this counselor....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by weaselqt, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. weaselqt

    weaselqt New Member

    difficult child 2's counselor told me she really thinks he is not bipolar - just adhd and is bigger and louder. She said for him to make a reward sheet so that when he does as he is supposed to he can get a reward. Well - our problem is that his reward list is so unreasonable for us financially!! i told her this and she said nothing about it. She just said that we have to approve his rewards - well, we can't approve ANY of them! So he thinks we don't want to reward him! Every suggestion I make to him he doens't like!

    She told me that my parenting appears to be inconsistent, and I agree with her. husband and I are working on this and it is just overwhelming!

    Then she asked me what we are going to do about his medications - I told her his appointment is October 8 and we can't do anything until then. She said she knows someone we can take difficult child 2 to see right away - so I checked in to it and the person she recommended is only a Physician Assitant! first of all, I don't feel comfortable taking him to just a PA and second of all, my health insurance won't allow it. She acted like we weren't doing anything for difficult child by waiting until October 8 - but I have no choice. ARGH!

    She also suggested we call police when he becomes roudy or hits someone (has hit twice in last 2 weeks) and that thought never entered my mind. zI mean, police? What does everyone think?
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I know some here totally disagree, but I'm a firm believer in calling the police if my daughter gets violent. I put up with bruises and other myriad injuries for many years. My therapist asked me why? Would I tolerate this from anyone else? Um, no. So, he helped me implement a plan of what to do.

    First, he helped me see where I was escalating things and helped me stop doing that. Next, he made an appointment with the police department to discuss the problems, including the fact that my goal was not to have my daughter arrested but to have her regain control. I was fortunate that I had a very good police department that was willing to work with me. They put the relevant data in their computer and when I had to call the police, the officers were aware of what was going on. However, I was told that if my daughter was still violent after age 16, they would in fact arrest her. Oddly, her violence was extremely minimal after age 16 and there have been no violent incidents in the past two years.

    So, I would recommend talking to an officer at your local station and see how they handle situations like this. They may have the policy of a warning the first time, a drive to the station the second and arrest the third. They may just leave it to the officer's discretion.

    If I were you, I would make the decision of whether to call the police from what I find out from the department and what outcome I was willing to accept. For me, it had reached the point that I was willing for them to arrest her if necessary. It took me a long time, but I did finally reach the conclusion that violence was not tolerable.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Just a hint: It's not generally pure ADHD if there's enough violence to warrant a call to the police.

    And bipolar disorder should only be diagnosed by a board-certified psychiatrist (even a neuropsychologist told us he did not have enough training to diagnosis bipolar disorder). What kind of credentials does this counselor have?

    You might want to use the techniques outlined in The Explosive Child by Ross Greene instead of rewards, but that's JMHO.
  4. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Your difficult child 2 is 15 years old, right? My guess is that he is also probably bigger and stronger than you are. I would definitely call the police if he hits you or any other member of the family.

    At that age, he can really hurt someone. in my opinion, you need to make a stand that violence is simply unacceptable and that there will be swift and severe consequences (i.e. police).

  5. weaselqt

    weaselqt New Member

    First - yes he is 15 - six foot tall and 190 lbs. He has grown a foot in less than 2 years and gained 80 lbs and I do not believe he realizes his strength.

    Second - he hit easy child/difficult child 1 in the arm on two different occasions. I smacked the back of his head and told him to stop. The counselor told him I am calling police if it happens again and told him in our state he can be arrested for domestic violence. difficult child just cowered. He has never hit anyone before - so this has happend twice. He is usually mouthy and knocks stuff around the house and hits walls or doors or other inanimate objects.

    Third - yes - he is stronger than me.

    Fourth - I'm not sure of her credentials - I have a card with all the initials behind her name - but now I feel like bad mom for not checking that out. She was highly recommended by the counselor at the school I work at - not difficult child 2's school counselor.

    Fifth - counselor tells me difficult child 2 only acted like he was acting when I was in the room - did not act like a fool when I wasn't in there (duh!) - but made me feel stupid or that I'm the cause even though I know I'm not
  6. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    First of all, if he's violent or threatening, yes call the police. You have to protect yourself and your other children.

    Second, find another counselor. If for no other reason than you're not comfortable with her.
  7. neednewtechnique

    neednewtechnique New Member

    A few things come to my mind when I read your post about your violent child. I agree that plain old ADHD would not cause enough to make a violent child. I would say that there is something else going on, so make sure you make that well known at the appointment on the 8th.

    When our difficult child moved in with us, she was agressive, but not violent. Then things started to escalate and she had a few occasions when she did become violent. As soon as the first incident occurred and I realized that I absolutely could not fight her off of me alone, I placed a call to her counselor. I don't know if this would be an option for you, but our counselor set up an emergency meeting with us and a few of the crisis intervention workers and they did a coaching session with us, teaching us ways to restrain our difficult child without hurting her, this way she could be kept in our care until the crisis team could arrive. Our intervention plan was made with the help of these crisis workers, the therapist, and the police dept. The agreement we made was that we would try these methods of restraint and place an immediate call to crisis. If we could successfully restrain her until they arrived, they would handle it from there. The stipulations were that #1, if I was there alone with her and she became violent, call the police and they would come restrain her or hold her until crisis could arrive. #2, if she got into any physical altercation with the children (3 years old and 5 years old) to call the police no matter what. And, #3, if my husband and I together were unable to restrain her to call the police.

