Re: Jani

1

She's faking it.

I hope this turns into a 500 comment thread about him "letting" department staff watch his kid.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 8:37 AM
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2

Ha, you noticed that, too.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 8:52 AM
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3

This story is terrifying and sad.


Posted by: Dud Par | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 9:08 AM
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4

I've been following the dad's blog off and on for a few years. It's pretty intense.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 10:34 AM
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5

Following on 4, OMG Bodhi has autism? Jesus christ they have their hands full.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 10:57 AM
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6

I initially misread the title as "Jahi" and thought that brain dead Oakland kid had her own apartment.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 12:30 PM
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7

And in the vein of "that kid ain't right", don't worry, your little precious isn't dumb, he/she just has "sluggish cognitive tempo".

Called sluggish cognitive tempo, the condition is said to be characterized by lethargy, daydreaming and slow mental processing. By some researchers' estimates, it is present in perhaps two million children.

Each new diagnosis comes with a free poster.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 12:51 PM
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8

gswift, would you characterize any of your kids as dumb?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 1:06 PM
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9

This story is just heartbreaking.

Also, I now suspect I might have adult-onset sluggish cognitive tempo.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 3:25 PM
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10

9.2 Oh hell. I was being a smartass about "maybe that's me." But then I clicked through the link... Plausible.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 4:49 PM
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11

Oh, interesting, most people in my other parts of the web think it's a pretty clear Munchausen by proxy situation. I haven't watched their blog closely enough to really weigh in, but do think there are red flags on several fronts.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 4:54 PM
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12

11: For Jani? Or the cognitively mellow-tempoed?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 5:08 PM
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13

11: Wait, whoa, what? Details!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 5:11 PM
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14

11 is certainly surprising and confusing.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 5:17 PM
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15

the feeling is that Jani isn't having legit psychotic breaks but her parents are very invested in having her be the most mentally ill child ever. They seem to be doctor-searching to find the same diagnosis for their son and are unhappy to be settling on just autism for him. There are videos where the mom seemed to be pretty clearly goading Jani into "performing" to be admitted to a hospital (though that's a pretty common refrain among parents of children with mental illness diagnoses, that it's frustrating when you get to the ER or a specialist and the child is no longer acting up, so is it ethical to provoke the child so the specialist can see the meltdown?) and both parents are now staking their online identities on their children's diagnoses. At one point they supposedly claimed Bodhi was having number-related hallucinations just like Jani did but that he was unaware of hers or something, which seems extremely improbable on a statistical level.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 5:28 PM
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16

Get Off My Internets has tons talking about what the inconsistencies are, but most of what I've heard is in private conversation and just that from when I've looked at the blog and other people have, things haven't read the same way they do at other parents-of-kid-with-mental-illness blogs. I'm not sure I could pinpoint anything, but I get a "Oh, give me a BREAK!" vibe about the parents pretty routinely when I do read, which is not the same as saying they're faking it but would also be consistent with that. There are definitely other blogs by foster parents or especially adoptive parents or parents of kids with mental health diagnoses where I've thought things were even more clearly being provoked by parental stuff in ways the parents didn't notice.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 5:32 PM
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17

I suppose the act of blogging about it might be considered consistent with MbP... I am intrigued.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 5:44 PM
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18

Isn't GOMI sort of a vile, disgusting blog? I mean, it exists to tell us what a stuck-up whore [insert any prominent lady blogger here! but it's usually Dooce] is? I've never heard of these Jani people before, so maybe they're right, but GOMI exists so far as I can see to tell better-known bloggers they're not all that.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 5:46 PM
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19

The blog is like that, but for fact-checking in a hateful way, it can be useful. I read it sometimes if I'm curious about why people hate a certain person. It's not unbiased at all, but it was saying a lot of things I've heard in other unlinkable conversations.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 5:48 PM
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20

Sorry, I probably shouldn't have started this strand of conversation since I haven't read the blog in years and her dad doesn't even seem to have the same blog he did then. I'm not trying to make definitive diagnoses or anything and will gladly admit that it sucks to have a child who's beating you up and not able to function in various standard situations and all that, so I'm probably more judgmental than most because I think the way I handle things is better than the ways other people do.

But on that front, here is maybe a counterpart piece, about whether a teen has a complicated mitochondrial disorder or is a victim of her parents' mind games/Munchausen by proxy/thus medical neglect in the eyes of the state.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 6:07 PM
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21

There's also this adoptive mother who was recently arrested for medical abuse and seems to have scammed people on the internet out of money by writing about her sick kids.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 6:08 PM
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22

I hope this turns into a 500 comment thread about him "letting" department staff watch his kid.

Turns out they were just faking watching him.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 6:17 PM
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23

And now because I've derailed and am getting ready to go to bed, I'll just say that I'm arguing there's nothing wrong with Jani, just that I really don't feel I know. I do (or did when reading the blog) think her parents have done things that are triggering her or her brother and making things worse than they would otherwise be, but parents in general do that and I'm sure I do too. They just seem to really lack self-awareness and are hung up on their certainties of what is going on in the situation, which seems sad but is understandable.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 6:22 PM
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24

I remember reading something about the case in 20 that implied the hospital is crazy aggressive about taking kids away, and has a ready-made legal team to do so, etc. I was left with the impression that the parents were sane and being tormented by a power-corrupt hospital.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 6:38 PM
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25

The girl seems to be under the care of some pretty serious people, and you'd think if it really was MbP, they'd have worked that out by now. The dad, though, is way more disturbing that I'd expected.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 6:39 PM
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26

I was a little skeptical of the claim that Jani was so advanced that at three weeks old she was demonstrating that she knew her colors and shapes. Oddly, what struck me most about it is that a three-week-old had the motor control to reach out and intentionally touch objects.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 6:49 PM
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27

Oh yes, I meant to raise that same question. There is no way a one month baby identified colors.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 6:53 PM
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28

But shapes? Maybe?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 6:56 PM
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29

Butt shapes, maybe.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 7:16 PM
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30

20: The counterpart case is a horrifying read.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 7:21 PM
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31

24: I think it was that the hospital is the one normally used by the state to determine whether children should be taken/protected from their parents, and in this case, the state didn't contact another hospital for an independent assessment, but maybe there were details I missed. And yeah, horrifying no matter who has the true story.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 7:24 PM
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32

That bit with the colors and shapes made me think of Clever Hans.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 7:27 PM
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33

Yup.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 7:33 PM
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34

gswift, would you characterize any of your kids as dumb?

