Opinions please!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Robinboots, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    Son came home from his appointment with counselor tonight and handed me a copy of the "confidential" recommendation that the counselor filled out for son to go to the Academy.

    It's a great one to get him admitted....and I'd think that except for two things:

    At the bottom, the counselor handwrote that he thought DS would benefit from a boarding school(s) on the East coast, and he named them - said a military environment would not be best.

    And he used, up above, the reasoning that DS had a difficult home life and would benefit from a healthier environment.

  2. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    A few questions...

    Does your son have a diagnosis (diagnosis)?
    How long has he been seeing this therapist?
    What kind of boarding schools did he list? Were they schools where there would be therapeutic interventions in place?
    Did he say why he didn't think a military environment was the best fit?
    What is he basing his comments about his home life on? Have you met with him or is this based solely on what your son says?
  3. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    diagnosis was depression, no medications recommended.
    Has seen him 4 times, starting early Dec.
    Top-notch, very expensive regular boarding schools.
    Basing everything on what son tells/told him. It's also possible he spoke with my mother (see other posts!) who lives two states away and ALSO believes everything son says.
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Does your son need this recommendation from the therapist for admission to military school?

    Why do you think military school is better than a therapeutic boarding school?
  5. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    Yes, and it was sent last week before his admission. I think he needs it because 1) the counselor has not found anything wrong - and I mean, he checked NO ODD, NO conduct disorder, NO physical violence - nada. Sheesh, WHY does he think we called the police FOUR TIMES?????

    Now, it's a great rec. for admission but is very untruthful - much like my son.

    Oh, and military because I believe he needs the structure and discipline and will take it better from them than he does from us - less emotion, everyone has exactly the same rules and consequences.

    Just FYI, this is NOT bootcamp! It's listed as an "examplary" school, high-class boarding school with a military background and has been in existence since the 1880s. It's considered a an honors unit as regards military academy appointments (West Point, etc.).
  6. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    If his diagnosis is depression and no medications recommended what kind of therapy is he doing? CBT is the gold-standard for treating depression (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). Is therapist employing this or any other specific method you're aware of?

    As far as the others....

    No way would I be sending my son diagnosis'd with depression and with obvious behavioral issues across country to a board school without therapeutic interventions. Chances are you'd be asked to come get him fairly quickly, too.

    If he's basing all of these assumptions on 4 visits and without talking to you, I'd be running away from him and finding a new therapist ASAP. Good tdocs are worth their weight in gold. Bad tdocs can be harmful.

    Actually, I'd probably call him and ask him point blank what he's basing these assumptions on. Anyone that has ever talked to a teenager - let alone trained to work with them - should know that you can't always take things at face value. Especially with one diagnosis'd with depression. It completely changes the way the brain processes.

    by the way, a good therapist would not be interested in just sending a child away to a 'healthier environment'. If it were truly a bad environment, they'd be calling CPS. If there were just some family issues that need to be worked on, he'd be addressing that.

    Run. That's my opinion.
  7. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    Oh, I have run already. Son leaves tomorrow, and the school is just two hours away. They have met him, and half the kids there have stories of problems just like him. Of course he has some depression, he would have to just trying to keep all the lies straight. But if dep. only manifests by approx. weekly threatening outbursts, then yes he has it; he also eats and sleeps normally, interacts with others frequently and normally, has the same interests as always, etc.
  8. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Sorry, but I have to agree with Heather. A depressed teen and military school aren't a good mix.

    by the way, ODD and CD are generally not stand-alone dxes but rather symptoms of an underlying condition (like depression). When the underlying condition is identified and treated, the ODD/CD behaviors typically subside.
  9. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    When my son was depressed, he had violent outbursts. Though, much more often than once a week. He also either slept all the time or very little, didn't want to hang with his friends, didn't talk at school (my kid is never quiet ;) ), etc, etc, etc.

    Have you talked to an attorney about your mother? Maybe there is something legally you can do to keep her away from your son. Interfering with parental rights or relationship or something. Maybe just having an attorney send her a cease and desist letter. I dunno. Reaching, probably.

    He's using her to get the sympathy he wants as well as to get back at you and she's buying it hook, line and sinker.
  10. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    No one involved (cops, parents, family - won't go there, DFS, in-home therapist, or counselor) believe that he has much if any depression and certainly not clinical. No one believes that he needs medications - some of what he does is normal teen stuff, some is not. Anger management was also suggested (by DFS).

