difficult child Update

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    medications: difficult child told me on Sun. that he could tell that he wanted "to move" a little more than usual but he could keep control of it so far. He told me tonight that he could tell his memory was much better (He had been on MS's.) He said sometimes it is very noisy at night and it's hard for him to get to sleep so he might ask psychiatrist to put him back on a small dose of something for sleep. (I think I'd prefer that the staff make the boys hush when their quiet hours roll around.) He wasn't having trouble sleeping at all until this week but their regular school schedule started on Mon. so my guess is that the boys on the unit have been rowdy this week. I'm not fond of sleep medications for situations like that, especially for kids.

    School: Going great- in spite of the sd psychiatric's ridiculous evaluation. I'm still waiting on her revised one and for them to get an IEE underway. Now, in her evaluation, she said she gave him the typical IQ test and he tested average and that his grades have averaged out, so his "disability" does not effect him academically accept thru behavior. BS. I don't know how accurate those IQ tests are, but she admitted that she never reviewed difficult child's aptitude tests and Standard of Learning tests from school which he's been taking since 3rd grade. Not that they indicate brilliance, but they have ranged from him scoring in the 90+ percentile to the 16th percentile. But she seems to think because they average to an "average" that this is ok. And, she failed to acknowledge or review the fact that difficult child's average grades over the past 2 years have been with him on an IEP. But if that's not enough to convince me that this was an incompetent evaluation- here is what his current school staff say:

    difficult child had 3 teachers from this summer specifically asked for him to go to higher level classes than they had planned to put him. difficult child made very good grades except in PE and told the sd personnel that he wants to be a vet so they put him on the track for an Advanced Diploma. I know he might not be able to make it all the way thru high school with those more stringent requirements, but I'm proud of him for getting this recommendation for it and for being motivated with school. He called tonight and is so proud of himself! And, since he has to be in JROTC in there, he said he was thinking about asking if he could be in their drill team. He's just starting in JROTC so he'd have to learn some more before they'd actually let him participate, but I think it's good that he thought about it. The sd psychiatric wanted us to tell difficult child that he had average intelligence and therefore, should not go for the advanced diploma. The rest of us on the iep team disagreed with that and wrote the iep allowing difficult child to go for it, but agreeing not to pressure him if he started getting stressed, overwhelmed, or struggling with grades. Anyway, he had an iep in place this summer, too, and although he doesn't need academic supports in the most basic sense, he does need the time management help, the positive support, etc.

    I didn't send that draft letter to the parole officer but am writing another that puts more emphasis on trying to work something feasible out so difficult child can come straight home upon his release. I just think that it's impossible for me to do all this guy wants. He's only racking up all these requirements because one person recommends a mentor, another a therapist, another family therapy, so we end up with all of them ordered. That will be on top of an enormous amount of homework difficult child will have and me trying to work 40 hours a week. It can't be done and no matter what the legal authorities might think, stress is a big contributor to problems with difficult child. If the darn GAL and PO cared to look into what the mental health profs say and actually took that serious, they would know that. Of course, if I go in and say "difficult child does not fit your typical mold for a delinquent around here- his behavior is not the result of gang affiliation or growing up in a house with no structure or around people who don't respect the law- difficult child has ISSUES", you know what kind of reaction I'd get??

    I'm working hard on wording in this letter. I'm trying hard to convey that if he's behaving and motivated and working hard at school, I don't think it's in his best interest or helping his rehabilitation to order services that compromise his ability to meet the educational opportunities he's been given. Also, I'm asking him to review the priorities. The PO said himself it would not be in difficult child's best interest to go to a group home. Well, if his priority is for difficult child to get every ideal service out there, he'll have to go to a group home because it will take full time staff to accommodate it since he says he can't get difficult child transportation to and from all these places and difficult child isn't old enough to get a driver's license. If he's got the same "that's your problem" attitude that the probation officer and her super did, we have a problem. What doesn't make sense it that they told me last year that if I couldn't do all that, keep difficult child supervised, and still find a way to support him, I'd be hit with a neglect charge. Well, if I'm in jail because I couldn't do all this, they have to find another home for difficult child then- so aren't they defeating their own purpose? Or is their purpose just to nail me? I know the GAL wants to blame me for all difficult child's problems. But she's a very inexperienced, naive attny so I'm not surprised at all. She actually wanted difficult child to be told about the abuse I went thru with my family as a child when he was 13yo. No one agreed with her on that one. I'm just bringing that up as a reminder of the kind of people I'm dealing with here. Thhey aren't exactly knowledgable, rational, and reasonable.

