SPARC Forums

Main Forums => Custody Issues => Topic started by: bloom6372 on Oct 25, 2011, 01:15:07 AM

Title: Egads... DH needs help approaching this
Post by: bloom6372 on Oct 25, 2011, 01:15:07 AM
DH has a few issues...Most being BM giving wrong information or no information...But the BIG issue is not following doctor recommendations... In October 2009, DH had to get it COed that BM follow doctor recommendations relating to testing and treatment of ADHD. In April (and again in May), the doctor recommended counseling, behavior modification therapy, and tutoring. BM has done NONE of it. SD has been to 3 appointments with a counselor, all of which were just the counselor playing with SD because the appointments weren't close to one another. BM keeps changing and missing appointments, and about 2 weeks ago, DH got an email saying "Something came up so SD didn't get to her appointment. I'll let you know when she starts going again." Mind you, SD is supposed to be getting treatment for depression in addition to her ADHD. We figured out WHY she doesn't want to go to the counseling--DH got copies of records from SD's primary doctor, with the paperwork pertaining to the depression state that she cries multiple nights a week for DH. Given that BM tries to limit time with DH, obviously she wants no one to be told by SD that she wants MORE time...But SD NEEDS treatment for depression. The behavior modification can be done by the same counselor, but BM doesn't want to do that. And the tutoring that was recommended, DH has been providing online tutoring since February, and not ONCE was it logged in to while with BM, even though BM has the information.
 
There was also an entry in one of the appointment records that SD should have taken a break from her medication during the summer. DH would have gladly kept her off of it, since he doesn't like the side effects it's having on her weight and sleep. BM NEVER told DH, so SD stayed on her medication.
 
Anyway, the counseling, behavior modification, and tutoring were recommended in April and in May by the doctor, and they have also been recommended by the teachers and school counselor, AND they are included in the 504 Plan (stating they would need to see the progress from tutoring and behavior modification therapy). BM has told DH that "I don't answer to you." when he mentioned to BM that she is missing/skipping/cancelling more appointments than she's made...She also told DH "It wasn't recommended by anyone. It was just said that it'd be a good idea." (Here's your sign!!!!) How can DH approach an email/letter about recommendations not being followed? Even though she's COed to follow recommendations, she NEVER does....If he writes to her (and CC's her attorney) and she STILL doesn't follow through with the recommendations, would filing for a Show Cause even work? What I mean is, will they take it seriously? It's her mental health and education that is suffering here, and BM doesn't seem to care!!!!
Title: Re: Egads... DH needs help approaching this
Post by: ocean on Oct 25, 2011, 03:13:42 AM
Remind me, how far away are you from child? Close enough to bring to appointments weekly?

A strong worded certified/registered letter to mom and cc her lawyer if she still has one.

Ex,
As stated in the court order dated xx, page xx line xx, it states "xxxxxxx". Enclosed are the recommendations of the school and doctors that daughter attend weekly counseling, meds...(whatever). Since April, daughter has attended 3 sessions and the last appointment was cancelled again. If daughter misses another appointment this month, I will be forced to file contempt of court papers against you for not keeping up with xx medical issues. If you need me to take xx to her sessions, please let me know.
You

For the lawyer copy, you can change a few things and just add "please let me know when the next appointment is and if your client does not keep up with the medical appointments, I will be forced to file contempt charges as it is in the best interest of our daughter to follow the school/doctors recommendations".

As for information, do not rely on BM. See if the doctors office manager will call you when appointments are made, or call weekly and ask. Especially right before child comes to you with meds. Schools, keep up with teachers through email or the guidance counselor if child is older. Email/call monthly.




Title: Re: Egads... DH needs help approaching this
Post by: MixedBag on Oct 25, 2011, 11:27:55 AM
her husband is active duy military stationed overseas I believe in Japan.....due to rotate back in the spring, with no potential base for an assignmen close except for recruiter duy.
Title: Re: Egads... DH needs help approaching this
Post by: bloom6372 on Oct 25, 2011, 07:53:48 PM
her husband is active duy military stationed overseas I believe in Japan.....due to rotate back in the spring, with no potential base for an assignmen close except for recruiter duy.

