Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Only 96 More To Go

Jacob received ONE award this school year....

Perfect Attendance.

In all honesty, I feel like that is really my award because, I mean, how the hell did he get there if not for me?

I did not even want to go to the awards ceremony. In fact, I almost didn't. This is the only picture I took and even then my husband forced me to walk up and take it.

It takes a lot of effort to NOT make honor roll or superior conduct. Shoot, his bullies all got an award for superior conduct and they supposedly saw the principal at some point. Of course, I realize now that may have just been a story told just to shut me upto appease me. But that's a whole 'nother story.

We are on day five of summer vacation and I have to say, it pretty much sucks.

I got all ambitious like on Friday and drove the kids to the teacher store where I doled out sixty bucks on books and charts and fun stuff to begin Fourth Grade Remediation 101. I spent Saturday morning planning our week's activities plus an extensive check chart of chores that aren't really new but a huge reminder as to what is expected of each and every child with shiny stickers to trade in for allowance quarters. I mean, what child doesn't want money?

My big one doesn't apparently.

I think "I don't have to do any of this crap snd you can't make me" was what he spewed as he stomped up the stairs.

And really, I guess he's right.

He has never done time-out and don't tell me to spend eight hours chasing him back to the spot because I've tried that. I have two other kids I have to feed at some point. I know that mysteriously works for the Super Nanny kids but it never has with him.

I can no longer drag him anywhere. He's too strong for me. We used to put him outback and pull the blinds for his time-outs and that worked until he realized all he had to do was drop and drag.

I could spank him with a belt but the last time I tried that he kicked me so hard I coughed up blood and dealt with searing rib pain for two months.

I don't know what to do with him. I've tried nice, I've tried mean, I've tried sweet and understanding, and I've tried ambivalent and nothing works. My child is a lazy, sullen, rude, smelly teenager already and he's only ten.

I have a MASTERS DEGREE in this shit!

Seriously. I have a masters degree in special education with emphasis on....get this....BEHAVIOR DISORDERS. WTF?

I completely integrated a child back into the mainstream classroom using all these fancy techniques I learned yet I CANNOT get my child to feed the damn cat or talk respectfully using the exact same crap.

He has no more stuff since he refuses to clean it up. He has no sheets on his bed since he refuses to make the bed. He is down to only a few items of clothing since he refuses to walk the three steps to the laundry chute. These haven't done anything to change his ways.

This weekend he peed all over the bathroom floor and wall out of spite. What do I do then? Lock him out of the bathrooms?

His therapist wants to admit him to a facility in Austin. Austin is three hours away. It's a nine month program. It costs over $50,000. Our insurance will not cover it. When the sweet doctor lady wants to send a kid who has to attach himself to my arm just to walk the grocery cart fifteen feet to sleep away from home for nine months, it just defeats you.

We can't afford that. And really, I don't think we can afford to chance what might happen if we'd actually drop him off there and drive away. The nice therapist lady seems to think we don't have any other option.

This was definitely not what I imagined when we decided to have children.


sherrypg said...

Wow. I don't know what else to say. I have no advice since I've never been through it, but the first thing that popped into my head was that your son's life (and your sanity) is worth way more than $50,000. Good luck to you all. Big hugs to you.

Jana said...

Oh my. Like sherrypg, I don't know what to say, other than I'm so sorry that you're going through this. There's nowhere closer (and less expensive) that you can take him?

Nurse Philosopher said...

What sort of evaluation has your oldest had for autism-spectrum syndromes? Any? If so, what did they say? Before you faint, my niece is quite functional and intelligent and has Aspergers'. She simply deals with socialization issues the other kids don't have. And she gets the kind of negativity at school yours gets.

I agree that his meds are not doing the job...I read your post from last year also. One caveat: some drugs have to be tapered off not dropped cold turkey which can cause its own form of delirium.

How utterly frustrating for you with two younger kids to look after. Being afraid of your own kid at the age of 10 does not bode well. There is NO reason in the world he should be allowed to tell you "I won't do it and you can't make me" and get away with it. A psych Dr is good at prescribing meds but it takes a behaviorist to manage acting out and make a rewards system effective.

It makes me wonder whether you might not be better off with a different specialist and the family pediatrician. If it becomes necessary financially, you can look into county health services. The service is slower/more time consuming but they usually go sliding scale pay for services.

Also, you need backup! Consider what kind of help you have in the neighborhood or church. I'm thinking of a highschool boy who can manage tantrums and enforce behavior goals...but also do fun things. A boy like that would have to work collaboratively with you once you decided on behavior goals and consequences. A lot of reading needed before that. Think of this vacation as an opportunity for creative approach to your son, not a daily disaster.

Take heart, Boy Crazy. I have seen children with major behavior problems learn to self-calm and hold to reasonable behavior without taking out the family. However, you're going to have to do a lot of reading about special needs kids and evaluate everything the medicos tell you with a gimlet eye.

Also consider the possible allergy connection. Whole foods whenever possible. Read labels; you'd be horrified at what's in food and things like shampoo.

I have ideas and will be glad to share. Email me at my blog.

Blessings be with you all.

Miss Hope said...

~sigh~ You know my heart just completely aches for you. Every day I give my son his medication, I wonder "Is the the day it's going to stop working?" It's like living on the literal edge constantly.

I'm so dang frustrated with you, for you, going through all of this. Wondering why? Why? WHY???? I get every thing you've said and wish t'hell I had some amazing answer for us all. I don't.

Just keep doing your best, girl. Know you are deep in my thoughts and, yes, prayers.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...


I'm sorry, sweetie. Sending him away doesn't sound like the answer to me, either. But there has to be SOMEONE out there who has the ability to connect with him. Because that's what it sounds like he needs: the connection. As moms, we are sometimes too closely ingrained in their lives to help them break through. With your background, at least you are able to see through the crappy therapists and keep looking for someone who is not only knowledgeable but also wants to connect and love Jacob.

Love you, honey. Take care of yourself. Every season is just a season.