which way to turn

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bogart123, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. Bogart123

    Bogart123 New Member

    After twenty years experience as a child abuse investigator I thought I'd been through everything there was, but i was wrong. It is soooooooooo different when it hits your OWN family. There are multiple obstacles that I want to discuss and hopefully get some good feed back on. So here goes.
    The scenario is as follows. Stepdad - ex child abuse investigator - suffers from major depression, anxiety disorder/attacks, ptsd (mostly job related) but was also sexually abused as a child, suffers fibromyalgia of the 18 out of 18 tender point pain variety, sleep apnea, and peripheral neuropathy (of UNKNOWN origins....not diabetic). And various and assundry problems with getting older....smile

    Mom-40 year old who suffers from type two diabetes and is on insulin but not very good about dietary control so that fluctuates often, she has thryroid problems, anxiety problems, ptsd (from childhood and adult trauma), sometimes has problems with what appears to be multiple personality or Borderline (BPD) but hasnt been diagnosed officially with either. She is not yet on Social Security Disability but does not work and would have a very difficult time working full time at anything due to mood swins and anxiety problems. She loves her son very much, but has a very hard time dealing with his bizarre and sometimes seemingly out of control behaviors.

    Child- 8yr old male. diagnosed with ADHD, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and some other conduct or attachment disorder (uncertain of these). He has behaviors that at the very least seem bizarre and at times deliberately done to aggravate his mother or me. No form of discipline seems to work for any length of time (tried corporal punishment, time outs, spending time in corner, lecturing, reasoning, taking away privileges or toys or tv or easy child time. Nothing seems to work for very long periods of time at all. Basically a child that doesnt grasp the meaning of the word NO and shows little remorse at any of his actions. Although he can be loving and overly loving at times. He has also suffered sexual abuse by a cousing only slightly older than he and has recently disclosed oral and anal penetration sexual abuse by his 14yr old brother. No hard evidence of sexual abuse by his father or any other person. However, he has spent time being babysat by a perpetrator of sexual abuse against his mother and a maternal uncle by an older aunt. His behaviors have become more agrressivie recently and he has been verabalizing thoughts of suicide more frequently. He also suffers from many nightmares and has an obsession in one that his mother is burning up (which relates back to a home fire he and his mother survived but was started by him when he was searching for his cat under a couch with his mother's cigarette lighter instead of a flashlight. He survived pretty much intact but his mother was in a coma for smoke inhalation for two weeks. He is being treated now, but will be undergoing further testing (6 or so hours away from home and his mother is supposed to bring him even though she is without funds and transporation to do so. Failure to do so has been told by a social worker, could cause this child to be removed from his mother's custody for neglect.

    There is no support from his deadbeat father who has nothing to do with the child and his lack of supervision between the two brothers led directly to the older one having the opportunity to abuse the younger one.

    There is also very little support from any extended family members to help the mother with anything to do with caring for her child or for providing transportation or lodging when she has to make the lond distance evaluations with her son.

    Anyone who is around this child, whether in school, on a hospital psychiatric unit or regular icu unit or family to babysitters all express frustration with dealing with his behavior. He has only two days ago started back on some Ritalin that doesnt really do much to help, either in school or at home.

    I guess the initial question has to do with anyone's observations, experiences or opinions about this situation and the probability that his mother would be able to take appropriate care of him and provide the necessary transportation to counseling and evaluation sessions. It really IS that hard to get appropriate mental health help anywhere near where this famil resides as the area in the state of Maine is very very rural and sparce with a lack of population much less services.

    The mother wants to be able to care for her son, because she loves him, even though his behavior often exhausts her to the point of anxiety attacks and heart pains (i forgot to mention that she has a potentially life threatening heart problem as well.

    In my opinion it would take long years of an enclosed environment manned by expert counselors and doctors to be able to reach this child in such a way as to give him an opportunity for any successsful treatment and healthier changes in his behaviors.

    I am asking for suggestions about any of this and for opinions of whether or not the child would be better off at home or out of the home in a specialized facility. One more thing, the child at times exhibits the normal behaviors of a precocious 8yr old, who can be very loving at times.

