difficult child getting discharged tomorrow morning..

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by butterflydreams, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. Well, here we go again. difficult child is getting discharged tomorrow. They have added Lithium to his medications and he seems more stable. When the psychiatrist announced the other day that he was discharging difficult child and back to school on Monday (no partial this time) you could see the change on difficult child's face, you could see the anxiety creep up. psychiatrist is frustrated because of difficult child's anxiety (and school not being cooperative) it causes everything else to get worse. psychiatrist wrote a really awesome letter to the school district for me to give them along with my request for for a 504 plan. I had requested last spring for him to be evaluated for a IEP, I was told it would happen at the beginning of the school this year, well then he was at residential and didn't do it there (I found out from the school social worker the other day that they could have started the process then - she couldn't understand why he didn't have services yet) anyway, I have been told repeatedly by the school that he has to be there to be evaluated - I get that but I need help getting him there. His anxiety is so overwhelming. So I am sending a letter to the school psychologist, my advocate, and the special education coordinator for the school region we are in, I am attaching the psychiatrist's letter with each one (I also mentioned in the letter that I had made the request before).

    I am frustrated also because difficult child is being required to take all of his end of semester finals. He missed them last week because he was inpatient. I have told the school repeatedly that he doesn't know the math in particular. His 7th grade counselor told me and difficult child in a meeting that it was his fault he wasn't at school and that it was his responsibility to get caught up with the rest of the class (this is the same counselor who threatened me with Educational Neglect because I couldn't get him to school). Uh, hello, this meeting was just a week or two after he came back to school after being in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and a month in partial. Yes, he had regular school at Residential Treatment Center (RTC), but at partial they only have 2 hours a day and he didn't have work from his regular school since he hadn't been enrolled there this year yet.

    I picked up difficult child's school work last week to give to him, his math teacher had wrote study for final, but no clue given as to what he is supposed to study. So I had to wait until Tuesday (I was given school work on Friday) to call her and ask study what. She left me a message with the chapters, I took difficult child's book to him Wednesday morning, she emailed me a study guide, which I gave to difficult child last night. So he is supposed to take a final exam on stuff that he has no clue how to do? I told difficult child to just try his best.

    Anyway, can you tell I am frustrated with the school?
  2. jal

    jal Member

    I am sorry the school is being such a PITA. At the time you spoke to them about the IEP the SW was right they should have started it. I would do a registered letter requesting for evaluation for an IEP. The 504 does not give you a legal standing if they do not follow it, where as the IEP will.

    Has your difficult child been on anything for anxiety? My difficult child is very anxious, but not in a scared or wiery way, but we just started this and even though it's soon we are seeing some improvements.

    Good luck to you both.
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    The school gave you a bunch of **** about having to make up the work with no excuses!! My difficult child does not have an IEP or a 504 because she is doing great academically...and the counselors have been helping her with social issues.

    When she was admitted to the psychiatric hospital in November, I immediately contacted the school counselor--who arranged for difficult child to get a medical waiver for missed work that allowed her to make up everything she missed at a later date and WITHOUT PENALTY! Tests, exams, science projects--the waiver covered ALL missed schoolwork.

    From what I understand, these waivers are very common and are usually issued to children with ongoing medical conditions such as asthma, which cause them to miss a lot of school. Your child has plenty of documentation that he has medical issues that cause him to miss school--I would fight for the same sort of waiver!!

    Good luck!

  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I agree with the others. It's a shame sd's aren't really looking out for the students- only their $$$. I hope things go better on the lithium- it made the biggest difference in my son.
  5. Thanks all.

    Jal, the letter is requesting a 504 plan (so that things can be put in place while we wait for the IEP) and evaluation for a IEP. I am sending the letter certified today.

    I think that alot has to do with budget issues too. Nevada is the lowest ranking school district besides Washington Difficult Child in the nation. Ugh. They are cutting the budget drastically for the next 2 years and looking at more too. It is all an excuse.
  6. jal

    jal Member

    The reason I say that is because you don't need a 504 to wait for an IEP. They can put whatever interventions they want in the IEP and do testing after - unless they are requiring testing to qualify for an IEP, but you can get an IEP for OHI (other health impairment). Thing is if they put interventions in the 504 then they are not legally bound to do what is written there and they may drag their feet to convert to an IEP especially with the budget constraints as you mentioned.
  7. The problem I am running up against is that the school is telling me that they can not evaluate him for a IEP because he has missed so much school and he needs to be there. When I talked to the school social worker (who by the way is the only one so far that I have talked to who agrees that he needs something) she suggested we do it this way because that way we can get him some accommodations immediately. I am really hoping that the letter from psychiatrist will help, here is what he said:

    difficult child has had multiple admissions to ___________ Hospital as well
    as __________. We continue to work diligently in trying to
    stabilize his mood disorder and anxiety disorder. The primary
    stressor in difficult child's life are the current school issues within the
    Clark County School System. He feels ostracized and alienated at
    school leading to increased agitation, anxiety, thoughts of self harm,
    mood instability and paranoia. These psychiatric symptoms
    then lead to school avoidance and school refusal which sets up a
    vicious cycle with exacerbation of Axis I psychiatric disorders. He
    is in need of a comprehensive reassessment and IEP with intensive
    interventions in the school to maintain difficult child in the school. He
    may need small classrooms, one-to-one intervention, ability to use
    a pass when anxious and the full cooperation of the school to help
    difficult child in getting to school and staying in school during the days
    he is attending.
    I am greatly concerned that his school avoidance has led to a very
    maladaptive pattern of school behaviors and there is a need to
    implement an intervention to maintain difficult child in the school without
    his ability to act out and return home as well as the ability to
    get difficult child to school in the a.m.

