Well ~ Hi!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Janna, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Yes, I know, I have taken a very long absence. I kinda missed everyone so I thought I'd pop in to say hello and spread some good cheer :) I tried to edit my signature, but the site won't allow me to do that. Not sure what the deal is. I was only at 122 characters and it still wouldn't take. Dunno?

    I've been reading some of the posts. It seems like so many, like us, are continuing on a daily struggle, but others are doing great, which is wonderful! It's so nice to see everyone.

    I've been blessed to be in touch with some of the members off this site, which has been wonderful. I think I needed some "away from all the people" time to kinda reflect, observe, and take care of the boys on my own. I've missed the supports of online friends, but we have had some great strides here.

    I've done a heck of alot of studying on childhood disorders and such over the last year or so. I probably know much more than I should, as many of you LOL, but, hey, we learn what we can for our children, right? I've really been intrigued by the contradictions of doctors and diagnosis that we have suffered. It's been a very, very interesting ride. It's amazing to me how one, little doctor can tell you your child has one thing and we can actually see it, to find out later that it may not be what that one doctor said it is. I've been through that. Those of you that know me, remember me coming here telling you Dylan was Bipolar, me really thinking he was manic, putting him on all those medications, to find out later, he really wasn't. It's such a confusion to deal with these children, isn't it?

    Anyway ~ it's nice to see everyone.

    Things here have been a roller coaster ride, just as is the case with any family that has a challenging child (or 2 or 3, haha!). But, I think I want to come and say, things can get better. Things do get easier. Children change.

    Brandon is doing awesome! After a very rocky return home from foster care at the beginning of '08, he got caught with theft. Worked at the local Wal Mart, was stealing cash out of the drawer, busted. A week later, got caught stealing, again, from Sears. He was put on probation, sent to an Residential Treatment Facility (RTF), and somehow, the light bulb finally went off. It took a very, very long time for him. He was forced into therapy sessions that made him realize the effects of his actions. What he does, and how that hurts other people. He has, oddly enough to me (and at times, I'm not sure I believe it) become very family oriented. Helping with the boys, helping around the house, becoming more and more interested in his future. He just got back his SAT scores, which were wonderful, and passed his ASVAB testing (military). He is considering the Army full time, or National Guard part time with college (Sports Medicine). There is a certain level of uncertainty from lack of trust on my behalf, but I feel with time, that will be regained. I think he likes his freedom, LOL, and he is done with the stupid B.S. One can only hope.

