Has anyone felt totally judged by a child therapist?

ahhjeez

Active Member
When my son was severely struggling in his senior year I made the school aware of what was going on and they gave us amazing flexibility in that sometimes he was only able to attend 1 day a week and not even a full day. They gave him his work to take home and we just limped through that final year. We were very fortunate that the were supportive. I think they also just wanted us out. :) But another option that was also on the table was online schooling through his school. Could that be something that would work for your daughter?
 

PiscesMom

Active Member
I talked with her about options. She didn't seem interested. I guess what I want is for her to be enrolled at that school, to not have ANY therapy, and just sort of work it out as we go along. Maybe just handing in homework, even if she can't get out of the car, is enough. Maybe its just fine. I want to tell the district I don't want any home therapy team.
Maybe I just need to find my voice.
 

PiscesMom

Active Member
Do I risk trouble with the school district if I turn down "in home services." She is 16 1/2. Would I get in trouble with the state? Or if it got to that, couldn't she just drop out?
After all we have been thru, when the home services team called, I almost had a panic attack. (I don't get panic attacks, but I felt sick to my stomach)
 

KTMom91

Well-Known Member
At what age can she legally drop out in your state? If she's past that age, maybe letting her drop out and work on getting herself healthy would be best for her.
 

PiscesMom

Active Member
At what age can she legally drop out in your state? If she's past that age, maybe letting her drop out and work on getting herself healthy would be best for her.
Yeah. That is what my older sister w aspergers's thinks. I think I will see if its ok not to have (shudder) "home services" and if its ok for her to just drop off homework until she possibly works up the courage to attend, that is what I prefer.
I mentioned to her she was 16, so she and I could make her own decisions about schooling, and she didn't seem interested in dropping out.
I think the school district is doing everything it is supposed to do, but I am just intimidated by all of it. I will bravely call the district and say No on home services. Knowing we can drop out makes me feel stronger in all of this. (I had been afraid of losing her to a residential or something, i also worry about getting in trouble somehow)
I think maybe it is hard to have two kids w developmental issues, and to be really the only parent. Plus, I get anxious and doubt myself.

Today, we are going to drive to the school and drop off homework. She might stay in the car, but even that is something.
 

susiestar

Roll With It
If home services are making you feel that bad, imagine how bad it makes your daughter feel? Just say NO. Make it stick. If they get ugly about it, sue them. If they are a public school, they have to provide what works for her, not the other way around. She does NOT have to accommodate them. Not at all.

And if she needs to drop out, try khanacademy.org . You can learn anything for free there. Online. She can prep for the GED there, or take college level classes, whatever. As long as she is learning, growing, not molding, she is fine.

We didn't get most of those official interventions for Wiz. Later I learned about them, but we didn't learn he was adhd until he was 7. Stimulants were like a miracle for him. Instant focus and he liked how they worked for him, that he wasn't getting into trouble. He took risperdal for years, even liked how it made it easier for him to control his aggression. If I forgot to give it to him, he would call me from school to bring it up to him. He didn't have any side effects we noticed. Maybe it counteracted the appetite loss from the stimulants, we couldn't tell. He was always a skinny kid.

When we learned he had aspergers, I read all I could about it. No one said he needed this or that type of therapy until much later. He had a social skills group that was great, and one we stopped taking him to because they were teaching them to be as rude as possible. Mostly I read about things and figured out that if he didn't understand this, then I needed to teach him. I homeschooled him for a couple of years because the school would not meet his needs. They were as awful to him as they could be, and he was bored. Bored smart boys make trouble. LOTS of trouble. I didn't have time to deal with the nonsense. If they would just let him read a frimpin' book, he would stop bothering them, but that made too much sense. Plus he was reading books that were too hard for his teacher to understand. She actually told me that. We were OUT OF THERE two days later. She was too stupid to teach my kid. Literally.

I always figured my first job was to make sure he grew up to be a good person, and a contributing member of society. If he was happy, that was nice, but not my problem. So many of the other parents whined because their kids were not happy at school. I never could figure out why they cared. They were not there to be amused, they were there to learn. Mostly their kids were obnoxious brats that my kid refused to play with because, as he put it, "they don't have two brain cells to bounce off each other up in their heads". He was in first grade when he made that observation.

