9
   

They're coming to take me away today (haha-hehe) to the funny farm

 
 
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Feb, 2011 07:40 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

A school had a six year old boy committed to a psychiatric ward after drawing a picture and writing "I want to die".
....................
I think they completely over reacted and I'd be well and truly pissed if something like this happened to Mo.....

Of psychiatry I've no knowledge but in actuarial statistics it's the case that several events like, e.g., single-car fatalities, may really be suicides undertaken in this fashion because of wish to avoid obvious avoidable anguish to family, allow heirs to collect insurance monies, religious reasons - or, a very real motive, leave it to chance, aka gamble. Jumping off a bridge, falling from a high floor balcony, crossing a fast-moving freeway is more obviously voluntary in the case of an adult, but what may be on a child's mind doing same is hard to tell. It may be a dare, a kind of leave-it-to-fate, Russian roulette approach.

If that's any consolation, I can cite statistics showing that the overdose-pill-swallowing adults hardly ever die (assuming prompt medical care) while the gun-in-mouth adults generally do, so by extension anyone claiming to want to die without displaying any means or executable plan is just making a call for assistance with no underlying intent to carry out anything of the sort. Again actuarially, the ones threatening to take others out while commiting suicide are the ones to watch, not the "stop the planet, I want to get off" crew. The first lot - of whatever age - may actually act on it, the second lot hardly ever does.

Psychobabbling only obscures an eminently quantifiable financial issue insofar as insurers and risk assessors are concerned. If there's no threat to any real live third parties, kids should be left alone no matter what crazy stuff they say - and so, judging by many new threads and posts here, should lots of adults Smile
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Feb, 2011 09:14 am
@firefly,
I don't think it matters whether he was 6 or 8 or 16 or 18. The school over reacted.

He drew a zombie and stick figures. (I guess I should be really happy that Mo didn't get locked up over his zombie valentines this week.)

Zombies are hugely popular among young boys right now. There are several very popular video games that feature zombies. Many of these zombie games are made for kids (but I don't know if the one he was playing was.) Plus it's a way to differentiate themselves from the "Twilight" vampire crazy girls.

I'm glad she talked to the media. I had no idea this kind of thing could happen and I'll bet most parents don't either. The story is not some kind of media sensation. I saw a link to the story on an education site I visit.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Feb, 2011 09:20 am
@dlowan,
Quote:

I'd have thought discussing things with the parents and assessing their ability to manage the risk...plus involving the therapist,,would have been the way to go.


I can't imagine a 6 year old being hospitalised here unless for protection if the parents were utterly neglectful or abusive....or were unable to monitor the kid adequately for some other reason..and that only for the briefest of times.

Of course, it's such an awful legal environment in the USA, and you guys are way more medicalised...but still.


Exactly!

0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  4  
Reply Thu 17 Feb, 2011 09:20 am
@boomerang,
Of course without knowing all the full details - that was my inclination that they overreacted. Not that young children couldn't do this and obviously have as noted by some above. But it does seem that schools tend to either overreact or bury their head in the sand. In both cases to cover their butts. Sad that common sense is overlooked and that the covering of butts takes priority.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  4  
Reply Thu 17 Feb, 2011 09:24 am
@High Seas,
Quote:
anyone claiming to want to die without displaying any means or executable plan is just making a call for assistance with no underlying intent to carry out anything of the sort.


I think that in this case the kid might have been asking for help -- as in "I'm sad, my dad is being deployed to a war zone and I just wanted to stay home today" sort of way.

They could have really helped him by letting him talk about it.

Now the kid is afraid to go to school and I don't blame him.
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Thu 17 Feb, 2011 09:42 am
I think if the school had immediately contacted the parent, asked her to come to the school to give them further guidance and offered available psych resources, it would have covered all bases. The school fulfills its responsibility to care for the student and throw up a flag when something seems amiss, the parent gets to make key decisions with respect to her child, the school makes available help to the parent if she wants it but cannot afford it and the school system has a reasonable legal defense should the parent choose not to pursue treatment and something tragic happens. I wonder who paid for the hospital stay.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Feb, 2011 09:44 am
@boomerang,
And the other thing is - the boy will probably be terrified of expressing his feelings again in school.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Feb, 2011 11:18 am
@boomerang,
Quote:
He drew a zombie and stick figures.

How do you know that's all he did? Even the mother has said the drawing was "violent" and he also said, or wrote, something about wanting to be dead. And the statements released by both the school and the Department of Mental Health refer to the child's suicidal thoughts/intentions as the basis for their actions. That may have been based on much more than a single statement by this child. He may have elaborated on a specific method of suicide, and given them reason to believe that the threat required urgent action. Maybe he threatened to harm himself while in the school. Maybe he said he had access to a gun, or pills, in the home. Maybe he said something about his home life, or his mother, as a reason he wanted to die.

My problem with this story is that we have only the mother's version of events. For reasons of confidentiality, neither the school, nor the mobile psychiatric unit, nor the hospital, can comment on this case. So, we really don't know what this child said or did that prompted their actions--other than that suicidal thoughts/threats were involved. If we knew the whole story, we might not think they overreacted.
Quote:
I don't think it matters whether he was 6 or 8 or 16 or 18.

