Not sure which way to turn! LONG, Sorry!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jungleland, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. Jungleland

    Jungleland Welcome to my jungle!

    Hi Family,

    Things had been going semi-smoothly with our Aly. husband found her an awesome day care provider who is a foster mom for special needs kiddos. "R" has been working with Aly on better communication with everyone especially adults. They had been helping to get Aly to think first then speak, which astounded me to no end, as well as made me very happy and proud of Aly. "R" took her to a huge shopping mall and she did end up having a melt down but was a small melt down than it would have been with us. "R" has kept Aly over night a few times to give husband a break or if he had to work late. Aly did great according to R.

    Now let's skip to the last 2 weeks. I have spent alot of time with her on and off, she has slept over a few times and me and J have stayed there a few times. Some of the time was good, even really good. But a large share of the time Aly has been very disrespectful to me and her dad and even inappropriate with J (4 yo sis).

    This past weekend started Thursday evening with me cooking dinner here at mine and J's home for husband and Aly. It went ok till she decided to act like a 2 yo and demand desert before dinner. It is awful having a HUGE 11yo acting younger than a toddler. Since her behavior was so horrid, no desert that night. Then we packed up and went to husband's to stay the rest of the weekend. Friday husband decided to leave her home with me, with a back up plan that I could call day care and take her there if Aly acted up.

    We did some errands, admittedly they were boring errands but had to be done that day. She held it together until she started yelling about lunch (at 10:30 am!) and screaming that she HAD to go to McDonald's. I kindly explained that first off, I don't have $ to throw away for a junk food lunch, but more importly, I will not tolerate an 11 yo screaming at me for ANY reason.

    That evening easy child 2, his fiance and her son came over for a BBQ. Aly was ok for about 10 minutes and then flipped out that "grandson" (4yo) was playing with HER toys. Oy Vey, these were toys in the play room that are NOT hers, they are for anyone to play with. She has her special toys in her room and we don't allow anyone in there but her. Aly started grabbing every toy away from the younger kids and then hitting them, calling it an accident, but husband and I saw it happen, NOT an accident.

    She was then not allowed to play with the littler kids until she could prove she could play kindly. By that time the little ones were afraid to play with her and it just got ugly. Son and his family had to leave and I was so sad and frustrated.

    Saturday, husband had to work again, but we came back to my house, thinking between my sister, her hubby and myself we could deal with Aly. She listens to my sis and her husband very well usually. She did ok for a few hours, we all played in the pool, had a nice, homemade lunch, swam some more, then had a quiet time watching a Disney movie. All the kiddos actually fell asleep for about an hour.

    When they woke up, we colored pictures and then did chalk art outside on the concrete patio. Then they wanted pictures taken of their artwork and all had a blast attempting to take pictures, it was a crack up.

    Aly did a complete about turn and "her evil twin" showed up. She back talked to her Auntie, gave the evil eye to her Uncle and ripped toys out of the little ones hands. Auntie took her into her room for some quiet time and Aly flipped out. She hit my sis, actually bruised her arm. She tore up her bedspread, threw shoes all over the place. Uncle walked in and she chucked a shoe at him. He is a BIG strong guy and was NOT going to take her crappola any more. He held her down to force her to quiet down and then hugged onto her in his big bear hug he has.

    After about another 15 minutes of a screaming rage, she fell asleep. brother in law held onto her for at least 30 minutes, till she woke up and started crying how sorry she was.

    In the middle of this whole thing I had called Crisis team. They said if I couldn't drive her in, call 911. If I could drive her in, bring her in for an evaluation. I made the stupid mistake of calling husband to see how close he was to coming home, a 45 minute drive from work to home. I said I was either going to take her in to Crisis or call 911. He said not to do either, he was on his way.

    Soooo, long story even longer, he showed up in about an hour and by then she was calm, lethargic and apologetic. Which, don't get me wrong, I was glad she was, but husband looked and acted exasperated that things were all calm and he only got 1/2 days work in. So, I told him to take Aly home and I wanted a few days break before seeing either of them.

