One step forward...two steps back. Ugh!

Discussion in 'Failure to Thrive' started by Californiablonde, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I thought I would update you all on my daughter since it's been awhile. I don't remember if I posted this or not, but we had an IEP a couple of months ago to discuss my daughter's horrible attendance. Now that she is 18, they stopped sending me letters from the district attorney regarding her truancies. Now that she is an adult, technically she doesn't HAVE to be in school, but of course we all want to see her eventually get a diploma. At the meeting, the school counselor informed us all (difficult child included) that if my daughter were to continue to go to school only about one day a week, she wouldn't graduate till she was 24. Yikes! Since my daughter is under the ED program (emotionally disturbed) she is allowed to attend high school only to the age of 22. So in other words, my daughter would not be graduating at all.

    They brought up another alternative to my daughter continuing in high school. There is a community college about a half hour away from where we live, that will let her go to school only two days a week and get her diploma much faster. Under the program at the college, difficult child would only have to earn 160 credits to graduate, rather than 230 at traditional high school. My mom happens to live right by the campus, and she graciously agreed to drive my daughter to school two days a week at the community college. Of course only going to school 2 days a week sounded like a dream to my daughter, so we agreed to withdraw her from the high school and enroll her in the program at the college.

    It has now been three weeks since she disenrolled and started classes at the new school. We made arrangements with the school to have my daughter attend on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 8:30 to 1:30. So for the past three weeks, difficult child has not gotten up to go to school on the Tuesdays that she was designated to go. She literally sleeps right through her alarm, and when my mom calls her cell phone multiple times, she can't hear it. Anyway, my daughter did manage to go to school on Wednesday and Thursday to make up for not going on Tuesday. That was how the first three weeks went.

    So now we come to week 4, and my daughter once again slept through her alarm and did not get up to go to school on Tuesday. My mom decided, like she has been doing, to take my daughter to school Wednesday and Thursday instead. So now it's Wednesday, but my daughter once again did not get up for school. I set her alarm for two different times this morning, in case she slept through the first one, and she did not get up. I was calling her frantically while I was at work, hoping she would finally pick up the phone. She slept right through the alarms and phone calls, and missed school once again today. She has tomorrow to possibly make up for the time that she missed. She cannot make up days on Fridays. So now I am left wondering, how on earth is she going to make it through this program if she is dead asleep and can't hear alarms or phone calls?

    And whats' worse, how on earth is she ever going to get a JOB if she can't wake up by 8:00? The school she is at now says they are going to drop her from the program if she doesn''t go to school for two straight weeks. Okay so then what? My daughter is out of options to get a diploma and become independent and work someday?

    Speaking of work, she now has a career specialist, who just happens to work a my school, working with her to place her in a job for people with special disabilities. First my daughter has to complete 7 workshops before they place her in a part time job. The workshops are actually going to be quite useful for my difficult child. They are going to teach her about hygiene, go over how to do a resume, do mock interviews, and basically teach her skills on how to do a good job. She is getting paid for the workshops. She hasn't started yet. But how on earth is she supposed to hold down a job on the days she is not at school, if she completely sleeps through the alarm?

    How is my daughter ever to fulfill her dream of becoming a vet assistant, if she can't work and can't go to school? More importantly, how is she ever going to become fully independent, work full time, support herself, and finally move the heck out of my HOUSE? I cannot afford to keep supporting her, especially after child support stops for both my kids. I cannot even handle being around my daughter 24/7 due to her incredibly disrespectful, nasty attitude. Is there any hope? I am not seeing a light at the end of a tunnel here!
  2. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    I work evenings because I'm not a morning person in the least. During the 4 years I went to college, I took afternoon and evening classes unless there was absolutely no alternative. Depending on the type of job she wants, there are LOTS of alternatives to the 9 to 5 dream job. Could her medications be causing the sleep issues? Does she stay up too late at night? In other words, is there a reason she can't get up in the morning?
  3. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    TeDo my daughter goes to sleep around 10:00 at night, but still cannot manage to get up at 8:45 the next morning. That's over ten hours of sleep. My daughter claims she needs at least 12 hours of sleep to feel refreshed enough to get herself going. That's ridiculous! She is getting way more sleep than I do, and I manage to get up every work day at 5:30 a.m. to make it to work by 7:30 a.m. I am bipolar like her. If I can do it, why can't she? And the college she is attending does not offer the classes she needs at night time. So now what? I feel there is no way out of this!
  4. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    CB is there any way she can stay at your mom's house the two days so your mom can make sure she wakes up and gets to class? I know this is a lot to ask of your mom but that would be the first thing to cross off my list.

