- Non-compliance with meds leading to psychotic adults who may attack family members and damage property - theft and violence
- No communication from p-docs
- Police/ court/ jail
- Grandchildren (not the children themselves, but the parenting issues)
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
After the kids had left for school the next morning, I realized I'd accidentally left the candy on the counter (I hide all sweets and baked goods for reasons that are about to become apparant). Of course 1/2 the candy was gone. I did ask the other kids (who rarely steal and would tell me if they did), and all of them denied touching the candy. Bear admitted to taking one piece.
For the last few weeks I've been attending NAMI meetings 2-3 times a week so haven't been home much. One night Hubby made tacos, but I'd had a few too many snacks at the meeting so I put my tacos in a plastic bag to have for lunch the next day. Nobody took my tacos.
I admit I complained in family therapy (which Hubby and I attend with Bear), but just a general whining about my chocolate and tacos being missing, not an actual accusation.
This morning Grandma called. Most of the kids had spent Saturday night as usual at her house. Grandma has a cabinet in her kitchen she calls the "Kids' Cabinet." It always has snack food in it (like Ritz Crackers, saltines, hot cocoa, applesauce, Koolaid...). We have one too, but ours has more whole grain "healthier" foods (popcorn for the air popper, honey nut generic cheerios, generic frosted mini wheats...).
Grandma had discovered that Bear had opened a brand new box of Cheerios instead of using the already open one in the Kids' Cabinet... which was annoying, but she could overlook. What upset her was that Bear had gotten into Poppy's Girl Scout cookies, eaten the entire box, carefully put it back together so it looked like it hadn't been touched, and put it back where he'd found it.
Today Bear missed the school bus home again. I asked Hubby to pick him up. When Hubby confronted Bear about the cookies, Bear admitted to eating a few (which wasn't OK since he hadn't asked permission), but denied eating the whole box.
Needless to say, I don't believe him.
I know why he lies and steals. I get it. I really do. But at the same time, if he feels there are no consequences then what's to stop him from escalating?
Today it's food, cell phones and MP3 players. Tomorrow? Now that he's 17, even that can get him in serious trouble. Plus he cannot seem to grasp that if we can't trust him then he'll never get the privileges he wants (driving, going places alone, independence...). Without checking with me first, Hubby took Bear for his first driving lesson last night. He said Bear is not going to be ready to drive for a long, long time.
- LEVELS - like they have in residential treatment centers. Very concrete which works well for Bear, but really requires a major step up on supervision on our parts. Probably need alarms and to go back to locking the pantry. Plus it'd be very difficult to do at Grandma and Poppy's house and Hubby and I are barely even ships passing in the night as it is, we really need the respite.
- Letter of apology
- Pay back $6 (Girl Scout cookies are $3/box and stolen/broken items are reimbursed at double). The grandparents said they only have one chore that Bear is competent to do at their house - digging garden beds - but Bear already does this for "fun." I took the money for my chocolate that he ate out of his allowance, but he still owes over $80 for past stuff so allowance doesn't mean much to him. So it really needs to be extra chores.
- His Promise not to do it again.
- Online shoplifting class I found: http://shoplifting.net/eclass.htm - it's $55 and meets legal requirements so this won't be happening.
- Writing assignment about why he steals. (“I deserve X and am not getting it, so I steal to help fill that hole.” "I'm a bad person so I might as well steal." I used to need to steal to get what I needed, but now I have what I need, so I steal because ___________.)
While I'm at it, he also needs a consequence for "missing" the afterschool bus, which he does on a pretty regular basis which means someone has to go pick him up and he gets unsupervised time at school until they get there (which can be up to 45 minutes to an hour depending on how long it takes him to call me to tell me he missed the bus in the first place and what I'm doing.
To paraphrase the NAMI "Problem Solving Process" we're studying right now, it says you should:
- Define the problem as specifically as possible and make sure you're only trying to solve one problem at a time (and it should be the one with the highest priority - starting with danger to self or others).
