Friday, March 23, 2012

No Excuse

I agree that there is never an excuse for sin.


When does the sin become MY sin?

If we are dealing with an intellectual disability, and we are, then it is possible that I could expect more of the kiddo than she is able if I can't figure out where the line is. Right?

What is disobedience and what is incapacity to following through????

How do you figure out what is defiance and what is plain frustration at not being able without a ton of support???

For example, if you have an 8 year old who has NO concept of time, and I do, it is possible to cross the line in expecting her to hurry when she has nothing to go by... but she is also quite capable of drawing out a process to take FOREVER just to be ornery and so I struggle to understand the balance.

I spent an hour with the pediatrician yesterday. I needed to know that I am not the crazy one.


One another note;

I am heartsick at the little Buddy's family's most recent actions. Don't they understand what an incredibly  precious treasure he is? Obviously, they are NOT thinking.


Jennifer P said...

I too spent an hour with a therapist reminding me that my daughter doesn't ignore the first two times, her brain doesn't register the first two requests. But when I get in her face and touch her body, then I get results. It's a lot more work to do that the first time. But I need to find strategies to stop MY frustration level. I agree, it is super easy to slide into our own sin.

Mama in Uganda said...

I agree.

We need to make sure that we are first and foremost not being quick to judge a specific behavior or action without "looking into" the situation.

The amazing things is is that we do serve the GOD OF ALL WISDOM who is able to impart upon us great discernment.

May wisdom, discernment and insight rest upon you today,

Sophie said...

The hardest part of this equation for me is factoring in mental illness also. There are not just two variables. Intellectual disability, defiance AND mental illness. With Jackson we have all three and even thought Delaney is not diagnosed with anything something is not exactly right. On Jackson's "stable" days things play out very differently. I have decided, for me, it is a moment at a time and a situation a second.

It goes against every single thing I have done in raising my birth children because I am one of these parents that is very consistent. If I say something will be a certain way ONE time that is the way it will be EVERY time. That does not work with Jackson or Delaney. I thought it needed to be to make them trust me but I have found that their minds do not work the same way.

I can make NO assumptions with them. It doesn't matter if we have done something the same way 1000 times I can't expect them to think that it should be done the same way the 1001 time. I have found that I get much better results if I change things up with them and use different therapeutic skills at different times. Makes me use my brain constantly when dealing with them and that is so mentally exhausting.

Oh, and that line you are talking changes all the time. Such hard work this is.

Sorry about little Buddy. Same story so many times over with birth families of foster children. So sad.

GB's Mom said...

My heart broke over the Buddies of my county and I had to stop doing foster care. I couldn't do it any more. Kudo's for hanging in there.

Acceptance with Joy said...

I realize I left the mental illness part of the the equation out of the post.... because I don't have a handle on understanding it yet. It's there. Big time it is there, obviously, but what part of them is mental illness and what part of them is lack of self-control? I don't know.

I do believe that there can be chemical imbalances of the brain, distorted thinking, and mood swings, etc... that can be helped. Just a hormonal imbalance can cause some strange mood swings as women of my age can attest to. I have experienced it and I use my natural "happy" cream with great success :-)

So, there might be something I can do MORE to help these kids have an easier time being happy.

~Melissa said...

I am sure this is agonizing! My mother has a mental illness, well two by diagnosis. Even in her older years, she still needs boundaries. Just because she doesn't get it, doesn't mean you let things slide. But you have to give yourself some grace as well. You are not all knowing (thank goodness), and there will be days you just don't understand and you have to just make do and pray for God's leadings in doing what is right. Of course, being tired and mentally exhausted from many repeated nights/days of trials can make endurance extremely hard. Take time away when you need it. Since your kids are kids, getting away isn't always easy... but find a way to get a break... even if it means an hour alone in the greenhouse or something. ;p We all need time to clear our heads... even my mom with her mental illness sometimes needs time to process things, but I've often had to tell her that just because of that, doesn't give her the right to be destructive to others or herself while she's trying to figure it out. She does better some days than others. I have watched her through the years. Meds work for a time... but they are never the complete answer, something always hits that the one med cannot control... so meds are switched again and for a time she is better. It appears that some of the meds now, in her older years are causing damage to her other systems... So sad, I don't know if it needs to be that way. She often tells the doctor when she doesn't feel right, so the doctor switches her meds... it takes her mind off things thinking things will be better and she doesnt' have to "fix" things. That's a crutch. That's placing blame on the meds and not accepting her own actions. Anyways, it is not an easy fix. The only real fix seems to be clinging to Jesus. These trials are such that they bring us face to face with sin and sadness. Some are our own, we guiltily find out, but some are just there for our awareness that this world is not our home! ((Hugs to you!))

Jennifer P said...

May we add trauma to the equation which clouds all those other diagnosis?

I agree with "Sophie" that the hardest part of parenting these kids is the lack of trust that "what is today" will also be "the same tomorrow". Too many variables.

Even harder is helping other people to understand the issues in a fairly high functioning kid who they might see for 30 minutes at a time.

Great discussion here.Glad I checked back.

La Tea Dah said...

What kind of tools could you develop to help Missy keep track of time (since obviously her own, internal time-keeper is not working properly). An egg timer? A stop-watch? Breaking down tasks to minute levels (which requires so much more mom-work...sigh).

Just thinking out loud, since you posed the question.

PS: You aren't the crazy one! Although some days you may feel like it!

Acceptance with Joy said...

Thank you! LaDonna.... Glad somebody out there Thinks I'm not crazy;-)

Missy has a nice little ladybug timer that we have forgotten to use lately. She's in such a downward spiral right now that nothing works much. In fact she pooped her pants today for spite... That hasn't happened in awhile.

James is on the up and up. Offering to do chores, happy to help, reading on his own. All that lethargy is gone for the moment. He's playing the piano often, hiking and biking.... How long it will last no one can say. It's at times like this I think, wow! He's a great kid to be with.

Acceptance with Joy said...

Definitely add past experience and all the trauma, exposure to unhealthy ways of coping with life.... There is so much against them. Good thing God is for them or they wouldn't stand a chance!

Acceptance with Joy said...

I certainly don't want to go the route of giving a crutch to support the negative unhealthy thought patterns.. I'm thinking along the lines of cognitive behavioral therapy. But that may depend seeing they can't communicate very effectively. Praying for some direction. Thanks for sharing your experience

Acceptance with Joy said...

Thanks summer.

Anonymous said...

I wish you good fortune in this endeavor. And no, you are NOT crazy. You just have a very hard and confusing task with these two kids. Again, I wish you good fortnur.

Sorry about being anonymous. I don't have a google account or a URL.

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

Great questions.

Great discussion.

Keep up the GOOD work. You are most certainly NOT crazy. You are a mama who loves your children and wants to do ALL that you can to help them succeed at life.


Betsy said...

We believe that our children, from traumatic pasts, are with us because that is God's plan for them now. Yes, it is different in many ways than raising our birth children, but we assume that He has provided us with the intuition we need to raise them as well as He has provided us with the intuition to raise our birth kids.

It is easy to question that intuition with all the conflicting theories we can get by trying to educate ourselves on raising these children. But when in doubt, we try hard to follow the example of our Heavenly Father and provide them with the same undeserved Grace that He so often provides us.

It really does help to know that there are other parents out there doing the same kind of parenting, because this is something you can only get if you've actually, "been there, lived through that"!