Friday, January 28, 2005

End of Week #3-Day Treatment

Week Three a week for learning new Words.
I really cannot believe it has only been three weeks.... I can see so much improvement in so many areas.

This Week During My Meeting time:She is doing very well at school and is mostly pretty easy to deal with so they do use tips from what I write to make her plans for her. Many children can do well when and maintain at school so not unusual. Everyone knows that Makala is very bright. We are pinpointing different issues and learning to give things WORDS . Naming different behaviors and actions and directing our words to the behavior and not make her feel like she is just all bad.

Triangulation= Splitting the Staff (Parents)
Baby Talk = Using her baby Words.
Tantrum/Rage = Not keeping her body safe.

CHANGES WE ARE MAKING AS PARENTS:

1--Time Out set up for both kids. Instead of standing or sitting in a chair we are using two different SPOTS with a mat. Time out is getting your self in control while you are on the mat. Less concern about the 1 min for a year in age issue. Start with getting under control--If they get under control then end it--no restarting if they get under control and then start to Fall Out.... Getting a grip is the important skill right now.

2--Practice When the kid has a problem 'GETTING-IT' it is okay to make them practice until they do. If they will not go to time out--they can practice 5-10 times a day.... If cleaning up toys is a problem they can practice it several times. If they wont put on a coat they can practice putting on a coat several times in a row....

How We SAY Things: "I am giving you my words Makala" My words say if you want the treat you must first eat the healthy thing.

If you are going to make your words Mean then it may be time for a break

I gave you my words and it seems like you decided not to listen I am giving you my words one ore time and I expect you to listen and ask if you have any questions.

My words stay the same. Arguments and not keeping your body safe (rages/tantrums/hurting others) will not change my words to you.

Different Kids=Different Problems.

Focus of the Week: To work on the use of the language and enforce the 'time out' rule with Both children consistently.

Makala has been mad and not happy about the fact that EVERYONE is now reporting directly to ME. EVERYONE. There is NO GRAY AREAS it is my way or it is not anyway at all.

Today inspired by the book 99 Ways to drive you Kid Sane I will be putting a star sticker on my cheek every time Makala does something the first time I ask....and a Start on my arm when I ask twice and a start on my leg when I ask more then that....I won't explain until the end of the day when we see where the starts are at.....

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Mom gets the night off and Dad tries to burn down the House!

Last Night
After the death of my very best friend, Lori, I have felt so lost in this world and empty, so during Winter Break I found my old phone book and called the parents of my best friend from High School..... WOW she lives in a neighboring town only 15 mins away from me.... We have not seen each other since 1989 and that time was lunch we both left thinking we had nothing in common....

Anyway--she is a mom now (6-yr old Twin Girls) and last night we hooked up to catch up..... Andrew had to HEAT dinner up in the OVEN....

Well, he put things in the Oven and set the timer--he thought--but he actually turned the Microwave ON--NOT knowing that all day long Jeremiah had been putting a big dish towel in it (Who knows why) and the fire alarms went off the house filled with smoke--Andrew called 911 and the Fire Department RIPPED my OVEN and Microwave out of the built-in unit and put out the fire All of this took place within the time I left and the time I got to my Friends house!

BUT--apparently Makala was a very HELPFUL and Good girl during the whole ordeal! Daddy was so surprised how well she was and how much she understood that acting up was not a good idea when things are out of control! She really is a bright child and does know when to do the right thing--too bad we cannot have a crisis everyday so she can get good at this

Daddy says this is what happens when I have him cook....as if this might be the last time....NOT I told him next time he can take the kids to Pizza but that there will be in fact a next time for sure.....It was too nice to have some time off and hopefully have a friend again...

I have been sooooo lost without Lori I miss her even more today then ever.

Friday, January 21, 2005

I feel "Backed-Up"

Well--that was interesting.... I just finished reading the 'Notebook' from school (day treatment but calling it school) and......

Apparently they really do CARE!

Yesterday and Today one of Makala's tasks has been:They (staff) dump out the toy box and Makala has to picks it all up five times a day! WOW!

And because Makala was not SAFE at home with Daddy and her brother (Especially) she has to work on a SAFETY PLAN before she is allowed to be around other children at all--including school.... WOW

I really feel very BACKED UP here....

Thursday, January 20, 2005

End of the second week

Well I can only say that I hope it is a great sign that things are really rough right now?

Tuesday Makala came home from School and let me know that she is perfect--has no problems and is the leader in her class because she is helping other children work on their problems....And that she will most likely graduate really soon because she is the only one without problems..... I liked the sound of that .

..........and then Yesterday was my meeting day.

First of all they have hired an additional Intern to shadow Makala all day as the Male staff are ALL not comfortable even sitting in the corner of the big room alone with her....

Apparently M gets hurt in private areas and asks for the men to help her....her elbows, feet, and hands have a tendency to place themselves in places they should not go on other persons bodies...

Tuesday at the end of the day she was found whispering in a little boys ear--that they should sneak away and kiss each other...

She apparently only can speak in two ways--Like a little baby or like a mean and nasty person...