    I also want to mention that I think your daughter probably isn't going to do things on the traditional schedule. She probably won't reach her goals at the same time someone without her disability would. Speaking from experience, I have learned that with my son who is 21 in August and really long story and I've posted, but maturity wise he is years behind. I had to finally accept he wasn't on the same timetable as others his age or as his dad and I wanted him to be. That helped us a lot not to be so stressed about everything that didn't go as planned.

    I'm sure you'll get great advice here.
  5. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    I didn't mean to upset you. My son with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) does not require much sleep. My other son with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) needs more sleep than anyone else I know. Every person is different regardless of diagnosis. It could also be that her medications make her require more sleep. I don't know what you do about school but sleep is obviously a real issue. Like I said, I didn't mean to upset you and know how frustrating it can be when our kids don't/can't follow through.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    This is your dream... to have her independent. She may not be capable of being independent. Maybe she needs to be on SSI, and have a case worker, and be living in some group home. OR maybe the threat of that might motivate a bit?

    Yes some people NEED 12 hours of sleep. I have a kid like that who is already an adult. And works full time. But essentially has no life, because he comes home, has supper, goes to bed.

    Developmental differences, coordination issues, auditory processing issues, social skills challenges - all of these are hugely energy-draining. SO is bi-polar if it isn't well regulated (per our PhD Psychiatrist)
  7. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    My mom, is only allowing her to spend the night on Tuesday or Wednesday nights. She does not want her spending the night more than one night a week. I asked my mom today if she can just go over to my place tomorrow morning and try and wake up my daughter herself. She says no. She does not want to drive there for nothing, as has happened in the past. When my daughter was still at the high school, she would drive all the way down to my place (IT's a half hour drive one way) and attempt to wake my daughter up, but my daughter would refuse to get out of bed, therefor miss school. She is sick and tired of driving all the way down to our city for nothing. I don't blame her. We shall see how it goes tomorrow, but I am not holding out any hope.
  8. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    We are going to the dr. next month and he told me through email a few days ago he wants to try her out on completely different medications. She has been on the exact same medications for ten years. A medication change is WAY overdue. Wish us luck.
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    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    She probably has disabilities on top of being bipolar.If she cant be a vet asst. she will find something else and another path to happiness. Some of us alter our plans but still end up in a good place. There is happiness for everyone on more than one road.
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  10. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    She didn't make it to school again!! My mom made an exception and drove all the way down to my place and tried to wake her up for a half hour but she refused to get out of bed! I am so DONE with her. I get she has disabilities, but I actually have more diagnoses than her, and yet I hold down a VERY stressful job and make it to work on time every day.

    Oh and my mom took her for the orientation for her job workshops the other day. They explained to Difficult Child all about their benefits. She was told that she would be getting money to complete the work shops, plus gift cards, plus on the job PAID training. You want to know what she said to my mom after they came out of there? "Why can't I stay a child. Do I really have to adult?" Ummmm, seeing as the fact that I cannot afford to keep supporting her, yes she needs to "adult!"

    The principal at her last school told me in a meeting that she sees my daughter turning 40 years old, still living at home, not working, weighing over 300 pounds, and playing video games and watching TV all day in MY house! That's my worst nightmare! My best friend failed to thrive. She is 47 years old, doesn't work, has been living with her mom all these years, drinks alcohol every day, and doesn't drive. She has never gotten a driver's license. My daughter also refuses to learn how to drive. We live in a very big city. She MUST learn to drive sooner or later. I refuse to give her rides everywhere. My daughter has to grow up. Why is she fighting it so darned much?!
  11. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi Cali,

    I was going to say, when I read the first post, that maybe your daughter needs to go to bed earlier in order to get 12 hours of sleep.

    Then I read your last post, saying that your mom tried to get her out of bed and she refused. Does this mean that she is perfectly capable of waking and functioning but refused to do so?

    I was originally under the impression that she was so groggy from her medications that it is impossible for her to be physically awake in the morning, but I am thinking that is not the case.

    Have you had a talk with her about how you cannot support her for the rest of her life so that she doesn't have to do anything? Maybe she sees your friend living this way and thinks she can do the same?

    Maybe you should start looking into some type of group homes/ low income housing/or other social services she might qualify for. It would be great if she would take advantage of the wonderful opportunities available to her to move forward in her life, but if she won't, maybe she needs to start looking into how she will survive outside of your home.

