Adoption Interview

Adoption Bloggers Interview Project 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

We Got In

Well, we got into the Severe Behavior Program. Now we sit on the waiting list. The wait could be months and months or it could be a few weeks. We don't really know. I'm just thankful we got in. I was so worried that, as scary as it's been here lately, it wouldn't be bad enough to qualify us for the program, but that it was too bad to be helped by the regular psychologist. They've prescribed a 3 day a week treatment to start with for 1 1/2 hours a day. This means that we won't have to pull her out of school, at least not completely depending on the time slot we can get into. The doctor assured me that they have ways of recreating the behaviors we see at home in the clinic, but every once in awhile they have a kid that plays "nice" and won't repeat what they normally do. He said in that case they wouldn't be like the mechanic who, when you take your car to them when it's making that funny noise and it doesn't make the noise for them, tells you there is nothing they can do if it doesn't make the noise when they drive it. He said that if she won't display her behaviors in the clinic then they will put cameras up in our home and tape the behaviors. He said in no uncertain circumstances would they discharge us from the program until her behaviors are actually better. That just made me feel so good. I feel like so many professionals have either not believed what we have said, have given up on us, or just passed the buck and said "here, this person can help you better". I'm really hoping this is it.

In other news, the door alarm has arrived and is installed. For now, it is working. We are pretty sure we have known every time she has opened her door and so far she has not tried to sneak out and do something scary. The job card system doesn't seem to be working, but since we have no better solution until we get into the behavior program we'll keep at it.

Ok, so it's been a few days since I started this post and we just got back from a workshop hosted at Hannah's school by a business that runs a behavior day program for kids with problem behaviors. We wanted to go just to hear the information, but it also counted as continuing education that we have to do to keep our foster care license. The high school child development class and their teachers provided free childcare while the workshop was going on. The ironic part was that as the workshop was going on and they were listing off all sorts of problem behaviors Kyle and I would turn and look at each other and say "check!" Hannah had them all! Then, when I went to pick up the kiddos from the childcare room, both the high school students and their teachers were raving about how wonderful both of the kiddos' behavior was! Really? It'd been a tough day for both of them. Too bad that behavior couldn't last. Hannah made it home, but then fell completely apart. She'd had a rough day before at school too. It can be so frustrating that it's the comfortable situations that allow the acting out instead of the uncomfortable ones. Sigh. . . .

Monday, February 06, 2012

Never Dull

Life it seems is never dull around here. You know how you read something and you think, "Wow! That's crazy/funny," but it's only funny because it's not happening to you and you know it'd never happen to you because things like that always happen to someone else? Well, that's my life. I'M the one who those things happen to! Kyle's been gone on a business trip to Germany for the past week and the kiddos (mostly Hannah) decided to really give it to me while I was doing my single mommy gig. Before even a day had elapsed Hannah had cut her hair again! I believe this is the 7th, maybe 8th time she's done this. This time she decided to cut the bangs she had created the last time she got ahold of the scissors completely off. She has maybe an 1/8 on an inch right at the front of her forehead left. Then she got into the baby wipes and scattered them about the toddler's room for the dog to shred. Seriously, shouldn't that phase have passed when she was like 2? Next she decided to douse the cat in baby shampoo. Let me just say that the cat was both angry and humiliated. I still haven't managed to get it all rinsed out of him yet and I'm covered in scratches from the attempts. It's quite difficult to hold a cat by the scruff while also wielding the sprayer and trying to scrub the shampoo out. Finally, a few nights ago she figured out how to pick her door lock (the door alarm still isn't in yet so we HAD to switch the door knob around while I was here alone) by prying a nail out of the wall and using that to pop the lock! She did it several times one night before I finally figured out what she was doing and where the nails were coming from. Now all pictures and nails are removed from her room. It's starting to look pretty bare in there! Oh, and just to be sure I preserve everything, a few days before Kyle left Hannah was supposed to be doing a job card chore. I had to supervise the toddler so she was left alone for periods of 5 minutes at a time. After one of those 5 minute intervals I went to check on her and it was like all heck had broke loose in the basement! Paint was smeared on the walls in several places. The paint bottles themselves were coated in paint and then doused with glitter. The dollhouse roof had been repainted. The floor was covered in glitter. There was paint on the carpet. AND she had left a trap for me of a pool of paint on the bathroom floor for me to step in and track all over the place. This was actually the 2nd trap she had set for me. The first one she made a trail of Q-tips leading to behind her chair to try to fake me into thinking she was hiding behind there instead of in my bathroom getting into my body spray. I'd say I made a fatal parenting error by allowing her to read Roald Dahl's book Matilda!

In other news, the school system finally did thier full evaluation of Hannah for her IEP eligibility. The information the psychologist gave was no surprise. We already knew she is freaking brilliant. He mentioned that she has some executive function deficits, but that at the moment they really aren't much of an issue due to her age, but will most likely become more of an issue as she gets older. That was the first I had heard of executive function problems. We actually thought we had managed to dodge that bullet. I guess not. The big kicker was the OT's report. They assessed her fine motor skills, her sensory system, and her vision. I had no idea that OT's dabbled in the vision arena, but apparently they do. Her fine motor skills were perfect. No surprise there. She showed significant sensory issues. Also not surprising. What was surprising though was that the OT felt that she had some visual processing problems. She said that her two eyes do not work together correctly and that that could be the cause of some of her hyperactiveness. She also said it could cause reading problems down the road when the type gets smaller and the white space on the page lessens. She recommended she have an evaluation by a behavioral optometrist for possible vision therapy. UGH! That's all we need, more therapy. I read up on vision therapy since I'd never really heard much about it and I can't say that I'm convinced. A lot of what I've read seems a bit like voodoo science and there seems to be no real evidence to back it up. We are definitely going to have to do some thinking about that before we jump into something else. Anyone else know anything about vision therapy or had your child do it?

Finally, Wednesday we have Hannah's evaluation at the severe behavior clinic. Apparently, even if she does qualify for the program, we will be put on a waiting list for services. It could be quite awhile before treatment could begin. Sigh. . . .

Hannah seems to be settling into sisterhood well enough. She's had her moments of jealousy and still gets quite clingy, but I see her enjoying our new little one as well. Whenever something annoys her, such as crying, I try to put it into the perspective of how she used to do it when she was a baby. That seems to help a bit. She's been very curious about how she was when she was the baby's age. We've watched some old home movies of her at that age and then compared the two of them. Boy was that a shock. She wasn't nearly as physically competent, but boy was she a lot more verbal!

Photo Notes: All of these pictures are from December. We've got swim lessons, Christmas, and working in the shop with Pap.