psychiatrist's office called (and another possible suspension)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Wiped Out, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    to ask if we could reschedule easy child/difficult child's and difficult child's appts. for tonight. Apparently things have imploded in the office (must be October) and he won't be able to be seen til well after 7:00. Usually I would say yes we'll reschedule-it would only be one more week but after the email and phone call I received today I said we would really like to keep it. Hopefully that won't make me seem like too much of an uncooperative mom but I really feel like difficult child needs to be seen tonight (we said we would reschedule easy child/difficult child's).

    Here's what happened:

    I received an email from his teacher at the alternative school saying difficult child was having a really rough afternoon. He was bothering others, told the teacher to s*ck a ****. He then was spending the rest of the afternoon with that teacher one on one and continued to throw things around. That was the email.

    After school I received a phone call because all of that wasn't bad enough. difficult child was apparently sitting in a desk chair where another teacher's sweater was hanging. The teacher came in and asked for it and they started getting into it when difficult child refused-long story short he ended up stomping on her feet.

    At some point the teacher tried to grab something from difficult child (maybe sweater or keys-my memory is not the best right now). That really upset difficult child and he tried to hit her with his keys. difficult child's teacher said to give her the keys which he did. When she thought he had calmed down she returned them to him.

    Then he was swinging the keys again-they are on a lanyard and almost hit the other teacher again. At that point his teacher grabbed the keys because she was worried he would hit the other teacher with them. difficult child demanded his keys back. She told him not right now because he wasn't being safe.

    He ended up kicking her and trying to bite her. They were able to do a two person restraint and she said he calmed down very quickly. He then drank a glass of water and asked her to play ping pong (he so doesn't get it).

    Not sure of his consequence yet; it could be one of three things. One-a write up that it was a suspendable offense but they aren't. Two-A suspension for a period of time. Three-A request for expulsion (I rather doubt that because of all the hoops that have to be jumped through by the district for that to happen).

    We've tried to talk to difficult child about this-of course-he really doesn't seem able to process it.

    Soooo.... do you think I did the right thing in keeping the psychiatrist appointment? The positive behavioral support person even asked if we thought difficult child needed another hospitalization to get stabilized.

    I'm in one of my numb/detached/ I don't know what stage. I'm frustrated beyond belief but almost feel like it is becoming "normal" to deal with all of this!:whiteflag:

    by the way, I also had a huge end of the day situation to handle with a difficult child at school-oh the joy never ends!
  2. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    Yes, I think you did the right thing.

    Would a phone consultation be another option?

    Either way, I think it was very reasonable to want to speak to the psychiatrist tonight.
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Absolutely the right thing to ask to keep difficult child's appointment. Absolutely, without question. This is 2 significantly violent episodes in less than 2 weeks. psychiatrist definitely needs to join in the fun.

    Sharon - you know they cannot expel him. This kind of behavior unfortunately goes hand in hand with- difficult child's disability. I think the fact that he wanted to play ping-pong immediately after the restraint just highlights how it is so much a part of the story of him. Know what I mean?

    I wonder if it's time to request an IEP mtg to review/modify BIP. You and I both know how hard it is to be "on" 24/7 in our dealings with- a difficult child who can become violent at the drop of a hat - to my eye, it looks like staff may possibly be forgetting it and they might need a reminder. They simply *cannot* "get into it" with- him. He is getting bigger and stronger, Sharon, and they really need to be very mindful of how unbelievably easy it is to trigger him. Yes, he needs to be muting his responses and, yes, he needs to learn that this level is of aggression is unacceptable, but... unfortunately, it takes a ridiculous amt of time for some of our kids to quit being so aggressive, and in the meantime, staff is in the line of fire if they don't pay attention to what they're doing.

    Between the incident last week, which put more than just staff at risk, and then this one, I really think that the BIP needs to at the very least be reviewed so that staff keeps it in mind, if not revised.

    Gentle hugs to you. I know it's incredibly frustrating and more than a bit mortifying to have your kid have days like these.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  4. Jena

    Jena New Member

    i agree as well with-o a doubt in pushing for appointment.

    this is hard i know so hard, hugs to you tonight.
  5. ML

    ML Guest

    What a rough couple of weeks. Yes, you did the right thing. I'm really sorry, Sharon. It's so hard.

