Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Another Medication Change

New new doctor added zoloft and dropped depokote. Calliope's energy level is definitely increased which makes me nervous. Her energy can go from happy to angry in a second. Tonight, the in home therapist had to report to her supervisor because Calliope made a threat to kill her brother. It's her norm, but they have to report. She had gone a week without hitting anyone before tonight. She is enjoying Christmas, mostly for the cookies and candy. :\

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Cards

I've been getting through each day, and I'm not doing much planning ahead, too tired to do that kind of thinking. We didn't get a picture taken for a Christmas card, and I'd be too tired to address envelopes even if we did have a card to send out. Little girls and I did make gingerbread for a house and cookies. We've got Christmas happening, it's just not as much as like to do. I could use some sleep.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Our Tree is Up, a happy weekend

We spent time at the camper with my parents eating dinner Friday night. They joined us at the tree farm Saturday afternoon to hunt down a Christmas tree and help us put the huge thing up. Sunday Calliope and Chris worked on making Calliope's scooter shiny black and new looking. And we all enjoyed the first batch of butter cookies in Christmasy shapes! It's so nice to be able to enjoy a weekend.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Can't Hug Every Cat

…and I'm having a hard time holding or hugging my kids, can't cuddle up with my hubby, my glasses hurt my nose, bra straps hurt my shoulders, and the wound on my shin oozes and sticks to my pants.
My oldest daughter gets mad and uses me as her outlet, her punching bag. The beating I took yesterday was the longest for sure and the most aggressive. She didn't care about allowance, her sisters, her backpack, our neighbors. She yelled obscenities, hit and kicked me with the windows open and while I was holding baby Claire. The little sisters tell her not to yell at mommy, but it doesn't matter to Calliope. When she decides she's mad, it's all over.
Chris showed me how to hold her arms behind her, more like elbows behind, and use my weight to sit us both down. I can hold her that way until she's out of energy. I hope. But I can't care for three scared little kids while I'm holding the oldest.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

When She's Gone…

My parents have been hanging out with Calliope for a couple days and visiting relatives in Bakersfield. Things at home are pretty fun without her, and I hate even thinking that. It's just true.
Little kids play, and there's no one waiting to yell at them. We eat, and there's no one complaining about the meat. We have fun without the anxiety hanging over us. It's great, but it all ends tomorrow morning. She's coming home to get ready for a new school on Monday.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I get jealous

There's lots of things that I know just can't happen for me, but sometimes I get bummed out about it. I get jealous about someone with a child old enough and responsible enough to watch the little ones while mom runs an errand, gets a shower, gets a nap or does housework or cooking. My 13 year old daughter is NOT that kid.
Other parents get to leave the house without kids, sometimes even for a couple days. I'm stuck at home or dragging kids with me wherever I need to go.
Other couples have regular date nights. I don't recall the last time my husband and I went out. It may have been while we were waiting for our 20 month old child to be born. We have tried a handful times, but things don't work out for whatever reason.
Most families take trips. We can't. Traveling involves too many things that Calliope has a rough time dealing with, so it's not worth it.
Lots of parents enjoy a night at home being a couple because older kids are off at a sleepover. My older one hasn't been invited to anything aside from a birthday party where the whole second grade was invited. She doesn't have friends, so she's home all the time and talking at me.
Go ahead and tell me how great the concert was, how nice dinner out was, how much you enjoyed Disneyland; I don't turn green.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mommy Guilt Times Four

I am constantly reminded about what I could or should be doing. Facebook walls with great at home play/therapy ideas, tweets about taking kids to social skills class, blogs about families living gluten-casein-soy free, neighbors taking kids to story time at the library, instagram pics of girls in dance class, texts from well meaning friends and family with something they just read or heard about for treating autistic kids; they all highlight the things I'm not doing, can't afford to do, can't manage to fit it into our life. I'm just one mom and can only do what I can do. Trying every new thing would take incredible amounts of money and take me away from the rest of the family that needs me too.
However much I'd like to do everything to help Calliope, everything to help Cooper, everything to help Clio, everything to help Claire, I'm a mere mortal.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Golf Day for Daddy

