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, June 22, 2011

Summertime Fun?!

Whew! Crazy Summer so far!

Let’s see, it’s 103 degrees most days, although today was a little overcast (it’s 6:30pm and “only” 98 degrees with a Heat Advisory – which means “hot temperatures and high humidity combine to create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible”).

I did officially discover that Texas Medicaid will not pay for partial day psych hospitalization aka intensive outpatient therapy. I thought they’d paid for it two years ago for Kitty, but apparently that was our private insurance, and I remembered it wrong. Our Right Turn caseworker cannot get anyone to return her calls about possibly getting Nebraska to pay for it. (We have residential treatment written into the kids’ adoption subsidies, but never occurred to us to include partial day because we’d never heard of it).

We’re trying to get a Neuropsych appointment for both kids to review the old neuropsych reports and see if we can get a better grasp of the kids’ capabilities – things like whether or not they can drive, and to have the neuropdoc explain it to the kids – so they hear it from someone besides me. We’ve got a delay though because Bear’s pdoc is out of town.

Next problem is that he turns 18 next month, which here in Texas means he’s legally an adult – and his Medicaid stops. Unless we can get Texas to recognize that because Bear is from Nebraska, where the age of majority is 19 and he will continue to receive his adoption subsidy until then, then he will lose his Medicaid – which we can’t afford (his meds are $1500 – 2000/mo and he was turned down for SSI and SSDI).

BEAR
got a job through DARS working at Goodwill. He likes it, but thinks he’s smarter and better than everyone else.

The younger kids signed up for VBS(Vacation Bible School) again this Summer. They loved it last year. Last week and this week. Then Kitty starts Social Skills camp 2 days a week from 9am to noon at the local MHMR.

BOB is working Crafts with PreK through 5th grade. Everyone comments on how responsible she is (and how tall!).

KITTY is working Theatre with Preschool age (2-4). She really likes it and we’ve talked about this possibly being a future career for her (she says she likes 4 year olds best because they are well past the diaper stage which she says she is NOT going to deal with, but the ones she talks about the most are the three year olds).

PONITO
signed up for Rec (basically PE) which is what he and Bear did last Summer. When we arrived at the church to help with prep work I discovered it was one adult with 8 middle school age boys for helpers. I took pity on the lone adult and not only repaired the parachutes, but ended up volunteering to work with him in Rec for both weeks. *sigh* So much for getting all my paperwork and phone calls made. It has been pretty fun though, and it means I’ve been nearby for Kitty.

KITTY is still on the verge of an emotional breakdown pretty much 24/7 although she holds it together for VBS. Her meltdown last Friday was a doozy and I thought we were going to have to call in the crisis team and maybe send her in for psychiatric hospitalization, but luckily Grandma was able to take all the other kids (Bear was antagonizing Kitty – although to his credit, it was mostly by breathing) and I was able to get Kitty in to see the EMDR therapist an hour early. She was able to calm down and change it up after that. Have to admit though that the “light-switch” mood changes really freak me out sometimes.
Today’s meltdown was because I bought Ponito and Bob some hangers and a clothing rack for Bob’s new room, but although I bought Kitty some room deodorizer in the raspberry scent she chose, I bought one for Ponito too - so it doesn’t count.


We spent Father’s Day helping Ponito and Bob switch rooms. It started out because of something Bear said in therapy about a bird outside his window that kept him from sleeping, but when we brought up the possibility of switching rooms, he instantly dug in his heels and refused. He claimed it was because he had to move all the time throughout his childhood, and now he wanted to stay in one room until he was ready to go to college. (Honestly Hubby and I looked at each other and both instantly thought it was past time to do a room search.)

Bear mentioned it to the other kids and Bob and Ponito jumped at the chance to switch. Bob’s room was directly below Kitty’s and Bob likes to sleep in – whereas Kitty is restless and incredibly noisy and even though we installed rubber matting when we ripped out her bedroom carpet I must admit it sounds like a herd of rambunctious elephant children live in there. Ponito is my morning child (and the only other child we’d trust in the only downstairs bedroom -which is also near the front door) and he was just excited to try something new. He’s now roomed in every bedroom in the house, including his brief stint in ours as a baby.

As of today, we’re trying a new chore routine. Should be REALLY “interesting.” The kids have a few personal chores they don’t get paid for (one load of dishes per child, except Kitty who wipes counters because she can’t handle dishes, cleaning their own room, and doing their own laundry), and then the rest of the family chores are “up for grabs.” Each child can choose to do as many or as few of the day’s family chores as they wish, but… ALL the chores have to be done and checked before ANYthing else can be done. No electronics, no phone (the tough one for Bear), no friends (this one is killing Ponito), no naps (Kitty!), no books (that’s mostly for Bob)… The more chores you do, the more allowance you get. If one child chooses to do all the chores, then they get all the money. If one child chooses to do nothing then they get no allowance money, but can participate in family activities as long as their personal chores are done. If they don’t do either type of chore, then they will be VERY bored. So far it’s going about as expected. Kitty did her personal chores (with lots of reminders), but didn’t do a single family chore.

My kids have been talking about wanting to adopt again or even foster. I’m not that crazy!! I warned them they’d have to share rooms (deal breaker for Kitty!), we’d have to clean house, get a full size van, and make tons of house repairs (the house is 17 years old and lots of stuff is starting to fall apart)… Like the bathroom where Bear pulled off the soap dish so many times it finally broke and now the entire wall is water damaged, moldy and has to be completely replaced. We had a second story deck that was added by a contractor who never finished it, and didn’t use treated wood so it’s rotted and hanging – pretty scary. Had to replace the front door handle because it broke. New handle is a different shape so had to repaint the front door. Let one of the kids do the painting and she got the paint all over the door frame. So now it needs to be repainted too and since we couldn’t match the paint color, the whole two story front porch needs to be repainted… ever read If You Give a Pig a Pancake?

1 comment:

Sunday Koffron said...

(Just as an fyi I have no idea if you have already but, I had to appeal my nephew’s SSD something like 3xs before he got it, I was told they turn just about everyone down the first time.)