Feel like ripping someone a new one...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    but I won't.

    difficult child 2 shared some interesting information with me this afternoon.

    Apparently, difficult child 2 has been forgetting to go to the office at lunch to take his afternoon Seroquel XR dose.

    Apparently, the health clerk is getting tired of paging difficult child 2 to come to the office when he forgets to go.

    Apparently, both she and the vice principal have threatened difficult child 2 with detention if he continues to forget. (The VP said it to him a few weeks ago, and the health clerk reminded him of the threat today).

    Apparently, neither of these people have felt it necessary to get me involved in solving the problem.

    Apparently, neither of these people understand what difficult child 2's issues are all about (probably haven't read his IEP or anything in his file for that matter) and need to be educated.

    I left a concerned but pleasant message on the school counselor's voicemail this afternoon asking her to please call me tomorrow about a general concern that I have. Hopefully we'll be able to come to an understanding and get everyone on the same page. :grrr:
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Go get 'em! :warrior:
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    So, um, this is maybe why you were thinking you needed to adjust medications when you really don't need to adjust medications. Ugh, totally aggravating.
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I would be firmly pointing out how vital it is for you to know these things. WHat would have happened if the doctor had adjusted medications on the basis of your incomplete information, only to have the school suddenly revery back to doing their job? The kid would be suddenly overdosed.

    Medication is not something to be left to the responsibility of someone who NEEDS the medications in order to be responsible!

    Ask them this - if the child were epileptic or diabetic, would they be so lax? and if thye say, "Of course not," then you have my permission right there to rip 'em a new one. Do it for me, and all the times I did not, when I should have.

  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I would be ready to yank someone's lungs out through the nose in your situation.

    WHY do they think that a 12yo should be responsible for remembering medications? NO reputable group involved in the process of prescribing and dispensing medications feels that a 12yo should be left to their own devices when it comes to medications.

    If school thought he needed medications and you were waiting until he asked to give them to him, school would have reported you for medical neglect!

    Marg has an excellent point re: overdosing. I would be calling the Superintendent of Schools over this. The building principal is clearly not enough of an authority to get the legal responsibilities for medication dispensing through to the rest of the staff, so maybe they need to hear it from the superintendent. Super may need to hear it in context of "If it happens again I will be calling my attorney re: civil suit in this matter". Cause it robs difficult child of educational time, and many other things in addition to putting him in danger of an overdose.

    WHAT would these same people do if difficult child just took a pill to school in his pocket every day??? THEN you would get a whole lecture about the need to supervise difficult child when he takes every single pill prescribed. They just don't want that lecture to be aimed at them.

    Grrrr. I am glad you caught it before medications were adjusted and he was put in danger of an overdose.
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh I would be so angry and they would definitely be getting a piece of my mind. O.k. I would probably try the calm method first but I would be burning on the inside. In no way should a 12 year old be held responsible for remembering. My difficult child is the same age and when he doesn't show they do page him. It's what should be done. I would think legally they could get into some trouble by not giving him his medications.
  7. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    Your self-control is admirable...Isn't it funny how all of us parents have to be so in control of ourselves so school officials/teachers don't think badly of us or take it out on our difficult children??? It would be nice to just have a screaming fit some day.:angry-very:
  8. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I'm with Marg and Susiestar. Actually, now that I think of it....wouldn't this be medical neglect on THEIR part? I might mention that little tidbit in your talk with the principal. If you really wanted to drive that point home, maybe you could call up someone at CPS or a similar in the know person and ask them a hypothetical question about that kind of a situation.
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Well, it's not that they're NOT giving him his medications, it's just that they're annoyed that they have to remind him. difficult child has only actually missed/not taken his medications on two occasions that I know of because I ask him nearly every day if he got his lunchtime medications. He nearly always tells me yes (except for those couple of times, and I really could see it in his behavior). He just neglected to tell me that they've had to page him (or whatever) to remind him and that they've threatened the punishment for his forgetfulness.

    I have no problem fitting him with a watch with an alarm to remind him, or writing him notes in his planner, or putting post-it notes in his notebook, or whatever... but to PENALIZE a kid who has a hard time remembering stuff in the first place is just asinine.

    So yeah, I'll be nice tomorrow, but I will be crystal clear, and you can bet THEY won't forget how this system is supposed to work. :hammer:
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We went through this with difficult child 1. In his case, the rules were shifting. When he was in Year 6, there was a staff ban on medicating kids at school. The Teachers Federation decreed tat staff MUST NOT give medication to kids at school. Parents had to make sure it happened. Neither were kids permitted to bringtheir own medications to school. They made exceptions for what they claimed were "genuine" medical need, such as epileptics and diabetics, because those kids REALLY need their medications.

    As opposed to...?

    At the time, difficult child 1 was attending an inner city school, over an hour's drive form home. No way could I ensure he got his medications. But his dad worked nearby at the university, so difficult child 1 had to leave school, walk through the inner city back streets to his dad's workplace, get his medications, then walk back.
    It sounds appalling (it is) but the teachers had to make a stand in order to foce the Dept of Ed to make a formal ruling. The principal was sympathetic, but following the rules. She sent her son along with difficult child 1 for the walk, so difficult child 1 wasn't alone, but with his best friend.

    By the following year and high school, the problem had been resolved - one staff member was delegated to be the medication administration officer for all kids needing medications. But the student had to voluntarily show up for medications. No paging of the kid, no follow-up.

    About this time, difficult child 3 started primary school. There, the delegated staff member was the receptionist. Again, they wouldn't call the kid to come for medications (difficult child 3 was 5!) but the teacher did remind him to go to the office for medications. However, as he got older there was less reminding.

