Grandson finally living with me. HELP!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by cordelia, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. cordelia

    cordelia New Member

    Grandson finally living with me. HELP!!!!!!!
    Fianally, my 16 year old grandson will be living with my husband and me instead of his abusive parents! GS has been physicially and emotionally abused far too many years. Has severe vision and motor skill problems as results of drug use by mother. Also, severe anger management problems as a result of the severe physical and emotional abuse he suffered from his parents and sibling. He has also been a victim of bullying in his own home. He will enter 10th grade this year. Very difficult for anything to be done in the past as GS parents tell his teachers he is just lazy and doesn't want anyone to interfere with his life.
    GS will move from the east coast to our home in California. A fresh start with a new school and new friends.

    I don't have much, but this is what I have:

    1- doctors. letters stating the physicial disabilities and vision dxs.
    2- Psychological evaluation
    3- GS responds very well to having a scribe.
    4- GS responded very well to 1:1 tutor last 3 months of school.

    WHERE DO I BEGIN???????????

    Our goals:
    GS to feel loved and respected!
    GS to respect his teachers.
    Full-time aide at school to scribe assignments.
    Oral testing in all subjects
    Modified day
    Modified course requirements.

    I'm ready to give it my all! I just need to know how to best help my grandson before it's too late.
    Thank you!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.

    I adopted a boy who was exposed to drugs and alcohol in utero. I am wondering what you want to be able to help him do before it's too late? What kind of expectations do you have? Is he capable of doing school work at his age level? Does he have friends?

    Also, don't get discouraged if he fights your love. He has never had it. He may not want it. Are you going to get him into therapy?
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Did he have an IEP at his school with everything spelled out? If he did, you need to get a copy of it AND make sure one is sent to his new school so they have something to go by. Once you have him enrolled at the new school, request in writing via certified letter "return receipt requested" for the new school to do assessments for special education services, specifically vision, speech, Occupational Therapist (OT), psychological, and behavior. I would add some sort of social skills group to what you want for him. That will help him (hopefully) adjust to the new setting, new people, and maybe help with the anger issues. Make sure the new school gets copies of everything you have about his mental health and academics.

    Is he on any medications? What are his official diagnoses? How soon can you get a psychiatrist and a therapist set up for him?

    That's all I can think of for now. I hope he sees this as a fresh start. He is so lucky to have a gma that is willing to put HIM first for a change. {{{{(((HUGS)))}}}} to you both. Others will be along. You have found a great place for support and advice. The wealth of experience and knowledge here is awesome!!
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I wish you great luck. In reading your post I didn't see (maybe me not being too swift lately, lol) any reciprocal goals. What level of expectations do you have for him that he is fully aware of prior to the relocation? Based on his past history it seems to me as an outsider that he must agree to zero tolerance of verbal & physical violence or confrontation in your home. Independent counseling as well as family counseling also sound necessary. This is a huge chance for all of you and love is not going to cure the long patterns of behavior.

    Teenage behaviors in 2011 are different than they were before. Being a teen in the 50's, raising my first set of teens in the 70's and my last set in the 90's plus I feel qualified to say that it is a challenge always but particularly now. With a troubled background it likely will be more difficult. "Making friends" is really a big issue due to the splinter groups formed by teens and the dreaded influence of social networking. Ugh
    Does he have any proven topic or activity of successful interest in his past? If so, perhaps you can try to find a group that might be compatible.

    I greatly admire your love and willingness to give your best. on the other hand it is not easy to change behavior patterns at sixteen. In addition to supportive thoughts and prayers, I hope that all goes as you hope.One of the motto's we use around here is "hope for the best but be prepared for the worst". Sounds a little negative but it's workable. Hugs. DDD
  5. cordelia

    cordelia New Member

    WOW! What a great support group. THANK YOU.
    Unfortunately, nothing was done in the past. So, I'm very grateful to all of you who have responded.
    In my certified return receipt letter do I need to include anything except a request for the assessments; ie, diagnoses via physician's letter, etc.
  6. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    You don't need to include any documents. You just need to make sure you spell out what you want and why you think it's necessary in the letter. Were you specific about what kind of assessments you want done and what you have noticed about any difficulties he is having?

    Pretzeling for good results.
  7. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Will your grandson keep whatever health insurance that he might have had before? Will you be able to add him to your health insurance? Will he qualify for assistance in your state? Since we have adopted our two DGD's I realize how much financial responsibility we have taken on at our age. Are their any grandparent support groups in your area? Can you talk to the school counselor and find out what is available in your community?

    One other suggestion - do you attend a church? Sometimes a church with an active youth group and an understanding youth minister can really help your GS fit in with some new kids and have activities. It will be expecting a lot to go to a regular high school, and have vision and learning disabilities and expect him to fit in and make friends with students that already have their friends and don't have any disabilities.

    Thanks for stepping up and being there for your grandson. One thing our therapist told us after our difficult child (GDG age 13) started acting out at home... after the honeymoon phase... when they know you are still going to be there for them... they seem to start acting out because they feel it is safe to do so. KSM
  8. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    WOW - I just want to say you are an amazing person to welcome this grandson into your home with literally open arms. I am very touched.

    There is actually so much you probably need to do, but much of it comes in the moment.

    When does your gs arrive?

    If you have the psychiatric testing for him, then you can take this to the school district now, even tho it is summer, and start getting an IEP in place. That is crucial so that he can get that one on one help you are talking about.

    Be prepared for him to act out. He is probably not going to just settle in and be elated. After his honeymoon period with you, he will challenge you just like he did his parents. He will test you to see where you fall in the parental scheme of things. He may even say he wants to go back home - I don't know - but you need to be mentally prepared to hold strong.

    The first thing I would do is get a psychiatric dr, a counselor, and a family therapist - you will need these supports in place before he even gets there, and make these resources part of this weekly life.

    And for our sake on the board :) can you please fill out a signature so we know who you are the next time you post, what medications or diagnosis your gs is on, etc!!

    We are here for you.
  9. BeachPeace

    BeachPeace Guest

    I too have an adopted son that has brain damage from fetal exposure to drugs and alcohol. One of the things I found early on was adding a Neurologist into the mix was very helpful in medical management.
    Fetal Alcohol Exposure is not a psychiatric disease and there is no "cure".
    Medication has improved my son's life tremendously and helps him think and manage his behavior.
    I don't mean to sound negative but your grandson may have limitations that he cannot help. If you are aware of what they are it will help you plan accordingly.
    My son has extreme difficulty with numbers and zero impulse control - both things that are common with children who have Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), or ARND. The zero impulse control is what lands alot of these kids in jail.
    The parents here are very wise and this is a great place to start.

    PS - Depending on your grandson's level of functioning, it may be worth looking into to obtain a court order for guardianship after he turns 18. Some Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) parents do this to protect their children from the legal system. If his is mentally functioning as a 10 year old for example, he may need your protection over his medical, legal, and financial affairs.

    Hugs and Good Luck!
  10. Bless you, Cordelia for taking in your Grandson and loving him. Oh, he has been through so much. I can't give you much help as I am wading through the murk of the trials of my own son, but I will definitely pray for him and you.