Newbie - Wondering if it is too late to help my son

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by AHHUM, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. AHHUM

    AHHUM New Member

    Hello out there -
    Well, the moniker says it all. AHHUM:
    Angry
    Harsh
    Hostile
    Unloving
    Mom

    These are all the names I have been called while trying to navigate the so-called authorities & bureaucrates over the last 4 years.

    Here's our story:

    Son is 15, 16 in April

    Son ran away for 10 days last Jan. We reported it to the police immediately and were assured he would be sent to detention if/when he was found. Mind you, this is the 3rd time he's run away, it's the middle of Winter and the authorities are finding frozen bodies every few weeks or so. I know you can imagine the horrible things that go through a mother's head. This is on top of the past 2 years being extremely difficult with this kid, more on that in a bit. So difficult husband (married since Son was 1) & I even allowed him to move in with his BIO (at Son's request) up in Idaho for 6 months.

    Anyway after he was picked up, again after 10 days with no word from him, and a couple possible sightings from neighbors, the police refused to put him in detention, because it's not against the law in Utah to run away unless you cross state lines. Quite honestly, I was so very angry I didn't want him in the house, it was just enough to know he was safe. I wound up walking out of the police station, telling the officer "Fine then, you keep him". Well Mr. Officer chased me down & threatened to cite me for child abandonment and making a public scene. Really, the kid RAN AWAY for 10 days, the only reason he would be coming home is because he was caught, (apparently it is against the law to refuse to allow the run-away back in). AND, I wouldn't be making a public scene if you weren't running after me, gosh.

    So I went back in & they literally had 2 other officers come out & block the door so I couldn't leave without him again. I wound up getting the # & address for DCFS, Dept of Child & Family Services. I went there requesting assistance with the kid, explained the latest incident, a bit about the last 2 years, including a separation between husband & I for 4 months all because of the stress in our home due to this kid.

    Again, I was extremely angry, so needless to say this came through in my attitude & voice.

    So I wound up being in a room with 3 people, very angrily asking for help, explaining why we needed help "The atmosphere in our home is toxic, my oldest son never comes home, he doesn't like the drama. My husband and I seperated & came close to divorcing all circling around the actions of this kid."

    They refused any help, except to refer me to another government agency, this would be the 4th TODAY. So we wound up taking him to a shelter type place where they kept him for a few days.

    About a week later I got a call from an agent with DCFS. I thought they were following up to offer further assistance. It took me a couple seconds to realize this dude was investigating me for emotional abuse and, boy howdy, B***h Mode was right back & in style. I was so angry I was shaking. I wound up giving this guy an earful for about 20 minutes, hardly let him have a word. He wound up coming out to our house a few days later, unannounced, when just husband & older son were home. From what I'm told, they both backed up every comment I made to him & his co-workers I had originally talked to. It's my assumption one of them are the one's that filed a complaint against me. Which is so f**king laughable, if they were concerned enough about the kid when I was there, why on earth did they allow me to leave with him when I was requesting they take him for a few days, ass backwards!

    So a few more days pass, meanwhile we've got Son in counseling, 2nd time, and this counselor has actually got him going to every class, every day, which has not happened in months. This f***king CPS dude goes to the school, with no authority that I know of, and pulls him out of class. Then I get a call from husband this guy has a couple more questions for me before he can close the case, call him and arrange a time to talk. So I call him, leave a message telling him when I'd be home and when is the best time to call. An hour and half after the times I gave him, I left a message telling him how rude it was leaving me waiting, he's the one that wanted to talk, I have interrupted my day & put it on hold to make sure I was available to answer his questions, would you please call so we can conclude this business. He wound up calling back within 20 minutes and after the not so nice pleasantries "Hello, Ms. ^^^^, how are you?" "I am p*ss*d, irritated and resentful, how bout you"

    Well, the first of these all important questions was "Is there any Indian affiliation in your household?" "Excuse me, what the hell does that have to do with emotional abuse?" "Nothing, it is just a question we are required, BY LAW, to ask." "No, I don't believe it is. Perhaps in future you should preface that question that it is POLICY to inquire, but you are under no obligation to answer, because, I have worked in the public sector and do know law. Now, what is your next question? At which point dude seemed to be at a loss for words. But he did get around to asking about Son's "father", phone number, address, place of work, etc. "Oh, you mean the guy who never supported his kid, disappeared for over 8 years, that I tracked down by illegal means, allowed my kid to live with for 6 months, and the kid was so horrible up there that the "father" will not allow him to come back, will not pick up the phone when Son calls, will not return calls and doesn't work, that "father" well here you go, here's his info, blah, blah, blah.

    I wound up pulling the religion card on him and explained that, despite what the norm is here, I was not raised in the faith. I was raised by 2 hippies in California. I am a woman who can and will show emotion when I speak, I will speak above a whisper and I tell the truth. In no way, shape or form does this constitute emotional abuse. I believe the complaint was based on how I spoke and less on what I said. I expect this investigation to be concluded, with no findings, and I expect a letter stating that fact within a week. I will not hesitate to file a complaint against you and your office with my attorney, Mr. whatever. Mr. whatever hates dude, I could pratically hear dude's a-hole pucker & suck up his chair when I mentioned the attorney's name. I did get my letter.

