Foster mother’s plea

Our foster daughter has been with us since she was 2 days old and now she is over 2 1/2 years.  Her father has been diagnosed with something in the Pervasive Development Disorder spectrum.  Some feel he has Asperger’s and some feel he has PDD – no other symptoms.  He has also been diagnosed as having narcissistic qualities.  Regardless, the focus has been his inability to bond, show emotion towards his daughter, his poor social skills, etc.  He has his daughter every weekend from Saturday morning until Sunday night.  He never misses a visit and does what he is told to do.  He is in his mid-thirties and can not keep a job and still lives at home with his mom. I believe that he loves his daughter in his own way.  However, he seems to think of his own needs rather than hers.  For her first year, he would call me to set up visitation but would never ask how she was.  He was told that this is something that he needs to do so now he does.  Up until about a month ago, he would never greet her or say, “good-bye” to her when he would see her.  He was told to do that so now he does.  However, it isn’t how a parent typically would greet their child after not seeing them all week.  There isn’t any great emotion, just a “good morning.”  He does what he is told to do but doesn’t seem to feel what he’s doing.

Currently, the foster care agency is trying to terminate his parental rights.  The basis is his inability to bond.  One issue that is going to come up is his poor social skills.  It is very difficult to understand what he is trying to communicate.  Also, his inability to understand how various things could affect his daughter worry me.  For example, he asked the court to move our foster daughter into another home because he changed his religion and wanted her to go to a foster family who had the same religion (no one specific, just any family who had the same religion so she would be going to complete strangers).  He and his family are happy with how our foster daughter is being raised by us and feels that she is in a good environment.  When he was asked how being moved from the family who has loved and raised her for the last 2 1/2 years would affect her, he had nothing to say.  He felt that she would adjust and that it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. 

I’m afraid that the judge may hear the testimony regarding his inability to communicate, his inability to show that he cares and his poor social skills and say, “so what.”  Our next court date is in Feb.  Do you or any of your members have anything to say in response to “so what?”  We love her so much and she deserves to be raised by someone who celebrates the wonderful little girl that she is.

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3 thoughts on “Foster mother’s plea

  1. Wow Kellie that response was Very over-reactive to the orginal comment. I would say that you might be on the spectrum yourself and/or are too closely relating to the comment and not being objective. I did not hear that foster mother saying she wanted to deny all contact with the ASPAR parent. Only that she was concerned by the unemotional responses that the said parent was having and the reasonings behind why he wanted to move the child out of a loving home that was currently in the child’s best interest. As someone who has taught special ed for 11yrs and having many children on the spectrum in my classroom, as well as having one PPD nephew, one asperger’s nephew and a brother who was only diagnoised with aspergers’ as an adult, boy could I projective my emotional agenda on you if I wasn’t being objective. Having an older brother who was 3 years older than me and often left in charge of me with asperger left me bruised and I am still working on those issues to say the least. I suffered from severe sibling abuse from him and my two older sisters who went along with him because it was easier then getting it done to them. If we are going to be supportive and raise each other up for the good, we have to set aside our woundedness and try to put ourselves in each other’s shoes without being hateful and ugly. There is just no need for that. I have watched my brother do exactly what this foster mother is saying to his two children. He is currently going through a divorce and has made it clear he really only wants his children %50 of the time for he does have to pay more child support. He has jumped through all the hoops that the child counselors have told him to because they told him too, and now that they have released him, he has stop doing them. Either you get it or you don’t… It’s not a judgement that is being made on those who are on the SPECTRUM. It is a FACT… Connecting emotionally and socially is BRUTAL for them and for many of them for reach adulthood without help, it just isn’t worth all the work to change. Thank you.

  2. Does the child appear to like and want to visit with the parent? If so, then why should someone with a PPD be denied visits (time spent, not custody even-just visits) with their child based on lack of skills unless they were deemed truly abusingly harmful? The person lacks skills right, they are not truly unintentionally or intentionally abusive? So what other skills, if a parent lacks them, should be grounds to deny them visiting their child? Maybe those who lack Emily Post table manners, savy cocktail party etiquette, and Harvard Law debate skills should be banned from their children?
    Many parents, with their childs best interests at heart, have different opinions and feelings about how an event will affect their child. Typically one is not so controlling and cruel as to try to totally ban the other from interaction with the child for having a different opinion…then espouse how good that will be for the child not to spend time with that parent! – let alone have any caring whatsoever for the human who is mom or dad. Hummm…and the primary caregiver says the parent doesn’t seem to care about cause and effect on the child. To me the caregiver doesn’t seem to care but being optimistic I’ll choose to believe the caregiver is ignorant and lacks knowledge and skills in human psychology, unless they prove otherwise.
    Better be careful what you ask for, also. What goes around eventually comes around. Lack of good human psychological understanding and skills may wind up getting you or someone you love – childless or parentless. Better get studing and praying that those who are more powerful and skillful than you don’t decide your not “appropriate” to even visit with children.
    The parent may care very much indeed about the child and just not express it in the “typical” way. It may or may not even be in the “best” way but atleat they are making an effort and probably a very difficult one for them. That is more than alot of so called “typical” parents (especially non custodial parents) do! You are decieved if you don’t think that it will be important and mean something special to that child, at present and later in life, that their parent cared enough to stay the stormy course to consistantly spend time with them. It is and ever will be important – to the child, the parent, the persons they will both become and those whom they will affect throughout the rest of their lives and so the generations evolve. Will that evolution prove adaptive or maladaptive for the human species?
    Humans have differences. Some great, some small. Without them we wouldn’t be here today. Let’s deal with it humanely. Let’s not make it a crime (we know what that would resemble….now dont we).

  3. Your worker really needs the support of the father’s therapist that has diagnoised and treating him. All of these issues should be reported by a professional. Will the agency subpoena them? Has he had a parenting capacity evaluation from a paychiatrist? Have faith that the judge will do the right thing, since the judge may have had this kind of case in from of him/her. But the more the agency builds their case, the better. Mental Health issues can be hard cases.

    As a state foster care worker, a foster parent of a beautiful 6mos old. I pray all goes well in Feb. 🙂

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