Well, we've been court ordered...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by timer lady, May 17, 2007.

  1. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    to attend a truancy prevention program this coming Tuesday. We've been ordered to bring kt along. This ought to be interesting as the transition time from coming home from school until 6 in the evening is hell with kt.

    psychiatrist said, that while kt's anxieties & disorders contribute to her absences, we should allow the natural order of school refusal to continue. Intercede only if it isn't age appropriate or interferes with kt's treatment plan.

    In fact, he suggested that kt's treatment/care plan be revised to include school attendance.

    Mental health case manager is going to try to attend with us - he's not sure as he may have a conflict in scheduling. However PCA will be along.
     
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Oh, what fun! Still, having a go at it will mean several things:
    kt will see that the system is aware of her absences.
    The system will see that this is a bit more than the usual 'kid skipping school because parents aren't firm enough'.

    I'd love to be a fly on the wall.

    If kt is acting up, I wouldn't worry (apart from the later impact on you and kt). Let them see that it's not easy.

    Marg
     
  3. On_Call

    On_Call New Member

    Oh yes, it's easy enough for them to say, but not so easy to put in place.

    I'm with Marguerite - I wouldn't worry about kt's behavior at the program meeting. Let them see what you deal with on a daily basis. Let them see that the absences are circumstantial and not planned or intentional on kt's part or on yours.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    If it's not one thing, it's a half-dozen.

    Glad the PCA will attend.
     
  5. Alisonlg

    Alisonlg New Member

    I'm with everyone else!

    I hope someone at the prevention program "gets it" after your & kt's attendance!

    Good luck!
     
  6. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    No advice. Just big hugs.
     
  7. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Yup, the fun never ends. I'm wondering if kt will show up at this meeting as kt, or the toddler, or the 20 year old s*l*u*t! Should prove to be interesting.

    husband & I will not rescue kt from poor choices - I hope this meeting helps her connect the dots, if you will.

    I'll also praying that it doesn't add to her already heightened level of anxiety & fears. We're nudging kt daily for better & more thought out choices & behaviors. We're also operating at an emotional age of 4 going on 5. Ickkk!

    Her IQ is within normal going on high range. Shows you how much trauma can interfere with developmental growth.

    It will be a fascinating experience.
     
  8. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    A hug and a smile----hope this meeting is in someway productive! It's so hard when the experts think they know what you need to do---and fail to understand that you have probably already "done" that and it didn't work----
     
  9. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    you are amazing!
    ya know truancy is a big issue and kt needs to learn that the world expects stuff of her.
     
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Linda

    I'd love to be a fly on the wall.

    If nothing else, hopefully they'll see that with kt the circumstances surrounding her absences is anything but your average senerio of a kid not wanting to go to school. And kt learns that regardless of her past the world is going to expect a certain standard of behavior from her.

    I hope it goes well.

    Hugs
     
  11. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Oh, that lovely fine line between adding anxiety and real expectations. Wow.

    It should be an interesting experience, but I'm sorry you get stuck having to do it.
     
  12. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I'm sorry, but :rolleyes:. I understand the natural order of consequences. I really do. And I understand that it needs to be impressed upon that it is a serious issue. But because of 21 missed days? We were there before Thanksgiving. It's not like we're dealing with kids who don't have anything else going on and just wake up one day and decide that they don't want to go to school for the heck of it. The difference here is that *I* had to go to a mediation meeting. It didn't involve difficult child. It should have. It's not like I wasn't trying to get her to school. When they told me that I needed to get her to school I told them that they could come and try because she was too big for me to carry and if she didn't want to walk out of the house of her own volition, there wasn't much I could do. When she's in school refusal mode, the world could come to an end and it wouldn't matter to difficult child. Touchy subject here, can you tell?

    I'm sorry that you're having to deal with this on top of everything else. Keep us posted on how well ktbug manages at the meeting.
     
  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh my! I hope all goes well at the meeting-sorry you are having to deal with this-like you need one more meeting to attend. :rolleyes:
     
  14. ROE

    ROE New Member

    I'm sorry for the additional stress that another meeting adds, but I hope it is productive.