I think that if he is 8, and not 6, which I believe to be the case, it makes a big difference in his ability to articulate his feelings, and his intentions, and his understanding of death, as well as his ability to carry out a plan. And the mobile psychiatric unit, who interviewed him and made the decision about the 72 hour hold, would have taken those things into account.
Quote:
I'm glad she talked to the media. I had no idea this kind of thing could happen and I'll bet most parents don't either.

Revealing her child's identity, as well as his photos and videos of him, to the media, and talking about his history of emotional problems and therapy, which this mother did, is a violation of his privacy and it can subject him to ridicule from other children for being "crazy"--just look at the title of your thread about being taken to the "funny farm". It's not really a laughing matter. This child does appear to have emotional problems, even according to the mother. What really is her point in going public with them? Is she really thinking about her child's welfare?

Parents should be aware that children can be held for psychiatric evaluation, even without the parent's consent. But, that's not even what this woman is complaining about. She's saying the school shouldn't have done anything except call her. Without knowing the whole story, including what the school and the mobile psychiatric unit actually reacted to with this child, we have no idea whether they overreacted, and why they felt they could not leave the situation entirely in the mother's hands. The mother is obviously trying to create the impression that the school overreacted, but the mother could also be in denial, or could be neglecting the child's emotional problems by not having him currently in therapy.

Given that we have only the mother's version of what transpired, and her comments have reason to be self-serving, and the other parties are not free to respond to justify their actions, I don't feel we can say that either the school or the mobile psychiatric unit overreacted. We just don't know what actually went on, and we don't know the background of this case either.













dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Feb, 2011 02:14 pm
@firefly,
American media can identify a minor in such a situation????????


Even if the parents want it?


Good grief.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Feb, 2011 02:30 pm
@firefly,
firefly wrote:
her comments have reason to be self-serving


interestingly(?) the only reference to the mom (among 97,000+ google hits) other than in reference to this case is on IMDB - 1 minor film - released in 2010 (and a couple of buried myspace hits) - she's definitely increased her visibility - as well as her son's
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Feb, 2011 02:30 pm
@dlowan,
Things are different in the U.S.


(was that an understatement?)
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Feb, 2011 09:05 pm
I was thinking about this thread tonight as Mo and I read a book that he checked out from his school library at his teacher's suggestion.

Here's some scenes from the book:

A boy finds an injured dog and and offers medical care: stretching and shoving the dogs skin around and sewing it up with fishing line. Very graphic.

The boy shoots a rabbit with an arrow and listens to it scream. And explains why it screams. Then later he shoots a baby deer because the adult deers have too much meat for his purposes.

A family half eaten by bears. Covered in flies and maggots. Vivid descriptions of mauling and feasting.

This book has been a bit difficult for us to get through. It is insanely graphic and violent.

Should we call the psych ward on his teacher?
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Feb, 2011 10:18 pm
@boomerang,
Geez, Louise.
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Feb, 2011 07:15 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

They could have really helped him by letting him talk about it.

The opposite seems true to me; the school is supposed to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic, not to provide a free-expression forum for assorted feelings. Inadvertently they taught that lesson to the kid by dispatching him to a place where he has to talk about feelings in order to be able to leave. I'm sure the book you describe was hard to read, but if it provides a realistic depiction of nature there's nothing wrong with it; forget calls to teachers or medics, try Tennyson:
Quote:
Who trusted God was love indeed
And love Creation's final law
Tho' Nature, red in tooth and claw
With ravine, shriek'd against his creed
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Feb, 2011 08:18 am
I'm not going to call the teacher on it. It was actually a pretty good adventure story interspersed with very graphic bits about killing, gutting and skinning animals and people getting eaten by animals.

But yeah.... jeez louise. It was pretty funky. Mo made me sleep in his room last night.

I don't think the school was wrong to react, I do think they over reacted in this case. Unless there is a very strong suspicion that the parent is abusive the parent needs to be the person who makes decisions for the child.

I've had a few firsthand experiences with the school thinking they know my child better than I do and in each case they were wrong. His first grade teacher did some serious damage. I don't give the school the benefit of the doubt anymore.
Linkat
 
  3  
Reply Fri 18 Feb, 2011 10:43 am
@boomerang,
You are correct in keeping an eye - a teacher can make a situation better or worse for a child. My friend has a boy with selective mutism. My niece also recently has been diagnosed with it. My friend has had great success with working with the teacher on this. My niece has had more difficulty with teasing and such and forcing her to speak in class.

Sometimes the teachers do not know better. A teacher willing to listen to a parent and make certain arrangements can make a world of difference.
0 Replies
 
nothingtodo
 
  0  
Reply Mon 17 Dec, 2012 05:39 pm
@boomerang,
They never committed me. Cannot say much would have changed in all honesty.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Dec, 2012 06:47 pm
@nothingtodo,
They never committed me either....

But I think you're trying to provoke a different reaction. You're going to have to elaborate on why they should have committed you if you want a real response.
nothingtodo
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 18 Dec, 2012 03:39 pm
@boomerang,
In other words you want to know and expect I am the same as the others...

I have no expectations, life writhes around me, should explain it.
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 Dec, 2012 03:50 pm
@nothingtodo,
I'm not really curious.

You came into my thread and posted something so I can only expect that you wanted a response.
 

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