- List all the things you've tried in the past. Cross out all the ones that didn't work (cause it makes no sense to keep doing something that doesn't work).
- Enlist others if possible and brainstorm at least 7 more options (bringing the total up to at least 12 options).
- Pick the choice you want to try first.
- Pick a backup plan.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
This was nice, not saying the labels aren't valid, but sometimes it can be a good
Yea, nice. Unless your kid really needs those labels to get services, proper medication, support, and therapeutic help. My kids have most of those “labels” and they NEED them. Not labeling bipolar disorder does not make my son an artist, it makes him a tortured psychotic. Not labeling or medicating my daughter’s ADHD does not make her a “normal kid,” it makes her unable to participate in school, learn, or make friends. Not labeling someone with oppositional defiant disorder means that that child does not get any help, which means yes, he might become a revolutionary, but more likely he’ll be unemployed (can’t hold a job if you talk back to your boss), homeless (no money, no one who can tolerate being around you willing to support you), dead (mouth off to the wrong person) or in jail (mouth off to an authority figure).
Wanna know where to find those unlabeled teens in 5 years? They’re homeless, dead or in jail. And their parents are being told that it’s all their fault.
Mom to biokids Ponito(12) and his sister Bob(14)
Sibling pair adoptive placement from NE foster care 11/06
Finally finalized on Kitty(15) on 3/08 - 2 weeks before her 13th birthday!
RAD, C-PTSD, Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, learning disorders, cerebral dysrhythmia...
Finalized on her brother Bear(17) 7/08. He turned 15 the next day.
RAD, C-PTSD, Bipolar Disorder, ADD, ODD?, cerebral dysrhythmia, traits of personality disorders...
" Saying "no" is not being negative. Negative is saying "yes" to things that are destroying you.."
She didn't seem interested in talking to me since Bear is only a junior, but since he's almost 18 she agreed to meet. Long story short, she's encouraging us to apply for services and hopefully he'll qualify for vocational assessment and possibly they can help him get a job or internship this Summer! I'm really excited about this because:
a) I hope this will be a realistic vocational assessment that helps him find a job that actually matches his interests AND ability. The school seems to just ask him what he wants to do (which changes based on who he's talked to that week) and then signs him up for a class or tells him maybe he can take it next semester.
b) If they can get him a job, then he will be supervised and learning essential job skills this Summer!
c) If he has major difficulties on the job and/or gets fired then we have documented proof of his disabilites effecting his ability to work, so maybe we can access services (or pursue legal guardianship if needed) without having to wait until he's legally an adult, letting him fail, and then trying to pick up the pieces (which was the path recommended by his p-doc).
This is what Bear turned in for his 11th grade benchmark essay. It was typed so he presumably had spell check. Does this seem like he's on grade level to you?
The time I felt like an outsider was when I came to Texas to be with my new family that was going to be adopting me. This was weird for me because I met my family once before they sent me to Texas. This meant I had no clue what to think about being adopted and was scared to come to live with them which made me feel like an outsider. I also felt lost and this made me act a little different when I got here to Texas to live with these people I knew nothing about. But for some reason it seamed like every other foster care home I lived in before being adopted. This also meant that I was finally able to live with my little sister again witch meant a lot to me so this is some of the good ways that this has affected my life.
The bad ways this affected my life are it made it harder to see my birth family which were the ones that I really cared about and the ones I felt that would do any thing for me if I need them to. This also makes me constantly worried about my family that I left back in Nebraska who meant a lot to me, like my little sisters that still live with my birth mom. Some times this makes me think what life would be like if I was still there to day like if I would it be different for me in a good way or bad way. This is one thing I think about a lot being with this new family. Why did they pick me over all the other kids in this world? But in the end this all works out with me because of this I think I’m a better person to day! This the way I think being an outsider has affected me and my life
Thanks for reading this and have nice day!!!
