This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The e-mails

You guys have questioned what e-mails Hubby and the therapist hurt my feelings about. These are some of the recent e-mails I've sent to or copied Bear's therapist and Hubby. Yes, I know most of these are not short, but please remember most of them are a culmination of several back and forths or not getting a response. Accuracy and persuasion versus brevity was my goal.

Also these were over a period of weeks, and while Hubby got copied on all, the therapist did not. I don't think there were any other e-mails they were copied on over these three weeks, although there might have been a little on appointments for meetings for Kitty.

To: Bear’s therapist
RE: Bear spiraling

The more people I talk to at Bear’s school, the more worried I get.

His English teacher sees him as paranoid and feeling unsafe. She’s talking to Bear about Bear not getting along with Hubby and I, about his issues with the SCHOOL BEHAVIOR PROGRAM staff, about all sorts of personal stuff. He appears to be confiding in many people. Most of who are not qualified to help him.

I just talked to the Crisis Counselor at the school as well. She doesn’t want to share too much about what Bear talks to her about, but she said he recently came in in crisis mode about his relationship with Hubby. Bear told me this morning that he talked to her about the staff at SCHOOL BEHAVIOR PROGRAM. He said one day he went into the SCHOOL BEHAVIOR PROGRAM room because he was upset about something, but Ms. R started yelling at him about how he needed to be doing what he was supposed to be doing. Something about when he walked into the SCHOOL BEHAVIOR PROGRAM room (or maybe school in general) that he had no rights at all. That they could tell him what to do and he had no choices. (Obviously NOT something Bear likes to hear). Bear’s case manager, Ms. D, who works in the SCHOOL BEHAVIOR PROGRAM room, was “just standing there listening.” Since she works in the SCHOOL BEHAVIOR PROGRAM room and didn’t stand up for him, he refuses to deal with her anymore either. He said the male teacher, Mr. P, was also spying on him and against him. Bear stated that if he sees anyone from SCHOOL BEHAVIOR PROGRAM in the hallway, he turns and walks away. These are supposed to be one of his main supports at school.

I have a meeting with the Crisis Counselor on Monday, who called because she wants to sign him up for something called LifeSteps - which is during class and is supposed to help kids with life and relationship skills (I’m going to talk to the person running it to see if it’s appropriate) and I just signed him up for something called New Horizons – which has after school field trips to help kids figure out career and school choices. She is an experienced Social Worker who was a foster parent, but doesn’t really know a lot about Bear’s background. She is “backing us up” from what she said (Parents give tough love and discipline because they care about you).

I believe that his C-PTSD is in crisis mode and getting worse. I know he has lots of reasons to be this upset and terrified (our girls getting cell phones and he didn’t, no longer having the support of the Special School for Emotionally Disturbed, the boy who threatened to beat him up last semester just got back to school, med changes, finding out the military is not an option after school, school staff knowing about his stealing and lying, worried about having to move out this Summer – he didn’t have to of course, and now knows he can’t, but I know this still upset him…). There are probably other issues I’m just not aware of like talking to birth family or possibly drugs. I’m really afraid that this spiraling is going to force him to continue downward and pick up even more speed.

I don’t know what to do. Please return my call so we can meet. I don’t want to take up Bear’s therapy time if we don’t have to. I need some advice on how to handle this, and need your opinion on how Bear is doing in therapy. I need your honest opinion on whether or not he’s progressing or if this is part of the problem (maybe dredging up old issues he can’t handle). To me it sounds like he’s stuck and repeating the same concerns/issues over and over to different people. People who don’t know how to advise him. He has a psychiatrist appointment this evening (5:30pm) so if you have time to talk before that, that would be great. I know meds won’t help PTSD, but I think he’s refusing to tell anyone about issues that can be helped with meds if necessary (like sleeping – I’m pretty sure he’s having nightmares/flashbacks, although he’s said nothing about it).


To: All staff at Bear’s school who recently received a request from D’s case manager to report any tardies and missing classes

In addition to tardies and asking for passes, we are also looking for any unusual behavior. Sleepiness, giddiness, inability to focus, lying, irritability, need to vent to teachers or other students about personal life. Bear has multiple complicated diagnoses, a traumatic history and is already in weekly therapy. He should not need to be venting to anyone and everyone and especially not be burdening other students and teachers with issues that are not within their capacity to help or whom he is manipulating to gain privileges, sympathy, or to avoid dealing with his issues in therapy. Thank you for your assistance in this matter. Please feel free to contact Ms. D or myself if you have any questions.

To: Staff at Bear’s school
CC: Hubby and Bear’s therapist are copied

Quick update on today’s events. Some of these may be related. Some not. Following this are what Hubby and I feel needs to happen next.

