phone call from teacher........

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jena, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member


    Ever wanna scream really really loud?? Feels like you have to continuously repeat yourself and it's as if no one is listening????

    hmmmm that was me today. love love difficult child's teacher she is amazing, redirects her anxiety works so so hard with-her it's astounding and i am so appreciative for her efforts these past 3 weeks or so now.

    so today she calls when she heard that they want to put difficult child on thorazine. she says my husband is a pharmacist and i told him and we both were shocked. it's a horrible medication, why don't you go herbal? maybe things are just bothering her, maybe life at home is bothering her, maybe it's her dad? hmmm maybe if you just try different herbal medications and approaches with-her it'll help.

    ok here i am just like i was last year with-last teacher. they doubt my words, they read a 21 pg report diagnosing severe depressive disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), they read the latest letter from doctor stating he believes the behaviors she is exhibiting go hand and hand with-bi polar not otherwise specified, anxiety disorder, adhd, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

    yet i get the why don't you go herbal? have you tried a nutrionist? i get judged...........and i allow it i guess. i listen and say ok what do you think it is? she says well i just see her anxiety i've had BiPolar (BP) kids and it's not her, she does not have bipolar disorder.

    on and on she went. then finished her sentence by saying well difficult child is missing tests scores because she's gotten in late and missed tests. i said do you know why that is? that is because she can not calm down on certain nights, no matter what i try and do.....then other weeks it's different. she said her high's aren't high enough, her low's aren't low enough for bi polar i've teached inclusion for fourteen years i've seen it all. so i said ok then what would you do besides herbal which is not an option........tried it, been there, ok have i mentioned i quite my job for all of this and have absolutely no money left lost my apt, my pets, basically my life?? not that i resent difficult child i just made some bad financial choices her doctor bills got pd first adn i thought i'd make it....

    anyway so that is it everyone looks at me like i'm the one looking to medicate to make it easier instead of putting "real" effort into it......

    just frustrating after a while it really is. makes you think your losing it the disorder itself whether she's BiPolar (BP) and that's why she swings back and forth or she's not.
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Yes, it's SOOOOO easy to armchair quarterback someone else's problems, isn't it? Frankly, she's out of line for trying to talk you into or out of ANYTHING related to your child's health care, mental or otherwise.

    And excuse me, but just because this woman doesn't see it doesn't make it not so for difficult child. SO smile and thank her for her concern and just let it all run out the other ear. You'll feel better, she'll think she's helped, and then you can just move forward and continue parenting your child the way you intend to -- the best you can!
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Jennifer it was highly unethical, marginally illegal, I'll bet, for this teacher to give you her herbal speel. I suggest you maybe see another psychiatrist, but this teacher is way out of line. She has no business giving you advice on what to do with your child. Her husband is a pharmacist, not a doctor. I'd be SUPER ticked at her diagnosing. I would probably tell the principal about it--that is so inappropriate. She has no biz telling parents what their children have.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2008
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I am sorry - difficult child's teacher is trying to be supportive but came about it all wrong with this. I hate when people say, "You should ......." instead of, "I know you are facing hard decisions, here is another option you may or may not want to consider." then truly leave the decisions up to you.

    I find a, "We have considered our options and are going to try this." should be good enough response.

    You don't need anymore doubts. This is HARD. And, we know that different medications are different for each kid. I don't tell a lot of people that difficult child is on Prozac because I know I will get that judgemental, "Why? That is not tested for kids. Do you KNOW what that can do to a kid? ........" Even though he has been on it for less than a year and anyone with any brain can SEE that for him it is the RIGHT medication I would still get those judgemental comments.

    You continue to follow your own intuition. You know difficult child better than anyone.

    Good luck with this new medication - I hope it does work.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    You know, they aren't allowed to push you to get your kid on medications, I doubt they are allowed to pressure you not to either. I would have had trouble keeping my cool with her, however, probably the best thing would be to tell her that how difficult child does at school is very important so you will relay all the teacher's input and concerns to the qualified psychiatrist so he/she can consider that information along with ALL the input you provide from home while he's evaluating and monitoring difficult child. Then, anything she brings up in the future, I'd just say "thank you for the opinion, I'll relay it to the psychiatrist".
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hmmmm...did that teacher just admit to giving confidential information about your child to someone you have not signed a release to have that information released to...IE...her husband the pharmacist?

    Highly illegal.
  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I really do think this teacher stepped over the line. She is not a doctor and should not be giving you such advice. I'm sorry you are dealing with this. As a teacher I make sure to never try to diagnosis or, in this case, undx It isn't my job, it isn't what I'm trained to do. If a parent is concerned, I always tell them to see a doctor.
  8. Jena

    Jena New Member


    yes you are all correct, highly unethical of her.......i think she meant well, didn't mean to break down my entire life or blame me for my daughter's illness as other's have ex husband yet she did in a roundabout way. it's amazing it truly is. bad enough i have to deal with-my ex husband with whom i strongly believe called the school once again and told him who knows what as if i have anything at all to hide. too funny and ridiculous at the same time. so, all in all just is ridiculous between the ex husband talking to lawyers to get court orders to the school and teacher. absolutely amazing that's why i think i am no longer shocked by people's words or actions, def. upset yet shock not so much.....

    yes and at the end of basically stating i haven't done enough, i should do herbal etc how wrong this medication is she said but i'm not a doctor and can't diagnosis her. i said i never asked if you could i only asked how she was functioning in the classroom?? :)
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That sounds like a couple of conversations I've had!! LOL!
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sounds like she really cares about your difficult child and thought you had a close enough relationship that she could offer advice. That's always a sticky situation.
    My little sister is sort of like that. She always prefaces what she's going to say with-"I'm only trying to help, but ..." and then I know I'm going to want to scream no matter what she says.

