Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Dolly struggles.

Neglect and the subsequent trauma it causes does awful, awful stuff to the brain.

Dolly's needs are practically invisible though. She has such good "herd mentality" that she does not stand out in a crowd. Unless you really (REALLY) know Dolly, you simply cannot tell that she does not understand much of what you're saying to her.

I don't know where to start.

Is it English language learning difficulties?
Is it some kind of processing disorder?
Is it that her brain is simply stuck at a younger emotional age due to the trauma of foster care?
Is it one or more of all of the above?

I have almost no resources at my disposal right now. Miss Mary should be able to help with some of this. But really, she's a bit of a dingbat. Well...dingbat isn't the best word. But I don't know what to use. Basically, I think it's safe to say that she realizes I do a lot of "therapy" stuff at home. She backs me up if there's something I want reinforced. But if left to her own plan, therapy with Miss Mary doesn't amount to much of anything!!

The school system is perfectly worthless. We're only two days in but I know that Dolly is being left to fend for herself more than she is capable.

For example, it was my desire that Dolly take a cold lunch from home every day this year. I bought her a nice lunch box. We talked about bringing food from home. We talked about how it would be different from last year when she was in preschool and I went ahead and had her eat hot lunch. I told her how she would eat the food from home. She was a part of picking what would go in her lunch. And now, two days in to the school year, the poor dear carried her lunch box through the hot lunch line and took school lunch. She also ate some of what I sent both days.

Dolly does NOT need two lunches!!!

Dolly needs a healthy lunch from home. (Dolly has food issues. Portion control with healthy food is a very good thing for Dolly. Continuing to eat large quantities of sub-standard "healthy" food isn't so good for her. I really want to establish eating patterns that will benefit her as she grows older. The school options pretty much suck.)

But Dolly simply does not understand. And since the herd is going through a line, Dolly follows right along. Her teacher, Mrs. Beach, could be approached to help Dolly learn this. But is it worth the stress it might cause Dolly? Perhaps it's better if I just have her take hot lunch and follow completely along with the herd.

I've got tons of examples that prove Dolly uses most of her thought energy to try and please those around her. This herd mentality of Dolly's makes it difficult for her to say what SHE wants or what SHE needs. Dolly tells you what she thinks you want to hear regardless of whether or not she understands what you're asking her. The investigation last summer and the recent ridiculous video made with Minnie are two big examples that stand out to me. There are lots of little ones that occur daily that I could add to the mix as well.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to say something to her doctor at her next well-child exam a little over a month from now. Maybe I can get a referral and get her back in speech therapy. I do not want to add that crazy to my life, but I do want to do whatever it takes to help Dolly.

But the one thing that would help the most seems to elude her.


Foster Care sucks.


*Brittany said...

Honestly she sounds like my daughter who has reactive attachment disorder.. hang in there.. hopefully permanency will help her.. praying for that to happen soon!

MamaFoster said...

That is interesting. I find my girls giving me the "deer in head lights" look especially if I am getting after them about something. Elee/Lizzy is especially like that. You can tell her something and it just does not sink in. BUT she is getting better about it little by little. It is slow going, but I am seeing progress.

Anonymous said...

Any chance you can get the doc to refer Dolly to a really good therapist? Like, one that will "see" Dolly's issues and be helpful in your quest to adopt these cherubs? Since the current therapist sure isn't helping.

On the other hand, is there a chance that Dolly really does want to live with granny in Dallas?

CherubMamma said...

I don't think there are many "good" therapists where we live. The culture here is radically different than anywhere else I've ever experienced. Good medical care of any kind is hard to find. Since Miss Mary is completely in favor of the cherubs staying with us, I do want Dude and Dolly to maintain a relationship with her. My lawyer can call Miss Mary to the stand during a termination trial and anything that might be called to determine official placement. (Due to the way The System works though Miss Mary's notes will have to suffice at the placement hearing in September.)

As for Dolly wanting to live with Grandma -- I honestly don't think she wants to LIVE there. Like every single child on the planet, she is curious about her bio family. She wants to maintain connections. And ultimately, I'm in favor of that if the connections are safe and sober.

There's just so much in Dolly's delays that worry me. She has made HUGE strides in the two years she's been with me. HUGE STRIDES!! But the trauma holes I've seen almost seem to be widening. It frightens me.

G said...

Short comment: Ugh. Hang in there.

Long comment: I do think it's worth approaching the teacher about the lunch thing. And I think it's worth it simply because it is such a "small" deal". Surely Dolly is not the only one bringing a lunch from home. There's no battle to be fought here; it's just an example of how Dolly can look like she knows what to do when she really doesn't. And that example might help the teacher recognize it when it happens on more important things (like academic learning)?

I also think it's good for you gain more professionals you have clued in to the fact that this is one of Dolly's coping mechanisms. That's more voices to weigh in against the reliability of Minnie's "Dolly said" arguments.