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, September 7, 2011

Bear's IEP

Bear is only at the special school for his first period class each day. We had an ARD this morning and they decided to keep his schedule as is (Special Ed - English, Government, Reading and Speech, a PE that's mostly field trips, and Vocational classes - Metal working, Small Animal Management and Auto Shop) since it seems to be classes he'll benefit from, but quite honestly we believe the main reason was because they ran out of time. The teachers all had to get back to their classrooms (the team had to take a lot of time walking Bear through all the paperwork requesting a new FIE (full school evaluation including IQ, academics, and behavior} and IEP meeting procedures because he’s an "adult" now). I think Bear knows he needs the structure too (he even asked if he could continue with ISS or have to sit with the FOCUS staff/ principal at lunch daily!). He’ll be in ISS {In-School Suspension} until the “investigation is complete” which means through Wednesday at least.

FYI, Bear did advocate for himself. He stated that his Applied Government class was too easy and since history was his best subject, he requested to go into regular ed with inclusion. Everyone politely told him that he doesn’t have the skills needed that all seniors have developed over the last 4 years (analytical writing and note taking were but two examples given). It was suggested that the school will request that his current teacher “step it up a notch.” Bear disagrees that he's behind and thinks he can do it. I reminded him of what they said, then just backed off.

Bear reads and writes on a 5th grade level at best. He doesn’t have math or science classes this year because he's met all the requirements. He agreed to the FIE testing, even after he was told it wasn’t required until December 2012, because he was told it might help him with getting services and getting into college. Somehow he did manage to pass all the standardized state testing last year (we didn’t see his scores)?

Bear basically said at the IEP meeting that this behavior “wouldn’t happen again,” but he’s said that a thousand times before. Bear’s school case manager (and former teacher) said Bear has lied so many times he doesn’t believe him anymore, but he’d go along with the IEP team’s decision. Bear’s regular ed teacher (the last period class that Bear missed because of the car accident) said of the 4 times Bear was supposed to come to class he’s only made it for the whole class once, and even during that class he was asking to go call Hubby because he was trying to arrange things before the football game (he lied and said Hubby had called him). The teacher said if Bear wants to continue in his class, auto mechanics, then he has to show up on time every day and stay the whole period. Hubby and I agree that based on what everyone is saying, that if we’d had even 20 more minutes, Bear would probably be back at the special school half time like last year.

Honestly I don’t believe this schedule is in Bear’s best interest, but at this time I’m also looking at what in the world is going to happen to Bear when the school mascot team/football stuff is over and we lose our leverage on him running away (Hubby said if he doesn’t live with us then he’s off the team). Hubby thinks he’ll just move out and drop out of school.

Quite frankly I’m terrified at what’s going to become of Bear. He can’t hold a job (he gets bored and scared so he acts out). He’s not bright enough to go to community college and probably not to technical school either. He’s unable to accept the structure and family support we know he needs. I think we need to have him assessed for a group home, but don’t know what the criteria would be or how to go about it. We’ve looked at legal guardianship in the past, but I doubt his psychiatrist has changed his mind about wanting Bear to “fall on his face” first, and honestly if we’d had legal guardianship than this whole car thing could become a financial nightmare. I think Bear needs to be court mandated that he has to be on meds, but in reality, most of what’s been going on has been while he’s ON his meds!

We have started him on the Conc*rta and it didn’t seem to cause the scary side effects that the non stimulant ADD meds did (vomiting/diarrhea, facial tics, uncontrollable body movements, acting as though he were on speed…). He did seem a little more jittery than usual, but honestly that could have been purely circumstantial. It’s not like he’s not under a lot of stress! I’m still hearing the slurred speech on occasion too (he claimed the morning of the IEP meeting that it was because he had a dry mouth).

So that's where we're at with Bear. For now we're kind of ignoring what happened, although last night he wanted to go to an FFA meeting and Hubby was working (gotta make up for the time spent at the school), and I needed to supervise everyone and make dinner. He said something about not being able to get a ride, so I didn't have to remind him that we don't allow our kids to ride with people under 21 (did remind Hubby). He asked what I was going to do about it, and I reminded him that not only did I have other stuff to do, but he's on in-school suspension so I don't think he's supposed to be going to school activities, especially not unsupervised.


