I'm venting and trying to sort things out-

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I feel overloaded- emotionally and mentally. I'm trying not to get into "victim" mode here but sometimes it seems like everyone and everything is a battle and no one is working on the same wavelength. So, I'm writing to help break down the issues in my own mind and try to address each one in the best way, given the amount of (or lack of) control I might have for each issue. Any suggestions are appreciated!!

    1) difficult child (and I) need a therapist. Ok, I have calls into 2 right now who were recommended to see if either are accpeting new patients and if I can get an appointment.

    2) School. Well, we're just not on the same page. The only accommodations they are willing to make are things I don't think will help. Yes, I'm willing to try them. But, difficult child has major memory issues right now and organizational problems. It could be a result of medications (2 mood stabilizers) but I'm not sure. The BIG thing I've tried to get them to do this school year (not in past or in the future- just right now) is to initial homework agenda and make sure difficult child has correct homework worksheets ready to bring home. He has a collaborative teacher (I don't know that she does anything other than monitor behavior) but she's not addressing this in any way. The regular teachers have done all but refuse to help in this area saying "they just don't have time and he should be able to do this, I'll never be able to get teachers to do this in high school so they shouldn't have to do it now, etc." It's written in the IEP to do it. I don't know what to do about this- I can't believe I have to get an attorney to get this done.

    3) difficult child is having melt-downs over homework and getting it back and forth to school. Now he says he doesn't even care any more. Well, isn't that just great. This stems from him telling me several times, and his psychiatrist, that he reads something then can't remember what he reads 2 minutes afterwards. psychiatrist says he's trying to decipher if it's medications, attitude, or a ADHD side coming out. After several months of this, difficult child is throwing his arms up and saying forget it. I don't know what to do about that- except for me to TRY REALLY HARD not to say "I give up, too". Of coourse, this helps a lot with trying to get sd on board (LOL) I need this mental health day for myself.

    4) psychiatrist has difficult child on 2 mood stabilizers as I mentioned. Now says maybe since moods are stabilized, there might be an ADHD side coming out and difficult child might need a stimulant added. Well, difficult child was never ADHD before and I'm really concerned that a stime would only need to be added to compensate for effects of mood stabilizers, then something else would need to be added to compensate for stimulant effects, and this could go on and on. Should I get a new psychiatrist on board? i'm hoping we can get a good therapist and maybe change to a psychiatrist in their office.

    5) difficult child turns 13 this Sat. A week or so ago he went out to play when he was supposed to stay home and help me do something first. So, he lost bicycle priveledges until he earns them back with 1 week of good behavior. And, I told him he better be on best behavior from then until birthday if he wanted to have a sleep over that night. Saturday, he has a rage and goes to friend's house. So, he lost sleep-over opportunity. My big concern here is that this has happened his last 3 birthdays. The exact same thing. Then he gets more and more uncontrollable, overly emotional- like a basket case- until he does something major. It last from holidays until spring break then he's a "normal" kid again. Is it inadequate medications? Is there anything I can do to break this pattern?

    I'll stop here, as I know this is already long enough and the other stuff is secondary to these worries.

    Thanks in advance for letting me vent- to anyone who reads this!!
  2. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    I would send a certified letter to the school noting that this is on his IEP and they are not honoring it. Plain and simple: it says you have to do it, you're not, therefore, you are in violation of his IEP and his education is being negatively effected. DONE!

    I'd question this ADHD bit too. I don't know much about medications, but if this is "sudden onset" I'd be curious to see where they came up with ADHD. Has he been tested for read/write disorders? Sometimes kids are so smart that they can absorb what's going on in class, yet as the work gets harder they then have to count on the written word to do the homework. These disorders can show up early or late depending on how involved the work is for the individuals. Just a thought!

    Has he ever been disappointed by friends on his birthday in the past? You know, one of those birthday's where you invite the entire class and only 1 or 2 show up, or no RSVP's, or even worse the kids accept and then don't show? Has he ever witnessed one of these happen with another kids? It could be that he's afraid of it happening to him. I'm also thinking that he's anxiety ridden over the birthday thing. Why don't you try a small group casual type of birthday. I'm thinking you contact the parents of 2 or 3 of his closest friends and block out some time and either go bowling, a movie, a make-your-own pizza and dvd party kind of thing. If it grows into a sleep over, fine. If not, no biggee either. 13's a rough age to begin with, add in self-doubt and you're toast!