    Dylan. Wow. I gotta tell you, remember the days? LOLOL! I mean, this kid has put us through mental illness he$$ over here. He did his Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) stay, which, was truly a joke. They were a glorified babysitter. I never could understand how a kid could go to an Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) and be there for a long period of time (he was in 8 months) and get no benefit, until I sent my own. You have staff, living in a house, with a child. The staff are babies. Most of these kids were in college, working at $10 an hour with a house load of kids that were raging, freaking out, harming themselves, with no clue what's going on. Then you have the therapist! Ahhhh, the wonderful therapist! SHE is the one that reports to the psychiatrist. That would be the psychiatrist that spends, what, 10 minutes with your kid once a month? Yeah, him! Ahh, anyway - water under the bridge, but what a waste. Anyway, they threw him back into Emotional Support at the beginning of this year. An E.S. class with one teacher and 14 kids. I'm still shaking my head on that one. E.S. rooms should have no more than about 8. I wouldn't even be comfy with 8. It's too many kids. You have 14 kids off task, out of control, or just unable to handle the stimulation - with 1 teacher and 1 aide, it's too much. But, alas, against my better judgement, I signed the IEP. I figured, heck, we'll give it a shot. Didn't last 2 weeks. Dylan threw a major rage in the room. Got him hospitalized. BOY, did I learn ALOT about these 7 day inpatient hospitalizations. Hey, I thought they were worth something, but...well, didn't do a darn thing for us. Within 12 hours they threw him on a bunch of drugs (Depakote, Seroquel, yadda yadda) and sent him home. That didn't work. The medications have never really worked for Dylan. Or, they work for a while, then they poop out. In hindsight, I wish I never would have gone that route, but when your kid is 4 years old and slamming his head through a plate glass window you think, "hey, this kid needs something", right? He's still on medications - he's on a good dose of Seroquel (50 mg. AM, 175 mg. PM) and FINALLY, the chill pill I've been asking about for the past, ohhh, 8 years? (Buspar). It's a good mix, but over time, I'm looking to get him off the A.P. We've been working hard on anger management, dealing with frustration, recognizing anger, etc. It's funny, because I don't know how many doctors told me those were HIS signs of "depression". And all that hyperactivity that were his signs of "mania". I mean, wow, his eyes were bulging out of his head, he was being so inappropriate, laughing at the dumbest stuff, just acting like he was crazed! Yeah, he coulda been manic. 10 years from now he might be manic. LOL! Who knows? So, a year later since I've been here (geez, has it been that long?), Dylan is diagnosis'ed with Aspergers. We are in process of having severe Autism testing done on him, over lengthy periods of time, by a team of people where they only deal with kids with Autism and developmental disabilities. His developmental delays would lean toward a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified diagnosis, but the brainwork (i.e. thought process, obsessive thoughts, etc) are very Aspie. He's very much stuck in the middle of both, not quite sure what his exact diagnosis will be when he walks out, but I don't much care. He's Autistic. And, treating him as such has helped us make good strides with him. I think, too, as he gets older, things get better. The rages have subsided. Tantrums are pretty much gone. He gets frustrated and angry, but is learning new coping skills to deal with that. He's maturing, somewhat, at the speed he can mature. He's 12, but I think he's more like 7 maturity wise. Better than the 3 year old I've been dealing with. That was the pits!

    Jared, of course, is wonderful. Not much to say about him LOL! Advanced cello, baseball player, regular school. Regular kid. Wow, after all that with Dylan I feel like I'm giving Jared the short end of the stick LOL!

    So, that's all the excitement from our little corner of the universe. I'm planning on reading up some more and checking in with all of you guys, too! I'm sorry I haven't been around for support. I've just been consumed. I'm fighting with the School District at the moment. Considering a Due Process hearing. It's funny how ignorant some of these S.D.'s can be, isn't it? When I took Dylan's psychiatrist evaluation to them with a "Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified" diagnosis as the primary, the Supervisor of Special Education said to me (and my MH/MR caseworker, who was in SHOCK), "that doesn't mean he's Autistic or that he is entitled to Autism services". Bahahahaha! I think my Advocate is making her change her tune

    Have a good day everyone!

  2. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    I was thinking about you the other day and wondering how Dylan was doing.

    Keeping my fingers crossed that Brandon keeps it up! You have been through the wringer with him.

    Good to hear from you!
  3. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Glad to see you, again!
  4. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    JANNA! :bigsmile: It's wonderful to see you, have thought about you from time to time and wondered how you were doing.

    It's wonderful to hear that Brandon has had a lightbulb moment and has been choosing that better path, that he didn't like the future the other way was leading him and he seems to want something better out of life. Yeah, it does take some time for that trust in their choices and actions to be there completely, I'm not quite there yet still and my difficult child has been doing very well for almost 2 years LOL.

