Popping in for some advice..... — The Bump
Special Needs

Popping in for some advice.....

So, things with ex are no better but life in general for me is getting better personally (with some major bumps in the road related to him still not paying child support thanks to his lawyer).

To start off, IB is acting out lots and lots.  I hate to sound crass, but it's as though I'm caring for a puppy.  She pees all over.  Poops all the time.  Meltdowns.  Screaming.  Etc.  All of her usual behaviors but more exaggerated and frequent.  Probably because of everything happening.  I generally treat this neutrally.  I simply make the comment that we use the potty for peeing and to remember she can poop on the potty too if she wants (she still hasn't done that, but ex has told me he puts her on the potty while she is in the middle of going......against the advice of her psychologist).  I ignore all of her screaming, melting down, throwing her toys, etc.  She does this all the time now over having to sit in a car seat, having to wear a coat, getting her hair combed, etc.  I use the visual schedule, I ignore negative behaviors, and reward positive ones.  This is what the psychologist says to do.

Ex says that none of these behaviors happen in his home and that IB is extremely happy with him and I am the problem.  She is adjusting to her new life (his GF, her kids, etc) great and it's my fault.  He wants to take her out of her school (thankfully this is in our temp orders that he cannot), says that he can use text messages from mos ago to take her (I've learned this is a very baseless threat and I ignore it now), etc. I have been to her psychologist.  She has only been acquainted with me two months.  So I feel like she thinks she has to remain impartial and say nothing because she doesn't have a baseline of our family.  She has said to me on more than one occasion that I seem to have a better understanding of IB's behavior and have a better handle on it.  Well, yeah, I'm the one who did all the therapy.  He only recently started going because his lawyer told him to.  I have tried to get her to give me some kind of acknowledgement, statement about what my child's needs will be during this divorce and I got no response.

So I went to the director of that department.  She knows me and has been following IB for three years now.  She diagnosed her.  I told her everything that has happened-him moving out, what our parenting schedule has been, him introducing her to his new GF and children six weeks after he moved out, taking her to camp in an area not appropriate and completely unsafe and ignoring all of my attempts to compromise with him about it (diff campsite so she's safer, I offered to baby sit for him and GF so he could still go, I was basically told to shut up and he could do whatever he wanted), and this past Monday he left her stranded at day care knowing I couldn't pick her up and it took me two hours to get to her.  She pooped in her bed that night.  After I shared all of this with the developmental pedi, she agreed to give me some kind of statement about what IB's needs are during the divorce.  She says the acting out is normal and I am not at fault.  She was in agreement that his behavior is not very good for her, but it's so so hard to get a professional to say that on paper because it's kind of unethical to do so.  Even when I need it.  I basically begged her to please put aside any of her feelings about my ex or I regardless of what they are and just be partial to my daughter.  Tell us what her needs are so I can show it to a judge in case he refuses, again, to do the best thing for her.  I'm still waiting on the letter.  I'm so worried.

Before anyone mentions it: No I cannot get sole custody.  People keep telling me I'm stupid for not trying, etc.  No, I live in KY.  It isn't me or my lawyer not doing the right things.  50/50% sole custody in KY is the standard.  I would have to prove he is abusing drugs/alcohol, abuses her, or something of that nature to get sole custody.  My ex doesn't do those things, he just makes very poor decisions and continues to act as though he can treat her as a typical child during this divorce.  He refuses to coparent.  If I thought I could get sole custody, I don't even know how I'd feel about it.  The idea of her seeing him that much less upsets me and I can't say for sure I think that it would be a good thing for her.  What I want is for him to starting acting like the dad he was and stop letting his control issues cloud everything but I don't know if that will happen.  I haven't been perfect either, but I have at least kept her home life stable and the same as it always was.  Most of her my faults were related to being angry about divorce, angry over the GF, etc.....which is all behind me now.

Any advice is appreciated.  I've tried reasoning with him.  He thinks IB isn't affected by the divorce at all and I'm making everything up to take her-100% not true.  Even when we had no custody orders at all, I let him have her every weekend because I know she loves and misses him.  Is there any good literature out there about this that I can find online?  Something I can send him and say 'Here, this is what I'm talking about'.  I don't know how to make him set aside our resentments over the marriage (and it's hard for me to do too) and choose what is best for IB.  Not what he can do to upset or hurt or take away from me.

Re: Popping in for some advice.....

  • "While it's tempting to blame this on an ex you justifiably hate, the behavior could be related to school anxiety, poor ABA follow-through in your care, increased cognition which can drive challenging behavior."