    Keep up the great work! He's got someone who really loves him and that's the most important part!

  3. nat73

    nat73 New Member

    I'm afraid I can not offer any advice as I'm a newbie to all of these issues myself...well not really my son has had issues for a long time now but you know what I mean, right; I'm new to doctors, medications etc.

    I do wish you luck though ......ugh sometimes I think some docotrs, not all, but some just think medicine is the answer to all problems....I'm not so sure that mediciation is always needed but I'm certainly no doctor so take what I say with- a grain of salt...LOL .....my son has an appointment. today to talk about medicine. ugh

    Hugs and good luck to you........
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Absolutely mood stabilizers and other medications can cause cognitive problems. It is one of the reasons bipolar patients tend to have memory problems (or so we were told by a few doctors). And mood stabilizers are normally given to people with mood disorders. I don't know which mood stabilizers your child is on, but Depakote and Topomax are two that I know can cause serious cognitive dulling. Lithium can too. I imagine Lamictal and Tegretal also can--along with the antipsychotics such as Risperdal, Zyprexa, Geodon, Abilify, Seroquel. You may want to do a signature like I did to give us more info so we can make suggestions.
    Your son should have accommodations if he's on two heavy medications. in my humble opinion I wouldn't want to add another medication for another disorder. But that's me. I don't like too much medication. Even if he has ADHD, if it were me, I wouldn't medicate it. in my humble opinion though I'm guessing it's the medications. When my daughter took Depakote, she was "of age" and quit using it because "I can't think. It makes me stupid." She was going to school for Cosmetology and couldn't even understand the words on the pages of her book anymore.
    If you can't get accomodations, I would call the state's Dept. of Public Education and ask for the advocate for Special Needs Children to see what your options are. I found ours EXTREMELY helpful and they gave our school district a swift kick in the butt. Things got rolling after I called them. Good luck.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Nat, I was listening to a good talk show on Public Radio. Our country is THE ONLY ONE that refers to complimentary treatment as "alternative medicine" and we don't validate it AT ALL. Yes, in my opinion we medicate too much and for everything.
    And we are last, out of nineteen industrialized countries, in the state of our health.
    I'm glad my son is able to function off medications and I am very careful to only take the two medications prescribed for me. And I do use supplements.
  6. tammyjh

    tammyjh New Member

    I have no advice on the medications a we saw little to no improvements with medications for difficult child. The other ladies sound like they are much more educated in that area that I so I'll leave that to them.

    The IEP...yes, the school needs to stick to what they agreed to do..if they "can't", then maybe other accomodations need to be made. I found that the explanation of what the difficult children "should be able to do" from the teachers did not hold water because even though maybe they "should" be able to do certain thinks, it doesn't mean that they actually "can".

    Homework. I would make modifications to that and see if maybe difficult child could utilize a study hall with a teacher to help him get through some of it. That would mean not so much to have to do at home. He might also be able to do it easier while at school because its earlier in the day and by the time he gets home, he might be too tired to do it. We did that with my difficult child for a while but in the end, stopped homework altogether. Not long after that, we had her placed in Special Education. across the board because the demands of the normal classroom environment was just too much for her...she got lost in the shuffle and her grades plummetted. She's doing very well in spec. ed. and is a much happier young lady....so far. Thats not for everyone and their difficult child's and I wouldn't advocate just anyone putting their kids in spec. ed....its just what has worked out for us in our situation. I do advocate the homework in study hall with teacher help though. It could mean less frustration for both of you after school.

    As far as the Birthdays. Could it be that the anticipation of his birthday causes him to be overstimulated and just overall have a harder time to keep his behaivor under control?

    I hope you can get some of these issues resolved.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thank you, ladies (and gents, if reading). Sorry to put you through this, but am feeling the need to vent just a tad bit more.