    Since that time, Son has run away countless times. He has gotten 5 tobacco citations and a truancy citation, those all within a months time. These he had to go to court for, but they are not considered judicial citations, so no need to see a judge, here's the fine. I think the total was close to $400. In the meantime, Son is still acting up at school, still smoking, still disappearing for hours at a time, we are getting calls from school on a weekly basis, just a nightmare. So I wound up requesting, again, for him to be transferred to the alternative school, where I was hoping for a little more one on one attention.

    This state absolutely refuses to admit a child may need to be held back a grade. When we first moved here Son had difficulty adjusting and it showed in his grades. I requested, being the first year here, that he be held back in elementary & not advanced to Jr. High, allowing him more time to adjust. You just don't have a 10 year old kid making top grade and a year later barely passing his courses. We were told they don't do that at this age, you have to wait until 9th grade for retention. Well the next year, he is doing worse, I again asked and was denied to have him held back. Well after 2 years of seeing there are no consequences for not doing the work, lets see what happens if I don't go to a class, then to skipping a whole day, to where we were in Jan where he was missing days at a time, again with little to no consequences. This is mixed in with calls from the school about him acting up in class, stealing from the teacher's desk, accusing a teacher of kicking him. This poor woman has been a teacher forEVER, ready to retire after this year, and all of sudden there's rumors going around she kicked my kid. She called the house, in tears & spoke with husband, explaining she accidently kicked his chair when she walked past. After confronting him, Son admitted this is what happened.

    I have spent hours corresponding with teachers/counselors/faculty trying to help with his poor grades. I've got hundreds of emails back and forth where I've been told they would do this, that or the other, and very few of them actually followed through on what they said they would do. husband has spent hours & hours & hours at the school, collecting work, talking to teachers, etc, again with very little follow through. I have had to go to the Board of Education twice, and again pulled the religion card. I hate when the men around here accuse me of yelling because I have attitude in my voice. I will usually start yelling at that point and ask them if they really want to go there. The condesending attitude is maddening.

    Then we get a call from school saying Son had purposely burned a girl with some kind of word working iron and was being suspended indefinately. You have to jump through all these hopes before he can even be considered allowed back to school. It's my understanding, from the different stories I've heard, while the tools were heating up, all the kids were touching them to each other forearms. Jason wound up getting this girl on both arms and caused burns bad enough to go to the doctor. The Vice Principal admitted he didn't think Jason did this with malice, more along the lines of flirting. We wound up having to take him in for a psychological review, chemical tests (based on the psychiatric evaluation) a school policy review (that woman scared husband), a meeting with the fire chief. Did not have to do the court of peers thing because this is when he wound up transferring up to ID.

    The move to ID was inspired because Son ran away on New Years Eve (this would be the 2nd time, the first was after I had the nerve to get mad at him for shooting fireballs in his room with a can of WD-40 and a lighter, not the first time fire has been an issue. I about had a heart attack when I found a whole bunch of illegal fireworks next to the furnace and water heater). Not sure of the reason he ran this time, except he wanted to hang with his friends and knew he would be denied if he asked, guess it's easier to ask forgiveness then permission. When we found him, we took him to the police station, who in turn cuffed him (that's a proud mom moment I'll never forget) put him in the back of the car & took him to a cooling off place for kids that need a break from home. Had to go pick him up a couple hours later and while talking with the counselor person, it was decided Son would go live with Bio, I'd already talked to Bio about it, and was mighty impressed that he agreed to man up and help out, considering he & Son had just meet on Halloween! So less then 2 weeks later I dropped him off up there.

    After he got out of school for Summer break, I went to get him for what was supposed to be a few weeks, back to Bio's 4th of July. But once Son was here, Bio wouldn't answer the phone to him or return his calls. I finally got Bio to talk to me and he explained that he couldn't/wouldn't live like a junky. He'd finally gotten himself out of that kind of lifestyle and refused to have to live that way again, always watching your money, cigs, pot, booze, lighters, all things Son helped himself to while living there. Sometimes I trully wish I could be that irresponsible to just say, "I don't like it, I won't do it", but noooooo, Miss Goody Two Shoes is willing to do whatever I can to help this kid despite himself.


    So in April, because of his continually running, Son was finally sent to the judge and placed on probation. He was under house arrest, had stipulations about school, enrolled in smoking cessation classes, go to family counseling, at first this was to be in home & the only place that offers it is DCFS, so requested the judge to change that, really was not in the mood to invite these people into my home again. Drug counseling was ordered after he ran again and when he was picked up was found with a baggie with pot residue. During this entire nightmare we are continually told to stress the positive whenever he does something good. Should have seen the face of the police officer when I praised Son for not littering by throwing the practically empty baggie on the ground. He wound up getting locked up for a few days in detention for the contempt of court (run away while on house arrest). So we did this dance a couple more times until this June when the judge finally ordered him in for 30 days. I requested and got him credit for 7 days time served and he was given 6 more days for good behavior. He came home on Friday, within the hour he tried breaking into our bedroom (oh, yeah didn't mention we live in a prison, locks on bedroom, office and pantry, and have a safe in our room), that afternoon, husband left our bedroom unguarded for 2 minutes while he went in the garage to get a tool, Son went in stole a pack of smokes, got into our safe (left open) and stole back the paraphenelia the police refused, 3 times, to remove from our house. Then when I got home, he kissed me hello, waited for me to go in the house then left without a word and was gone for almost 2 hours, again while on house arrest. While he was in detention, husband &/or I went and visited him EVERY day, EVERY day he said he was done, was ready to do it the right way, blah, blah, ****.

