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Totally numb

(60 Posts)
feelingdesolate Sat 13-May-17 00:43:32

Our lo moved in 6 weeks ago. Things have been very tough, but we knew we'd have some challenging behaviour to deal with.
We've just found out that our lo has been diagnosed as having severe learning difficulties but this has never been mentioned to us before... it's detailed in an Ed Psych report that was carried out in May last year but it wasn't in the lo's PAR, not in the pack of paperwork we were given, not in the medical advisers paperwork (the medical adviser never saw it) nowhere.
Now our lo has moved in and we've had our first LAC review, this report has just appeared. To explain, we have birth children, one of whom has autism so we said we couldn't cope with a child with severe difficulties. This was the opening line in our adopters profile.
At the review, the IRO said that if she'd seen our profile and held it up to our lo's, she would never had put us together.
There is a chance that our lo could grow up to become an adult with the mental ability of a 3 year old. I can't commit my birth daughter to be a lifelong carer for her adoptive sibling - this would be the situation when my husband and I have gone. She's only 12 - I can't map her life out like that.
We have been told we can complain, we have been sent the complaints procedure. The social services have said they will offer us counselling, training, support etc etc etc if we continue the placement.
I can't get my head around it. We said we wouldn't be able to cope with a child with severe difficulties and that is exactly what they have matched us with but hidden the damning evidence until it's too late!
We have to decide whether to continue with the placement or not. We have to try to explain to our children what is happening and try to explain to them the reasons why their new sibling might not be there any more.
I feel totally shell shocked, numb, sick, stressed out, can't sleep, can't eat.
My husband and I are coming to the opinion that our lo needs to be with someone who can devote all their time where we cannot.
How do you make such a huge decision and still carry on???

AnneofGreenGablesAgain Sat 13-May-17 01:41:12

I'm not an adopter but I just wanted to post to say I'm so sorry you are going through this flowers

We have a child with severe difficulties (albeit a bc) in our extended family. The implications for their siblings and parents' relationship and resources in every sense are enormous.

You would of course be entirely justified if you decide that this is too much for you to take on without sacrificing your other dc or this l.o.'s wellbeing.

Is there any need for a second opinion or is there now total clarity on the level of need?

flapjackfairy Sat 13-May-17 06:33:27

I am so sorry to hear this. It is truly shocking and some heads should roll for this one but that doesnt help you now.
I am a fc and adoptor with 2 special needs kids who will never be independant but that was my choice and something our birth children were happy with so as anne above has said there is obviously no guilt to be had if you decide to disrupt at this point though no doubt it will cause you plenty of heartache.
With regards to the future your daughter would not have to take on the physical care of her sibling when you have gone if she didnt want to so it doesnt have to impact on her in that way long term but bringing up a child with these needs has a big impact on all family members though our kids love their siblings and say they have enriched their lives and they would never have wanted it any different. Ours are a massive blessing and add to our lives in ways we could never have imagined.
I think you have to take a bit of time to calm down and think clearly . If in the cold light of day it is not for you then you have no otner
choice than disruption. . No one would blame you . It really is appalling and i would complain to the highest levels over this one.
So v sorry for your situation and wish you and your family the v best as you make this difficult decision. X

Hels20 Sat 13-May-17 08:47:04

I am so angry on your behalf. A similar thing happened to us - although not with as much certainty. We said in our PAR, we didn't feel able to cope with X and 5 weeks after moving in, I went to a doctor's appointment and she said "well you do realise your DS has x". We were also given a whole load of information on the day we went to collect DS - info that should have been disclosed before we went to matching panel - and actually, if we had had that info, and people had thought about our location / situation - we would never have been matched with DS. The IRO and SS subsequently said so. It was an awful time - and I felt so angry and upset for at least 3 months - all the while trying to bond with DS and cope with our other son.

Adoption is such a commitment - Do you really believe they will give the support? I can't imagine what you are going through - because it's not just your lives that are effected but your other children's too - how old is LO?

bostoncremecrazy Sat 13-May-17 09:07:53

I'm sorry this has happened to you...it is appalling.
You dont say how old LO us now but i guess if the info is from an ed psych report then in nursery or above?
You dont have to make a decision right now, but do have lots of meetings to find a way forward.
What i really wanted to say was we adopted 4 siblings, all with some disability, and at panel we had to demonstrate how we would avoid our BC becoming a carer to any of them and being able to go on and lead their on life....go to uni, get married, have children etc without concern for their siblings. SS felt a caring role would be inappropriate and it was up to us to show how we would avoid this.
So please dont think if you keep your newly placed AC your BC will become their carer in later years....you really can plan and work with SS for that not to happen.
Hope that gives a glimmer of hope if thats what you wish for.

