Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Where I get to bitch about the mental health system

We haven't had a good mental health care rant in a while, have we? Well, I do believe it's time for yet another installment of "What the F is wrong with these people?"

Cast of Characters:

The Girl
Her mom (that would be me)
Her program director (AKA the moron)
The SpEd department head (SDH)
The therapist (shrink)
The evaluator
The Mental Health Care Crisis Team
The Outplacement
and a whole bunch of secondary characters

Act One:

Thursday we have a big IEP meeting to discuss the Girl's very bad transition back to school from the hospital. We do this because I pulled her out of the Moron's program after he had told her a bunch of crap that was ridiculous, thus setting her off in a very bad space. We've had problems with this guy for 1.5 years and that was the last straw.

At the IEP meeting are a bunch of high rollers who are attempting to figure out what to do next for the Girl. The Girl refuses to attend. They first recommend a program that she and I are both set against. We ask for more options. We talk a lot, and it all boils down to her not being ready to be back at school. We call her in, she sits with her Ipod in and refuses to participate. She is bullshit about people making decisions for her. No decision is made at all, and we arrange for an evaluation on Friday with the mental health crisis team. (In MA, we have regional mental health centers that do this type of evaluation to determine what might be the right path to follow. This is how all mental health admissions to hospitals and treatment programs are made.)

On Friday an evaluator showed up and school and talked to the Girl. After the talk she was supposed to notify me (the mother) of what her recommendation was. But this evaluator was so anxious to go off on her vacation to China, that she never called me. She evidentally might have talked to the Girl's shrink, but she was also so anxious to go on vacation that she didn't get in touch with me either. So I had no clue as to what the recommendations were.

Act 2:

Acting on what I thought were the recommendations from the Team meeting (not the eval), I took the Girl on Tuesday morning to visit one of the two programs I was considering. Now, I've documented well the Girl's attitude this past weekend, and she was dead set against visiting this program. She sat like a lump and refused to talk for a bit, and then she started to warm up and let people know her objections to the program. We left there telling them that we would be getting back to them as soon as we made a decision, which would happen after we visited the other program.

Act 3:

Phone rings this morning. I'm dead asleep. Cheery voice says, "Is the Girl coming to XX hospital for her 9:00 intake?" The clock says it's 9:20. I have no clue what this cheery voice is talking about. She tells me that according to the Evaluator, the Girl is to attend this hospital based program that I have no intention of approving, starting on Thursday and she's due for her intake this morning. I tell the voice I know nothing about this, I'll have to check and find out what's going on. I go back to sleep.

The phone rings again. It's the transportation office wanting to know if I have the information about the Girl's ride to the hospital. I know nothing. I tell her that I have not gotten the eval, I don't know what the options are, etc. She tells me it's a five day program. Which is a total waste of money as far as I'm concerned. FIVE freaking days? No thank you.

I call the Crisis team and get (yes, this will sound racist but I'm so ticked off it has nothing to do with race, it has to do with the lack of ability to SPEAK and UNDERSTAND ENGLISH) so Asian guy with a pretty lousy command of the language. Everything I say to him is turned around and made my fault. I say "I never spoke to the evaluator" and he says "But she wrote in her report that she spoke to you." I keep telling him that her report is a pack of lies. He tells me that the Girl told her things that are patently untrue. I'm seething. I have to ask him to repeat everything I say because I know he didn't understand me. And I was right, he had no clue as to what I was saying. So I ask for his supervisor. She gets on the phone, I repeat the whole story, she's aghast that I have not gotten the eval, that the evaluator went on vacation without getting in touch with me, that the shrink is also on vacation, and I am left to try and resolve this entire mess by myself. She cancels the hospital treatment program.

I call the SpEd director who is just as befuddled as I am. She thinks the Girl is starting the program the evaluator recommended and has no clue that I was going to check out the other programs even though this is what we decided at the meeting. I was really clear about it, in fact. She wants me to meet with the transportation people tomorrow the second we've finished with looking at the other program. In other words, no time to even discuss the options.


Act 4 will take place tomorrow.

Bows all around.

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Blogger Robin said...

I'm meeting with my town's special ed coordinator on Monday to discuss my daughter's kindergarten options.

You're scaring me.

24/1/08 6:43 AM  
Blogger Misfit Hausfrau said...

I don't even know how to respond to this lunacy. I hope it gets worked out.

24/1/08 10:56 PM  

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