    The next day, Sat, I told him all this stuff was going to be reported to his PO, as was required by court order, so he ran. husband & I went looking for him and he ran from us 3 different times, the last time with the parting shot to husband "F**k you, I ain't gonna be locked up again." He was picked up Sun for shop lifting, a red bull, can you believe it. He was sent to O&A (observation & assessment) for the 45 day treatment program. At the exit interview for the program, it was determined Son is depressed and should be medicated, at which point I made it VERY clear this is not an option I was willing to consider at this time.

    Oct. 2010 - Son had been home since the beginning of Sept (this is the longest he's been home all year) when I got a call from school, he was caught with a couple other kids smoking pot off campus during lunch and was going to be suspended. It was determined that Son was just hanging with the kids and wasn't smoking. The VP believes this and did not suspend him, but I was given a copy of his transcripts, he has 15 unexcused absences and is failing 4 classes, has a D in one, a C and one A. We were to meet with the PO on Friday, Son to be locked up for the weekend.

    So between Mon & the meeting of Fri with the PO, we are to attend so called family counseling, where we get to play "fun" games and eat unhealthy food. After the "fun" game there was a discussion on the way people argue & the tactics used to stop any meaning full conversation. I asked one of the counselors, repeatedly how we, the parents, are suppossed to stop being angry when the behavior doesn't change. The counselor refused to believe Son has done NOTHING to improve the situation. I wound up becoming extremely angry and walking out of the meeting. So move forward to Fri & meeting with PO.

    PO is giving Son "Affirmations" for not having a positive drug test for awhile, while not addressing the fact that Son is smoking spice instead (doesn't show up in drug tests) & in now drinking. Became angry & called PO on his idiocy. Meanwhile Son states he doesn't know what She (me) wants from him and I responded by, yes, yelling “GO TO SCHOOL, GO TO CLASS, DO THE WORK, TURN IT IN”. The usual mantra of the last few years.

    Enter the deputy to take Son to detention. In less the 10 seconds I was threatened with citation, arrest & tazering & asked to, at first, leave the room & then the building, which I did with no arguments. Mon, go to court for detention hearing, Thur, go to court for disposition. Provided a copy of the PO's recommendation (was not given opportunity to read while in court), which is full of lies about me, to the point the judge was angry with me before walking in the room, the hearing became more about me & my anger then Son (who was removed from the room while judge disciplined me on my attitude). I was reprimanded for the re-fi we did on our home to be enable us to pay child support ($498 mo) to the state if Son is removed from our custody, which we have been threatened with several times over the last year, and for which I already had to pay for the time spent in O&A. Judge orders Son to remain in detention for a week.

    So since return home, 1st week of Nov., Son is on best behavior, going to school every day, no daily calls from the school, helpful around the house, clean drug tests (Though still smoking cigs, gotta pick your battles), better attitude, GREAT. Until 2 weeks ago, son has a dirty drug test, got suspended from school for attitude issues & disrespect to teachers. The following Mon (last week) son disappears again, and have not seen him now for 10 days. He is posting on his FB page selling pot.

    We are at a loss as to what to do now. He has absolutely NO school credit for the last 2 years, I have been "let go" from my job because of this issue. When Son is picked up we are ordered to take him to detention immediately. I am afraid Son will be taken from us & placed in state custody, I do not know if a modification of the support order can be made due to the fact that I am not working. It is a real possiblity that on top of losing Son and my job, we will lose our home. As stated Son has been in couseling, only depression has been diagnosed. I have looked into finding a physcologist to see if we can get him diagnosed with something else, but can not get him home long enough to get him to one.

    Please any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Wow, you've really been through the wringer!

    One point I feel I need to make - you are finding things more difficult for you than they should be, because you are so vocal and expressive. I don't live in the US but from what I do know, I suspect that a strong woman trying to deal with the legal system in a state where the social system is more heavily aligned with attitudes that women are going to be quiet, respectful, submissive - you get it, I'm sure - is going to find instant hostility, purely because strong women are not something a lot of conservative men can handle. They try to deal with YOU by getting aggressive and heavy. They play the man (or woman in this case), not the ball.

    So - I know it grates, I agree you shouldn't have to and it is wrong, but for the sake of your son as well as your finances, I think you need to play-act the quiet, submissive person. At least in your demeanour. Still say the same things, but say them with eyes downcast, hands folded in lap, quiet voice.

    I had to learn this one too. Not because we live in a conservative environment, but I worked with a sociopath male who under certain circumstances, saw me as a threat. He was nasty and sabotaged me so badly in the workplace that it caused my career a great deal of harm. Then I discovered how to slide under his radar - I learned by studying him, what I had to do so he did not see me as a threat. Of course, what he wanted most from me was for me to stop being so good at my job. I wasn't going to do that! But I did find that when I seemed quiet and submissive, he left me alone. And I quietly got back to doing my job well, and he was no longer paying enough attention to realise and try to stop me. Eventually the boss worked out what was happening. But it took years of me playing the quiet game.

    When it comes to getting what you want for your child, again I have found I get better results if I am quiet and polite in my manner, even if my words are firm and authoritative. If they begin to get angry with me, I need to be able to say, "Please moderate your tone. I am not shouting at you. Please do not shout at me."
    We use that phrase often with our difficult child too.

