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Old 01-21-2013, 07:22 AM   #1
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Hey mamas,
I am in need of some real, honest, no BS advice and help from all of you moms who live the life of a SN parent every.single.day. I am at the very end of the process of becoming a licensed foster parent and am having to make the decision on what types of kiddos I am willing to take. My hope is that my primary focus will be on little ones (likely under 18 mo) with medical and special needs. I now needing to decide what I am really capable of/able to/willing to handle.

My personal background and experience is with my own daughter and also other children I have worked with. My dd has some mild SN. I have dealt with EI, hospital stays, MRIs, SPD, allergies, behavioral issues, nebulizers, surgeries, frequent drs appointments, specialists, feeding issues etc etc.

My question is, for moms who have dealt with SN and medical needs what would you feel comfortable taking on if you had had a choice? what do you think is reasonable to think i could handle as a single mom with a very flexible p/t work schedule. Keeping in mind that i can bring the baby/child with me and am able to be very very flexible. My original thought had been babies born addicted, feeding tubes, oxygen, apnea monitors, ASD, babies who are hard of hearing/deaf ( I know basic ASL), FTT, CP, etc.

I guess I'm just looking for real honest advice so I don't get in over my head!!! I have to compile a list for my social worker!

Thank you so much in advance! I hope this makes sense, I apologize for any typos. I'm on my phone! Ill come back and edit later.
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Last edited by looking8186; 01-21-2013 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:06 AM   #2
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DD1 is deaf, we chose to go with oral language and she had cochlear implants. Up til a year, lots of signing and therapy. Once we got the implants we went 2 days a week to an oral language program until she was old enough for half days (2) and full days (3). It involves constantly integrating aural rehab into daily life. It was HARD as an infant. If she couldn't see us she thought she was alone. We couldn't call out to her. She always had to have line of sight, and needed skin to skin contact to go to sleep. As a toddler we had to be RIGHT THERE. There was no way to get her attention without line of sight or physical contact. If she ran in the street yelling no did nothing. So it was kind of outside induced helicopter parenting
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:21 PM   #3
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Re: In need of real honest advice from other SN moms!

In your shoes my concern would be children who requires frequent hospitalization. With you being single and a young child I image that would be very hard to handle on a frequent basis. There are plenty of kids though with medical needs that aren't in and out of the hospital a lot.

My other concern would be children with severe behavioral problems. Yes, every child needs to be loved and needs a safe home but IMO the welfare of your child should be number 1 and I wouldn't want her witnessing anything traumatizing or experience anything traumatizing. Of course there are plenty of children with behavior problems that are not severe enough to cause this type of problem.

ETA:

I also would not take on a significantly complex medical child unless I knew they had private duty nursing and would be able to keep the PDN while in your care. You don't want to get into a situation where your own child is short changed because you are playing nurse on a constant basis to a foster child.

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Old 01-21-2013, 06:24 PM   #4
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Re: In need of real honest advice from other SN moms!

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In your shoes my concern would be children who requires frequent hospitalization. With you being single and a young child I image that would be very hard to handle on a frequent basis. There are plenty of kids though with medical needs that aren't in and out of the hospital a lot.

My other concern would be children with severe behavioral problems. Yes, every child needs to be loved and needs a safe home but IMO the welfare of your child should be number 1 and I wouldn't want her witnessing anything traumatizing or experience anything traumatizing. Of course there are plenty of children with behavior problems that are not severe enough to cause this type of problem.

ETA:

I also would not take on a significantly complex medical child unless I knew they had private duty nursing and would be able to keep the PDN while in your care. You don't want to get into a situation where your own child is short changed because you are playing nurse on a constant basis to a foster child.
This. My feeding tube kiddo was inpatient 14 times in 2 years. My own kids definitely got short changed because I didn't ever leave him at the hospital alone. We are not taking any more kids til mine get older because it just isn't fair to them. DD missed out on swimming lessons and library story time because DS had therapy, and every little bug put him back in the hospital. So she couldn't go anywhere or do anything because our crazy visit, therapy, and doctor schedule with him. We had visits 4 nights a week at one point, and since he was medically fragile, I was required to stay in the building the entire time because no one there knew how to reinsert a G tube correctly, or how to do an NG feed.

