1) You've spent years blogging that Kitty is unable to cope with detailed rules or any sort of consequences, ie you couldn't tell her she was in FAIR Club when she was in the FAIR Club.I regret to say that no, Kitty has not changed in any significant way that would make me believe that she can hold up her end of the Boarder Agreement, or even the House Rules.
Has Kitty grown/changed in any way that suggests she will be able to hold up her end of the Boarder Agreement?
Many years ago when I worked with 2-year-olds, I learned that there were a lot of things 2-year-olds couldn't do yet. Empathy, for example, usually doesn't develop until age 3 or 4. Which means sharing is NOT something of which they're really capable, but our job was to keep showing them, giving them the words ("It's John's turn first. In two minutes it will be your turn."), and enforcing the rules ("Susie, you weren't able to share the truck, so it's going to go to time out now."). In the meantime we did everything we could to keep things from being an issue (like make sure there were multiples of every toy).
The Boarder Agreement and House Rules are designed more to give us a starting place. To cut short a few of the arguments, because the rules are in writing and we're just enforcing them, not applying random, arbitrary rules to punish her (her perception). To give us clear cut rules and boundaries that we can consistently reinforce over and over, hoping that one day she'll be ready to hear and follow them, and that by then they'll be part of her vocabulary.
Are you planning to actually impose the stated consequences on her?As I recently discussed with Kitty. Yes, she has the right to make choices (like staying out all night and not telling us where she is and if she's safe), but there will be consequences (FAIR Club). Will I enforce those consequences? Mostly. She needed help getting the written assignment done (and hasn't quite finished yet). Most likely she will not be doing the assigned chores, but there will be consequences for that as well. Maybe we'll find a way to let her know that not finishing her FAIR Club assignment is not OK. Right now all she's doing is working and hiding/ sleeping in her room. When she wants to do something, she does it after work on nights she's working late so we aren't taking her. I will be reminding her of her chores. Probably during therapy so she has time to process her anger.
What are YOU doing differently this time?My plan for Kitty is to keep repeating, reinforcing and teaching the desired behaviors. Yes, that is the definition of insanity, but I don't know that Kitty is actually capable of changing anything. We haven't actually seen a lot of growth in this area in years, which makes me believe that this is where her brain damage limits her abilities.
2) Even the simplified boarder agreement is very prescriptive and likely labor-intensive to enforce. Are you really, truly willing to consequence:
- every single rude name and unhelpful attitude?Ironically Kitty is pretty "compliant" when she's not in fight/ flight/ freeze mode. The problem is that she's easily triggered into F/F/F. Generally I don't bother consequencing her when she's in instinctual F/F/F mode. She really doesn't have control of it. I will call her on her language and attitude when she's not in F/F/F mode, but like I said, she's pretty compliant then - of course calling her on it triggers F/F/F...
- ensuring all friends-boyfriends-girlfriends of all kids leave the house at 8:30 PM every single time?
Yes, this is currently a house rule, and I have no problem kicking people out..
- confiscate every single item that gets left out?
Honestly, probably not. If I find wrappings for something new - I usually announce that they need to return "my property" and they know that means clean up the trash/ wrapping or I will confiscate the item. If she's nearby, I will tell her to pick up the item - over and over until it's done. *sigh* I've found that she never notices if I take stuff left out - except maybe her cell phone.
- "immoral" activities? Is kissing okay but "third base" not??
This hasn't really come up. The kids don't like showing "affection" around me, because I give impromptu lessons in sex ed. Which they find disgusting and embarrassing. lol! Generally I make it pretty impossible to do much more than kiss at our house because they are pretty well supervised and no one of the opposite gender (or L/G/B/T) is allowed upstairs where all the bedrooms are located.
3) If Kitty's not capable of getting the diploma/degree needed for her dream job, what does she have to lose by learning a trade?
The only problem with Kitty learning a trade, is that Kitty doesn't want to learn a trade. Her perception of reality means that she firmly believes that her dream job is an option and she won't do anything "boring." We've worked with agencies that specialize in helping people with disabilities find employment, but they can only help her within her professed area of interest. They can test her for jobs that match her skills and abilities, but they can't make her take them.
Seeing as she doesn't have a job, what does Kitty do all day?Kitty does have a job with Giant Amusement Center, originally found for her by the school vocational program at the beginning of last summer. We'd wanted her to have a job that would keep her busy during the day all summer. Instead she worked mostly weekend evenings. The worst part it it's a totally inappropriate job for someone with her issues (It's loud, chaotic and noisy. There are people who are drinking, smoking, and adults, teens and kids behaving in ways that trigger Kitty (breaking rules, out of control, screaming and cussing...). The teens and young adults that form the staff are not much better. She comes home stressed to the max and between the job and school she was on maximum overload and couldn't handle anything more (another reason she may not have progressed much in dealing with her issues this year).
The hours are awful because the place is open until 3:30am. Kitty is always wanting to work until the wee hours so she can become a manager, and could care less that it was contributing to her missing 2 to 3 days a week of school due to stress overload ("luckily" she's special ed so she graduated despite missing almost more school than she attended). GAC was constantly scheduling her for hours that interfered with school and family activities. She resented us for saying no to transporting her.
Most of the time, she during the day, she sleeps and spends time on her cell phone (usually spending her money on Amazon.com - junk food, 6 inch platform shoes, black hair dye...).
3) All you have ever written about high school guidance counselors suggests Kitty and Bear's were totally useless.Yep.
Bear's counselor was only one of the people who told us about the JobCorp in our area.
Why are you choosing to abide by the useless guidance counselor's advice regarding JobCorps / AmeriCorps for Kitty?
4) Why is Kitty's irrational fear of kids diverted from juvie a valid reason for ruling out JC / AC?
We are not allowed to force an adult to live or work where they are not willing to go.
Is Kitty equally terrified of "special school" classmates who have been to juvie?
Absolutely. Same with the public school students in her special classes (who tend to not only have special needs, but behavior issues as well). That's one reason we got her to the special school. At least there, the smaller groups and behavior specialists made her feel safer.
5) Kitty will probably be on SSI for the rest if her life, i.e. a shared/group home for Kitty is a given. Why shared/group JC / AC housing a no-go for Kitty?
Not only can I not force Kitty to go to a shared/ group home, she doesn't actually qualify. She's "borderline" for pretty much everything and she presents well. This is one reason we expected her to live at home for a long time. She can't afford to live anywhere else and the options she can afford are "unacceptable" to her.
If equally sheltered Bob is expected to cope with the "deprivations" of a college dorm/shared off-campus house (tiny shared room, shared bathroom), why can't Kitty?Neurotypical, non-traumatized Bob fully expects to cope with the "deprivations" of college life and doesn't consider them deprivations, more like an adventure. Kitty is not capable of seeing life this way, and we're back to her trauma issues, mental illness and brain damage.