Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fresh Heartbreak

The doctor told us what we already knew, but my heartbreak feels new. Somehow the documents presented showing some skills at the level of a two year old didn't surprise me, but it did renew my fear that my daughter will always need a caretaker. She's aware of her age and that kids drive at 16. She wants to drive, but I can't see any way to put two year old reasoning, processing, tantrums behind the wheel of a car. Her life is going to be so difficult and so limited. I can only hope she finds happiness.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Doctor IEP

The doctor told us what we already knew, and it took almost three hours. Eleven people in the room to hear what we have known for at least 3.5 years. This is how our public schools work to deny a child the education they deserve.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

End of Soccer Season

The little kids love their soccer. Big Sissy doesn't handle it as well. I'm sure she enjoys the quiet house while we are all gone but must feel left out. Little girls will be starting whatever dance class that can handle both ages, but Calliope keeps saying she doesn't want to do an activity. Karate, dancing, free running, art; she doesn't want to do anything. Our Saturdays are our own now, and I want to find some family activity for us to fill our weekends.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Success at the Drive-In Movies

We have tried it once before, probably last year, so I wasn't sure we could go and see both PG movies the drive-in was showing. Last time there was lots of yelling, shoving, pushing and a very high level of agitation over having to share space and having siblings and parents touch things. Calliope got her pillow and blanket, knew we could wash everything after, and she shared the folded down back of the minivan with Cooper and Clio! I was amazed at how quiet it was. Aside from Calliope talking through the movie and shushing others, it was quiet. It doesn't sound quiet as I've described it, but there was no yelling, name calling or cursing. Wow. Claire was all over the place, but that's her two year old thing.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mean Girls and the Shit Storm

The Heather with the red scrunchy had been out of my thoughts for some time, maybe a couple years until last night. She had actively campaigned against me participating in the special needs forum of the website she commands. I was prevented from talking with moms in the know about IEPs and the school system lingo and processes because my child didn't fit her stereotype of autistic. Our family won't give up on a child and have worked through all challenges thrown at us and continue to work. Because I have so much to do every day, I can't waste my time on an influence that is so draining of my energy and emotion, so I don't do it.
But last night, I did. I read a news story about a motorcycle accident. I worry about an old neighbor because he rides, but it wasn't him. It was the husband of The Heather.
My heart and head were flooded with competing thoughts and strong feelings. I'm so sorry this man was hurt and hope he recovers and is able to see the hit and run driver go to prison. My husband doesn't ride a motorcycle or participate in activities likely to kill him, and that's a decision I am so happy with.
Although I have forgiven The Heather for what has past, I don't want to be involved in the SAVE THE HEATHER campaign. I wish them the best but cannot invest myself into that negative energy. Her minions have been whipped into a frenzy and have been attacking me personally; calling me names, belittling my sick child, accusing me of celebrating the accident.
The Internet troll became an Internet bully, and has targeted me and my family. Going out of your way to be mean to me can't be helpful to The Heather. Let me be.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Halloween DRAMA

Calliope thinks she's going trick or treating with a couple friends from school.
Problems with this plan: 14 is too old to collect candy from neighbors, kids she knows from school have problems like hers' or worse, any trouble she gets into puts younger kids at risk of being snatched by child welfare clowns, she is unable to read people's intentions or motivation- unable to keep herself safe with other people.
Last night there was yelling and swearing and more yelling after I mentioned that there would be supervision. Children need supervision; teens need it too. There is no way I can approve of an autistic child with mental illnesses going out without a responsible adult nearby and on alert.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Running Away From Home

Some days it's all I can think about. Everything I do or don't do, say or don't say is wrong and causes some awfulness from Calliope. I'm not able to parent my kids while she's yelling at me and coaching them to be nasty and rude. I want to put on my running shoes and RUN.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lawyer loves it

A local applied behavior analysis company returned our call, and I have even more forms to fill out. Our lawyer likes the woman that will be doing the evaluation, so that's good. That's good, right?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Limited understanding

With the family and few friends that know of our families challenges, we get odd comments and suggestions.

"Isn't that just normal teen stuff?"
Sure… typical teens spend months in mental institutions and physically abuse family members. I must be overreacting.

"Calliope says the little kids get into her things and leave a mess in her bathroom. Those things really bother her."
I'm sure that those things do bother her. That's why she's still upset over some sneaky sister trying her lipstick half a year ago and blaming every mess in the bathroom on her brother when he rarely uses that bathroom because he's scared of big sissy.

