Court today

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, May 9, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    PO never called me back to get updated info on difficult child- I thought that was a little odd since she said she was meeting with her supervisor yesterday afternoon about difficult child. Yep, she goes into courtroom and says that up until a couple of months, difficult child had done "fairly well" (in the tone of voice that actually means minimally acceptable). Up until a couple of months ago, difficult child had NO issues pertaining to her rules or "biggies" at home, etc., so I felt it should have been reported that he had done excellent. He had been compliant with EVERYTHING she had asked, gone to all appointments on time, etc.

    She never brought up one good word about him or relayed the "good word" put in for difficult child from school principal or officer at school (I was there when principal made the call, so I know it happened and officer at school told difficult child and me today that he had put a good word in- he also mentioned that he didn't think the po was a very nice person.)

    She said she wasn't asking for him to be held in detention until his June court date because he had done "fairly well" and was going to school and that I had been working with school on IEP, but she was asking for him to be put back on monitor. (I don't know why she was pushing for the judge to rule it- the PO had him on it before without any input from judge.) So, the defense attny didn't bring up much either- he said difficult child had been cooperative with counseling, etc., that I had been keeping a close eye and was proactive in getting medication changes, etc.; that difficult child had been cycling between depression and mania and that the monitor caused him a great deal of anxiety at school. Judge kind of looks like this is a joke (why do they order mental health treatment if they think it is a joke? If it didn't effect their ability to function normally in the real world, it wouldn't be much of a problem, Know what I mean?)

    Anyway, she ordered that he go back on the monitor through probation and that if he disobeyed one of the PO"s rules, he would have to appear in court for judge to decide to put him on outreach monitor(which quite frankly, I am thinking about asking for today), or in detention.

    The thing is, if he goes out without permission on a FRi., the PO doesn't know about it until Mon., so it doesn't prevent anything and she would know about it anyway because I would tell her, or if he got in trouble, we all would know it by then anyway (my difficult child does the types of things that don't stay hidden very long, if at all.) The outreach monitor has an actual person monitoring his whereabouts 24/7, so if he went out without permission, they would have a policeman there pretty quickly (if a phone call isn't made immediately) and something might get prevented.

    Really, I think the problem is mania and it is going to be all I can do this afternoon when I take difficult child over there for PO to put this on him to not make some sarcastic remarks to her about this preventing mania and how she appears to be assuming that this will be any more effective that it was 2 weeks ago when he ended up in psychiatric hospital; should I call her while he walks on the roof or afterwards; oh, I'm going to have to bite my tongue. And why is it so important to update her on anything if she doesn't take it all into consideration. Even the policeman at school said this didn't look right- he said it appears this PO is coming down on difficult child a lot harder than most kids.

    Anyway, he's not on my "good" list right now either (meaning difficult child), but this PO is leading me to take an interest in VooDoo. I was going to talk to difficult child about what needs to be done to start earning a couple of his priviledges (not all) back, since he has been grounded for 2 mos. I figured this might help in getting things back on a better track. Now that can't happen. This PO wants difficult child sitting in a room staring at four walls and said that me taking difficult child to a park to pick up garbage for community service was giving him more fresh air than he deserved.
  2. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Sorry things were not presented as positively as they could have been. Seems like the PO does not give any credit for making an effort. What good would it do to sit in a room and stare at four walls? That's exactly why prisons do so poorly at rehabilitating inmates. Community service is a much more positive experience and allows a person to contribute in a meaningful way.

    Hang in there!
  3. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    Aw dang, I do not think I feel like I like that PO lady, either! darn it! I hate when people want to go overboard on intense restrictive punishments instead of trying to use learning experiences etc.
    Our HS had for the school therapist, a lady who turned out not to have therapist credentials after all (that came out in my due process hearing) but she DID have lengthy experience as a warden in detention facility in another state. Once I learned that news about her, all her ideas and methods of handling my difficult child came into better understanding....yeesh- she was simply tuned to treating everyone and everything like some hard core criminal event. <sigh>

    Good luck to you....I am sorry it is going the way it makes me so sad.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Funny- Dreamer! Even difficult child's principal (and you know we have not always seen eye to eye) agreed that this monitor was pointless because it prevented nothing and she told the iep team that she thought the only reason the po was putting him on it was to humiliate him. Oh, yeah, that will surely keeped that mania reeled in, right?

