Saturday, September 05, 2009

Thanks, Abby

I looked back and must not have posted about the secretary. Michael is required to take both his anti psychotic med and anti anxiety med before he comes home from school. I can't force it down his throat b/c he is already heading off to "I hate Mommyland" when he steps off the bus. I went through all the trouble of getting additional bottles that specified the time. The woman gave me grief every step of the way. I had 2 separate forms filled out b/c there were 2 meds. She only gave him 1 of the meds for 2 weeks. We were baffled at why he was still struggling so much. I asked him daily if he had taken his meds and he always said he was. One afternoon I asked if he was taking both and quickly realized what the issue was. I contacted the school and explained the problem. She became defensive and explained I had written the wrong grade on the paper so she thought it was a different kid. We have a unique last name, it is not Jones, Smith, or Jackson. She has been told, in front of me, I am the mother of all the De***** kids. I wasn't mad, though. I asked her to hunt him down if necessary but he needs his meds before he leaves every day or he is violent towards me and the kids when he comes home.

A few days later, I was in the office and she told me how he always takes his meds with a smile. She has no problem with him. Now if some of you are beginning to boil, it's b/c this crap has happened to you. People think they can fix your kids. I took in a very deep breath and forced myself to smile. I, once again, explained that he is a very complex child and can be wonderful one minute and violent without reason the next. I understand they don't see that at the school but it is b/c he doesn't feel safe enough to be himself. He is mentally ill not poorly behaved. He uses his manners here at school and holds himself together. All his previous abuse had happened at home and at his parents hands so he becomes very agitated there. He lets out his anger towards them on me and tries to recreate that chaos with us.

She acted like she understood but having gone through this so many times, I knew better. She asked permission to talk to him about his behavior. I smiled and encouraged her. Then I said, "You know, I am going to be very angry if it turns out that I have spent 3 years in intensive therapy with him if all he needed was a good talking to by the school secretary." I tried to sound as sincere as I could. She smiled and kinda laughed.

Later, Michael came home to tell me that she promised him a surprise if he didn't hit me for a week. He went on and on about how he was going to do it. In all honesty, it pissed me off. Do it for the surprise? Why not for me? Don't I deserve to live in a home that doesn't require I protect myself from my son? All her talking did nothing. He attacked me with all his might last night. So much for a surprise, huh? At least I know now that bribing wouldn't have worked anyway.


Carmine Crayon said...

You probably have, but if you can video tape him [or I guess have someone else] during one of his rages, you could use it as evidence if needed. Not that the secretary needs to see that, but still. I would be so frustrated. My mentee is like that.

Kelly said...

Stuff like this absolutely makes me boil. That is the most aggrevating thing as a parent to have someone try to tell me how to parent my kids or even think for one minute they know better than me about my own kids. UGH! Not sure how you kept your cool. Good for you!!!!

Abby said...

I'd just like to say that I feel super duper special that I'm in the title.

And thanks for explaining. =)

Also, now that I have a new job working with middle school kids (some who are coming to me with some minor-ish baggage), your posts remind me to keep things in perspective. It's things like this post that remind me that it takes way more than a 5 min. talk to fix anything with kids! (Although I did teach a 7th grader how to divide in less than half an hour this week!!) Thanks for all you do!

Tudu said...

We can't get a video of him b/c he is so violent that I have to hold him the entire time. There is no self injury or just screaming time. He full on attacks me for the slightest reason. With Ruthie and Patches I have plenty of time to talk to them and try to help them come back. He is so much more physical and insists it is always my fault. We do have a new camera that I hope will make it easier for the kids to help me out.

Michelle said...

I think it's hard to wrap one's mind around how these (not your kids in particular but children in general) sweet, innocent, children can be *so* damaged.

I think you're blog is the best resource I've ever seen for understanding what it means to have to live, raise and love children who damaged to the core of their being. Would you feel free to share your blog with her? I've told caseworkers about your blog and told them I felt like it prepared me for fostering the severly abused children better than IMPACT classes.

I LOVE your comment about how upset you'd be if having a "talk" with him would work after all your intesive therapy.

Michelle said...

Tudu,I'm just curious...but does the school nurse and secretary that your son hallcinates? I wouldn't fault you at all if you chose not to share info with them but for the life of me I don't understand why they won't cooperate with you in caring for these kids.

