Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tightening the Grip

Buster Brown did have a very long and difficult day yesterday, but before Steve left for work mid-morning he had laid down the law pretty firmly. James had a huge mental block over the expectations but Steve left with strict instructions that nothing was to change until he came home. By mid-afternoon James and I were working together and he seemed to be softening and while he could not do a single thing without repeated instruction and constant vigilance from me he was slowly losing the hostility. I cleaned the garage and James worked on cleaning up a firebreak directly behind the garage, so it worked well for me to be close by.

Surprise of surprises, Missy came home in a good mood and she pitched in and worked along side us.

Strict vigilance may be the key to getting this boy back on track. Praying for wisdom.

I'm so excited to be going to a women's retreat on Prayer!! It's 5 hours away and though I invited no less than 5 friends to come along, no one is available on short notice, so I shall enjoy the ALONE time and treasure every second of my break. I'm so very excited about learning more about prayer and praying with others.

Monday, September 12, 2016

A Struggle

My plan is to homeschool James. Unfortunately, all the ground we gained with him this summer is gone. Anything anyone asks him to do he will NOT do. Period. For example I asked him to do a task yesterday morning before he could work on changing the tire on his unicycle. He came back and said he did it and he got started on the tire. I went and checked and it wasn't done. This game went back and forth all day long, interspersed with long periods of screaming and stand-off. I had a care-giver for a few hours so I left the house. He continued the game.... I didn't come home until Steve could come home and he had just finally done the task. A 15 minute job at the most. If Missy hadn't been doing the same trick half the day, too, it might have been easier to handle. I was just so discouraged. How in the world does a person homeschool  a child who won't do anything I ask whatsoever?! I thought perhaps it was just me, but dad is home this morning and James won't do his barn chores. In fact last week we found he had not been feeding the chickens and telling us he was. There's no rhyme or reason. I may have to send him to the school, but he gets livid when I bring it up. Sorry, buddy, but a 12 year olds job is school.

I'm praying. That's the hope I have. I can't go on what I'm seeing because there's not a grain of sand's worth of hope in that.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Speaking My Mind to Behavioral Social Worker


School barely gets started and it's a holiday! I never quite understood why it's planned that way.

Missy is loving school and her three paras-pros and teachers are happy working with her. They don't have her in the self-contained room all day and after visiting the room the other day I can see why. There were two other kids in the room, two boys,  and they were not even close to the level of cognition that Missy is. She goes to PE and choir and a regular science and maybe a regular English class with a para-pro and the expectations are adapted greatly. She also goes to the resource room. So there is a lot of variety and a lot of movement in the day to keep her from getting bored and I think that may be a safeguard to keeping her from sinking into negative behaviors. The special ed teacher is amazed at how Missy keeps track of time and knows where she is suppose to be at all times. This, of course, does not surprise me. Hypervigilance is her specialty.

The first day she ate almost NOTHING at all. ~Nerves, I am sure.

The second day she ate everything I sent. ~Starvation from the day before.

The third day she ate everything except the fruit and veggies. ~An attempt at having a say at what is in her lunch? IDK. We'll see.

She is pale, WHITE as a sheet since starting school. I imagine her anxiety and nervousness is through the roof. Nevertheless, I'm a tad concerned as she is on a new medication. She denies that she feels sick or tired or anything.

The school has 30 days to test and evaluate Missy before coming up with her IEP. So, now I hope that the 30 day respite does not happen until this phase is complete. Also, her special ed teacher is due to have a baby in thirty days, so that plays in as well.

1st day of school. (before she got pale)

Behavioral Therapist Encounter

We had a visit to Missy's behavioral health social worker. It was our 3rd visit. The woman took Missy to her office and left me in the waiting room most of the visit. Of course, I'm sitting there thinking about the articles I've read on individual therapy and how harmful it is to kids with RAD, but I'm stuck. I can't get help in this town unless I go through the hoops and this is the hoop I'm facing. Of course, we don't have an official RAD diagnosis, either because, you know, I haven't been able to get anyone to pay attention and evaluate her, so I'm also thinking of the articles I've read how RAD is often misdiagnosed as ADHD. Missy, of course, has been diagnosed as ADHD and I wonder if the meds she is on for that doesn't work, because that's not actually her problem.

At the end of their time together she invited me in to see what they had talked about the and the pictures they had drawn, etc... I saw at a glance exactly what Missy had done, but I said nothing and just listened and let the therapist tell me everything from her point of view. First was a picture of each of our family members. Each person that Missy has a "great" relationship with was circled and there were things written about what kind of activities she does with each person. James was not circled. On it was written "Mean" and that sort of thing. I was circled and the activity listed was shopping. The therapist went on to tell me how wonderful Missy thinks our relationship is.  Finally I said, "this picture is our goal. This is not reality.  Only a part about her relationship with James is truth... she could care less about that, though."

The therapist was a bit startled. I said, "This is why we are here. She does NOT have a great relationship with me. There is no truth to that. This is NOT reality. She is telling you everything she thinks you want to hear! Furthermore, all this cuddling up to me and being sweet in the office is all for YOUR benefit. She does not normally do this, and she only does that here or when it makes her look good in public. It's manipulation."

The therapist is an honest soul, I'm thinking, surely this is NOT the first time she's run into this, but she looks at me wide-eyed and said, "So, do you think that individual therapy will be of any benefit to her if she's only telling me what she thinks I want to hear?"

"Look," I said with great feeling and passion, "According to the research I have done, and surely you have read in the past, individual therapy for children with RAD does more harm than good, but WE are at the bottom of the barrel. We NEED HELP!! And I am willing to do whatever it takes to get that help!!"

She looked like I had just slapped her. She quickly wrapped up the session, picked up her notebook and walked straight out the door to her car. I was left standing at the counter looking at her retreating figure with an eerie feeling. I have no idea how she actually took it. I talked to a therapist friend later that day and shared what had happened. I said, "I hope she goes to do her research because it seemed like she had not encountered something like this before." My friend said, "no, we do not usually see people who only tell you what you want to hear. That is super unusual. And, yes, I would guess she will go do her research."

I hope so. Our next session is not for three weeks because of the scheduling.  Getting help for my kiddo is so very, very frustrating and slow. I don't know if we ever really will or if it will be too little, too late.

Public Display

We are struggling with handling her in public more and more. For church the older girls have sometimes take her to sit in a pew away from the rest of the family as we still take a bunch of kids to church and she can be distracting to all. Events with fellowship meals are the hardest. Last evening after a baptism of some of the young people in our church Vanessa was trying to manage her at the potluck. The child used every tactic in the book to get more food. She ate twice as much food at Steve, had dessert and breads and spaghetti and all the fixings twice and had to be dragged away from the food counter by her dad while she was yelling, "I'm hungry!!! I need more food!!!" People from our church know her issues, it was the visiting church that looks on in wonderment..... She then sat on the step outside and boohooed her heart out for the neighborhood to hear  while all the other children played a game of tag on the church lawn.