My son is 22, he is autistic/bipolar/ADHD and has been living in his own home where he is supposed to be provided support services by a team of caregivers licensed to provide such services by the state of Indiana.
His care plan seems adequate to his needs, but it has been woefully overpromised and under delivered. It has been made abundantly clear that the state of Indiana is disinterested in the bigger picture.
There being no one else to speak on his behalf, having had no sleep for 2 weeks now, his over the top screaming Dad continues to try to get someone to listen to his concerns.
On Monday August 29, his mother, by counting his meds, discovered that he had been off of them for 120 days. The fact that his mother made this discovery and not the caregiver entrusted to monitor his meds ought to speak to the concerns. Instead it has only led to insanity over defining the word “monitor”. One might think that upon this discovery, his case manager would immediately demand answers as to why she had not been informed that one of her clients had been off his meds for 4 months, and yet there was no willingness to even discuss this as a concern, but rather some immediate demand that he take public transportation. His behaviorist, one might think, would have immediately recognized the correlation between being off his meds, and recent behavioral challenges, but again, the focus was on Jon’s compliance, rather than why he is noncompliant.
Frankly, as vital as this topic alone seems in the eyes of his concerned parents, it is secondary to the life threatening concern that would come next.
On Tuesday August 30 the process began to get him back on his meds, and despite seemingly clear communication from his psychiatrist, Dr. Dunn, he was immediately put back on dangerous psychotropic medication at levels that it had taken 10 years for his body to adjust to. Complicating what might otherwise have been simple observations to make, he had a dentist appointment on this day, and having missed 4 prior appointments, underwent some extensive work requiring a lot of Novocain. As the week would unfold, the slight droop in his facial expression, presumably due to the Novocain, turned progressively worse, until by the following Sunday, it appeared as though he may have suffered a stroke.
Monday evening, September 5, after a week of constant communication, arguing, and finger pointing, demands were finally worded in a specific enough manner to answer the question directly as to whether the meds being administered by specific written instruction of the doctor. The response was that the caregiver would verify on Tuesday. The demand was restated, this is not a direct answer, please advise with a specific direct response, are these meds being administered according to specific written direction of Dr. Dunn. The next response was equally evasive. We are in communication with an on call psychiatrist. The concern which had already reached an over the top level escalated immediately. 6 very specific requests for verification as to specific written orders went unanswered.
We, his parents, knew immediately we had to act with haste, and decided to bring him home and consult with the doctor’s office the following morning.
The doctor’s office would confirm the following morning that the doctor didn’t sign off on the orders until Tuesday September 6 at 10:23 AM, furthermore, the dosage given to our son for a week was dramatically higher than the dosage prescribed. Our son had been overdosed, and we followed Dr. Dunn’s specific instructions to immediately find the nearest med check for a trained observation as to whether emergency medical attention was likely required.
The med check doctor explained in detail that while the droop did resemble the symptoms of stroke, he detected sufficient movement to suggest that very likely it wasn’t. He further stated that the extent of any brain damage present could only be determined by a series of blood draws and cat scans.
Dr. Dunn’s office insisted on a series of monitoring of behaviors and mannerisms and constant monitoring of vital signs, with daily contact with their office until it could be determined that there was no need for emergency treatment.
This topic, it would seem, should have been of sufficient concern to launch an immediate investigation, if not comprehensively into the overall concerns Jon has tried to express, at the very least into just how something this serious, the overdosing of meds, their being dispensed against the wishes of his Medical POA, and against his prescribing physician’s specific instructions, could possibly occur.
We were commended by the nurse for making the decision we made, and told that removing our son from this stressful situation probably saved his life.
There exists a footnote in his file somewhere that states that there was a minor mix-up in his meds due to lack of communication, or words to that effect.
We have frantically reached out for assistance in every direction for 2 weeks now, and while we know our pleas have been heard, and doors perhaps slightly ajar, it is apparent that the bigger picture is of little concern to the powers that be within the state. We finally did have a face to face with state ombudsman Matt Rodway, who was very attentive to our son and offered to assist in any way possible, stating “I can open an investigation if that’s what we want” him to do.
Perhaps I’m making far more of this single comment than was intended, for other than this one comment, there was no doubt that sincere assistance was offered to map out some alternative strategy sufficient to meet Jon’s needs, in time, after we get him meds adjusted and the daily observations concluded. Why should we have to ask for an investigation? Shouldn’t there have been one immediately opened by the state upon the revelation that he was being overdosed in violation of Dr’s written orders? What about others who have no family to help them to ASK for an investigation to be initiated?
I have screamed daily at the top of my lungs, only hindsight could have possibly confirmed that I was literally fighting for my son’s life. There exist many sideshows and distractions that complicate the issue, many of my own creation, but again, instinctively, as each day of this insane week unfolded, I knew in my heart that there was too much at stake here to let it unfold and see what happened.
Does the state of Indiana truly have so little concern for the wellbeing of the developmentally disabled entrusted to their care that they would sweep circumstances such as these under the rug? I hardly find the explanation that there was a minor mix-up in his meds adequate given the statement that removing him from this probably saved his life.
I have previously suggested that Jon’s circumstances, were there to be a comprehensive investigation, no stone unturned, every word important to examine the bigger picture, it would serve the state of Indiana in determining just where the system could be improved to better meet the needs of all those with similar challenges.
With the rising prevalence of autism diagnoses, it would appear obvious that the needs will increase exponentially in years to come, and that such a comprehensive challenge to the system would prove beneficial to meet those needs.
If parental involvement is necessary, whether the topic be making a lifesaving decision to immediately remove a young man from a potentially deadly situation, or merely to ascertain whether or not he has actually taken his meds, what chance is there that the support services in place are adequate to meet the needs of those with no family whatsoever?