    Manster's friend J is the same age as yours and also adopted (mom used alcohol and he also has some Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)) and this week he got suspended and going back to the alternative, self contained classroom. He brought a knife to school and got caught. Last week he snapped a girl's bra strap. He seems to get it after the fact and knows he messed up, but he doesn't seem to learn from his mistakes. Manster and I just love this kid and hate seeing him sabatoge himself.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Yep Sharon. He needed the appointment kept, you weren't being the least bit unreasonable.

    I know what you mean about gfgdom starting to feel normal.......went through that during Nichole's teens. Scared me a bit, but also seemed to prevent me from doing the emotional rollercoaster too. I think it was a safety valve type deal, I'd reached my threshold and just started taking it in stride from that point.

  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    it's morning now, I hope you got some positive outcome from the psychiatrist meeting last night.

    You know, this is where things get really difficult for our kids. On the one hand, they need these supports and modifications at school in order to "level the playing field" a bit so they can get academic instruction. On the other hand, there comes a point when these kids of ours are going to have to survive in the real world without some of this support. When do we pull away? When do we test them? Are we making allowances? Are our accommodations teaching them anything? When is it time to step in and seek medical attention that our kids can't get being in the mainstream school (meaning phospital time)?

    This is something that has weighed on me for years.

    Do I really and truly believe that the only way my difficult child can get through is with a miriad of supports and modifications in school? I don't know. It seems that when he has made the most progress it has been when he has been tested and challenged.

    When our kids aren't stable, which very well may be the case with your son right now, I think all best are off. I think calling our children to a higher place can't happen unless they are stable. My gut, were I in your place, is that he is not stable and needs hospitalization. In the span of 10 days we have had two extreme cases of violence. In both cases there really is no memory of the incident on his part nor is there anything that he can learn to change in future because he doesn't remember the incidents.

    I'm sorry you are back in this place again Sharon. You and husband work so very hard to provide a great education for so many kids and work even harder to raise and educated your own.

  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hope-Thanks-we did go instead of the phone-although that would have been a good option.

    Sue-I do agree expulsion would be very difficult. At the manifestation determination they would have to find it was due to his disability. I do think we will be revisiting the bip-teacher even suggested it (however, had it been followed yesterday I do believe the incident would not have happened-I'll explain at the end of the post).

    Jena-Thank you for the hugs and support-both are needed!

    ML-Yep-difficult child definitely has a hard time learning from his mistakes.

    Lisa-I agree it is a safety-valve type of thing-definitely self-protection.

    Sharon-You put things very well. At some point difficult child will need to live in the real world and all of the allowances and mods won't be available. I do think hospitalization may be needed.

    We did keep the appointment. psychiatrist was wonderful about it as was his receptionist who had to stay later. She told us she definitely agreed about keeping difficult child's appointment and also thanked us for always being so understanding. psychiatrist apologized for the delay-it was only about 20 minutes late.

    He had several kids that were at a hospitalization point yesterday (definitely Oct). He agrees difficult child may need to be hospitalized. If there were a bed available he would have gone last night. Right now in the entire state there are only 3 beds available. He is putting difficult child on a waiting list but there are 5 kids ahead of him. In the meantime, he said if there is another episode we could definitely take him to the er and try that route.

    Also we are going to increase his clozaril (sp). He said we will have to see if hospitalization is needed still when a bed opens. I agree.

    difficult child is suspended for today. The director of the alternative school isn't leading towards expulsion (which would result in a manifestation determination) but is going to talk to the regular school's principal).

    Also I received and email describing the incident in more detail. While difficult child was wrong his bip was not followed. The aide grabbed difficult child's keys and asked how it feels to have someone have your things (because he had her sweater). This is a definite power struggle and getting in difficult child's space like that isn't suppose to happen. Still I agree with the suspension-a bip won't always be there in real life.

    Also psychiatrist agreed with-me that next time they should call the police. At home right now, even though we are seeing escalation and threats, I've told difficult child I will call the police and he hasn't followed through on the threats which does suggest some level of control.

