4 months down the drain

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ktllc, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    V had made such progress this last 4 months thanks to therapy and us learning about him.
    My parents have been here 3 weeks, and we are back to square 1!!!! husband was so upset about it, personally I feel numb...
    Poor little guy, he is having meldown after meltdown. Anything sets him off at that point.
    The last time my parents were here, I kept voicing my opinion trying to explain how to do thing, to let ME handle it, etc... You know the picture. It ended so badly (almost thought I was never gonna speak to my parents again), I decided not to intervein this time around and let them see the real V. husband had a talk with them (the best he could since he does not speak French) and had told them to basically back off when I deal with things.
    The problem they don't ever listen and any of my "tips" would be unwelcomed or not understood and applied.
    V is so overstimulated, put in situations he does not comprehend, conversations he does not process and humor he definitely does not get: it is a DISASTER.
    At least now, my parents believe there is indeed some serious issues.
    We see the therapist tomorrow... I hope she can help us get back on track and make progress again.
    On top of it, after spending the summer with me and in the truck with husband: back to Head Start is VERY difficult for V. I'm working with the disability director in order to put a plan for him. I'm supposed to meet with her this week.
    My parents are leaving saturday... that will be yet an other transition but hopefully we can get back to a simple routine.
    I feel soo bad for my little guy: how are we gonna deal with extended visits if someone has to suffer all the time??
    I'm glad this visit opened my parents eyes, maybe next time they will actually be ready to learn and really pay attention to how things need to happen for V.
    V was so overwhelmed tonight, I had to hold him tight in a bear hug at his cool down spot just so he would stop crying. At the dinner table, I actual fed him like you would a baby. My baby girl looked at the scene with big wide eyes: even she knew it was odd! lol
    I want a cry... but I am ready for tomorrow's fight. I am so determined to give him help, it's frustating not to have a real diagnosis yet.
    I am so thankful for this forum.
  2. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I have had to offend my parents and in-laws. mother in law went 4 years with out talking to me or seeing the kids. My parents never pushed me that far. They know if they don't let me parent the way I think my kids need they will not be around the kids. They used to do things like get difficult child 1 out of time out behind my back. Fast forward 7 years and many painful talks/confrontations later they don't do that. My mom was very upset that difficult child 1 went to Residential Treatment Center (RTC), but she never let on to difficult child 1. She knew if she did she wouldn't have any contact with him. My dad just ignores us completely. It hurts but my kids well being are more important to me than my parents feelings. My kids can not handle different parenting styles. PCs would be able to. My kids can't.

    Hopefully V'll be able to make the progress again faster the second time around.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh poor guy! How frustrating and angering! I'm hoping your parents will make some changes after seeing what happened. If not I am not sure how you are going to do the extended visits in the future. Sending gentle hugs your way.
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    I know the visit has been rough, but do not assume that the last four months have gone down the drain. Have faith that once the visit is over and you can get back to "normal", he may adjust back. It may take a little time, but believe that you set a good foundation and that he will pick up again from somewher in the middle, not back at the starting line.

  5. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I agree with keista, ktllc. At this age, I don't think children regress permanently. Once you have got back into your routine, he too will go back to being "better". It is a warning sign though, perhaps, that trouble will arise if he is not handled with understanding. It may be a long, slow process but I believe your parents will come to more acceptance and understanding. What is it they are resisting, do you think? The idea that their grandson is not "normal"?
    Don't lose heart - nothing has been lost for good :)
  6. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    What make them resist? Hum... my mother does not know how to listen, pause and take a minute to think. She always wants to be right and with difficult child situation it is not good. She has NO experience dealing with the child like V and yet she used to have tons of opinion. I think that has changed a little. I have made very clear, over and over and over, that the real mystery right now is the nature of V's issues not wether there is a severe issue or not. Without being to revealing, I have reported doctor's comments and a few traits (V's GAF score was quite a shoke: just 50). I think we are finally over the "he'll grow out of it" or "I, the mother, must be tired".
    As far as my father: he is clueless about kids. Seriously, he is out to lunch. That can create rocky situation with a easy child (my other son) but as a easy child gets older it becomes easier. With a difficult child: it is a disaster. Next time around, I might have to really make a list of Do's and Don'Tourette's Syndrome. Hopefully we will have a better understanding of what is going on. As soon as I have a diagnosis, I'll make sure my parents read plenty. I believe they are the kind of people who learns more through books than life experiences.
    Ok, let's get the day rolling!
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm a grandmother myself and I think too many fine younger people are too worried about hurting their paernt's feelings. There is no excuse for grandparents to try to parent their grandchildren or interfer. Although it is a common problem, and sometimes I need to bite my tongue, I let my son and his wife parent my grandson without making any comments about it. From my point of view, if grandparents insist on trumping their adult child's parenting methods, maybe they should not be invited over. My feeling is that the child is more important than the adult; much younger and more helpless...and if a routine is going to be destroyed every summer, in my opinion the grandparents need to learn that it's not acceptable. Sure, they'll be angry, but they may just learn something too. I'm 58 and my 30 something kids seem young to me. But I had kids in my 30's and that's when most people are raising their children. Grandparents should enjoy their grandchildren, not interfer with their children's raising of those kids.

