Long Update and thanks for previous help!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Most have probably forgotten our issues, but I wanted to update and say thanks anyway. I had tried before but computer went out right after I'd typed everything. UGHHH!

    Bro. didn't show up for custody hearing- of course this was after he'd spent a couple of evenings on the phone with difficult child yelling that he'd just been trying to "save difficult child from foster care" (which never was in consideration by anyone) and that "too bad difficult child's Mom (being me) didn't love him enough to do anything." (This didn't sit well with difficult child.) And, it cost me $3500 in attny's fees.


    Next issue: We had neuro testing done- came back all normal. And, had a team from a Mood Disorders clinic at teaching hospital do an evaluation/assessment. We are waiting on formal report with IEP recommendations. But, orally, the psychiatrist on the team said #1) this all started with incidents that understandably were difficult for difficult child to adjust to and triggered a depression, so let's get therapy for that first, #2) difficult child definitely is cycling now and needs to be on mood stabilizer, possibly with an anti-depressant (??), #3) once #1 has been dealt with, cycling might go away and difficult child MIGHT be able to try coming off medications (I'm thinking we're talking in a couple of years from now), because he would no longer meet full criteria for bipolar, however, he would always need to "watch" for signs/triggers as an adult that would mean he should seek out help. psychiatrist compared this to his asthmatic wheezing as a very young child, which he "outgrew", so he is no longer classified as having asthma, but we still watch for "triggers", as it could return later in life. I think of this more as managing the tendency or prediposition. Still, it gave me more hope than anything else has. #4) school district and others should be dealing with difficult child's underlying issues instead of just resulting behavior and specifically said "treating depression and bipolar like it's conduct disorder will never solve the problem; I don't know why people don't learn that".


    Last issue: when in court to get difficult child out of juvy this summer, I appeared with letter from the regular psychiatrist saying we could use some in-home help and difficult child doesn't need Residential Treatment Center (RTC) yet. The GAL took that to mean MST so MST was listed and PO ordered it, even though she had authority to change it when I showed her evidence that MST is behavior intervention for CO and anti-social personality, and difficult child is diagnosis'd with depression, adjustment disorder, and possible BiPolar (BP). Now, MST guy started saying we had to give up difficult child's therapist and PO literally said I shouldn't have wasted my time with private team evaluation-

    :scared: :rofl:

    After I told her, MST guy, and GAL, that I would take them to the Supreme Court to defend my right to seek medical treatment for my child, they backed off on requiring dismissal of other docs, but threatened to turn me in for non-compliance of orders if I didn't sign full release forms. I still haven't done that, as I see no legal requirement for it. As it turns out, MST guy can't tell me what info he needs from other docs or why. He just says he needs to accompany us to appts. with therapist and psychiatrist and be involved with IEP meetings. Really, why, I asked. He gives no answer other than "well, I can't really explain". Ok, here's what I think- psychiatrist wrote a letter last week saying specificaly what difficult child is diagnosis'd with and that he is not primarily CD or anti-social. psychiatrist said significant regression could occur if therapist and other treatment recommendations are disrupted. MST guy is still actually trying to get psychiatrist and therapist on his board of "all we need is a behavior plan" and actually listed that this would include monitoring and reporting each mood and behavior change so he could relay that to PO and GAL and judge. Now, here we are still trying to get medications right, trying to figure out how much difficult child is cycling, adjusting ourselves, etc. and this guy wants to take over the recommended treatment plan to do this?


    I forwarded psychiatrist's letter to GAL and filed a motion with the judge to reconsider MST requirement. The MST guy got mad that I wouldn't let him come to next appointment with psychiatrist- which lasts 15 mins., is paid for by my insurance, and we need to discuss recent medication changes. Anyhow, I told MST guy I still wanted to schedule and meet for required appts. with him so I wouldn't be non-compliant until judge has opportunity to review things. MST guy says "NO" he will not make further appts. So, I guess I'm non-compliant, but like I told all of them- there are a lot of worse things I could be in juvy court for if my difficult child doesn't get the treatment plan that is recommended for him.

    :sword: :warrior:

    If anyone has had the patience to read all this- does anyone have any suggestions?

    Thanks for all previous help- I don't see any way I could have gotten through this summer with any strength to help difficult child and somewhat understand his needs if it hadn't been for the people in this forum!!

    :flower: :treadmill:
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I have read every word and only have one thing to say...Way To Go!!
    You have met the criteria to be dubbed a "Warrior Mom". You have
    taken control of your childs destiny working with the experts for
    the most comprehensive evaluation and combined efforts. You have
    encountered a problem person and are deaing appropriately with
    the interference he is interjecting.

    You've absorbed the wisdom of the Board and incorporated it into
    your personal strengths. Very impressive. Congratulations. DDD
  3. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Hey klmno,

    I am so glad to see you back!!! :smile: We have missed you! I think when you were here last I had the screen name of Sequoia - so that might seem more familiar to you than Willow.

    I didn't quite understand the acronyms in your post, like MST, and GAL - can you help me clarify them? :highvoltage: Sorry!

    You didn't say how difficult child is doing? How is his behavior at home, and at school? Are the medications working?

    Again, so glad to see you!
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thank you, ladies! I'm not so sure I'm due all of DDD's compliments quite yet, though!