    Thank you all for your support-I love you all.
  9. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    This was something I also struggled with a *lot* when thank you hit about 14-15. I really felt like he was being set up for a huge fall in his adult years. If he flipped out at 15, threw chairs, broke windows, assaulted staff, he was hospitalized. But if he did it at 18, I was pretty sure no officer or judge was going to give a darn about his mental illness, especially because he can present so "normal". He was going to wind up incarcerated and he'd say it's not fair, and he would have a point. The rules would have changed at that magical age of 18, and of course while we were warning him constantly, he wasn't hearing us (or so I thought).

    It is such an incredibly gray area. Our kids *do* need the supports and accommodations, but at the same time we have to try to prepare them for life as adults where they alone will be held accountable for their actions, and whether or not they took their medications that day or a BIP was followed will be beside the point. At that stage, I really thought thank you needed to be full on arrested for his violence. I've moderated my stance now. I'm not sure it would have been a useful or learning experience at all for him.

    Having survived those mid-teen years, I can only tell you that it still feels like we got by on a wing and a prayer. thank you had accommodations and allowances made for him until the moment he walked out of the program. His violence did start to decrease at around age 16 and I think the last really over the top incident was at 17. I know he's had interactions with- police, probably more than I know about, but for him anyway it has seemed to click that the rules are different now and so far (knock wood) he's managed to not tick off officers to the point of arrest.

    Hindsight being closer to 20/20, I think the goal at these ages still needs to be provide the supports. difficult child having any kind of consequences imposed by a court is not going to be productive at this point, in my humble opinion. Worse yet, what happens if police are called and there are no consequences - does the juvenile system really want to take on difficult child? It sets a bad precedent. Sharon (Wiped Out), I know I've told you these next few years are going to fly by, and they *are*, but what you see now probably isn't what you'll see at 17. At the same time I think it's really important to make sure that staff are supporting, not antagonizing him. He's got these few remaining years to really get that he needs to maintain control of himself in a positive way, not the controlled raging that I know thank you did a lot of.

    I think it's positive that he's able to maintain when you've mentioned the possible need to call police at home. He's absolutely pushing far past the limits in school right now, and unfortunately I agree that they probably are going to have to involve police if this continues, but I would push very hard that if they have to make that call, they make it for a police escort to psychiatric hospital rather than flat out arrest.

    I'm so sorry Sharon. These are tough years. I'm so glad psychiatrist was there for you guys last night - he sounds like a very thoughtful man.

  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am glad you were able to see psychiatrist last night. It wasn't a time that could be postponed, or shouldn't have been. I am sure they knew that if you said it couldn't wait that it couldn't wait.

    The way he wanted to play ping pong should be used to highlight to school, ESPECIALLY to the aid, that his BIP/IEP must be followed at all times. Is the aid one that has worked with him previously or is she new this year, new to him that is? How old is she? THe "how do you feel now that I have done to you what you did to me" approach isn't just unhelpful. It is very childish and guaranteed to escalate almost EVERY difficult child, esp one going through the hormonal changes that accompany the early teen years!. The only way I could see her approach being LESS successful at getting positive behavior from a student would be if she were to pull that stunt with a 13 yo difficult child during PMS.

    difficult child seems to be having a very hard time right now. I hope he is able to avoid any more situations like this, but if the aid cannot behave appropriately how can we ask difficult child to? Will the sp ed teacher and the school be willing to make any call to the police one that isn't about having him arrested but is to have the police take him to the psychiatric hospital? Or will they only ask for difficult child to be arrested/spoken to? Is this something that you need to get put into his IEP? CAN this be put into an IEP?

    If his school has a resource officer (our district has 1 middle school, 1 jr high and 1 high school and each has a full time RO who is a uniformed cop and gets priority if he calls for the drug dog(s)), I strongly suggest giving him a request in writing, with a photo of difficult child, that if there are any problems with violence that difficult child should be taken to X hospital for a psychiatric evaluation/admission. Not that the sp ed teacher wouldn't, but if the normal teacher/aid/principal is out sick this would hel pmake sure that the right thing happens if difficult child becomes violent at school.
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    So glad he saw psychiatrist. ((((hugs)))) Hope he can hold it together long enough for a bed to be available.
  12. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Sharon, Sue has given you great advice. I'm glad that psychiatrist saw difficult child last night. I can say nothing more than I understand all of this. I went thru it with wm many times over. I doubt juvenile would hit home with difficult child ~ wm never understood the consequences of it & told me if he had to go to juuvy he'd meet some cool kids.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Juvy never scared Cory much because it isnt really considered jail for some reason. Even probation here is a joke for most of the kids unless you are lucky enough to get one of the few good juvenile probation officers, and there are only a few. Most are like the one we had who basically did nothing but sabotage me and basically reward Cory for bad behavior. Heck he took him to a Xmas party where he got a nice gift on the day I called to report bad behavior! Talk about a reward.

