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We are empty nesters now after 44 years

no more storage either

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#1 strong6

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:49 AM

We have 3 boys and 1 girl and have had a swinging door for various reasons for the last 10 years.  And when they leave, they always leave little piles of mystery 'stuff '.  The last 4 years have  been for serious reasons, though.  Divorce and money problems due to high costs of Autism.  Our oldest DS was divorced and needed to move in to get back on his feet.  He has his kids every other week-end.  Our DD and SIL bearing crippling costs of Autism had to sell their house and move in to rethink what kind of housing they can afford.  They all saved money while they were here and when they felt they could, moved out.  Sometimes it was good and sometimes not so good...both ways.  And all 4 of our kids were required to come get all their 'stuff '.  Now we are all alone and our electric and gas bills are half! :db:  :db:  :crazy:  :crazy:  :crazy: :angel:  


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#2 tedybearnana

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:00 AM

welcome strong6 - i'm very happy for you to have finally gotten an empty nest! that's super! do you know what to do with all your time, space, extra money due to the lower utility and water bills, etc? we've tried to be supportive to our ds, but it is wearing thin as he has a very hard time getting and keeping jobs. about all he can get are temp jobs - and those are few and far between. he might work a few weeks or even months - then they don't need him any more.

 

i'm so happy that your kids were responsible types and paid you for living there, but am sure it didn't cover the bills. i would be happy to just be back to my empty nest (except for his unhousebroken house dog that WE will get trained while he's gone) - a couple of weeks at a time. we need a break and we need a break from the bills. right now, he's minus a working cell phone and car insurance (he's using his dad's truck when he goes somewhere and it's our gas $.)

 

i don't know how you did it for 10 years! and an autistic child, too! i hope he's mildly autistic. that's very sad. hope all goes well with that gc.  hugs to you, strong6. keep me posted!  



#3 rosered135

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:15 AM

Welcome to this group. strong! (BTW, even though my avatar says "Moderator," tedybearnana is the actual "go-to mod" here.) I think it was very loving and generous of you and DH to keep your home open to your AC (adult children) for all those years! I'm glad to hear that they were wise and responsible enough to save money while they lived with you and be able to move out on their own again.

 

I'm sorry about DS' divorce but I take it he's "on his feet," now and I'm glad he gets to see his kids, regularly. Hope he shares some of that time iwth you and DH, also, if you'd like.

 

My heart goes out, especially, to your Autistic GC and his parents. How sad that it's so expensive for loving parents to take care of a child with special needs! Isn't there any kind of insurance or other assistance that could help them defray the costs?

 

Regardless, I'm glad to hear that you and DH finally have your home to yourselves, again, not to mention those lowered bills! It sounds as it you 2 are enjoying your "empty nest" so thats' good. Have a blast! :)



#4 crazyat60

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:12 PM

Strong, My granddaughter, My middle daughters, daughter, has asperger's . Diagnosed by a very intelligent and observant grandmother (ME!)  She also has been diagnosed by a therapist that she was sent to see for inappropriate and very strange behaviors. Her own cousins say "Sally's from another planet."(not her real name). The problem is that they live in a small town in a rural area. Sally need diagnosed by a physician to get the help she needs. They don't have the money to take her for a private Neuro/Psych evaluation. The county mental health is of no help at all, they don't even return calls. The school is the worst! Their counselor says "I saw autism once, Sally doesn't have it." She is either misinformed or un-bright! She doesn't understand that asperger's  kids don't have delayed speech. She won't even return the therapist's calls. Everyone, including Sally's school and family treat her like its her fault. Every thing she does is different then the way the neuro-typical child would do it. It breaks my heart to see her always in trouble. Sally is now 14, but acts much younger. I believe she should have been diagnosed at 3 when she was isolating and head banging. She may have been had she lived in a large city. Sally describes her life as "torture" (her words). I have offered to take her for the summer, don't know if they will agree, she would have to fly across country. I feel her life is in danger, she is already showing signs of depression. Strong, and anyone else with autism info, please help us get through the red tape, and save this sweet sensitive child.



#5 Guest_Kalana_*

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:49 PM

If a diagnosis is required, Sally's parents need to find a way to get it done.  They can check to see if there is a children's psychiatrist near where they live.  Not a therapist, not a general practitioner doctor, and not a psychiatrist who doesn't specialize in children's disorders. They can call and ask if the psychiatrist will see patients at a reduced rate, depending on income.  Many will.  What about medical insurance?  Autism/Asperger's are medical diagnoses.  They should be covered by medical insurance.  Once the diagnosis is made, Sally's parents can take the doctor's report to the school.  Then the school is required to provide a plan to help Sally get the best possible education, and to take her disorder into consideration. 

 

If they can pay to have her fly across the country, they can pay to get her a diagnosis. 



#6 crazyat60

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:49 PM

Apparently, I was not as clear as I had thought. 

The school is not cooperating. They could have gotten her a screening if they wanted.

She can not get into the child psychiatrist without the doctor referral.