It's a free game for vets at a nice course, so he's going golfing with a friend. Trouble is that I wish I got to go anywhere and do anything with anyone, but I can't. I guess I'm jealous that he gets to be a person while I'm stuck at home being mom, caretaker, housekeeper, cook and smelling like a person that hasn't showered in a couple days.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Collecting Diagnoses

Calliope came home from the hospital with three new diagnoses and two new prescriptions. The school was still resisting our requests for mental health services. She's missed 10 days of school because of mental health, is failing classes, but she's fine, they say. At the moment she's on the phone with a friend from the hospital, and I'm not sure what to think about that. County mental health is offering the same one hour a week in the office level of service that wasn't enough before. I'm still hoping for something to help Calliope.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What the Little Kids Know

When things get violent, the little kids are really quick about getting out of the house with me. They know Calliope is having a hard time being a listener and keeping calm. They know the police have to come and talk with her sometimes about being safe.
Now that Calliope is in the hospital, the kids ask about her, and I tell them the truth in very easy to swallow spoonfuls. I'll say that she's with the doctors, and they are taking care of her. She can come home when she's feeling well. But they don't ask much.
The kids have told me they are scared of Big Sissy and they don't want her to come home.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Notifications from school

Calliope's report card came and showed us her effort in school earned her a 1.1 GPA. She's super smart and failing school; something is very wrong.

Today I get an email and a phone call about Calliope being absent. I had emailed EVERYBODY about her being on a 72 hour hold after the attack Tuesday afternoon. Maybe they forgot.

Then there was the letter that came today about her GPA being so low and the possibility of having to take intensive intervention classes or not being promoted to high school. Oops, I guess I need to remind her to do her homework.

Come on people! Have your computers talk to each other, so you don't make yourselves look like fools.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Overnight at the Hospital

Calliope took the day off school. She wasn't sick, and I told her that she should go to school. She made the choice to stay home. There were several periods of argument, even yelling at her 3yo sister and breaking her toy. Things got really bad while I was trying to make dinner. She hit the 1yo, and I asked her to cool down in her room. She wouldn't, kept hitting baby Claire, so I picked up the baby, she shoved us into the wall ovens, hurt baby Claire's ankle on the oven handle. The bag of sugar in my hand was used to get her off of us. I got the little kids to get in the car in the garage. They got in their carseats, and Calliope followed us into the garage and kept hitting me. I closed the doors and backed into the driveway then finished the buckles on the little girls.
I called my sister to help me collect my thoughts then called local police to report the crime. They don't like hearing from me. There were no officers available to help us. Still two guys came whining about wasting their time on a kid that just needs discipline. I made it clear that I expected them to do their job; she is behaving criminally, treat her as a criminal. There is no way that threatening me with violence and murder daily is going be be okay. Hitting kids and beating up on mom while kids watch is NOT okay.
Anyhow I called the mental health crisis number and was put in touch with a gentleman that has been understanding and a help to us before. He took her to the mental health crisis hospital. She's still there. They're trying to figure out who is paying and how much before deciding what "care" is appropriate.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Autistics Speak Day

"Bitch face!"

That is what my daughter needed to call me after I stopped a fight between her (13 years-140 pounds) and her sister (3 years-24 pounds). I didn't get between them soon enough. Clio had told Big Sissy to quit yelling at her mom, don't yell in her room, get out of her room, and Calliope picked up a toy and broke it before she left the little girls' room.

While very verbal and with a fabulous vocabulary, she can't usually use language appropriately. With the competitive thinking of a pre-K or kindergarten kid and the emotional regulation of a two or three year old, the way she speaks causes troubles at home, at school and in the community.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

School Dance for Calliope

Our 1988 beauty queen was called drama queen and totally went with it. She decided that drama queen was funny and took the name on. So, drama queen went to the dance after school.
It was lots of driving for me, but it ended up being worth it. Picked her up from school, came home for an hour, back to school, back home for an hour, off to school to pick her up.
She said it was dark but fun.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Another new therapist, maybe

The therapist currently assigned to Calliope wanted to see her and me, one hour a week, in her office. The previous arrangement was a therapy team made up of a therapist and a behaviorist working on the same treatment plan a few hours twice a week with in home behavior supports for the dinner through bedtime period that could get violent. So… the change was very disappointing, but I was willing to work the system and wait for things to be added on until the level of treatment was close to Calliope's level of need.

