Let me Pick Your Brains About This...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I know we don't usually tell each other what to do, but I'd really like to hear thoughts and opinions on this one...

    As you know, we've been "disappointed" in the results of our meetings with state people and county MH people in regards to treatment for difficult child.

    After consider whether or not we were in a position to fight, I realized that all the documentation assembled by the County MH agency has been designed to hide any issues more serious than defiance and trouble in school. Any documentation that I brought to doctor's attention over the past several years never quite made it into the "official record"...and/or was destroyed.

    So any battle from us is going to be uphill...

    AND...difficult child is about to turn 16...

    so time is not on our side.

    Meanwhile, County MH has referred us to a program that will send a behavior person out to the house 2 or 3 times per week to teach husband and I some new "parenting skills" and techniques in order to get difficult child's behaviors under control. (aka - try new behavior chart).

    To be honest?

    I just want to throw it the towel. I'm sick and tired of dragging difficult child to County MH for therapy, only to have her refuse to do whatever it is the therapist is requesting of her. It seems that in the three years we have been seeking treatment there, no progress has been made.

    Because we have Medicaid for difficult child - County MH is our only treatment option. We have already tried multiple tdocs and psychiatrists at their facility. So switching to a new therapist does not look to make much difference.

    And I'd like to tell County MH to take their "behavioral" cr*p and SHOVE IT!

    And I'd like to take my attention OFF of difficult child for a while. She don't care? Why should I?

    And if she gets herself into trouble with the law or fails school or something - she can face those consequences. I will continue to try and protect this family and if I have to be the one to call the police? I will...


    husband - who will not be the one dealing with the behavior person or the behavior plan or the behavior charts - thinks that we should continue with treatment and try this new behavior thing because we need to try EVERYTHING to help difficult child...leave no stone un-turned.

    What are your thoughts?

    What do you think you would do and why?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well...I've already raised four kids to sixteen. My opinion only, and I may be wrong, is that if she isn't into the therapy NOTHING will work. You can try it (fill in the blanks as to what "it" is), but if she's not going to cooperate, no therapy can help her. My daughter was immune to therapy. She didn't stop using drugs (which was her main problem) until she made up her mind to stop because SHE thought they were harming her. No therapist helped her. She did use a few against us because some gave some strange advice such as "You need to trust her." Oh, sure. She stole and lied constantly, but we should trust her.

    I can't imagine what any kind of rewards chart would do for a child that age. Anything we put into place was met with "I don't care. I don't need it." It was a huge stress for us...not sure it helped her. At that age in my opinion only kids will only change if they decide it's best to do so. And my daughter thought the therapists were "idiots" and played them well, but didn't listen to them. So for us it was best not to force her to go since it didn't help one bit.

    You need to decide based on your individual child. Some things that have worked for us won't work for your child. It is hard for us to tell you what to do. However, my opinion is, if she is like my daughter, she will decide for herself when/if she wants to get help and cooperate or to change and she obviously isn't there yet. Therapy, with a good therapist, is only as good as the consumer who is willing to help himself/herself. Many huggggggz and good luck.
  3. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I am with your husband on this one with the no stone unturned-you never know when you will come across one person who can actually help. You know behavior charts are not going to do squat (been there done that). Can so relate to want to throw in the towel but you just can't. School always seemed like an effort in futility with my difficult child - he hated it. Went from regular school, to alternative school, to Independent Study where he would turn his work in two days a week and I sat there, in one of those tiny desks cause he was too freaked out to go in himself, to the school sending in tutors, to him going to a theraputic day school (they would transport but I had to take him because he wasn't getting picked up in that yellow tard bus) My mission was to shove as much education as I could into his head, the schools mission was to fight me every step of the way. From 9th grade onward, this was my life (and you can count incarceration school quite a few times) And, he quit at 18. My job was over, and I thought I had lost the fight. But a year later, he went for his GED (maybe mon WAS right about needing that) and aced it - turned out he did absorb something.

    And when the justice system got involved, omg, another nightmare because mental health issues are not recognized. More battles to fight on someones behalf that you don't even have custody over now. Constantly going back to court getting orders for medication that was given to him on a half @@@'d basis. Dealing with the gammit of PO's that were either totally useless or "got it" that they were dealing with someone who was at times out in left field. All of my fighting did get him into a Residential Treatment Center (RTC), but because it was thru the justice system, was punitive based. Had PO's who were a now show for 5 months, then got one who didn't believe in mental health issues, made up things that happened so she could get him transferred to a boot camp facility for 6 months to "teach" him impulse control. It was a brutal place, and of course, no medications. Inept public defenders, I could go on and on what you have to deal with once they are in the system. Really, if you think the fight is rough now, you have no idea.