    I've never known a child to go on thorazine, so I can see why the teacher freaked. Ever heard of the Thorazine Shuffle? I didn't even know that medication was around any more.
    You've got quite of list of medications you've trialed. This is your 8-yr-old, right? Is she on anything now? I can't tell from your profile.

    Is this the same psychiatric who trialed the other medications?

    How did the teacher find out about the potential thorazine? From your difficult child?

    Sorry about all the questions...
  11. Jena

    Jena New Member


    She's going to be 10 in Feb. I haven't figured out how to change my profile or even get it up on my screen, I don't see anyones.........

    I told scw in school, and psychiatric about the drug and nurse because when i do a new medication I give them list of side effects, and an index card for teacher to keep readily available on desk and this one had a huge huge list of side effects.

    this is a new dr. he's been on it since august now. we tried prozac first to treat the anxiety which is always the worst of it all, in school at least. it didn't work, she went manic on it. so already tried seroquel, abilify, lexapro and another ssri yet none worked. seroquel was good for while, then gained too much weight broke out with rash, etc. had to pull her off.

    yes i do think the teacher was trying, yet after hearing that speech like a million times i'm like yea yea ok you come on over to our house and stay for a mos. and then tell me what you

  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Jennifer, this is a curly one. You have been so happy about this teacher, she's been what so many of us would want for our child - but in the process of you establishing such a good rapport, this teacher has now begun taking the parent-teacher relationship to personal levels. That is only a problem if YOU feel it is a problem.

    For example - we live in a small village. We generally know each other well. Even before I had kids at this school, I was on first name basis with a number of the teachers and we attended various events at the local school. As a result, relationships are subtly different. Not always a good thing. However, it does mean that rules get bent.

    However - some rules should never be bent. If I talk to my best friend about my concerns for difficult child 3 and she then talks to her boyfriend (a health professional) about it, I will put up with it (unless I specifically asked her not to) because pillow talk is not the same as professional consultation. If I then get feedback from my best friend's boyfriend that my doctor must be an idiot for wanting to do whatever-it-is with difficult child 3, I accept that this is NOT a solicited professional opinion, although it might give me something to think about - it is just a friend expressing a partly qualified medical opinion. However, it has been made WITHOUT the benefit of a proper medical consult - the teacher's pharmacist husband, for example, did not talk to you directly. He's only heard the classroom presentation, he hasn't heard about how the child is at home, except second-hand via the teacher.

    On the one hand, it's really good that she cares.

    On the other hand, not only has SHE overstepped the mark, but it sounds like so has her husband. However, the message came from her, not him (directly).

    We had several things similar to this with difficult child 3. First - the pharmacist. In our case it was a locum, a bloke our main pharmacist was considering to take on board as a partner. The locum was filling a prescription for me for the dex for all three younger kids and as he handed it over, he told me about a herbal supplement that he was selling privately, as the agent. He was doing it this way as a form of direct marketing, a way to 'beat the system' with Australia's TGA (equivalent to FDA) regulations. THese are those kids of supplements only available by buying them form someone else, often cheaper if you buy lots and become a distributor yourself. Shonky. Even more shonky - a pharmacist who was telling me NOT to medicate my kids with what the doctor had prescribed, but who was instead advising me to dose my kids with the product HE sells, so he could make money at my expense. It's hardly an impartial recommendation! This locum was promoting this product because he and his wife had found it to be very helpful with their desperately ill daughter, recovering form very complex surgery. I was glad they had found something for their daughter but cranky to have him impose his personal prejudice onto me, when his motivation was also self-justification. I've also, since then, had his wife make remarks to me about parents who "drug their children into submission". I've talked about this separately.

    With what happened to us - it was a clear, obvious breach of professional conduct so I told the pharmacist (shop owner) who asked me to put it in writing. I did - and the locum never got the partnership. He now works freelance, selling his herbal preparations.

    Then we had the teacher interference also - in Year 5, difficult child 3's teacher that year was LOUDLY INSISTENT that difficult child 3 did NOT have anxiety or stress issues - the problem was physical, it had to be. She had long talks with me about this, shared her experience with one of her daughters who eventually was found to have food sensitivity issues. It sent us down the food sensitivity route which we explored thoroughly. And yes, after wasting most of a year investigating this (with difficult child 3 generally too ill to attend school) doctors finally broke through my own stubborn insistence (reinforced by this teacher) that the problem HAD to be physical - I had been too scared to go back and tell this teacher that we'd settled for stress and anxiety as the cause, until we'd thoroughly checked out all physical possibilities.