    1) These collaborative teachers are completing a chart each day, each class fo difficult child where they check off whether or not he brought supplies to class, sat and listened, otherwise disrupted class, paid attention to teacher. These teachers are changing his grades from F's to D's so he won't have to take the year over. He used to have a B average and got NO education the last quarter of last year. They acknowledge he has no behavior problems this year and I have told them difficult child has expressed several times that he can't take being under this microscope. But, they can't take the time to help make sure homework assignments are documented as listed in IEP. I know you've offered suggestions, which I will follow through on- I just needed to complain some more about it!

    2) I have to go to a hearing next week because the judge can't just sign off on removing an order for MST services, which only addresses conduct disorder (behavior contract) but has to be involved in sd, home, any other therapy/psychiatrist, everything in difficult child's life. The judge had ordered this, but I have two letters from 2 different psychiatrists saying difficult child needs cognitive behavioral therapy instead of this. Finally, GAL backed me up on this, but judge just won't sign off without a hearing. Fine. So, I just got the return call from an attorney I'm hiring to be there with us. Why won't judge just sign off? Well, several people have told me she has a "particular" interest in difficult child. Why? Because my brother who had tried to get custody had made so many calls to convince people it was my parenting that I will be scrutinized for everything throughout this process, even though he didn't get custody and half the county has checked me out and decided I am doing everything possible. Well, my *^#[email protected]%^&( brother who says he loves difficult child so much (although if you don't have more feeling than this for your sibling, how can you love their child so much)- anyway, he has never had/raised a child, much less a difficult child, and if he wanted what is best for difficult child would someone not stop to think how many thousands of dollars I'm having to spend, not to mention the emotional turmoil for difficult child and myself, to live like this?

    Bro knows this means I won't be able to afford braces for difficult child now among other things. Really, I think he wants to make sure that our lives are miserable if he can't have custody of difficult child or take over this household. Have I mentioned how I feel about him??
  8. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Hey KLMNO,

    I don't have a lot to offer in the way of advice, but I want to lend a shoulder and send a hug. I've watched you struggle and lately seen you blossom, and it had been a delight. I like how you list your issues; it is certain to make working through them a lot easier. Sometimes seeing them in black and white makes them less, um, huge.

    Keep hanging in there.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    NVTS- I might have to do this with the school, unfortunately. After I "mentioned" that I'd spoken with a Special Education attny last summer, the principal has been very reasonable and easy to deal with when speaking with me. She put herself on the IEP tem this year and I was going to show her the MDE report (I told her I didn't want it put in difficult child's file because some staff/teacher might not handle it appropriately and the principal was fine with that). Anyway, her kid was sick on Friday so she wasn't there. I'm thinking I'll have a conference with her and air all this out- if it's not effective, I'll take further action.


    NVTS & MWM- I agree about the ADHD question and additional medications. I'm definitely not comfortable with anymore medications. We're actually trying to reduce a little. And, since I have this report from MDE that indicates there's a possibility that once a good therapy is in effect (assuming I can get a good one on board), we might be able to remove all medications, I'm sure not looking to increase them. It wouldn't have bothered me so much if psychiatrist had said a stimulant could be added to compensate for mood stabilizers, but saying, "Oh, looks like now there might be an ADHD side to difficult child coming out"- NO, this isn't something else in difficult child coming out. I just don't buy it. Yeah, and maybe, (although I tend to think difficult child got manic on his own, nut not sure) maybe prozac brought mania out in difficult child- well- then difficult child doesnn't need any more help bringing out his true characteristics!


    NVTS & tammyjh - I had never thought that difficult child might be sabatoging his birthday plans, but it could be- maybe unconsciously, especially. He's very childlike when it comes to spending time with friends- like a kid ho never gets to go swimming in a pool then when they do, you can't get them out. My difficult child finally has a GOOD friend this year, that so far I approve or. difficult child will not stay away from this boy's house. In the past year, I've had to have many conversatioons with difficult child about appropriate social behavior- like, when you make a new friend and get their phone number, don't call 3-4 times every night. You would think he'd never been around another kid before, but he has, so I'm not sure. He is at the age where peer acceptance is very important, but he really hasn't caught up to his peers emotionally or with security and self-confidence. Maybe instead of talking about birthday plans for days, I'll just play it by ear and if things are going ok, suggest his new best friend come over for a while on Sat. and eat and hang out a while. This boy seems to like difficult child as much as difficult child likes him.

