This Trip to Michigan

The last time I visited Michigan, it was unpleasant. J was off his meds and that had the entire family in chaos. I set clear boundaries with J that he would not see GB until he was in treatment. As out of control as he was, GB had no interest in interacting with him and  told him so.

About six weeks ago, Joel applied to a new program, that was based on DBT. The psychiatrist and therapist work closely together and there is also group work involved. J likes the program.

In the four days we have been here, my son has been stable, responsible, and enjoyable. My grandchildren are happy and relaxed. J and GB have spent time together having real conversations. GB and X have a connection that is enjoyable to watch.

Hope is still having major struggles and difficulty with daily life,  even with her world very small.  We leave tomorrow morning, early enough to meet a friend 20 minutes north of Detroit. I am happy I came to visit.

Birthday Fun

Hope and my grandson, X, have birthdays a day apart. Today, we celebrated. Everyone went bowling (I just watched). We went out to lunch at a good Mexican place. We ended at an aecade where the kids collected coupons and chose “prizes. Back at J’s, they played video games until cake time. Hope and X each had their own distinctive cake. X has enjoyed us being here.



An Update on Michigan

This is my grandson, X, on his first day of second grade. Thanks to a trip I made to Michigan, X is reading on grade level, although still a year behind chronologically. The one on one tutoring this summer (paid for by the school district) made a big difference. I think he is the world’s most handsome second grader, even if I am biased.

My son, J, is back on his meds, attending therapy regularly (I call and check), and has a new job. I was unable to talk to him regularly before he was back on the meds because I did not have it in me. Our relationship is much better now.

My granddaughter, K2, is still struggling with an overwhelming weight problem, but has managed to keep her weight stable three months in a row. I am so proud of her!

My oldest granddaughter, Kaylee, is a senior in high school and has a job.

I am encouraging both J and my DIL to develop some skills through vocational training. I have offered to help pay for it and this is the third year I am trying. I have hopes that they are both stable enough that this may be the year they decide to go for it.

X’s birth mother has warrant out for her arrest, hasn’t seen him in over eight weeks, and has an open CPS investigation for leaving her 2 year old alone for 72 hours. No body has seen her or her two year old in several weeks. I told J to file for a suspension of her visitation rights. I hope he does. X is really struggling with this. He is afraid for his baby sister. Any prayers you have would be appreciated.

X’s IEP: My Work Is Done

Today I knew the IEP meeting was at 11 am. I was dressed in my professional best (shoes, even). I introduced myself, including my credentials. I had my graphs, a list of the information the school was suppose to bring to the meeting, and the relevant law dog eared in my WrightsLaw book.

X has appropriate reading goals, research-based reading interventions, and Extended School Year written into his IEP. They will be evaluating X’s word retrieval speed and doing an FBA.

Last night, my son smacked X and gave GB the middle finger. I read the riot act to my son. I told him he would only have supervised  visitation with GB. I also told him if CPS took X away, I would be going to court to take X back to New York. I know I don’t need one more kid, but J has had a vasectomy and there will be no more children from him.

I get to leave tomorrow and drive the 17 hours back to New York.

X’s IEP- The Interim

At X’s IEP Monday, one thing we accomplished was the initiation of a communication log. Tuesday, X came home with his communication log. It said, ” Behavior was out of control today”. No details. Hard to deal with.

X is busy writing a letter of apology and I am working on justifying an Individual Behavior Assessment.

CPS and X

A report was called in to CPS that said when my grandson spends a weekend with BioMom (known around here as B3), she leaves him alone with his 10 month old half sister and he babysits and changes her diaper. X is six! X confirmed the report, B3 denied it. CPS isn’t sure they need to follow up. If I was physically in Michigan, I would probably be in jail on charges of assaulting an the idiot. He goes with her again Friday after school. I am leaning towards hiring a private investigator to follow her around all weekend.

Anybody saner than I am have ideas that are more productive?

Persistance Pays Off!

Today was my grandson’s, X, CSE. After two years and a half dozen meetings, it finally happened. X was deemed eligible for special education services. We had visited this before, but my son kept leaving the meetings with nothing and refused to teleconference me in. In dealing with adult special needs children, a lot of the same methods work. You need to know what you want, articulate it clearly, be persistent, and not take your eye off your ultimate goal. You also need to recognize when you have leverage and be willing to use it.

Shortly after Christmas, my son started talking about us visiting Michigan for Easter. I told him it was possible, but I needed to see my grandson classified for special ed and I needed to monitor the process to satisfy myself that everything was in order. Every time he asked, that was the response he got. When his wife asked about Easter, that was the response she got. Two weeks ago X’s CSE was scheduled for today. Last weekend, I received a copy of the evaluations to be used for this meeting. Last night, I received a copy of the proposed IEP. This morning, at 7 am, I was teleconferenced in.

I only stuck my two cents in twice. On the Connor Scale (a frequently used, norm-referenced, behavior  checklist), Aggression was very elevated. Yet on the IEP, where they list areas taken into consideration for this IEP, Behavioral Interventions wasn’t checked. I asked for an explanation. They told me that X was not a behavior problem. I did not bother pointing out all the physical things he had done, such as kicking the teacher and pinching little girl’s butts, but rather asked how he scored so high in aggression on the Connor’s scale. They had no answer. I insisted that it be put in his IEP that any behavioral problems will automatically invoke a Behavior Assessment Plan.

The district ended up offering 8 30 minute periods of resource support a week to X. This isn’t going to cut it,  but they have a benchmark in place for the end of the year. They say X will have mastered 60 of the 110 sight words required by the end of first grade. When that doesn’t happen, the committee can be reconvened to examine why this benchmark wasn’t met.

I told the kids to sign it. At least he is classified. We can get it on the right services later.

So I will be in Michigan for Easter!