    I talked with him last night, he took her to easy child 1's place 2 hours away, but very near a very good psychiatric hospital. He said he is STILL not willing to seriously look into Residential Treatment Center (RTC), but this is a 5'6", 130 lb 11 yo girl who can and has beat me up, as well as her aunt and tried to hit her uncle.

    I had an idea this morning that, if you got through all the drama above, I would love an opinion on. Aly's daycare provider who is awesome with preteen and teen problem children. She has all her fosters in great programs to help them control their anger and emotions and also takes them out in society on a regular basis to work on social skills. She is very involved in their schools and getting the right supports for them.

    I am thinking seriously of giving her a call and see if she'd be willing to take Aly into foster care for this coming school year. Maybe husband will agree to this as we could still have regular visits, etc.

    But, I am so worried he will flip out because of the last time we had her in a voluntary foster placement and it turning out badly with CPS making it a detained placement.

    Sorry this is so long. Just had to explain how it's been with me and husband and others in the last month or so. Does this sound like a good alternative instead of Residential Treatment Center (RTC)?

    Thanks so much, I appreciate any and all comments and suggestions.


  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I am so sorry Aly is having a difficult time.

    As I was reading this, I did think about suggesting that you talk to the foster mom who is working with Aly. You can ask her for advise on how you can better work with Aly. Then ask her for suggestion on services to tap into.

    Let her know that you have heard positive things about her work with Aly and wonder if she can take in Aly for the school year. If she can, let her know how husband is hesitant and why in placing Aly in any kind of treatment. I think since husband has already seen the foster mom's positive results with Aly and is comfortable with her there overnight, he may be more open to the foster care idea. And once you and the foster mom have a plan in place that can address the issues you know he will bring up, then present it to him. Give him some thinking time so he doesn't feel put on the spot.

    Even if it doesn't work for Aly to go into this foster home, at least she is still there for day care and I am sure the provider would be very open to a visit with you. The more people working on the same plan with Aly the better. What a strong resource you will have in the provider if the two of you can work well together. Talk to her about Aly's disrespect with you and your family. Maybe she can work on that also?

    Now, a small suggestion regarding the McDonald's incident. When my 11yr old boy difficult child starts getting out of hand, I am trying to look at the clock to see what time it is. It usually is mid to late morning or mid to late afternoon. So, I am trying to pull the focus off whatever he is making an issue and throwing it on his hunger level. "O.K., STOP! Wait a minute! You are getting ornery, is it because you are thirsty or hungry? You do not have to behave like this, just ask for something. It is not lunch/dinner time yet but we can get a drink and/or a snack. I only have $2.00, how about a juice and a cookie or ice cream cone?" or "We will be home soon. What would you like for a snack once we get home. Should I pour you a glass of chocolate milk?" This has helped us several times. It is addressing a need and letting him know that I am working on meeting that need. It is also letting him know the boundaries I have to work within (don't have much money or have to get this next errand done within 10 minutes or don't have any money)

    Have you ever talked to Aly about her rages? Ask how she feels before they come on. Can she herself predict them? Can she identify a feeling that she can tell whichever adult is near that she is starting to get angry? Does she have coping skills to control these? For example, when my difficult child feels his anxiety coming on, he has breathing exercises and imagery exercises (not sure that is correct term) to focus on to keep the anxiety from building and taking over. When things are super bad, he can also take paper and pen and sit in a quiet area to journal what he is feeling. If everyone knows Aly's coping skills, they can help her through them. The key is the skills are a set of suggestions and everyone uses the same set and Aly knows all the suggestions. Otherwise it gets confusing as each person says, try this, now try this. It really needs to be consistent. At 11 years she may be ready to want to work on this?

    I do feel that you are doing a good job. I hope you find more strategies that works for Aly.
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911


    HUGE HUGS - Gheeze - LOUISE.....

    It sounded good to us as Dude is 17, 5'11 and 180 lbs. We chose TFC as opposed to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). We felt at this point in his life that Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s if they had done any good? Would have helped, and of course we had several - and none did.