    With the teacher in our case - it was a bit of "familiarity breeds contempt" because although we know each other well, we were not exactly best buddies. She was very professional in many other ways but we DO live in the same goldfish bowl which allowed her to take these liberties. While I found it annoying, and it did lead us up the garden path, at least it was a door to communication which was intended to help my son, I had to accept that. She really did care about him, was motivated by concern for his welfare. She shouldn't have said all that stuff, but it was the price I was prepared to pay, to have her as open and helpful in other ways. I did not make any complaints about this - it was my choice (or not) to take this on board.

    With this particular teacher, Jennifer, I would be cautious about getting too upset (officially). Her husband may have remarked TO HER that he believed his herbal supplement would be worth a try. She, on the other hand, may have added her own emphasis onto the urgency to not take the medications. Maybe if he knew she had said what she did to you, he would be horrified.

    I do think, however, you need to walk a fine line here. You need her support, you need her concern. It's because she DOES care this much, that she has been so useful to you. But she does need to be reminded that the parent is the one for whom the buck stops. It has to stop somewhere.

    Something I would do (you choose - this could be a cultural difference again) - I would consider asking her to talk to the specialist who ordered the medications. Ask the specialist first, make it clear to both that this is a one-off (this does not give carte blanche for her to be ringing him all the time, or vice versa - you don't want to encourage teacher-doctor contact that doesn't go via you, as a rule). Let her hear it form the doctor direct. Also, it could be useful for the doctor to hear the teacher's observations.

    And yes, a second opinion couldn't hurt. The teacher could be right. If you get a second opinion which reinforces the first, then this perhaps could assure her that you aren't making rash decisions here.

    Mind you, morally you shouldn't have to do any of this. This teacher HAS crossed the line. But this happens all the time with the degree of involvement we often value, from the really good teachers.

    I see this sort of thing all the time with our local teachers - the good teachers as well as the bad ones. It IS annoying, it IS unethical, but the flip side has been a much greater level of personal involvement, often to the benefit of the child.

    As I said, a curly one.

  13. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Hi Jennifer,
    you've gotten great responses, I just wanted to respond to the part about being frustrated with others' suggestions like going herbal. I think I know how you feel. It seems that no one understands, even though they have a report and you try to tell them.

    With my difficult child 2 she seems so "normal" and people think she just has normal teen problems. It is frustrating because I don't know anyone with a kid with her problems and it's hard to explain to anyone just what is wrong. Why is a kid with her intelligence and social skills unable to just go to school and do normal stuff without it causing her so much anxiety and exhausting her? Why is normal life so draining for her? I sometimes feel so discouraged that no one gets it (except people here)!

    Hugs to you, I am sorry you had to go through that conversation--I think we all "get it" here at this site!

  14. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi guys....... this is such a good supportive and informative place. it often eases my own anxiety to know that we have all been here, and it's incredibly helpful to learn what others have done about it.

    marg - thank you for sharing all of that, as well as the others i am not naming because i can't scroll up on computer that well, kids are in process of breaking my labtop lol slowly each day........ anyhow i see your point and it's good advice and i am sorry to hear that you had to struggle through this same exact thing on multiple levels, it is very hard on us parents as strong advocates for our children, with our only "hidden agenda" or goal being making their lives more comfortable, and hopefully making them fully functional so that they may someday live a life as we do able to set goals, attain them, just live freely and independently.

    i do need her, so iam walking a careful line with her. she does care her emotion overcame as her as it does with most with whom meet difficult child and become emcompassed by the confusion of all the varying diagnosis and varying good, bad, other behaviors displayed.

    i did infact sign a release form so that she may herself contact the dr. and hear his reasons, she does not "need" to, nor do i need her "approval" yet her support through this will be i believe immesurable at the end of the day.

    i am infact wavering at this point with this dr. difficult child's been sleeping by midnight this week, excited about various actiivties in school, yes yet anxiety ridden and waking up every a.m. covered with pee up to her hair. yet the weeks they do change as we all know varying from up all night and driven by a motor to crashing and sleeping peacefully and getting at least 6 hrs of sleep which for us is excellent.

    there was dr. with whom truly cared about difficult child and also worked very hard with me in helping her, yet he was expensive in nyc and i couldn't afford him anymore. i have emailed him once asking for him to take us on again and he never responded i'm tending to believe at this point a phone call to him would be beneficial to run by him what this other dr is thinking of doing and see what his response is to it and see if there is any possibility of bringing him bk on again. he was the type of dedicated dr with whom would show up and attend an iep mtg if i needed him to. he worked for me and with me for difficult child for 7 mos with no payment other than maybe 300 the insurance co gave him. he was good.

    jane i am sorry to hear that you as well struggled through this. it is very hard for us parents. everyone thinks they know yet we know best and at times the varying opinions of others and voices of others can sway our judgement and make us least for me.

    ok gotta go for now, trying to build up this at home paralegal business also it's the only way i can see right now to make money...

    thanks again to all of you. so helpful.