    Oh, the principal also said it was odd that difficult child was required to carry the "box" with him as well as wear the ankle bracelet- she said most kids do not have to carry the box everywhere they go.
  5. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    this is of course, only my opinion, and I am lucky in that my difficult child um.....did not have a lot of outbursty type stuff....BUT anyway, for seems to me that TEACHING more desireable behaviors is far better than punishing undesireable behaviors......why wait for something "bad" to occur..why not first try to prevent something bad? and why use plain punishment only after when you can use teaching after? why restrain and confine and restrict someone who can learn better choices, see better role modeling....DO something POSITIVE? Besides, fresh air is HEALTHY and .......a healthy body helps create a healthy mind........I prefer to save confinement-restriction-detention etc for serious hard core very dangerous events.......what is difficult child gonna LEARN this way? What is this gonna teach him? How is it gonna teach him? This PO sounds like she is power hungry, authoritive, on a power trip- look she has the power to do this so she is going too, look at her and all her puffed up she is thriving on the power in and of itself and not the ramifications of what she is doing or is supposed to be accomplishing. she sounds like a major difficult child in her own right. darn it. I am so sorry. I know we need to take action with our difficult children...but...I just am not at all sure she is going to get positive results with her methods.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    It is the "powerlessness" that gets to me most. The PO can either be a help or a hindrance; intelligent or a dope; lazy or
    participatory. It is just the luck of the draw when it comes to PO's and PD's and Judges. If our children's lives weren't at stake then "the system" wouldn't be a problem. Yuk!

    I understand. I am sorry. I am sending caring thoughts your way. DDD
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    DDD and Dreamer- I am completely on board with you. We just got back- she was "nice" enough to agree that he should start being able to earn some privileddges back from me. She says he's on house arrest but will allow a friend over at my discretion. (That shocked me.) Another thing that shocked me was that the GAL apparently spoke with her, but the GAL hasn't returned my call, so it looks like now she must be on board with the PO. difficult child broke my windshield on the way home he was so upset and balliistic. He held up well talking with the PO. Really, while they are doing all this to make sure he gets treatment/therapy- which I am more than providing- I am about to a point of telling them that if THEY can't get on board with the treatment plan, then I can't take it anymore. The ONLY thing making me hold on longer is knowing what they will do to him- put him in detention and he'll get no adequate treatment and he'll probably never return home. If we are lucky enough to make it another 4 1/2 weeks, which right now I doubt, I might have to address this question. I just don't see any solution- the po's methods are antagonizing the situation, while difficult child is already cycling, so how can this get better?

    Oh- she is definitely on a power trip. While difficult child followed her requirements perfectly for 8 mos., she reports "fairly well". How do I get the gal or anyone to see that the treatment plan needs everyone in difficult child's life on board- not just difficult child and me?

    And, I almost found this part humurous- she acted like she didn't want my written "update" explaining things and made comments like none of that was important, what did it have to do with anything, and that she didn't care about it. Then, she starts asking questions about what happened the week before difficult child went to psychiatric hospital, what was going on at school and with friends, etc.- you know, all the stuff I had typed up and have been trying to give her. She did that once before abbout medications- why would I tell her aboiut medications, he needs to take repsonsibility- then, why aren't I keeping her up to date on what medications he's taking...

    Does ebay sell voodoo starter kits?? Or, do I just make a doll out of an old sock and start sticking it with pins?
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    How disappointing! I get it that he isn't a perfect angel, but what bit her in the behind today?

    I think if I were in your position I would (after I calmed down) contact her and say that you understood that difficult child hadn't made great strides compared to some, but for him you thought he was doing well, given the kudos from principal, etc... Perhaps she could enlighten you as to how you could all work together to have a better hearing next time? Certainly she realizes that your difficult child has certain difficulties and limitations. I mean, he is 13 years old with a documented history of mental illness. Why can't you all work toward a common goal of recovery?

  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, Witz! This stems from him leaving house without permission for 2 hours and during a period (as in lately) when I knew he was cycling. I called police and reported it to her. Yes, it was wrong. But, the rest of the story- he came home on his own and apologizing. Officer came back to house and lectured difficult child and helped me on phone with kid who all of a sudden found it necessary to be calling my son 5 times a day. I knew something stunk about this. (This was on a Sun. ) So, on the following Thurs., difficult child was put on monitor by PO. Still cycling - like the monitor will cure it. Next morning, difficult child is all emotional- ok, in a depressive cycle- he can't go to school and is all a mess. My behavior management only made him worse, so I took a time out. I went back to him to do problem solving- at which time he started opening up about big problems with other kids at school. He agreed to discuss with school admin if I would go, so I called and we did this. Then, he also told admin people at end of meeting that the kid who can't quit calling is buying drugs and alcohol at school and he tells them who was selling. They check into it and find that this is true- they are busted. So, school is happy because difficult child helped "clean up" school. I'm not happy because difficult child is still cycling and destroying everything and giving me fits- however- I am VERY happy that difficult child did work through the mental process of "even though I don't have any friends, this kid isn't a good friend for me to make, I'm getting in more trouble, no I don't want to get involved in doing drugs, I think I should report them." Now, if they were older and only a small amount of drugs were involved, I can't honestly say I want my son to be a snitch- but this was a large amount and we are talking 13 yo. And, then a few days later I take him to psychiatric hospital- shocking to me, he didn't require a tdo- he let me take him. While there, they give him a urine test for drugs and he hasn't done any!! YIPEE!!