Wow, mixedbag! You have a great memory! lol. Yes, we are in Japan right now. We are due to move back in April/May (which may end up being moved to June/July, sadly, because of some training DH needs here and isn't available until April), and he has orders to MO, so we can't be there for the appointments (although we are hoping to file for primary after our return once we have a house). DH is staying on top of it all, though, as much as he can, given the counselor won't reply to any of his letters, emails, etc.
 
DH approached BM regarding the missed appointments before, and her response was "I do not have to answer to you." and then went on to say (repeating herself) "If something comes up in my life I don't have to answer to you. I don't have to tell you nor do I have to come up with a plan and tell you that." (He asked if there was a plan in place to help make sure that SD gets to her appointments)...EVERY SINGLE TREATMENT that DH requested was denied, and even when it's recommended by others, she puts it off as much as possible. DH doesn't want to give BM notice he'll file for a show cause hearing, as every time in the past he's told her what he will do, she files some stupid paperwork with the Court/FOC or a complaint with the FOC (all of which go DH's way in the end). We just don't want to deal with frivilous crap right now. lol.
 
We have learned not to rely on BM for information. She emailed him this morning to tell him that there was going to be a dental appointment (she said "This is a reminder about SD's dental appointment", but she had never previously told him about the appt.....) and that there was going to be a parent teacher conference. She's COed to give him advanced notice, but never does. She's also COed to provide him with a copy of report cards in a timely manner, and she got that today. She told DH "I'll be sure to have the teacher contact you about what we discussed.". She won't even tell him how SD is doing. Thankfully, he's in contact with the teacher 2-3 times a week (moreso than BM, even).  The teacher emails DH more than DH emails BM. He and the teacher are working on finding strategies that will work with SD's ADHD, and at the end of almost every email where she tells him what she will do for the problem(s) SD is having, she writes "I'll email SD's mother to let her know what I have decided to do." He learned long ago not to depend on her, but given the time it takes for mail to get from us to them and back, it's hard to keep on top of records (the doctor's office doesn't have email, and we don't have fax...). It took almost 2 months for records to get here this last time between processing times and the time it was en-route. But, yeah, he knows not to depend on her even though she's COed to provide information.
Title: Re: Egads... DH needs help approaching this
Post by: Kitty C. on Oct 25, 2011, 09:32:56 PM
A thought struck me.....how long has the school been dealing with this?  Are they getting at all frustrated with BM and her lack of involvement and refusal to get SD the help she needs?  Are they willing to put their money where their mouth is and go after her for negligence?  Because it seems to me that if they are fully aware that BM is flat out refusing to get any help whatsoever for SD and it is truly affecting her education (which we know it is), then they should be reporting her for neglect.  They are mandatory reporters....they are bound by law to report it.
Title: Re: Egads... DH needs help approaching this
Post by: bloom6372 on Oct 26, 2011, 04:03:27 AM
A thought struck me.....how long has the school been dealing with this?  Are they getting at all frustrated with BM and her lack of involvement and refusal to get SD the help she needs?  Are they willing to put their money where their mouth is and go after her for negligence?  Because it seems to me that if they are fully aware that BM is flat out refusing to get any help whatsoever for SD and it is truly affecting her education (which we know it is), then they should be reporting her for neglect.  They are mandatory reporters....they are bound by law to report it.