    And it's good to hear that you finally seem to have the right diagnosis for Dylan, and that he's improving. Amazing how having that diagnosis and the right interventions can work isn't it. It was for us too, after getting the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) diagnosis and the right solutions it's been steady improvement for the last 4 years (after 3 years of steadily getting worse with no diagnosis and therapy up the wazoo). We last saw the psychiatrist in June/08 and she said we really had no need to come in anymore, keep on how we were and we'd have no problem. Though it's a relief to know she keeps his file "open" till he's 18 and I can call to get an appointment any time (well it takes a couple months to see her but still nice to know she's there...if needed). I think with the coping skills, the maturity comes a little faster too, at least for us it did. I don't know why I still feel even a tingle of disbelief when I hear things like "that doesn't mean he's Autistic or that he is entitled to Autism services" from schools. Schools always seem to have their own agenda or plan and the kids are supposed to fit into it no matter what, and they better not need any extra money from our budget because that's all spoken for. Sorry, our round pegs don't fit into your square holes. in my opinion it isn't that hard to fix the hole so our kids will work with it too. I'm one of those who prefers Autism Spectrum Disorder to the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified, it's what they are, on the spectrum. My difficult child too has traits of Aspie, but doesn't quite fit all the traits. When I say autism spectrum to someone they get it a lot easier than when I say Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), I always have to explain then.

    And nice to hear your regular kid is doing well at being regular. LOL They do seem to not get mentioned as much when the other stuff takes so much of our time and attention. But they are wonderful to have around. At times my easy child was my happy ray of sunshine in the chaos. And a nice way to see that it wasn't me being a bad parent, my regular kid was doing pretty regular being raised the same way LOL.

    Very nice to hear from you again, and hope everything contines to improve with you and your family. :thumbsup:
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Amazing. I'm so happy for you. And so angry at how fast the psychiatrists throw medications at our kids. And how uninformed psychiatrists can be about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). You think they'd make sure they could test for that since they often mistake it for mental illness and the barrage of medications start.

    Let me know more ;)
  6. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Chelle! I'm soooooo glad to hear things are going good for you too! Awe, congrats. Yeah, you say Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified and people look at you like you have 5 heads, right? LOL! I just say "he's Autistic". It is what it is.

    MWM, I know I owe you a huge email or a phone call, not sure which, but one of the two will come your way this week. It's been insane busy. Remember when you told me to call the Dept of Ed all that time ago? Well, I got that rolling, and lemme tell ya, when I did - WOW! It's so funny that when you say to the School District, "well, MY ADVOCATE is questioning......" their ears PERK up! LOLOL!!! OMG, it's too funny.

    I think psychiatrists go very quick, too. I have been running a page on MySpace for over a year now that is a Childhood Bipolar Support page, and you wouldn't believe some of the emails I get. One lady told me her 4 year old was diagnosis'ed Bipolar II. TWO! LOL! How does a doctor know at 4 years old your kid is BPII? It's very controversial. I found out later, after that psychiatrist quit the agency he was with (the one that diagnosis'ed Dylan BiPolar (BP)) that ALL his kids were BiPolar (BP). Every one of them. And, they had like 400 clients. So, wow.

    Will be in touch! <3
  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just the other day I was thinking about you and wondering about your kiddos. Glad to hear all the updates-sounds like everyone is doing well!:)
  8. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Good to see you again darlin'!
  9. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Hey Lady!
    Always nice to hear you are doing well and kicking some tail around your parts!!!
    Happy New Year to you and the family.
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Hi, Janna! I've been wondering how you were all getting on. We've had a lot of new members and I've been recommending "Explosive Child" for them, but in the back of my mind remembering that you felt it didn't help you at all. I'm currently going through 3rd edition, it is somewhat different, it has what I see as fresh ideas (which makes me wonder - was I actually doing something independent, all along? Whatever I've been doing, has been working for me).

    I'm glad Brandon is doing well at last. And Dylan - he's been a handful for a long time, but the autism label would make a lot of sense. I remember thinking, I wish that could be checked out more thoroughly, I'm sure there's Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in some form going on there.

    We have found with our kids, that the autism label does make it easier to accept their oddness and to cope with it. There are still times I'd like to throttle them, but when you have a 'feel' for it, it all becomes much easier.