    I reommend not being so gentle toward parents. I'm sure your son will bounce back eventually, but he obviously can not handle the k ind of drama that happens when grandparents stay with you. Maybe they can stay at a motel next time so that the contact is more limited? JMO, as an older one myself :)
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Hon - just hugs.

    V will bounce back. It may take some time, and that's where the hugs come in.

    My parents have both upset me, regarding the kids, multiple times. But... Once I gave them what-for... And quit taking it... It helped.

  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You will get through this. Remember, NOTHING lasts forever. Sometimes that thought was all that got me through the day.

    As for next time, maybe they should rent a home or extended stay motel next visit, or not visit as long. Just because they are your parents and coming from another country does NOT mean they have to stay with you or rule the roost or upset your kids. It is clearly too hard on the kids if even easy child has problems when they visit. So next time they talk about coming, send them some brochures from various hotels (there are some that are more like apartments with full kitchens, dishes, etc.... and are much cheaper by the week than regular hotels usually) and even see if you can find a group that rents homes for a month at a time if needed. LEt them come and pay for that rather than save some money and stay with you and cause endless problems and upsets with your kids.

    It is hard to do, but now that you are a parent you have to put your kids first before your parents. We all play a lot of roles, daughter, mom, sis, friend, cousin, etc... It can be HARD to go from putting daughter before mom, but it has to happen. I have had a very strange year because last June I said my role as sister was over because my bro has continued to do the same things for thirty years and promises every few months it is the last time. I have hardly seen my parents and that is hard because my oldest lives with them. But I opened my eyes and saw the damage that my bro did to my kids and I could not continue to allow him to hurt my kids because he wants to have a tantrum. Took until my daughter's birthday this July for my mother to realize that the things I have been saying are true - that the kids have nightmares and panic attacks if they SEE him or if they attempt to use any of the "gifts' he drops on our porch at holidays. Having my child dissolve into a panic attack because he grabbed a shirt my bro gave him out of the drawer is just too much. I had to be the mean one, the grudge holder, the one who is "breaking up the family" and "controlling my parents" in their eyes. They can be as mad as they want, but it won't change. Sometimes it is just time to make it stop.

    NOT saying to tell your folks not to visit. Just not to stay in your home while they do, and not to send the kids with them to do things. It won't be easy, and maybe visits won't be every year. You can webchat online instead and visit every other year if needed. But you had kids, one iwth special needs, and those need to come first. A LOT of our kids don't do will with visitors staying in the house - it isn't just your son.

    Give him time to adjust, keep the routine at home as simple as possible, be as consistent as possible with his schedule, and you will get back onto a good footing. I am sorry it is so hard wiht your family when they visit. A written list, possible posted on the wall so they can't forget easily (think shades of SuperNanny - works on adults and kids as far as it works) is an excellent idea.

