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I am so torn about what to do with the child that I care for.....

Aug 21, 2009 - 6 comments

So, I've been watching this little boy since he was just about 3 months old.  He's now 18 months.  From the time that I started watching him, I was keenly aware that the mother really didn't want to hear what I had to say about him (concerns about eating, sleeping, etc. were usually just ignored).  The only thing that she ever paid attention to was when I told her that I was concerned about him holding his head on his shoulder (He didn't lift it was always crooked!). Later that week or the next, she told me that she had a doctor's appt for him and he'd be coming late. That was it...of course, being me, I inquired as to what the appt was for, as I knew it wasn't time for a well-check. She told me that after I mentioned his head/neck, they looked at pictures of him and all of them were like that, so she looked online and thought that he had some tightening of the neck muscles. She later told me that the doctor confirmed that diagnosis.

Side note - I was a bit frustrated by this situation, as I felt that she went to the doctor and said "I think he has X" and the doctor agreed INSTEAD of saying "My child acts like this, demonstrates that, etc." and let the doctor do the diagnosing. But whatever.  

So, he started physical therapy about 6 months of age, I guess. I kept thinking that the PT would find the other things that I was concerned about...his hip seemed stiff, his back seemed crooked, etc. But she's always said 'he's fine' when I'd ask about it.

She has NEVER volunteered any information about his doctor's visits or his general attitude or anything. A very difficult woman to talk to!

So, now, he's 18 months old and my concerns have only grown. The only word that he says consistently is 'Daddy' and sometimes "baby" (I now watch a 2 month old, too!)  The mother came back from his latest doctor's appt and for the first time, volunteered that she had made a list of the words that he says to be able to tell the doctor and he says 30 words. I couldn't even hide my shock.  When I told her that he doesn't say anything close to that with me, she basically ignored my statement and kept talking about how the doctor was so impressed because at this age, 10-15 words is normal.

So, my first emotion was frustration that she could be so blind to her own child.  That, EVEN if he was saying 30 words at home with them (which I don't believe and no one that is around him at my house believes it either), but EVEN if it was true, wouldn't it cause you concern as a parent that the same child who says 30 words with you isn't saying anything with the person that they are spending 30-40 hours a week with?

But now, I am stressed. There are so many examples of things that are just 'not right' with him.  How he can spend so long just picking toys out of a basket and putting them back in; never really playing with him. He won't sit on my lap to be read a book to, but only wants to flip the pages and then go to the next one. How he'll walk back and forth on my tile area for a long time, doing nothing but walking. How he can't roll over to his back from his stomach. How he can't walk down the stairs properly and to get up the stairs, still crawls them with his hands and feet..not using the railing. How he won't lift his arms to be held. How he doesn't talk at all....he does point and grunt, but there's not usually an end result to that; meaning if I get the thing that he is pointing and grunting to, he'll just point and grunt again at the same area.  How he doesn't run.  How he still swallows his food whole without really chewing it and still throws up/gags on food (he used to do this on his smooth baby food that he would gag and throw up and then the next bite, be fine)  How he won't play games or do anything imaginative with toys. When he draws (which has only been in the last week), everything is straight up and down lines in a row or on top of each other..nothing circular or sideways or just 'all over the place'

I also just took the M-CHAT, an early assessment for Autism and he failed it dismally.  But I know that if I say anything to them, they just dismiss me. They don't even acknowledge that I've said something (it's not like they agree or deny whatever I've said, they literally just IGNORE it)

I want to end my working relationship with them because it is so emotional and stressful for me to think that there is something wrong with this poor little child and they just aren't doing anything about it, not to is very hard to care for someone's child when they want nothing to do with a cooperative or collaborative relationship.  But I also feel guilty for just turning my back to it and not fighting harder that something be done for him.

I know that you won't have the answer for me. I guess I just wanted to finally get it all of my chest (the M-CHAT today really put me over the deep end!!)

Thanks for reading and taking the time! Have a good day!

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by Lance06, Aug 21, 2009
I am not sure what to say....but seems to me like he doenst have very good parents. Poor baby!!! I hope things turn around.....and you dont need the stress. Make the best choice for you!

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by mishcap1, Aug 21, 2009
I work in the field of Early Intervention which specializes in developmntal delays (all kinds) for kids birth-3yrs old. I see cases like this all of the time. Unfortunatley some parents are in denial! They really can't help it because for them their child can be nothing other than perfect. When I first started reading the entry about the head tilting to the side and the tightness the first thing I though was the child needs PT. Then when I read on and saw the other things that were mentioned it seemed as if there was maybe something else besides this going on. We would recommend a pyschological evaluation for a child like this so that all of the areas can be looked at more closley by a professional. Its unfortunate but some people have to be ready to accept something like this.

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by peggy64, Aug 21, 2009
I am sure this is frustrating to you, but what can you do? You can't make the mom face reality. You can give her a report everyday that makes sure she knows you know he is not acting like a "normal" 18 month old.

This is one of those things where the serenity prayer is going to have to really comfort you. As this might just be one of those "things" that you can't change.

I know its not easy on you, because you apparently care for this little fellow, but like I said, what can you do to MAKE mama accept his apparent limitations and disability. so you have to just accept it, and take care of him, the best you can while he is in your care.

936197 tn?1268663065
by daisiema, Aug 21, 2009
I too agree with mishcap, parents are in denial.I do fostercare and have a 3 year old right now that was just said to have  Autism. Mom still says no. I had to fight and fight to get her seen and helped and the sad thing is she will go home to her mom and she will do nothing as she still says she dont think she has Autism.Wish you luck

460185 tn?1326077772
by lonewolf07, Aug 21, 2009
I don't know if this is of any help but is this child exposed to lengthy amounts of time with people who speak a language different from English (I'm just assuming English is his first language).  My two year old grandson isn't speaking much either because he is learning Chinese from his mother, English from his father and a bit of French and Mohawk from me.  His pediatrician says that young children learning more than one language usually means they don't learn to speak as early as unilingual children.  Somehow I don't think this is the case with the child you are talking about but it's just a thought.

Avatar universal
by teko, Aug 21, 2009
Usually a parent is in denial until the child gets older and it is obvious to them and everyone around that something is wrong. Especially parents with an only or first child. When they have siblings it seems to stand out more to the parents. All you can do is advise and inform them, they have to take it from there and I am sure it must be very frustrating for you!

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