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    Help finding basic care

    I'm a single father and my 13 year old daughter has T11 T12 incomplete (car crash 2004). After her injury I homed schooled her to get her ready for first grade. She did go to public school for part of her first grade, but did was unable to cope and went back to home schooling. She is currently taking collage classes.

    I go to work 2 days a week and do the rest from home. I have to be there the 2 days for there meetings. I'm only allowed to take my daughter with me if there is an emergency and they call me in.

    Up until a few months ago my mom was watching her when I worked, but she says it's getting to be to much for her. I think part of it is due to my dad retiring so she is no longer lonely sitting around the house.

    She mostly needs someone to be around. She rarely has any issues, but dose get board before lunch most days.

    I have tried church day cares. One took her for 2 weeks as a trail. The first week they told me everything was great, but after the second week they told me that it was not going to work out. She loved playing with the kids.
    I called a bunch of after school program places, but they do not keep kids during “school hours”.
    I called a few people that baby sit kids during the day and they only take younger kids.
    Currently I have her staying with some of our church friends, but I know it's just a temporary solution.
    I thought about talking to social worker, but we have not used any government aid. I did call last week and was given the run around on the phone for 90 minutes before I just gave up.
    My neighbor has watched her a few times last minute when someone canceled last minute.

    I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions?

    I am sorry that you did not mainstream your daughter and choose to keep her out of school. She has missed the socialization and social skills building she will need to live her life as an adult without you always being at her side. I would strongly urge you to try to get her into public school now, get an IEP set up for her needs, and help her learn how to prepare for an independent life. Although only 13, she should not need to have someone with her 24/7 with an injury such as hers. If she needs physical help during the day, then perhaps she needs more OT or PT to get her self-care skills up to where they should be. If she cannot be alone due to emotional issues, some counseling (family counseling would be ideal) appears to be indicated.

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


      I know someone would make the generalized statement that kids that are home schooled lack socialization and social skills. That is just flat out wrong and it would be the same thing as if I showed my ass and made a generalized statement about people with SCI (I’m sure that would go over well). I do agree that a lot of parents have dropped the ball when it comes to social skills with home schooled kids, but not all kids lack social skills.

      She is currently going to community collage. She goes twice a week from 7:30 am to 5pm and one afternoon a week from 2 pm to 7 pm.

      She dose not that she needs or want someone to be around 24/7. In the after noon there are plenty of people of her friends on skype. Before lunch it's harder for her to find people she knows on skype. She says chat rooms are full of childish trash or it's all about sex.

      When I do leave her home when I go to work she sits down and works on her school work. After about 5 hours of studying she likes to chat with someone. When I leave her home in the after noons she's fine.

      I try to take her to someones house when I go to work because she tills me that she wants to.


        As long as she has a direct line of communication to the outside, I don't know that she needs a sitter. I had to leave my daughter and work 5 days a week at the age of 13. She was in public school but out for the summer. I called in regularly to check on her etc. Her grandparents were right up the road though.

        If your daughter is taking college classes, she sounds very responsible at 13. If it is only two days a week, maybe she could take care of herself for those two days.

        It sounds like she is just bored as opposed to needing care. Are their any art/sport programs in your town? or other extra curricular activities that she could enjoy?

        Being a single parent is hard no matter mother or father. I did it too.

        The trick is finding something to keep her interest. I couldn't imagine letting her into chat rooms at 13 but I think it is just the changing of the times. You sound very close to her which is a really good thing. It is such a hard age even without the injury.
        T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

        My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown


          Can you clarify what she is doing at the community college? Age 13 seems a bit young to take college courses. What is her educational level? Also, are you in or near a city or in a rural area? Sorry if I seem nosy but I am trying to get a handle on what resources might be available.
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            My mornings at work are back to back meetings. Most of the time they over lap and a lot of times it's hard to get to the bathroom between them. I do try to call her, but a lot of times I don't have the time. We do text throughout the day.

            She loves collage. After this semester she will 58 of the 127 credits needed for her bachelor's in accounting. She wants to follow it up with some more advanced computer classes and turn it into a double major, but she is not sure yet.

            Your right about her getting bored. There is stuff in the afternoons, but nothing during the day.

            Times have changed and you also have to look at each kid differently. If you look at the public school system where last year they had 8 kids in middle school that were pregnant and 17 in high school. This year there was a huge outbreak of STD's from the ages of 12 to 18 that made front page of the news paper. So far this year 2 kids have gotten pregnant for there teachers, but I think they just blamed that on the new grading system.
            I know what kind of stuff that is happening in chat rooms and the same stuff is happening in public school rooms.

