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Just got time this morning to write a more in depth post on our visit yesterday. First of all, it went GREAT! The feeling I got the first minute I laid on eyes on him...I will NEVER forget it. I knew in bottom of my heart he was meant to be our son. This child was born for a reason...because I needed him and even more so, he needed me. He was beautiful with a caramel completion and beautiful big hazel eyes. He watched Brian and I out of the corner of his eye during his group lesson. We watched for 15-20 minutes quietly and pointed out different things the social worker didn't even notice! We were told he was SEVERELY autistic and very low functioning. His "tantrums" were small bursts of cries that turned into giggles as quick as he started. I could already distinguish between his real cries and the fake ones...the fakes were like muffles giggles accompanied by a sad, pouty face. Then we went outside for recess...he liked the swings but he liked to dart off running and climbing even more. He seemed like a very hyper (overly stimulated) normal little boy. He displayed problem solving skills and cognitive thought...so very low functioning, i'm not convinced. Brian tried to get his attention. He called his name 3 times, no response. "Boy, you better look at me." and Adam turns right around and looks right at him. He KNEW. He was way more intelligent then they gave him credit for. After recess it was snack time, before leaving the playground his aide announces this to him so he picks up a big hand of wood chips and into the mouth they went. He realizes they are not so tasty and spits them out immediately. So he knew it was not food and it was not edible. Once inside they hand him 3 whole sugar cookies and a water *ugh* (and they wonder why he's so hyper and doesn't sleep!). Afterwards it was time to swing on his swing. He swings a bit and runs up to me, looks at me for a minute and climbs into my arms. He gets face to face with me looking hard into my eyes like he was looking for something and lays his forehead on mine and kisses my nose. He had me hooked. Then we go to his bus and get him settled in for the ride and follow him home.
The trouble begins...
We arrive and the foster father is very aggravated with Adam and yelling at him. He tells us he's been awful (Adam arrived 10 minutes before we got there). He begins to tell us how brave we are and that caring for children like Adam take 10 years off your life and completely ruin it. He tells us to take him outside and let him swing. We go swing for awhile and realize there is a pond on the property unfenced in and Adam is allowed to play around it. I got nervous and we took him inside. We walk into the kitchen and Adam eats again and comes running to me with a full can of cherry coke with a straw (oh great choice for a hyperactive child, right?). The grandmother immediately asks if my husband and I love each other...puzzled we reply yes. She tells us we wont very long if we adopt Adam and that he would be a "thorn" in our sides. She continues on about how she didn't know how God would let a child be born like that and on to how her daughter had a heart attack a year before from the stress he and the other children caused her. She BLAMED the death of her daughter on these poor children. I was horrified she would say such a thing. She proceeded to say I was too fat to keep up with and care for Adam and that I was stupid if I did adopt him. Then she dropped another bomb on us, she accused us of trying to adopt him FOR THE MONEY. I was like NU-UH NO YOU DIDN'T, OLD HAG. I hate being mean and disrespecting my elders but this lady was simply a *itch. She yelled at Adam constantly, the foster father called him a "RETARD" in front of the 2 social workers and my husband and I...AND EVEN ADAM! I was red in the face and wanted to pack my son up and leave right then and there. He told us he wished we would take him "right now" and that he was tired of the little nightmare. Then Adam being non-verbal wanted water, unable to communicate it he went for the first thing he could find...the dog water bowl. The foster father and grandma didn't say anything while he was doing it, but yelled at him afterwards....and still didn't get him a glass of water. He proceeded to the sink, climbed in and tried drinking from the sink faucet. I was heartbroken and almost in tears. The foster father then rushed us off (no tour of the home, minimal conversation but was obvious he disliked the child, blamed him for the wife's death and wanted him gone).
My heart breaks, am praying they accept us as his match today so we can get him removed from the home asap. I feel he is just as abused and deprived in the foster home as he was in his biological family
Pray for us, he will need a lot of work and love and care but I am willing to do whatever it takes for my SON!
That poor child. What a horrible environment! I think Adam will absolutely thrive in your home! It's possible that he is moderate functioning but they don't know it with the lack of care he is getting. I hope you are able to get him out of there very soon!
Thanks to Jaidynsmum for my siggy!
Proud former foster parent to a teen. Waiting on our next call. Proud Aunt to 22.
