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Thread: Got a little panicked today

  1. #1
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    Default Got a little panicked today

    Oh man was today rough. I've been working a lot while we've been waiting for our background checks to come back and I've been working in an inclusive prek all this week and next week. Most of you probably know what inclusion means but in case you don't it's a classroom designed to include special ed students with regular ed. That way instead of having the special ed kids separated they get to learn in the same environment as all of the other kids and often seem to make more learning gains that way. Well, anyway, working in the inclusive prek at this school is always an experience to say the least. I really enjoy it and the teachers are wonderful but so many of these kids come from such awful backgrounds it's pretty upsetting. One child, they think just had ADHD but he refuses to speak half of the time and he looks like a malnourished child from a third world country poor thing. He's also recently been exposed to crack and meth...still in the home with his parents...

    Another child is currently being adopted by his foster mom. He is a cutie pie and sweet as he can be but poor thing is pretty far behind. She got him when he was 2 1/2 and he had been so severely neglected that he couldn't even chew and the muscles in his mouth were too weak. So he had to learn how to eat and to talk and everything much later. Overall I think he's doing pretty good considering all he's been through and he seems to be pretty well adjusted but his background is so sad.

    There's another in there who was adopted by her foster parents along with her brother. Her brother is Autistic and was in this class last year. The little girl is a perfectly normal happy healthy little girl and her brother really is a sweetie but apparently the foster parents didn't want him but just took him because they wanted the little girl.

    Dealing with all of these stories and all of these children was encouraging at first, but after a whole week in there, I kind of felt freaked out this afternoon. So many of them are so far behind and have a lot of problems that most children, given the proper care, would never deal with. It just makes me so sad and I got really overwhelmed with it all today. The one who has been exposed to crack and meth has been refusing to talk to me at all and it's been so hard to communicate with him. He won't let me touch him either. I was so exhausted at the end of the day today I just wanted to cry. I think a lot of it was emotional exhaustion.

    It just got me thinking about what could happen and I can't help but wonder if I'll even be able to make a difference when we get a child. I also wonder if anything they've been through can be fixed or if they'll just be hurt forever. I look at all of these wonderful, sweet children who didn't deserve any of this to happen to them and just can't stand the thought that they could have to suffer forever whether they remember it or not. If we get a child 12 months and under, is it likely with the proper care that they'll be able to overcome a lot of what they've been through? I guess I'm just looking for some reassurance. DH says I've just been too overwhelmed by the 42 children and their sad stories but to remember that it doesn't mean every situation is that way. I probably just need a good night of sleep. We're taking the kids to the pumpkin patch tomorrow so hopefully that'll be a great day for them.
    MMC 4/12
    Leah (27) DH (30) Diagnosed PCOS and Stage 1 Endometriosis/Diagnosed CVID 2007

  2. #2

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    Just remember that is why its so good that they will be placed with you. You know they will learn, grow and blossom under your tender care and guidance and that is what theybwill remember. Keep your head up, no matter what happens you will be changing the sad life of whatever child you get and turning it into a very happy one

  3. #3

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    Just remember that is why its so good that they will be placed with you. You know they will learn, grow and blossom under your tender care and guidance and that is what they will remember. Keep your head up, no matter what happens you will be changing the sad life of whatever child you get and turning it into a very happy one

  4. #4
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    In my work with special ed kids, including kids with horrifying backgrounds as bad or worse than anything you describe here, I can say with confidence that the only two children I have seen that did not make some sort of progress were the two with degenerative diseases that were slowly killing them, which was not due to abuse or neglect in any way but to genetic disorders that could happen to any parent. I can say with confidence that it is rather amazing to see the change in a seriously delayed child who was placed in a good foster home and given love and care - sometimes these kids make progress so quickly they can be dismissed from special ed not too long after. These are exactly the kids who need you.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  5. #5
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    Also remember that you will be given training and support to help the kids. And you will be given their background info....if you feel that there is a situation that is beyond what you can handle, you can say no to the placement.

    Not all kids are going to have severe issues. Baby might be born addicted to drugs (better than alcohol) but that can be overcome.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  6. #6
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    Thanks ladies so much! All the support is so helpful and talks me out of my panic. Lol. Sorry it took me SO long to answer but I was working with the little ones all week and then I got walking pneumonia so bad I stayed on the couch for nearly a week. I ran a fever for 5 days...I basically lost a week of my life. Ugh! Anyway, I'm better now and I'm more relieved too. I think part of the reason I freaked out so much was because I was so exhausted and getting sick and I just let it all get to me.

