Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Blame Game

The hospital Taz is in boasts a family centered approach to treatment. So far most of the nurses and staff have a guilty until proven innocent mindset about the parents. And since Taz has yet to exhibit any behavioral problems, the thought is that we, his parents, are to blame.

But what they don't seem to understand is that Taz is a survivor. His early childhood trauma has created this little being inside him that says to survive at all costs. That means until he knows he is safe and will get his needs met no matter what he does, he will comply. Until we get there. Then that big ball of pent up emotion comes to the surface and it can very much look like we are the ones with the problem.

But we're not. Obviously.

And I'm tired of being treated as if I am.

So tired that I am heading into the hospital tomorrow morning to give the therapist a piece of my mind. They need to tell the staff to back off. They need to know that there are sick kids in this world and that most of the time, it's no one's fault.

I asked one of the staff during my visit a couple nights ago why many of the other parents don't visit every day. He said that a lot of times the kids are there because of relationship strains with the parents. He said, "I don't want to say it's their fault or anything...but...the parents need a break and the kids need to reflect."

Reflect? This isn't meditation camp. Kids need their parents. Especially young ones.

This was after he told me that Taz was "showing off" because I was there because he's never seen him like that. Great. You've known my kid for 4 days and suddenly you know what's normal for him and what's not?

Another nurse told me that Taz seems calmer since starting the Intuniv. Great, he's calmer. But we're not here for calmer. We're here to stabilize his disorder. Disorder. Not a discipline problem. A real disorder.

I told her that I don't think it's enough because he is still aggressive and unstable on our visits. She said that because they haven't seen any of that it must be a behavior problem and that he just needs a consistent behavior program.


I told her I needed to speak with the psychiatrist about my concerns with the medication and she said that kids Taz's age can't be diagnosed with anything because it's too hard to tell how much of the hyperactivity is just because he's four and how much is ADHD.

Excuse me? Did I just hear you right? You think I put my son in a psychiatric hospital for being four? Or because he's hyper?

And enough of this ADHD crap! They are obviously not reading his file because it explains in black and white that Taz is in the hospital because he has attacked us with a screwdriver (as well as other dangerous objects) and is extremely aggressive with his younger sister. It also says his diagnosis is Bipolar, but apparently everyone just ignores that. And that he has severe mood swings and can't cope with his strong emotions.

They must have also missed the part where he was born addicted to cocaine and methadone. He is a recipe for disaster!

The bottom line is that Taz needs a mood stabilizer. Probably an anti-psychotic as well. And then maybe Intuniv. But I can't deal with the hyperactivity without dealing with the moods first. That is what dictates his behavior. His moods are what dictate his life (and ours).

Monday morning I'm going in with my game face on. I'm going to get an answer about starting a mood stabilizer and I'm going to complain about the implication that I have something to do with Taz's behavior. If they don't listen, we're leaving. I'm not going to waste our time and continue to traumatize my son. They are either going to do what we came for or it's not worth staying.


  1. Mama knows best! Stick with it!

  2. I'm the mom of an adopted child with FASD. And under that dx there are a hundred other labels that can be given ODD, ADHD, BP, Explosive Rage Disorder, on and on and on!!!!!!!!! At this point (age 9) we are just treating the symptoms of all of these dx! But it all is because of FASD period! It is just all under the big umbrella of substance (alcohol, cigs, coke, meth, and who knowns what else) abuse that he had while in utero! The only reason he has not been put in the hospital is because during our last major psycotic break they did not have a bed in the childrens psy. ward. Cops showed up to "help" me but then said no bed for him so just keep on doing what you are doing (which was keeping him away from all the other children and keeping him from killing me) I was like oh thanks for all your "helP" Makes me not want to call the "professionals" ever agian! Sorry did not mean to rant on and on just wanted to give you a little history (by the way we have had him since he was 4) and we have been dealing with all of this since then! The main reason I wanted to write was to let you know that you know your child the best and stay strong for him and don't let them get you into the label game! And in my sons case their is no amount of behavior mod that will ever "cure" him! If it was that easy he would not be on 3 major meds (Intuniv, Seroquel, Topamax) All in large doses! And sometimes they help and sometimes he still cycles no matter how much meds we put into him! It is like the saying about adoptive moms lives "you did not cause it, you cannot control it, and you cannot cure it" I know that sounds bad but that is the three C's of our lives! I feel like I did not get my point across in a nice way but I really want to let you know that I get what you are going thru and I pray that you can find the help that you and your son needs!

  3. thanks sherry. i can't imagine how you must be feeling after 5 years of those issues. i've only been doing it 3 and i'm exhausted and feel like giving up sometimes. i don't understand why it's so hard to find help. it's not fair! there are so many more of these kids (with complications) out there than people think. they need better treatment and parents need more help. good luck to you. and thanks for the support.

  4. I am so angry and sad for you :(. I also have an adopted child with FASD, BP, and everything else that goes under that umbrella. She would definitely go through a "honeymoon" period and only let lose with her mom(her safe person). Doctors in that kind of hospital should know that. How frustrating. We just started a mood stab. and she is also on seroquel and clonidine. They need that stabilizer! Ugh, stay strong, you know your child best!

  5. PS Do you know if Taz was exposed to alcohol or not in utero?

  6. Just wanted you to know I was thinking of you today and hope that it went well. That might seem trite, but I really do mean it in the best way one can in a comment on a blog.

  7. I just wonder if these hospital employees ever imagine the h*ll that it takes for as parent to admit their child???? I would NEVER have left my child with strangers if I didn't honestly feel she needed help we couldn't provide. You tell them! They see him for 4 days and know it all? Not quite with a bipolar child...Try months before they will do it with someone else!

  8. BemLmom3,

    I don't know if he was exposed to alcohol. His birthmother only named drugs but that doesn't mean she didn't use alcohol. She may not even remember. But I am beginning to speculate that she did. Too bad there's no definitive way of knowing. Taz can't display some of the obvious signs because of his cleft lip/palate.

    Thanks everybody for the kind words. Really, it means a lot to me.