Sunday, October 19, 2008

Just the Usual....

In other words: fighting, arguing, and a whole lot of crappy attitudes. Mine included, I'm afraid.

Schooling Tay has been damn near suicide-inducing. She simply refuses to do ANYTHING without a huge freaking fight. I'm not joking either. It's not confined only to schooling. It's showering and brushing her teeth. Taking her clean clothes out of the drier so the hubby and I can put our clothes in. Taking the dogs outside. Cleaning her dishes off. AND schooling. Instead of a half hour for some of the minor subjects like Critical Thinking and Spelling, it's an HOUR to do those subjects, and an hour and a half to 2 hours for the more major subjects like Science and History/Geography. Spanish seems to have fallen by the way-side. Which I feel absolutely horrible about. Everything else is dragging along. We're getting it done, but just barely.

And in the process we all fight. Constantly it seems. It's come to the point where I feel that if things don't change, if Tay's attitude doesn't change, I can't keep living here. Scott alternates between being completely unwilling to push Taylor into doing anything she doesn't want to do (including talking to a therapist) and wanting to put his fist through a wall due to her constant arguing over the simplest of things. He's continually trying to persuade me, lately, to give up on Home schooling and put her back in Public School.

I remind him that PS wasn't REALLY any better than homeschooling has been, and if anything it was encouraging WORSE behavior because she saw a public school principal and several teachers over several years tell ME (HER MOTHER) that THEY knew her needs better than I, and chewing ME out for not doing more to tutor her in the evenings. (There are only so many hours in a day, I don't know where they seemed to think I could obtain extra hours from, esp. working and taking her to sports. Though I know at least one of them advocated taking Tay OUT of hockey because of her poor school skills. Ironic that this same teacher insisted that Tay WASN'T falling far enough behind to be held back. Just far enough behind to keep her from doing the only activity she looks forward to.)

I told him that if he withdraws Tay from the Homeschool Program and puts her back in Public School, then I WILL leave. I cannot sit back and watch the public school system screw up my daughter's future even more and refusing to acknowledge and test for learning disabilities, while criticizing what a crappy Mom I apparently am because my child has learning disabilities. If he puts her back into Public School, I feel my only option is to leave. Leave Tay with him and go. And I've made that clear to him.

But at the same time, I don't feel like we can keep muddling through without outside help. Mom has served on the local Mental Health Board in the past, and so she made a call this weekend to a fellow former-board member who happens to head up the Family Centered Services program for the Borough. He said he'd have somebody call me to set up an appointment for this next week to get Tay in and have her assessed. We're going to figure out what is going on in that head, both mentally and emotionally.

One of the other Dad's at hockey this morning was telling me tales of his family's struggle with their daughter's learning "disability". They thought she was dyslexic (she showed a LOT of the same "signs" that Tay does) but turns out she is mildly ADD. Not the hyperactive sort, just the sort of thing where what she was seeing was getting mixed up in the wiring in her brain, and it was confusing her as to what she was trying to do. And she'd lose focus in class situations with more than 4 or 5 kids. They wound up putting her on the minimal dosage of Stratera, and she's gotten straight A's in school ever since. He said they take her off for about 3 weeks, every 6 month interval, to see if she's outgrown the condition (as a lot of children are wont to do, according to her Dr's). So far she hasn't, but she's only just 14 years old yet. (She plays on an older team than Tay does.) Anyway, this other dad was strongly encouraging to get Tay in to get assessed and hopefully get her at least learning (and learning with) some coping skills, possibly on mild meds, possibly including some therapy to help her cope with a poor self image and extremely negative outlook on the world. I found his experience very encouraging. We may be a bit later along with getting Tay help than he was for his daughter (she was in 2nd grade when she started on meds), but better now than later, and better late than never.

Anyway, so I'm looking forward to (or not, really) another busy week.

Monday morning I've got to go sit over at the DMV and get Dad's travel trailer registered as an Alaskan vehical.

Hopefully I'll get to talk to somebody at FCSA on Monday and set up an appointment for Tay for some time later in the week. I'd like to have her assessed by the end of the week.

I told Scott that before he puts Tay back in public school, we're GOING to give this assessement a try. I'm hopeful that having her assessed and finding out just what her issues ARE, and getting some definite treatment for those issues will help with the constant fighting she feels the need to indulge in currently. That's the only hope I've got at this point. Any other thoughts leave me wanting to just walk away. Just walk out. And not come back.

Mom mentioned the possibility of putting Tay in the school that FCSA runs for children who cannot cope with regular school environments. Unfortunately we found out today (rather by accident) that the elementary school is on the other side of town from where Scott and I work. (Over on College Road, Mom. On the stretch between the Fairgrounds and Gulliver's Books.) I'm trying to figure how we'd manage to get her there every morning, and picked up every afternoon.

I'm really banking on therapy and meds, at this point. REALLY. I don't know how we'll swing any other options. I don't know that it's really feasible to consider any other possibilities.

But, we'll see. Hopefully by the end of this coming week I'll be able to say more. Hopefully.

