There Is No Cavalry

Hope had another rage last night, and The Dad was home and was the lucky ragee. The social worker from ICM called this morning and said that Hope’s needs were too severe for her program. Her supervisor wants us to meet with the teacher, school therapist, outside therapist and ICM worker. Of course, it won’t be until after Easter break. After/if we do that, she wants to refer us to a 4-6 week program that DSS runs. It is not the program that the worker feels Hope would benefit from. The worker said maybe we can get referred to the program that would meet Hope’s needs from the 4-6 week program. We have had Hope 19 months now and I have less than no interest in getting involved with DSS. The program currently not giving Hope services is run by the Mental Health Association. The program she needs is run by MHA. I am too old to jump through hoops just because that is the way it is done.

To answer some questions from the last post:

Hope is disassociating, but that does not necessarily mean she has Dissociative Identity Disorder. There are four dissociative disorders and I am not sure they can differentiate between them at Hope’s age. They are not sure she doesn’t have DID either.

Nobody has ever been prosecuted for what happened to Hope. The abuse was preverbal, which means Hope has no words for what happened. The first adoptive family has not been cooperative.

An RTC is a residential treatment center for children with behavioral problems. It is in the same branch of services that foster homes and group homes are in. The state has custody of your child.

An RTF is a residential treatment facility for children with severe psychiatric illnesses. The level of treatment is more intense, there are fewer beds, and it is much more expensive. It has nothing to do with DSS and you keep custody of your child. It is administered by the same people that oversee MHA.

It is hard and it is exhausting living with a young child with severe RAD and probably other major mental illnesses. I appreciate all the support I get from my readers. Thank you.

Therapy Tuesday with a Twist

Yesterday was Therapy Tuesday. I received an email from Ms. VY Teacher detailing a complex lie Hope was caught in and the lies she told to get out of the first lie. Hope was not happy… she had told me she had a good day.

We fed them and went to therapy. The Dad dropped the girls and I off and went to get more coffee. As soon as we walked in the therapist’s waiting room, Hope realized she for got her pencil. I told her she could get it when The Dad came back. That started her rage. As she was trying to kick and punch me and I was trying to get her in a therapeutic hold, GB became agitated and tried to defend me. While I was keeping GB from hurting Hope and getting her in her own space, Hope took advantage of the opportunity to head butt me.

I took her down to the floor, which was hard linoleum and dirty, and she started pounding her face into the floor. She ended up with a bruised face and a bloody lip.

In the middle of this, Hope’s social worker from ICM walked in. She was there to work with the therapist and me on a safety plan. The therapist told the social worker that Hope dissociates regularly, with no warning. She said that Hope was severely sexually and physically abused. She also said Hope did not need an RTC, she needed an RTF. 

The social worker’s response was that she thinks Hope requires a higher level of care than she can supply and she is going to speak to her supervisor about transferring Hope’s case.

I am bruised and battered and doubt the cavalry even exists.

GB and Me

GB and I spent the evening together. We shopped and she bought sandals and a watch out of her birthday money. We went to Ruby Tuesday*s and she had a salad bar (no lettuce) and ribs… no children’s menu for my nine year old! Dessert was at our local ice cream masters, The Jolly Cow. We came home and conditioned her hair and were cuddling in bed when Hope and The Dad came home from their date. GB was asleep by 7:30, worn out from three exciting days in a row.

Building Memories!

Hope IN the circus!

Yesterday we went to the Ringling Brothers Circus. We had first row seats and were circus celebrities! We all went out on the floor when the acrobats were performing. All three kids sat with wide eyes through out the show! GB couldn’t handle performing, but it was right up Hope’s alley. None of them had been to a circus before. GB loved the acrobats, Hope loved  the trapeze artists and Mali couldn’t get enough of the motorcycle trick riders. The performers talked to the kids and nothing sidetracked them from the show.

It was a long day though, and by the time we got home, all three of them had lost it. During the show, they were all present and engaged. It was worth it!

Cotton Candy

It was a dragon circus!

Great seats!

Hope’s CSE: Surrealistic

Hope CSE followed directly after GB’s. Ms. VY Teacher started by saying, “She is SNEAKY! We now see every behavior her parents have  told us about. The World’s Longest Honeymoon is over”.

I don’t really remember much else, but I would like to share a few of this years IEP goals with you:

Hope will reduce in class avoidance behaviors, such as unnecessary pencil sharpening, daydreaming, doodling, walking around, from 15 to 5 times a day.

Hope will reduce lying behaviors from 6 to 1 times per day.