But, I wasn't sure things would build after the therapist told me that therapy won't work, and I need to medicate her. Well, she's on one medication, and that was a tough decision to make. But we did find one medication that curbed her violent impulses and have stayed with that one medicine. I'm not comfortable with adding more, and I'm not at all comfortable with a therapist that sees no hope, no reason to put effort into my child's mental health.

I put in a call to the patient's rights person and got some good information. I called to ask for emergency in home support and a new therapist for Calliope.

It's been a week, and I haven't heard about anything moving forward. Maybe I get to waste more time on the phone.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Calliope at her IEP meeting

I had invited Calliope to the IEP because she wants to be in control and thinks these meetings are people talking bad about her. I explain that the grown up are trying to figure out what she needs and how we can help her learn. Her idea of school success is very different than mine. Calliope needed to tell the IEP team what she was thinking.
One suggestion was a different class at the far end of the same campus, Opportunity School. Calliope was concerned about missing art and the social times like lunch on the main campus.
She craves social interaction but doesn't have the skills to understand people and build a friendship. I can't be sure there is a way to teach culture to her.
Free and appropriate education is a tall order for Miss Calliope Joy.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Time suck, money suck

Calliope has an appointment with her mental health therapist today. The therapist that thinks therapy won't work. Anyhow, I've got to find and pay a babysitter for the three other kids for the time I'm with Calliope at her appointment. Naps will be disturbed. Playtime will be missed. Dinner will be late. It's the first of three appointments this week; all for this one child.
The rest of the family gives us so much trying to manage this one high needs kids, but that might be another post.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Back to School

My poor neglected blog needs updating, so here I sit nursing at keyboard.

Calliope came back from her extended visit with grandparents right before we moved in June. Overall she's happy about the new house, bigger room, bigger closet, and the tv she got for her birthday. We had some summer fun at the beach with visiting family and little day trips around our county. But Calliope chose to sleep through much of it. It was the usual manipulation tactics to get us to wait for her to wake up before we took off to have fun. But I wasn't interested in waiting for the hottest part of the day to start an outing just so we could take a grumpy girl with us. So she missed out on lots of fun. Not that she would have had fun, but there would have been the opportunity.

Back to school time comes, and the anxiety is heavy. She wants everything, and she wants it right now. Our back to school budget was stretched a bit with two kids getting school clothes and supplies, so she did have to wait on some things. But, she was happy with her new book bag, yarn and buttons to make a hat and scarf all matchy, and she did make the best of it in the end.

Since the move, we have had some violence. The police were called by a neighbor after one screamy tantrum. What a crappy way to meet the new neighbors. And I've had to call the police twice because she was attacking me (and the little girls I happened to be holding). Two door handles have been broken, one door, one door frame, but there are no holes in the walls. That's a good thing.

The things that she has a tantrum about are silly and don't make any sense. The one that broke the door handle, door, and door frame was all about going out to get super glue to fix her glasses that were broken in PE at school. She's not even supposed to be wearing them out for PE. LAME! So, I told her that when dad gets home from work, we can go out to get the glue. She tantrummed and demanded that we get the glue, but she didn't change the answer to her demand. She still had to wait until dad got home for me to take her to the store. Yes, she still got her needs met. She fixed her glasses, so they'd be okay for a couple weeks until the new ones came in.

It's hard to explain to others how it works. Yes, with normal kids there are consequences, but that doesn't work for Calliope. Her thinking is so far off that all she knows is what she wants, who can get it for her, and she can use dozens of manipulative tricks to get what she wants. There is no guilt or shame for her behavior or the things she breaks while tantrumming. She believes it is someone else that holds responsibility for making her mad. It's so dumb, but she really believes someone else made the bad things happen.

This weekend was mostly spent in bed because she was sick. But, she was able to eat Sunday night and felt better Monday (a school holiday). Today she went to school with minimal complaining. Any other kid would know that they were late getting into the car, so they'd be late to school. But Calliope doesn't see it. She got in the car late, but her getting to school late (still well before the bell, but later than she likes) was my fault because I didn't drop Cooper off fast enough, didn't drive fast enough, waited for a break in traffic before turning, waited for kids in a crosswalk, or was lazy and didn't wake her up early enough.

How funny is that!? She calls me lazy when I don't do the things she needs to do for herself. Ha ha ha!