    The problem with allowing your anger to show - the people you are dealing with will, given a fraction of a chance, take the easiest path open to them. And right now, the easiest path is to blame you. "No wonder the kid is such a problem - he has a loud, aggressive mother!" And of course that is not the problem. But once they can blame YOU, they don't have to pay attention to what you say. It is no comfort to be right, when you get ignored. Think of Cassandra in Greek mythology - she was cursed by Apollo, that although she always prophesied exactly what would happen, nobody would ever believe her. So her fate in life was to watch the tragedies unfold, including her own death, and know she could do nothing to prevent it. I often used to wonder - why didn't she make up the opposite and say that? But perhaps part of her curse was that she couldn't lie.

    Seriously - it is galling, but I think if you had burst into tears in the police station or in CPS that first time, you would have been offered a lot more help.

    And that is another thing - when you are a strong woman (or perceived to be one), you don't get helped. Even with friends, even if you're not shouting or anything. Picture two different women on a working bee. One (let's say this woman is you or me - I think we are both similar people!) is loading up the wheelbarrow then finding it is a bit heavier and unstable to wheel than expected. There are plenty of other people around, but none seem to see the difficulty and just leave this woman to it. MEanwhile we have another woman, the one who is perhaps concerned about breaking a fingernail, who is making a real hamfisted attempt to open a tin of paint. People come out of the woodwork to help her, while our other woman, who just needs a brief steadying hand on that barrow, struggles on alone.

    It's what you get when you seem too capable.

    What I'm suggesting to you undoubtedly seems personally dishonest. I can relate to that. But what would you be prepared to do, to get help for your son?

    Now, looking at things from a different angle - by this stage, with that level of disrespect for authority and rebellion in your son, if all he has done is smoke pot (and tobacco smoking is a crime there? Wow!) and, of course, steal stuff that he decides he wants, then he is a better person, a stronger person, than many other kids in his position. That tells me that somewhere in there, is something that someone can work with. Your problem has been finding that someone, getting access to the right services. Because when you have asked, in desperation, your manner has given them an easy way out of helping you - "let's blame the mother instead".

    I hated difficult child 3's first school. I had dealt with them with my older two kids and knew their shortcomings. But I also live in the same very small town as the school staff, and needed to stay friends with them. I found myself needing to be polite and friendly, even while I said things like, "Because we are friends, I am telling you this now and not immediately starting formal proceedings. But you need to know - you have just violated my son's human rights. This is the law you are breaking, when you take the following action..."
    I went on to say, "I can forgive a great deal in the name of friendship, but my son's welfare has to come first. Please do not make me have to choose between you, and my son. You will lose."
    All said quietly.

    Interestingly, I have been told since that when my voice lowers in volume and becomes very sweet, they cringe because they know they're in BIG trouble.

    I also learned that if I am in a room full of people shouting, while I CAN shout them down if needed, if I take the opposite tack and lower my volume, they have to shut up in order to hear what I'm saying.

    It takes a huge over-ride on my emotions to do this, but it has brought me some amazing results. Yes, I have had people shout at me. I have had some very 'high up' people shouting at me. I never shouted back - it was sufficiently satisfying to me to have upset the other person, if I shouted back at them it would give them the satisfaction that they had me rattled too.

    Often you are dealing with people who are politically very astute. The first lesson they learned was this one - don't raise your voice, unless you choose to. And don't choose to unless the theatrics require it. Only a bloke can raise his voice, politically. Think - Margaret Thatcher. At her most menacing, her voice was quiet and sweet.

    To help your son, you are going to have to become politically astute. It's not right, it's not fair, but needs must.

    As far as the basic practicalities of what should be happening legally - I can't help there. But others here can.

    You sound like my kind of person, but living in UTAH!?? Having to deal with ANY male who expects me to be subservient - I've been there and never want to go there again. It was really, really hard work.

    Welcome to the site. Stick around, read around, post around, help and support is here.

    Marg
     
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and welcome--

    I can hear all the stress and strain you are going through - sounds like you are butting up against an over-worked and under-funded beaurucratic system - and I am so sorry you are suffering through this.

    I don't have any advice or insight to offer because I am unfamiliar with the laws in your state regarding some of these offenses. In my area, after a child is picked up for enough "status offenses" - like runaway - parents can file an Incorrigibility petition with the court to get the child placed into a treatment program.

    Is there anything you can file in family court that might get your son into a residential program? Just because he is placed somewhere - it does not terminate your parental rights.
     
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If drugs are involved, they are likely the ill behind all of this. I don't think he is only smoking pot.

    At his age it is almost impossible to make him obey and he will only improve with help if he wants it. I would go for the Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Hugs and good luck.
     
  5. AHHUM

    AHHUM New Member

    Thank you ladies for the quick responses.

    I was not always this angry person. I tried working with the people, quietly & respectfully, the first 2 years, when it was just about the school work. After 2 years of no help & out right untruths and the escalation of his behavior to criminal, I have become desparate to help him & no one will listen or help. Unfortunately, in UT, women are not listened to & step fathers have no standing. I had to sign a waiver in order for husband to be able to access info from the school.

    Yes, it is a crime in UT to smoke cigarettes, until age 19. But it is not a judicial crime, meaning fines only. Yes it is a crime to be truant, also not judicial & only if the school reports it, which they will not because it is a loss of money (I believe this to be the reason they will not retain him also)

    No, at this point it is no longer just pot. He has started a new thing, at least to us, called robo-tripping, where he consumes a huge amount of cough medicine. husband went to all the local pharmacies & explained this to the store managers. Mucinex DM (green box) is now behind all the counters & you have to ask the pharmacist for it.