Proud mommy to 7 angels. Survivor of 4 failed adoptions (5 kids)
It sounds like that family is hurting a lot. Sadly they've decided to take it out on Adam. I wonder if it was mom who wanted to be a foster parent and loved Adam and when she died dad felt stuck with him and resented it? Just a thought. They might not really be monsters, but right now they are hurting and looking a lot like monsters in their behavior.
Anyway, it'll be good that he is moved to your home!
A few thoughts I had...
- I'd really take a look at the GFCF diet. Usually casein is fairly easy to cut out first, unless the child is addicted to grilled cheese sandwiches like mine was. You can easily find things like Almond milk (if he isn't allergic to nuts). But finding cheese without casein is so hard. There is only one brand (a vegan cheese) and it doesn't melt well and doesn't keep at all. Gluten is becoming easier to cut out now that celiac disease has gotten more prominent. If you decide to try to cut this stuff out do one at a time. Casein for 3 months and if you see no change, go ahead and give him casein again. If you see change, GREAT... then go Gluten free as well. Again it takes 3-6 months to see a good difference. And you have to take snacks with you everywhere (church is notorious for giving my son goldfish crackers... UGH).
- Though the sugar could cause the hyperactivity, don't be surprised if you cut that out and he is still off the grid hyper.
- Sleep is something almost every autistic child struggles with. If he still has issues with it at your house look into some supplements to help you.
- Find a DAN! Doctor in your area (Defeat Autism Now) or a compounding pharmacist who can help you get the supplements he needs.
Do you have a daycare/school system that is experienced in autism? Look into ABA therapy if he isn't already getting it. Music therapy is also something that might help a lot. Those things can be very expensive, but look around to see what you can find.
Beth, it was more the foster mother that wanted to do foster care and wanted to adopt Adam. I think it is more like you said, they feel stuck with the child and are in pain and missing a loved one but to direct it at a child that has no understanding of what happened is really sad and hard for him. We'll be happy to get him moved in (it's just going to take awhile because they want to do a lot of visits and the out of state red tape) and start getting his to doctors to try to sort everything out. It can't be healthy to get his medication 1-2 times a week and skip a bunch in between.
As for the diet, the foster family is NOT willing to cooperate. They want to give him what will keep him quiet and unfortunately it's Mt. Dew, sugar cookies, frozen fish sticks and hot wings and he's addicted to hot sauce...he loves spicy food and puts hot sauce on everything! There were allegations that the bio mother being very young (soph/junior in h.s.) didn't have means to provide food to him as she should have. He grabs food even if it's straight out of the oven and tries to shove it down as fast as he can. He's always eating (which with his hyper activity he he has a heck of a metabolism...he's a bean pole!). He also displays an incredible memory when it comes to food. He watches the groceries being put away and knows and remembers exactly where they were put and where he can go back to get them. He absolutely worries to death about food. And this worries me about him choking. I will definitely be checking out the diet and try to transition him into it.
I use to work as a pharmacy technician, and thank God, because I know a little about his medicines and what other medicines are out there that are similar if we ever needed to change them. I personally know a compounding pharmacist too
It really seems like we will need to see what we can do with the medication. Personally I'm thinking I need to check and see if any come in patches or gels, might be easier to get it into him.
Thank You Guys so much for all your kind words and support. I LOVE THIS BOARD...YOU GUYS ROCK!
Awesome that you already know a compounding pharmacist!! That is going to be a big help! Ours is fabulous. She puts together lots of stuff for our son and tweeks them ask I tell her results. We have a lot of drops that are very concentrated and go under his tongue. There are a few topicals. I don't like having to give him shots a lot, so the drops are great for him. I don't know what types of medications he is on, but if they are prescription and not supplements, it could even be dangerous for him to skip doses.
You might start getting you and your husband onto the GFCF diet and see how you can incorporate it into your lives. It is a WHOLE lot easier to do if everyone in the house is on the same thing. My husband refuses to try it (though a lot of the meals I cook are GFCF now), so I often end up making two meals. That's a pain. I'm sorry Adam can't get started now on it, but this way you'll be able to see the results from the changes in diet first hand too. That's a plus.
I certainly hope all the red tape moves quickly. It sounds like he is going to the perfect home and he just needs to get home quickly!