Tuesday, April 17, 2012

In-School Services On Line

I apologize for my unannounced, and rather long, blog absence.  Since the middle of February, I've had a lot of stuff going on in my personal life that has had nothing to do with Danielle's behavior.  It's left me with a huge lack of time, energy and motivation to write about the same.

Although most of the events that have taken me away fall into the category of good news, two are certainly not.  FosterEema has received news that one of her grandparents is expected to pass away, after battling Alzheimer's Disease for many years.  This news has had a profound effect on our family.

I have an extended family member who is facing surgery and a long recovery from a procedure designed to ameliorate some long-standing pain issues.  As the geographically-closest family member, the responsibilities of post-operative care and basic housekeeping will fall to me.  I expect that over the next few weeks or months, I may be posting even less.  I just don't see myself as having much in the way of free time as I try to juggle the responsibilities of running a business full time, managing my family duties and relationships, and caring for a recovering family member.  I will be back; it just may take some time.

So that's the bad news.  There are several pieces of good news which also have contributed to my absence.

I've launched a couple of other writing endeavors (a new blog and a novel) that have been sucking up almost all of my free time.  Neither of these projects have anything to do my family, foster/adoptive parenting, or the badly-broken child welfare system, and being able to focus on something intensely positive has been quite a relief.  Although the situation with Danielle hasn't changed, having something that makes it easier to ignore everything going wrong in our family is a welcome distraction.

We will be adding a new companion animal to our home.  After Sir Spudly's passing, we had planned to wait a while before adding another critter to the house.  Several lucky coincidences happened, enabling us to add a new friend.

I learned that I will receive an award for some volunteer work.

The camping season has officially started in our area, and we had the opportunity to take a short trip during Spring Break.  Danielle did not go with us on this trip, as she was staying with the grandparents, but it gave us a welcome and badly-needed break.

So, those are the reasons for my long absence.  Now, here's the update on Danielle, which I think is why most of you are reading my blog.

First off, it seems that we've managed to get the problem with Danielle's in-school counseling  straightened out.  A few brief e-mails and phone calls later, everybody on Danielle's team at school realized that someone had screwed up.  Within a day, a plan was created to fix the problem.  Within two days, we were at Danielle's school, signing authorization papers for her to begin individual counseling.

While we were at school, we again raised the issue of Danielle's desperate need to have some sort of transitional living plan.  The school agreed that Danielle's current plan, which is to examine the feasibility of moving out of state, working as a waitress, joining the military and going to medical school, isn't really an adequate educational goal.  We have a year and a half left, people, so we need to be working towards attainable goals, not examining the feasibility of those that are completely out of reach.

For some kids, moving out of state, saving money, joining the military and going to medical school are attainable goals.  For Danielle, these goals seem pretty lofty, especially since her size and psychological conditions will keep her out of the military, and her lack of interest in learning, especially when any sort of reading is required, will most certainly keep her from meeting the prerequisites for medical school.

Danielle regularly repeats a phrase that claims reading causes a terrible, difficult-to-treat, and often fatal, disease.

It makes me sad when I think of all the things she is missing because she simply hates to read.

Now that in-school counseling is coming on line, we are now at a point where we sit and wait.  Danielle's new therapist will have to establish some rapport with her, and we'll have to see where that goes.  We are also, of course, waiting to see if her new medications will create a permanent change in her behavior.  Her behavior has been better since she started the new anti-depressant during the second week of March, and the new anti-psychotic earlier this month, but it's hard to tell if the medication is truly working, or if this is simply a placebo effect.  When she first started her previous antidepressant, it seemed to work for a short while, but then her tantrums and explosions grew worse, not better.

So, we are back to waiting and seeing.

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