I sort of did most of the interventions myself. I didn't learn what sensory integration disorder was until Wiz was 13 or 14, but growing up he had a pretty good sensory diet. I wish I had known about brushing therapy because it would have helped hugely. He would only tolerate it a bit as a teen, but admitted it did help. It relaxed him and felt good, and he did not want that at that point in his life. He wanted to be the angry teenager. He did it well. Until that point, we did our own social stories and role playing when he didn't understand social situations. After he got too angry to let me do that, he would let my mom do that. She sat him down and compared autism to being colorblind but with social situations instead of colors. My dad is color blind and lets my mom change his outfits so that he doesn't dress hideously (because boy can he pick some awful outfits on his own!). Wiz understood it in that context, that he was colorblind with social situations and social rules, so he let her explain the social rules, and accepted that they were, even when they made zero sense to him.

Some time later he accepted that his sense of right and wrong is a bit off. One of his closest friends commented on it. Now when he isn't sure if he is doing the right thing, he has a couple of people he really trusts that he asks. He accepts that he just doesn't always understand the rules for that, and for when he should and shouldn't get involved. For example he heard a fight that the girl in the apartment upstairs was having with her boyfriend. It sounded like she was getting beat up, but should he call the cops? He honestly had no clue what the right thing to do was. Should he just go break it up? He doesn't look big, or strong, but he is freakishly, crazy strong and will do crazy things in a fight. He always wins because he does crazy things. It is why he doesn't fight. He doesn't have rules for fighting the way normal guys do. So he didn't know if he should call the cops or break it up himself or ignore it. His friend, not amused at being called at 3 am, told him to call the cops. The boyfriend was arrested. The girl was taken to the hospital as she was badly hurt. It was a situation where Wiz needed to know what to do and just didn't know, so he has built a support network because he figured out he needed one.

Your daughter doesn't need therapy because she isn't broken. She has social anxiety. At some point SHE may want help with it. Then it should be helped. A doctor can prescribe her medications without making her see a therapist. Get her away from these idiots and keep her away. They are wrong and stupid and broken. Get her in to see someone who understands that autism is not an illness, it is a difference. It cannot and should not be fixed.

I don't understand risperdal for anxiety. Unless she is psychotic with her anxiety. It is an atypical antipsychotic. It is NOT designed for anxiety. I think maybe it is an off-label use, but I would never give it to her for that. I liked risperdal (risperidone) for my son, but it was to curb his aggression. It was not to help with anxiety. There is a lot that therapy can do for anxiety, IF you are willing to do it and you like and trust your therapist. There is no way your daughter would ever work with these therapists.

Why not look into horse therapy for her? Does she like horses? Or maybe therapy dogs if she likes dogs? I know two people with autism here who have therapy dogs to help with their social anxiety. the dogs need walks so the people have to go out. They love their dogs deeply, so they do. It is a rule, so they follow it. It is for the dog's health, so it must be followed every single day no matter what. The dogs will go up to people and people will ask about the dog, so the person with autism has answers that they have practiced that they can say. It makes it easier to talk to strangers, so they come out of their shell a little. If a stranger asks about this, I say that. It has really opened up life for these people and exposed them to new things. They have seen that not all new things and new people are bad, and they are a little more willing try other new things.

Horse therapy really helps build bonds and heal anxiety also. Many areas have groups or therapists that provide horse therapy. It is truly amazing what can come out of it. It can be therapeutic riding, but it can also be just caring for the horse, depending on what the person needs and wants. Often brushing and petting and caring for the horse is as much of the therapy as riding it. It doesn't involve people asking you questions and you having to answer them, not at all. It is all about you and the horse. It might be something she enjoys. It would be an appointment, but maybe a good one. Or it might terrify her if she doesn't like horses. Though only the sweetest, most gentle horses are used for this.
 

ahhjeez

Active Member
When things were at the worst for my son in school and the IEP meeting became adversarial I ended up hiring an advocate. She was some of the best money I ever spent. Your daughters school sounds wonderfully supportive so that doesn't seem to be your situation, but you do mention feeling intimidated dealing with them. Plus the advocate was aware of services and things to ask for that I wasn't. She was totally on my son's side and it just took a lot of the pressure and anxiety off me in dealing with the school at the time. I just didn't know what to ask for or really, what he was entitled to. Eventually he got into an amazing SPED collaborative that our district has and the advocate was no longer necessary. I'm not sure if there are free Special Education advocates out there. I'm sure there must be. I really like Susie's idea of therapeutic animals also.
 

PiscesMom

Active Member
Thanks you both!!!
I broke down and gave her risperdal. My therapist talked me into it. I gave her .5 mg last night. She slept from 7pm, and is still in bed, it is 3pm now. When I woke her up to bring her homework to school, she was very anxious, and said it was the medication; she had had nightmares all night.
And, Susie Star, I am just seeing what you wrote now, about risperdal. I haven't been here in a bit.
I talked to her dr and a pharmacist - both said it couldn't be the risperdal.
When I called the school to say she couldnt go, they said her attendance was going to be tracked for SARB. We are in California.
OMG.
So my anxiety is triggered. I am looking into home schooling.
I don't have money for things like advocates, and horse stuff, or anything.
It doesnt look like she can just drop out in CA, so that is why I am looking into homeschooling. Because I am afraid.

I am sick of everything. I am sick of participating in hurting my child.

About horses, the charter school she is enrolled at - a "non public school" its called, has them learn how to care for horses. I wanted her to go there so much, but now I feel like I have to figure out how to get her out of the school system ASAP. Maybe it is my anxiety talking???

Thank you both so much for being on my side. Its hard to explain to a professional that therapy is harmful for her.

And what if I did homeschool her? I am a college graduate. We are both intellectually curious. In January, she will be 17, and can go with her big sister to LARP - its this way of playing in costumes. Maybe homeschooling, the pressure of school off her back, gentle excursions into the world. Maybe that is best?

I could conceivably be fined, jailed, she could be taken from me? Thats what SARB can do.
 

KTMom91

Well-Known Member
I'm also in CA - double check the homeschooling requirements. I think you need to be under the supervision of a district to ensure the subject matter aligns with what is being taught in the schools.
 

ahhjeez

Active Member
I'm not sure if I can list links here or not, but I just googled free special education advocates in California and there is a list that the government has on their website of free or low cost attorneys and advocates.
 

PiscesMom

Active Member
I met with the home services people and they seemed nice and receptive. I liked the parent coach - she has a son w autism and has had bad experiences w professionals and family. Might be ok. I will ask her later about what do about the SARB thing, but I am going to keep gathering information.
Less anxious now!!!
 

susiestar

Roll With It
I am not sure what SARB is. I do know that it can be written into an IEP that her anxiety is interfering iwth attendance so she cannot attend. Here they are super strict with attendance. If you miss 10 days of school, you flunk. Period. Does not matter why you miss. Miss 11 day? Parents have to see a judge and the judges here are NOT nice. They think parents are wasting their time. My youngest often missed most of the school year. I remember when we realized he only missed 1/4 of the school year, we were so EXCITED and PROUD of him!! He missed because of his sensory issues. He would get so overwhelmed and just shake and shake like he was freezing cold. He would also be almost catatonic. If we sent him to school he would freak out the teachers and students. So it was written into his IEP that he would stay home on days he was overwhelmed. I think mostly the school secretary didn't report his absences. She knew what was going on and didn't think anyone really needed to do anything about it.

Many of the programs like the therapeutic riding etc,,,, have scholarships or sliding scales. Don't ever feel bad about asking for help with the fees. You are far from the only parent to need help. Some of the programs expect the parents to need help. I know here the autistic riding program has paired with the FFA some high school or college group. The group does fundraising so that the kids with autism don't have to pay much (if anything) to ride. The high school group also takes care of the horses and works with the therapist who runs the program. It is great for the group and benefits the kids too.

If a service dog would help, there are groups that help with the cost of that also. If a dog would not be allowed where you live normally, a service dog generally must be allowed. Service dogs can do amazing things for people with anxiety. They don't have to be large the way they do for blind people,either. Just having the dog there is a comfort, and the dog can be small. Generally they are well trained when you get them, which makes the process much easier.