  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    The program you need to be asking for is called "Homebound Instruction"--and the form is filled out by the child's doctors attesting that his medical condition and/or treatment for the medical condition is preventing him from attending school.

    This is not "homeschooling", where the parents teach a certain curriculum--"Homebound Instruction" means that the school district makes arrangements for a licensed teacher to privately tutor your child on any of the work that he missed while absent from regular school. Parents and teacher agree on the location for the instruction...maybe its at the home, or the public library, or even at the school in the evenings.

    Your child does NOT need an IEP, a 504, or anything else. The qualifications for Homebound Instruction are purely medical, and if the doctor signs the form that your child's absences from school are for medical reasons (such as being admitted to psychiatric hospital), then the child should qualify for the program.

    And the school district is supposed to abide by it!
  9. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Do you think difficult child is ready for the discharge? Are there going to be services in place for him?
    Poor you and poor difficult child, anxiety should not be a part of School. Unfortunately it is for so many of our kids. The SD just does not ever seem to get it.
    I really hope the SD gets on board, quick.

    *Daisyface has a good point!
  10. As far as homebound, they have homebound instruction through the school district at the psychiatric hospital and the partial psychiatric hospital. He had homebound while he was in there, they get 2 hours of instruction. The school is being ridiculous about what he misses while he is out. He has done all the work he missed the week before he went in and last week, but now he has this past week that he will be behind and he missed taking the finals, which I don't feel that he is ready for. When I talked to him last night, he said he hasn't been able to study for the math final at all because of other things they have worked on. So I will be sending a note to school with him informing them that he is NOT ready to take it and shouldn't have to.

    As far as him returning to school, I really don't think he is up to it, but he needs to, he has to go. His anxiety is huge. I wish there was other options, but at this point, I just don't see any. I can't stay home with him, I wish I could and avoid the whole school issue, but I can't. I need my job, not only because it is our only source of income, but because of the medical benefits. The doctor is afraid that difficult child will get to where he won't leave the house at all if he just stays home too.

    As far as if difficult child is ready to be discharged, I don't know. His moods seem to be more stable, it's his anxiety now that is the issue. If needed I will asked the psychiatrist for a prn for the anxiety. difficult child should never have been discharged early from the Residential Treatment Center (RTC).

    I think that if we can get things in place for him with small classrooms and such that we can get him through this. At this point I don't know what our options are. There is a school for the emotionally disturbed, but the doctor said that at this point, he feels that we would be dealing with school refusal no matter what school difficult child was assigned to go to. I keep racking my brain to figure out how to do this. If I had the option to not work, it would be better. We barely make all of our expenses as it is with my income and the little bit the kids get for their survivors benefits, let alone if I didn't have my income. I just don't know.

    I am waiting now to hear from the psychiatric hospital, when I called a little bit ago, the psychiatrist hadn't been in yet this morning so they didn't have discharge orders yet.

    I don't know if I could get any public assistance that would help if I were not to work. I think I could get social security survivors benefits because difficult child is under the age of 16, but that wouldn't be enough. And then there is medical. difficult child would qualify for medicaid because of SSI, and I could probably get my daughter on the state children's health plan, but I wouldn't have any coverage and I have many appts myself because I am diabetic. So I don't know, I will have to keep looking into things.
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    This sounds so similar to what we are going thru- emotionally and with the stress of it all. People really don't get it when it's this kind of problem a kid and family are dealing with- especially at school. I would suggest looking into county assistance now. I waited longer than I should have and have been frantic trying to rush the process and find a "Plan B" in the mean time. It's hard to do that though, when we are living from one crisis to the next. Without supports, there is more anxiety for us and we end up digging ourselves in deeper instead of working our way out. Then, tdocs start loooking at you like "oh, this is what caused the problem"- this didn't cause the problem- this is the way we've had to deal the problem as a matter of survival.

    School is a good example of that- they wouldn't really do anything to help "ease the pain" for difficult child when he'd try going back to school, therefore, he went less and less. He was discharged this past Tues and I couldn't get him to even consider school for the rest of the week. All he can think about is how much work accumulated on top of what he already had. They need to do something to help him ease back in- like start with an afternoon at school talking about how we CAN work through this and make it a doable situation instead of an overwhelming situation.

    I feel your stress- I understand, really. Let me know if I can offer any pointers on how to look into getting help.
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Awesome letter, Butterfly!

    But after reading about the runaround the school has given you, I think it will only work to a point. They are blowing smoke, and good at it.

    I am so glad there are others here who can help guide you through this incredibly frustrating process.

    I'm really glad that the lithium seems to be stabilizing difficult child. That must work really fast, like in a few days?
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I think lithium is slow acting- like other MS's, but instead of having to wait weeks to see any effects, we did start seeing improvement after about 3-5 days, and then the full effect after a few weeks. But, I think the "turning point" sstarts with the first signs of improvement- for instance, if it improves enough that difficult child can sleep more regularly, that becomes self-perpetuating and other things improve as a result.

    I know it's a serious medication, but for some, it's a life-saver.