Friday, February 10, 2017

Back To Life... Back To Reality...



I vacillated about doing this Post actually or Blogging about it at all... but I needed to do it for us... for The Young Prince and I mostly... and anyone else out there who may be Fighting the Good Fight in Faith too for a Disabled Loved One.   Yes, this is my Handsome Grandson with the Beautiful Mind and Tormented Tortured Soul as he Lives his Life with Serious Mental Illness.   Labeled Special Needs and yet also Gifted since he has a Genius I.Q., what a Paradox!

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So... back to Life, back to Reality... OUR Reality.  You see, after a Promising IEP at the High School for a change, not too long ago... like it seems only a minute ago actually... we're right back to Square One where I get The Dreaded Call... AGAIN.   You know, the one from the brand new Counselor assigned to him at said Meeting... now suggesting that Normal School is probably not the best fit for him and Alternative Placement really is going to be necessary.  If not involuntarily forced upon us... since they don't really want him there in Public High School anymore and are clueless what to do for or with him.  That's been no Secret really, since... well, his Freshman Year actually in three different High Schools!   Ditto Jr. High prior to that... and Elementary School prior to that... and Day Cares prior to that.   Tho' with perseverance we kept him Mainstreamed mostly since Kindergarten and somehow got thru it right up to almost the end of this year as a Junior in High School.  In spite of resistance to him even being there... you know, with the other Kids... the allegedly 'Normal' ones that don't have Serious Mental Illness diagnosis and can Pass a Class.

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I kept it together during The Call... I really have no Words anymore, used them all up in various other battles to give him the Right to an Education and Advocate on his behalf as best I can.   I've had a string of Advocates... sometimes whole Posses of them in fact, now they dwindle... or don't show up... after a while the Support System when things either don't improve or get worse just fall away like chaff on a threshing floor.   He'd just had me take him to get his hair dyed a new lovely Hue of Deep Burgundy with Red Tips in Celebration of the IEP giving us new Hope.  About Challenging his Core Classes soon by taking Tests and if he passed them as well as he usually passes Tests with High Scores, he'd earn recapture Credits without having to take the actual Classes that cause him so much Anxiety and Angst, since he fails them miserably, every time.  He'd been Optimistic about his Educational Future for the first time in a long time and that perhaps his Senior Year wouldn't be so dismal if this new suggestion to earn Graduating Credits panned out?   Sure, he still wouldn't Graduate with his Class... and perhaps might be extended in School like many Children with Profound Disabilities, but it was a glimmer of Hope.   The Call had come in as I sat in the Truck waiting for him after School to drive him Home Yesterday Afternoon and had blindsided me.  I had mere Minutes to decide how to break the Bad News to him of them rescinding once again the IEP Goals.   The Conversation didn't go Well... he tanked... and I was left to pick up the pieces of him... again.   And then this Morning, Friday Morning, he could barely function at all, so the School Nurse called very early, just come get him, he shouldn't try to even be here... yeah, I know.  It was about 20 minutes into the School Day... but they give you shit about excessive absences even with Chronic Illnesses and Severe Disabilities so you have to TRY to send them as many days as is humanly possible regardless of their Condition!   Otherwise you get The Letters along with The Calls, threatening you with Legal Action and Jail Time... like you Need more Stress piled onto Caregiving, right?

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I didn't keep it together as I drove up to the School to retrieve him, I had a short cry and another intensely Emotional conversation with God.   How am I supposed to actually Help him Lord?   I've been down this road before you see, raising a previous Generation of Special Needs Children... and I know it doesn't always have a Happily Ever After Ending to it no matter how hard you try to Help them or Advocate for them or how much Faith you possess or have left.   Sometimes the back story is horrible in fact and as a Parent or Guardian it's very difficult not to feel like perhaps you could have done more to prevent the worst of it playing out?   You really Hope for those Happily Ever After kinda Story Lines to ALL of your Children and Granchildren's Stories... everyone does.   You try not to vent your Upset and Anger inappropriately either.   Because frustration that you've put yourself out there time and time again to set up opportunities and do battle for them with no change in results can wear you down... to a nub... an angry little nub fed up with it all and ready to throw in the towel... or drive off a cliff dramatically Thelma and Louise Style.   I recovered from my little sobfest enough to be Encouraging and Optimistic sounding when I picked him up from the Nurse's Office... he asked if I was Alright, did I mention he's Perceptive as Hell?  We'll find a way, don't worry or despair Okay, Gramma will figure something out to get you the best Education possible that you CAN receive.   Finding out how he CAN receive is the million dollar question... I.Q. is definitely not the barrier, he's somewhere around 148 they tell me so he should be able to Learn... and it's not that he doesn't actually... he just doesn't Learn as they want and expect him to and so they Fail him since his Test Scores are only a small fragment of total Grading.   Is he a Behavioral Problem, No... typically he's a very subdued and meek Personality actually... more prone to Anxiety or Panic Attacks and less inclined to Violent Behaviors or Delinquent Behaviors or aggression.  I've had the Behaviorally Challenged Child before, he's not like that at all, which is a Blessing... if we're counting them.