Also remember that bios have the right to attend every therapy session, and every doc appointment. So you might have to have all EI done at DCS if they want to participate. We had to for awhile. OMG, it was awful. His mom would come in reeking of smoke, and pretend to be mom of the year, and then breeze out and leave us for the rest of the hard stuff.

I would start out with a "neurotypical" kiddo for your first placement til you get the hang of visitation (which can be daily and DCS often does not transport) and all the emotions that are involved. Then, for a second placement, try medically complex. Esp as a single mom, I would not do a medically complex kiddo for your first placement. There is a special emotional roller coaster that goes along with this. My tubie kiddo needed ST, feeding therapy, OT, 2X weekly PT and at least one, if not two or three doctors appointments for the first 2 years of his life. You also will be asked to train the parents how to care for him, and will spend an extensive amount of time with them because "Reunification is ALWAYS the Goal." It was our goal for 3 years. They sent him home for 4 months at 2.5, and even after he came back (horribly mistreated, regressed, and hadn't had his medications refilled the entire time), they STILL wanted to reunify with more parent education. We finally adopted him at 3.5 when his parents signed rights to us. He had been placed with us at 26 days old out of the NICU...supposedly "healthy."
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:28 PM   #5
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We are going to start the foster process as well.


I have a few kids with SN but nothing super severe.

We decided on the 0-3 age range. No sexual abuse kiddos. We also dont want to deal with severe medical issues like tracheotomies, severe brain damage, or violence, or babies that are detoxing.

We feel we can handle asd, add, ocd, asthma, CP, CF, and some emotional trauma, feeding issues/gtubes, kids on oxygen/pulse ox are fine as well.

I do have 7 children that are mine and There are just some medical things that would be suited to a smaller family.

Of course it is a case by case basis and our opinions may change after the first few placements as we get better at it and my older children turn 18 and go to college (3/4 years)
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:42 PM   #6
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Re: In need of real honest advice from other SN moms!

I have no input, but i am so happy to read that someone else is considering foster in a HoH/deaf kiddo. that is our goal too, to foster and/or adopt Hoh/deaf kidlets who without us would be thrust into a hearing world with no help.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by justsamma
I have no input, but i am so happy to read that someone else is considering foster in a HoH/deaf kiddo. that is our goal too, to foster and/or adopt Hoh/deaf kidlets who without us would be thrust into a hearing world with no help.
I am totally interested in this as well. I am near fluent in asl and would love to foster/adopt hoh or deaf children.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:23 PM   #8
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This may seem totally minor but believe my it gets really hard to handle. You said you deal with SPD, I assume that means your own child has SPD. If so you need to look at what her avoidance/seeking behaviors are and what the avoidance/seeking behaviors of the FC are because I have one child with SPD and ASD and he has sever auditory sensitivities, this was easy to handle when he was an only child and still very manageable with a NT toddler and a baby but when the baby started regressing and developed SPD and ASD symptoms it turned out she is a sensory seeker, she turns everything to full blast and smashes things to hear the noise it makes which of course is like torture for my son. It is VERY difficult for DD to get her sensory needs met without causing a meltdown for DS. Of all the challenges of having two kiddos with ASD that is the hardest i deal with because meeting one child's needs means denying the other ones needs.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:11 PM   #9
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Re: In need of real honest advice from other SN moms!

I can give some feedback from the other side of things. I was 4 yrs old when my parents started fostering newborn-2yr sn babies. I was in JK at this age. I can't imagine how my mom would have handled a sn child with a toddler running around - and I think she's a very impressive lady!

She did have up to 3 small foster babies at a time, but only one major sn at a time (for example, two babies who were FAS and just one with a feeding tube). She also had an 8yr old & 13yr old (my sisters), plus my dad in the evenings/summers to help out.

It was a wonderful, stressful, happy & sometimes sad experience. But I couldn't imagine her doing it in a situation on her own with another small child. (And she's a trained nurse with pediatric & mental health specialies.)

Remember that your small child will grow up and have different needs, too. Some of our foster siblings we had for a weekend while custody was decided, or a parent had a short stay in hospital. Some we had for 4 yrs. That's a big commitment!

Good luck with whatever you decide. I think it's wonderful when people want to open their homes to help others, however & whenever that happens.
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