  • Bear was confronted in class (Study Skills) for not having his books or supplies. Bear blamed it on his parents taking away his backpack. Parents did take away his backpack when drugs and a weapon were found in it… in December. Bear claims that he was referring to not having some papers that were in his backpack when it was confiscated when he blamed parents. Mom did not take any papers or his books, and thinks it’s unlikely that he needs papers from last semester.
  • A classmate reported that Bear was trying to sell 600mg pills. Although of course Bear denies everything and claims he is being framed by A (classmate), he can’t explain that almost no drugs clearly write 600mg on them while he takes a med with this written on the side (coincidence? I think not).
  • Bear takes Seroquel which is clearly marked 600mg – a Black Box Warning anti-psychotic medication (which also causes sleepiness so Bear thinks of it primarily as a sleep med). This med can cause hallucinations and unconsciousness – depending on the amount taken, circumstances and the metabolism of the child taking it – it could be fatal. It is unknown how many pills Bear had or if this was the only kind he had. Almost all of Bear’s meds are very high strength and have Black box warnings. Last time Bear took drugs to school (primarily Intuniv which is an ADHD med – usually classified as amphetamines), they also included his Lamictal a Black box mood stabilizer which can cause a fatal rash.
  • Bear and several classmates are escorted by SCHOOL BEHAVIOR PROGRAM staff to Mr. J (assistant principal) and searched (there were additional allegations of drug trafficking besides Bear). Bear confidently complies. No drugs are found on him. Mom worries that this is because he’s already sold them.
  • Bear claims he is under suspicion because he hangs out with a boy that is dealing drugs (possibly Hydrocodone or Bar?) and that this boy must be selling something that is also 600mg.
  • Another child’s backpack (Bear says was A’s) is found to have a Faberware knife with a black handle and the OTC med Clairitin. The boy claims they are not his, and that Bear was using his backpack and must have put them there. Although our knives all have black handles this wasn’t ours.
  • Bear and this boy are at odds with each other because Bear claims the boy owes him $3. (FYI, Bear is NEVER given cash by his parents).
  • Bear allegedly returned the boy’s backpack to the boy today.
  • Other children were found to be carrying some of Bear’s things. One girl with his notebook claims she always carries his notebooks, and has since middle school.
  • It is reported that Bear gets a bathroom pass to leave math class every day (Bear’s teachers have recently been asked to report Bear’s leaving class as this has recently been brought to light as a concern).
  • At home Bear has shown some physical signs (unconscious mouth movements) that he is either self-medicating (illegal drugs) or not taking all of his meds.
  • Mr. J (assistant principal) talked to Bear about how his meds are potentially fatal.
We most definitely would like him pulled out of the New Horizons and Life Steps programs immediately. He does not need to be missing class.
Based on this and many previous conversations and events, Hubby and I are extremely concerned about Bear’s welfare and apparent inability to handle public school. We believe the possibility of him returning to SPECIAL SCHOOL FOR EMOTIONALLY DISTURBED full time needs to be discussed based on his obvious issues with C-PTSD (which prevents learning); paranoia (ex. his concerns for his own safety in classrooms, feeling SCHOOL BEHAVIOR PROGRAM staff are out to get him); his obvious need to be wandering the hallways; his repeated issues with drugs, lying and stealing; his trouble with academics...
Thank you for keeping me aware of what is going on.
To: Bear's school case manager
RE: Bear's staffing
Hi Ms. D,
Can you give me a little more detail about the staffing (all of Bear’s teachers got together to coordinate and make sure Bear’s behaviors don’t slip through the cracks and Ms. D had just sent me a summary of the results)? From the points you gave it was difficult to tell if Bear is or is not actually missing a lot of class or if that was just something you discussed.
Also, is there something we could/should do about his low grades, particularly in Study Skills? He claims it is because he doesn't want to hang out with Ms. S anymore and she is picking on him. He also claims she is not actually teaching him any skills. As always I know this is probably just his perception or he is upset because she is holding him accountable for his behaviors or he thinks she had something to do with him getting in trouble in relation to (kid who had reported Bear had brought drugs to school and he and Bear are fighting) or something similar.
To: Bear's school case manager
RE: Bear's staffing
Hi Ms D,

Ok, I just wanted to know if you'd seen a pattern in his missing classes or if it seemed excessive when compared across the board with all teachers (for example is he getting a bathroom pass in every class every day). I'm surprised that all teachers reported he is doing well academically since this was certainly not the impression I got from his recent grades. It seemed he was making about a 75 in most academic classes (and of course the 33 in Ms. S's class). Is this because he is not turning in work or just not doing well on tests and other grades? Thank you for all the effort you've been putting into this and keeping me posted!

1 comment:

Beecher said...

I don't have any advice but I did want to drop in and say that its obvious that you're fighting very hard to give him the best chances and that you obviously care very very much about his well-being. You're such a wonderful mother!