Friday, September 24, 2004

RAD MOM Denial.... This stuff is just CRAZY.

I still have the days when I think that Makala cannot really be RAD!

And, wonder if we are in fact dealing with Mental Illness issues rather then attachment or adoption related issues.

I guess I get to this point when I see the signs that she does not completely fit into the mold of things that others advise me will be the case. For example when she left the Hospital we did not have worse problems at all--as several of my Internet support friends has suggested. In fact, things have steadily improved from the time we started medication and asked for intervention.

The Psychiatrist, Dr. Joe--also is impressed with some of her behaviors in relation to me. He points out that during our therapy sessions Makala looks to me for approval, and input first and that she gravitates to me in a very healthy way. He also says he finds her "family" attitude to be encouraging. Dr. Joe has a really nice Castle with special pieces that you collect and he has recently added some scary pieces for Halloween, a Ghost. When 'M' was playing with them he asked her about the Ghost and she said it was Big Brother (my oldest son) dressed up for Trick or Treat. The DR noted to me that this was a very positive sign and that she seems very connected to her family.

The things we do not know about Makala's history are somewhat concerning. We do NOT know if she was born drug affected? We do suspect that Birth mom had/has some significant mental health issues which were supposed to be addressed as a part of her case plan. Birth mom apparently named her angry side a different name. But, because Birth mom would NOT follow here case plan there is no real concrete information. We do not know anything about any other family members as Birth mom was estranged from her family from her early teens. There is just so little information to go on.

......and since we have been on medication and home from our vacation Makala has NOT had a single RAGE! There have been several moments in time where she was about to get on the floor and start her routine---and she has been able to stop herself when I ask if she really wants to do this right now? It seems that with the medications she is able to control herself.

Even her DIET has been less of a problem then I thought it might be. She is very disappointed when she cannot have sugar or sweet treats but when I explain that with the medications she cannot eat sweets she seems to accept it very well. She has asked me if she will EVER get to have ice cream or pie or sweets again--and I have told her that YES--but only on special occasions and she seemed satisfied with this. She has also asked that if she can learn how to stop having tantrums will she get to stop taking the medication and I have told her that we will see about that at the right time.

I am really impressed with how well things have been going with the meds. I am not sure if I have updated everything but, we are using Risperdal .50 mg a night, Ritalin LA 20 mg a day and 'when needed' a tiny chip of a Clonidine, lately there have been FEW problems.

We did have a stealing event from school this week. Makala came home Tuesday with some small toys from her classroom....and On Wednesday I went into the school and talked with the principal about the fact that this is NOT a typical 6 year old stealing for the first time. That it was actually a test to see if the teacher has control of her classroom. The principal was very supportive and understood what I was saying. The principal had Makala miss Lunch and recess and stay in the office with her--then return the items and apologize to the teacher and her classmates. Makala has been told that if this happens again she will have a bag check everyday before she leaves school.......

Day Treatment We did get a call yesterday that the committee voted 100% in agreement that Makala should be accepted. I was told an opening might come up within a month or as late as January.

Daddy--has some real negative feelings about taking this step. He is worried she will have resentment, that she will not make friends and that she could be exposed to children with even more serious issues. He is also concerned that she will be TAGGED as a problem and that it will follow her..... Thankfully, the Day Treatment center offers family counseling and support now that we have been accepted into the program. We have an appointment next week.

I think that socially she could be even more hurt staying with the kids in her regular class and having problems and that the children may decide to NOT like her and this could follow her even more then being removed 18-24 months and going back later.

I personally would like her to go there for several reasons. First of all it is Therapy for 6 hours a day---everyday and including the summer...... It is intensive and they have great experience with RAD and the other issues Makala has..... It is a WHOLE program her school work and her whole time in the center is designed to meet her needs---and her issues. I just feel that at 6 we have a chance to help her so much more now---if we pass and things were to not improve then we would only have Residential Treatment as an option later. The program is designed for children under 8 and is an effort to keep children out of residential treatment.

I think that we should also accept the fact that people with a whole lot more experience then us have accepted her into the program---and we should take a clue from that especially since space is so limited and acceptance is so hard to get.... My goodness that should be a really big clue. As I have told DH we do not know all of the info that was complied while she was in the Hospital? We were told very little and clearly she qualifies for this treatment---another really huge clue if you ask me.

I keep telling myself that if I were not running ragged to two different DR appointment every week--I would have more 'quality' time to spend with Makala. We could use this time to join Girl Scouts and I might actually have the energy to take a leadership role with a troop. We could find many alternatives for Makala to develop friendships and make social contact if I wasn't so tired from simply organizing all the therapy every week and dealing with all of this on my own......

Jeremiah is also now in attachment therapy with Makala's therapist. We are all confident that we can help him with his issues before they are full blown. He clearly has anxious attachment and at 2 1/2 it is a lot easier to work on then it will be later. And it is so easy to make mistakes right now. For example for the last 6 months he has had not one, not two but three security blankets he carries around---and two pillows and a stuffed Beaver! He will not be in a room without all his stuff even if he doesn't touch it he wants it to be in the same room he is in.... Our natural inclination is to start taking some of his items away to break this habit--but, the therapists advises not to do so....and to let him have his stuff! So there are little things you would do with a child that we are advised to not do....and it is the little things that really can make a difference!

Anyway--that is the rantings for this week..... And now we are deciding on the day treatment program.... I really feel it is right to send her now..... I think we would regret passing up this chance.

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