    You won't have heard, in your absence - my difficult child 1 got married a couple of months ago! My son's new wife is a darling, a lovely girl, very bright but has long-term anxiety/epilepsy issues. Interestingly, her parents have a fight-fight marriage, the mother lives her own very independent life. difficult child 1 used to live part of the week at their home and reported on the mother's very strange behaviour. The few times we visited, we found the mother very outgoing, very active and energetic, but VERY Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in the way she controlled her environment and ordered compliance form everyone under her roof.
    But I like the woman. True, she's unpredictable, she's a bundle of nerves and anxiety sometimes, she's a control freak - but WYSIWYG. There's nothing fake about her, nothing sly or devious. She's open, she's generous, if she's happy to see you she shows it. Yes, she's odd. And I'm increasingly convinced, she's Aspie. Extremely so. And a great deal of her 'issues' are, I feel, due to Asperger's.
    She of course has no diagnosis. I suspect nobody is game to suggest to her, that there is anything wrong. I suspect in her mind, there is nothing wrong with her, it's everyone else who needs fixing. In her mind, she functions perfectly well. So why fix what isn't broke?

    I'm glad you've been soldiering on, sounds like it's been a hectic time, but productive.

    Keep us posted!

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
  11. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    It's good to hear from you again. I think it's been a year or so since we've heard an update. I'm so happy to hear the boys are doing well, especially Brandon - what a great turnaround story. Thanks for checking in. I can't remember from when you were here last - did you and so get married? I remember when you got engaged. Take care.

  12. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I've been thinking about you lately too. I've missed you this past year (time flies, lol...) and am glad you're back!!! Great news about Brandon!!! I love to hear good news in the morning, especially before I've had enough caffeine... I sort of look like:coffee2:this today...

    As far as Dyan, I'm glad you now have an advocate. We've been having lots of trouble trying to get services for difficult child 2. Unfortunately, all our SD understands is one word, ATTORNEY. Lots has happened, but very briefly, we've filed for hearing and are waiting for a date.

    difficult child 1 is graduating high school this year. Lots has happened here too. To make a long story very short, difficult child 1 WILL be moving out soon after the end of the school year. My mind isn't functioning enough to write more on him right now - However, lots of problems regarding responsibilities - If it were up to him, life would revolve around gaming 24/7 - Some things never NEVER change!!!

    easy child has become a typical teen - Lots of attitude, friends are her life, parents are only around for what she can get out of us. It makes me so sad - We used to have such a close relationship. However, I honestly believe that she is just going through lots of typical teen stuff, and in time, she'll grow out of it. I've got my fingers crossed...

    It hasn't been a good year for me - Health issues, money issues, etc... I know what you mean about having so much on your plate at once. I find myself posting less when I have lots of stuff going on. Anyway, I'm doing my best to keep a positive attitude and trying to take things one day at a time...

    Don't be a stranger around here!!! WFEN
  13. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Awe, it's so nice to see all you guys! I have been thinking about you, too.

    Marg, congratulations on the new addition to the family. I'm so excited to hear that. She sounds like she will keep you on your toes! Your son, too!! How is your health? I have wondered how YOU were doing. Hey, you are right, Dylan is very Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). We have a woman that comes to the house, "Mobile Therapy" is what they call it, but she has a Masters Degree, has been working with Autistic children, and young adults (she has an 18 year old, Aspie, just starting to work, non verbal) for many, many years. Her take on Dylan is that he has Aspergers, mild, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified, clinical - take that for what it says LOL! When you meet him, initially, you see the developmental delays and all that goes along with the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). It's funny, because some that take short periods of time to meet with him (i.e. school evaluations) say "well, he made eye contact with me and played appropriately with peers". Uh, yeah, you spent 2 hours with him when there was no academics and they were having a birthday party LOL! But, when you spend more time with him, you really see the difficulties and challenges he faces. But, the M.T., she spends 3-4 hours here on a Saturday every week. She was the one, originally, to say Aspergers. It's his thinking - more obsessive compulsive, his reasoning, very Aspie. It goes over the typical black and white thinking into another dimension. I think that's what gives her that angle. We took a questionnaire sheet recently (love those questionnaires don't ya? - they're so basic) for Aspergers. There's 25 or 30 questions, and you *must* meet 15 of those to get the diagnosis. Well, Dylan met 14 of them. What do you do with that, right? Some of them, I answered no to because they don't really appear now like they did when he was smaller, but I could have really answered yes to a few more, and he would have gotten that diagnosis. Isn't that interesting how that works? Off a simple questionnaire. The more time that goes by, though - the older he gets, it becomes alot clearer. I still think he has mood issues, he has a very short fuse, easily agitated, very, very, very (did I say very?) hyper/high strung, appearing to be manic. Some say mania. Some say overstimulation. It's to the point here, though, that I'm not worried about it. The doctor opinions don't matter to me anymore, because every one is different. Like I said, it's a guessing game. I used to value the opinion of the psychiatrist. Not so much so anymore.