            Our schedule is pretty full
            Monday. Collage 7:30 to 5.
            Tuesday. I work till 3. She studies works on her on line classes till I get home. We have a pottery class in the evenings.
            Wednesday. Gym/swimming, shopping, she dose school work and I do house/yard work. We have a dinner part for our friends or our friends have one.
            Thursday. I work till 3. She studies works on her on line classes till I get home. She is in a bowling league in the afternoon.
            Friday. Collage 7:30 to 5.
            Saturday. It all comes down to the weather and if we can get other people together. Canoeing, in door rock climbing, fishing, bike ride/pick nick, go see a local band, and the afternoons she has collage classes.
            Sundays. Church, she studies, I do yard work and what ever else I have not gotten done during the week.

            We live in the outskirts of the city.


              Your daughter sounds like an amazing girl.

              She does sound responsible and independent enough to care for herself, with a check-in phone call from you. I'm a little surprised she can't fill her free mornings with reading/studying/watching movies/calls to grandma etc... but I understand that she is very bright and is bored easily. Maybe it's time to get her a computer and have her start learning programming with an online course from MIT or Stanford! I would also ask your mom if maybe 1 morning a week instead of two days is an option. Your Mom will soon realize that having her husband around everyday will drive her a little bonkers and she will want a break!

              But more importantly..... perhaps your daughter can actually start doing some fun hobbies/activities in addition to her already rigorous schooling.... especially something that could turn into a lifelong hobby with opportunities to socialize. Time to learn a musical instrument that one day can play in a band or orchestra, or join a theater group/newspaper/debating club at the local high school or community college. I bet they would let her participate, and she could practice/memorize lines/write stories during her free mornings. Maybe she could even volunteer! Is there a retirement home or hospital or library near her? I would look into the local social services that she might be eligible for, in particular if they offer a transportation service that could help her get to some of these activities. This is available in our community for those who qualify.

              By the way - you are a very good Dad.

              Do realize that nurse KLD is coming from a caring place, and is thinking about the future. I am also a little concerned that your daughter is going to have a bit of a hard time when it is time for her to leave the nest. Being home schooled, being far ahead of her peers in terms of her education, and her disability all make her very unique. I agree that it is extremely important to get her socializing with a group of ?mature kids around her age (or at least college kids, if she can handle it). I don't see anytime in her weekly schedule for "hanging out with her friends". But maybe your amazing weekend outings have kids... if so, great! These mature teenagers may be hard to find... But in our experience, there are many wonderful, caring, mature kids that are in the Arts. It's great to see her taking the classes you have set up for her. Hopefully she can find some additional hobbies that are social too, and that she can do without you.

              Did I mention, you are a very good Dad? Hope you are taking some time for yourself as well.


                Another thought...

                The home schools get together here and do activities. Have you looked into similar in your area.

                Also the library usually offers huge programs for home school kids and others during the summer.

                What about a summer camp? That would help her find new friends. She probably needs social situations as opposed to chat rooms and skype.

                If you are close to a city, museums also have programs geared towards specific ages.

                She does spend alot of time with you. It is a good thing for her to start developing a little independence at this age and more importantly so since she has a disability.

                It sounds like you are an excellent father. She is so lucky to have you.
                T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

                My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown


                  I do understand what is being said about lack of socialization that most home schoolers get. It's the first thing that anyone says when anyone says anything about about home schooling. It's something that's over looked by a lot of parents.

                  She dose spend a good amount of time in collage classes and hangs out with her class mates between classes and a lot of the time ends up going out to dinner with them.
                  At the pottery class she surround her self with the 18 to 25 year old's and fits in great.
                  The bowling league she is on is 12 to 16. She is the youngest on her team and is always the life of the team.
                  The weekly dinner parties we do is most often with her class mates from collage, but some times the other IT people I work with.

                  When I stand back and look at the way she interacts with people she looks to have more fun with people that are closer to her own schooling level than her one age. Thinking back to my school days I hated the immaturity of the kids I went to school with.

                  Before she started collage classes she was much more active with kids closer to her age. It's hard for me to hold her back from taking classes when that's what she wants to do.

                  A lot of the stuff that the library’s and museums do end up being a dumping ground for parents and turns into a zoo. We have been there and tried that a few to many times.

                  We do spend a lot of time together, but we also spend a lot of time apart.

                  Thanks for the thoughts and I under stand where everyone is coming from. I did learn a lot from reading the post on this site and thanks. I have opened a can of worms that I did not want to...