I'm honestly not sure. I don't think the teachers/school know BM isn't doing the behavior modification, counseling, and tutoring that they recommended. BM has been telling the teacher that SD has the appointments, but fails to mention she's not taking her to them... The teacher did set it up for SD to do in-school tutoring for reading, though, and mentioned that SD needs to be doing her homework every night (apparently she hasn't been...). What happens is DH talks with the teacher or school counselor, they give a recommendation to HIM, he brings it to BM, she ignores it, they finally say to her that they've been talking with DH about it, she says she'll do it, but never does. She just lets them think she is doing it. The same goes with the doctor--they think SD has been seeing the counselor, but she hasn't. We aren't sure if he should mention it to anyone... He doesn't want them in the middle, but he wants SD to get help...
Title: Re: Egads... DH needs help approaching this
Post by: ocean on Oct 26, 2011, 04:43:33 AM
Ok, I thought so but read so many of these....lol

Since you are out of the country, your hands are tied to a point. If she has a lawyer you can try to deal with her that way. Doctors, each month send the same letter requesting any records for the month and also request if she was not seen or missed appointments. If you make nice with the doctor secretary, she may tell you about appts on phone.

School- Fine line. They can suggest outside counseling and tutoring but it is really a parental decision. Now if child is failing and no homework for extended period of time, they can put in educational neglect but they wont go after her for the outside missed appointments. If she comes to school without taking her medicine often they can report that.

Really you are collecting data for when you return. Is there an after school program she can attend and you can offer to pay for it or pay a tutor to stay with her at school for an hour (teacher?) and do homework and study? Use the school as a resource but really this is a parental issue at mom's house.
Title: Re: Egads... DH needs help approaching this
Post by: bloom6372 on Oct 26, 2011, 05:25:41 AM
Ok, I thought so but read so many of these....lol

Since you are out of the country, your hands are tied to a point. If she has a lawyer you can try to deal with her that way. Doctors, each month send the same letter requesting any records for the month and also request if she was not seen or missed appointments. If you make nice with the doctor secretary, she may tell you about appts on phone.

School- Fine line. They can suggest outside counseling and tutoring but it is really a parental decision. Now if child is failing and no homework for extended period of time, they can put in educational neglect but they wont go after her for the outside missed appointments. If she comes to school without taking her medicine often they can report that.

Really you are collecting data for when you return. Is there an after school program she can attend and you can offer to pay for it or pay a tutor to stay with her at school for an hour (teacher?) and do homework and study? Use the school as a resource but really this is a parental issue at mom's house.

We have been providing tutoring at no cost to BM since February, but it hasn't been used. The grades are really poor, ranging from 45-65% on average. The teacher is cutting back how much work SD does (by HALF) so that SD can get good grades.
 
With the other stuff (and the tutoring), it was recommended by her doctor and BM is COed to follow doctor recommendations but she isn't (which is why he wants to contact her about it). It's been 2 weeks since the last missed appointment and no appointments have been made yet. SD has been back for 2.5 months and has made it to one appointment, which was just the therapist playing with her since she hadn't seen her since June. DH is on good terms with the staff at the primary doctor, dentist, orthodontist, and optometrist (and the school), but the counselor refuses to contact him. I'm assuming that BM lied and said he had no rights or didn't list him. But he sent the CO with his letters/faxes, so I would THINK they would give him the information. But until he gets through to that counselor, he won't have any records from them.
 
For now, we are documenting what we can, and trying to find a way to make things work in SD's favor while we are away.
Title: Re: Egads... DH needs help approaching this
Post by: Kitty C. on Oct 26, 2011, 11:17:14 AM
'We have been providing tutoring at no cost to BM since February, but it hasn't been used. The grades are really poor, ranging from 45-65% on average. The teacher is cutting back how much work SD does (by HALF) so that SD can get good grades.'
 
Now I'd be questioning the teachers.....cutting back on her work isn't going to help one bit and teaches her nothing, it's just sliding her under the table and passing the child on to the next teacher, just to have the whole pattern repeat itself all over again.  And as it progresses, SD might come to the realization that if she works less, they will make her responsible for less and less...definitely a lesson she doesn't need to learn.
 