    No wedding yet, Sharon. We were going to, last summer, but things here went a little haywire. I had to leave my job in June, lack of day care for Dylan (appropriate! day care), and things were hectic, so we postponed. After 1 bad marriage, though, we're not in a huge rush. We're good where we are. I still can't believe he's stuck around through all the B.S. But, he has. He's a good guy :)

    WFEN, I'm sorry to hear about difficult child 1. I understand what you're saying. B is the same way. He thinks the world should revolve around him LOL! I think, with hard times and very, very hard consequences, he is coming around, sort of. But, I don't think it'll fully hit him (and maybe not yours either) until he's in his late 20's/early 30's. You know, on his own, his own place, when he has to pay car insurance, rent, heat, bills. When your check is $300 and your bills for the week are $275 and how are you going to eat all week? LOL! These kids, they don't see. It's not just yours. They think life is easy. B, too, is ready to go. I don't see him hanging around here too long. He thinks he's gonna have a nice car, nice "crib" (apartment LOL), and all these nice things. Hm, we'll see. Not working at McDonald's making $8.25 an hour you won't, ha! I'm actually anxious for him to get out. I love him, but I think him going will be a harsh wake up call for him, and I think that's what he'll need to understand and respect what I've done all these years. Hopefully, in 10 years, you and I can sit around and laugh at all this, right? Sounds like easy child is going through typical teen to me. And, she's a girl! Yikes! I give you big hugs just for that, LOL! I have seen some of the girls that have gone to school with B. Egad! Makes me thankful I have all boys. It'll work out in the end, I will say prayers for you.

    Thanks for the welcome back :)

  14. Hey, lady! I just started come back here myself. My life hasn't been as exciting as yours -- husband still a SAHD because it seems to work better for difficult child; easy child now 10 and doing great in school ... even though we're getting more of that "I'll be a teenager before you know it" attitude; difficult child is still difficult child. Managed to get suspended only once last year and has held it together so far this year (mostly). He's a real pill at home sometimes and just this last weekend, we had to cut a playdate short because he wouldn't play nicely, but his good times are outweighing the bad and his teacher seems to deal with him well. So far. Anyway, glad to see you're back, too. *hugs*
  15. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Wow, good to hear from you. Sounds like life is normal, somethings get better and some things remain challenging. My difficult child has been doing good this year, he has not been suspended all year. Knock on wood. How old are the boys now? I am horrible at keeping track of ages.
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Jana, great update.
    Brandon sounds like he has come leaps and bounds from where he was. And Dylan, too. I hate that you had to go through all those medications to get where you are. Sigh.
    But the neat part, is that they are both doing much, much better. (Brandon sounds a bit like my 12-yr-old.)
    Yes, I know how you feel about the youngest, "regular" kid.
    I hope you can take time for his sports and just go have ice cream or something with-him once in a while.
  17. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    Nice to "see you" again. (Kinda hard to miss you with that gigantic sparkly avatar. lol

  18. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Welcome back! :D
  19. Janna

    Janna New Member

    I had NO IDEA it was that big, Star LMAO!!!!!!

    I changed it. Wow, that was mighty large LOL
  20. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    I'm distracted by shiney things.....lol wait theres a butterfly.......did you see those shoes? How can she get her head inside that hat? Is that a SQUIRREL??????? Look a shiney thing.