C0RAL Sat 13-May-17 09:12:45

I'm so very sorry to hear this. It's so unfair on you all and you should never have been put in this position.

One thing I would say is only continue with this placement if you feel you can do it with zero help and suport from SS. Because they have lied and deceived you once, there's no reason to think they will do what they say now.

We have raised a child with very complex needs and had to instruct a lawyer to get the help he was entitled to from SS. Otherwise they prevaricated and blocked us at every turn.

You would of course be in a much stronger postion if you decided to foster this child and not adopt. That may be an option for your family, as you should get a fee and enhanced alllowamces.

My other suggestion is that if you DO decide to not go on with this placement, be very selective about who you tell the whole story to. Personally I would just say that there were legal problems and child hadto be moved / couldn't stay with your family.

Of course you will want to share your dilemma with closest friends and family who you can trust. But the wider world - colleagues, neighbours, schools - I would be discrete.

People who have never been through anything like this can be very judgemental. And you don't need or deserve that.

feelingdesolate Sat 13-May-17 09:33:36

Thank you all for your comments but thank you especially for not having a go at me and telling me to suck it up - not the exact words but similar that we've been told by lo's SW! Lo is 7 - the report we did see was from 2 years ago but what we didn't see was the one from last year . They have also failed to do genetic testing that was requested by the medical adviser in Feb 16. The more recent report is damning as it shows lo is getting older in years but not mentally. We have a meeting on Monday with our SW (who has been lovely and is very concerned for us) and her practice manager.
We sat down last night when all the kids were in bed and went through everything, I wrote my OP when we went to bed but I couldn't sleep. I think we have made our decision, I don't care what people think of it - those that know us know we would have done what we've done for the good of everyone, one of the best things you get from raising a child with SEN is very thick skin. Thank you again for your kind words x

ofudginghell Sat 13-May-17 09:39:51

Not been in your situation op but just wanted to say you will make the right decisions for your family

flowersflowers

Rainatnight Sat 13-May-17 10:08:36

I'm so sorry that you're going through this. I don't have any advice but just wanted to say how appalling the LA have been, and to send you flowers

Rosieproject1 Sat 13-May-17 10:32:16

So sorry for you, I can only begin to imagine how devastating this must and will be for all of you and obviously LO.

As Coral said, you have no obligation to share your reasons with anyone about this.

They have let you all down terribly and I only hope that some good will come of this in the way of an investigation so that others won't have to go through the agony you are suffering.

I can't imagine any of us adopters on this forum judging you.

Sending much support flowers

C0RAL Sat 13-May-17 10:34:00

I glad to hear that your own SW ans senior are being supportive. They damn well should be BTW, they should have spotted that a two year old medical report on a 7yo wth SN is a problem. It's their job to deal with these things .

Easy with hindsight I know. And I guess you are focussed on working out what to do for the best now, not apportioning blame.

Comments from LOs SW are outrageous BTW. Shocking .

bostoncremecrazy Sat 13-May-17 10:38:07

Feelingdesolate......most of us here are not in your shoes, but are adopters/fosterers who walk difficult paths.
We will listen and not judge, there is a sounding board here when you need to rant. flowers

Rainatnight Sat 13-May-17 10:41:13

Exactly, no judgement here. You can only do what's best for you and your family.

donquixotedelamancha Sat 13-May-17 10:56:44

Like everyone else I'm horrified. It just seems so incredible that stuff like this occurs- there are so many steps in our adoption process that would have made this impossible. I can't describe how many fuck ups this represents.

You seem to be handling it incredibly sensibly, I think I'd be in bits. As everyone says, no-one would judge you, its a horrendous position to be put in.

In other cases I might be saying: the first weeks are hard, wait and see, etc; but you have children and you have to think of them first. You have to do what's right for your family.

Your SW may be lovely, but she is in large part responsible for this. Even if the child's SW was malicious in hiding things, it should have been spotted. I'm surprised you are only meeting a practice manager (junior supervisor), I would have thought it would be a bigger deal.

