A Lack of Education Due to Emotional and Mental Issues

January 30th, 2008
Categories: Disorders/ Illness

A totally tough element in the equation of the adoption of older children is how tough it is to get them through school. Long range plans seem to not compute, deferred gratification is an elusive concept when they simply do not want to go to school. School is very hard for one thing. My children’s track record for school attendance was horrible during foster care and even worse when they were still living in the difficult circumstances into which they were born. They were moved from foster home to foster home and through various shelters; never staying long enough to comprehend that school should be a daily affair. They find my insistence on non-truancy to be stodgily old-fashioned; a quirk from my own square Leave… [more]

A Broken System

December 9th, 2007

I dare anyone who has adopted older children from the system to read this article. It is horrifying and totally realistic. It’s the same story I’ve heard from so many parents, and it’s been lived out here within our own family as well. “Over the years the three have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, affective attachment disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, reactive attachment disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and schizophrenia.” These are words I have learned to live with over the years. Many labels could have been avoided in my children had their birth parents not been given so many chances to let the children down with false promises and inabilities to follow a case plan, choosing… [more]

Dealing With Mental Disabilities

December 9th, 2007

Parents who’ve adopted older children usually bemoan the obvious – the lying and the stealing behaviors. To tell you the truth, I’ve learned to live with those behaviors early on while doing my best to redirect them. I’ve seen progress but it has taken years. The children who did not lie and steal were nearly revered by me. The majority of children in our family do not lie or steal, that’s the good news. What I’ve found terribly difficult to cope with all these years has been the emotional and mental illnesses. All of my children were hurt in their childhood before adoption in one way or another and all of them were emotionally bruised, physically scarred, or damaged in some way that cannot be… [more]

Severe Emotional Problems in Older Adopted Children and Foster Children

December 6th, 2007

As soon as I heard the news regarding the teen shooter, I wondered to myself if he’d either been a foster child or been adopted as an older child. I quickly tried to blow off that thought as paranoia on my part, having lived so long with children described like him. Yet reading these words today on a CNN site sent chills up my spine. “Todd Landry, director of the Nebraska Division of Family and Children's Services, described for reporters the laundry list of residential treatment centers and group and foster homes where Robert Hawkins spent much of his teen years, because of his behavioral and psychiatric problems. He also had two psychiatric hospitalizations, and has been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, mood… [more]

Moving Into a Psychiatric Hospital

October 3rd, 2007

I heard the traffic reporter on the radio today claim that she was too blessed to be stressed. I ran the words through my head over and over until I realized that in spite of my very bad attitude lately over the huge battles I’ve fought in getting mental health services for my kids, I feel the same way. Just physically making it through each day ought to be indication enough for me, adding in all the other outsides stressors and challenges, but then meeting each one head on, often with a pretty good resolution, reminds me of how blessed I really am overall. I spent all day today again in my truck moving my seriously disturbed son from a crisis respite center three hours away to a psychiatric hospital… [more]

Struggling With My Perspective on Life

October 2nd, 2007

I’m trying to keep my life in perspective as I wade through defiant, mean children while juggling an admittance to a psychiatric hospital, not for me but for a son, realizing another son got locked up last night for not having car insurance, and learning that a friend of mine has an inoperable mass on her liver. That absolutely stops me in my tracks. My problems here will someday cease, and will certainly ease up at some point, but my friend is battling for her life. I need to get a grip. My kids will hopefully overcome most of their issues before the next century and make something of their lives. It’s just a long, hard road to get there. This time last year I too was… [more]

Mental Health Facilities for Children

September 29th, 2007

I’m a little cowed by the fact that several of my children have needed to live somewhere else in out-of-home placements. I could not meet their psychiatric needs within the confines and limitations of our family home. No one but a psychiatric facility with a staff and PRN medications would be able to keep irrational, violent children safe from themselves. The safety of others must also be considered. This side of life has shocked me in such an abject manner. I would not have knowingly adopted children for which this was to become an issue, yet I since I did so, unbeknownst to me, I feel a huge sense of responsibility towards them as well as the sadness of unreturned love… [more]

Seeking Residential Psychiatric Help

September 26th, 2007

After nearly two months now in two different psychiatric hospital placements, my son was discharged yesterday as they are both considered short term facilities. Even if it is obvious that our family’s safety would be jeopardized by having him come home, it’s basically tough toenails. Deal with it. I’ve spent eight weeks now, sending emails queries and making phone calls, hunting for the next tenuous solution. I’ve been here before with a significantly disturbed child, two kids of mine actually who have little hope for a good future as their choices are so limited. I’ve documented all attempts. I’ve found that I have to prove what I’ve tried to do, how many ways in which I’ve sought help. My frustration level has radically mounted. People… [more]

Stumped By Problems in the Mental Health Field

September 19th, 2007

The Atlanta Journal Constitution had written a series about some terribly sad deaths in Georgia in mental hospitals resulting in a lawsuit and an investigation which unfortunately has made it a million times more difficult to find help for severely disturbed children. This is a painful-to-read series and there's more to each story plus another side. There are not enough foster homes for troubled adolescents, an article yesterday in the AJC bemoaned this fact, and many of these kids end up in beds in mental facilities whether they need to be there or not, leaving folks who seriously need the psychiatric help out in the cold. I have no answer here, I’m only pointing out a massive problem. This editorial addresses a situation I find… [more]

PLOM Disease: A Little Understood Phenomena

September 10th, 2007

All of my children, adopted with their siblings, have suffered from this disease; the affliction appearing more obvious in some kids than others, but the good news is that it is treatable and curable. I’d have had it too had I grown up unloved, abused and neglected. Pushed through the foster care system, somehow most of my kids were in right decent foster homes, some were in spectacular homes, but other than a foster mom who put a two year old on clonidine for his hyperactivity, I have few complaints. That hyper kid, as all two year olds should be, actually struggles with Cerebral Palsy. However this PLOM Disease – Poor Little Old Me – coined by Zig Ziglar, or at least that’s where I… [more]