    The police department agreed that they would assist with coming to our house to restrain her if necessary. However, they were very clear that if she in any way assaulted an officer, she WOULD be arrested and charged accordingly. They also made it very clear that if any violent acts on her part resulted in serious injury, they would also arrest her. Per the arrangement we made and agreed to with them, If she would have to be arrested, she would be released only to the care of a crisis worker who would be ordered to evaluate her and transport her immediately to the nearest available psychiatric hospital for consideration.

    Thankfully, involving her in the development of this plan, she was able to talk to the crisis workers and the police, and the whole idea scared her so much that we have never even once had to call the police OR the crisis intervention people.

    I just thought I would share our plan, hopefully if nothing else, it might at least spike some ideas for you to make your own plan. I know it is the worst feeling in the world to consider calling the police on your own child, but trust me, if you use it as a last resort, it is definitely better than someone getting hurt.
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    GFG33 had a really good counsellor (currently not seeing anyone, we will go back to her when we next feel he needs it). She also recommended rewards, but insisted the rewards be non-material. Because difficult child 3 is addicted to computer games, we settled on a time reward - MY time - he would get me, for half an hour, playing a computer game with him. This was his reward for a meltdown-free day for the previous day.

    I did try to do this each day but some days I just couldn't, so we did allow the time to accumulate - we could be playing for an hour, easily, sometimes.
    I did have some say in what games we played, but it had to be a game difficult child 3 was OK with. We played Mario Party most of the time, which is like a board game on a computer.

    The counsellor explained that using material rewards is unhealthy because they associate possessions with positivity. Instead, his reward for good behaviour was giving him attention in a positive way - playing with him.

    There were times when I had to agree to a material substitute, difficult child 3 was usually happy to accept an ice cream as a substitute for an hour's play. I would buy a box of ice creams and COUNT them to make sure nobody was sneaking them. I would fetch him one if we agreed to the substitution.

    For us, this worked well.

  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Um, how can a Counselor's diagnosis trump a Psychiatrists? Where is her medical degree? Why is she advising you on medications? Frankly, I'd find somebody else to do the therapy. She is seeing her role as bigger than it is, in my opinion. I called an ambulance on my daughter when she pulled a knife on herself, and got the police. They handcuffed her, treated her in a way that had me in tears, and hauled her off to a psychiatric hospital. When she came home, she was the same--it didn't "teach" her anything. I think if you feel you are in danger, you need to call for help, but don't expect it to be therapeutic for your child. And, really, in my opinion I'd NOT see a Physicians Assistant over a psychiatrist, and I'd find a new therapist. JMO
    A question for you: Is she drinking or using recreational drugs? That's what made our daughter crazy. No, we didn't suspect for a long time.
  10. blb

    blb New Member

    Re calling the police, I think I would only do it if your difficult child was really excessively violent toward your other difficult child- frankly at 15 and 17 boys are beating each other senseless all the time for fun, I would be leery of calling unless it was truly an out of control episode.

    Re the letters, get her checked out by the state (if you want to stay with her, my thought would be to drop kick her quickly--let me guess, wonder what kind of a kickback she gets for sending folks to her friend *wink wink) Our counselor, difficult child's school psychologist, the one who did our difficult child the most harm turned out to not be certified by our state, we didn't find out until two years later--she was a con artist basically. She should not be trying to trump your psychiatric doctor with a PA, period.

    Re a reward chart, that usually is for 4-8 yrs old, not 15. If you've told her it isn't financially feasible and she just stares back at you, tell her that paying her for future sessions is also financially unfeasible, and watch for her reaction then.

    Guess I'm saying ditch her. :thumbsdown:

  11. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    blb - the 17 year old is female with health issues. I wouldn't let them duke it out.
  12. blb

    blb New Member

    well, that does make a difference, doesn't it :hammer: :hammer: Thanks Wynter!

    Though it does change the dynamic somewhat, siblings have been known to duke it out--and I'm not sure that siblings swatting each other is worthy of the police , jmho. I guess the key thing would be the severity of what he did, and if you felt that by calling the police, you would be opening up more of a can of worms than not.

    Maybe you could speak with someone from the police department that could come to the house and just speak to him re what COULD happen if he was charged with assault, maybe that would be enough to scare him straight on that issue?
  13. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I would never have called the police on my son. First off, I don't know what the police are suppose to do except arrest him and take him to juvy. I didn't want my son in juvy nor did I want him taken out of my control and institutionalized. Enough bad things happen in institutional settings that I didn't want my son in one. My son was ill, not criminal, and the system couldn't provide any help I wasn't providing. If he could have controlled his behavior, he would have. No one wanted that more than he. Nor did I want the hassle and potential cost of getting involved in the juvenile justice system.

    But mostly I fear police with guns trying to subdue a man-size boy. Sometimes they shoot. Even when you tell them there is a mental illness issue. Maybe even more so. Man-size boys are not treated the same way as little boys or any girls.

    I have no time for medical professionals who advocate calling the police on a child diagnosed with a neurological disorder that causes behavioral issues. That means they believe the child can control behavior which is the result of a malfunctioning brain. That makes no sense to me.
  14. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I don't think it means they believe the child can control the behavior. It does mean that one has to take action to protect oneself and other children. I don't think anyone is advocating getting the child into the system, but you have to have some kind of plan to diffuse a situation if needed.

    If you have an out of control, man-sized child in the house raging and attacking others, what do you propose be done to keep everyone safe if calling the police is not an option?