    I have read in the forums here about Advocates for the child. How do I find one? I have lost my job due to this situation, so no insurance. husband is retired on a pension & works part time, so income is to high to qualify for state assistance. We do not have enough income to afford an Residential Treatment Center (RTC), believe me I have researched that. The only one I have found, Cal Farley's in NV, that is free, won't take him because of his extensive run-aways.

    We have been to counselors. The one we were working with that was actually having an effect, the PO would not allow us to continue with because he did not have a high enough degree. The next one was a quack, gave us a homework assignment to watch a movie, The Princess Bride. To this day I do not know what we were supposed to get out of this. The so-called family counseling just ended, this involved equine therapy, which seemed to be having a positive effect, but the courts have decided to go another direction & that program ended around Christmas, Son has coined out (graduated), with the recommendation that further family counseling was unnecessary.

    We have been on a waiting list for the Families First program, which has a scholarship program through the courts, since July. This is an intensive in home program and by what I read on their web-site, promises to be very helpful. Unfortunately, the Lying Sack of Sh**, pardon me, I mean PO, has bumped my son down the list twice. As of last week he is 3rd on the list and I am waiting for the L S of S's supervisor to get back to me on the status of that. I will have to call her tomorrow & remind her we are still here, but of course, all government offices are closed on Friday, so will not hear back until next week.

    I would love to get him in to someone who can objectively (not on the courts or schools behalf) assess him. I have come, recently, to accept there is probably an underlying problem. I have no idea what kind of doctor to take him to.

    So at this point my main questions are:

    1. How to get him an advocate
    2. What kind of doctor

    Thanks again,

    AHHUM, aka B*tch Mom

    Yes, remarkably, I have somehow managed to keep a sense of humor, but it is getting darker by the day.
     
  6. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Can I ask why you said medication was not an option? Not saying it is a cure all....but if it would help.....I would try.....
     
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Yes, I noted the sense of humour. I think a lot of us can relate to that!

    Surely that is an indication that at some level they realise that you are not the problem?

    I take a lot personally from Ghandi. Passive resistance. Quiet, calm obstinacy. Constant dripping wearing away a stone (although personally I never lost weight while eating bread and dripping). I also keep nagging. I don't know how well my methods would work in your area, but I am well known for literally sitting and waiting outside the offices of someone who I need to do something for me. Officially, I am sitting waiting to hear a response from my letter. In person. It is faster to wait, I tell them. I have nothing else left in life to do, but wait for their response. Yes sir, I understand you have a meeting all morning. What time does your meeting finish? I might go have a cup of coffee while I wait, but I will be back here by the time your meeting lets out and you can finally read my letter and respond to it. This is my main objective in life now - nothing else has more importance. There is nothing left for me to do, but sit here and wait for you. I know you are busy. I can wait. I have my knitting, my thermos and my pillow. And my torch for when night falls. And oh yes, that camera crew over the road...

    I do find they like to give me what I want, eventually, because I make sure it is the easiest way out for them. It just takes them a while to work it out. That's OK. I can wait, as long as we don't lose too much time in my child's life.

    I have to make it very, very passive so they don't call the police to remove me. Or if they do call the police, my extreme passivity makes them look like utter callous ratbags for doing so (I'd like to use a stronger word but Aussle slang doesn't translate well).

    My methods are unconventional and I don't know how well they would work in Utah.

    Marg
     
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    What kind of an Advocate do you want? Do you mean for school?
     
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I also think that you have to be rather insistent but mellow. I am not known for my lack of temper by any means at all. When my son was in his teen years he was a royal handful and I had to turn over every rock I could find. I really did pester many people along the way and probably bugged many badly. I think I finally got into one program just so I would leave them alone...lol.

    Because you are unemployed and your husband gets a pension, I would look into medicaid for your son to help with his medical bills. That really may open the doors for more mental health treatment than you can get with regular insurance actually. He seems to be firmly entrenched in the juvenile justice system now. I suppose you can use this to your advantage since he is already there. In most states there is normally some kind of point system of how many times they end up before the judge before they will get sent away to some form of Department of Juvenile Justice facility. Here we call them training schools. Basically they are kiddie jails. Most of ours really arent too bad because they do have separate ones for different levels of offenders. All but the most violent kids get sent to places that actually do train them for something and do offer psychological treatment. Here you can also lobby for Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s and the judges can order them.

    I will tell you that the teen years were awful for me. I wouldnt do them over for love nor money. This truancy problem can really come back to bite you. They can attempt to charge you for it. My kid skipped 88 days in 8th grade and they still passed him. I was so mad! Luckily for me they didnt try to pull the truancy card because it was mostly their fault for the absences. I actually drove him to school and handed him off to the teacher and he would leave out the back door of the school! Or I would place him on the bus myself and he would manage to get off and get lost going in. But I did my part.
     
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board. I'm glad you found us.

    You've been thru the ringer and back again. I so understand where your anger and frustration is coming from. Most of us do as we've been there ourselves. I also understand your desperation and sense of urgency to help this child that so does not want to be helped before you run out of time. And trust me, you don't want to get me started on the whole cps and system thing. lol

    I was fortunate enough to learn the kill em with kindness routine at my grandmother's knee. The woman had it down to an art form. Don't get me wrong.......I have a vicious temper which I have to work hard to keep in check, especially when it comes to my kids.........but I've found that in dealing with the system and professionals.......It's all about education and delivery. I'm not going to tell you I've never lost it, because I have several times.......enough times to cause school staff to either run or not mess with me. I'm the most stubborn person I know. If I dig in my heels you're in trouble. lol I arm myself with knowledge and I won't budge, not even an inch.

