Mothering Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,447 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We adopted Desta 18 months ago. I homeschooled her for 9 1/2 months and then put her in school last February due to some behavior and attachment problems that were causing a lot of problems at home. I put her in school basically to get a break from her.<br><br>
She has enjoyed school, and she works hard. Her grades are not that great but her teachers report that her effort is outstanding.<br><br>
When we first put her in school, her teachers just were falling all over themselves about how fantastic she was. According to them, she was the sweetest, nicest, smartest, most hardworking (not to mention most beautiful) student they'd ever had. One teacher even told me, "I wish we could bottle Desta and sprinkle her on the other students." I felt good that the school liked her so much but a little weird that all the issues we were having at home seemed to not be issues at all at school. Considering that I was feeling rather fragile about things and wasn't getting a whole lot of support for the issues we were having at home, I was questioning my assessment of the situation.<br><br>
At the end of the year conference, it became clear that, after the initial honeymoon period of school wore off, many issues similar to the ones we were having at home (such as acting clueless and helpless, not really being able to "get with" the routine of school, and really, really low academic functioning) were becoming apparent to the school, too. We decided to have a multi-factored evaluation to determine the suitability of an IEP.<br><br>
Last week we attended a meeting to get the results of the MFE. It turns out that Desta qualifies as "severely learning disabled" (independent of her ESL issues) and that she has "severe" delays in sequencing, verbal processing, and logical thinking. Her IQ is high average but she is performing at a 2nd-3rd grade level (she's in 7th grade). Many of the things that MFE team described about problems she had during the testing were nearly identical to things that have happened at home.<br><br>
Honestly, I feel really good that we finally have some hard proof that the things I have noticed and experienced with her are real and not just figments of my imagination. Desta has RAD, and she can be extremely charming, and a lot of people around me have subtly or overtly implied that either 1) I am blowing things out of proportion or 2) I have it "out for" Desta and have been making things up. People who don't live with her don't see our daily life at home, they just see the charm Desta puts on in public.<br><br>
I told the MFE team that I was not looking to get an IEP so that I can say, "Look! There's something wrong with my kid!" I wanted an IEP so that Desta's weaknesses can be worked on and her strengths built upon and so that dh and I can get some ideas of how to support her school success at home. I am, however, glad to have a concrete "this is what's wrong" to point to when the implication is made that Desta is fine and it's me that's the problem. Frankly, I feel vindicated.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: Wow, what a nutty 18 months we've had!<br><br>
dm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,200 Posts
dm, I'm so glad you were able to get Desta evaluated, and now she can better get her needs met at school. Alot of what you describe (as far as other people thinking you have it out for your kid, are too hard on her, etc...and the school not seeing the behavior for some time)is classic RAD "blame the mother" fallout...at least from what i've read time and again on adoption boards. Almost to the point, where if a mom posts "Everyone in the family thinks the child is great and i'm making things up" that in and of itself seems to be a red flag for RAD yknow?<br><br>
What kind of help are they going to be able to give her w/ her schooling, now that she has this evaluation?<br><br><br>
Katherine
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,304 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Honestly, I feel really good that we finally have some hard proof that the things I have noticed and experienced with her are real and not just figments of my imagination. Desta has RAD, and she can be extremely charming, and a lot of people around me have subtly or overtly implied that either 1) I am blowing things out of proportion or 2) I have it "out for" Desta and have been making things up. People who don't live with her don't see our daily life at home, they just see the charm Desta puts on in public.</td>
</tr></table></div>
it is sad how often stuff liek this is true -- i used to tell mental helath prfessionals ALL THE TIME (when i worked in the goup home and shelter) "anyone can be nice for an hour" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
It is sda your DD has such a struggle -- but it is nice that now you have SOMETHING real to work on, somehwere to go and believe to believe you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,149 Posts
dm, I am so glad that you have corraboration (sp?) for what your gut was saying. This should give the school system a way to help her struggle less, and hopefully improve upon the issues at home. It's so gutwrenching to be Mom sometimes, isn't it? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,447 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>queenjane</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9832799"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What kind of help are they going to be able to give her w/ her schooling, now that she has this evaluation?</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I don't know yet. The meeting last week was just to discuss the results of the MFE and let us know that she does qualify for an IEP. On Friday we meet again to write up the actual IEP.<br><br>
dm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,794 Posts
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I'm glad you have something more concrete. It must have been so hard when people didn't believe you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,447 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>RedOakMomma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9834954"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It must have been so hard when people didn't believe you.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Yep, it was. Not only did I feel crazy (I knew I wasn't, but still, when you seem to be the only person noticing a problem, you feel kinda crazy even if you know it's everyone else not noticing, not you fabricating), I also felt like time was ticking away that could have been spent helping Desta that was just being squandered. I feel very heavily the weight of the fact that Desta will be 18 in 4 1/2 years, and she insists that she is moving out the day she turns 18, and I feel like there's so much she needs to learn and understand and improve upon before then, and I get kinda panicky when I think about how much there is to do and how little time we have left.<br><br>