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So... now we're not quite sure what they expect from him... Monday I have to send him again... until The Meeting for yet another Pow-Wow on what to do with him within the Public School System... or outside of it... whatever they happen to come up with this time?   He's done Online Classes before... didn't work out... and that Reform Type School they speak so Highly of and we were appalled by at the beginning of the year when we were required to Check it out... excuse my profanity but No Fucking way!   I dunno, Intake rather than Enrollment... Kids Locked Down like a Prison... blood curdling Student Screams echoing down the hallways... a Sideshow of sorts coming into Intake that reminded me of our Juvenile Files at the DA's Office... it was just all very disturbing to our whole Family that this was considered suitable placement whatsoever.  Especially since he'd never done anything actually Wrong to warrant such an alternative placement ... except not be able to pass his Classes and have a legitimate Serious Mental Health Disability diagnosis.   Mebbe I'm Militant, but I refuse to Punish any Child for having a Disability or allow others to try to Punish them for it... placement like that seem more like Punishment than Opportunity.  We don't know what to do with you and you don't really belong there, but we'll just try this little Experiment and see if that works out Well?   And what about his Safety I query, what about doing no further Harm to his already Fragile state of Being I question?   Lets see... give a Child already diagnosed with Severe Clinical Depression no Hope whatsoever... give them a Glimmer every now and again and then snatch it cruelly away... put a Vulnerable Child with potential Predatory Types and Hope they don't become Victimized... yeah, that ought to Work... says anyone never!

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So... he slept mostly the day away after I got him Home this Morning... gave him some stomach meds for the intense Nausea he felt... and the Migraine med for the Migraine it all gave him... and no Psyche Meds because his poor body just can't tolerate those anymore... and Tomorrow will be a brand new day and mebbe we won't be so Raw and either Emotional or completely Shut Down?  And No, I don't know what his Academic Future holds at all, options are now down to bare minimums and everything tried for the past 12 years of Schooling since Kinder have mostly Failed.   Tho' if you speak to him he's Highly Intelligent on an Adult Level far beyond his 16 tender years and taught himself a lot, outside of School mostly, since his Beautiful Mind absorbs like a sponge so it's not as if he's unable to be Taught or is your 'Typical' Student with all F's on the Report Cards I suppose.   And... he has Great Hair...

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Sitting with how I Feel about all this Today and processing all of my Emotions, Good and Bad since they're all relevant... Dawn... The Bohemian

10 comments:

  1. Oh, Dawn, I am so sorry to hear this news. Your love and caring for your grandson has no bounds and is beautiful to read. So many people today have to be an advocate for their children who are suffering from mental illness. You are all warriors against a system that has limited solutions.

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    1. Yes I know and the encouragement of Blog Friends is Priceless since sometimes I Feel so very inadequate in the Advocating and even in the Raising of those with a Disability that is still very much misunderstood and has no Cures. The System in place really still does not know what to do with nor where to put those with the spectrum of Mental Illness, there have been those that truly Care, but they just don't have Resources, Training or Ability to Help... and often neither do I, so I am often conflicted because I do understand the Educational System as it stands is NOT for him... but WHAT IS? Ah, the Mysteries of Life yet to Solve, huh? Thanks for all of the Emotional Support, it really does Help me to move forward... Dawn... The Bohemian

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  2. My heart breaks for him, and for you. It shouldn't be so hard to get help.

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    1. I know Colette... and it's not that many haven't tried... and failed... to Help adequately enough. I don't want to imply I've always met up with Educators that don't Care, many have, yet to Help those with a profound Mental Illness isn't just as simple as wanting to, you know, which is also why many just give up, give in and give out along the way. I just cannot give up on him, give in to the theory he can't make it, or give out in the raising of him... so my motivation to prove he can be so much more than the low expectations many believe is still high. The Son always had grim prognosis for his Future and he's High Functional with a thriving Career that he performs better than any of his co-workers and every Boss he's ever has stands in awe of his production, accuracy and attention to detail... yet while he was being raised those with Mental Illness AND Autism were not given much Hope for living a Normal Life. I am so Proud of him every day for proving that theory so WRONG! It took a lot of Work and some of us Believing in him and never giving up, but it paid dividends to have Invested in him as much as we did. I have similar High Hopes for my Grandson and The Son is one of his Supporters as well, he knows his Uncle's Story and that gives him a lot of Hope that what Doctors and Educators think doesn't always have to be a 'life sentence' accepted. Blog Friends like yourself help keep me buoyed during the storms... Thank You... Dawn... The Bohemian

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  3. It angers me to hear this, Dawn. Your grandson should not have to be treated like this by people and a system that claims to be on the side of the child. I wish with my whole heart that I had a solution to help you, and I will pray that the right people may enter your life and that your family will have a better outcome.

