January 10, 2017 at 4:49 pm #1085
This is long. I’m sorry, but I need advice. I just got out of an appointment with XH and our 7 year old daughter regarding her ADHD. I am beyond frustrated. A little background.
My daughter is struggling in school. She is in the first grade. She went to Private School for PreK and Kindergarten and after struggling with limited resources there, we chose to pull her and put her in Public School where there is considerable resources and attention to her education. My daughter is happier there. The teachers, specialist, and principal are all 100% invested in helping her. It was the right move.
Last summer she had a psych assessment and was declared to have an IQ of 63, and she is on the low spectrum of ADHD. I was told her IQ should be somewhere around 100. We have an IEP, we have her in Special Ed. I moved her from Private to Public school that has more resources. She gets help from a speech therapist, and two Special Ed teachers that focus on her education individually and in small groups with children that have the same challenges. I have been advocating for her since Pre-School. With the school. With Doctors, With Specialists. I’ve had her ears and sight checked. You name it. I’m doing it. You name it, I’ve done all I can for my child. I continue to ask what I can and should do. She is about a grade behind. She is getting better in math but struggles in reading. Overall tho, she is just behind. We are going the no medication route for now. He behavior has improved in school. But she continues to struggle in learning.
The problem I need advice on, is my ex is starting to tell people that he thinks it’s the Private School’s fault that they forced and pushed so much at our daughter in Kindergarten. And my job makes me too busy and I don’t spend enough time with our daughter. He has repeatedly stated that I am not doing enough. He thinks she should be held back a grade. He is the ONLY person who believes this. All the experts and teachers have said, please wait to hold her back until we’ve tried to take extra measures and apply extra attention to her education. I attend every meeting. I talk to her teacher several times a week. I am continually trying to do whatever I can to help our daughter. I am even seeking summer tutoring for her. All likely at my own expense because my XH says that he does not believe in ADHD. He has refused to pay any of the medical bills in relation to this assessment. Even after meeting with the Specialist today, he continues to say “hold her back and spend more time with her, it’s my and the 2 years at Private School’s fault. We did not do enough for her. We put her behind. He does not believe in ADHD. He thinks doctor’s made it up to make money and get money for the drugs. And he doesn’t want her on any drugs with out his approval. All of this based on a former step son who was diagnosed with ADHD and bi-polar disorder over 20 years ago. So he’s an expert. But he does not attend all of the meetings. He has not reached out to the teachers. He does not engage other than showing up once or twice a year to listen in at conferences, proclaim his daughter is not stupid, she’s smart, that I am not doing enough, the Private School screwed up her start in education and that we should just hold her back a year. He sits on the bleachers, watches (very little) and tells us all we are doing it wrong. This from a man who didn’t graduate High School and is a former meth head. And has 4 adult kids who he does not have any healthy relationships with. This from a man who doesn’t even take all of his time with his daughter. He is supposed to get her EOWE and EO holiday, but he does not take his full time and will ditch a long weekend to go to a biker rally over taking his daughter for 7 days. And he says he wants more time with her.
I don’t know how to co-parent and make these decision with a man who refuses to do anything to help. He never asks me what he can do. He never asks me how she’s doing in school. He doesn’t ask to see her work or grades.
So I am trying to decide what to do. He is fighting this all tooth and nail and what I can gather is, if it costs him money, he doesn’t support it. For now I am taking the no drug route, but after some thorough testing and evaluation and running out of other avenues to pursue, it may come down to that. My CO states he has to be consulted in all medical and education matters. But I strongly believe it is to our daughter’s detriment and education if I do not take the necessary steps to get her evaluated and try to find out if she has a specific learning disability, or what we can do to help her learn. If he says no, do I have to default to his answer? Why does he get to hold the cards here when he is not fully engaged or invested in her education as I am? His answer is “hold her back a year” against every expert and teacher’s advice. Could it come to that? Yes. But at this time, they want to throw everything at helping our daughter right now in the class that she should be in at this age. All XH is focused on is what he thinks I and the Private School failed to do.
So do I keep him informed on a high level and continue to pursue expert advice and pay for it myself? How much do I engage him at this time? Am I wrong? Should I be doing something else? Legally can I even realistically take this to court and remove him? That seems highly unlikely without spending a ton of money that could go toward experts, tutors, etc for her education.
I am at a loss. And I feel alone in this. COMPLETELY. ALONE. I feel like I am the only one completely invested in helping my daughter and all I get are shrugs, it will be fine, I don’t know, vague guesses at what we should do next and worst of all my narcissistic ex’s false claims, criticisms and accusations. SO after all of that, my big question is, how do I deal with my ex in regards to this issue?
Any advice on dealing with him would be appreciated.January 10, 2017 at 6:33 pm #1086
It sounds like you need to look into Parallel Parenting. It’s illogical to expect that if you weren’t doing a good job of co-parenting while living under the same roof, that it’s not going to happen post-divorce, either. Not all people are cut out to be a parent.
Your ExH is going to tell people what he thinks and there is nothing you can do about that. It sounds like you are doing everything you can at this point. In the meantime, do what you are legally obligated to do. If that means informing your ExH of doctor visits, etc., then do that in writing. And then ignore his subsequent rantings. You are not obligated to engage in a fight with him. Until and unless your ExH is willing to plunk down some cash for an attorney, I wouldn’t worry about what he says.January 13, 2017 at 1:34 pm #1098
I agree with Pam. Make HIM pay for lawyers if he disagrees with your plan of action. Otherwise you make the decision to help your daughter and follow the advice of the experts.
One other thing—you state that your CO says your must “consult” your ex regarding medical and educational issues. WHO makes the actual decision? Because “consulting” simply means you give him the heads up and you discuss….but the decision could be YOURS depending on how the rest of the CO reads. If it merely states that you “consult” him, then you (seem) to be free to make decisions after getting his input.
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