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!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Levels, Privileges and Cleaning your room

First, I have to post this link on cleaning your room. LOVE IT!


As predicted, Kitty hated the new level system, until she decided that it meant she didn't have to do chores!

She decided she was perfectly happy at Basic level... until she realized Friday afternoon that that meant she couldn't spend the night at Grandma's on Saturday night. She began yelling at me for making these stupid levels and for not warning her that by not working on level 1 responsibilities she wouldn't get to spend the night at Grandma's house.

So she started trying to force Hubby and I to agree to take her to Grandma's church at 9:30am. Not going to happen!

Saturday morning on the way home from dropping off Bear at detention she asked to go to a donut shop like we did two weeks ago. I let her know we needed to go home as we both had things to do. She tried to get me to take her to Grandma's house to join Bob (who had spent Friday night at Grandma's as she often does - she needs a break from Kitty, gets to sleep in a little with no noisy Kitty to wake her up, and Grandma loves having her. They go shopping, sew, paint...). Hubby and Ponito were at Ponito's soccer game.

I reminded Kitty of the levels and told her I wanted her to work on cleaning her room on Saturday so she could take a break whenever she wanted and it wouldn't be as overwhelming. She tried to convince me that it was her space and therefore she should be allowed to leave it messy if she wanted to. I reminded her that she does better with an uncluttered room and doesn't get overwhelmed as easily. She of course disagreed. She let me know that Biomom never made her clean her room. (No way was I going to respond to that one!) Despite her best efforts I refused to argue with her.

I finally just told her it was up to her to clean her room or not, but... if she didn't, then eventually I was going to have to clean it for her since I know she needs it clean.

She then threatened to make my life miserable since Attitude was not on her Basic Level Responsibilities. I just told her that no, attitude wasn't, but threatening was, and she was threatening me. She dragged out the old, "It's not a threat if it's the truth" argument. I said, "Yes it is," and let it drop.

She supposedly picked up her room a little, but I haven't checked it yet. She doesn't want me to because she's afraid I will criticize her. I told her that (after 4.5yrs!) she knows how to clean her room to my standards so I won't be checking it until she thinks it's ready.


I spent all day yesterday looking for residential treatment for Kitty. I'm still not sure it's the right thing to do, but we're running out of options. She is stuck at Basic levels. She forgets to take her meds. She doesn't wash her hair when she showers. She naps. She eats and eats and eats.... She cries. She whines. She gets defiant. She shuts down. She's hyper. She's depressed. She is completely emotionally dysregulated. She is unable to complete even the most basic of tasks without meltdowns.

It appears only one residential treatment center (RTC) will accept kids with Texas Medicaid or no insurance at all. It's over 1 1/2 hours drive away and has a 6 to 9 month waiting list. We don't have private insurance, and we don't qualify for sliding scale places because Hubby makes a very good salary doing contract work (no benefits and we have major debt from losing our company earlier this year after 3 years of struggling to keep it afloat).

The only hope I have is that there is a rumor that, like partial day hospitalization, Medicaid doesn't actually pay for residential treatment. If that is the case, and the RTC is actually using state or community funding to pay for treatment (in which case we won't qualify because of the sliding scale thing), then we can hopefully get a statement for denial of services. I say hopefully we get denied because if we can prove that we've exhausted all resources then we have it written into our adoption subsidy that the state of Nebraska (where the kids were adopted from) has to provide residential treatment!

If Nebraska is paying then we can take the kids to a private RTC. There is one only an hour from here that does work with kids with RAD and mental illnesses. The RTC we've used previously (paid for by Nebraska because Bear's adoption wasn't finalized) was great for neuropsych, but did not touch either kids' attachment issues and was designed for the short term (their average stay was 4-6 weeks - although Bear was there for 6 months). {Kitty was there for 2 weeks. Our private insurance only paid for 5 days, and then the RTC itself picked up the rest of the tab!}

I should know more on Monday.


Miz Kizzle said...

I live in NJ where we've has a bad run of governors for awhile. Whitman (Breathe deep! There's nothing unhealthy about the air quality around Ground Zero!) And Jim McGreevy with his Israeli boyfriend whom he put on the state payroll to do a job for which he had absolutely no experience were awful but for my money, Christie is the worst. Vindictive, thuggish and just plain evil. Don't be fooled by his p.r. campaign. He makes Rick Perry look like Jesus Christ.

Lisa said...

Does Kitty have much in her room? I think if you end up having to clean it for her, you should eliminate the clutter and just leave her the basics. It would be much easier for her to maintain and she could earn things back (yeah, I know, it will never actually happen that way, but it would be in her court, not yours) eventually. I get so tired of the clutter and some days I just feel like all I do is move stuff from one place to another all day. It is obvious that less is more with our kids. I really wish I would have known that from the beginning!