This is why I decided that I want to risk overwhelm with Kitty now while she's still in school and has the support and services in place. A meltdown could help her access more services too. If we can demonstrate that she is struggling with life now, it will help demonstrably show how much she would struggle with living independently and working full-time. Add in relationships and possibly young children...
Plus we are going to have to start all over with a new psychiatrist and DARS case manager (both of whom have quit in the last couple of weeks. New people always have to be convinced that the child they see on paper is the same child they see in their office. My kids really present well, especially Kitty who "Acts In" instead of "Acting Out," plus she has a high verbal IQ, and her processing issues don't show as much in a one on one situation.
As you know, I love me some Katharine Leslie, and I've decided to adapt her "Basic Package" vs "Luxury Package" for my sweet child who has informed me that she refuses to be part of this family because it might send her back to the psych hospitals. The good news is this will hopefully force the issue with Kitty, while at the same time looking like we're helping her be independent (at the same time proving that she's not actually capable of handling independence).
The hardest part for me, as I write these documents (will post more over the next few days), is that I've already made the decision in my own head that we're going forward with this - we just haven't told her yet. So I'm even more frustrated and irritated by her behavior. We'll be presenting Kitty with her options next week in therapy.
"The Basic Package"If you choose the “Basic Package”, we will provide a "structure and rehabilitation" environment (vs. "love and affection" environment). This means we will meet your basic needs for food (anything beyond basic food will need to be purchased with your own money, and you will be expected to help prepare and clean up meals and snacks), shelter and case management. We will provide affection (hugs, kisses, loving words) in response to your showing of affection, but only if it's appropriate (for example - not if you kiss me on the back of the head, from behind the couch, after ignoring me all day or being nasty to me less than an hour before).
This doesn’t mean we no longer love you;
it just means we will stop making the first move or tolerating hurtful behavior!!
This will be a “give and take” relationship. You may no longer take more than you give. Privileges must be earned – mostly through positive relationship behaviors (not chores or being “good”). You will be given many opportunities to show your caring and loving nature, and can move to being a “family girl” when you’re ready! You will be expected to be RRHAFTBA (Respectful, Responsible, Honest, positive Attitude, and Fun To Be Around)
You are choosing to no longer be part of the family. Since you will still live in our home, this means you will need to sign the Boarder Agreement. You will no longer be expected to do “family chores,” nor will you be able to participate in family meals or activities without prior negotiation. The names "Mom" and "Dad" are loving nicknames. You can call us Mother and Father or Ms. Mary and Mr. Hubby.
"The Family Plan"The Basic package plus "family perks.”
Family Perks - All the things that children don't need but come out of the goodness of a parent’s heart
• Chauffer/ Chaperone services – including to work and to go out with friends
• Eating out/ Snack food/ Take out/ Special meals
• Gifts, clothing, items, shopping – more than the basic.
• Vacations/ Parties/ Special Events
• WiFi/ Network/ Cable
• TV/ Electronics/ Appliances.
To qualify for the family plan, you need to be RRHAFTBALL (Respectful, Responsible, Honest, positive Attitude, Fun To Be Around, Loving, and Learning) and become a “family girl” with family-friendly behaviors and satisfy parental needs in some ways, most of the time. It cannot be earned or forced; it is a feeling and a CHOICE.
Edited to add: I did NOT give Kitty this document, for several reasons (see this post and this post). I do feel better for having written it, and it has helped me clarify my thoughts and feelings. I have given her a verbal watered-down version. I'm not sure what we're going to do, but Kitty's therapist and I have agreed that based on all that's going on, this is too harsh and would be counter-productive at this time. It may come up in the future though, for any of my children who need to understand the difference between Rights and Family Privileges.