    At 18 I wished mine Happy Birthday and he was now on his own - my fight for him was over for the most part. He went and got himself arrested a few times, and the lightbulb finally went on that it just wasn't worth it doing crazy stuff and ending up in jail.

    I would write a letter to the MH supervisior, over and above the people you have to deal with, outlining the problems they have ignored and hid and put them on notice if the stuff hits the proverbal fan, they will be held accountable. I would also send a copy to your local state representative asking for help. Let them send in the behavior/parenting crew - chances are she will not be able to hold it together after the first visit, and it will dawn on them that your difficult child needs more than what they are offering.

    Good luck DF - it a long hard road but will be worth it. Looking back, the only thing I would change is getting intervention earlier than I did had I known what I was dealing with.

  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    I say let 'em try.

    A few years back, the court ordered husband and BM to take a parenting class. Well, wouldn't you know, she didn't. husband did. And, bonus - I went with him. I told him - point blank - if we have to pay for an extra person, we will. (It was covered by Childrens Services.)

    I didn't get much out of it. I learned the behavior charts, and you're supposed to reason with children beginning at age 3 as long as it's not a safety issue (AHEM!!!). And choices within limits. Well, we all know the charts and reasoning do NOT help with a difficult child. And the choices? They work intermittently. (Give a difficult child two choices, they'll take the 27th, the one that you didn't even consider.) But let me tell you something else. We saw the reports, as they were submitted to the court. The teacher said husband and I were really trying to "get it", that BM didn't finish the classes, and that therein lay the problem.

    So let them try. But make sure they observe you trying their methods, and difficult child blowing you off. And document the holy living koi out of the whole mess!

    ...And... {{{{{HUGS}}}}}
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I gave up on the therapy thing years before Miss KT turned 16. It wasn't working. She was not invested in making any changes, and I was tired. She continued to see her regular doctor, continued on her medications, and stay in school - things that were non-negotiable - and I continued to insist on civilized behavior, making the consequences for uncivilized behavior as painful and as logical as possible.

    The constant stress of her antics was literally killing me. I have chronic health problems now that I believe I would not be dealing with had I not been living in an "armed camp" for so long. Things are better, but not perfect, now, and she is beginning to see that my being such a hardnose in dealing with her was a good thing overall, though she HATED me for it then.
  6. SgtReese

    SgtReese New Member

    Although our situation isn't very similar to yours, I will tell you what happened in our experience. difficult child was leaving acute care after an involuntary commitment. The doctor there recommended residential, but we didn't have Medicaid and couldn't afford PRT on our own. Next best thing--in-home treatment. Our case mgr sent a Multi-Systemic Therapist (behavioral specialist) out. I was upset, as I didn't see the point in engaging another therapist (his third in 3 years). Moreover, I resented the implication that we needed parenting instruction. But, I took a cautiously hopeful approach and was determined to not come off as adversarial.
    Good things began to happen. First, the MST gave us very positive feedback on what we had been doing as parents. He also gave us a few new "tactics" that, while no panacea, have proved to be helpful. Next, he spent a couple of hours with the kid and agreed that his problems weren't behavioral but psychiatric, exacerbated by substance abuse. He hooked us up with the county contractor for Intensive In-home. This involves a team of people who come every week (one a day, four days a week). The MST guy also recommended a local neuropsychologist that changed his medications. So, right now, we are doing Intensive In-home, keeping our medication schedule faithfully and hoping for the best. So, I guess the bottom line is, let the new therapist give it a shot and enlist him/her in your cause. Most of these people are very dedicated and caring and really want the best for the kids that they serve.
    I hope this helps. All the best to you and yours.
  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think, being an optimist, that "never say never" would apply for me. Not leaving any stone unturned while I still could make a difference - or that one right person could enter difficult child's life......

  8. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    My situation is not as severe as yours. I have a 16 year old difficult child whose basic MO is self-sabotage in school, refusal to do HW coupled with extreme intelligence and a refusal to be in any other than AP or honors classes (except in English). This year, I finally detached. H now has to deal with the teachers and the school when they try to drop him down in to regular classes. He'd only fail those classes because he'd be bored. I still cry at night. He will probably be a National Merit Commended student who will only be able to get in to a community college (maybe).

    We tried therapy for years but even as an 8 year old, he refused to buy in to it. If a therapist didn't play chess, he wouldn't talk to them. If he beat them at chess, they were too "dumb to talk to." If they beat him, he'd talk to them - he would sit down and say "So, Dr. X, how was YOUR week?" We finally gave up on therapy.

    I know it's not the same but the heartbreak of a child deliberately ruining their life is the same regardless of the cause.
  9. Two thoughts: First, it's part of the game you have to play to ultimately get what you want and second, they might actually have something useful for you in their bag of tricks. Even a blind hog finds an acorn once in a while.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Try it- you might as well- but like all of these things, in my humble opinion, it's going to depend a lot on the therapist they send. In our case, we got a MST guy who was heading for a behavioral contract where I'd cook what difficult child wanted for dinner more often if difficult child would mind people better and quit breaking the law. Give me a break. I figured I tried and it was just very short-lived because at that point, I told him I was sorry but I could never buy into that and it wasn't sending my son the messages I was trying to teach him and I had a MDE done and the recommended therapy was entirely different than MST.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would say let them try because soon enough you will run out of time. My breaking point came at 17 and a half. I just gave up. I had done every single service in the state and he was just who he was. I had worked harder than he had and I waved the white flag.

    I did the in home. FOR YEARS...lol. Honestly now, I wish there had been something like Supernanny on steroids for parents like us. No one ever actually explained like she does the ins and out, the how to's of discipline really. When she tells a parent to do a time out...she doesnt just say...time out...she gives steps. I didnt do them correctly. Maybe that is the problem. Maybe what I "heard" from the therapists with the charts and what they meant were two different things...ya know?

    So maybe in home can be a useful thing where they see and you can actually learn what they mean by x or y. Just like the written word is hard to actually understand sometimes, sometimes we all dont mean the same things when we say it. Just like if I say Im gonna bust your butt. some is gonna think I mean I am really going to beat the living daylights out of someone when that isnt what I mean at all.
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Good points, DJ, but don't blame yourself- there's a big difference between supernanny coming into a home where there's a yuong child and she can really see how the family is managing (or not) and coming into a home where there's a tween or teen who is never going to behave the same with supernanny there as he/she does when it's oonly mom at home. That factor played a lot into therapy failing for difficult child. Plus, we seemed to get the youngest most inexperienced tdocs. I think that was because I worked full time and needed late hours and those with experience under their belt and who were good just didn't need to work late hours.
  13. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    This is tough because the assumption is that your child is behaving the way she does because of you and your husband. There is just that disregard in the system for the fact that some kids are prewired, menatlly ill, or otherwise impaired. Its hard enough being the parent of these kids without taking the hits from every part of the system. In the end, I do go with "leave no stone unturned".

    I have 25 years as a teacher,15 of that as a special educator working with emotionally disturbed or behavior disorder kids. I have Love and Logic training,(many others as well) and taught a parenting class for 10 years for a local rehab. place. Yet I have a daughter I cannot control. She is mine biologically as well. I can honestly say I have been the best parent I could be and my husband as well. Strict,yes, unbending, no. Perfect, not- but I did my best. And yes, I have had green nosed therapists with no children give me "Super Nanny" advise for my hard-core 16 year old. Contracts and charts- please!

    But... I have learned something from them all and I love my daughter and want her to get better (functional). Hoop jumping has paid off for us. We spent a ton of money on a Residential Treatment Facility (RTF), one of the toughest and best here (our state is known for good programs), and she came out worse than ever, armed for bear. We are out of money and were at the mercy of the state. We have had to give temporary custody to the state in order to access the best treatment for her. Now... she has not committed to work the program and may never, but I am going to committ and do what ever they ask of me (including endless paperwork, and mindless meetings and classes).

    in my humble opinion-This stinks and is hard, and I am sure you are exhausted, but I would give it a try. If it fails it may be your ticket to the real help you need. Maybe you will gain access to an Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) or day treatment program?? By the way, when your child shows her real colors to the in home people-and she will-the "missing" paper work wont be needed.
    Good luck and hugs, you are not alone.
  14. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Thank you so much for the replies and your thoughts on this!

    It's given me a lot to think about and a few different ways to look at the situation - which is exactly what I needed!
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    K...for me, I was actually wishing that someone could have come in when he was young. When he was more adaptable. I know that after watching all these shows I do know how to do better time outs with Keyana and I can actually see things that I should have done better with my kids.