The pediatrician is still waiting for the information to be sent from the school and its not happening.

The reason I posted was I thought parents or grandparents of kids with autism spectrum disorder, may have been through the red tape of getting diagnosed and treated and may have valuable advice.

I admit to not being very computer literate, and may have posted in the wrong group.

 

"if they can pay to have her fly across the country, they can pay to get her a diagnosis"

seriously? I would be the one to have to find a way to get her here.



#7 SueSTx

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:53 PM

Would Sally's parents accept financial help from you (if you can afford it) to help pay for a child psychiatrist?

#8 tedybearnana

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:56 PM

hi crazy! welcome! what a SHAME this small town is ignoring "Sally's" needs. do her parents understand that it's asperger's? if so, are they treating her the way the 'rest of the family' is treating her?  from what i understand, with aspberger's, the person usually has at least one 'gift' that is 'exceptional' - and they are smart. my therapist is treating an aspberger's patient. i got involved, tho i've never met me because i live not too far away from her and i was asked if i could recommend a 'housekeeper' for her. i did, and it turns out that this young lady knows EVERYTHING about dogs, has 5 or 6 large dogs (collies i think) - but didn't seem to notice when they pooped or peed and they're shut up in one bedroom with linoleum flooring - my friend cleaned for her for a couple of months, but refused after a couple of weeks to clean up all the debris. then quit eventually. still, evidently you can ask her an obscure question pertaining to any dog and she can tell you about it.

 

i don't have a history or much knowledge about asperger's, actually. sorry. i think my best suggestion would be to have her parents go to the next School Board meeting, explain the situation and tell them the school counselor won't return their therapist's phone calls and seems to know nothing about autism. it she's only seen ONE, unless she's brand new and 20 years old herself, she SHOULD have seen cases of autism as prevelent it is becoming with children.

 

i'm so sorry this is a problem in this small, rural area. do they have insurance that would help if they had the diagnosis? would it be possible for her to not come for the summer, but to live with you until she graduates? you could get her the testing she needs and the treatment necessary to help her, i would suppose. i'm sure her life IS torture with her own family being hateful and blaming her as if she's doing the things she does ON PURPOSE which MUST be what they think if they BLAME her - cousins saying she's from another planet. IF you get her, at least for the summer, don't forget a 'temporary power of attorney' to get her the testing and treatment she needs. i'm not a lawyer, but i think that would be possible for their insurance to pay if you had that legal power of attorney.  you'd have to do some checking on that part.

 

if you want to get her for the summer, i'll bet she could go. if it were explained to the staff, unless she has anger and acting out issues, etc. - they allow single children on planes every day - 5 year olds flying somewhere alone. they put them on the front seat next to the attendent's station and the attendents are charged with their care, etc.

 

have they talked to her physician? she needs (probably) to be seen by a pediatrician, rather than a family doc, who would have more insite and info probably to autism/asperger's.

 

while i don't have experience in autism, i had a child with emotional, mental issues, was diagnosed as ADHD and put in private schools for several years for that, then mainstreamed, spent years going to psychiatrists (where he said, "you can make me go but you can't make me talk"), was diagnosed with depression and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder, which, at almost 44 is still dealing with this problem). he spent 2 1/2 years in 2 different Residential Treatment Centers (schooling along with psychiatric treatment). that just contained the problem for that length of time, but really, i think, didn't help him much. he's had problems all his life, dropping out of school, etc and they just sort of 'grew like topsy'. so i do know about kids with problems. i know how all of his treatment (and mine for depression) costs kept us broke and my dh working two jobs. i know what it does to families and the kids with the problems. it is no wonder she's exhibiting depression symptoms, even if it's just situational depression (that would get better, most likely if the situation changed) - which CAN turn into biochemical depression. either way, she's miserable and her family is helping to make her that way. that's very sad. she SHOULD be diagnosed and put into special ed classes if necessary where she will be recognized with her strong points and helped with her deficiencies.      

 

keep us posted! we care!     



#9 crazyat60

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:57 PM

Unfortunately, I am on disability at this time. That does not mean that I wouldn't do anything possible to help my granddaughter.



#10 Guest_Kalana_*

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:12 PM

Crazyat60, I'm sorry I offended you, truly.  Sometimes I don't think long enough before I post. I didn't know who would pay for the plane ticket. 

 

Pediatricians should be knowledgeable about autism, since more and more children are being diagnosed with it these days.  If the pediatrician won't make the referral, your daughter can try to get an appointment anyway.  Is it the insurance company that's requiring the referral?  Or the psychiatrist? 

