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!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sorry, Officer!

I had a meeting today to help me get Bear signed up for SSI. I had provided everything but a questionnaire from Bear's special school regarding Bear's functioning, so I ran by and picked it up from the school on my way to the meeting. 

Bear's special school is right off a highway and at that time of day the morning traffic was jammed and barely crawling past. As I was sitting in traffic, I glanced at the questionnaire.

Oh my goodness, it plainly said what we've been insisting for years but couldn't get the school to admit!

Bear is almost finished with 11th grade. His special school has a 5/2 Student/Teacher ratio and he is in almost all special ed classes.

  • Reading Level: 8th grade
  • Main Level (which I interpret as an overall level): 8th grade
  • Written Language Level: 6th grade
{I was so shocked that we had this in writing that, I stupidly got on my cell phone to tell Hubby... just before I slowly crawled past the "end of school zone" sign. *sigh* Wanna guess what happened?}

Serious Problems in:
  • Understanding school and content vocabulary
  • Reading and comprehending written material
  • Comprehending and doing math problems
  • Providing organized oral explanations and adequate descriptions
  • Expressing ideas in written form
  • Learning new material
  • Recalling and applying previously learned materials
  • Completing class/ homework assignments
  • Working at a reasonable pace/finishing on time

--- He appears to jump around when he reads: this causes him to miss important information.
--- He can't write down a coherent explanation or conclusion in math unless told word for word what to write down.
--- Bear works slowly and this reduces the amount of material he can complete in a year.

Serious Problems in:
  • Expressing anger appropriately
  • Following rules (classroom, games, sports) - slight
  • Respecting/ obeying adults in authority
  • Handling frustration appropriately
  • Being patient when necessary - slight
  • Using good judgment regarding personal safety and dangerous circumstances
  • Identifying and appropriately asserting emotional needs
  • Responding appropriately to changes in own mood (e.g., calming self)
  • Knowing when to ask for help
--- Bear is sometimes oppositional/ defiant with adults. Most of the time he is respectful and compliant at school.
--- Bear tends to let things bottle up inside instead of getting help from adults
--- I have noticed infrequent sleepiness and irritability at school.
--- Bear's disorders seem well-regulated by his medication with occasional isolated incidents involving inappropriate behaviors at school.

The lady helping us fill out the SSI paperwork thinks we have a VERY strong case and shouldn't have to resubmit (she says the reason most people get turned down the first time is they don't show their proof). (Getting SSI for an Adult Child)

Also, we have Nebraska Medicaid until Bear turns 19 so even if he doesn't get Medicaid through SSI right away, we'll still have meds and stuff covered until the adult Medicaid "kicks in." 

Small problem with that is that the agency through which Bear currently receives psychiatric services does not take private insurance - including Nebraska Medicaid. So while we have meds covered we won't have a psychiatrist to prescribe them! The pdoc might be willing to give us 3 months of refills though since he's not on any Federally controlled substances like Kitty's C*ncerta.

{FYI - While the lights are flashing (or during the designated times if they don't have lights), you cannot use your cell phone in a school zone or on the school campus, unless your car is in a parking space - preferably turned off.)


Miz Kizzle said...

I hope you"re able to get Bear on SSI.
Frankly, I'm surprised he's doing as well in school as he is with an IQ of what? 70, if I recall correctly?
I'm curious, is it legal in your state to talk on a cell phone while driving? It's not in mine but that doesn't stop people from doing it. About every fifth car I pass I see the driver yakking away on a cell. The problem is one of distraction; even if the conversation is about something innocuous like a lasagna recipe if one's mind isn't on the road it can lead to what my MIL dramatically calls "a wreck."
But that's great news about Bear. What are the chances that he"ll continue to take his meds after he leaves home?

marythemom said...

Miz K - Bear is in all special ed. The school pretends it's all for his emotional disabilities, but this report shows that's not true. I don't know his overall IQ, but the school has shown that in most areas he's in the low 70s. Only verbally does he score about 100. Which means he sounds smarter than he is.

I know I shouldn't talk on my cell as much as I do. It is not illegal in my state though,except in active school zones.

The odds that he'll take his meds after leaving home? Slim to none. That's one reason we're considering legal guardianship, which this might help us get.