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BM is about to get a nasty surprise in the mail.

Learning to Stepparent's picture

So we met with the child psychiatrist Tuesday to go over the results of SD's ADOS testing and it has been determined that she does not meet the qualifications to be diagnosed with autism. However, she does have some sensory integration issues, a speech delay, ADHD, and anxiety and the therapists feel they can help her out a lot with speech, occupational, and physical therapy. I personally feel this is the best news we could have gotten. The horse had already left the barn on whether or not there was some sort of problem we were just trying to zero in on exactly what the issue is and how severe.
So, now we know it is not severe and we are finally going to get help.

The psychiatrist discussed ADHD meds with us and while there are days where I think either she is going on meds or I am we had already discussed it and decided that we would like to avoid going down that road if we can. We want to try behavior modification techniques and see how effective her therapies are and will revisit the medication topic later if needed. I also pointed out that we should talk to BM about that because if she happened to be against it and refused to give SD her meds when she was with her then that was going to be a problem. DH texted BM everything the psychiatrist said and she let him know that she absolutely does not want SD on any meds of any kind and that we need to work together as a team to help SD through this.

Perhaps it is petty of me but that just chaps my ass. For one thing, she hasn't worked with us on a damn thing since DH got custody. For another thing, while BM didn't create some of these problems she sure as hell didn't help them. When it got too hard she gave up custody and gives up her scheduled visitation whenever there will be actual parenting involved because that is too much work for her. She is her mother and therefore is entitled to a say in her medical care. That said, you do not get to create a problem, walk away from it, dump it in my lap to fix, and then dictate to me what I can and can't do to fix it. Thank god we weren't discussing this in person because I would have said something to the effect of "yeah, it's a hell of a lot easier to get on your high horse about not wanting SD on any meds of any kind when you only deal with her 4 days a month if SD is lucky. Try dealing with it every day and then get back to me."

On a separate note, according to the CO BM is responsible for 29% of SD's medical expenses not covered by DH's insurance. Now, I don't want to quibble about petty amounts like demanding 29% of the $30 copay I paid to take SD to the doctor on Friday when she was sick. However, SD is racking up medical bills fast and they are about to get exponentially higher. The psychiatrist does not bill any insurance at all so it is all self pay. So far we have paid the psychiatrist alone $500 and it looks like we already owe the dentist $380 or so and we are only half way done with the dental work she needs done. The physical therapist recommended AFO braces which I think cost something crazy like $1500 or more and her therapies (which looks like she will be attending therapy 3 times a week but I'm not sure yet) are covered at 80% but both of those things are only covered after the $2000 deductible is met. DH sat down and added up our out of pocket medical expenses for SD since November and it is already sitting at $1300 and that is not counting any of the dental work or the psychiatrist so we are already up over $2000 since November with another few thousand coming in short order.

I asked him at the psychiatrists office if he needed an extra copy of the receipt to turn in to the FOC to have BM contribute and he said no. As he was sitting down adding it up last night and looking at the procedure for getting BM to pay her share he says "I'm not sure if it will end up being worth it." Ummmm......yeah man, we aren't talking about a couple hundred dollars here we are looking at a thousand from her minimum with out considering the three times weekly therapies. Fill out the paperwork.

Apparently the procedure is he has to fill out a sheet to send to BM directly and she has 30 days to pay him her share. If she doesn't, then he has to submit paperwork to the FOC to tack it onto her child support. I don't know for sure but surely there are some kind of stipulations or guidelines for how this is handled when the child has special needs isn't there? Anyway, I asked him if he was going to give her a heads up or just let her find out when she got the bill in the mail and he said he was just going to let her find out when she opened the mail. That's going to go over well.


Monchichi's picture

Learning, I am thrilled at your news. Absolutely wonderful to know what the next steps are.

Learning to Stepparent's picture

I am too. I never "wanted" there to be something wrong but I knew there was. I just wasn't exactly sure what. I knew we needed help and I am so relieved to finally be getting it.

But is it bad that I would love to see a picture of the expression on BM's face when she gets the bill in the mail?

Monchichi's picture

No one wishes a child a cognitive problem. Kudo's to you for doing the torch run for your SD Smile

The bills we pay don't matter to me. I'm less conventional when it comes to maintenance and medical expenses. BM is paid an all inclusive maintenance. A requirement is she's meant to have Chucky on medical aid (medical insurance in the US. She never covers his medical expenses we do and I am very comfortable with this. I prefer he gets real and effective treatment even if it's out our pockets Smile

Learning to Stepparent's picture

Generally they don't matter to me either. We have one joint account. All of our money goes in there and I pay bills out of it. We have always thought of our kids as our kids. If one of the kids needs something one of us goes out and gets it. It's not a big deal. And of course I would never deny SD medical care just because BM isn't kicking in her share. However, I also feel a bit resentful that she walked away from her responsibilities and they are dumped in my lap and frankly, if it wasn't such a high amount and I wasn't starting to worry about money some I wouldn't be worrying about it now.