    I, myself am unable to offer much support because of my own physical and emotional limitations, but I am very much in love with the child's mother and ideally would love to have a life with her (and with the child is he was better).

    needing help in NC
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have to say that I don't have a smiggen of experience dealing with the complex issues your stepson is dealing with. But I have to say, your stepson is dealing with issues that no seven year old boy should have to even know about.

    As far as his placement in a specialized facility - only a professional can say for sure, but it's highly likely that he will need to be removed from an enviorment that, not on purpose, has been the breeding ground for so much pain and abuse. Additionally, he may begin to act out based on the abuse that has been done to him.

    We have some parents in your state and perhaps they can advise you on some financial assistance issues regarding mental health support there in NC. In my humble opinion, your stepson needs to be under professional care immediately.

    I'm really glad you are here.

  3. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    If the county is requiring that difficult child is to be evaluated & a parent cannot transport, by law (I believe) the county must find a way to transport this child. I haven't checked Maine's laws on this - it's this way here.

    Saying that, is there elder/disabled bus service, like a Metrobility, in Maine. You make an appointment for being picked up at home & drop off as well.

    I think mum has to be honest with this case worker on her financial situation; ask for a voucher for gas to help her in getting her son in for the evaluation.

    As to all the trauma this little one has survived & treatment - this is going to be hit or miss. Saying that, the younger treatment is started the better. AND if this child needs to live in a different environment to get treatment it's no reflection on the mom; it's the child & his severe needs. My tweedles survived a very chaotic life in bio home & we're "a family of different addresses" - it has to be this way to live safely.

    Just some thoughts for you to consider. Keep us updated on the situation.

  4. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Welcome to the board. I am confused about your post. You live in NC and your wife and stepson live in ME?

    Why can't someone recommend a mental health professional who is closer than 6 hrs. away? In what county does she live?

    Can you tap into your network of former associates to get info about what services might be available for this young victim? I feel so sad for him. He's had a really rough life.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Welcome!! I'm a little confuse, too.

    But that aside, I'll give you my opinion which I hope you realize, might fit for and your loved ones or might not. We throw out ideas here and you can choose to try them or pass them by and no harm is intended.

    First, I would recommend against removing the child from his mother's custody. He has had enough trauma in his young life and I think since the mother didn't contribute or allow it, it would probably only add more trauma to him to not have his mother. I would fight for having public agencies help the mother to take care of things like transportation. And advocate for an IEP at school so he can get extra supports there that he surely needs. I'm not saying that I don't understand this is a difficult situation or that the mother has been thru a lot and has a ton left on her shoulders, I just think that removing each of them from the others' life might contribute more to that and therefore, in my humble opinion, should be a last resort, especially at his young age. I hope the older boy who violated this child is not in the same home. If it turns out later on that this child starts doing things like intentionally trying to catch the house on fire or injure himself or another family member, then he might need a different placement (and probably would) in order to get more extensive help. I would go for in-home help at this point though. Again, that's just my opinion.

    Secondly, read The Explosive Child by Ross Greene- it might help you and the mother a little in communicating with the boy and dealing with him.
  6. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Top priority is to get that kid to his appointments!

    Is the mom or child on financial state assistance? If so, have the mom call her FINANCIAL WORKER (it is NOT the same as a social worker). This person would understand the programs available through the state/county assistance. Have the mom ask this person if her child qualifies for a transportation program.

    I find that the county social workers in our state do not communicate with the financial workers. When they are referring a client to services, it would only make sense and help everyone along the line if they would actually call the financial worker and say, "So and so is going into treatment, how is this going to effect the eligibility of assistance? When is the review due to stay on the assistance? Here is the address to send the review papers to (we deal with adults who do not always receive their mail from home), ect. ect. ect. Is there a transportation program the client can tap into while in treatment to get to doctor appts."

    If she does not know who her financial worker is, call the county office and ask for the Financial Worker department.

    I do know that our state has transportation assistance, however, I have very seldom seen anyone on it and do not know how it works.