Long term, you have to complain as hard as poss- but look after yourselves first. This mustn't happen to others. Keep it factual, gather the paperwork. Copy your complaint to OFSTED, the director of children's services and the councillor responsible. COnsider solicitor's advice.

fasparent Sat 13-May-17 12:54:43

Unfortunately no one has a crystal ball too predict the future or be aware of the true past of our children.
Our little un walked this week for the 1st time age 3 contradicting all the professional's, still has lots too overcome can not predict the outcome. But continues too surprise and improve.
All we can do is engage, help them with early interventions and support. Enjoy life and have fun, Invisible disability's are difficult area's requiring lots of understanding

lookatyourwatchnow Sat 13-May-17 13:02:04

I am staggered that any placement could be matched and a child be placed without that information possibly being shared. Not in the life appreciation day, not at matching panel, not in all the numerous discussions and meetings there must have been, and in discussions with the school and foster carer?

lookatyourwatchnow Sat 13-May-17 13:05:22

Your SW might well be being lovely, but she along with her colleagues needed to carry out their basic practice. Which included dealing with and sharing LO's health information! It seems an impossibility that such a significant piece of information about this young child could just fail to be mentioned!

Hels20 Sat 13-May-17 13:59:48

I know it seems impossible but the same thing happened to us - there were two reports we should have been shown and no one knew why our DS had to go to a doctor's appointment! I was just told I had to go - and they thought it was about some chest issues. But it wasn't. It was to talk about the one diagnosis we said we couldn't cope with!!!

feelingdesolate - I can't bear to think of the pain you are going through. Sometimes these things fall between the gaps and there is no rational explanation. This is not your fault; neither is it your LO. Please be kind to yourself. If the placement disrupts - SS only have themselves to blame and in the long run it may be better for everyone. You will take a long time to get over this - but we are here.

Italiangreyhound Sat 13-May-17 14:17:52

OP this is so terrible. I am so sorry. No judgement here.

I completely agreed with*Coral*, excellent advice. Lots of very good advice from others.

Thinking of you. flowers

crispandcheesesandwichplease Sat 13-May-17 15:16:22

feelingsodesolate I can hardly believe what has happened to you. What an absolute tragedy for your family and your lo. This is incompetence on an olympic scale.

In your circumstances it may be best for all for your lo to be found a different permanent placement more able to manage their needs. I have one AC with attachment diffculties and I absolutely know that the energy I give to them overwhelms me regularly. We have to know our limits and be fair to children in what we can and can't offer. Being a martyr out of conflicting emotional demands will do a child no good whatsoever.

Whatever you decide it's fuck all to do with anyone else and their opinions need to kept to themselves. I wish i had more to offer you.

crispandcheesesandwichplease Sat 13-May-17 15:21:23

Also, ditto what CORAL said. Do not let social services persuade you to make a decision based on promises of help and support in the future. This board is full of adopters fighting to get services for their ACs. Once the Adoption Order is made they have no statutory responsibilities to provide support. Even if you started out with an excellent social worker and a written agreement, social workers come and go and written agreements can reviewed for budgetary reasons.

I am enraged on your behalf.

Littleelffriend Sat 13-May-17 15:27:04

No judgement here you sound like you're doing what's right for everyone

user1487854472 Sat 13-May-17 18:40:41

I can't imagine what you are going through flowers What an awful situation, and one that should have been avoided. I don't have any advice, but I'm sure you'll do the right thing for your family.

Ketzele Sat 13-May-17 18:44:05

Oh OP, I am so sorry for you - and furious too. I remember our SW used to tell us, "Don't be guilt-tripped - it doesn't help anyone for you to take on more than you can handle" and I think that is absolutely right. This is a time for clear thinking and making the right choice for all your family.

I have to say I agree that you should be careful who you talk to about this, because the last thing you need is people making you feel bad. You will get lots of support on this board, whatever you decide to do.

Haffdonga Sat 13-May-17 18:56:20

I hope that whatever way you decide to go now, you sue SS for every last penny this has cost you including emotional cost, counselling that you and your dcs could need to come to terms with this, travel costs, time off work, equipment, childcare etc etc etc

Not, of course, because money could ever in any way make up for the devastation this has caused your family, but because money seems to be the only way SS will ever take real notice of your complaint and actually do anything to make sure this doesn't happen for future adopters.

flowers

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