March 1 – New battles

Ana is actually dancing with her fifth grade class!

Ana is actually dancing with her fifth grade class!

 

About three months ago Ana’s father and I agreed for him to take a six month break in visitations in an effort for Ana to stabilize without the stress of bi-weekly visits to his house and for him to get help and training on how to best parent Ana. Fast forward three months and we have just began what is sure to be a nasty court battle. He insists this agreement was never made and I have just been refusing visitation.

Sigh.

The good news is that Ana is doing great! Her agitation is down. Her meds are down. Her self-injuring is way down. All proof that this break is, indeed, helping.

Now, don’t get me wrong, she is still no angel and there are still days where I want to beat my head against the wall. But, I think we are finally to a point where the anxiety has relaxed enough for us to really start attacking the RAD behaviors that turn her little world upside down.

**Sidenote*** Ana actually performed an entire dance number with her fifth grade class for parents and teachers. No joke! I never thought I’d see the day she voluntarily did something like that. (see pic above)

Now I am beginning the battle of unraveling her behaviors and symptoms to get the correct diagnosis. I’ve been doing a little research and am finding that ‘intellectual disability’ looks a lot like RAD. Hmmmm…it makes one think. I’ve been saying all along how there is no way her IQ score could be high when she refuses to try or cooperate while being tested.

Also, I’m hoping to determine and get a better diagnosis than Generalized Anxiety Disorder – it just doesn’t fit in my book. Her anxiety is anything but generalized!

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January 4, 2015 – A new year awaits!

We survived another family pic day!

We survived another family pic day!

It’s been a busy last few months and honestly I’ve thought about writing several times but I waiting for some closure. Well, that closure just isn’t coming, so here I go….

First of all Ana is no longer having contact with her father upon mutual agreement between me and him. Basically, in a nutshell, they are unwilling to do what is necessary on their end to have a good (just good) visit with Ana, and do not want her destroying their home and injuring herself and them. Of course, there is much more going on then just their unwillingness to change their behavior and parenting – a two day visit is hard for Ana ANYWHERE, her anxiety is increasing, she resents her father, etc…

The end result, regardless, is that she is with us for at least the next six months, no breaks. This began Thanksgiving weekend and will end around the time school is out. At that time we will revisit this topic. Drew is still going every other weekend.

So far, Ana is doing impressively well with the arrangement. Her moods have stabilized and now we can begin working on her anxiety.

Ah, anxiety. Over the last few months she has picked off her big toe nail and thumb nail; she picks non-stop at her nails. She will scratch herself (like an itch) until she bleeds. She has started trying to ‘help’ loose teeth come out.

Actually tomorrow is her psych appointment where hopefully we’ll up the anti-anxiety meds!

Other than that things are about the same.

We are interviewing a new worker for her. I’m REQUIRING that all potential workers read Building the Bonds of Attachment so they understand fully what they are getting into. We’ll see how this goes.

It’s about that time to look into summer programs and see if there is anything she qualifies for and we can afford.

Hello, 2015. I hope you are good to us.