in her life have dismissed this as normal 7.5 yo stuff.
    It isn't with K because it has led to violence and cruel actions. With little understanding of real or not.
    Only a good therapist would be able to figure this out.
    Take your time and do not settle!
    Interview them and tell them if you feel like if they will be a good fit for you and your family or not. They work for you! You are hiring them and firing them!
    K goes in by herself for 3/4 of the apt. and then we go in towards the end. But if she was having a very hard time there is no way our therapist would refuse us being in there, if it was in the child's best interest.
    This place was clearly not right for you or your child! Good riddance!
    I used to be really afraid to speak up when I first started this journey, now I will not settle for sub-par help for my child, even if it means no help for awhile.
    Hang in there you and difficult child deserve better!
  15. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Jcox: The center may need to rethink their policy of conducting "sessions" with new minor clients without a parent in the room.

    What is wrong with this situation is the center is operating on a set of premises that are not safe for a child. Any child who is new to a situation will need time to build trust with a new adult.

    It seems to me that as time goes on the professionals are insulating themselves from the rights of a child to have a custodial parent or legal guardian in the room in their legal role as a childs consenting authority and limiting their services to those children who are meeting the professionals needs to be in control, rather than respecting the relationship of a minor to their parent or guardian.

    The lack of integrity the person invoved offers to their proffession by editing the
    client lists rather than aplying their professional services to meet the client needs is an example of placing a fee befor the practice of a healing art.

    The professional, in effect, is offering the idea that when the child reacted emotionally to a set of circumstances showing lack of control or understanding
    then it allows the professional to dispose of the relationship: or control it reactively.

    At minimum the professional with a child would have served this situation by apologising to the child and offering to try again another day, if that would be alright with the child and parent.

    That would model the correct solution for loss of control.
    That would offer the clinical oppertunity for the child in a safe relationship to then acquire the diginity of self awarenes and move toward their part in repairing the situation with respect to the assault on the conselor.

    That conselor or whatever is incompetent. they did not establish a safe relationship and prompt the subject (a minor) forward in a safe relationship. In minute one when it was apparent that the child was not going for the isolation with the new adult was the moment the conselor could have stepped back from his or her imposition onn the subject to let the subject know that their 'feelings' were important.