You've come to the right place. Here's a cup of tea.
Look over some of the notes here...maybe the ones on Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), or discipline. You'll get some ideas... and find comfort.
Is that really your dog in the photo? He's a big boy! I used to have borzoi. The kids rode the male like a pony. And he'd lie sideways like a rug and they'd sit on him and do puzzles. Kids who are raised with-animals usually learn to be kind.
You need to get her qualified for special education, where the category is "emotionally disturbed," not "It's the parent's fault."
If you want to get started on that, there is a section of this board that can help you get started.
Otherwise, I know it is frustrating to try to seek help and be blamed for all her problems. You have hit a very difficult age for girls in my opinion. If you can get ehr stabilzed on the right combo of medications, and some supports in place at school, you may be able to maintain her in the community. Many people here are incedible about doing that. There are also people here who tried for years and finally realized that their child needed more than could be provided in the community. I am one of those. It is hard to place a child residentially, but it is the single best thing I have done as a parent.
Others will come along soon, and offer more specifc suggestions.
First, hello and welcome to the site. Although I am sorry you have to be here, I am glad you found us. You have stumbled upon a group of very wise and supportive parents.
Others will come along with links and such and I'll let them do "their thing".
If therapy is no longer effective for your daughter with this counselor, then it might be time to find a new counselor. No matter how much you like this counselor, if he cannot connect with your daughter you are all just spinning your wheels.
Second, do you have an IEP in place at school? That would give your daughter the help she needs at school and would also, I believe, protect her from some of the disciplinary actions that they would normally take. Visit the Special Education section and the archives for tons of information. Martie and Sheila are moderators on that board and are just a wealth of information.
Third, I'm not a doctor, but I wonder why she is only on the Ablify and nothing for bipolar? When I read that, I honestly wasn't at all surprised by her recent behavior. Again, I'm no expert. Just what I've read/seen/heard. It really sounds like a full neuropysch evaluation is in order here.
Sorry you had to find us but welcome aboard. You will find a lot of good ideas and resources here but also (and I think most importantly) a huge well of support. I can't offer anything more than the ideas that already have been suggested. But just know you're not alone here. Sending hugs and a big ol' beverage of your choice!
Welcome! Glad you found us. You sound like me when I got here. Tired of being blamed, tired of the school not listening or doing their part to help. I remember walking out of a school meeting and the TEACHER told me 'good luck' - I was so stunned, she still had 5 months with my child, why was she wishing me good luck??!!
Anyway, just in case you have not stumbled upon it yet, here is some reading material for you.
Sorry for the questions, but your answers will help us help you. What kind of doctor diagnosed her, and what kind of doctor is prescribing her medications? Has she ever undergone a multidisciplinary or neuropsychological evaluation at a university or children's hospital? What are tbe behaviors you're seeing that most concern you? What does your gut tell you is the "right" diagnosis?
Anytime you need to communicate with the school....document, document, document. If calls (that you log when/who/where/etc) get you no response, write letters (not emails), cc dept heads, special services, case worker, superintendant as well as anyone in charge, and mail it (and all copies) CERTIFIED. This way there is an actual paper trail that you have attempted contact. With an IEP, they HAVE to follow it by law. If not, they are in violation. The first instinct is to jump on someone for not following but that rarely works well. The best bet is to start with calls politely inquiring "Maybe I misunderstood, but I was under the impression if this happened, then the result/consequence is A....etc." The same with the letters. Include what was discussed and agreed upon, what is happening instead and a question about what you can all do as a team to rectify the situation. You don't want to sound as if you are attacking them but that you are all part of the same team. The time may come for more agressive action on your part, but to start off, you need to be as cooperative and non-confrontational as possible.
I know the instinct is to jump down their throats, trust me, I've been there. I've dealt with some "lovely" administrators myself.
Do this tomorrow. List everything that's not being followed but in a politely "confused" way and request another meeting.
You need the daily calls from school like you need... well, daily calls.
I would very *strongly* recommend you see if there are any Special Education advocacy groups in your area (I would think there are) and see if you can get a parent advocate to help you. Also, definitely go to the sped 101 section of the board - Martie, Sheila and Lizz are whizzes. If the school is having to call you daily, then obviously the IEP is inadequate. If you want a daily homework sheet, get it written into the IEP. You can call for an IEP mtg any time you need to (*always* via certified letter to SD). If the school cannot educate her in her current placement (and if they say she's going to fail - duh), then *they* need to provide an appropriate placement. Also - remember that they can only suspend her for 10 days per school year since she has an IEP - after that, it's considered a change of placement and they must hold an IEP mtg. When thank you was in our local school, we had an IEP mtg every time he got suspended, reviewed the behavior management plan and tweaked as necessary. I think it's a good thing to do because obviously the behavior management plan isn't working if he's getting suspended, so what do we need to do differently? And since you can call for an IEP mtg whenever you think one is needed... might be time to fine tune a few things.
A couple of links that might help - also be sure to check the Special Education 101 archives, I'm pretty sure there are links to IDEA in there (you need to get very familiar with- the provisions of IDEA - that way when the SD says they "can't" do something, you'll have the knowledge to back you up when you point out that of course they can
I totally hear you about the lag time between when we get that there's a significant difficulty going on and the professionals get it. If one more person had told me it was my "parenting skills" (or lack thereof) or offered me one more reward chart to use with- thank you, I think I quite possibly would have gone completely over the edge. It's also really hard when all the tests come out within normal ranges, but we're still left with a raging child who needs special parenting. My take on counseling has been, for years, that while thank you may not be showing obvious signs of benefiting right *now*, maybe the repetition will someday flip a switch in his brain and he'll get it. 12 years of counseling in various forms later... jury is still out, but I do still hope.