    But, of course- he definitely is not an angel and it is a constant battle. But for crying out loud, ignoring good decisions or efforts instead of acknowledging them will not help rid the bad behavior. in my humble opinion.

    So, instead of PO looking at this- even when the school is thrilled- all she can see is that he left ONE DAY for two hours in the afternoon after being grounded for 1 1/2 mos without permission. Period.
  10. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    OK, girl..............I am gonna tell it like it is! Your son's medications stink, and he needs new ones ASAP. My son did every single thing your son is doing - windshield, phone cord, kicking - and he was seriously, uncontrollably manic. If your no-call psychiatrist is still no-calling, I would readmit difficult child to phosph. His actions are serious, and are only gonna get worse until he can get medicated. Last night I would have called 911 with the phone cord episode, and told the ambulance to transport him. Once in phosph, I would not be surprised if they do not give him 100mg of Seroquel on the spot he sounds so manic. For now I would set aside the court crud, and get him on new medications ASAP before he ends up in jail, with no recourse.

    You know I say this with as many positive, cyber hugs I can send - and with the best of intentions. As one single mom of a difficult child to another - keep fighting the good fight - and never give up hope.
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Steely, I value your opinion more than you can possibly know and I don't take it with negativity. My concern is that PO tried to get difficult child into state psychiatric hospital (also meaning state custody) 10 days ago when I took him to ER. The lady who was supposed to ok that actually ended up saying that difficult child should not go there. I am on board with everything you are saying- but if I take him to ER again, they have to call PO and she will stress that he just got out of psychiatric hospital and it didn't work, so state custody is required. The writing is on the wall. psychiatrist didn't even have his secretary to call and tell me the form to get bloodwork is ready (like psychiatrist at psychiatric hospital said needed to be done)- so, psychiatrist is not going to call. I'm also disappointed in GAL- and can only hope that she talked with PO to try to calm her down a little and just portrayed it like she was on her side. That is the only explanation I can see for PO even being willing to let difficult child have a friend over or get a little energy out while supervised.
    I think I will call psychiatrist at psychiatric hospital and see if I can get his input. I should have done that today- along with calling regular doctor to get the bloodwork form. Now, I have to wait the weekend.

    PS I told therapist last night exactly what difficult child had done- and he said later that difficult child was cycling. Wouldn't most therapist's at least mentioned a tdo at that point? If he had initiated something and stated that difficult child had been released too early, it might be different.
  12. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    with my difficult child we reached a point of extreme where the restraints confinement etc were just so extreme and so rigid, difficult child could not grow if she had been inclined too. She was bound SO tight, there was no room to grow.
    And when a person is scrutinized so extremely intensely, it must be suffocating....I bet if you are suffocating you cannot grow, either.
    Even non difficult child persons make mistakes, even non manic people slip up. The ramifications of difficult child leaving and being missing yes, should be addressed, should be handled, and should have some type of consequence, should fit the "crime" and his own reaction to him doing it should count for something and his current physical state, mental condition (inadequete medication coverage for his ILLNESS) should somehow be taken into some consideration. Unless HE is refuseing medications- in my humble opinion he should not be punished so heavily and rigidly and for so long to such a degree for symptoms that are part and parcel of his documented ILLNESS. My experience with my ill family members is that if you begin to come down so extremely hard and heavy and scrutinize so intensely, it can make the person feel as if it simply does not matter if they are EVER "behaving" becuz the least little slip of behavior is going to result in extreme restriction, anyway, so they begin to stop careing, give up, stop trying, lose pride in the positive steps they have taken. They can also begin to lose faith that they CAN ever make a sound decision on their own. It can create a person who becomes so immobilized by self doubt, they lose ability to function rather than grow and learn at all. (Actually, I think this is where we are with my oldest difficult child-----her therapist and in home care providers and school 1-1 aides etc even scrutinized how she brushed her teeth, how she smiled, when she smiled- to such an extreme, Buffy STILL is unsure of makeing even the most simple ordnirary autopilot decisions on her own)
    OK so difficult child messed up- was MIA for 2 hours.....rathe than simply horsetie him learn and grow from the "mistake" ANd truth is.....a person running off and being MIA is not all so pathological as some might want to have you believe. Is it dangerous? Sure, it can be. Is it scary, you bet, especially when it is your child or when it is someone who is mentally ill, for sure it can be very scary and dangerous......
    BUT small children attempt it, teens do it, even easy child teens.....adults do it, even responsible adults sometimes pull this stunt if they think they can get away with it.....heck even ANIMALS do it.....It could have been used as a teaching tool....sure there could have been consequences, but-----this PO seems to have gone off the deep end. And the prior incident of the laptop getting destroyed? Those people who doled out the punishments for that incident also in my humble opinion went overboard, as well, and THAT spilled over into this problem. I canot help but wonder how it all must feel to your difficult child? I am afraid if I were difficult child I would be freaking out a little wondering why all the adults are reacting so extreme for the events that have occured. I wonder if he is thinking gosh darn, the adults are all running amok behaving in ways they punish me harshly for- they are over reacting and I am catching the brunt of it all.