                    Sorry my suggestions to answer your question weren't helpful. It is great she is getting so much socializing in. Well done. Relax a little.... remember, we are only trying to help.

                    Of course, you can hire a caregiver to sit with her two days a week, but it may be hard to find a caregiver that can give her the stimulation she needs. You can hire caregivers from agencies in the short term, hire through Craig's list (screen very carefully!!!) after putting up an ad, and even ask more people at your church if someone would help for payment. Sometimes people who offered to do it for free will become more eager to continue if you offer them money. I would also meet with the social worker for sure, just in case there is another option. Yes, you have to be persistent with these services at times, but as I am sure you have learned... the squeeky wheel gets the grease. Certainly she wouldn't be appropriate for the Senior/Adult Day Care that many communities provide. However, maybe it is worth visiting once to find out if she could be a volunteer there helping out in some capacity and talking with the seniors....

                    Also, you can hire at the local colleges. Maybe hire her a tutor too... to start coming to the house during those times... for something new she wants to learn? College/graduate students are good for that.
                    Last edited by hlh; 26 May 2013, 11:05 AM.


                      Maybe you could define "caregiver or the basic care" for us that she needs.

                      It seems she is very capable of taking care of herself. I was at her age and my daughter was even more independent than me. Your daughter is far advanced, it sounds like, in mind more so than her body age.

                      I don't view your daughter as less than capable because of a disability. She has a really nice full life so maybe we misunderstood exactly what you were needing with this post.

                      As I said, my daughter was fine at home one summer at the age of 13. She was not taking college classes. Yes she got bored and didn't want to be alone but I wanted to advance in my job so we could both enjoy the fruits of my labor with the pay raise. She called me at certain times during the day and checked in. I also had neighbors and friends go by randomly and check on her.

                      At that age, they are learning their independence and need to learn to entertain themselves. She sounds like she has lots of interests so it shouldn't be hard.

                      The fact that you are only gone two days a week kind of makes it sound like she just needs company as opposed to being alone and needing care.

                      Sorry you took my post wrong but as HLH said you could always hire a babysitter if you desire.
                      T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

                      My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown


                        More or less she is clumsy when she walks and trying to do stuff. She's fine if she loads it up in her chair and pushes it, but I think we all know all know how hard headed humans are.

                        She falls about twice a month and it's from pushing her limits see above. When she dose fall she gets bad spasm and intense pain in her legs are there about useless for a few hours. When she dose fall her chair is never around to transfer into. If she can get to her chair she can transfer and she's fine after a few hours.

                        Last time I left her home when I went to work she fell and did not have her phone with her (that was about 3 weeks ago). I left work when she did not text me back after 45 minutes. Her chair was on the other side of the house and had made it part way back when I had got home.

                        About 3 months ago I left her home and went to work; she fell when putting the stuff back in the fridge from her grilled cheese. The grilled cheese was still cooking so the gas burner was still on. She landed on her phone and broke the screen and could not get it to make a call. When the fire alarm went off the security company sent the fire department and called me. Luckily it was just a lot of smoke and a burnt pan. Child services was called and turned into a huge mess.

                        I have looked for babysitters for in the house or at there house. They do not give her a chance and they jump right into the thoughts of “she will need so much help” before they see for them self.

                        It looks like one of her class mates is going to be able to stop in for a few hours twice a week, but were still trying to work out the details.

                        I'm sorry hlh I did not mean to offend you or anyone else.

                        I know I come off wrong a lot of times when the subjects end up on home schooled kids/socialization or it ends up on disabilities.


                          To the question of what care dose she need...

                          Someone to be around in case she wants something.
                          Someone to take her her chair after they hear a loud thump followed by **it.
                          Someone that will pay cards, girl talk, or something intelligent for an hour or so.


                            I would also suggest she get some additional PT to address her falls...both for prevention and to learn how to get up off the floor when she does fall. Eventually she is going to break a bone or worse during a fall, so they cannot be taken lightly.

                            The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


                              You help with this, I help with that

                              There are many types and scope of home schooling. Find some area organizations that may help.

                              Trade one of your days for help with a field trip and other families can watch your daughter.

                              It’s a wonderful system and I wish I had never gone to public schools in Florida, after my second year of college, working full time, they kicked me out of HS. Still graduated by omission.

                              A homes school is about a dozen kids and a mom teaching 9supervising0 they work on their own.

                              You find the right organization (leave e a note) and I am sure you can work a win-win-win for all.