life since January
My daughter has been improving in attitude, but she is in a phase where she thinks that it is okay to be a bully. The kids have been picking on her at school, and she is picking back. In October, my daughter was diagnosed with a reactive attachment disorder by a small town counselor with some questionable methods of therapy. We live in a small town in rural Maine, and this was the only counselor I could find the first time. All others within reasonable driving distance have long waiting lists, so last March I engaged her services. For the first 6 months, I thought that the counseling was helping her. But my daughter didn't want to go, told me that the counselor gave "stupid advice", and several times gave the counselor such a hard time that she was dismissed early from her session. But the counselor frequently critized me, without really understanding the situation, for things in front of the child. When she diagnosed her with reactive attachment disorder, she said that my daughter was a "good candidate" for this intensive, in-home program that her firm was offerring. She discribed this as a 9 to 25 hour per week, in home program, and red flags went off in my instincts. At first, I told her that I would have to think about it, but she kept pushing the idea. The more that she pushed the idea, and the more that I thought about it and researched the alleged condition she had discribed my daughter as having, the more it seemed wrong, the more I objected to it, and the more the woman pushed. Then, about 2 weeks ago (after receiving an excellent report card listing improvements in every area, including behavior) I got a call from the school, who had also been doing extensive research into the alleged condition that my daughter supposedly has, reporting that my daughter had threatened some of the other children and they wanted to do a "risk assessment" on her to determine if she was safe to have around the other 3rd graders, and that they wanted to talk with her counselor. I called the counselor to advise her of the situation, and she told me we had to meet. During the meeting, she decided that she was going to use this incedent to force me to enroll my daughter into the program by telling me that if I did not enroll her, she was going to tell the school that I was being uncooperative and not getting her the services that she needed. I have fought long and hard to create a safe, peaceful home environment for my daughter. I have picked my battles, fought them one by one, to create the kind of structure that I felt was appropriate for her to thrive, but not so much that she became so unhappy that her adjustment would be hindered. This counselor made no alternative recommendations to her intensive, intrusive, in home program, which I view more as a parental replacement program, until that day. I have spoken to the risk assessor, her former counselor in Rhode Island, and her physician, all of whom have doubts about my daughter meeting the criteria for this particular disorder and severe reservations about the proscribed treatment. So I am having my daughter reassessed to determine what her real problem is. While I agree that she needs an attitude adjustment, I cannot accept that this 9 year old, sweet little 3rd grader, has a serious mental illness. I think that she is a normal 9 year old that has been traumatized too often and hasn't been allowed to adjust to her new environment. This counselor set up a toxic environment which has definately spread to the school and it has to be rectified in order to further assist my daughter in adjusting to her new environment. The worst of it is that in Rhode Island my daughter's behavior might not have even warrented a phone call from the school, but in rural Maine, she was suspended for 4 days. Her comment was not even a real threat, or would not have been considered on in Rhode Island.