Part of T & B’s abuse was neglect from their mother & stepfather. I wish there was a different name I could refer to them as, because a mother & stepfather don’t do or allow the things to happen that did.
The kids were never taught manners, amongst other stuff. T never learned or realized how to identify her feelings. If you ask her “Why did you do (a certain act)?” Her response is always “I don’t know.” She can’t identify if it is because she is mad, sad, anxious, etc. She doesn’t know how to control her emotions either.
It really gets frustrating as a parent. I think I can attribute part of it to the fact that she’s been diagnosed with severe ADHD, depression and PTSD.
Don’t get me wrong, T is a SMART kid. If you go to parent teacher conference with us, you’ll wonder why she’s getting D’s & F’s in all her classes. I’ve had her teachers tell me “When I ask a question in class, I have to ask if anybody BESIDES T knows the answer, because she always has her hand raised.” The girl just doesn’t do/turn in her homework. I think part of it has to do with her ADHD. I think there’s other factors to this too.
So, that goes to show you, this girl is intellectually smart, just emotionally and socially, she’s EXTREMELY far behind. Not to be mean, but to give others an idea of what it’s like, T is physically 14 yrs old. Emotionally & socially, she’s between the ages of 6 and 8.
She was going to therapy once a week, but because she is so smart, she knows what the therapist wants to hear. So she will tell the therapist what she wants to hear, and then as soon as she walks out of the therapists office, she conveniently forgets what was talked about. There have been times that as we are driving home from the therapist, her dad or I will ask T “So, what did you discuss in therapy?” and we get “I don’t really remember.”
A couple of weeks ago, it was an entire weekend of temper tantrums from her. For who knows why! I remember two of the temper tantrums were because we asked her to unload the dishwasher (come to find out that gave her anxiety). My husband and I had seriously had ENOUGH. At her next therapy appointment, we brought it up with the therapist, and she suggested IOP therapy with the children’s hospital. We JUMPED on it!
IOP = Intensive Outpatient Therapy Program. So far, I’ve seen quite a bit of improvement. Don’t get me wrong, T has a long ways to go, but she seems to be improving and this IOP therapy seems to help.
The only main issue with this therapy, is it is very time consuming and we’ve had to completely rearrange our schedules. BUT…if it will help T, then I will do. Now, instead of going to therapy once a week for 1 hour, she goes 3 times a week for 2-2 1/2 hours each day. She goes Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday. It’s nice too, because on Tuesday and Thursday, the parents participate too. They teach us how to help our kids. Oh, and it’s in a group setting.
They have put T in a group with 2 other girls that are 8 years old. They put her in with younger girls because they all have about the same level of skill. It’s nice when I go on Tuesday and Thursday, I get to sit with other parents and hear that I’m not in this alone. I mean, I’ll try and tell my co-workers and friends (that are online) what it’s like to have a child like this and I don’t think they really believe it. I sit in this room and hear the other moms talk about their kid that is in the program and I sit there and shake my head the whole time agreeing with them
This is week 2 in therapy and T shares with us on Tuesday and Thursday what she’s learning and I think it’s helping all of us. We all still have lots of issues, and I’m going to try & bring some of them up with the therapists in the program and see what they suggest.
But so far, I’ve been very pleased with the program.
I just want to end this post basically saying, I’m not writing this post for people to feel sorry for me or for my daughter. I don’t want praise for doing this. I’m putting this out there in hopes that others will read this and go “a-ha! I’m not alone in this battle.” I want others to realize how difficult it is to have a child like this. I just want people to have a better understanding.