 

Here's the diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder (includes asperger's), from the most recent diagnostic manual (DSM-V, 2013).  See if it fits your grandchild.  If so, you can give the list to her parents (or give it anyway, for them to use) and they can go to the pediatrician with it, and push for the pediatrician to make that referral since the school isn't cooperating:

 

Autism Spectrum Disorder
Must meet criteria A, B, C and D:

    A. Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across contexts, not accounted for by general developmental delays, and manifest by all 3 of the following:
    1. Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity; ranging from abnormal social approach and failure of normal back and forth conversation through reduced sharing of interests, emotions, and affect and response to total lack of initiation of social interaction,
    2. Deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction; ranging from poorly integrated- verbal and nonverbal communication, through abnormalities in eye contact and body-language, or deficits in understanding and use of nonverbal communication, to total lack of facial expression or gestures.
    3. Deficits in developing and maintaining relationships, appropriate to developmental level (beyond those with caregivers); ranging from difficulties adjusting behavior to suit different social contexts through difficulties in sharing imaginative play and in making friends to an apparent absence of interest in people

    B. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities as manifested by at least two of the following:
    1. Stereotyped or repetitive speech, motor movements, or use of objects; (such as simple motor stereotypies, echolalia, repetitive use of objects, or idiosyncratic phrases).
    2. Excessive adherence to routines, ritualized patterns of verbal or nonverbal behavior, or excessive resistance to change; (such as motoric rituals, insistence on same route or food, repetitive questioning or extreme distress at small changes).
    3. Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus; (such as strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects, excessively circumscribed or perseverative interests).
    4. Hyper-or hypo-reactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of environment; (such as apparent indifference to pain/heat/cold, adverse response to specific sounds or textures, excessive smelling or touching of objects, fascination with lights or spinning objects).
    C. Symptoms must be present in early childhood (but may not become fully manifest until social demands exceed limited capacities)
    D. Symptoms together limit and impair everyday functioning.
 



#11 crazyat60

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:14 PM

Teddy. My eldest daughter passed away and I am already raising her twins. I have arthritis and believe me, 13 year olds can easily outrun me. My middle daughter is mom to Sally. My youngest is in med school and always broke. I swear she survives on Ramen noodles. Sally is a budding geologist. Her thing is digging up rocks and fossils. And yes she can tell you all about them. When we are together we go rock hounding!



#12 tedybearnana

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:17 PM

hi again, crazy -

 

it looks as if 4 of us were posting/replying at the same time! i started typing when it was right after the OP (original poster) - when i clicked on post, 3 people had answered you in front of me! (my clock isn't right, lol - and my computer illiteracy causes me to not be able to fix it, tho i've tried.)

 

i don't know that this is the room to go to, but i don't know of a different room to go to with this problem, either. we don't have one that really deals with the issue, tho i'm sure there are members who have dealt with this sort of issue.

 

i think maybe, since it seems to be a bottle-neck situation that starts at the school level by them not cooperating. i believe i'd go back to one of my earliest suggestions - go to the school board meeting and ask to be put on the agenda list for that night so they can speak to the people who RUN the schools! explain the situation politely so as not to get their egos damaged and anger formed against them. put it on THEM to get this problem within their school resolved for you.

 

by the way - we didn't have as much info when we replied to your lst post - but Kalana works in the mental health field - so should have pretty good info for you.    



#13 crazyat60

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:24 PM

Insurance requires the referral from a pediatrician. The pediatrician requires school records before the screening and referral.

The school is not cooperating. We may need to go over their head. Interesting about the " indifference to pain" Sally had a ruptured appendix and told the doctor it didn't hurt!



#14 SueSTx

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:31 PM

In the school system just like any business/government body, there is a chain of command (or at least that is how our local public school system works). They need to call ahead and make an appointment.

Have Sally's parents tried visiting with her classroom teacher. Then they would go to the counselor on her school campus? If they have found no help there they need to go to the campus principal. From there, they need to go to the superintendents office. If that doesn't help, then the school board is the next step. They will need some kind of documentation that they have been to each of these offices.

I know on our campus, if the steps are not followed, you have to start over. It will all go faster if they follow whatever the local procedure is for their system. Many student handbooks can be found through a website for the local school system. The steps to file a grievance should be in the handbook.

#15 crazyat60

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:35 PM

Teddy, I am glad I'm not the only one who is not a computer geek. I do think the school board is a good idea. Only wish I was closer and could be more help. Her Mom was in denial for a while, but it has finally sunk in. I just hate to see Sally in trouble for things she can't help.



#16 crazyat60

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:39 PM

File a grievance....... Good idea!



#17 SueSTx

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:42 PM

Remember...the steps must be followed before the school board will hear a case in most cases.

#18 Guest_Kalana_*

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:52 PM

While this topic could be posted-about in Shades of Blue (it's for such things), I think you'll get more responses here because more people post here so far. 

 

I agree.  Follow the chain-of-command at the school and don't give up.  Squeaky wheels get grease more often than those who are quiet...

 

While the insurance company may require a referral to pay at the highest rate, it's still possible to see a psychiatrist without a referral, if the psychiatrist is willing.  Many are.  The insurance company just won't pay as much (or it may not pay anything).  I know it's tremendously expensive, and her happiness and quality of life are at stake....



#19 crazyat60

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:31 PM

The wheels of change move slowly in the kingdom.



#20 SueSTx

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:33 PM

But the journey is shorter if you follow the right path.