    Seriously, the punishments need to fit the crimes. And positive steps and efforts need to be acknowledged. There needs to be some balance, and also some fairness. This PO seems to be acting MORE GFGish than your difficult child!

    Hugs to you guys. I sure am sorry you are haveing to deal with all this....
  13. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    Ya know? I think part of the begiining of my last post is missing? Yeesh, LOL, wonder where it went? LOL

    I also fear your difficult child may begin to resent how he is being so harshly punished.....and that resentment can build and fester......and THAT definetly would not be a good thing. :-(
  14. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    God it sounds SO freaking complicated. I did not have the law involved with my difficult child, but why would they call the State if he was in phosph? I don't get it. Phosph stays are so short, it is impossible to get the medications right in that short of a time.

    I would call psychiatrist at the phosph, and then I would start calling every psychiatrist in town. Number after number, until you find someone who will help. God, I wish I was a psychiatrist!!! GEEZ! I would never do what your doctor has done. Makes me furious!!!!

    Also, FYI, there are not blood tests available for any of the APs like Seroquel or Zyprexa. In fact it is only for Lithium and Depakote, the MS type medications. What medications is he on? If he is "cheeking" his medications, like therapist says, it probably would not show up on his bloodwork. I would do the old phosh routine with his medications, give them to him, watch him swallow, and then check under his tongue and in his cheeks.
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I feel for you, I really do.

    As far as the hospital thing goes, I dont understand why being admitted to the state hospital has a thing to do with having him put in the custody of the state. My son was in the state hospital down here for 3 weeks or so, and then transferred to a state run residential placement and custody was never an issue. Mine was also involved with the legal end back then too. Custody of my son was never, ever an issue. (Maybe no one wanted

    Now I may sound here like I am going against what everyone else has said about this PO and all that just could be that having a really tough, mean PO saves your son in the long run. I wish my sons PO had been so tough on him that he learned that rules have consequences and that when the LAW tells you something, you best darn well listen. Instead we got this wishy washy PO who was just there for the paycheck and this guy never did a thing he said he was going to do. Supposedly Cory was to attend school daily, follow rules, blah blah blah. Cory skipped 88 days that year and I started reporting him the very first day he skipped. I wanted him to learn to not mess with the law. Instead the PO took him to parties and activities. And one wonders why Cory thinks the legal system is no problem to get over on! DUH!!!

    I hope you dont end up down the same path mine took but maybe, just maybe, this tough old PO may scare him into NOT ending up in jail.
  16. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I just read what I wrote, and I'm pretty sure you knew I meant that it was the PO who wasn't working as part of the team! ? I was a little vague, I guess, so I figured I'd point it out if it didn't come across right.

    PO reminds me of that proverb. "There are none so blind as those who will not see."
  17. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    PHEWWW!! We both got a good night's sleep and I feel much better now.

    Steely- difficult child is currently on 1200 mg of lithobid, 500 mg depakote er, and seroquel- one 25 mg pill at night, 1/2 in am. The lithium and depakote blood levels checked out. According to therapist, difficult child was cheeking the zyprexa when he was on it- now that is switched to seroquel. These are the tiniest pills. I wonder if it is true. (Yes my difficult child would say something that dumb when manic even if it is a lie.) He will be changing psychiatrists- I think I will ask the tdocs if there is a psychiatrist in their office. First, I'll call psychiatrist at psychiatric hospital because he might be able to just tell me to up the script. I just need a psychiatrist's "word" to have something to fall back on.

    Witz- that is the way I read your post. I understood where you were coming from- thanks!