The Explosive Child by (I think) Ross Green is an excellent book (I'm not into self help books with this exception). First time I read it, I was actually giggling from relief... someone else had actually met a kid like mine, and not just one but many. It helped to get a glimpse into my kid's mindset and the whole basket concept really helped me get consistent with- behavioral expectations, which I think is a big piece of the puzzle (Cliff Notes version of baskets: You can't address all behaviors at one time - you need to prioritize. For us, no violence, safe behavior, and medication compliance were Basket A. Actually, we only used 2 baskets because dealing with- the violence was pretty much a full time job, LOL. But you just pick a couple of Basket A issues, maybe a few more Basket B, and the rest is Basket C meaning they're pretty much off your radar.).
"I did get her on the IEP program, but getting the school to follow through is like pulling teeth."
Try mentioning a lawyer. That'll get them to follow the IEP. Please let them know that you know that what is written in an IEP is mandated by Federal Law. They can't decide what to follow. You need to get tough with the school. For a long time, until my difficult child was stable, school was a nonissue. Behavior issues at school were not dealt with at home; we had more than enough home issues to deal with.
One thing I 'hear' coming from what you are typing is you are carrying a heavy burden on your shoulders. I know because I was there once. It is not all up to you to help your child. It does take the doctors (the ones that believe us!) and the schools (administrators and teachers) to help raise a child into a law abiding, tax paying, respectable citizen.
One of the best pieces of advice I received when I found this board was to take care of myself first so that I could be healthy enough to take care of my difficult child. It is very difficult at times, but seriously important.
I think I would recommend you calling the head of Special Education services in your school district - not that particular school, but the district. Tell him/her how you have not gotten enough support and you are thinking of calling your lawyer, or a legal representative. Believe me, I have no often recommended using that threat, but it seems like you have an extreme case here in that your child is not getting the supports that clearly are necessary.
hi and welcome first of allyour daughter has rights as far as school goes if she attends a public school.i would defintly look into if i were you.walso some one gave me a web site cause i am having pretty bad promblems with my son,it should help you know your rights and your daughters.cause if the teachers are not doing what they are suppose to be doing they can be held accountable.nami.org i hope this is helpful...
Hi and welcome to the site. I'm sorry to hear about the difficulties you are facing. With an IEP in place the school is supposed to be following that. In her IEP does she have a behavior plan in place?
If the school is calling you directly without taking her to the student services to calm down, you need to really be on them for not following that.
I believe if you send them a request in writing through certified mail they have so many days to respond to that request. I'd be looking into an educational advocate.
Others on the board have so much more experience in these things, so I'm sure you'll get more responses/help.
Once again welcome to our world.
For alot of us the course of finding the right combination of medications at the right doses was a challange. My N saw no results with Paxil or Welbutrin (she had a reaction to the latter). But trileptol, effexor, and ambilify are the ones that work for her.
I'm so sorry to hear your SD sounds so much like ours. I had to fight tooth and nail for every little thing we did manage to get, then stay on them to make sure it stayed in place. N is now homeschooled via computer. And I thank God that when she graduates this year I won't have anymore kids in school.
When she was picking and cutting, was she taking medications that made this behavior worse? When she was hospitalized for attempted suicide and paranoid delusions, was she on medications? If so, which medications?
by the way, there are more than 3 symptoms of bipolar disorder, and there are no "tests" that definitively rule it in or out. BiPolar (BP) is a clinical diagnosis made after observing a child over several years. My own children are being treated as if they have BiPolar (BP) (with mood stabilizers), but we honestly won't know if they have it until they go through adolescence. For the moment, however, they are responding positively to BiPolar (BP) medications and therapeutic interventions. They are much improved from a year ago.
And FWIW, I personally don't believe a child acts like this because she is stubborn and manipulative. I think there's a disorder going on that is causing her to behave this way. The trick is getting to the right doctors to make an accurate diagnosis and put the proper interventions into place.
First of all Welcome to the site. You will get alot of support and information here. Is your daughters psychiatrist a board certified child psychiatrist with the MD? This makes a huge difference in how they treat early onset bipolar disorder. Have you read The Bipolar Child third edition by Demitri and Janice Papolos ? They also have a website. This is the most up to date book I have found and the most informative from medications to school. I would also contact your local mental health services . They should be able to direct you to advocates to help with school. Here in PA a diagnoses of BiPolar (BP) automatically means medical assistance is available. MA helps pay for services such as wraparound and pays the copays for medications. Wraparound provides services in the home and school. A behavioral specialist would help advocate at school for you and your daughter, make sure the IEP is followed. Do your research on the laws of IEP's . This is a legal binding agreement. If the school isn't following it they are breaking the law. If you show them you know the law, they will take you more seriously. I know how exhausting all of this is. It is alot of work. Is your SO supportive? It will make a huge difference once you get the support. I wish you well and good luck.
PS. I have an English Mastiff 150lbs. Gotta love the big dogs!