    Sorry for rambling- I just thought I'd throw out an update and get some thoughts off my mind!
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2009
  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I'm glad he is doing well. Hopefully the time there and having to do a lot of this on his own will allow him to mature enough to be able to do what he needs to at home. I've known several who have been the Juvie route and ended up doing great when they get out. There is hope. Always.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    thank you! The PO is saying going to a group home will make difficult child worse, but there's no way I can accommodate all the stuff this PO is talking about ordering so I'm super-stressed over it. I don't want to ruin difficult child's chances, but bringing him home to more requirements for services than we had before will not produce better results either.

    EW: Were these long-term stays in a state juvy that you knew about- or short term stays in a local detention? I'm referring to the success stories that you mentioned.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I hope that reason will rule the day, but I understand that sadly reason seems to be missing from what the past court officers have done.

    I also have known quite a few kids who went to juvie and came out to willing and ready to do what is expected to survive and succeed. I hope your difficult child is one of them. I am so proud that he is doing so well in such a rough situation.

    AWESOME about wanting to be a vet. One of the best vet schools is in my town. They truly are exceptional. If he ends up wanting to go to school here I will be happy to have him over for dinner, to do laundry, whatever. You can even stay here when you come visit him at school!!! I now have a clean spare room so you would even have a room to sleep in!!!

    I hope this PO will understand that if difficult child is doing fine he maybe just needs to see a therapist and the psychiatrist (every few months for medications) and let it be. More could be added if he shows a need for them.

    maybe if you block out a schedule with you working 40 hours and difficult child in school, then add all the various appointments and then you can show visible how there just are not enough hours in the day to do it all. If possible, use overhead transparencies or clear report covers to block out your work schedule on one, difficult child's school on another, therapist appts on a 3rd, etc... If you use the same basic graph to show every hour of each day then the transparencies can be laid on top of each other and will show how much work/school and homework time would be destroyed by all the meetings.

    Sometimes it is easier for people to grasp things when they are shown graphically.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, Susie!! You know, I'm actually thinking more positive about the mentor than a therapist. We tried outpatient therapy for difficult child and occasionally for family therapy for 3 years and it was useless. Tdocs in phosps seem to be lightyears more knowledgable and assertive and effective than the outpatient ones, in my humble opinion. The mentor might really be able to help difficult child, plus, he will come to the home and it won't matter if I'm here or not. See, difficult child will get home from school around 4:30. If I'm working full time, I get home around 5:30-6:00 and I'm beat but still need to cook dinner, eat, and somewhat "check" or at least, touch base with whatever is going on with difficult child. If the mentor guy can do his stuff before I get home, that would be great. Otherwise, if difficult child sees a therapist, I have to find one who'll do 6:00 appts at the earliest, putting me cooking dinner about 7:30 and difficult child eating about 8:00.

    I like the idea of a visual for the schedule. What I've heard from all of them over there so far is "well, I only need to meet with you once a month, and difficult child only needs to see a therapist once a week, and well, this will only take one day", etc. Ok, but what about the 1/2 hour it takes me to come home, pick difficult child up, get back to your office, the 1/2 hour we're at your office, and the fact that you won't make an appointment after 4:00. Now, how much time do I lose off work for that one alone? IOW, I'd end up leaving work at 3:30 MANY days.
  6. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I have been watching your updates for quite a while - I have to say this is the first one where "you" seem positive about what's happening with difficult child.

    And it sounds like difficult child is motivated to do well.

    Very cool. :bravo:
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, TL! I'm getting to a point of resolve with myself. I don't know yet if I can get difficult child home. Technically speaking, I should probably copy his GAL on this letter on top of the Department of Juvenile Justice staff that I'd already planned to copy. If I copy the GAL, I wonder if I can copy the judge. The reason is because the parole officer keeps his own file separate from the court file. The GAL has a personal file, if she has a file at all. I have seen my words get twisted around too many times by people over there when things get brought to court. The court clerk is pretty helpful- maybe I'll ask her. The PO called yesterday and I called back but got his voice mail, so he'll be calling later today I'm sure. For some odd reason, he has to call me or see me monthly the entire time difficult child is incarcerated.