But the fact is SD's medical bills are adding up fast and we have a lot more to go and if nothing else BM had a hand in causing the dental problems SD has and we are getting fixed now. She is a horrible mother because she doesn't live up to her responsibilities and damnit, if the only responsibility we can force her to live up to is to pay her portion of the medical expenses then I guess that is what we have to do. We can't force her to see SD on a regular basis or even call her, we can't force her to keep up with SD's therapies when she is with her or discipline her at all for that matter but we can force her to help out with medical expenses.

ChokinOnLemonz's picture

She sounds like a nightmare. To me denying a child with ADHD meds just because you don't like medication is liken to denying a diabetic insulin. Of course you need more than just medication. But if you end having to go that route, who is she to have a fit?

I'm with you about making her pay her 30% too. You're not fighting about twenty bucks. This could potentially run into the thousands!

Learning to Stepparent's picture

I have never been on any kind of medication like that before so I don't have any first hand knowledge but I was involved with two guys that were on a whole bunch of anti anxiety and anti depression medications and it did not go well for either one of them.

I know those types of medications have helped millions of people live normal lives and that is great but I have also seen what can happen if they are used irresponsibly and I just really want to avoid going down that road if we don't have but, at the end of the day, if she needs them she needs them. I'm not willing to completely rule out anything at all that has the potential to help.

Also, they say as of now she isn't having any trouble in school so since that is the case it isn't really necessary yet anyway.

I do know that BM was treated for depression and maybe some anxiety as well at some point so I'm almost wondering if she had a not so great experience and that is why she doesn't want to start SD on them.

Of course that thought process would require BM to be logical and reasonable and that certainly isn't true so perhaps it isn't very likely.

ChokinOnLemonz's picture

I had bad reactions to medication I took for depression after my sisters suicide. So much that I was literally in tears when everyone involved in my daughter's care said it was time to explore medication for daughter's mood deregulation with her autism.

She had wrongly been dx with ADHD earlier - bad reaction to meds. Tried Abilify - bad reaction. I finally relented and tried another med and it's been a life saver for her. She said the medication "helped her brain".

Learning to Stepparent's picture

He was going over all the paperwork for that last night and from what we can tell (we aren't stupid people but some of this stuff is kind of convoluted and confusing) he can only go back a year which bites because SD had to get 12 cavities filled about 15 months ago and that cost him $1000 out of pocket which he never turned in but perhaps losing out on her portion of that will encourage him to stay on top of it more in the future.

Her monthly CS amount is $124 a month. As far as I know there is no additional monthly medical cost attached to it. From what we gathered from the paperwork he went over last night the annual medical cost amount allowable is like $320 some odd dollars a year so anything over that amount BM is responsible for 29% of it and we are already way over that this year and there is a lot more coming.

DH is not very good at all at keeping up with this kind of stuff because the FOC has kind of screwed him in the past so he feels like there is nothing he can do. Hopefully that will start changing soon.

ETA: I forgot to mention that when BM had custody SD was covered under DH's insurance and he paid something like $500 a month in CS. Even so, BM had SD on medicaid, food stamps, and any other assistance she could get. Apparently in our state (Michigan) if the child in question does not receive any kind of state aid and both parents agree to it the non custodial parent isn't required to pay child support. When BM gave up custody she was furiously trying to get SD off any and all state aid so she didn't have to pay child support. DH didn't agree to that and her amount was set at about $124 a month but BM called DH with a sob story about how she didn't have any money to pay it so they agreed to $75 for 6 months then it went back up to $124.

Learning to Stepparent's picture

When she first gave up custody and was bitching about having to pay child support at all I told him to tell her if she didn't want to pay child support she could always just sign her rights away. She didn't take that too kindly.

Maybe it was a bit mean but damn, parenting is a responsibility not all happy happy fun time. You don't get the fun without the responsibility.

misSTEP's picture

A few things here. Would the psychiatrist refer you to someone who DOES take your insurance? My DH got diagnosed a few years ago with ADHD and it does get expensive without insurance.

Secondly, my DH's psych said that he could go on meds and use those to help his focus to develop his behavior modification instead of trying that first and then the meds if that doesn't work. That makes more sense to me, at least, because they will have a hard enough time changing habits without the focus necessary.

Learning to Stepparent's picture

I'm not sure if the psychiatrist would refer us to an office that takes insurance or not as she is the only psychiatrist specializing in child and adolescent psychiatry within a 70 mile radius. We live in the boonies. It's nice for traffic, baaaaad for specialized medical care.