    GAL is Guardian ad Litem, which in our case is an attny who was assigned at the arraignment for difficult child's 2 hour crime spree in March to "help me get the help difficult child needs". So far, she has done some harm by making too quick decisions when hearing just a few sentences from others and not checking the validity first.

    MST is Multi-systematic therapy which is explained as a therapy designed to cover home, school, and community based relationships for the difficult child. This sounds great, doesn't it? What they don't tell you up front is that it's only for CO and anti-social personality and uses the methodology of training Pavlow's dog. The only preventative measure for poor behavior that is used in our locality is to remind difficult child of repercussions if he doesn't behave. So, instead of helping difficult child deal with "you need medications right now because...", and "lets work on this issue", it's based on if the family acted different and difficult child took responsibility for self, these issues wouldn't be here and other therapies wouldn't be needed. In some cases this might be true- in most of the cases on this forum, I don't believe it is. They actually discourage other treatments (like therapist) while you're going thru this; but if you have to keep other therapies, they have to be in the middle of(actually take over) them.

    Furthermore, it's critical in my difficult child's case because his Adjustment Disorder stems mostly from his dad never acknowledging or seeing him (his choice) and difficult child convincing himself it's because "he's a bad kid", so as psychiatrist on the evaluation team believes, every time the school district or other "important, authoritative" figures treat difficult child as CO, this reinforces his negative internal beliefs about himself, triggers him into mania, and "BOOM", difficult child loses it. So, the last thing we need is MST guy convincing school district and therapist that a behavior plan where all bad behavior and cycling is monitored and reported to court people is all that's needed to help difficult child.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Sorry- I said MST is only for "CO"- I meant CD (Conduct Disorder.)
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Oh- difficult child's behavior is a lot better- most significantly, at school. Social skills made HUGE leaps- he actually has a couple of friends I like and they've had NO arguments yet!! At home, better- it seems to vary with medications, like raging went away with lithium, then appears to be coming back with Depakote, but restlessness and resulting "I can't stay in the house" was a problem until Depakote was added, now that is better. Worst thing- previous good grades have PLUMETED. It's all I can do to get him through homework and school projects- not so much that he's refusing outright, it's more not concentrating, not having confidence, procrastinating, - I wondering if it's a result of cycling (which seems to be happening a lot since school started) or if it's "cognitive dulling" which I read can happen on mood stabilizers. I wish I could find a solution for this so he doesn't end up behind in school. Grades used to never be an issue.
  7. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Oh Wow!!!! Now that I fully understand all the reports it sounds like SO much positive stuff has happened. That it is unbelievable! I am so proud and happy for you! You perservered, and showed them that this kid was not CD, but rather exposed his true mental illness and his pain!! I am in awe!

    I would have done the same thing with the MST person!
    That is outrageous, but probably typical, because the majority of cases they are dealing with the parent is not involved. :frown:

    And your brother in law.........well, he is obviously, in my opinion, evil. He only had his agenda in this, and then when the chips were down, he bailed. What a PITA.

    I am so glad difficult child has positive friends! That is the best part of all of this! He is doing better, and not scared by the summer of his law ordeal!

    As far as the medications go, that is the hardest part in all of this. Dicing out what is in the very best interest of our kids. My difficult child has had SO many side effects of medications, I cannot even list them all in one page - but yet - he has had so many ill effects of his mood liability that his life has been one miserable moment after another. It is truly the big conundrum with these mentally ill kids.......truly. All I can say, is, the medications he your son are on, are the very best for kids with mood instability. And often, it require 2 MS medications to stabilize them, which you have. So you are on completely the right track!

    Keep hanging in there, and fighting the good fight. I am glad you have your computer again, so you can be online with us once again.
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You're probably already doing this, but where possible do make sure you get communications between you and MST guy, in writing. So when he says he refuses to make any more appointments, you have this in writing. If he refuses to communicate back to you in writing, then handle it this way - take notes of any conversation with him and IMMEDIATELY follow him with a letter/email in which you state, "In our conversation in person/over the phone on such-and-such date, you stated [xxxxx]. I asked you [ggggg] and you responded with [jjjjj]. I trust I have this as a correct and accurate record; if I am in error, please correct me in writing within 10 days, to ensure my records are as accurate and complete as possible. If I do not hear from you in writing, I will take this to mean that this current record is already sufficiently accurate and complete."

    Putting it in this way is not only polite (when you need to be seen to be polite) but it is also making it clear that non-answer will not get them out of committing to a written statement.

    Our local Dept of Ed district office uses the technique of replying to a letter, with a phone call. Nothing ever committed to writing, even when I had requested a written reply. So I would minute the conversation and follow it up with one of my letters, to make sure I had them pinned down.

    That also meant I had to get darn good at taking accurate minutes, anywhere at all. I remember one call I got from them (a vitally important call, too) when I was walking past a shoe store while Christmas shopping, and had to pop inside to sit down, rummage in my bag and fins something to write on. I ended up taking notes on the back of an advertising brochure, writing with lipstick! As soon as I could I returned to the car for more detailed (less smudgy!) notes. I'd written down enough information to be able to get down a lot more accurate detail, before I forgot too much. And of course, my letter which followed meant that she confirmed what I had recorded, through her failure to reply.

    Oh yes, and send the letter registered mail, or hand-deliver it. Registered is best because there can be no argument that the letter was received. If you hand deliver it, it can still come down to your word against his.

    Such are the hoops we have to jump through when we become Warrior Parents...