On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Calling Dumbledore

We continued yesterday's on-the-fly therapy approach this morning. We were going over Sissy's behavior chart[1]. Turns out, Sissy's biggest "red level" events revolve around PH. Most specifically, toothbrushing. We have officially appointed Toothpaste as one of the objects Lord Voldemort has put a part of his soul into which Sissy thought was funny. SCORE! Who thought I'd hit on something with Harry Potter specific DBT skills?

After we had our fun about it, I zeroed in. "Sissy. If you live to be 87 and you brush your teeth twice a day, that's a lot of toothbrushing you have to do in one lifetime. You need to get over it." She glared at me. "Yes. I said that. GET.OVER.IT. You need to make that choice."

Picking up the kids from school wasn't fun. Wonder Girl's parapro told me that she had extra homework for not doing her school work (chose bad classroom behaviors instead). Then Aspie Boy showed his butt in the front office area and the monitor/speech therapist was not pleased with his behaviors. I felt like such a dork of a mom, having my son's behaviors corrected while I stood there, helplessly. Sometimes, when the school staff do that I get anxious that they think I'm a bad parent. I know that's not the case. I tell myself that. my kids are challenged so my parenting skills are challenged every day and it's nice to have another adult advocate for me once and awhile. But on the outset, it still feels like I'm inadvertently being corrected too.

When Sissy returned home, from RTC, we opted to suspend formal RAD therapy for a few reasons.
#1 - We have IFI therapists and we don't want too many different therapy approaches to learn and apply
#2 - CBAY waiver begins this week with wrap around services which will max out my time allotments for Sissy's non-school related assistance
#3 - switching to Federal Medicaid means our RAD therapist will no longer accept our insurance (but of course, on Friday we learned it will be December before we hear if Sissy's even approved ... ) which means we'll have to use one of the therapists at the psychiatrist's office [2]

But I was disappointed because when Sissy went to RTC, her RAD therapist and I discussed starting a support group, something that never got off the ground.

Today, the RAD therapist called me, not ten minutes after I walked through the door. She was asking ME for advice for another patient. Wonder of wonders, I knew more than her about the services available locally. AND she wants me to go ahead and start the support group, verbally appointing me as chairperson if I am still willing.

*jaw dropping*


when did I get to this point in my abilities as Sissy's parent to be helping others, let alone professionals? After today, this call from the RAD therapist was a nice boost to my morale on the heels of feeling like a hopeless schmuck. Who knows, maybe tomorrow I'll wow the CBAY team and IFI therapist with my savvy Harry Potter DBT plan. Wouldn't THAT be a wonder? Maybe I'm Dumbledore after all?

[1]BTW, if you want a copy of it, just email direct and I'll email the docx file.
[2]the RAD therapist has a master's and not a PhD. Medicaid requires a PhD supervisor at least. We'll have to switch to the psychiatrist's therapy partner.


GB's Mom said...

You have ALWAYS been a good mother. Now, thanks to Sissy, you have experience very few people can claim! Harry potter was an awesome idea. BTW, at GB's school, 1/2 the people think I am incompetent and the other 1/2 think I am crazy.

Jules said...

With all due respect, do you ever have the urge to physically discipline Sissy? It must be so frustrating for you at times.

Jennie said...

Hey Jules, to answer your question, YES! It used to be really hard for me to not want to smack her butt. My hubby and I have a "tap out" system. With time we have gotten very good at helping the other know when they're at that boiling point and we step in. Sometimes we just say, "I'm Out!" and we walk out the front door to take a quick walk or sit on the swing, etc. Occassionally, I'll thump Sissy on the head, more of a loving reminder that she's being a numb nuts. I might also flick her on the arm as a warning that she's about to cross a line she doesn't want to cross. But we ceased spankings a very long time ago with her. For me, I could see that it was way to easy to take my frustration out on her.

All that to say, it has been a very long road toward emotionally distancing myself from Sissy's choices so I can parent her without the anger and frustration. And no, I'm not successful 100% of the time even now. "I'm OUT!" gets used a lot. And sometimes with a slamming front door.