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    1. Thank You my Friend... I think they mostly start out with good intentions and Caring that is genuine, yet the resources in the Public School System for the Seriously Mentally Ill just don't really exist and there isn't anything designed at the present time to meet them at their point of need. In fact, Helping those with profound Mental Illness isn't just as easy as Wanting to... even with the very best of intentions and Plans it is such an insidious condition that every day can be a new Adventure and so different than the one before. So he has good days and horrible days, days where he is able to cooperate and days where containment is the best you can Hope for. Keeping him Safe, from Despairing, is a Full Time Job... especially now with the inability to continue with a med regimen due to the physical side effects getting so bad. So I can't totally shift all blame to Staff, or Schools... it's just frustrating to deal with a System that he really DOES NOT belong in per se, but have no other System in place as alternative that is SUITABLE. Therein is my Anger and intense Frustration because in Life we do need Education and Diplomas and Degrees to make it a level playing field in the Job Force. It is my Job to prepare him for as independent and successful a Life as I can, regardless of how grim the prognosis of that is. I've done it before with some success {The Son} and some failure {the Mother of the G-Kid Force The Middle Daughter} so I know it can be done, but there are no guarantees. Some with SMI will have a Good Life and some will have a most Challenging one regardless of the Love, Support and Investment poured into them. I suppose that can be said of anyone tho', which is why I still Invest with all of my Heart, everyone is worth Believing in since every precious Soul on this Earth has Value in my humble opinion. Thank You for the Support and Caring, it means so much. Dawn... The Bohemian

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  4. OMG! Why do children have to fit in to this awful school system and not the other way around? I feel so much for you and your Grandson Dawn. We just have to keep trying...

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    1. I agree, I'm progressive enough about Education to Feel the current System in place is archaic and designed for masses to just do what they're told and not for the free thinkers of Society. Those typically are the entrepreneurs, the Inventors, the ones who think so far outside of the box that they do great things for Society once they are set free to utilize their enormous God Given Talents and Brains! The Asst. Principal of his High School feels the same, yet her hands are tied by how most Teachers are taught and by the structure in place that limits how forward thinking the Educational System can be altered. I Believe he would do very well in an Environment that nurtures his strengths academically, since he is quite Intelligent and what he's interested in are the things I can't even fathom because it's so far above my own intelligence and I'm not a stupid Woman! *LOL* His Beautiful Mind is thinking upon the solving of the Mysteries of the Universe and so the mundane bores him to sleep... and he Hates the current System because he said it is not keeping up with the times and was designed for a Society that no longer really exists. He has a point that is valid and I cannot argue with him on the logic he's expressed about why the School System is inadequate and thus why so many who do Graduate are almost functionally illiterate and appear almost unable to think on their own. {Lord, just go into any Retail Environment with Youngsters working to have that point proven! Yikes!} He finds it Ironic that he is considered a Failure and some who Graduate are considered a Success when they can barely get an Order right at McDonalds... he can hold meaningful conversations with Adults who are highly skilled Inventors, Professors, Scientists, Architects and they tell me he's brilliant... yet at School the opinion is just the opposite... so he is indeed a very complex Child. Thank you for all of your Caring and Emotional Support it means so much... Dawn... The Bohemian

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  5. Oh Dawn! So sad to hear this. We have been down this path as you know. Homeschooling and especially unschooling is what works for us. If you want more info please email me!
    Hugs! Xo Jazzy Jack naturalmedley43@gmail.com

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    1. Yes Jack I think I will have to explore those avenues now, it is what he wants too... I just feel so inadequate at times, and overwhelmed, to try to do even more than I'm tasked to do already in Caregiver mode. I also know that this Child is way more intelligent than I am and you can only take someone as far as you have gone and no further, I know he can go much further than I can take him on my own. I Pray for the Mentor to show up who will Guide him into his full potential and let his Brilliance Shine brightly. Thank You for your Help and we will most definitely talk about the info that might Help. Thank You my Friend, I know your Experiences have been similar, it is very complex when we have these very Special Children who learn quite differently and have so much untapped potential and yet so many challenges. Dawn... The Bohemian

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A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl