Magic wand ideas

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Wiped Out, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We had a transition meeting today for the program difficult child has been in for two years (it's only suppose to be 18 months). They extended it for 3 months. The person who is working with us right now (our other one quit) is really good. She really wants us to use this time well to get in place some things for difficult child.

    She asked husband and I to talk tonight and come up with ideas for what we'd like for difficult child. She said pretend we had a magic wand and could ask for anything. She said that then she could tell us what was impossible and what we might be able to do.

    husband and I talked about it tonight and came up with the following:

    *Social skill groups.
    *Academic help
    *Respite services

    What else would you add to our list? I feel like I should have a ton more on our list!
  2. stressedout

    stressedout Guest

    What about support services for you and husband? in my humble opinion, we need some support as well as our difficult child's.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well here are my ideas:

    1) Problem solving without aggression (strong #1)

    2) Academic siills

    3) Social siills
  4. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Sharon, in my humble opinion you need another body, as often as possible (think the PCAs that Linda had with- kt). I'm talking 4 hrs/day, 5 days/week. Since you can ask for anything, I think you really need to go for it. You and husband spend *so* much time running interference with- difficult child... I would definitely waive that wand and get someone in there, trained to work with- difficult children, to help take some of the pressure off of you guys. At one point, thank you was supposed to be getting "respite". Down here it was more of a mentoring thing, several days a week with a trained person who could come and take thank you out to ... wherever - library, local putt-putt golf, local rec. center, etc.

    I think recreational opportunities would be really good for difficult child too - 1:1 kind of stuff. Down here we have a kind of cooperative group of county/village recreational programs that have come together to provide recreational programs for special needs populations. When thank you had the grant, I would occasionally attend the parent meetings every other month. The group had gotten a recreational program to come in and provide programming for difficult children during the meeting. If there is any type of special needs rec. groups up there, I think it would be really good for difficult child.

    Basically, I would expand on the social skills group idea. I never did see a decent "social skills" program with- thank you. It was all kind of nebulous and once thank you was in self-contained, it was also pretty self-defeating - how you can work on appropriate social skills when you are only working with- difficult children? I think opportunities to interact in the community, *not* in the school setting (swimming classes, rec classes, art classes, boy scouts, go wild with ideas) have a better chance of success and actual implementation.

    Again thinking of Linda's services, I think an Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) worker would be good too. difficult child is 12 - I cannot begin to tell you how quickly these next few years are going to fly by. Having someone besides you work with- him on public transportation (if you have it), basic shopping skills (making change, ordering at a fast food joint, buying the right size of shoes).... just getting him out there in the world without you and husband. I think it might be a tremendous opportunity for him to start learning those life skills that some of our difficult children struggle so with, as well as giving him the opportunity at least to start doing some functional things and having success. How 'bout a cooking class? What kind of programs does the Y offer? If you could get a body to accompany him to those types of activities, that would be wonderful.

    What is difficult child interested in? Are there therapeutic horseback riding programs up there? Is he into animals? What about volunteering somewhere - Humane Society, nursing home, whatever. I know that may seem like a stretch... but you have that wand, right? :D

    I guess I would probably go for options that would provide difficult child with maximal time outside the home because I think our kids sometimes get so ... buried, underneath the school and the therapy and the psychiatrists and the parents. Not that those aren't necessary, but I think our kids end up really isolated and don't even get a chance to see the bigger picture of the life that awaits them. And none of those settings ever gave thank you the opportunity to succeed, really. I think he's just now starting to see that there are possibilities, that he can make of it what he will. All of the people involved in his life up to this point *telling* him that didn't make an impact. I think by being on his own (as hairy as it's been) is what has finally opened his eyes (maybe, LOL).

    I hope that makes sense. I'd look way outside the box to find activities that would give difficult child the opportunity to have a positive experience, be independent (from teachers/parents/doctors at least), and give him a wider view of the world.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2010
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I think SLSH has some great suggestions.

    We actually did have pretty good social skills services through the school speech therapist. Although part of me wonders if the improvements we saw were more due to medications being figured out so that difficult child 2 could actually access that part of his brain better. I'm sure that had some impact on it.

    But go for the brass ring, baby. Better to ask for the moon than not.
  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I agree with Sue, you need someone in the home.

    I have Children Services coming out Friday (for Family in Need of Services) and they already talked about having in home therapy. I'll know more then. My point is, my child isn't as volatile as yours and I think it's really important for you to have someone working in the home.

    Beyond the transportation and shopping issues, does difficult child need help with other independent living skills, such as doing laundry, personal hygiene, etc? If so, I would ask for that, as well.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yes, Sue does have some great ideas. My son's therapeutic mentor is doing many of those things with him- that might be an option to asik for if you can't get a more all-inclusive service. The time difficult child is out doing these things offers me a little respite, too.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I agree that you need to push for as many hours with an extra person in the house as possible. You need to push for someone to do in-home therapy, pca (if that is personal care assistant) to help with hygeine, getting chores done (like room cleaning, picking up after himself, etc...), then an Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) (independent living skills?) person to help with doing age appropriate things and using age appropriate behaviors.

    Is it possible to get someone to be with him on weekends while he plays a sport or goes to a club or does something with other kids? Sort of a job coach but for social skills? This person would be a mentor also, ideally. Someone difficult child could think is cool and fun that could get ideas like manners through to difficult child. In the first half of 5th grade Wiz' class had 3 kids, 1 teacher and 2 full time aides. One of the aides was a very tall young man, just a year out of college. He worked with the 3 boys and also did things like play playstation, toss a ball around, and generally give "guy" opinions. It was just AMAZING! When he saw Jess flinch from Wiz once, the aid (W) started working with all 3 boys on not hitting girls esp, being gentle and loving to sisters and cousins, etc... It was pretty effective. Those kids would do almost anything they could so as not to have any of the teachers in that room disappointed in them. Even eat vegetables!

    Someone like W but in your home to really see what difficult child needs and provide it would be great. Not sure how you ask for that.

    I would also ask for assistance putting technology into place to monitor difficult child - window alarms, door alarms, locks to keep him out of things, software for the computer to monitor his usage and control it as much as is needed, adaptive programs to help him with executive function problems and other things that can be helped on the computer. There may be grants or programs to help provide technology to families of mentally ill or learning disabled kids. Cannot hurt to ask.

    Push for appts with a therapist at least 2x/week and psychiatrist however often you think it is needed.

    Also pay attention to his sensory needs and include anything that might help those. Look through "The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun" to get ideas that might help him and the tools/equipment/supplies you need to help him. I did find that when Wiz' sensory needs were met he was less aggressive. It also works for Jess and thank you, ESP thank you.

    Think about the rest of the family too. Will having an extra person around give you more time to spend with easy child 1:1? How about someone to help her learn that egging him on or deliberately making him angry is not OK, not any more than it would be if difficult child did that to her? Some therapy to help her deal with the realities of living with a difficult child in the family and her emotions about it. You have probably done this already, but stepping that up probably is a good idea while difficult child is in and out of the psychiatric hospital right now.

    What are the big things that difficult child blows up about, esp regarding easy child? Is it wanting to watch a show at the same time she is watching something? Wanting to use a ball, game, toy, etc... at the same time she is? If you don't have a second tv so that they can watch in different areas, how about putting that in your wish list?

    My mom has always told me "physical solutions for physical problems" and it helps. When there was a nightly war about who used the Barney plate for dinner we stopped playing referee and stopped fussing at the kids. We got a second plate. We also worked on taking turns, but dinner time was not the time. Not at dinnertime when we were all tired and hungry. Is there any source of friction or frequent difficult child problem that can be helped with a physical solution? Put these items in your wish list.

    I hope this helps.
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    OMG!:) I love you all (well-I already did). What fantastic ideas!!!!!!!!!! I'll update you on my conversation with the caseworker tonight!
  10. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sharon, we are truly blessed to have such wise warrior moms lend us their support, ideas, and advice. Their list is awesome! Positive thoughts that the program will work with your family to provide the services difficult child so greatly needs.

  11. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I had a really good conversation with the case manager for our services. She told me she felt she owed me an apology that they didn't realize sooner just how needy difficult child was (I'm sure that is thanks to our old case manager-he really wasn't a very together case manager-he meant well though).

    Anywhoo, she has called the day treatment program and is going to help us to arrange an interview even though there is a waiting list. Apparently he does sometimes take on need (my hope is that he could get in during the fall-he would go to school half days and then day treatment in the afternoon). In addition, she gave me a number to call today (which I did do) for a program that does individual therapy (he current place only works with children up until 13) along with social skills groups. She also wants to find someone to do some independent living skills with him (thanks for that idea Slsh:)).

    She is still working on other things as well. I'm still feeling very wiped out and exhausted but feeling a bit more hopeful. Again thank all of you so much. Sharon is right-we are truly blessed to have such wise warrior moms. I am so thankful for you all.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am glad the new case manager realizes how much help difficult child needs, the whole family needs.

    I am so glad you got so many suggestions and that the CM is working on them!! This is awesome and hopefully will be what difficult child and the whole family needs!
  13. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Thank God! someone can see a need.
    I'm coming in too late here but as usual, : ) I will share my .02
    I'm with slsh in that I never saw a social skills "hour"/class help in any obvious way other than paid play group. in my humble opinion
    difficult child's like ours need social skills immersion in everyday life and class. This would probably require a full time aide trained to
    do social skills support, intervention and redirection.

    Full time immersion is academic support- again full time assistant with strong skills in educating a special needs child with emotional
    issues and tendency to act out violently---A male preferably

    Special needs recreational support- every day for an hour or more. A time to engage socially, physically and mentally. Alternating board games(chess) with physical sports.

    Respite every other weekend.

    Aide at home and on weekends to redirect aggressive behavior, aggitation and verbal lashing out.

    On top of this a very structured schedule that is kept to 100% until difficult child has gained his stability once more.

    Emergency assistance when difficult child is out of control. (preferably not police since parents are shy about calling them on their
    younger children)

    Psychological support for easy child/difficult child as well as both parents.
    Intruction with parents on how to cope and process living and raising a child that creates dysfunction, anger, sadness and violence in a family that is

    So how's that for a magic wand? LOL.
    It's probably never going to happen but it's what I think they need until they are stable. I seriously believe that at this point, it is more important for the above than any sort of love, parenting and
    compassion any parent gives an emotionally unstable teen. They simply don't hear it or process it. Once they are on stable ground they are more inclined to hear what you say and understand some of the consequences to their actions.