    I guess a measure of parenting to me has always held some type of fascination to the powers that be when we've placed Dude in these Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s and they have had staff of 8 or more at a ratio of 2:8....shift changes every 8 hours (in other words it IS a job not a life 24/7) for staff, a locked facility with no breakables, a schedule that despite our best efforts at home couldn't be mimiced, planned outings, HUGE progress reports on the walls that showed EVERYONE what level you are on, psychological help, therapy at least once a week, and psychologist that could tweak medications in a controlled environment with a child that COULD NOT be controlled in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) let alone MY home.

    I am still having the effects of fallout from Dude's actions. I had to undergo therapy as well, not only from my former marriage and that junk but from what Dude did to us. At least now I'm better about the warning signs and the keeping my mouth shut part when I wanted to scream "YOU UNGRATEFUL BRAT."

    So yeah it sounds like a great plan. Especially since her size IS a factor in this AND since husband continues to turn a blind eye at most intersections.

  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I see a couple of problems. The main one being that while you and husband and the foster mom may agree that this would be a good idea, if your DCFS is typical, they'll kibosh it and insist on placing Aly wherever they want, which is usually the last place you want. The other problem is that I imagine Aly is probably still honeymooning at the foster mom's place. Once she is there permanently, do you think she can really handle her? Having a child in daycare is a lot different than having a child be there fulltime.

    I wish you luck. I know how hard it is to find a good placement, especially when you're feeling you are in danger from your child but still want the best for your child.
  5. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Special needs kids and kids like Aly that have a rage as you describe are probably in two different boats. The foster mom may have a good handle on challenging children but it still isn't going to stop being beaten up by Aly. However if the foster mom is willing and husband feels like it may be a good plan then go for it.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    This foster mom sounds like a gem.

    But once Aly is in the system, you will lose control over here and it could get scary. You have no guarantee that this foster mom will be able to keep her.

    Can you work out an independent arrangement with-the foster mom, and keep Soc Svc out of it? I am not a gov't type of person.

    I'm glad you all were able to witness her turnaround from good to bad on several occasions, and Uncle was great to spend so much time with-her and save the day.
  7. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    What does husband want?
    Does he feel he can handle her 24/7?
    If so, I might limit your time with her for now to visits that are only with husband involved. If he is willing to take on this whole thing 24/7, and is able, then I would let him do it over a foster mom.

    Is Aly on any medications?
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Steely. I forgot to ask if Aly was on medications, too.
  9. Jungleland

    Jungleland Welcome to my jungle!

    Oops, sorry, thought that I put her medications in my signature! (updated with medications listed :)

    She is on Depakote 500mg, Trileptal 600mg, Abilify 20mg, Septra (for kidney issues) and Thyroid medication (for hypothyroidism). She is due to see psychiatrist this Friday, but husband is terrible at explaining how things are going "everything is going ok, no real bad issues... blah blah blah" I am trying to make arrangements so I can go this time as well. Aly has grown at least 4 inches and gained at least 30 lbs since last medication change, so I wonder if those need updating.

    I had been trying to do what Steely suggested and just let husband deal with Aly as much as possible. But it makes it extremely difficult when he shows up here 3-5 times a week with one excuse or another and Aly tags along. I have tried telling him I need TIME (to recover from my break down last month) as well as time to decide what the heck I want/need to do with my life. As of last month, husband was looking for a place near where he works so that he could continue with the same day care situation once school starts. In typical husband style, he hasn't done a thing about it yet and school starts in 3 weeks!

    I still am seriously considering divorce as a final choice. I want full custody of Jayme and he may have full custody of Aly. The only other thing I want is my car, PT Cruiser which I love! He may have everything else, I don't want any of it. I would eventually like to move into a newish apartment complex that is right across the street from the Elem school Jayme will go to. And, I am looking into becoming an Assistant School Nurse, at that same school, once Jaymes is in school.

    Anyways, thanks for listening to my brainstorming!

    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008