Hope will reduce stealing behaviors from 5 to 1 times a day.

I have never seen IEP goals like these before. Academically, she is still reading on a kindergarten level. Her math skill are slightly higher.

In thirty years of fostering and adopting ED teenagers, I have never seen an IEP that resembles this one.

At the end of the meeting, Mrs. Director of Special Education suggested that we meet again in September to update  “Miss Sticky Fingers IEP”. Her words, not mine.

GB’s CSE: Bittersweet

We went to GB’s Annual Review. I noticed the school psychologist wasn’t there. Since this was GB’s Triennial year and I knew she had been tested, I wanted him present. The secretary went off to find him. He came in a few minutes later, with only a WISC III score sheet, and was clearly uncomfortable.

Mr. Teacher started the meeting, by saying GB was a wonderful kid, hard working, well behaved, and fun to have around. She is the youngest in his class and the only third grader. She is working on fourth grade math. Her writing skills are at least two years behind, but she has made great progress in the last three months.

Mrs. Reading Specialist said GB has progressed beautifully and is currently reading on grade level. She provided documentation, which had much detail and actual scores. GB’s current DRA  level is 34.

OT said GB scores went up in every category except sensitivity. This was not a surprise. The latest medication has left her more fragile than the Invega or risperdal did. OT will focus on sensory needs for the next year.

ST was pleased with the results she saw after adding a third speech session to GB’s week.  She recommended staying at that level of services.

SW is working on personal interaction skills, twice a week, and also recommended staying at current level of services. 

GB will also continue with adaptive gym, social skills class, and “Therapeutic Stretching ” (which is really a combination of Tai Chi and Yoga).

Then came the school psychologist. He made several false starts and finally said “My findings are inconsistent with the testing from 2008”. I laughed out loud. I told him that in 2008 the school psychologist from her old school came up with an IQ of 100 and subtest scores of 10 across the board. I said back then I didn’t know who the psychologist was testing, but it wasn’t my kid. GB has always had great strengths and glaring weaknesses. The school psychologist was obviously relieved. He said he didn’t know how to tell a parent that their child’s IQ had dropped 30 points.

I had known GB’s IQ wasn’t a 100. I had known that she was developmentally delayed. Still, when I heard that her current IQ was 71, my stomach did flip flops. I was functioning enough to make sure the new IQ was put on the new IEP and a copy was faxed to medicaid, but I still had to wall it off so I could continue to function.

GB joined us briefly at the end of the meeting and everybody got a big smile and I got a hug. It is amazing how hard she works and how happy she is. I remind myself everyday that GB is a gift from God. I am blessed.

And The Cavalry Is A Comming!

A lot has happened in the last three days. We had two CSE meetings, Therapy Tuesday, new sensory activities, and made a couple of decisions. None of that makes the radar screen today. I am sure it will later in the week. So, the news that is the center of my life right now?

The cavalry is coming! The Dad and I met with the intake worker for the ICM (intensive case management) program for two hours. It is run by the Mental Health Association. We got the consent signing out of the way quickly, and started talking about Hope. We needed to go into her history in excruciating detail. I found that painful to do… the child comes from such a difficult place.

Next we had to list all of Hope’s needs, and prioritize them. We ended up with anger management, impulsiveness, sexual acting out, and physical aggression. We then listed our needs. We need an in-home tutor so that we are out of the daily homework battle. Weekend respite. A number to call to bring in reinforcements when the Raging starts. Time for GB. Most importantly, an agency who has our back when we get turned into CPS, which is inevitable. 

I feel hope and confidence that raising Hope is possible.

Yay for the cavalry!


Everybody came home and Hope immediately lost everything we had gained. Both girls saw the psychiatrist this morning. She was thrilled with how GB is doing and unsurprised at Hope’s current functioning. She also said that intensive case management was the first step to RTC and we had to start making a paper trail. Such discouraging news. I am hoping the intensive case management will help, if only by getting The Dad and I on the same page.

Both girls have CSE meetings this afternoon. Have to finish my prep.

Mid-Day Report

It has been a whole day of just Hope and I. Nobody to triangulate, no play options but me. We started cleaning the play kitchen after breakfast and found all the dishes and pots had been smeared with Vasoline. I gave myself a 15 minute time out and a cup of tea and then the two of us carried them to the real kitchen to clean up.

We have read books, cuddled, colored, emptied the dish washer and tried to hoop. Hope is practicing listening the first time, with swimming tomorrow dangling as the reward. 

It is much easier to live with Hope when it is just the two of us!