    I stopped reporting anything and dealt with him myself. Idiot finally violated Cory 10 months later for 5 days in Juvy for a report I made in the first month he was on probation! Like that made any sense. Can we say immediate consequences anyone?
  14. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I had a hard time with that fine line that LDM and slsh referred to, too. But when my son reached 14yo I knew I couldn't allow him to keep getting more aggressive and violent. That was a given. Any diagnosis or accommodations needed would be discussed when figuring out where he would go, but he just wasn't going to be able to live in the real world as a violent person at 14 yo or older. Obviously, I don't like where he is and don't believe he's getting what he needs to give him the best chance for rehabillitation. But no one is going to let him live free in the real world as an adult acting the way he was and getting worse so that just isn't an option right now. I just TG he didn't ever actually physically harm anyone- but himself.
  15. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sue-Good points! We have talked to school before about this. If they were to call the police it would be to speak with him first and if needed to take him to er for an admit to the hospital. It's so good to hear you speak about the positive steps thank you has taken-it does give me hope for difficult child.

    Susie-It is a new to him aide, however, this happened at the alternative school where you would think they would have more training on how to work with kids like difficult child (the teachers there definitely know how to work with him). Good question about if it can be written into iep. I do know the school is not wanting him arrested but to be spoken with and if needed to be transported to Er for p-hospital admit.

    Lisa-Thanks! He seemed so normal of a difficult child tonight (still a pita but no-where near needing hospitalization). on the other hand, he can switch so quickly.

    Linda-I don't think juvy would necessarily hit home with difficult child. I do know he is truly scared at the thought of it.

    Janet-Immediate consequences-you think they would "get" it-sigh!

    Klmno-It is a difficult to sort things out. I do believe difficult child cannot continue to be violent and in the real world they won't give him the breaks.

    I did receive a call back from the director of the program. He said in hindsight he should have just told me it would be a one day suspension. He said he just likes to thorough. There will be no recommendation for expulsion. He said tomorrow he will try to process with difficult child but that he will also be processing with the SEA. I think when he went back and reread the email of what occurred he realized that while difficult child was wrong, the situation might have been avoided had it been handled correctly.

    Crossing my fingers he has a good day tomorrow. Next week is a short week as he has Thursday and Friday off.
  16. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member


    I hope the increased dose of clozaril will help.

    Hang in there even if it seems like a surreal nightmare. The things that really helped me during tough times like this were Jackson Browne, the Beatles, re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird (luv u Atticus), and reading about anyone who had courage and compassion when getting through tough times, or any book that was like comfort food. I really recommend listening to some music that you really liked when you were younger -- formative-type stuff before you were married and had kids. Jackson Browne's music was really transformative for me when I was younger. Still is today. And the Beatles just make me feel good good good!! (Paul's voice singing Golden Slumbers from Abbey Road -- to die for!) Bob Seger singing Roll Me Away.

    Movies for me - Mr. Mom with Michael Keaton. Tootsie with Teri Garr, Bill Murray, Jessica Lange, Dustin Hoffman.

    Anything that will help you to be SHARON. To remember that you were a person before all this started.


  17. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Jo-Great idea! Just last night, I was thinking about how different I am from when I was younger and feeling a bit like I was losing (or had lost) who "I" used to be before all of this with both my difficult children.
  18. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Sharon, I feel this way a lot! Once about a year ago on Facebook I was reading about all my old friends from high school, and this wave of horror swept over me about what was going on in MY life (of course I realize Facebook isn't about sharing that hard stuff). After that wave of horror swept over me, I made a big effort to revive parts of me that I had let go. The "old" stuff that I looked into was really comforting and grounding. It helps me balance the grief that I have to live with.

    Please share when you pick a book and a song or group, that takes you back to the "old" you. I thought of starting a thread like this in the Watercooler, but you guys have probably already been there done that.

    Got to go -- gfg17 is intruding on my boundaries!