    It kinda reminds me of when I was 20 and I went in for a mono test - the doctor said it was negative (symptom being that I was tired and mono was going around) and he asked if I was depressed. I said, sure, everyone gets "down" sometimes and I seem tired alot; he gave me strong scrip antidepressants and sent me on the way. Didn't tell me it would kill my appetite and make me thirsty - drink of choice was Pepsi at the time, I was downing 3 2-liter bottles a day with the medications. I started having panic and anxiety and still do.....clinical, not just nervous-sometimes.

    There's a huge difference.
  11. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I don't know, smallworld.

    I think military school might work and it might not. Who knows. I would be concerned about sending him if he were suicidal or self-harming, but I haven't heard anything about that. I think, though, if you send a kid acting out like this boy to a traditional boarding school with no therapeutic interventions then you're asking for trouble.
  12. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    Yes and yes!

    So are a few other people, like his counselor. I guess the guy is slipping or something. He hasn't asked me one time about any of the incidents or what my son has been up to or his habits or anything.

    As far as my mom goes, on the one hand I hate to interfere with their relationship, but I also have drawn a line of nothing further to do with her in MY life. Haven't worked out the details on the kids yet. I'd really just like to smack her! lol
  13. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I guess my concern about military school is that there is no attempt to get at the underlying cause behind the behavior. I personally believe kids act out for a reason. If that reason can be uncovered and dealt with, I believe there is more of a chance for long-term functioning as the teen reaches adulthood.
  14. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    I agree, but I think alot of the reason is his sense of what's fair - HE has to do chores, HIS parents don't hand him money, HE has cell and computer limits - and quite a few of his friends have cars, money, are older, speak disrespectfully to their parents, etc. There is also the *pathological lying which has been going on for years - it seems he actually believes his cr98p.
  15. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    You know, back in the good ol' days there was alot less diagnosing and alot more old-fashioned discipline and hard work; sure, things change - but basic human emotions do not. Today we're all so afraid of offending, or lowering self esteem, or whatever.

    Fact of the day - the vast majority of prison inmates have extremely high self-esteem....and no ethics.
  16. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I agree with you, smallworld. But sometimes kids are just angry or have irrational anger and sometimes a very structured environment like military school can be helpful. It's not something I would think would work for most of the kids on this board, but from what I've read about Robin's son...I don't know...I just think differently this time.

    Robin, is your son going to be receiving any kind of therapy while in military school? Is there some way you can arrange that?
  17. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    Yes, it can be arranged; I had originally thought he'd see this same guy on furloughs and leaves, but certainly not now!

    Tomorrow I'll talk to admissions about this situation in particular. It's not that I don't want help, if he needs it - but I think this will do the trick. Counselor said son had problems with me, but that son will not elaborate. I think it's the discipline, and here he will have that in a less emotional way.
  18. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'd posted in your "I can't take it" thread about my hesitation regarding military school. However, if the facts are accurate here, I'd say military school might be a good fit. You'll know quickly enough. I'd just make sure they have a refund policy in case they decide he needs more than they can give him. Nothing like paying a hefty, upfront fee and then having the kid sent home and no refund. Happens all the time.

    If DSF is recommending a therapeutic boarding school, I'd seriously consider it. Don't even think they're "soft" on the kids -- they're not. Often, they're a lot tougher and expect more from the kids than any military school. They work on serious behavior modification and it can make a huge difference in teaching a child skills to cope in this world. A military school only offer discipline but not the needed behavior mod.

    As to the negative comment about the homelife, let it go. It is rare for those type of comments not to be in reports. You could call and ask for specifics regarding the homelife and what is recommended be changed at home. Let's face it, no one parents perfectly and there might be something to be learned. As has been said, it is rare for anyone working with teens to totally buy into everything that is said.
  19. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    Trying my best to let that comment go, but husband is really upset. He took son to the appointment last night, stood up to go meet the guy and the counselor just waved him away; NEVER introduced himself or said hi or anything. THEN husband saw the report.

    I'm just so totally perplexed - not ONE professional has said what we're doing wrong or could do different. At least two have appeared to believe son's every word and said son should "negotiate" with us - negotiate what? It's okay to call your mom a biotch, but not an f-ing biotch? The rest of the professionals have said directly to son that he must be respectful, he must tell the truth, he must follow his parents' rules.........

    I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone.....