    With difficult child 1 in high school, increasingly he was missing his medications later in the day. It was causing behavioural problems with rebound, as well as serious innattention. And no matter how I nagged (and used the argument of - what if this was needed for epilepsy or diabetes?) they insisted that he had to learn personal responsibility. There were added problems of the kids turning up for medications and the delegated staff member being absent, or not in her office at that time. It really was very unsatisfactory.

    Two things we did:

    1) We found (after a great deal of searchnig) a wristwatch for difficult child 1 that had multiple alarms on it, to remind him to take his medications. It's fairly easy to get a watch with one alarm, but multiples - not so easy.

    2) We switched him to a long-acting formulation which negated his need for anyone at school to medicate him.

    When we were arguing with Teachers Federation and Dept of Ed over the total refusal of anyone to take responsibility for medicating the kids, I used the arguments that since the law required us to send out kids to school, then the school was acting in a parental role de facto, therefore ALL needs of the child during thouse hours became the school's responsibility, to ensure they were met. A lot of parents were being very publiclyvocal on this, perhaps that is why it got solved in a matter of months. But they were a very emotional and angry few months.

    What made me furious (and still does) was the attitude that there are "real" medical conditions where OF COURSE the school will be at the ready and take it seriously (kids with allergies and asthma fall into this category) and there are the "let's keep the parents quiet" medical conditions where medications really should be considered as optional and of no account. ADHD medications come into this category.
    For ANY non-medical person to make such a value judgement, is for that person to place him/hrself above the medical personnel who prescribed the medications. it is just plain wrong and arrogant, but it happens.

    My comment if it begins to turn into an argument between me and the school staff - "Don't argue with me about whether my child needs these medications and can be given the personal responsibility to remember to take them - argue with my child's specialist who has prescribed these medications. When you are more qualified than the doctor, AND you have full access to the child's medical history and have had him formally referred to you, THEN you are entitled to express your opinion and expect us to act on it. Until then - talk to the doctor. Leave me out of it. I'm just the parent. But these medications HAVE been prescribed, and until the situation changes and you achieve the qualificationsd needed, my child is by law in your care during school hours, therefore you WILL ensure these medications are administered according to directions. And any attempt to penalise the child or disadvantage the child in any way for failing to be perfect, will be seen as discrimination, by me and by my child's doctor."

    Go get 'em.

  11. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    (sending my very best rapier)

    SICK EM GIRL!!!!!

    and I'm tired of paying TAXES for YOUR salary but that never stops DOES IT?
  12. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    gcvmom, how did the conversation go today?
  13. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Why is it people always call me when I'm half asleep? :sick:

    The counselor called back and so I did my best to get the cobwebs out of my head as husband handed me the phone...

    I explained what I understood to be happening, how I thought it inappropriate to treat this as a behaviorial issue and that no one had contacted me for help on resolving the issue constructively, yada, yada, yada.

    She was VERY understanding and agreed that difficult child 2 should not be dealt with in this way and promised to talk to the health clerk and the VP immediately and get this cleared up. She seems to understand his issues very clearly (and I guess the other two will get the picture after today), so I feel pretty good about having her as an ally to turn to.

    We gave difficult child 2 an alarm watch today (hopefully husband set it properly) and I let the counselor know that we will work with the school in whatever way necessary to help him become more independent -- but I can't help if I don't know there's a problem.

    Funny thing, difficult child 2 was under the impression he wasn't allowed to have a watch at school (he was insisting this morning that he wasn't allowed to wear the watch today :confused::surprise:) -- and I mentioned this also to the counselor. She said that she knows how literally difficult child 2 can take things (which he does at times) and suspects he misunderstood a statement made at a school assembly about having electronics at school, but that the alarm watch was completely appropriate for him.

    So all in all, a good conversation and I feel I was heard and that she's on our side.

    On another note, his Depakote levels are too high (psychiatrist secretary didn't say how high) so we're eliminating his 250mg morning dose and I'll get him checked again in about 6 weeks. That drops him down to 1000mg at night. Don't know if that could explain the breakthrough symptoms we've been seeing. psychiatrist's office indicated it would be more along the lines of irritability and poor focus -- not hyperactivity and racing thoughts. I need to call them back (phone tag gets silly sometimes) and get some more specific questions answered.

    I'm anxious to hear how his day went today. He'll be home in about two more hours, so we'll see....
  14. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Glad it went well. It is so much more reassuring to have someone "on the inside" that seems to get it.

    Wee difficult child's Depakote levels, while never "too high" by the numbers, were apparently too high for his tolerance. He spent from April 2008 to April 2009 on an increased dose that made him, well, the way he was for that entire year of hell. He's still a challenge, don't get me wrong, but I am now 90% certain the Depakote level was a big part of it. He was manic, he was mean, he was aggressive, he was over the top, he was hyper, he was unfocused, he was everywhere...dropped the Depakote back down....and now he's hyper and over the top and the rest just shows up occassionally. His psychiatrist said if the levels are too high, it can cause paradoxical effects.
  15. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Shari, I didn't realize that about the levels if they're too high. Maybe that is the reason I've seen the breakthrough symptoms recently. Problem that worries me is that back in August, his levels were too low and we only bumped him up 250mg. And now when we check them, they're too high. I have to see if it comes in 125mg increments. We may need to fine tune this further.
  16. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Depending on the version you're using, Depakote does come in 125 mg increments.
  17. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I just checked online and the ER only comes in 250mg. :( I guess we'll get labs drawn just before our next psychiatrist appointment on November 9th and see where we go at that point.

    Seems like once you get off the drug merry-go-round and settle on a combo that works, then you have the issue of the dosage see-saw over therapeutic levels! BLAH!
  18. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    The psychiatrist would know for sure, but you might be able to add a 125 mg dose of regular Depakote.