Thursday, September 30, 2010


So... I know I should have been updating what's been going on with training. It just seems like there's been so much that's happened lately and it's left my head spinning. Here is my effort to nutshell the last 3 weeks as much as possible.

1. We had another weekend with Kismet and the boys together. This time, Kismet spent more time with Dweezil and they seemed to do very well together. It's good to see that these kids are getting along well, although I think Kismet's energy level was too high even for Frank. It'll take time for them to get used to each other.

2. We got through most of the training, although there was a little bit that we missed. Overall, I like the way the program works. The kids are on a point system and they earn positive points for good behavior and negative points for poor behavior. They "earn" the negative points so that it puts their behavior back on them. However for each time they earn negative points, they have an opportunity to earn back half of the points they lost by doing a role-play of how they should have acted instead. So even when there's a negative consequence for their actions, it's still turned into a positive thing. Their points are used for privileges, as they have a certain point level for basic privileges and then can earn more privileges based on the number of points they've earned. It's a pretty nice little system that works for the majority of the kids they use it on.

3. Kismet is NOT one of the kids this works on. We are meeting with our consultant tonight to go over a different treatment program for what we hope will work for Kismet.

4. We discovered that it did not work well for Kismet last week when we went to take her back to the group home after a visit with us and she refused to go, thereby causing us to miss one of our training sessions. It was very frustrating for us because we felt like our hands were tied when it came to things we could do to get her to agree to leave with us. She yelled, slammed a few doors and tore up a padded envelope but overall, was much more respectful of our belongings than she's been in the group home. We finally convinced her to go back to the home after we tapped into her emotions but it's not something I want to be doing regularly.

5. Two days later, she got into trouble at school, was taken to detention where she hit a few people, and was told she could stay in detention or go back to the group home. She chose to stay in detention so that's where she spent the weekend. We picked her up on Monday evening (the team wanted us to pick her up so we could experience one of her melt-downs first hand) and we believe she was all geared up for dealing with someone else and finding us there waiting for her threw her off-guard. She paced back and forth for a bit, we think she was trying to process the change, told us that she liked being in detention and she chose to be there because she wanted to see what it was like, then decided she was ready to leave, all without incident. We think that what she told us was something she'd rehearsed saying to someone else and since she was thrown off-guard, she said it anyway. When we got her back to the group home, she told her roommate that detention was horrible.

6. Also on Monday, we'd had a team meeting that included the head of the group homes. To put it simply, he was an offensive asshat who told us we were woefully unprepared for Kismet, that we were likely to be like other parents who promised to do certain things with kids they'd taken then didn't and bailed on the kids, and that Kismet needed to go back to hospital. I think everyone was stunned by his words and he pissed me of that he said those things to us. That's just not the kind of things you say to people, even if you think it. Certainly better ways he could have phrased things. We're moving on in spite of his concerns (like he'd be able to stop us) and I look forward to the opportunity to prove him wrong. I don't expect things will be simple with Kismet but we are committed to making this work and I hope for an opportunity in the future to gloat over it to his face.

Kismet moves in tomorrow. I haven't fully absorbed this yet. I'm pretty sure she hasn't, either. Sorry, not much of a nutshell. More later.


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