The negative ways this has affected my life are it made it harder to see my birth family which were the ones that I really cared about and the ones I felt that would do any thing for me if I need them to. This also makes me constantly worried about my family that I left back in Nebraska who meant a lot to me, like my little sisters that still live with my birth mom.
Some times this makes me think what life would be like if I was still there today to day like if I would it be different for me in a positive way or negative way. This is one thing I think about a lot being with this new family. Why did they pick me over all the other kids in this world? But in the end this all works out with me because of this I think I’m a better person to day! This the way I think being an outsider has affected me and my life. I hope this make me have a better life in the long run to where it can help me help others is my life who are going throw things I went throw in my life lessons I have learned about.
Thanks for reading this and have nice day!!!
He got an 85. He lost 10 points for the uncorrected grammar and punctuation, and lost 5 out of 10 points for uncorrected spelling.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
A friend suggested I use this time to write a book, and I'm seriously thinking about it. According to my stats reader, a lot of people read this blog so I'm going to ask y'all's opinion on what I should write about.
- The FAIR Club - focused on our favorite discipline method. Generic enough for most families, but with info on how to tailor it to each family and child's specific needs.
- Write a book about dealing with older RAD kids and kids of truama in collaboration with one of our therapists who is incredibly experienced, but not necessarily interested in writing her own book.
- Narrative about our adoption/ RAD/ trauma/ mentally illnesses/ teenage/ neurotypical biokids/ school... journey (kind of turning this blog into a story).
- None of the above. This is a bad idea and I should focus on getting a "real job" with benefits.
What do y'all think?
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Today I needed to buy a new jacket for my job interview tomorrow (none of my current jackets will button over my now 34GG boobs! -- hmmm! wonder if I should retitle this and change this so I don't get all those weird searches again). So anyway, we ran by SA on the way back from Bear's therapy. The loveseat was still there!
I had to talk to the manager about a problem with a price tag (the belt for the wrap around dress I wanted to try on was caught in the stapled on price tag so I had to remove the tag to try it on). The sales guy who had seen me showing the loveseat to Hubby and offered to sell it to me for $75 told the manager I was interested in a better deal on it.
The manager looked at it and dropped it to $45! I had assumed $50 was the best I could get. Hubby still said no. :( He wanted to wait until I had a job. The guy dropped to $40, then $35. I flirtateously told Hubby that he'd dropped the price so much because I'm cute and shopped there all the time. The poor manager was looking at my big hubby and about plotzed! Hubby really looks like a big jealous gorilla of a man (in reality he's a sweet natured teddy bear without a jealous bone in his body). I had to continually reassure the poor manager that Hubby knew I was being silly and (unlike other managers of SA), he's always been polite and totally respectful to me.
The good news is Hubby said yes! I finally get to replace the oversized couch that smells like cat pee! Yea!!! Now if I get the job (wearing my cute $5 jacket), I'll be totally happy!
Oh yea, for those of you with your mind in the gutter wondering why the new loveseat is a marital aide? Every Saturday night the kids go to Grandmas so Hubby and I can have a date night. We're old and poor so we usually end up watching a DVD from Redb*x. None of the couches are comfy for cuddling (we're not tiny little people who can cuddle on the couch together). So now we can both recline next to each other and be comfy and cuddle. Sweet!
Basically I've been talking to the pdoc through Bear's case manager, telling her (and therefore him) about Bear's latest exploits and our general concerns. The last few days have been snow days (not because of actual snow or ice, but rolling brown outs that are knocking out power at most of the schools in our district for about 30-45 minutes at a time 3 to 4 times a day). So on the day of Bear's pdoc appointment I was focused on who I was leaving home alone together (something I rarely do), and how I was going to get everyone to school. Between the trainings I'm attending, the fact that I'm probably a little depressed, Kitty's latest issues with depression/rages because she's been hanging out with kids who are depressed and cutting, and the guilt I'm feeling about not being able to focus a lot of time on her because of all the other stuff I'm doing... I was pretty distracted during Bear's appointment.