Got a call from the parents of the girl whose car Bear wrecked. They want us to pay their $500 deductible. Which is actually pretty reasonable, but they want the money now, and they want it from Hubby and I (since Bear is a dependent they believe we're legally responsible. Need to call Pre-paid Legal and check that. *sigh*). We don't have the money to pay it, or the tickets either.

Bear insists he can get a job at the local grocery store near his school. I told him he needs to find a job near his home and he tried to say that no one was hiring (then he claimed that the only job the local grocery store was offering was a shift that ended at 4am). Truth is he wants an excuse to not have to come home on the bus and he thinks he and a friend are getting an apartment near the school.


Lisa said...

My son used to come up with all of these outlandish plans - and I used to panic every time that he was going off the deep end. I was sure he would just take off to complete these ideas/schemes and I always tried to talk him out of it. What I learned was that most of what he said was either just talk or wishful thinking. It sounds like Bear has a "plan" to move out but how is that going to happen with no job and apparently not many friends to carry him. My son always tried to convince me that all of these people were his friends and they all wanted him to move in with him (because I was so mean - all their moms felt sorry for him and wanted to take care of him - sigh - or so the story went). Once I started calling him on a few things, it was apparent he had nothing going on - no one wanting to save him from our family, no job options, nothing. I see Bear being like that based on what you've told me so far. He is slowly burning his bridges at school and trying to push you over the edge at home. At some point, you are going to have to let him just go when he runs because no matter how much you want to help him - you seem to be the only one doing the work in this very one-sided relationship. It is very, very hard to let go of our dreams for our kids and face the fact that he has to WANT to do the actual work of improving his life. We can want the world for them, but if they don't care, it's not going to happen. The world will show him very quickly what's what.

As for guardianship - I wanted to do that with my son at one time, but it is really, really hard to do that here and we'd spend a fortune on an attorney just to have it turned down anyway. Also, many people I know who have VERY impaired kids, and went this route, ended up living a nightmare trying to get their kids into group homes (too functional for one, too disturbed for another) and then they'd get them in and they'd get themselves kicked out. One woman I know moved her son 11 times in a little over a year at huge expense to her family and her sanity.

He is simply not going to have the life you wanted for him. I'm sorry. This isn't a reflection on YOU or your family. You have been SuperMom thru this whole ordeal.

Anonymous said...

"I think we need to have him assessed for a group home, but don’t know what the criteria would be or how to go about it." The MHMR does that. (In my county there is no other way to get this done.) In 2009 the report was called a "Determination of Mental Retardation" but they may have changed the name by now. And NO, **he does **NOT** have to be MR** to get the determination! Ms A is not MR. Here is a quote from her report:
"Based on these results, Ms A does not meet the criteria to be diagnosed as a person with mental retardation as is described in the 1993 amendment to the Texas Persons with Mental Retardation Act of 1977, but may be eligible for certain Medicaid services and supports based on the existence of a related condition ... and is likely to continue indefinitely and substantially limits functioning for learning, mobility and self-direction.

The far bigger question is how would the group home be paid for? The MHMR has *all* the information on group homes. Much information is on their website, and the people at mine have always been friendly and helpful. The "standard" ICF/MR facilities are never required to take a patient, so, as Lisa says, it is possible to be kicked out (or never accepted.)
And then there is the very real problem that Bear is going to take a look arond at the fellow residents and say a) I don't belong here and b) I bet I can get THAT girl into bed!! and c) What a lot of dupes! I'm going to be able to get a lot of money and toys out of these folks. (But since probably none of them can drive, well that is quite a big strike against the whole thing.)

I wish I could answer your question about legal responsibility. I'm certain I have it stashed in a file somewhere from when my eldest was about that age. But I do NOT want to go into files like that right now. (Ever, really.)

Miz Kizzle said...

Can you offer to pay the deductible in two (or three) separate payments? It seems like a reasonable request from the girl's family that they be reimbursed. They could have gotten VERY nasty over the accident.