    BBK & nat73- thank you! Emotional support goes a long way!!

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    I'm sure about everyone here understands that it can be a struggle sometimes to keep the line that separates holding difficult child responsible for what he does wrong in one place and not confuse that with blaming him for sd or family or whomever else making poor decisions. And, dealing with difficult child behavior one way and dealing with typical teen behavior another.

    For several days, one of my eyes has had tears dripping out of it and the other has not. I don't have an eye infection, it's not red, doesn't bother me. Just makes me think this is my body telling me that half of me is rhino and half of me wants a safe place to cry for a little while!

    It will be ok!


  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sorry things are so rough with your bro and the school district and the judge. I agree with BBK, the way you list the issues certainly makes it easier to handle them and helps them seem less huge.

    Can you sue your bro for attorney fees? Seems like I would want to. Do you know WHY he wants your son so badly? It seems very odd to me. What does he want to do with your son is what I would be asking myself, him and the judge. I am sorry you have to cope with it though.

    I really think it is time to call the State Special Education Dept about the school and teachers. It really seems as though the principal is just trying to pacify you, with being nice and then missing meetings so she doesn't have to deal with anything.

    ADHD side coming out??? Did he have any signs of this before? Has he had a sleep deprived EEG ever? Since he was on the medications? Some forms of seizures can do this, as we found out. Also, I think sensory issues or learning disabilities related to the medications may be at work. We had to look into sensory issues with my oldest on certain medications - they would make him irritated or antsy with various textures, noise, etc...

    Sending big ole hugs and a fresh box of ultra soft Puffs for your poor eye. Also sending hugs to difficult child, has to be really hard on him.

  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hi, Susie! My bro wanted custody for several reasons- he's a half-bro and we weren't really raised together- our dad died when we were very young kids. My bro is (was) the only one who could carry on the family name, but, he's gay and been with a SO male for many, many years. He'll never have a kid of his own and lives in a state where they cannot adopt. He has his own issues and they somehow partly come out with wanting me out of the picture- it's always been this way. Apparently, he thought because difficult child was in trouble with the law, he had an opportunity. (His SO used to work for social services so they know enough to stir up trouble.) Anyway, he apparently also thought that because difficult child had reached 12 yo, he could choose where he wanted to live and thought difficult child would choose him. Well, difficult child was (and is) facing long-term juvy- they aren't going to send him out of state to a relative when they've confirmed that I'm a decent parent. And, the kid's choice of where to live pertains to 2 fit parents- not a 1/2 uncle, so that didn't turn out for him. And, difficult child finally told him he'd rather live in a foster home than with him.


    I can't do anything for repercussion unless he starts the phone calls again to sd, GAL, social services, etc., then I can, and will, file charges for harrassment and deflamation of character.


    You and the others are probably right about the school. I was hoping he could get through- he's half-way through middle school. But, it seems like they did just try to pacify the first half of the year, and things are being "prepped" now. I know that's why they are logging difficult child's behavior- but it hasn't shown what they thought it would.


    ADHD: yes, nueropsych testing and recent MDE testing was borderline (actually non-conclusive), which isn't eneough reason for stims to me. neuropsychologist also revealed some kind of language and memory impairments. With a questionable Bipolar (mood-disorder) diagnosis, I tend to see the ADHD as secondary. And, the psychiatrist and I agree that the "impairments" that showed up on the neuropsychologist may be (probably are) intermittent. For instance, he had no grade issues last year- he had a B average that started slipping toward a C when he started his typical "unstable" period in the winter. Now, there definitely could be more to it that will come out more and more as he progresses in school, but until we get moods and resulting memory issues under control as much as possible, we don't think we'll be able to tell. Yes, he had a sleep-deprived EEg- came back normal. I still wonder if an MRI or something else might reveal anything that hasn't been considered yet.


    Thanks for the PUFFS! Thanks for sending hugs to difficult child, too. You know, he has his moments- good and bad! He's doing homework right now! YIPEE!