I’ve previously begged for assistance, and I know that in some form, there were doors opened on Jon’s behalf. But having received no real response, I am asking for one now.
Are mine really the over the top expectations of a sleep deprived father who is too close to the issue to be objective; or, in only the above two topics, do I have a realistic expectation that any rational individual might expect?
“I’ll open an investigation, if that’s what you want”, causes me to feel that someone will take a cursory glance at the comment that there was a minor mix-up in meds due to miscommunication, and then, after five minutes, rubber stamp it and determine that since it was noted in the file the matter was properly documented. Is it truly too much to ask that my son’s life is a little too important for him to be treated as simply a case file?
If the two above mentioned topics are truly of so little concern, why continue to waste anyone’s time in the unrealistic hope that there might be concern as to the bigger picture? I can’t shake the overwhelming concerns that if this can happen to my son, as involved as we are, then what hope is there for all those like Jon who have no family involved?
We need your help!
Play and Learning
Excerpt from Me, Myself and I, by Kyle D. Pruett, M.D.
For most parents, children’s play is just that and no more – diversion or entertainment. Kids do seem to like it after all, and their pleasure in devoting hours to play, make-believe, and following their imaginations is usually obvious.
But to think that play matters only in so far as it brings pleasure is to miss the forest through the trees. Play is ultimately about learning. And all play is educational play. One of the interesting findings in a recent poll conducted by Zero to Three, National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families, is that many parents don’t fully appreciate the connection between play and cognition. According to the poll, parents of young children significantly underestimate the power that play has in enriching a child’s learning competence. Furthermore, they thought their role as play partner was much less important than it was a learning partner. Not true.
The reason that children love to play is precisely because it does mean something. They come to it very naturally from the beginning months of their life. In fact, a vast amount of a child’s total learning comes through play, both alone and with you. What are some of the things children learn through play?
- Children learn what is soft and hard, cold and warm, scratchy or smooth, as they touch and manipulate everything within reach.
- Children learn what is heavy and light, as they heft and fling things about their world.
- Children learn what is sour and sweet, as they mouth, suck, and drool their way through everyday life.
- Children learn what is quiet and loud, pleasing and raucous, as they scream and coo, or rub and smash.
- Children learn what works and doesn’t work, as they pull and push, fit, stack, and destroy.
One of the most important things they learn through all this tireless trial and error is how to connect events, feelings, events, thoughts, and learning together into experience and to file it away in their brains under certain symbols. This all starts to happen well before they have command of spoken language. Simply stated, through play, children learn to symbolize their experience.
The enrichment of learning by play, and vice versa, also holds for the quality of the child’s relationships. Research tells us that kids who are securely attached to their caregivers are better players and hence, by our reasoning, better learners. Children who have received consistent high-quality care, both emotionally and physically, who are talked to and listened to, and who have observed those around them involved in respectful interpersonal relationships carry their security – their self-confidence and feelings of self-worth – into play with others.
Kyle D. Pruett, M.D. is an advisor for The Goddard School®. Dr. Pruett is an authority on child development who has been practicing child and family psychiatry for over twenty-five years. He is a clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale University’s Child Study Center.
Posted August 6, 2015on:
Meet another member of our wonderful team….
Hello my name is Ms. Krista. I absolutely love what I do! I have been in childcare for 8 years now and am so excited to share my enthusiasm and love for children with the families here at The Goddard School.
I enjoy coloring, completing arts and crafts projects and blowing bubbles. I am a kid at heart and enjoy getting down on the floor and doing activities that make the children happy. I believe this is what makes me such a great teacher!
I have earned my Child Development Associate credential and I’m back at school taking more early childhood classes because I want to constantly improve myself for the benefit of your children.
Meet our wonderful Faculty!
Mr Enrique is our Operations Director. He has over 13 years experience in education/early childhood. He’s enjoyed coaching football, track & field, and basketball at the High School level, now he coaches his daughters in soccer, basketball and tennis. We’ve nicknamed him “The Child Whisperer” because the children seem to gravitate toward whatever activity or lesson he has put out for them.
His teaching philosophy is that children are people and should be taught/coached/guided with respect. Enrique has his Associate Degree in Business, and is completing his Child Development Associate credential.
The opportunity to move up and take the role of Operations Director has been a dream is his because he can take all of his talents and apply them for the benefit of our teachers, children and families.
We are honored to have Mr Enrique as a part of our Goddard family. He is truly a blessing for all of us!
Meet our wonderful Faculty!
Ms Carly is our Program Director. She has over 15 years experience in early childhood. She’s been a nanny, owned her own preschool, and taught Kindergarten. She loves having a positive impact on each individual child and improving their education. Carly was an Asst Director who lead her team to recognized accomplishments and accreditation’s.
She has her CDA, studied Business and is completing her Associates in Early Childhood. Ms Carly is also the proud mom to two adorable and energetic daughters.
Carly has endless creativity and energy, and has planned a wonderful and exciting school year for all of our children.
We are thrilled to have Ms Carly as part of our Goddard family.
There are so many wonderful activities that are engaging our children everyday, busy play and exploration, reading to all ages, creative art, computer time and so much more. The busier the day, the more they discover that learning is lots of fun!
Are you looking for a terrific preschool program for your child? Come in for a visit and discover why our school continues to win awards. Mention this blog post and we’ll even give you 50%off of your first month’s tuition! Give us a call for more information 317-770-7225.
I love this song/video! It is my hope that you will be as moved as I am with the message that Diamond Rio is sending. Please share and ask others to share as well. and have been trying to share on Facebook for quite a while today but FB won’t allow it. God Bless our United States of America!