I know I have a bunch of new readers, so my beloved long term readers, bear with me as I explain a bit more for those who came late to the Tangled Place.
Short synopsis: Little Man is adopted. He is a drug baby. He has an IQ of 51. He has a fairly rare genetic syndrome that causes seizures and chronic constipation. He is autistic. He has failure to thrive for unknown reasons. He has also been diagnosed by more than one psychiatrist with adhd, a mood disorder, (some say bi polar, others not, but I stick with the Bi polar, cause there is no doubt he struggles with mania and depression.)and Oppositional Defiant disorder. Be sure to click on the link and read about ODD, it comes into play here later. There is more medically, but we aren't talking about that right now.
As he gets bigger and older there is a lot of concern about his out of control behaviors and our inability to take him out in public very much due to those behaviors. Not to mention the chaos it creates when he is at home. Our psychiatrist is a gem, let's call her Dr. Diamond, and she has been saying for a long time that we really need to get someone to help us work on his behaviors.
We were finally able to get a psychologist (Let's call her Dr. Clueless) paid for by Little Man's medicaid waiver, and she was coming to the house every week. It was probably the second or third visit when she informed us that she didn't "believe" in ODD. I must admit Bald Man and I were kind of shocked. My snarky self didn't say it, but I thought to myself, "right, is that like the Tooth Fairy? If you don't believe, then it doesn't exist?" When I asked her why she thought Little Man behaved the way he did, she told us that WE made him behave like that. Wow! Even if it were true, that isn't exactly the way to get a family on your side so you can work with them.
Let me tell you the reasons why we believe she is wrong and Little Man's other mental health providers are correct. One, Dr. Clueless is the ONLY person who has ever said that, and we have seen a LOT of other mental health providers. Two, we have parented a whole mess of kids, more of them not our biological children due to being foster care children. And honestly, we have never parented a kid like Little Man. He is so beyond the "normal" scale of defiant behavior it isn't even funny.Here is a link to the post about it: vile
Three, when I asked her why all our positive parenting techniques didn't work, she told us that we couldn't dismiss all his other problems, least of all his brain problems. HOLD IT! Wait, wait here. All the things that are wrong with his behaviors are our fault, and anything we do right doesn't work is because he is so delayed and damaged? You just can't have it both ways lady!
Speaking of positive parenting, let me tell you, we have done it all! Praise, rewards, prizes, stickers, everything. It isn't that it doesn't work, he really tries sometimes, and he hungers for praise. But in spite of that, all the positive stuff in the world and all the ignoring the negative behaviors doesn't extinguish his difficult behaviors. We have to assume his behaviors are being driven by a different mechanism. I know other parents out there who are struggling with the same issues are nodding their heads right now. People who haven't been there, it is kind of difficult to understand a child so far outside the range of "normal".
But in spite of this little bump, we kept with Dr. Clueless, some of what she had to say was important and valuable. UNTIL!
On Saturdays, we USED to have respite. This is a very important time for Bald Man and I, because it is the ONLY time we get together. Dr. Clueless was very busy one week and wanted to come by on a Saturday. When we compared times available, we realized the only one that worked was the hour before his respite time. Which was fine. She arrived and promptly told us she going to work with Little Man alone in his room. Which was also fine, I didn't think a thing about it, until he started to scream. And honestly even that was okay, we certainly know he is difficult to work with. BUT, we had respite coming up and it was hard enough to get him to go, without him being in a complete meltdown. One of those big meltdowns can ruin an entire day, not just for Little Man, but for the rest of us as well. It is the main reason why he flunked out of Feeding Therapy, as week after week we went and then it ruined the entire rest of the day, as he was being forced to do things he didn't want to do and he would completely melt down. Neurologically he isn't normal, and he has never had the ability to calm himself, not ever. Not as an infant, and now, not as a ten year old. If you get him to blow up point, he loses it completely. He will need some heavy pressure, some rocking or swinging and lots and lots of close time with me to be able to get himself back together without just loosing it completely again. I say this, because I know this. I deal with it, I have lived it for ten years. The very last thing I needed was for Little Man to lose his mind right before respite, because then we wouldn't be able to go.
As he was winding up, I finally went back to his room and informed Dr. Clueless, AGAIN, that Little Man had respite in half an hour and we needed him to be able to be calm so he could leave.
Oh boy, did that set Dr. Clueless off. She saw us as interfering parents and said so. She said "oh it must be hard to hear him scream like that!" Uh, no, not really, we are actually kind of used to it. If she had bothered to ask us, or tell us what she was going to do, we would have told her it would have to be a different day, when we were able to pick up the pieces later. But NOT right before respite. And really, I feel it was rather disrepectful for her not to ask us before she did it, he is our child after all. But that aside, she presumed a great deal that was completely incorrect. And really, even though we had a couple of visits after that, I began to not call her to make an appointment and then finally called the Medicaid Waiver worker and told him that we really needed a team player for his therapy. The fact that she completely disagreed with all his other mental health care providers and wasn't on the same page with anyone else on his team, put her on the outside. So, we did the Trump thing and even though I didn't actually say it, I mean it.
And let me tell you, it felt good. We will try to see if we can find another professional to work with us on his behaviors.