Maybe DH needs to inquire to the teacher if holding her back a year (and it's probably too early in the school year to contemplate it) would be the best route to take.  Don't know what it would take to light a fire under BM, but if the school recommends holding SD back, I can't see how BM could avoid contempt and also make the case for reversing primary custody.
 
DH needs to tell them exactly what is going on with SD, just to make sure the school isn't going on assumptions that BM is even trying to hold up her end.  And the teachers should be giving all their recommendations directly to BM, NOT DH, because there's literally not a damn thing he can do about it.
 
'With the other stuff (and the tutoring), it was recommended by her doctor and BM is COed to follow doctor recommendations but she isn't (which is why he wants to contact her about it).'
 
Since this is all education-related, the school needs to be informed about this, as well.  THEY need to document that the child isn't improving and the tutoring she's required to have by CO is possibly the cause of it.  This is the trick of getting some of the issues spotlighted by an objective 3rd party.  Their documentation that BM has been ignoring the CO is a huge plus to DH.  Also, I see no problem with the school asking BM about the CO'd tutoring and request documentation regarding it....which you know she can't provide.  They have every reason to ask for it.
 
As for the counselor, I think there might be a letter on site somewhere that is meant to figuratively hold a practitioner's feet to the fire regarding records.  Either that, or send another letter (with copy of specific section of CO) reminding the counselor that providing records to the father is court-ordered and that if the counselor fails to provide it, DH will have no recourse but to notify the court.  Not saying that it will come to that...sometimes just the threat is enough to make them produce.  But if they still fail to produce records, definitely add that to any future court actions.
Title: Re: Egads... DH needs help approaching this
Post by: ocean on Oct 26, 2011, 01:34:51 PM
Kitty- Public schools will not ask mom about court ordered tutoring. They can write something that they offered before school help, after school help but they will tell him to go to family court and take it up with them if she is not following order.

The teacher should know everything that is going on. Maybe request a conference call with teacher, principal and social worker. Lay everything out and tell them you are planning to be back for the end of the school year. Giving her half the work is showing me they are treating her like an inclusion child with an IEP. Ask them for minutes to any meetings the teachers have had regarding child (internal school staff meetings).

I know you said the online tutoring but maybe her teacher or a teacher at the school would be willing to stay after school. A person to sit with her. If the school offers it to me and says dad is paying for it and it will be right after school, she will say yes. Also, here teachers are required to stay after one day a week for extra help, even at elementary level. See if they have that.
Title: Re: Egads... DH needs help approaching this
Post by: Kitty C. on Oct 26, 2011, 03:49:31 PM
I guess I'm confused.....in a hypothetical situation, what useful purpose can off-site tutoring (regardless of what form) be if the school doesn't know what the child it being tutored for and has no way to monitor its effectiveness?  How can the quality or necessity of the tutoring be determined if the school has nothing to compare it to?  When DS was in residential tx., the facility provided the school with all the information needed so that the school could follow his progress to make sure he had enough credits to graduate...and the RT was court-ordered.  Doesn't the same thing apply here?
Title: Re: Egads... DH needs help approaching this
Post by: ocean on Oct 26, 2011, 03:56:54 PM
The school/teacher will work with a tutor and let them know what child needs to work on but they will not monitor a court order to see if it is followed. In this case, mom is refusing to hire the tutor to call the school/teacher. The school/teacher can not force mom to do so (especially a public school).