    Well, I don't want to blame him for the regression.  I blame the divorce and what is currently happening:  My ex let our auto insurance lapse and never told me.  He then started a policy of his own.  In the mean time, I had an accident.  I now have no transportation.  This all occurred while he was still paying the bills according to his lawyer, under a motion she filed.  Now she says it was never an official order.  According to my lawyer, she frequently does this.  Files motions and never follows through.  Including the order for child support.

    So since Halloween, she has missed school and tons of therapy.  My concern with ex is that he keeps denying these behaviors exist in his home.  It's that old 'nothing is wrong with IB' routine he and his family have been famous for a long time now.

    "Has she been examined by a GI. When a kid was trained and then has daily accidents, it could be a medical problems. Sometimes stooling and wetting are caused by encopresis or even just impacted bowels from witholding stool. This could have a physical cause. I would defer to her BCBA around this once you get confirmation that this isn't a medical issue. It can take some time, but it's critical to work on this because it is hugely stigmatizing in school by kindie. "

    Not yet but it is in the works and her psychologist has reiterated this to him.  Medical concerns have to be ruled out first.  He's doing this because he wants to put her in a school where she is mainstreamed in a regular classroom with another student as a mentor, along with his girlfriend's kids, etc.  I'm thinking since she knows them, he feels she'll be more comfortable and also in a better district.  But I researched this school about a year and a half ago and decided against it because of the student mentor thing.  I told him all about it, but unsurprisingly, he doesn't remember the conversation.  Their test scores are good and that's it. 

     I'm not even sure I want her mainstreamed anymore.  I wish there were more schools for autism in our area.  

    " Maybe the lawyer's suggestion to attend appointments will eventually be the come to Jesus he needs to accept IB's issues. The soiling and peeing put her at risk for abuse, especially around a a GF who has to deal with this and her kids who may be unkind if they don't understand her differences.

    I'm also sort of surprised that your DD's team won't support you in this action. DH and I wenrt through a rough patch and both DS's psych and dev pedi offered me letters/testimony toward me having full physical custody with DH getting visitation. I did not ask about this, it was offered. "

    Well, I'm glad he's having to do all of this therapy now, honestly.  I can't lie, I chuckle when he calls me and wants an explanation of the visual schedule (that we've been using two years), etc....because he deserves to be alone to learn this just like I was.  He has no idea what that was like and now he's getting a big dose of it.

    I think her team isn't sure what to think.  It isn't really the team...it's the psychologist doing her ABA.  The developmental pedi and her speech therapist are behind me 100% it seems.  But it's well known in KY that you're not gonna get sole custody, etc unless your ex is doing something extreme.  Three different lawyers have told me this.  Two of which were mine.

    "I would be worried. The thing is, the courts will preserve parental rights over the best needs of a child. It's how the laws are written. If he's present in her life, reliable in visitation and attending the occasional therapy- his voice will be heard. Your opinion of what is "best" is not a robust argument."

    I know.  But obviously I want him to be reliable in visitation and therapy.  That is in her best interest.  After this divorce is over, I'm going to want him to have a rapport with her team when the anger is gone.  He's caring for her three nights a week so it doesn't help her to let him stay in the dark.  And yet every decision he makes is to get more power and "show me".  It doesn't matter what it is, if I say it, he's in disagreement.  

    "IME, on the forums, most dads of kids on spectrum who are divorced move on. At some point the involvement lessens because the child is just too challenging to fit into a life that includes dating and second families. Dealing with an accident at 4 isn't a huge deal, at 6 and 12 it is. So long as support and insurance are covered, many moms find this easier because their child is safe and things are done more consistently."

    I know.  That is a reality that scares me. Because I can see how much she loves him.  I just really hope he straightens up and he never does that.  I don't think anything could hurt me worse than that.

    "Can you get the court to require a coparenting class? It seldom works, but at least it's something. Most people I know who effectively coparent came into the arrangement without anyone forcing it on them. "

    They did court order this but I don't know when that is.  My lawyer is filing a motion to appoint a GAL.  i told her I didn't care where I got the money, I would pay for it.  I get half his pension.  I'll take it right out of that.  A neutral third party might take away this element of defiance from him where every thing I say is wrong.  I also am getting a statement from the developmental pediatrican about her needs.  I was also sent paper work about domestic violence....which concerns me because that means her psychologist shared something I didn't think she would.   I expressed how secretive that was.

    I doubt his new GF and I will ever be friends, but I don't plan to make her my enemy really.  I've been dating a lot and having fun too (he now says I'm a slut whose been with "tons of guys" or whatever *eye roll*).  He is still active on dating apps because I've come across him.   Which is why I didn't think rebound girl should meet my daughter.  That's just me though.  

    I may not post for awhile.  Thanks for the advice.

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