Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Good Old Golden Rule Days

Tomorrow is the big day.

I'm super excited. I could do the happy dance... and I just may, after the bus leaves tomorrow.  I think Missy is, too. I hope she is. Having her home all day, every day when she is unmotivated and sitting is not good for any of us. She needs stimulation and she needs to take interest in life. I think that school will do that for her.

I cleaned out her room and removed the dresser. I also removed the top bunk off her bed. I re-evaluated her bedding and put ONE blanket on the bed. It's warm enough and it will make it way easier to make it. There are no toys in her room except one stuffed animal for on her bed.  Simplicity makes life so much less overwhelming.

I put her dresser in my closet and all her clothes are matched into sets and put into zip lock bags. Each morning she will find a set of clothes ready to go in the bathroom. Her hair has been cut into a pixie to make the hair job go faster. She has been learning to take her shower at night instead of in the morning like she tended to do. She also feeds the cats at night, now. I have made arrangements to send breakfast to school so that we do not have the breakfast fight anymore. Also, the special ed teacher will work with her on brushing her teeth after meals. SO THAT should take the struggle out of our mornings, I hope. The only thing she will need to do is get to the bus on time. I can see her making that the issue of the day, but I am praying she doesn't.

I made a big deal about homework at the teacher mtg. I told the teachers that outside of reading for a few minutes every evening she won't be doing homework. I told them that when she gets home she needs time to play outside, then time to do her evening routine and eat and that is ALL she can handle. Just living LIFE takes all day, and adding the pressures of homework - of me being expected to administer homework, is asking for a daily power struggle and putting unnecessary stress into her day. They understood and accepted that.

Today we make applesauce... It will be an all day event. BUT I do need to line up some packable meals for school breakfasts and lunches, buy a new toothbrush and paste and we are set. Her backpack is ready and her school supplies waiting. Here we go!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Registered for School

Missy is all registered for school.

She's one excited kid. She starts the last day of August.

There's a certain amount of information that is not shared with her until it is necessary. She's had a lot of doctor appointments and therapy appointments and such so I pretty much have had to talk in front of her so she figured out some things about her new school year. The school is  right across the street from our church. It's a beautiful school. We realized that she figured out which school, but she missed some important details.... namely, she is not attending a regular 6th grade class. She had her little head in the clouds yesterday thinking about what she imagined her school year was going to be like. She has heard a lot about 6th grade from Isabel. At first she acted mad about going to this school when she heard about it at the therapist office. She had a full pity party and pout about it  in front of the therapist until I reminded her she knows the special ed bus driver. That helped. Then after the doctor's visit yesterday where we again discussed school and some concerns she was super excited. It suddenly occurred to me mid story of her dreams of being in plays and band and sports that I hadn't told her anything about where she is actually going. The resource room with about 3 other special needs kids somehow just doesn't have the same appeal. I tried to explain that she's not actually able to do the work that they do in 6th grade, that she's just learning subtraction and the books she can read easily are 2nd grade level. She was totally stunned and crying foul. I reminded her that she doesn't yet follow directions, or do what people ask her to do so she will need a special helper at school to guide her along and to help her to do her best. She was solemn all evening. I think maybe the full range of emotions is being applied as her way of processing everything.

We have a new doctor for her. This lady is good. Her daughter and Bri took violin from the same music teacher so I was somewhat familiar, but Steve works with all the doctors around here. So he's knows her.

Monday, August 22, 2016


Missy went to a respite group home for the first time. She was there 5 days. I had a really hard time leaving her  there for several reasons... I wasn't super impressed with the home to start with, but I had driven 3 plus hours to get there and I was leaving for Californing in the morning with steve and to take Christina to college. Brianna and Vanessa had James. It was more than I was willing to ask of them to care for Missy, too. She has gotten difficult to manage most of the time. She's angry and sullen and doesn't do anything almost all day. So, I prayed over her and left. She seemed unfazed.

Meanwhile I was crying all the way home. I finally stopped and texted some trauma mama friends and they assured me I wasn't just an evil mom abandoning my child to who knows what. They talked me through and it helped tremendously.

Next day we left for CA. IT was a terrible trip down. We broke down multiple times and every time was a HUGe cost. We eventually arrived at the college late that night. Next day we drove to an Oregon beach and Steve and I celebrated 25 years of marriage and his 50th birthday. We relaxed.

The first couple days when I called Missy her voice was flat and lifeless. She had nothing to say. After that she livened up and started calling me and her sisters non-stop and chatting up a storm. Mostly she would say hi to me and ask for dad and then go off on a monolog for a half hour or more and then she would call the next one on her list.