    I might give her a deadline to come up with a plan together that you can both live with.

    Sorry that you have to deal with this.

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  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    DB, your daughter isn't stupid.

    Sure most of us want to become self-supporting adults. But... it's not an easy road. Why would anyone choose to go down the roads we've been down, if they know what life was really like?

    She may be innately aware that she isn't ready for this. Or it may be fear, anxiety, other issues or challenges. But on some level, she simply isn't ready for this.

    Lets step back one level. If she needs 12 hours of sleep - and I'm going to say she does - then, based on the time she needs to be UP in the morning, she needs to be SLEEPING twelve hours before that - so in bed 30-60 minutes before THAT. Yes, it's insane in one sense, but in reality, a responsible person looks after themselves. I realize that this becomes a hardship for YOU, because there are three of you in a very small space. For her sleep needs, she actually needs her own completely separate bedroom, with blackout curtains, and... NO access to internet.
  13. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Wishing you some answers through this new medication. You are going through so much CB. Stand strong and steady. You are a good person and mom.
    I agree with this. Though she has issues, she still needs to learn how to manage. We are not around forever to rescue these kids. I wonder if she is taking advantage every which way, because she is living at home.
    I was thinking the very same thing.....not insane, Insane- simple and real. I wonder what her response would be.
    What a horrible thing to say......CB, the only way this can happen is if you allow it. Forgive me, because I have not raised a child with your daughters issues (or maybe I have to some degree, and just didn't realize?) I have read a lot of SWOTS posts referring to her challenges and overcoming them. It was because she had to.
    Because it is easier for her to remain as is. I am sure you have spoken with just about everybody you can for remedies. What it boils down to, even with her disabilities is choice.
    It is a tough road you are on CB.
    Hang in there the answers will come.
    One day at a time.

  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Maybe for her to go out on her own, she will need to be declared disabled and get supports, ssi and help finding a government supported place to live. That beats living with you until you die...then what?

    She is not you. Although you have more diagnosis than her (so far) you can work even under stress. That's great for you.

    That also doesnt mean that your daughter can work and be independent
    She is not you and her problems may he fewer but may prevent her from launching at this time oe maybe ever. Is she maybe on the spectrum? Whether she is or isnt she realizes she is unable to be a total adult right now and that she would need help. I believe her assessment. I had the same problem although back then there was no help.

    Having said that, there are other options other than your apartment where she can live. There are group home and assisted apartment programs, if she is labeled disabled. And right now she is quite disabled by her mental health issues.
    medications,as you know, can make one very tired. I used to fall asleep at work on one medication. Obviously the job didnt last but it took a while for ne to find an alternative medication.

    Mental heath and learning disabilities are on a spectrum. On one end are those who fully function anyway. On the other end are those who can not function independently. Sometimes people climb up and down the spectrum.

    Right daughter is not able to function. If she were mine id help her get supports so that she may move on, with help, and that you can move on too.

    Good luck, no matter what you decide.
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    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
  15. Nature

    Nature Active Member

    Wow, you sure have a lot on your plate right now - lots of stress in your life. I sympathize with your situation and glad you are here amongst friends.
    Here's my take on what I see from the few post I've read.
    Your daughter has been given opportunities which she either isn't capable, unable or too stubborn (don't think it's the last one) to follow through on. My opinion based on her announcement that she is not ready for adulthood is that she is not ready to do this at this point in time. That being said and this is only my opinion- is all these new things are too much for her right now. Ever see the 100 stress points scale? It's a scale in which one can evaluate the stress somewhat in their lives - things like moving, new job, new school, making new friends, ect.... Each change in a life brings on stress points and can accumulate so that the person is experiencing severe stress when everything is compounded.
    For someone with a disability all these new challenges may be causing her depression and in turn she sleeps a lot unable to deal with it all. It's much easier to bury our heads in the sand or in a pillow as in your daughters case that deal with the issues.
    So step back a moment and perhaps see her as an elastic band - the more you insist - the more she resist and pulls back.

    I would take the advice from some folks who have suggested perhaps to seek help regarding a group home but then again she's only 18 and may have a few more years before she matures. I'm not sure how your state works but where I live the government will no longer pay free tuition for those over 19 (I'm in Canada where the legal age is 19). I did see in your post she's allowed to go to school until 22 so if I understood what she is allowed to do in your state? If she isn't able to compete her schooling this year is next year or the one after still a possibility?