So when the pdoc stated that he'd read my e-mails and felt that Bear's behavior was nothing new, it didn't really register. When he stated that Bear's risk taking behavior was typical teenage boy behavior, I didn't even bother to argue (yes, it is typical teenage boy behavior, but Bear is not really a teenage boy developmentally, and... you know what, I still don't have the energy to argue). Bear spent the entire appointment with his head in his hands, obviously depressed or overwhelmed, but he willingly answered the pdoc's questions. He told the pdoc that he had all As and Bs (I hadn't checked in awhile - he's actually failing his computer class so this wasn't true).
The next thing I knew we were being ushered out of the appointment with no meds changed. See ya in a couple of months!
Talking about it with Hubby this morning, and we're still in a major dilemma.
- Bear needs structure and supervision.
- He needs major meds.
- He does not believe in his diagnoses.
- Any issues that crop up are your problem not his.
- He believes that needing chaos is part of his identity so he needs risk-taking, adrenaline junkie activities.
- His IQ is low, but not quite mentally retarded (mid 70s to low 80s).
- He gets overwhelmed in groups bigger than 6.
- He does not handle criticism or being told what to do.
- He has black and white thinking.
- He has low impulse control.
- If you are not his best friend (aka always doing what he wants), then you hate him and he will defiantly do the opposite of what you want - even if it is not in his own best interest.
- He is uncoordinated and has issues with heat and stamina.
- He has an addictive brain - so is vulnerable to addictive substances (tobacco, drugs, eating disorders, sex...).
This is not my opinion. These are symptoms of his diagnoses (C-PTSD, bipolar, personality disorders...) and unlike most teens, he will NOT grow out of them.
People "pull themselves up by their bootstraps" all the time. People with low IQs get good jobs and support themselves and a family just fine. Rebellious teens outgrow it and become productive citizens. People with bipolar disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, ADD, personality disorders, victims of childhood abuse... take their meds, go to therapy, find ways to adapt, and become semi-happy adults. You hear about success stories.
I don't think Bear has what the people in those success stories have. Usually those will serious illnesses and issues have the brain power to work their way around it. Those with low IQs and disabilities have the can-do attitude and support from others to help them get through it.
Many years ago, my brother-in-law lived with us. He has some pretty major cognitive disabilities, probably a low IQ and unmedicated ADHD. He also had issues with depression and had a passive aggressive personality (emphasis on the passive). He lived with Hubby and I for awhile and we tried to help him through college/technical school. At the time, Hubby was working as an engineer, back before the hi-tech industry crashed, so was making really good money.
My BIL wanted what Hubby had, but didn't have what it took to go through the years of school that Hubby did. We finally realized that we were enabling BIL (after he reneged on yet another car loan, flunked out of yet another school, and didn't bother showing up to yet another appointment to help him get assessed to get help for his issues...). I was allowing his learned helplessness to continue. He felt entitled to what Hubby had and would just give up when he couldn't achieve it easily.
We finally encouraged him to go back to Nebraska and live near my MIL(mother-in-law) where everyone has blue-collar jobs and are hard workers, reaping the realistic rewards of their labors. He did better (for awhile).
I wonder if we are doing the same thing to Bear (and Kitty) setting them up to want to live in the lifestyle to which they've grown accustomed, knowing they do not have the abilities to achieve it. If we lived on a farm, or worked in a factory in a small town, or something like that... then it seems like our kids would have a better chance of being happy with what they are capable of.
That probably sounds snobby or elitist or something. It's not the way I meant it. I'm just frustrated.
Need to make lunch so I can get the kids to Grandma's and go shopping at the local thrift stores for a suit for my job interview on Monday. Maybe some retail therapy will make me feel better. Yes, I have a job interview, and I'm kind of excited about it.