therapeutic school ?s and a vent

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Nancy423, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    It was pretty much decided today that the school is gunning for a change to a therapeutic school. the SW says she's afraid of another attack from difficult child and feels that they aren't equipped to handle her. Acedemically, she's in the right placement. They are going to look into to see if there's a way to keep her here 1/2 time and send her to a therapeutic for the other half. But I'm almost positive that as of the end of the year they'll place her permanantly in another location.

    I couldn't help the tears.

    I knew as soon as I sat down in the room that this meeting would go this way. 2 weeks ago they all thought she was fine where she was and didn't change much. Now, because she kicked the gym teacher they feel otherwise.

    As for my rant. My difficult child is so unique that I can't compare her to anyone. On the outside she seems to be just a regular 11 year old pre teen. NO ONE knows what's on the inside. Not even me sometimes. All I kept hearing is that this team wanted to know what was going on in her head. What is she thinking? Why is she thinking that? How come she does that when she knows better? She fits every category of Special Education eligibility and was changed from OHI to MI 2 weeks ago.

    Truth is we'll never know what's on the inside of her but 99% of the people don't look farther than the outside anyway. All they see is an 11 year old who can't control herself. Who knows right from wrong and insists on doing wrong. It's all the parent fault! My mother in law talked to husband and said that we're doing things wrong. We're not disciplining right. We're not medicating her right. It's all in how WE are handing things that she's this way.

    The school just keeps saying they're trying to figure her out so she has a better future.

    The risk assessment says she needs anger management.

    The neurophych say's she's an 11 year old body with a 7 year old mentality who exhibits Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-like thinking and reasoning who just wants to be liked and play with friends.

    So what in the heck is a parent to do when faced with all these "knowledgeable" people who know "best" for my child?

    I couldn't function the last 30 minutes of the meeting. Tears are running down my face. I made it home before the sobs erupted. I just can't handle this anymore and want to give up. I made an appointment with- my doctor and I know I'll come out with heavy duty medications. I can't stop crying and I can't stop shaking. and the funny thing here is that I actually think this therapeutic school might be ok for her. So why am I so upset and can't calm down?

    Here's some questions....So how can I make sure I get her in the right school? How well do they cover acedemics? What's the counseling etc really like at these places? Does difficult child need outside behavior mod?
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nancy, I dont think I have answered any of your posts so please forgive me if I ask you stuff that has been asked before. I was "out sick" when you joined the board and am really still just catching up on posting to people I dont know well because its kind of hard for bear with me.

    If your daughter has mood disorders, is she on any mood stabilizers?

    It sounds like everyone is wringing their hands and not really addressing the issues here. From what I gather, your dtr kicked a teacher and now all heck is breaking loose. I assume dtr is on an IEP? Is she in a special classroom or mainstream? If they are going to send her to a therapuetic school that is a huge jump. If your dtr is Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or mood disorder it really could be a good thing with smaller classes and better trained staff but I dont know what kind of school we are talking about.

    You need to go visit the school before you decide anything.

    Also...this isnt your fault. You can go talk to someone else about the medications for all this and see if you want to change something if that is what you want to do. It never hurts to get another opinion. I dont know where you are in that situation.
  3. jal

    jal Member

    Oh Nancy...I am sorry it has come to this and you are so upset. I know where you are. We transferred difficult child (6) to a therapeutic school a few months ago. I knw my meeting was going to come to that too. I had tears. husband and I cried the first time we visited the placement, but we knew it had to be done. difficult child has just florished there. He loves going to school. he now is in an environment where he can learn. He's a darn smart kid, but with sensory issues and a large mainstream class he couldn't function. He is now above where he should be in math (he is through addition and subtraction and actually asked to be taught the multiplication table). He has a behavior plan in place, gets group therapy 4 times a week and individual once a week and Occupational Therapist (OT) services. The staff is supportive and great and in conjunction with behavior academically focused. We combine this with in home intensive therapy 2x a week. This is the only placement we have done, so you may be offered some choices to look into and can ask them specifically about the academics portion of it. It was a major concern of mine too since difficult child is just beginning his schooling career. I have been pleased. Homework 4 nights a week (luckily he LOVES to do it) weekly spelling and math tests and reading. All appropriate for his age. It does feel like you've lost your dreams for your child (I know) but dreams can change a bit and it may be best for all of you. It has been a positive experience for us and we are glad we did it. difficult child has found his confidence because he is succeding positively. Best of luck to you.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have a son with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified.
    How in the world can they label a child on the autism spectrum as MI?
    Do you have an advocate for your child? If not, you should get one. FAST. Call your state Dept. of Education and request the names of the advocates and get them working for you. The schools will change their tune fast. That sort of label and treatment will not help a child who is on the autism spectrum and she seriously sounds like she is. Kids on the spectrum are normally quiet and don't share what they are thinking and conventional parenting DOES NOT WORK.
    Did your neuropsychologist have any suggestions for you? Ours told us exactly what our son needed and it really helped.
  5. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    Hi Janet. Some background for you nutshell version - My difficult child has had an IEP since age 3, and a BIP since last year. in nov my difficult child was arrested at school after biting a substitute teacher. She is on probation. We saw a neuropsychologist in Feb and the report enlightened us quite a bit. The day we sat down with- the evaluation the second incident happened. After 4 hours of an IEP meeting, we all decided she's in the right placement. Then she kicked her gym teacher not 2 horus later. two days later the teacher filed a complaint and we had to bring her into the police station last week.
    Another felony charge. We also had to do a risk assessment after both incidences. This last time the counselor actually said difficult child needed anger management!