    Sometimes you have to let them fall in order for them to climb back up. On one hand you don't want to give up and just let her stay at home but what if you then insist she do something constructive with her time? Most shelters rely on volunteers to help out and perhaps for the time being in order to motivate her once again about her dreams she can apply to volunteer at a shelter even one day a week? This may me be motivating factor which then allows her to go back and pursue her dreams of being a vet tech. Granted a volunteer also has to commit and taking her to a shelter may be what allows her to see that volunteering could be a possibility.Viewing the animal's faces that NEED her may do the trick. Perhaps she may be always set in her "helpless" mode that being the "helper" may also motivate her. While there she could inquire if there is an opening in the late afternoon.

    I foster/volunteer for several shelters and some have more monies than others.Some have huge facilities while other reputable rescues are unmanned a lot of the times and desperately require volunteers to keep them running. I know at one I was the only person who showed up to assist to clean/feed the animals after work. If I didn't show those animals would have been without. It was imperative that I show up. Perhaps something like that responsibility (as I know she must love animals) and to see they depend on her may be the motivating factor. These are only suggestions but as someone who works with at risk youth whom many have attendance problems usually you need a "hook" of some kind to get them where you want them to be. I suggested the above as I work with one young lady whom has some of the attributes of your daughter and did mention she loved animals and wanted to work with them. Having her volunteer at an animal shelter allowed her to "get out there", whereas previously she avoided people. Her anxiety has much improved since that time.

    I wish you and her well. Lastly, never assume anything even based on her behavior today. My eldest B had Aspergers was not diagnosed until adulthood , resisted going to school , only completed the 10th grade and rarely went out. Today, he has a good paying job, owns his own bachelor suite which he paid for without a dime from me but rather from the monies he saved. I never saw his future as including those things above and I was sure at the time he would remain in my home forever. There is always hope. Take Care.
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  16. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Actually my daughter is set to volunteer at a kitty cat homeless shelter about 20 minutes away from where we live. I just took her to her oriention last Saturday. She was supposed to start volunteering there this week after school, but since she has not gone to school this week, she has not been able to volunteer. My mom Is her ride to the shelter, and she does not want to take my daughter to the cat rescue unless she goes to school. Next week is a new week, so we will see what happens. If she misses next week the school is dropping her, and I'm praying that doesn't happen.
  17. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member


    I'm glad your daughter has made arrangements to do her volunteer work. Since it is part of her graduation requirements, I would take her to do it regardless of whether she went to school. (Just my opinion) I think getting out and doing something is better than doing nothing and sitting around the house.

    Since your daughter has to go to school next week or be dropped from the program, I would enforce an early bedtime every night starting tonight, so that she has no excuse to not wake up and getting there on time.

    If she gets dropped, I would start to enforce plan B, which is to figure out how to get some social services and work toward independence that way.

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  18. Nature

    Nature Active Member

    Good Advice from Apple and I agree with it. It appears that the volunteer work is based on her school attendance but I do see that getting her outside the home at this time is a priority. At least she would be doing something productive with her time. I also agree that Social Services needs to get involved in order to assist her to gain independence . I wish you well and prayers to you that things change.
  19. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Can you change the class times to afternoon? how does she get from your home to the school, if she goes? Could they let her do one full day, instead of two half days? Can she do online classes? ksm
  20. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    The more I read, the more scared I get for your daughter. I get that as a parent you want her to adult because after all, legally, she is one. However, for whatever reason she can't yet she's being treated like she won't. You keep comparing her to you but she isn't you. She obviously does need that much sleep. That seems to be the biggest obstacle from what you've described. Punishing her for needing more sleep than you think she should have is almost cruel. Because one of my sons can't get up in the morning, or if he does can't accomplish much, we switched to online school 5 years ago. He graduates this year and has been on the A honor roll pretty consistently, something that NEVER would have happened if he had been forced to stay on our local brick-and-mortar school daily schedule. Please read the book The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. While your daughter isn't explosive, everything he says in there is SO true. If you believe that all kids do well if they can, a lot of things change. You really need to stop looking at her as a non-compliant brat to a disabled child and get her the services she needs so she has even a slight chance to meet the timelines you've set for her. Hopefully a medication change will help but I wouldn't hold out for a miracle cure. I realize you have disabilities and have a lot on your plate but you also have a disabled daughter that obviously needs more of something to be able to do what you want her to do.
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