There's definitely the occasional "are you an idiot" moment but it seems to be normal teenage stuff.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 11:18 PM
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35

I get a "Oh, give me a BREAK!" vibe about the parents pretty routinely when I do read

For me what stood out is the combination of the implausibility of a bunch of dad's claims about Jani paired with what seems like too much talk of how awesome and sacrificing he is.

I thought the OP would be the most fucked up thing I'd read today and then this hit the local news.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-13-14 11:49 PM
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36

that implied the hospital is crazy aggressive about taking kids away, and has a ready-made legal team to do so, etc. I was left with the impression that the parents were sane and being tormented by a power-corrupt hospital.

The inconsistency of child protection agencies drives me crazy. They freak out over nothing and then do nothing for crazy situations.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-14-14 6:47 AM
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37

36 is the truth. I was listening to some social workers rant about our local CPS - they were characterized as sunshiney 23 year olds with a clipboard who are fresh out of college and believe that all children need to be saved from their parents.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-14-14 8:25 AM
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38

I'm always stumbling across terrifying stories about 'child protection' interventions by CPS and the like. Like the kid who was temporarily taken away from his family because the father accidentally bought him an alcoholic lemonade at a ball game. Really scary stuff to read when you're a parent. Can you imagine being forced to give your kid over to foster care where they might be harmed, for no reason?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-14-14 12:23 PM
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39

Can you imagine being forced to give your kid over to foster care where they might be harmed, for no reason?

Yes, and I live in constant fear of it. No joke.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-14-14 12:27 PM
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40

Not child protective services necessarily, but pretty much everyone who is divorced (or, like Thorn, involved in the foster care or adoption system) has a baseline fear that some judge or state agency or custody evaluator has the power to override your choices and to make irrational decisions about taking your kids away from you.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-14-14 12:39 PM
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41

The really horrible thing there is that foster care is scary. In a decent society, there could be a mildly overprotective CPS that might pick up your kid on suspicion that there was something dangerous going on, so long as they had someplace reliably secure to keep them and a swift process for straightening out errors. With foster care being frighteningly dangerous, and CPS being unresponsive and slow, the whole thing gets terrifying.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-14-14 12:47 PM
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42

custody evaluator has the power to override your choices and to make irrational decisions about taking your kids away from you.

I have heard CPS referred to as "the dirty dishes police"


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-14-14 12:48 PM
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43

A lot of the outrage I have seen re the Justine Pelletier case comes from sources on the right that I wouldn't consider the most reliable (I first saw something about it some months back on FoxNews, my parents' news source of choice), but everything I've been able to read about it makes me think that something has gone very wrong in that case. It certainly sounds like the parents have been difficult and not always acted in the way most likely to lead to their child's return (calling the hospital staff Nazis is not going to win them any friends), but I can also see how given the circumstances, they may not always have been able to respond calmly and dispassionately. I read the judge's recent order awarding permanent custody to the Mass. DCF (unless and until the parents can prove they are fit), and I was struck by how in its specifics it focused on how the parent's behavior was bad not in the treatment of their child but in their treatment of the hospital and government representatives.


Posted by: Airedale | Link to this comment | 04-14-14 12:58 PM
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44

In other jurisdictions, probably at some point all three of my girls would have been removed, but I don't know if the state would have terminated their parents' rights. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I believe with intensive services, their parents could have successfully cared for them, but that it would have taken more than the state can offer currently and they would have to have been willing to change, which they weren't. Obviously in a perfect world, I wouldn't have any of them because kids wouldn't neglected or abused, but in a slightly less imperfect world than this one, maybe their parents would get what they needed to make things work. And that can be sort of hard to navigate. But I deal with it by doing what I can in general to help improve things for their parents and extended families. I hope that any of their parents who want to will be able to successfully raise children in the future. From what I gather, one has found a way to do so already. And I'm glad.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-14-14 5:55 PM
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45

43: The thing I've noticed in the extensive coverage of this case is that Children's Hospital has never been forthcoming on what they've done (or not done) to attempt to prove or disprove the mitochondrial syndrome diagnosis. It is very easy to hide behind "patient privacy."

The Pelletiers seem to be quite a piece of work though, and it's very hard to discern the truth amid all the allegations.

The MA CPS has come under fire in a lot of cases over the years and especially recently for what was mentioned earlier: ignoring obvious problems, not following up on required visits, and then getting all medieval in situations that didn't seem to call for it.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 04-14-14 6:44 PM
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46

The inconsistency of child protection agencies drives me crazy. They freak out over nothing and then do nothing for crazy situations.

Or, alternatively, they have about as good a record as any other organisation, but the public tolerance for failure (either taking away children unnecessarily, or leaving them with abusive or murderous parents) is virtually zero.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-15-14 8:31 AM
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47

As good a record as any drastically underfunded agency with high turnover and enormous caseloads and gut-wrenchingly awful consequences if done poorly.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-15-14 9:00 AM
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