Title: Re: Egads... DH needs help approaching this
Post by: bloom6372 on Oct 26, 2011, 06:15:47 PM
We were wondering the same about cutting back on the school work. The teacher said she will be adding more work to it as they go until she's able to do it all. But right now, she's ranging from K-early 2nd grade level in everything (she's in 3rd, but should be in 4th, but she failed K). The teacher wants her to build her self-esteem by letting her get more right and slowly adding more and more. I don't know if that will work, but DH trusts the teacher because she's already done a lot to help SD in the last month and a half. (Got SD to an early 2nd grade level in reading from a late 1st grade level). This teacher has an excellent record, though, and for the last 5 years 100% of her students receive "above average" on the state testing... Though I'm not sure if that is the case this year with SD... :(
 
Regarding asking if she should be held back...We were wondering about that. At this school, 3rd grade and up can "fail"... Below third grade, it's up to the parents (parents can still choose at later years, as well, but the school doesn't "fail" anyone from K-2nd like her old school does). We are wondering if she will be on level. With the teacher lower her work, it will build her self esteem, but it may also put her on track to pass when she doesn't have all of the concepts and skills. For instance, they were working on reviewing subtraction up to 18 (i.e. 18 minus whatever). SD can't even do that :( And the teacher emailed today saying they are working on triple digit numbers for addition and subtraction. How can SD do that if she can't do it up to 18?
 
SD does have a 504 Plan, and the attachment to that plan says something along the lines of "We will have to see what progress is made with behavior modification, tutoring, counseling, and a nutritionist." (All of these were recommended by the doctor, which is why BM told the school...The nutritionist is because SD was super skinny to the point the doctor we took her to this summer said if she was ANY more underweight, they'd be concerned that she wasn't receiving proper nutrition. She gained 9 lbs with us this summer eating 3 regular meals a day and 2 snacks at home...)...The "attachment" is a minutes thing from one of the meetings. My DH asked the principal for copies of other minutes, but she said that they were attached to the 504 Plan...I don't know how often they do those meetings. He asked at the beginning of the year, so there might be more. The teacher and school have been really good about keeping DH in the loop. So much so that he felt the need to write to the district to tell them how great the school was with helping SD and keeping him involved.
 
The teacher (and school) sends recommendations to BM directly in separate emails from DH's. DH just discusses the issues SD is having, and then the teacher/school counselor will tell him what they want to do. DH will forward the emails and try to discuss it and BM ignores it until she gets their emails...And then she emails DH trying to twist what they said. Example: With the behavior modification therapy, before it was recommended by the doctor, she emailed DH and CCd the teacher and school counselor and said "I spoke with TEACHER and SCHOOL COUNSELOR, and they agreed with me that SD's behaviors are medication related and not behavior modification related."... He IMMEDIATELY received emails (CCd to BM) from the teacher and school counselor stating they did NOT say that, and they RECOMMENDED behavior modification therapy, a nutritionist, and tutoring. This was when BM wanted SD's medication increased and DH was saying no (SD was having trouble sleeping and she was losing so much weight that in less than a month her once tight clothes were HUGE on her). Until she got that email, she was denying allowing the tutoring and behavior modification therapy. She told them she'd do it (hence being in the 504 Plan attachment) but never followed through.
 
I will tell him that maybe he should ask if there is someone available for after school tutoring. Of course, BM will flip a lid if he does that, because "It's my parenting time and I set the appointments during my time."...Maybe he should ask HER to ask about it?
 
How should he approach the school about what is going on? He tries very hard to NOT badmouth BM, but it's hard to say "It's been recommended but it's not being followed" without putting blame on her or making it seem like he's calling her a bad parent for not following recommendations...
 
He sent the "nice" version of the letter here already to the counselor, so I guess DH needs to go to the more strong-toned one. He didn't want to get off on a bad foot with the counselor, but really, what else can he do if she is unwilling to communicate with him? This crap happens EVERY time BM gets to someone before us (meaning, is able to introduce herself and "explain" the situation...her version, anyway). If DH is able to introduce himself first, they see he's a good guy trying to be involved in his child's life. If BM introduces herself first, he's made out to be some long-lost guy who just needs to pay the bills...
 
It's so hard when it's OBVIOUS BM isn't taking care of SD's needs and has no drive to help her. BM was a substitute teacher AND a tutor for a few years(and she went to college for an education degree... don't think she ever got it, though...), yet she can't take the time to help her own child...