She apparently will NOT participate in Group because she does not have any problems to talk about.

After she got home yesterday she was great for an hour and well then the RAGE started.... And didn't stop for three hours. By the time I got the unburned dinner on the table I had heard every hateful word a person is able to even think of....and then some....When daddy came in the door she charged him and attempted to hurt him...then she went for her brother...who then lost it and bit daddy...and had his time out...

As she laid on the floor screaming I hate you and You cannot make me do anything...I walked up the stairs with all the black trash bags...and scooped up everything in her room--EVERYTHING--including her shelf decorations... and tied all 14 bags up and put them in her closet....

NOW I do not have to MAKE her clean up HALF her room in order to go to Church--which she didn't go too... She was NOT being SAFE enough to go to church...

I am mean--but, she has the things that are in the play room and one teddy bear...when she asked me what she was going to do now when she has to go to her room--I told her THINK and without the things getting in her way--maybe she can do a better job of it.

Clearly she will not graduate soon....

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Mom's First Day at Day Treatment

I had my two hour time at the day treatment on Wednesday and WOW am I thrilled with EVERYTHING I see about this program!

1--First off I was shown how to do the same 'safe-holds' they use at the treatment center and personally found them better then the way I was shown at training with DHS--Maybe I didn't learn well at DHS but the day treatment center showed me some methods I found much better for me especially with my back injury.

2--Time outs--I was able to watch and see HOW time outs look at the treatment center and can now make a few adjustments to mine at home.

a--I was expecting her to stand (basically the old put your nose in the corner way I had as a child) Where as the treatment center is only expecting the children to 'stay' on a mat and they are not rigid about what the time out LOOKS like--where as I was demanding silence and stillness...

b--They are not using the min for a year rule and re-starting the time out if the child adheres but then 'falls-out' instead they feel if the kid at least gets under control and then falls out progress has been made.

c--They are going to the child DRING the time out and sit with the child and talk about what is going on--I usually talk to the child from a distance during time out and wait until it is over for a hug and conversation.

d--when the time out is over the whole issue is over and I tend to wait for the bell and do a finish up talk and hug....

I am adjusting my attitude about time out and following what I am seeing by lessening my expectations--not barking the whole time she is in time out and restarting if she 'falls out' and making certain the whole thing is over when the bell rings--hug and done.

3--I have been able to learn some language I didn't have before--for example with the arguing... I am the one who was going to get the 'last word' come He!! or high water and made sure I did every time even if I lost my voice trying.... Now I can say some things I heard the staff say: Arguing will not change anything... and say it only twice and then bite my tongue and say NOTHING ELSE (anyone who prays please stick a word in for me being able to do this!)

4--I have been helped in dealing with the meal time issues we have at home and the methods they use at school---Healthy food first and then treats. In her sack lunches everyday we are supposed to number the food in order of what we think the kid needs to eat first. The staff will insist that the food marked #1 are eaten and the rest is in order given...if she does not eat her fruit she may not eat the treat item... Same thing at home and apparently I am not Mommy Dearest for re-heating a cold dinner if my child demands to eat an hour after refusing dinner!

Speaking of Joan Crawford and Mommy Dearest--I want to re-read this Book! Has anyone else ever considered that perhaps Christina had RAD? I keep remembering the, "No wire Hangers" fight especially when I am dealing with a stupid power struggle and planning to win--once in awhile I walk away thinking No Wire Hangers how may freaking times do I have to tell you this..... I ordered the book and cannot wait to read it from this side of the thinking--I think it could be a masterpiece of the issues RAD children have written by a child who grew up!

Anyway---so far so good. I am loving the communication and the fact that even the driver is letting me know EVERYTHING that I might need to know and for once it seems that Makala is not out in the world doing as she pleases....

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

A New Chapter: Helping a RAD child recover.

Makala started Day Treatment last week and we are completely thrilled with EVERYTHING! Our first day was a simply two hour meeting with the staff so she could meet the teachers she will have for the next 18-24 months. Right off the bat our beautiful little girl displayed herself and some of our deepest concerns with sexualized behaviors. The treatment center knew these were the most serious concerns we have so her TEAM consists of four men and one woman.

Every week one or both parents are asked to 'put in' two hours. One hour with the Case Manager and another hour in a therapy session with Makala. (GREAT )

EVERY DAY a written note is sent home with any issues the staff has seen and we are to write the events of the evening this way we can all get on the same page and be consistent in our expectations and consequences.

The first note home said--M is not having a honeymoon! And in one day they picked up on the EXACT issues we have the most trouble with...PUSHING any and all boundaries....

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

This has got to be the best choice....I hope.

I guess I need to make it clear--Makala has had intensive therapy for the RAD which from every indication seems to have lead to a rather secure attachment with her family. However we have are continuing many of the activities and will still see the attachment therapist now and then because I have decided to see this therapist on my own as a patient because I simply like her very much and feel she is one of us by her life history and education.