Sometimes the school officials that deal with your kids sound.... not sure the right word. Like they have their head in the sand?Like they don't comprehend the seriousness of any of these children's problems.

Since I don't deal with the public school system anymore, I'm always amazed at things like. I can't imagine not giving a child his medicine when he has issues as serious as your children's. I hope you don't feel I'm prying too much.

Annie said...

I think if I WERE in your situation, I would have been really tempted to do some lashing out of my own - towards the secretary, though. Congratulations on keeping your cool - hopefully she'll really listen.

Dia por Dia said...

I love how you responded to her!

My blood was boiling as I read about the meds and then the comments. I hate feeling condescended to or as though I am "overreacting." I have never been an "over-reactor" and in fact it drives ME crazy to see it in others so when I think I am being viewed like that it pushes all my buttons. We pulled out our oldest (10 year old) from school partly because we spent all year feeling like teachers, etc. didn't believe us about his needs and took on a "boys need different kinds of attention" type of attitude. Given that we are two moms they also felt he needed a "male influence" so put our special needs son (with IEP a mile long) with the inexperienced male teacher with no special ed. training/experience so he would get that what they presumed was missing in his life. Ughhhh!

marythemom said...

I wish I had video taped our daughter's rages so we could show it to our insurance company who decided she didn't need to be in residential treatment because she was doing so "well" there. Apparently they'd never heard of a honeymoon period. Luckily, the treatement center held on to her for another week at their own expense and finished all the neuropsychological testing at least.

Our daughter never misbehaves or complains at school either so they ignore all the behavior parts of her IEP and assessments. Which means she comes homes and falls apart because she is so stressed from holding it together all day.

I hate when well-meaning people think that they are fixing our children; giving the child someone to talk to because he can't talk to his parents; or criticize the mean parents who "refuse to see the child's potential," or "forget that he's going to have to be in a less restrictive environment in the real world" (yes, he graduates in two years, that doesn't mean that letting him get away with stuff because he's unsupervised doesn't make him any less sick); or that we "won't praise the good things he does" (like how great it was that he didn't get into a fight with the boy who wanted to fight him - never mind that his actions caused the boy to want to fight him in the first place, or that he only went to the school staff because the boy and his friends were bigger than him, or that this was the day he had to be searched for contraband when he came in to school, or that his PTSD was so triggered he was a bear to be around and Hubby spent 2 hours after bed time listening to him vent.).

I hate feeling like the bad guy because I hold him accountable and won't let the school focus only on the positives and ignore the negatives. The new teachers can afford to give him the benefit of the doubt and trust him until he proves untrustworthy. They don't know him like we do.

Long way of saying you have my total sympathy, and you are not alone.

Mary in Texas

Lisa said...

Yes, my blood is boiling. I read a blog post by someone that put it very bluntly (I'm paraphrasing here) - someone else handling our kids is not the same as parenting them. Our kids can be good for strangers, they have no emotional attachment, no pressure to succeed. My son was told that he would get a pop-tart every day after school if he was good in all his classes and didn't threaten to stab anyone else on that particular day. This promise was made by a hall monitor who was to escort him from class to class and then out to the bus because his counselor was finally catching on that he may be a danger to other students in the halls when left unsupervised. So each day we heard how he'd refused to do his work in one class, refused to participate in gym, refused to comply with pretty much everything - and yet every single day, this hall monitor gave him a pop tart and told him he'd done a good job that day. WTF???? I pointedly told her to stop doing this, I told her supervisor and I told the counselor - it still went on. Whatever happened to being good because it was the right thing to do? Did everyone else get a stupid pop-tart who'd been good all day? nope. My son learned, once again, that he can always find someone to give him stuff with zero effort put forth by him. Every time they find another adult to manipulate, it makes them a little sicker. I care about the future of my child, these people only care about the moment. At this moment it makes the adult feel good to say nice things or make nice promises to this adorable, pitiful little waif. If one more person tries to get my child to "open up about what's going on at home" as if we are the problem, I am going to explode! My child does not need a bunch of adult "friends" to hang out with, he needs to learn how to get along with his peers, he needs to be held accountable for his actions, for his lies and there needs to be a significant consequence that's not just coming from ME.