I was telling someone I know about the results of the MFE and she (rather unkindly, I thought) said, "It sounds like you wanted something to be wrong with Desta." I said, "I didn't want something to be wrong with Desta. I <i>knew</i> something was wrong with Desta, and I wanted other people to understand that to so that we could help her."<br><br>
dm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,124 Posts
I've been quietly following your story and completely trust (and have) your instincts about Desta.<br><br>
I just wanted to chime in regarding the IEP -- I would definitely spend as much time as possible prior to the meeting learning about the kinds of services that could help the disabilities that they described to you. That meeting is your chance to ask for anything and everything that you think can help her. THey don't have to necessarily provide it, but often folks don't think of something or don't offer it unless a parent advocates for it. So I'd see if you can figure out a bit of what you think would help her best, knowing her as you do, to bring to the meeting.<br><br>
Just wanted to chime in with that as a former teacher and current parent of a little guy with an IEP, mostly so that you and Desta can get the most support possible out of this. Also didn't want to imply you're not doing this, just had to say it to cover the bases!<br><br>
Be well,<br>
megin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,329 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dharmamama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9835096"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I feel very heavily the weight of the fact that Desta will be 18 in 4 1/2 years, and she insists that she is moving out the day she turns 18, and I feel like there's so much she needs to learn and understand and improve upon before then, and I get kinda panicky when I think about how much there is to do and how little time we have left.<br><br>
dm</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
For what it's worth, in the schools in our state, kids in special ed programs can stay until they are 21. I know of many kids who immigrated as teens and also stay in high school until 21. It's worth looking into.<br><br>
By the way, for what it's worth, your posts have always made a lot of sense to me. Are there any support groups in your area for folks who have adopted older kids out of the foster care system? I would think that would be a venue where there would be more support, rather than international adoption circles, which, as you note, usually focus on much younger kids.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,287 Posts
Sometimes I think we are in a weird time warp. We brought our very differnt dd's home the same weekend 18 months ago. My daighter is three. But so many of the things you have shared about Desta are the same.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dharmamama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9832019"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">When we first put her in school, her teachers just were falling all over themselves about how fantastic she was. According to them, she was the sweetest, nicest, smartest, most hardworking (not to mention most beautiful) student they'd ever had. One teacher even told me, "I wish we could bottle Desta and sprinkle her on the other students."</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I actually broke out in tears when a teacher told me we "must be blessed by the joy that she brings to your family." I can't put into to words the pain the my daughter's behavior problems have brought to our family, but her performance outside the home makes others believe we are making it up.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Honestly, I feel really good that we finally have some hard proof that the things I have noticed and experienced with her are real and not just figments of my imagination. Desta has RAD, and she can be extremely charming, and a lot of people around me have subtly or overtly implied that either 1) I am blowing things out of proportion or 2) I have it "out for" Desta and have been making things up. People who don't live with her don't see our daily life at home, they just see the charm Desta puts on in public.</td>
</tr></table></div>
Once again, the public perception is that parents of adopted kids with behavior disorders are out to get their kids is so gross. I always feel that people are staring at us, wondering why I can't give my wonderful dd a break, etc. It really makes you feel like you are going crazy. Today I had to tackle my daughter in a parking lot because of unsafe, defiant behavior. By the time I got her calmed down, people were staring. But I am sure to an outsider, it didn't look like she was about to run into traffic, but I know her cues, and it was really scary.<br><br>
I am glad you were able to get a thorough analysis done. Hopefully, it will be another peice to the puzzle to put your family on track. Good luck <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,304 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I feel very heavily the weight of the fact that Desta will be 18 in 4 1/2 years, and she insists that she is moving out the day she turns 18, and I feel like there's so much she needs to learn and understand and improve upon before then, and I get kinda panicky when I think about how much there is to do and how little time we have left.</td>
</tr></table></div>
maybe with the help of school and a "title" for her stuggles she will rethink this, and stay longer, or at least you and she can move into a relationship where that 18th BD is not viewed as so final .... she has to feel on some level wrong too, and maybe having a "title" for herself will help her on a personal level too ---- much as a dx of depression or whatever allows a person (like me) not to feel so "crazy" -- does tha tmake any sense?<br><br>
at the very least you now have help in the next 4,5 years .....<br><br>
A
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,287 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dharmamama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9835096"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I feel very heavily the weight of the fact that Desta will be 18 in 4 1/2 years, and she insists that she is moving out the day she turns 18, and I feel like there's so much she needs to learn and understand and improve upon before then, and I get kinda panicky when I think about how much there is to do and how little time we have left.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