When Vanessa called to tell her she would be picking her up the next day Missy argued that she wasn't planning to leave for a couple more days. Then she called me and argued when she was being picked up. So Vanessa eventually asked her, "Do you want me to pick you up, or not?" She answered, "Oh, I'll think about it."  lol. Okay. That's Missy totally trying to control everything.

She's home. She does her own thing and pays no heed to the schedule or what I ask. She whines and argues and fusses. I know she wasn't like that at the group home. sigh. I was prepared though, that re-entry would not go super easy.

I'm filling out applications to horse therapy, school, and pathfinders and she has a doctor's appointment. I'm waiting on a phone call to know when she enters the 30 day enhanced respite program...

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A Trick to Dealing with an Angry Sister

Missy has been lobbing insults and unkind words non-stop. This can really, really put James in a tither. He hasn't ever been able to walk away or let it go. He cries.  I coach him often through the day. I remind him that she's angry at the world and nothing can make her happy and every reaction from him is another victory for her ugly darts.

Isaac, on the other hand, does not take any of it personally. He's grown up with older brothers. I dare say they have teased and kidded each other around enough for him to know that words are only words.  So when she screamed at him that he was a stupid idiot he just turned and smiled and said, "Thank you." And kept on what he was doing.

James watched this a few times. They discussed it. And then we all discussed it. I added a few other lines for him to add like, "You are such a sweet, kind sister! I love you!" If said in sarcasm it could mean more trouble, but if said kindly it could be helpful. It's not exactly truth. . . It's what we want for her.

He tried it out and the results were as expected. She scowled and walked off. I don't know if he can remember when it makes him so mad to be screamed at. He knows all about it. He's done it himself a million times, but funny it bothers him when it comes from the other direction.

Monday, August 1, 2016

A Ray of HOPE

I have spent hours pursing help for Missy.

One day I emailed NAMI in our town. I told them some of the most recent happenings. And then I waited.  Surprisingly someone called me late one evening and she gave me a list of people to call and some advice..

Slowly I worked through the recommendations and things have become more encouraging. Getting help from the mental health system is pretty much futile if the providers are clueless about developmental disabilities. They cannot see past the DD. I was given the name of a lady who I think works with Treehouse and/or Behavioral health for children in our town. She really got the situation and she isn't going to leave me hanging. I think she will help me pursue all available avenues. She is clearly an advocate of adoption support. She mentioned that it was in the state's best interest to give us all that we need because too often these adopted children end up back in the system and that is the last thing they want to happen. She gave me a list of people I need on my team.

One is our Department of Developmental Disabilities case worker. Well, previously we had a case worker who was very sweet and made sure we had the basics, but when I pressed for more she had nothing to offer except an in-home behavioralist. The last behavioralist was terrible and I would NOT have him back in my home for any reason so I turned down her offer. Recently there was a change and we were assigned a new case worker. When I got ahold of her today I was blown away at how knowledgeable she was and how proactive and encouraging she was. She had a list of offers to us. I will accept the behavioralist (a different one, and the second person I need on my team) and I gave her the go ahead to get her enrolled in the 30 day specialized respite program offered. It may happen sooner than later. I'm fine with it running into school starting as this child will not learn anything academic until we get her mental illness under control. I'm thinking we may end up with more in-home care hours which would be good if I can have the new care worker I want!!. :-)   She's also getting me a list of things we have to do.  YEP... a third person giving me a long list of work.

The third person I need on my team is a pediatrician that was NOT accepting new patients. I would not take no for an answer. After back and forth phone calls and information gathering she relented. I was quite thankful for her receptionist who didn't push me away.

The fourth person on our team needs to be our current pediatrician.

The fifth is a DD child psychologist. Hmm... I didn't know there was one. Apparently there is. Someone else is going to get us the referral, though.

There's so many phone calls to make and so much to do. There are people praying that we will get the help we are seeking and I know that is why finally someone is hearing me.  It helps too when I say, "oh, the other day she threatened to jump from a second story window." That really gets people's attention. I really don't know if she would have really done it, but she was contemplating it and her mood was way crazy and out of control. Both feet were on the windowsill and she was hanging out....

Someone has come forward and would like to babysit her one day a week for pay, but they are praying about it as they have small children and are unsure if it is the right thing. I encouraged them to take as long as they like to make the decision.

James is doing well. He and Isaac have been playing a lot together. Truly it is the most I have ever heard this kid play pretend. Conversation, changing voices, interactive... it's great. Also they LOVE the new pump track in nearby town and can spend 3 hours straight  riding their bikes till they are so tired they can't anymore. I've been planning tubing down the river and swimming at the pool, etc...  AFTER they help in the garden for a couple hours in the cool of the morning.