    I'm going to assume since you didn't mention it that difficult child has not been evaluated or diagnosed up until now. Odds are no one is going to listen offer to help or much of anything unless/until there is a diagnosis of some sort to work with.........even if that diagnosis is stuck there simply to get some help put into place. I'd get a referral to a good therapist/child psychiatrist combo for an evaluation. The sooner you know what you're dealing with the better. medications .......well, honestly I think that depends on the kid myself. My Nichole needed them in order to stabilize and begin to function normally again. She no longer takes them and hasn't for a few years and remains fairly stable but she has worked hard to do so. Travis? Never saw what good medications would do him, so he never really used them. Like I said in my opinion it depends on the child and what is going on with that child.

    A diagnosis (if there is one) can force school to conform to difficult child's needs. It's not a magic wand as far as other professionals go, but it does tend to help when dealing with them as well.

    I am so very glad I'm now past the teen years. They were a nitemare to deal with.

    (((hugs)))
     
  11. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I have a question about this...

    Our family went through a state program to get our child additional services and there is a HUGE waiting list - literally years long. But the list is not first-come, first-served...it is "scored" based on the level of the child's need and the services that have already been tried. The child with the highest-needs "score" is always first. We were on that waiting list for over a year...and they deliberately do NOT tell you your place in line because there is always the possibility that a child with a higher score will apply and be placed ahead of yours.

    I wonder if the program you describe has a similar system?
     
  12. AHHUM

    AHHUM New Member

    Good Morning all,

    PatriotsGirl - The diagnosis of depression was not unexpected. difficult child, I believe and stated (with no argument from the accessors) has situational, not clinical, depression, so my reasons are:

    1. I do not believe medications are the answer to self caused depression. We believed difficult child had the ability to change his circumstances just not the will. I am starting to rethink this, husband is not there yet. Utah is the #1 state for prescriptions for depression, (the last statistic I read was somewhere around 60% of adult females are on anti-depressants here) I believe it to be overly diagnosed. This diagnosis was from the jss services.

    2. We are unwilling to put difficult child on mind altering drugs, especially when most drugs are new and there is no research on the long term effects to the still developing brains of children. We have been repeatedly told brain developement continues until around age 23.

    3. There are addiction problems on both sides of difficult child's family. I have rampant alcohlism on my side, luckily I have escaped this. Bio dad is an alcoholic, recovering (?) addict (I did not know this until after becoming pregnant, in hindsight...) and is probable he (bio dad) suffers from Alcohol Fetal Syndrome.

    4. difficult child's only goal in life at this time seems to get high & the probability of medication abuse is high, we believe he has taken medications supplied by his friends. It is to the point we can not keep otc medications in our home, cough/cold medications are bought on a need basis & locked up, unused portions are disposed of immediately.

    Marguerite - Until recently, I worked full time, sitting outside an office for hours was not an option. But now, with all this time on my hands, I may become a practitioner, LOL.

    MidwestMom - I am thinking we are in need of an advocate to help with the school system and to get the ball rolling on an IEP.

    Dammit Janet - husband has pension & works part time, I am receiving unemployment benefits, which the state has been deducting child support, due to his time in JSS detention. Our income is to high for medicaid - have looked into.

    The truancy has been an ongoing issue for going on 3 years now - the schools refuse to report it (loss of money to them) and the PO (he is supposed to check difficult child's school records regularly) refuses to report it to the judge unless there are other issues (dirty UA, run-away, suspension, etc.). I have addressed him on this, thus the fictional report to the judge. PO has told difficult child he (PO) can get in a lot of trouble for not reporting to judge. Yes, difficult child has been taken directly to school. Was transferred to an alternative school & taken directly to bus stop & placed on bus, to no avail. For some reason there is no alternative school for 10th graders here. I guess all (other) 10th graders are magically good and all issues go dormant for the school year? I have requested the school to stop calling me at work to report his absences and report them directly to the PO, they will not.

    Hound Dog - No difficult child has not been diagnosed/assessed outside of JSS or as part of a school requirement, due to behavioral issues at school (woodworking tool incident, burned another child) - thus the need for a doctor of some kind, who can do this without bias. As mentioned & indicated, the authorities here are extremely unhelpful and the beaurocrats live up to the definition (per Reader's Digest: A stupid person who refuses to deviate from policy). Where do I get a referral from?

    Thank you all for the welcoming kindness, feedback & especially (((hugs)))
     
  13. Star*

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

    AHUM....

    AHAH!

    Hi there - welcome to the family.

    WHAT a powerful advocate you are for your son - that's good. I like a woman who can voice her opinion and doesn't back down from a challenge. That is actually part of the battle with kids like ours. The other part? Ah that? Yeah well that is the tricky part and it gets mucky at best and takes friends who have been there done that to navigate the muck. I'll try to help because I didn't START out like you are - I arrived there years later but boy sister when I did? I was a force - still am. However - you have to learn how to be a stealthy force. Otherwise you get the treatment like you did. Or the nut hut- (chuckles -) nut hut after living with my kid? NOT.SO.BAD - 4 hots and a cot - plus craft class - LOOKING GOOD. Know what I mean??