    Janet- last spring my son was on a low dose of prozac for depression; he started acting unstable (2nd year in a row-both in spring), so prozac was doubled. He went on a 1 1/2 hour "spree" that included going into what he thought was an abandoned house (it wasn't) and setting a brush fire. It got him 7 charges, 2 being felonies. My bro started calling everybody in town trying to claim it was my fault because bro wanted custody of difficult child. A GAL was assigned and tried to get social services to find a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or something. SS said they couldn't find any place in the state because a fire was involved. I muddled through proving that I had tried to get my son adequate treatment, psychiatrist wrote letter stating prozac made difficult child manic- changed diagnosis to BiPolar (BP). Anyway, difficult child was put on probation for one year, the felony charges were deferred to see how he did for this year.

    The courts are staying involved because difficult child is subject to placement in state dept. of corrections- meaning they take him and either put him in long term detention, state psychiatric hospital, or wherever else they see fit. I, of course, take the position that they have no place that will really help him get adequaate treatment, especially when most of them in the legal system don't even get the mental health part of this. Since he has gotten in trouble twice this spring, he is about 1 inch away from this happening. My position on this- he gets manic every spring- third time in a row now- and the 2 things he has done this year (except what he did to me the other day but only therapist knows that) were so minor in comparisom to the 2 years before that if he hadn't had the legal history from last year, these would warrant only a slap on the hand from the courts. But, I guess they look at it like he should have been perfect all year rather than, look at the improvement.

    The PO apparently is one that thinks if difficult child is doing this because he's manic, the answer is to commit him to state psychiatric hospital. They clearly don't understand the process of treating BiPolar (BP).- the time to get medications right, learn and implement strategies- after trying to find a therapist who has a clue, etc. Anyway, I wish I had some idea of what they will do to him for punishment when he goes to court in June. This will be for the deferred charges from last year and the 2 charges from this year. It could be anything from what I described above to a short term stay in local detention to more probation (which I truly don't think I can take any more time with this PO) to community service. The judge will make the determination based primarily on what the gal reports, and secondly on what the PO reports. I know the PO's report won't be good no matter what he does or doesn't do.

    I've learned that the gal does not look into things and tends to believe what ever she hears last before entering court. So, I wait until a few days before court and fax her a written statement that includes any incident, his compliance, any good word, copies of any therapist/psychiatrist statement, appts. scheduled, any clarification of aanything I foresee as being brought up by PO, etc. This has worked twice in the past for getting that info in front of the judge. For some reason, the defense attnys appear too intimidated or unprepared or something to actually present this info, so this is the only way for the judge to know it- otherwise she only hears what the PO wants her to. (Except the one hearing where I had to testify about treatment).

    Under these circumstances, if I can't get the judge to see in June that this treatment is a work in progress but is helping difficult child and that he is not a risk to the community, he'll probably end up in their system until he's 18, unless they do give custody to my bro which would be a dumb, bad decision, but they could do anything.
  18. happymomof2

    happymomof2 New Member

    Sorry your having to go through all this. I was just wondering, and perhaps you have already thought of this, but can any of his medications be crushed and put into his food to make sure he is taking them?

    I would crush the ones I could for my mom when she was living with me before she passed away. Of course hers was a swallowing issue.

    My son's PO has been really great but the one thing that has bothered me is he hasn't given him a urine test since the first one in his office a few months ago. I don't suspect son of doing anything, and son knows he could get tested at anytime. Wonder if they don't test unless there is suspicion of use? This is our first and hope to GOD our last time dealing with all this.
  19. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Wow. What a mess. I'm glad you were clever enough to figure out how to get the info in at the last min to get it b4 the judge.
    I'm sending wishes that your difficult child will get his medications straight. It's a long, long journey.
  20. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    KLMNO...I remember your posts from last year so I understand the situation. Have you done a parent report yet? If not, I would do one and make copies for everyone involved. When my son went before the courts for his various charges, I passed those reports out like candy. Our judge looked at the fact that I was already accessing almost all of the services available so putting my son in the states care made no sense. I was actually the one who pushed for my son going inpatient to the state hospital because I knew it would be longer stay than the private acute and stabilize them hospitals. I looked into all types of placements available to kids with behavior problems. We had to start with the lower level placements like group homes but the worse he became, it started that paper trail to show that he needed more intensive care and we got the locked facility finally. It wasnt a cure all or I wouldnt be dealing with what we are now but it helped at the time.

    Keep advocating for what you think will work the best. Find studies that bear out what you feel works. You dont have to give up custody. There are ways around it, even if it is that the courts order him into residential treatment.