    We just started her on a low dose of citalopram for mood/anxiety and don't know if that will help yet.

    Jal. Thanks. so. much. It's nice to hear positive changes like that. My sister's friend has a son who's in a therapeutic school (well, he's been thru 4 of them) and she thinks it's helped as well.

    The heavy duty medications are for me. I broke today.
  6. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    Actually the neuro sat down with- the team and gave them suggestions on what she's capable of. He had dozens of different ideas that I thought were great. And he doesn't think she's autistic because she's social. they think she's got brain damage and there are areas of the brain that reformed and made new connections. She just thinks and processes like one. We know she's got knowledge in that brain, and a very very slow way of accessing it becuase it's scattered in areas that aren't normally used that way.

    As for the eligibility. they felt that MI was better than the OHI so that when she's 18 we can go thru the SSI disability paperwork, get into "adult" programs and state assistance. I was told that by switching now it looks better for her when she's a teen. I don't know about all that so I'm going with the flow. I have a chance to change the IEP in 6 weeks.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    They are snowing you on the IEP labels having any input on SSI and you arent even near that point anyway!

    Thank you for clarifying things for me..

    Omgosh...your poor daughter! What a time she has been through...what a time you have been through...give both of you big hugs from me ok? I personally think whomever thought it was in your dtr's best interest to charge her legally for the bite and the kick ought to be ...well bitten and kicked! Thats pretty idiotic to charge an 11 year old with felonies for stupid stuff. True she shouldnt have done it but she is ill. I doubt they would have charged an epileptic child if that child had bitten someone by accident. Ugh...boils my backside.
  8. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member


    Is the medication she is on a generic of Lexapro? Has she gotten worse since she has been taking it? If I am correct, you might want to do some research on mood disorders and anti depressants in young children. Lexapro caused my son to flip out and get very aggressive. Do you have a very good psychiatrist that you trust?

    It is so hard when you are getting different opinions from everyone, interference from your mother in law, and a less than fully helpful school. Don't be too hard on yourself. It is so hard to come to terms with this all, to know what is best, and to see what passes for a "normal" life getting further and further from sight.

    hang in there.
  9. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    To second a suggestion, I strongly urge you to try to get a parent advocate to go with you to the next IEP meeting. many states have programs where they provide an advocate to go with you.
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry this meeting was so tough. I have cried at many an IEP meeting, sometimes they are just so emotional. As for the theraputic school, check it out and see what you think. If you think it is a good placement, great, if not argue that you do not believe it is her least restrictive environment. I agree with getting an advocate to help out. Hugs to you.
  11. Stella

    Stella New Member

    Hi Nancy. I'm sorry for everything you are going through right now but from what you say I think therapeutic school would be very good for her. I know hearing it for the first time was hearbreaking as you are finally forced into accepting that she is different. Like your daughter my daughter (also 11) shows a lot of autistic traits but they don't think she's autistic because she is soical. She is also more like a 7 year old than an 11 year old. I have often wondered if she did have some type of damage to the brain..she fell down a full flight of stairs in her grandmother's house when she was 2 (broke her collar bone), hit her head.

    You say "they think she has brain damage". Would an MRI scan or a CAT scan always show up any damage to the brain?

    My daughter has an EEG done which was normal but I don't think that would show damage to the brain. I did enquire about an MRI scan for my difficult child but was adviced not to put her through this unless I really had to as it could be quite traumatic for her...

    Has your difficult child ever had an MRI or CAT scan to see if she really does have brain damage??