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!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

No Animal Left Behind

No Animal Left Behind

Sorry I haven't kept y'all up to date. It's been crazy busy around here.

Could use some prayers tomorrow.

8am Take Bear to DARS (Dept. of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services) to see if they can find him a job - he has no car and is still in high school, but his court date for driving a car without a license is next week and he promised the car's owner he'd pay $100/month for the next 5 months and has NO money. {Today I was dealing with the fact that he's apparently been tardy (up to 20 minutes!) to his last period classes and no one is bothering to report it. This of course "teaches" him that this is OK. Which is going to be great when he tries to get a real job. Plus of course, where is he during this time?

He still cannot get the concept that he MUST be "Where he's supposed to be. When he's supposed to be there." He seems convinced that if he's not "in trouble" - meaning being overtly punished - then there's no problem. He had a strong reaction to the new Level privilege system at home, because Level Systems remind him of his many times in treatment programs and the special school. We tried to help him understand that he's ALWAYS on a level system, we just haven't bothered to write it down before. He's pretty much on level 2 (out of 5) which is why he has so few priveleges. I think he actually prefers this much supervision and structure though so I need to stop letting this surprise/bug me.

Last night he lost his internet privileges (Hubby changed the network password) because he hasn't done chores in weeks. I spent 2 hours at home with him ranting about how he couldn't access the internet, or reach Hubby - who was at soccer practice with Ponito. He didn't know that I knew what was going on. When he finally got hold of Hubby he got pretty angry and was in total denial. Hubby got the brunt of it, but I went to bed that night with a sick headache. I rarely get headaches, and this was a doozy. *sigh*}

9:05am Kitty has to be at school (she's still not allowed to take the bus). It's 30 minute drive from where Bear's appointment is and I have no idea how long that will take. Hopefully Hubby can take her although he's missed a LOT of work this week due to appointments (Bear's IEP meeting, meeting with the MHMR casemanager aka "useless lump of flesh," skills trainer and new supervisor - who decided to pull Kitty's skills training services because she was using them like therapy and she's "too severe" for that. Makes sense right?! Whatever.)

11am Meet with the TX Medicaid Casemanager to see if I can get her to acknowledge (and help me find someone who'll put in writing) that TX Medicaid does NOT pay for residential psychiatric treatment so I can provide documentation to the state of Nebraska so they will pay for it as promised. {After I spent all day Friday calling her list of "RTC"s that weren't really RTCs or didn't take adolescents or didn't take Medicaid -no one does! I informed her Monday I was done with her list. Wednesday night she called me and told me she was out of town. Today she called and said she'd re-called one of the places I'd spoken to and they would take Kitty. I informed her I knew that, but it wasn't MEDICAID paying for it, and this place that uses community funds was one step above Juvie and I needed documentation stating that Medicaid wouldn't pay for RTC so I could put Kitty in a private RTC that might actually HELP her. She gave me another phone number for Medicaid and said they wouldn't speak to her about benefits. I called them and asked do they pay for RTC? They said, "No." I asked would they put that in writing. They said, "No." I would have to talk to the local Medicaid office. I informed the Medicaid casemanager of this and she was shocked. Don't know why. I'd just been telling her ALL ALONG that TX Medicaid does not pay for RTC! I still think it's weird to have Freelance Contract Casemanagers.}

2:45 IEP meeting to determine whether or not the school district is going to let Kitty in to the special school for emotionally disturbed kids that she desperately needs (although doesn't want). {Still think it's pretty good odds that she won't get in despite all our documentation. I think they're going to fall back on their observations and state that she's "fine" in school. Did I mention that this week they gave her a Language Arts assignment to write about her childhood - which was reviewed by one of her peers? Her teacher was asking her about how her biosisters are doing. She informed me that she'd lied some on the report and not talked about the sexual abuse. I told her that was fine. In another class she was supposed to write about a "Family Emergency." She couldn't think of anything else so chose to write about her half sister's half brother who had lived with them when they were younger, and was shot at age 16 under mysterious circumstances (possibly by his younger brother, possibly by his mother's boyfriend who convinced the younger brother to take the blame, and some more possibilities even more sordid). Kitty worshiped this boy who once pierced his nose just to make her smile. She hates Bear for accusing him of sexually molesting Bear. Can you say, "Opening a can of worms?" Can you say, "NOT a therapist?" Can you say, "This kid has only been out of a psych hospital for less than 2 weeks?"... I knew you could.}