    Okay but on a serious note - there are "things" that "these people" (coughs) - the "Professionals" want to hear out of YOU. And goodness knows that while ALL of you just wants to get up and smack the smart right off of them and literally scream ARE WE TALKING ABOUT THE SAME KID DO YOU KNOW WHAT I HAVE TO LIVE WITH? about every three minutes? And know that THEY go home every night and sleep and WE go home every night and cat nap, wait for every creeking door, or window, or have to walk around with our keys on our wrist, or all our medications locked in a safe we had to invest in, or worry that our kid is freezing out somewhere or that we could buy stock in PRILOSEC? yeah - you just want to sit there and plug your ears and sing lalalalallalah.....you have no idea what you are talking about you can come live at my house for a week you are so book smart lalalalalalalah.....phooey.

    The things that you should know now? First? They want to know that YOU - not your son - but YOU the MOTHER (yeah aint this grand?) are in counseling. (laughing yet?) Yupppppp. If you come back with "Well I'm seeing Dr. Freud once a week." then the issue of your anger, hostility, rage, and being out of control are being addressed - so it's a misnomer and --thus? Untouchable - so they have to - get that HAVE TO move on to the CHILD. Doesn't matter if your husband or the other son are in counseling - because technically - he's not DAD. you've already told them husband is NOT biodad. AND because of that? THEY AUTOMATICALLY ASSUME......LOADS.....this child is a product of a divorced home, he's angry, yadda yadda yadda,,,,,,,didn't get anger counseling to deal with his grief over mom and dad splitting- yadda yadd - and actually? No matter HOW YOU coped with the split? Or how you THOUGHT your kid did? Or how well the other kids may have dealt? THIS ONE DID NOT. AND....he needs to talk to someone about ----his "issues". And not only with his anger and how to deal with it. But about his drug abuse. Could it be a product of his anger? Meh - maybe. Could it be a product of low self esteem and hanging out with the wrong kids? Maybe....could it be genetic? That too. I mean no one knows for sure. But he's 15. There's still time for a lot of good to be done - and there you are SCREAMING for help. And no one is listening - so you have to learn ...HOW.NOT.TO.SCREAM. But to ask. Squeeky wheel gets the grease....but which gear to you ask?

    Well - at this point? The police have been NO help. You have searched your area for children advocates? Not much available. You could call the hospital for drug and alcohol addictions for teens. And you can go to places like AA, ALANON, NARC-A-NON, and Catholic Family Services - don't have to be religious or Catholic - don't even have to have a higher power - just need help. You can go to ANY County Health Agency for sliding scale counseling - if you have no money - and you can call your governors office and ask where do I go when I have an incorrigible teen and need help before he becomes more of a problem than I can handle?

    THEN I would go, NOT call - BUT GO - to your local county FAMILY COURT and ask to speak directly to a family court judge - ask for an appointment. Tell the judge that NO ONE will give you any help and ask to file a petition of incorrigibility and find out what all that entails in your district or county. IF the judge will grant you and audience? HE MAY court order your son to rehab, juvenille, a work camp. MAY -

    You can also talk to the CHIEF of police and BEG him to find out if there are ANY programs that will take your kid into a scared straight prison program for juvenilles. May or may not help.

    If you feel your son is THAT out of control? Call PROBATION and PAROLE...., Department of Juvenile Justice. find a cop that works at the Department of Juvenile Justice facility or in the office and ask them what to do - THESE PEOPLE KNOW PEOPLE - they just don't advertise it. Or every parent who had a kid that sneezed wrong would be bringing little johnny to the jail house. Know what I mean??

    There is help - BUT you have to be willing to put yourself - in therapy - FIRST. Otherwise they will look at you like YOU REFUSE to believe that the ONLY problem in this family dynamic is your son. If you can come down a notch and say - I 'may' be at the point where I need help to deal with him, can you help me? And say in counseling - FOR YOURSELF - to cope - because I mean - HECK - YOU NEED someone to blow it out the backdoor with at least ONCE a week - GIRL - look at what you wrote us.......Don't you think you need to do that with someone that can give you legitimate answers and HELP - I mean SEVERELY GOOD one on one help and a way to level the playing field each week with this kid and a way to uncork yourself before you loose your husband? I do. I did. And I've had my fiance for 12 years - OTHERWISE he would have been long gone - trust me on that.

    I don't say anything above to dictate your life, lay it in stone - or advise - it's suggestions. But it's hindsight, and good advice from someone who has been in the trenches - 20 years plus and led a very VERY interesting life, and now leads a very (mostly lol) peaceful one. I want that for you too. Really. Really.

    Hugs
    Star
     
  14. AHHUM

    AHHUM New Member

    DaisyFace - I don't know, but will be sure to check it out if I can actually TALK (so tired of voicemail) to anyone next week!

    Star - I think I might fall in love with you, so nice to hear back from someone who GETS (I've actually told a few of the "Authorities" I feel like Nicole Kidman in "The Others", just got a blank stare in response) what this household has been going through. When the deputy threatened to arrest me at the PO's office, I told him I might take him up on it as I could use the sleep & the break, he did not find it amusing. Thank you for all the suggestions, have plenty of time on my hands to follow your suggestion one by one! Have started the Parent Report, once finished with that will see about meeting with the judge. This is a scary one though - this judge does not hesitate throwing parents in jail, neighbors wife got a weekend for wearing shorts in his courtroom (it was summer & only about 90 degrees out).

    Everything is kinda on hold right now, waiting for the next shoe to drop. Namely when difficult child decides he's had enough fun & comes home or gets caught. But will definately seek out assistance for myself next week! Catholic Charities are few & far between here, LDS wards are on every other block though. Will have to check on that, have heard they are not so helpful unless you are in good standing with them, meaning pay your 10% tithing every month.