This made me smile, because even though Desta has lots of unique issues, this is so common 13 year old girl. Hopefully, she will mature and see that this isn't a great plan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,149 Posts
Oh dharmamama, I Wish I could magically help you. The best I can do from a distance is support you and belive you 100%. I can feel how heavy your heart is just reading.<br><br>
I did want to mention a possibility about when Desta turns 18, though. Here, at least, we have a MHMR program that handles similar issues (and others) once children are out of school. They can help with job stuff and housing and all those techicalities, but they also help with family care plans, counseling, and such. People served by this program DO NOT have to have mental retardation, but also have developmental disabilities and what would fall under psychiatric/psychological issues. They are transitioned into the program as part of their IEP so that theoretically the process of switching over is seamless.<br><br>
queenjane said:
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Almost to the point, where if a mom posts "Everyone in the family thinks the child is great and i'm making things up" that in and of itself seems to be a red flag for RAD yknow?</td>
</tr></table></div>
I do use that a red flag and suggest looking into RAD/attachment issues if someone says that <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Also, IIR, I have something similar on a list of "what to look for" for RAD. Maybe on adoptive families--I can't remember. The other thing it would suggest to me is post adoption depression, but I think the environment is obviously different in that scenario.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,447 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
pumpkingirl, here's a little picture of what life might be like if your girl were 10 years older.<br><br>
Desta stayed home from school yesterday because she was vomiting Sunday night. By yesterday evening she seemed fine, so I told her that she would be going back to school today. (Keep in mind that she likes school and would rather be there than here.)<br><br>
She thought for a moment, and with her "I'm going to pull one over on you" smile she said, "Can I call you tomorrow and tell you that I'm not feeling well?"<br><br>
Quick, what would your answer be?<br><br>
Most of us would want to say, "Of course you can, sweetie."<br><br>
But with an attachment-disordered kid, nothing is that simple.<br><br>
Notice that Desta didn't say "Can I call you tomorrow <i>if</i> I am not feeling well?" She said "Can I call you tomorrow <i>and tell you that I'm not feeling well</i>?"<br><br>
So I responded, "<i>If</i> you are not feeling well tomorrow, you may call me. If you feel fine, you may not."<br><br>
The smile faded from her face because she knew she'd been caught. She probably would have called me had I not said that ... not because she really was sick or really wanted to come home, but because she wanted to be in charge.<br><br>
And there's where most of the people I know would point fingers and tell me how suspicious and untrusting I am of my poor child and golly gee, she was just trying to find out if she could call me to come get her if she was sick! Lighten up, dm! And that's where there is a fundamental failure to understand what living with an attachment-disordered kid is like. I <i>am</i> suspicious of my daughter and I <i>don't</i> trust her. And the reason is not just because she has given me ample opportunity not to trust her. It's also because I know that if I am living with a person whose primary concern is protecting herself, I have to understand that she will do that in any way she thinks she can and that nurturing our relationship, seeking approval, and playing fair are not her motivations.<br><br>
dm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Number 1 sign of an attach disordered child is that mom looks crazy <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
I have said on more than one occasion, its NOT me and I can PROVE it. I have 5 healthy, normal children including another older adoptee. If *I* were crazy, then this problem would encompass all of the children, not just the one.<br><br>
Our oldest is Desta's age. He's been home for 4 years. And, he's still behind academically. I actually feel better reading your post. We've continued to homeschool from the get-go, and he is not the attach disordered child in this house. But, his academic struggles are very similiar to Desta. As much as I would love to put him in high school, we'll probably continue to homeschool him because of his struggles. Academically, he's now only a yeary behind where he should be. But, writing reports, essays, etc are still a HUGE struggle for him. And, finding books that interest him enough to overcome his struggles in reading English are few and far between. Logic and sequence have finally come, but he still sometimes leave me scratching my head because its not *always* there. The one whose been home 2.5 years and is attach disordered...well, he put a pencil eraser into the electric pencil sharpner yesterday. The eraser didn't erase properly so he figured he would sharpen it to make it work better. When I asked him how that worked out for him, he responded, "not so well." But, I remind myself how happy I am that he gets the one to one relationship now, because that took over 18 months to come for him.<br><br>
My honest best guess is that our oldest will likely head for college around the same time as his brother, who is 4 years younger than him. The younger brother is a bio and advanced and super smart. I suspect the boys who are already inseperable will simply leave together to attend college together and enter this world together...when ds#1 is around 21 and ds#2 is around 17.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,918 Posts
It occurs to me that I haven't told you lately how amazing I think you are!!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">: The way you parent your children, all of them not just Desta, is really an inspiration.<br><br>
On a practical level I hope this evaluation is able to yield some results in terms of which direction to go with Desta's learning. i am so glad you have some "hard evidence."<br><br>
It has been amazing to follow your last 18 months together. I can't wait to see the changes and growth the next 18 months bring in all your children
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top