This way I feel like I can continue to monitor my own feelings about what is going on and still have access to the Attachment Therapists if I get advice that does not hit true from other sources. It took us forever to find her and we discovered in our search for an attachment therapist that the Fisrt class of certified attachment therapist only become certified this past June--and that is how I found the therapist. When she let me know that she is also able to treat adults and our insurance pays her 90% I decided to become her patient. Lord knows it is wonderful to have the face to face with someone who really understands all the dynamics.... And while I feel the attachment is going well with both Makala and Jeremiah I am still not comfortable with completely cutting my ties with the only certified therapist I can find in our area....

I am willing to pay my $25.00 co-pay and the 10% insurance does not cover in order to keep my connection to this therapist.... It could be true that we are seeing some healthy indications of attachment but with all the other issues that Makala has I want to be sure that Attachment is still an important factor in any therapy we do have. So this seems to be a good way to go with our family.

I have spent a number of years in therapy for myself and believe it can be very helpfull when a family is under stress. I want to be very sure that I do not apply my own feelings to her in certain areas. I think that having a realtionship with the Attachment Therapist is helpful for me to seperate the feelings I have from the issues and letting Makala bloom without me putting my feelings into her life... Hope that makes some sense?

Originally, I liked the psychratrist (sp?) But confess that the last two visits have been a disappointment and that I am seeing him as a drug pusher rather then concerned with the over all issues. The Attachment Therapist had also recomended that Makala have some neurological testing but the shrink has never mentioned it. Dr. Phil had a show a few weeks ago about ADHD and there was a great deal of evediance that the neuro testing can confirm ADHD.... So I feel pretty confident that this is the best way to move forward. Both the Knidergarten and First grade teachers M had felt she did not act like an ADHD child in thier classrooms....and honestly on this issue I do give the teachers some credit in telling the difference because I am sure they have dealt with more ADHD kids on a day to day basis then most people.... The fact that both of these teachers were surprised and didn't agree with ADHD as an issue leads me to think that the shrink is simply viewing the behaviors as ADHD instead of emotional damage or the RAD behaviors. He seems to be seeing the RAD behaviors as Bi-polar as well and I have lost confidence in his Dx.

Yesterday was our two year Gottch day.... (we did not celebrate) and I am feeling very good about attachment knowing that another year we may have a really great bond with each other... I am feeling like this is going to be the year that things start to settle in and feel like normal to everyone. I think the Attachment work we have done is wonderful and that Makala is ready to start working on the HURT that is inside of her... I think that a number of her behaviors are partly habit now and that with the help from the consistancy of the day treatment we can all work together on retraining and teaching her some new skills to get what she wants in a more postitive manner. She appears to have some rather passive agressive attitudes and is still minipulating but I am feeling that is because this is her best developed survival skill.

Right now I am working on helping her express what she wants or needs in a positive way rather then the way she has been.

For example: The other day she saw something that she wanted and she expressed it by saying, "I am not going to ask you for that because I know you will say no..." I told her that I will say no if that is how she wants to ask for it....and that if she tries to just say, "I really would like that mommy can I please have it?" that mommy is more likely to hear what she wants and might acutally say yes if she tries to ask in a nice way.

It seems to be a pattern for her to ask for her needs in a negative way. Often instead of asking she simply says..."I wish I could...." Or "Why does Jeremiah get what he wants and I don't get..." What she does not understand is that I am reactive to the negaitive requests. My ex was this way and I never knew how to please him after 14 years of having a him for a husband I learned to really hate the passive aggressive way to get what he wanted and confess that I have developed my own skill of fighting this game. Just say what you want with a please and a Thank you....

We do not need to play games to have our needs and desires met! This is another reason I want to keep seeing the A Therapists because I know I have already been conditioned to deal with maipulative behaviors and I have developed some of my own conter-productive attitudes about certian things that are very sublte and sometimes difficult to identify. There simply is no doubt in my mind that my first husband was RAD and still is and looking at his life today I can still see that his RAD is the reason he is a miserable unhappy and abusive person who cannot form healthy relationships at all....

My older children have picked up on some of the same behaviors they see in their father and Makala and they both have been affected by their fathers untreated attachment issues... It is interesting when they come to me and tell me something that has hit them as simular in the tactics and behaviors of a person with RAD. They have often told me they felt like they were possessions of their father instead of individual people with a unique realtionship. There are days I am really sad that as a wife I never knew about attachment and was not able to help him heal....

I would have liked my children to have a healthy realtionship with their father instead of the realationship he is able to give them. Knowing how an untreated adult with attachment problems can ruin their entire lives is one of the biggest motivations I have to help Makala I do not want her to carry this into her future and with her mate and children it is simply too painful for everyone involved and I want happy grandchildren!

Anyway tomorrow will be my first 2-hour time at the Day Treatment center and I cannot wait! If only Birthday month could be over and we didn't have three more B-Day parties before the end of the month I would be happy---Oh well! We are considering a huge family vacation next year during B-Day month and a long get away because this Chirstmas and B-day stuff all jammed into 30 days stinks to high heaven! How much partying can one family indure in 30-days? We have a reason to party for 6-weeks in a row!

YIKES! And what on earth do you give someone who has been Christmassed half to death when their birthday is in January????? Goodness I don't think the kids have even played with everything they got for the holidays yet!!!

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