5:30pm Take Kitty back to the trauma therapist that she HATES, who usually triggers a meltdown (temper tantrum) in Kitty, but the trauma has to be addressed or we're going to end up with another kid like Bear, who has not even touched his issues, and the second he goes off his many meds will become psychotic and scary. {Did I mention that he applied for the military? I wish they WOULD take him, but he's not really eligible because of his diagnoses and medications. One more thing for him to pout over, and find a way to blame on me.}

6:45pm We're supposed to be at dinner with Grandma and the rest of the family, but therapy always runs over {did I mention being late for food is a trauma trigger for Kitty?}

Throughout it all I have to

  • finish gathering documentation for the IEP meeting showing Kitty needs this special school

  • continue to research residential treatment centers to find a good one for when/if we finally get authorization for treatment (that was supposed to happen when she was released almost 2 weeks ago).

  • find someone to fix the big TV (it won't turn on, just makes a clicking noise)

  • clean the house before the Medicaid lady gets here

  • deal with a pouting 18 year old who lost his internet privileges because he hasn't been doing his chores

  • ... and all the things that the mother of four kids, including two who are special needs, has to do on a daily basis

1 comment:

Lisa said...

augh - and when will you even have time to sleep or go to the bathroom? hehe, can you tell I get so few laughs around here that I have to make up my own?

When we were fighting for RTC for my son (gave up long ago) his home-based therapist (who saw him on average of 3-5 times per week) PROMISED me a letter stating all of the things he had tried with my son over the 8 mos he saw him. This was a promise made when he informed me that my son had "plateaued" in therapy (I hadn't seen any improvement at all) and he would not be working with him any longer if I okayed it. Well, fine, I said, I will ok that if you write me a detailed letter stating that you worked with him, the dates, how often you saw him, what methods you used, etc so that I could submit it to Medicaid (MI) to prove I had exhausted all community resources - and this was the end of the line according to the experts I talked to before he started seeing this therapist. I was PROMISED this letter for months and when I got it -I wanted to SCREAM. It basically said my son was wonderful and had made tremendous progress, but needed a little break from therapy. We both knew this wasn't true. Then I got the news from some of his other clients (former and current) who told me the real reason he wouldn't put it in writing was because of some rule that said that whomever actually said he needed RTC had to fund it, and their facility would not fund the RTC's in MI because they used punitive methods of punishment such as isolation (time outs) and with holding of priviledges. Nice to know. So, what would be a punishment for a teen when they're having a meltdown? I am still in disbelief over the "fun" stuff these kids get at the psych unit - whole bags of candy and cans of pop, pool table (yeah, we can't have a pool table at home because of our very real fear that my son will use a pool stick over someone's head or throw a ball thru the window - or at someone, but sure give him unlimited access in the hospital, I'm sure it'll be fine), foosball, unlimited movies (things I would NEVER let my son watch at home because of his immaturity) and generally tokens for breathing. Lets ignore the fact that he comes out of the shower with dry hair, smelling like a dirty animal - give him a token anyway. Ignore the fact that he refuses to participate in therapy and has learned all of the key phrases (from other very disturbed kids) to say when you want out of your home (my mom starves me, beats me, locks me in my room are all sure to get you some extra special attention) - give him a bag (or 3) of candy for winning at bingo! It was laughable and a complete waste of money. I learned there is no help in our state - no one wants to pay and its so expensive that it's unrealistic to even think about us paying out of pocket for services that make no sense to us.

Keep fighting, at least when it's all over you will know you tried your hardest - which might be all you can do. I don't lose any sleep over it any more. You can't access what doesn't truly exist.