    I am sorry it was so hard.
  10. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    You face a genuine dilemma. Your parents, however imperfect, are still your parents and of course you do not want to cut them off or to cut off their relationship with their grandchildren... I know it may sound idealistic but I really do believe that they may in time come to be far more understanding and helpful than they are at present. What is the way to reach them, to educate them? I can't know from the outside of course but what usually works with people is some expression of appreciation and a clear statement of what you would like. I really appreciate how you (you may have to think deeply for that...:) )... and then for you tell them what you need to make things better in the relationship between them and your son/children. I appreciate that that may be very difficult and go against years of a particular pattern in your relationship. But for all their lack of emotional skill, they want to be part of your life... Easy for me to say, I know very well :)
  11. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    A lot of ideas, and I appreciate them all... unfortunately I cannot ask my parents to stay in a hotel or any other arrangement. That would be the end of our relationship and I don't believe it is the answer. They are the only family we have, they are the only thing my kids have beside husband and I. (lots of relatives on my husband side, but long story short: barely any contacts).
    I believe, with time and patience, everyone will learn to coexist when they visit. All my 3 kids LOVE their grandparents, and even though they are not perfect (definitely not! lol), they mean well and LOVE us to death. It is hard for everyone right now but we are all learning. V also needs to learn to be around people and sort his emotions. It will take time but it is worth it: Nothing can replace family in my eyes.
    They come about every 5 months, hopefully by then I can come up with a written plan like Susie suggested. I do so much with intuition, it is sometimes hard to explain to my parents what comes natural to me. Even the therapist this afternoon asked me how I ended up being so intuitive with my kids when my parents are the opposite!
    Therapist asked if I gave any more thoughts to medications... I can't even bring myself to give melatonin anymore! It feels so wrong to medicate him... Probably the French culture coming back... She tells me V might make more progress if he does not get so overwhelmed, but she also tells me she believes he will make progress in his social skills just at a very slow pace. Despite every thing, I believe he is a happy little fellow. So maybe it is not wrong to follow an unmedicated slow pace. We have a whole year before kindergarten, he might make enough progress.
    Last, the thearapist also said she does not believe V will be diagnosis with autism. He surely has autistic traits but probably not enough... She said he is a bunch of different things but does not fit a single diagnosis. That surely makes it harder to educate myself, my parents and then the school in the future.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Just some specific comments to your last post...

    More likely, its the parent intuition again... medications are extremely tricky at this young age. That doesn't mean they won't be necessary - and work well - later. But to start this young... unless I knew for sure what I was doing, I'd be a little wary too. (we did give our K2 medications at 5... but we knew exactly what we were dealing with and why, and only 1 diagnosis)

    Is there any way to get him into a therapeutic pre-school? This environment would be less overwhelming, and around people who have more skills to help... and might enable him to pick up the pace of preparation. Just an idea.

    been there done that.
    What does become critical is to start getting as many of the dxes as you can, NOW. Not later.
    I'd be starting with an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation - sensory issues and/or motor skills issues.
    Occupational Therapist (OT) doesn't do dxes... but the info in an Occupational Therapist (OT) report is invaluable to other professionals who will evaluate your child. PLUS, the Occupational Therapist (OT) will be able to provide therapies to address some of these issues, and advice to help you as well.

    He's too young for Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluation - he doesn't have obvious language problems now, and the other kinds of issues that come up they can't even test for this young. SO, leave that for later - like, maybe grade 2? At that point, you can screen for things like auditory processing disorders - including difficulty hearing in the presence of background noise.

    He's also too young for ADD/ADHD diagnosis... not with so many other possibilities. (not that its unusual to get ADD or ADHD diagnosis at 5 or 6... ours were - but it was fairly clear that it was NOT the other possibilities).

    Because Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) traits are present, it is probably important to specifically run the full set of testing for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and/or Asperger's. You may not get a diagnosis on it this round... you may get a diagnosis, or a definitely "ruled out", or a recommendation for re-testing later "to be ruled out".

    I have European inlaws.
    The only other alternative was to create a "guest house"... in this case, a rented RV in our back yard.
    This gave the grandparents somewhere to "get away" from the chaos, and a way for us to keep the routine more "normal" for the kids. The kids would go spend some time at Grandpa and Grandma's "house", and they would come and spend time in our house, and we had all meals together etc. But it created the option of breathing room.
    This would have to be discussed, negotiated, and agreed to BEFORE they come. You CANNOT spring this kind of thing on them unawares. Just doesn't work. But... the guest-house concept is not unfamiliar in Europe. If you present it that way? (If you can do it... have to figure that out first)

    As I said - just some thoughts and ideas. Take what you can.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hugs, Ktllc.
    I agree wholeheartedly with-what the others have said. Stand your ground. And don't think that the last 4 mo's have gone down the drain. Kids are resilient and this is ALL a learning experience.