Thursday, October 28, 2004

Guess I'll Blog

I haven't been blogging as much. Life has gotten hella busy. I still don't have a phone or a computer, but they are now saying I will get a phone. I was scheduled to be in 6 schools during the 2.5-3 days of this week that I'm in the schools. That seemed like too much, so I spoke to my supervisor, and she pulled me out of a few schools. I'm pretty pleased about that. I'm working hard to enforce staying in only three schools each week.

What makes me sad is this: The schools with the most dire need for services are the same schools that are the most disorganized, and where the parents are the least involved. Of course, if parents aren't involved, and the school is disorganized, it's hard to get anything going. Parents don't call back to sign the proper paperwork, so I can't start providing services. Oftentimes, kids aren't in school, or the school is referring kids that shouldn't be getting testing because they've recently have testing, but the files are such a mess that noone noticed. Oftentimes among populations in poverty, the family is moving all the time, so I show up, and turns out the kid isn't even there anymore. The school system has reorganized several times in the last few years, so files are often a mess. The mental health and special ed files are supposed to be merged, but they often are still separated. No telling what you'll get when you request a file. It's messy. Still, with all of this frustration, I love the people I'm working with, and I'm amazed how most parents know so much about their kids no matter what the financial situation.

So all that said, I am now focusing on three schools that are not the worst of the worst. These are schools with more kids not in poverty, but there is still financial diversity and there are still a variety of issues going on. I think I'll like this better, and I'm working hard to get really involved so I'll be making a difference.

Next week, I have an appointment with a mom and a dad who are divorced and who don't get along at all. We're going to talk about how they can make the best decisions for their child without using him as a way to get at each other. I wanted excitement, and this is excitement!

My minor is going really well. I actually love that place because not only are the cases interesting, but I have a phone and a computer I can use, and they have testing materials there. Hooray! It's a cool placement because I'm like a detective. I gather together all this information and present it to a multidisciplinary team. It's really fun. The cases are heartbreaking though. Just heartbreaking. But that's what I signed up for, I guess. I love talking with parents about their kids and helping them make decisions. It's cool!

One more thing. The other day, I made a list of stuff in my field that I love, so I can figure out where to work next year (and beyond). I called it "What I Want." Here's the list:
  • Family Therapy
  • Multiculturalism
  • Consultation with parents and teachers
  • Parent Training (individual and in groups)
  • AD/HD Assessment and Treatment
  • Behavior Disorders
  • Behavior Modification
  • Functional Behavior Assessment
  • Day Treatment Programs
  • Making explicit things that are implicit for most kids: Teaching/Facilitating Social Skills, Organizational Skills, Study Skills (Teaching a kid how to organize a backpack, a skill that is obvious for most kids, but not for some)
  • Career Guidance
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Problem Solving (and helping facilitate problem solving by adults for kids through consultation)
  • Supervision
  • Working with K-12 Teachers
  • Teaching College
  • Presentations/Inservices (in classrooms, to teachers, at conferences, to anyone working with children)
  • Providing resources to and translating information for marginalized people (In a nutshell, advocacy and providing education so people can advocate for themselves)
  • Anything ecological and relating to systems
  • Community involvement
  • School involvement
OK, I realize this list is overly long, but I thought it would be better to start with EVERYTHING and keep my options broad. Mostly, I want to work in a place where I have the resources I need to get the job done and where I have competent people to work with. Oh, and where we're actually making a difference.

See, not lots of fun here. Mostly serious stuff and work stuff. Shit, I need to see a movie or something!