This page will give you the legal options for homeschooling in California: Legal Options | California Homeschool Network . Given that your daughter is 17, you could also have her drop out and take the GED. She could then take the ACT and SAT and get into college. With decent scores, she won't have trouble getting into college if she chooses to attend. She can study at home fairly easily. I would insist that she keep learning things, even if they are not things that other people think are traditionally important. As long as she is learning and growing, that is good.
 

PiscesMom

Active Member
Thanks so much! I mean, there is an expensive therapy riding place in town, but you know...maybe there is other options. I can try googling, also a coworker mentioned she grew up on a ranch, maybe she'd know something?
She has her two bunnies - but yes, I have wondered about a service animal for her. One of her bunnies sleeps next to her pillow at night. :)
I also talked to a homeschool organization, and I can pull her anytime, and register as a "private school." My daughter wants to do what she is doing, so ok.
SARB is a path towards legal trouble, possible juvenile referrals, fines, even jail for me, remote but still. How mean! Especially since it is part of her disability. I run anxious too, and just knowing I can do this makes me feel better, more empowered.
Your son going 75% of the time is really an accomplishment!
I just feel so much better! Thanks for the link.
The homeschool person I talked to also wondered why the district didn't offer "home hospital" I think that is what its called? Where if you are going to be out an extended period of time, someone comes to the house and gives instruction.
But I know if need be, I can homeschool. I am college educated.
We talked about it, and then her and her sister wanted to go to the mall to get candy. I dropped them off and they're going to stay!!!!! (She's somewhere besides her bedroom!!) Maybe the idea of school attendance has been oppressive and making her even more reclusive? I don't know? I can figure all that out now, without fear.
 

PiscesMom

Active Member
She went with my older daughter to the mall - for two hours! I dropped them off, sat in the parking lot as usual, and she texted me "we will be awhile." I called my older daughter, and she said to go home, a friend would give them a ride home. She got back two hours later, with candy. My older daughter said she thinks she may have been out too long. When she got home, she said "don't talk to me at all tonight - I need to recover." (I said give me a hug first, then I will leave you alone)
That is how fragile she is.
 

PiscesMom

Active Member
I have been totally thinking about this - and you know, having a Special Education advocate or not - I am supposedly a member of the IEP team. I will challenge them. I will ask them who is on the "team" if need be. If they say I am on the team, I will say, OK, so what do I have to do to have my voice heard?
I won't sign ANYTHING until I am happy.
She has an IEP Tuesday.
Instead of home services (I did like the two ladies), can I ask for a parent mentor for me? Someone who has a child w autism? Who knows what it is like to go thru crap from professionals?

I keep forgetting I have power here. A lot of power. Probably from growing up how I did, I just think of them as parents to please, and not people that I can request things from.

And my therapist wasn't a lot of help, either, just push, push, push, all session about how I should have her try the risperdal. As if I am not pushed enough! Nothing about "what are your options?" or "are you making your voice heard?" I see her for anxiety. Usually we don't talk about my daughter. I said I am in an online group, and most say don't have her take risperdal. "How do you know those people are real?" Oh, I don't know, I guess you all could be an elaborate hoax??

Well, how about helping an anxious parent find their voice?

I can pull her out and homeschool, I can get more assertive at IEP meetings, I can even see how much an advocate costs. I am going to listen and ask questions, and think. I am not signing anything unless I feel good about it.
 

PiscesMom

Active Member
I am just going to ask for what I want at the IEP meeting. And I am going to point out a few of the ridiculous things that are going on.
I won't sign anything unless I am happy about it. Otherwise, I will say "let me think about that" and go home and ponder. And, of course, go here!
(Not that the district has been anything but nice, just that I have been too passive and fearful, just signing everything.)
 

ForeverSpring

Well-Known Member
Advocates are FREE. They are a service from the Dept. Of Education in your state. Call there and find out which advocate covers your area. Most advocates serve one area so theyare well aware of the personalities who run the various schools. Our Advocate changed everything and we never paid a dime.
 

PiscesMom

Active Member
I am going to take her out of school. We are going to do eTAP a really great online program, and we can sit on the sofa together and work.
Now she will have more "spoons" to work on her emotional health, and go places sometime with her sister and sister's friends.
Education and socialization, right there.

I really don't want anything at all from the district right now.

Thanks so much everybody for helping me thru this. I can't say that enough.
 
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