Today is a quiet day. GB had book fair today and she was eager to get to school. I left for acupuncture as soon as GB was on the bus. The Dad took care of Hope and put her on the bus. I briefly wondered if Hope had taken the right medication, but I shook the thought off. I have not answered any calls from any of the people that work with Hope. After acupuncture, I took three hours to sit with an old friend at the hospital. Today was a good day for him and we enjoyed ourselves.
GB was approved for waiver services because of her developmental disability. I don’t actually have a medicaid card for her, but I do have a paper saying she was approved and that the card will be coming. Two years this took. It will be another 3 months before we can actually apply for services. I ran an ad on Graig*s list, saying I was looking for a special ed/psychology masters student to spend 3 – 10 hours a week with GB, starting with teaching her to ride a two wheeler. I was surprised at the number of replies I received. One of the responders was a special ed teacher who played softball in the league I ran for 10 years. She was a kind, reliable, athletic kid and her parents were really nice people. She comes Saturday to meet GB. With all the people taking Hope out and buying her stuff, I want GB to have some of that even though she is not a behavior problem.
Yesterday, The Dad took GB and Hope to Friendly*s for dinner. Mary Poppins just happened to be there. Hope chose to have a granddaddy of a meltdown. Karma? Maybe.
I am still numb after yesterday, and do not know how to feel or what to think. I see my therapist tomorrow.
Hope seems as stable as she is going to get. She hit the Dad and he slapped the hand that hit. He said to her “You hit me, I hit you. I hit harder.” She hasn’t pulled that %$@# with him again. Not very therapeutic, but it worked. She still hits me, but I walk away. I am not getting into any more wrestling matches. Hope is not allowed in the same room as GB. We will revisit that rule after the attachment therapist on Tuesday. Meanwhile GB and I are Tapping away.
Hope’s massive team meeting, set up by ICM will take place tomorrow, sans outside therapist. I have no expectations of actually getting help from this meeting, so there is no energy going into it.
I am concerned about GB. She came home with mixed feelings about spending time with her birth father. J was very unpredictable relating to her and did not do well with X. GB and X unabashedly enjoyed the time they spent together and were not happy to part.
Since we have been home, GB has requested extra cuddle time and several times has fallen asleep in my arms. She seems much more sensitive to Hope’s nasty remarks, which Hope tries to save for when no one is listening. I know GB needs more support and I am at a loss as how to provide it. There are many supports available for children with autism, but my gut feel is that the processing difficulties from the FASD is behind most of GB’s current struggles. Support for FASD is non-existent in my area.
I also have to admit I am not keen on leaving her for the Parenting in Space weekend in less then two weeks.
GB’s needs get lost in the chaos RAD brings to our lives.
We had a two hour snow delay the other morning and GB came in to cuddle and talk while Hope was still asleep. We talked about adoption, school, and, rather wistfully, about how life was different since Hope came. Later that day, The Dad complained that he needed 3 or 4 uninterrupted hours for paperwork. This morning, MK and I decided to give it a try. We took both girls and my grandson out and spent a day like we would have, before Hope.
We stopped at a pool store. We bought goggles, a swim sweater (for Mali), and 2 ft rings that hang out under water so you can swim through them. Next stop was the local indoor pool. I focused my attention on GB and we enjoyed ourselves. Hope took Mali’s bucket and poured water on my clothes. I briefly interrupted what I was doing, took the bucket and sat Hope down. She had several other chances, but immediately went for the negative attention. MK and I both refused to engage and the other two kids had a great time.
After swimming, I surprised MK and GB by taking them to a local bakery for lunch. Normally, I consider it and then don’t, because Hope always makes a scene and Friendly*s has a better set up for out of control kids. GB remembers having lunch at this place with my mom and was thrilled to be having lunch there. We focused on enjoying each others company and ignored Hope’s antics most of the time. She ate her shirt, dropped her food on the floor, one piece at a time. When there was no more waffle left, Hope asked me to get her more to eat. I briefly told her “No, if you were hungry the food wouldn’t have ended up on the floor”.
We had dessert because that is the best part of eating in a bakery. Hope and GB both picked Big Bird cupcakes. GB enjoyed every bit of her dessert. Hope played with hers and soon had yellow frosting up her nose, all over her face, and down her shirt. I ignored her until we were ready to go, then cleaned her as best I could with baby wipes.
We stopped at the food store before we went home. I held Hope’s hand and kept it under 14 items because I was starting to struggle with my *no response* to Hope’s poking.
When we got home, GB was happy and cuddly, and enjoyed telling The Dad all about it. The Dad took Hope upstairs to help her put away her laundry. That lasted less then 10 minutes and Hope was sitting again.
It was tiring, but the feeling of having a great day together, in spite of Hope’s sabotage, was worth it. Even if it meant going to lunch in wet clothes.
Yesterday was Therapy Tuesday. Hope had a tough day at school. We took the girls off the bus and started for the Little City. We planned to eat along the way, but pet groomer called to remind us we had not picked up our two Maine Coon Cats yet. We went to do that and MK drove (by herself) to meet us. We all grabbed something semi-quick to eat, MK took the cats home, and we went to therapy. I went in with Hope first. Monday, after one of her rages, Hope had told me that she hates me because I always hit her. That is a problem because I never hit her.
I went in with Hope to fill the therapist in on the last two weeks. Hope was very angry at the therapist and started throwing things at her and calling her names. After thirty minutes of no progress, I went back to the waiting room and let them finish the session without me. I easily heard the thumping and door slamming, so I knew nothing had improved. Hope came out and GB went back for her session.
The Dad tried to do home work with Hope, but she was more interested in getting him angry then doing homework. He told her to let him know when she was ready for home work and started to read his book. Hope kept escalating until she was screaming loud enough to disturb everyone in the building. The Dad took her out to the car.
Towards the end of GB’s session, GB asked me to come back with her. We spoke with the therapist about the tough time Hope has been having for weeks. GB told us that when Hope calls me names or tries to hurt me she feels “sick in the stomach”. I told I sometimes felt like that, too. We talked a little longer and just before the session ended, the therapist told GB she was proud of how well she was handling herself in the middle of all Hope’s chaos.
I hate Tuesdays.
GB is now under the care of the new psychiatrist. We are weaning her off the Geodon and then hopefully the Lithium. She starts on Invega (1.5 mg) as soon as the drug store gets them in. The druggist said it is expensive, about twice as much as the Geodon, which ran about $1400 a month. It is the latest and greatest, so am hoping that our insurance company (which doesn’t like L & G) will cover it without a battle. It is chemically similar to Risperdal, but the rate of side effect is only 4% – much better than Risperdal’s record. We will have to go for regular blood work, but that is a small price to pay for stability.
Keeping GB close to me helped GB a lot. She was much more grounded. However, the better GB did, the more Hope struggled. The shrink this morning was not surprised. She expected it. She also said that the more comfortable Hope got, the more refined the sneakiness would become. She is going to speak to the girls’ therapist on Wednesday. She also recommended that we start sibling therapy for them. I don’t know where we can fit it in or even who does it, but I will start working on it tomorrow. She also recommended that I continue to keep GB right by me and continue to prohibit access to the girls by people who don’t get it.
I sent GB’s bio grandmother this link which has Brenda’s letter to grandparents of RADishes and she read it. I saw a big difference in her interactions with the girls when we went swimming Saturday. Thank you Brenda 🙂
I am hopeful we can meet GB’s needs as we sloooowly integrate Hope into our family.