    Gwenn thank you so much for saying that! I read it to DH and he said "well that's encouraging. I feel a lot better now." I felt a lot better too right away. I work with special ed kids a lot, but I'm only there for a short time usually so I don't get to watch them grow and change from their first day. The only time I get to see that is usually with kids with severe problems. So I'm relieved to hear that for sure!

    We've been waiting about 5 weeks now...I guess it's been 4-5 since we got our fingerprints done so we're halfway there! Hopefully, we'll have us a little one to care for before we know it!
    MMC 4/12
    Leah (27) DH (30) Diagnosed PCOS and Stage 1 Endometriosis/Diagnosed CVID 2007

  7. #7
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    I don't want to minimize it or paint too rosy a picture ... But kids do grow and develop over time and I don't think there is anything more important to that picture than a loving home where their needs are met. It's the single most important thing in my opinion, and the younger they are, the more impact you can make.

    I'm glad you are feeling better! I remember having bronchitis and feeling like I had lost weeks of my life. So awful.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  8. #8
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    You will get support but you may need to really advocate for it. Our 2.5 year old was tested as being in the abilities of 12-18months. By the time she left she was on Target for everything. We had to push for services but once we got them started everything went smoothly.
    Honestly though, somethings may not change. Our oldest will probably poop in the shower when he's frustrated for the rest of his life (he does with current family & did with the one before us). Z will always have her RAD behaviors since they aren't getting treated.
    Also, get support for yourselves, schedule in respite, have someone you can talk to. Document everything so you know where you need to ask the caseworkers to direct help & so you have a timeline in case you need to escalate.
    Again, our situation was totally crappy & not all are like us but going through the system, I know of more who are similar than not.
    And if you take a child in & it really just isn't working, you can say that! It doesn't make you a bad person or an incompetant parents, sometimes their are situations due to past histories where it really just won't work.

  9. #9
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    Thank you so much for all the info. I definitely see a lot of bad situations working in the schools. It seems like so many of those kids don't get anything they need...or need a lot more than they get anyway. Seems like they often are given the bare minimum and nothing more. I refuse to allow that whether they're staying with us or not. One way or another, if they need extra help, we'll find a way to make it happen even if I have to be the world's biggest b**** to get it done. Lol. It's true though. Growing up with a Primary Immune Disease, I know what it feels like to need help and to not get it, and for everyone to tell you you don't really need help when you do. Thank goodness my mother was a wonderful advocate for me and always stood up for me. She's still that way. So I feel like I really learned to fight for what's right.

    I guess as far as behavior that doesn't change, the only thing that scares me that much is serious behavior issues and the inability to communicate. There are some sweet kids in the school I work at, who have autism. One of them communicates really well and is sweet and loving as he can be but his mood can change in a heartbeat with no warning and it's extreme. Most of the time, he can deal though. The other one can't look at you. He absolutely can't make eye contact and without meaning to, he's violent. In fact, he knocked me down Friday and my leg is still sore where I fell. I see a lot of these kinds of behaviors and it scares me. I can work through a lot of that I think, but I know I can't be in an environment where I have to worry for my physical safety. I've been through that a lot with teaching and I can't take that home with me. Of course, I won't just allow a child to treat me that way but it seems in some situations it's hard to modify that behavior...I don't know.

    I think I'm just thinking about all the what ifs and worst case scenarios and it scares me. Last night, I was lying on the bed watching a movie with my niece (who will be 2 in Jan) and she was smiling at me and jumping up and down on the bed and telling me she loves me and I thought to myself...I can do this. I know we're unlikely to get a child who is that well adjusted but I'm willing to work all we need to on that and help them adjust so that they can feel secure and safe.

    It does feel good to hear someone say that it's okay if a situation really isn't working. I think I'd beat myself up for that if it happens but I know it's true. Sometimes it's just not a right fit. I think it's the waiting to take the class and waiting for the background checks that's making me nuts. Plus, what would have been my due date if I hadn't miscarried is coming up Nov. 7th and I've been crazy sensitive because of that too. I just need to remember to breathe, and I think I'll be okay.
    MMC 4/12
    Leah (27) DH (30) Diagnosed PCOS and Stage 1 Endometriosis/Diagnosed CVID 2007

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