If people knew the high price our whole family pays to keep her appeased and avoid her outbursts, they probably wouldn't be suggesting that we DO MORE. Can y'all just hush.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Summer Vacation Starts

Calliope is back home from the hospital in Nevada and doing okay. Her medicines have changed, and she's less verbally aggressive and much less emotionally abusive. It's almost nice to hang around her. Tonight I was able to make dinner tonight because all my daughters were playing with dolls upstairs. It was a miracle in my own home. Fifteen minutes of content children playing together. School was finished this year with what is called home hospital. A teacher came to the house the last three days of school and did a few assignments. Calliope was enjoying geometry, and that is so cool. Our options for going back to school are limited and far from ideal. My parents are able to come to our house a few more weeks to help out. Maybe they can handle the transportation to the school and the outbursts surrounding school. There is a theraputic home in San Luis Obispo that could be a good place for Calliope, but it won't have openings until maybe July. That's no help to us right now. We haven't heard from Department of Social Services since the hearing about child abuse claims. I'd be happy to get my letter saying the investigation was inconslusive and never hear from them again. Still, the child welfare clowns are ever present in my thoughts. I wonder how they would look at decisions I make, choices made in the moment, what food I have in the fridge and pantry, what my kids are wearing (or not wearing), how my housekeeping measures up. All these things that people judge us on that don't matter when it's just some lady at school or a random grocery shopper, but they matter a great deal when a social worker writes it all down in her report. Those social workers write down all their judgements and make guesses as to what they are seeing. I'm never letting them in my house again.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Road Trips

To catch up, Calliope was removed from our home January 18 by County Mental Health Crisis. She was transferred from SLO inpatient to Aurora Vista Del Mar in Ventura even after I talked with the SLO doctor about how poorly run a hospital it is. We had decided that we needed to find a longer term treatment option and decided on one in Sherman Oaks. The morning I was to drive her from Ventura to Sherman Oaks became a circus.
Child Welfare Clowns contacted the hospital and told them Calliope had to know where she was going. Of course she flipped out and found out later that she was threatening to crash the car to kill me. Our plan to break the news was to do it at the hospital with staff present and make it sound like a cool place filled with cool teen girls. If she freaked, she'd be readmitted to the hospital. If it was cool, I'd drive her and check her in. Sooooo… we had to hire a guy to drive her. I drove to Ventura to give the driver a check for $450 and Calliope's suitcase.
Calliope's stay at the Sherman Oaks house was short. LA County Sheriff came to take her after she make threats to staff and injured a girl that had to have a head injury treated at the hospital. She stayed at Aurora Charter Oaks Hospital for maybe a week, and she threatened me when I visited her there. It was decided that she needed to go out of state where there aren't as many laws restricting staff's ability to keep her and other patients safe. She agreed to allow her grandma and grandpa to drive her from Covina to Bakersfield then to Reno, Nevada.
She's been at this new place for over two weeks and has had both sets of grandparents visit. Our family went up for a therapy session (only grown ups), and it was a quick one. She was perseverating on this list she sent and us not bringing every item on that list. We were in the little room with the therapist a couple minutes when Calliope kicked the coffee table into my leg, several times. The therapist asked if she needed to call someone to help, and Calliope said no. She was excused, and the therapist took her back to her room. Chris and I waited.
It seems that these people all want to start in square one and ignore all the other times we have taken that first step. They aren't seeing that Calliope's brain is really sick and needs treatment. She threatens to punch the doctor in the face, and they are still wanting her behaviors to be 'attention seeking' because she doesn't have the relationship she wants with her mom. How can these professionals be such dummies?!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Placements and shuffling

Calliope was taken by mental health crisis after another attack on me in front of all three little siblings. After being released, our hired driver took her to a residential treatment center. She was there for about two weeks when she got agitated, threatened staff, fought and injured a girl in the program, and she was taken by LA County Sheriff to another hospital run by the same company.
Today we wait for the phone call that she's discharged. They run a pretty shady operation, and we don't get much information about what they do or don't do at the hospital. I wish there was a better place, but there isn't.
Calliope has been accepted to a program about an 8-10 hour drive away from us. When she's discharged, she'll go straight to the new place. The part we are working on now is how to get her there. Do we risk safety by driving her ourselves? Do we pay a transport company $4000 to drive her? It's hard to predict her reaction to the news that she's going to another program, so I'm waiting on a call from the therapist or case manager at the hospital, and I'll break the news to Calliope while we are all on the phone.
Waiting sucks.