    Excuse me, but I really have more questions and I may have missed the answers in previous posts... Attendance is a BIG problem with my difficult child. With the onset of his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) at age 9, it was a daily battle to get him to school at times. I can still hear p.doctor #1 telling me "Don't let him stay home, or you'll never get him back to school". So I fought to get him there, and keep him there. Most days he made it, and struggled through the day, and would completely melt down at home.

    Now that he's older, and sooo much bigger, it's impossible for me (dex has tried too) to get him there if he doesn't have a mind to go, for whatever reason. He's averaged 25 - 30 days per year for the last 4 years. I try to keep track of his absences on a calendar, he's got to be close to 30 absences this year so far (not including suspensions-2.5 days this year). He did have many days this year that were legitimate sick days, he had a couple of minor surgeries etc..I know the school is aware of his attendance problem and I keep waiting for that "notification" but it never comes.

    Do you call the school when your kids are not going to be there? I have been calling my son's absences in, even when I suspect he should be there. I usually just say he is not feeling well (which is what he tells me). Sometimes I just say, he won't be there-no-one has questioned me. So his absences are being recorded as excused by me. I have struggled with this, and asked friends who have kids in the same school/District, how they would handle it. They've told me to continue calling him in, and give him a consequence at home. Some of my difficult child's absences are legitimate, at least to him, "mental health days". Some days, I truly cannot tell if he is really sick, if he's upset, or just plain being a difficult child teen that doesn't want to go to school. All I know is that none of my old tricks work anymore.

    Truancy in my District, at least at the middle and high school level, is punishable by fines, after so many (don't know how many)the court gets involved. When my difficult child is absent from school, he stays home and sleeps the entire day away-I do check. So it is not always clear to me what his problem was. Although, I have threatened not to call him in-I always have. I think I am more afraid of the legal consequences if I don't, would it really help difficult child to wrack up 100's of dollars in fines (he has no job yet) and have the court watching over us? Punishments, consequences often mean nothing to my difficult child especially when he is in a bad mindset. If he starts to feel overwhelmed, even if he brought it on himself,it just makes the problem worse.

    What happens when the difficult child can't pay the fine, easy to say get a job, harder to make them do it. Would I be responsible for the fines? some tell me yes (?!)

    Sorry for the ramble, I am just really curious as to how the courts got involved with your truancy situation and what the consequences to the parent are.
     
  15. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    ROE, the laws vary by state. Here, they have a mediation meeting first with a person from juvie court, the school and the parent - not the kid. I don't know for sure what happens after that point, other than it gets sent to juvie court. The school is obligated by law to report to the court after so many unexcused absences. If they don't, then they can get in trouble. My difficult child has missed A LOT of school this year, but she has doctor excuses for most of them. Parents are only allowed to excuse (by note) 10 absences a semester. After 10, it is considered unexcused without a doctor's note even if the parents send in a note. I would continue to call the school when he is out. Most schools require this as a safety issue. If the child is not at school, they need to make sure the parent knows. So, here at least, they will call the parents and the emergency contacts until they get ahold of someone to find out where the child is. Again, this is how it works where I live. I would contact your school district or juvie court to see how the law reads in your state.
     
  16. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Linda, how did kt do?
     
  17. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    As kt gets older, the school district is taking the truancy issues more seriously - as they should. As Heather said, the laws vary by state.

    Heather - the program/appearance is this next Tuesday.

    During the staffing yesterday, the SWs told me that Residential Treatment Center (RTC) should come as well & explain to the county attorney why, during 10 months of placement, they allowed kt to miss that much school. If an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) cannot get a child to attend, in SWs humble opinion, we may be "screwed". Good point.

    I know this is about teaching kt consequences - I personally don't want to be prosecuted while kt was in placement.

    It's on the schedule - husband & I will attend with kt. The process will be supported & presented to kt as the law. Can't play anymore.

    As always, I appreciate the support & caring here.
     
  18. Crazy-Steph

    Crazy-Steph New Member

    I am so sorry that you guys are all struggling with this! It really makes me count my blessings. difficult child may not do anything while he is in class, but he has not bucked me on going. I will keep all of you in my thoughts.

    Good luck next week, Timer Lady!
     
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