Anyway, must get off line and head to bed. It's 12:4o am and I've got to work tomorrow.


Oh, for what it's worth. Yeah, we've got snow. It's sticking. It doesn't look like it's going to melt before April. And it's cold. The temps have been "warming up" to the mid to high 20's during the day, but dropping to between 0 and -5 at night. If it's cloudy, it's snowing. If it's clear, it's cold. And it's colder this year than it's been in the last 10 years. That's a good thing, I guess. Sucky for fuel usage, good for the fact that it shows a (temporary, at least) return to "normal" climate conditions in our area.

Have a Blessed Day!


Em said...

Snow. Holy cow, that seems wrong! LOL

So sorry to hear about all the struggles. I'm just catching up after a long absence and it sounds like quite a struggle over educational issues. I agree that the assessment would be a great opportunity to really check things out and lay the groundwork for, hopefully, more productive education in the future.

Anonymous said...

Now when you go to the DMV - look at the pics of the Troopers and their wives - I'm there with my Trooper Skip Chevalier - and I'm SMILING at you! ;)
I was HORRIBLE in school - I HATED IT! If my Mom tried to teach me at home - it wouldn't have gone well.
I'm alittle dyslexic and I HATE reading - like my Dad! I read at the 3rd grade speed and the 11th grade comprehension - it just takes me a while. I was tested in 11th grade - it was REALLY depressing and it was one of the reasons I never went to college. can't read fast enuf.
I'll be praying that you figure out what to do ...
I'm glad you didn't take her out of the thing she loves the most - it usually just makes kids more upset and harder to deal with. I could never do that to my son either.
Has Cabin Fever set in ALREADY?
I was just wondering if you're getting out of the house and going other places? Like other socializing situations - sometimes kids that don't do well in school esp. miss the socializing and trouble they've gotten into in school and maybe she's just expressing that at home now.
I hope you don't leave the family - it's your kid? Or is she a step-kid?
Also, maybe take it alittle slower on HOW much you throw at her (schooling wise) and look at the WAY she learns - some learn by lecture (hearing) some learn by reading and some learn by writing ... Just some thots.
So know that I'm not trying to TELL you what to do - I'm just throwing some ideas at you.
God bless you and I hope and pray it gets easier for you ... (((HUGS)))

Kris said...

Hey Kati;
I actually talked to John,the Executive Director... he runs the whole program. If they don't call you Monday, try to find a chance to call down there & ask who to talk to, and let them know that your mom had talked to John about getting Tay in for an assessment. As far as the school goes, it may take a little effort on yours & Scott's part to get her there, but if it works, it's worth the hassle! You won't be getting as stressed out as you are now and that's priceless at this point.

Love you!
- Mom

peppylady said...

I'm not sure what your area offers in line of education for your daughter.
But I know some disabilities are hard to diagnose like ADD.
But sometime I feel it is as hard to treat them.

Coffee is on and no snow yet for us.

Ashley Ladd said...

Hugs about your struggles with Tay.

Four out of my five kids have ADHD and the youngest has ADHD plus ODD so he fights with me about everything and takes a lot longer than it should to do things. I know it's not easy.

Connie Peterson said...

What a struggle! I know how it is to have struggles and I feel for you. I hope you can come up with a solution. That school you mentioned - do they bus? If not, you might feel that taking her there and getting her every day would be worth the peace of mind. Or car-pooling?

Good luck with the testing! Just knowing that there is a problem would help!!


Tori_z said...

I'm sorry to hear that Scott and Tey are giving you such a bad time. And I really hope that getting Tey assessed sorts out whatever her issue(s) is/are. Hopefully if you can sort that out then things will improve with Scott too.


Robin said...

Just checking in. Hope things are going a bit better....

Erika said...

Hi! I just found your blog via Crunchy Chicken's. I certainly don't pretend to know your situation, your child, or what's best for anyone involved, but I do have some experience/thoughts to share regarding what you've posted. Some background: I am an adult with moderate ADHD, dyslexia, and a written language deficit (I understand what I read, but my brain has trouble changing written language into verbal language); I'm also a teacher. I'm not a doctor, and certainly can't diagnose any condition or recommend any specific treatment, but I am just going to mention a few things that have worked for myself or others that I know. 1. For me, coffee is my best helper. Caffeine doesn't "wire" me, but it helps me focus enough to be able to do what I want, without my brain distracting me. 2. Check out your child's diet. I met a young girl (1st grade), whose parents quickly discovered that a certain food color ingredient caused her ADHD symptoms - you could not pay that child to eat anything red! 3. Allow your child some choice in what's being studied. Rather than stick to a boxed curriculum - relate it to your child's interests - use hockey to help with concepts in science, learn spelling patterns with words that are used in association with hockey, or even help come up with a list of other things that might be of interest when discussing a new subject - provide a "real world" example to base learning on. 4. Provide options for your child. E.g.: "This week, we need to get through x, y, and z. I need you to work on x for at least 30 minutes three days this week. Why don't you help me write out the schedule."

Hopefully this helps... If not, I sincerely hope that your family can find an educational situation that works well for all of you!