    (((Hugs))) to you all
     
  15. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I second what Star said!

    My husband and I actually attended parenting classes - we were not court-ordered or anything - but we went just so that we could prove to every doctor, every counselor, every authority figure from here on out that WE were doing EVERYTHING to help this kid. And believe you me, I have taken those "graduation certificates" from parenting class and used them to literally shut a psychiatrist up! (Boy, that felt good!)

    So, yes - if you can 'eliminate yourself as a suspect' as it were....it should help!
     
  16. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I got my referrals from docs I trusted, like say a really good family doctor. Or I'd check to see if a good hospital had a referral program. I believe I found Nichole's awesome therapist/psychiatrist via children's hospital in dayton.

    An enormous tip. Don't expect to find a perfect match immediately. Just as in any profession there are both good and bad tdocs and psychiatrists. Unfortunately you usually have to wade through a few bad ones to stumble upon the good ones. I went through 2 sets with Nichole before finding ones who really knew their stuff and were excellent with teens. (another hurdle) They were so good I drove 2 hrs one way to see them every week for about a year. Then we just couldn't do the gas anymore but by then we had a good one in town to switch her to. A psychiatrist who actually practices like they used to......you know basically doing the tdocs job instead of talking to you for 10 mins and writing a script. Now those psychiatrists (psychiatrist, sorry hate to write that out each time) are a rare find indeed.

    hugs
     
  17. AHHUM

    AHHUM New Member

    Been doing some online research today. Am determined to request an evaluation from difficult child's school on Monday.

    Question 1: Do we have to have a documented diagnosis to receive the evaluation (drug addiction is covered under UT law, he has several documented dirty UA's for pot through the PO office)
    Question 2: Can the evaluation be started without his presence (he is still MIA, 2 weeks come Mon)
    Question 3: Is there a cheat sheet available somewhere on writing the formal request for evaluation
    Question 4: I saw on another thread that advocates are available for free in all school districts in the US, I cannot find any info for UT (I found one website that referenced for UT to an attorney in FL, WTH?), does anyone know who they are or where to find them in UT
    Question 5: What other questions should we be asking

    Thanks again to all & (((Hugs)))
     
  18. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

  19. AHHUM

    AHHUM New Member

    Thanks HaoZi - I've been all over that website all week, was just hoping for plain English so I get it right the first time! These were the questions I had after trying to make heads or tails of all that info.:rollingpin: Because this is who they're used to dealing with, will make it as difficult for me as they can. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
     
  20. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    HUGS - AND LOTS OF THEM!!!

    OK, what I have to say comes from the point of view of a step-parent, but I'll tell you this much - due to the antics of the kids' bio-mom, the stuff that happened to Onyxx, the stuff Onyxx has DONE, and some of husband, too - I found myself a counselor. Someone I could just lay it all on. I don't go every week, or even every two weeks - I did go every week to begin. But you know what? It certainly didn't hurt our case when Onyxx got in legal trouble that - oh wait - the entire family had had counseling of some sort - but bio mom's side? Nah, nothing wrong with them. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Star's right. I know you've done this - we've done this - locked up anything that isn't nailed down. Onyxx has done the cold medication route, too. I, and several other parents I know, have called every flippin' pharmacy in the area. It's anything with dexthromorphan (DM) in it. It won't show up on drug tests unless they specifically point to that, and the juvenile justice system isn't going to look for that. I mean, come on - a kid on probation gets a cold, what're ya gonna do? Make them suffer? (Well, OK, it's super tempting, but you just can't, you know?) I've gone off the deep end screaming about how I can't take this anymore. And it never got me anywhere. Right now Onyxx's counselor is upset with me because I told her the truth - politely AND tactfully - that Onyxx ain't listening - but you know, too bad. (Not terribly fond of this counselor for other reasons... Long story, it's in other threads.)

    Now for the part you won't want to hear. But...

    OK. Antidepressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, what have you. MANY of them have been around for longer than you'd think. I was surprised, actually. And - if your son has a chemical imbalance in his brain, likely the recreational pharmaceuticals are making it worse, not better. Self-medication is one of those things that a LOT of our kids have done. And it doesn't work.

    BUT*** If he is diagnosed properly, and given the appropriate medication at the lowest effective dose for him, it will help. And it won't be mind-altering, not in the way you're seeming to think. I'll be honest. I HATE HATE HATE HATE taking medications. I have situational depression. But - when things got really horrid - I tried: sertraline (aka Zoloft) - no effect. None. Zip. Zilch. Bupropion (Wellbutrin) - I was a raving witch (capital B there). NO ONE wanted to be around me, including myself. 2009-10 - citalopram (lexapro) worked like a charm. I was on 2mg. That's not even a blip, really - just a teensy little bit. It was a wonder drug for me. Then husband and I were trying to get pregnant so I took myself off of it (not recommended by the way). And surprisingly, I've been doing pretty well. But I have days. Oh boy do I.

    Honestly - by themselves prescription drugs may or may not have an effect... Same goes for therapy... Together they can be a miracle... Sometimes not. But, please, please, don't be closed off to the possibility. Risperidone, 0.25mg, had such a wonderful effect on Onyxx's moods and sleeping, and therefore attitude and behavior, I wish she hadn't refused to take it. She didn't want her mind altered, either - but where we are now, 2 years later, says maybe it could have helped...

    And, lastly - MORE HUGS!!!
     
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