I received a few notifications from my medical/dental insurance recently that Honey had told me nothing about, or just told me of a “check-up” for the dental. First, that David was approved for ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapy (for autism), some 36? sessions over three months; and second an estimate–$3598.00!–to fill 12 cavities, and various supplementary work.
The ABA therapy is fine; I had told her it was necessary for him about six months ago, although I’m sure she didn’t set it up because she listened to me. It is being provided by remotely by a Massachusetts company, which is good; it will make the transition to Indiana easy, although if it’s better for him I may move him to a local provider.
Twelve cavities for a three-year-old is shocking evidence of neglect, however. Honey’s family subsists primarily on soft drinks and junk food, and she definitely gives him soda–seems like a lot of it, just not any with caffeine (which is little comfort). (I have given him orange soda a total of I think four times; and may not do so any more, although it is probably acceptable in moderation.) She should be brushing his teeth, or if he can, ensuring he is doing it correctly. It is good at least that they are his baby teeth! (Honey’s sister tried to claim that she had a lot of cavities at the same age and it’s normal; but that actually makes it worse: David is being raised in part by Honey’s parents and what she learned from them, which was apparently not good.) In no world is this reasonable, and the dentist said it could have been prevented with proper diet and care.
What else is she hiding? She doesn’t like to spend time outside (laziness, blames allergies), and David loves to play ball or go for walks when we do; that may be all the time he gets outside, or the majority of it. How else is he failing to thrive because she is not putting in any effort to encourage, support, teach, and care for him? I am an engineer, and he loves building toys like “pieces” and even basic electronics (Snap Circuits), which she is unlikely to encourage him in.
This lack of care is abusive, as is her complete failure to keep me apprised of events in his life, medical or otherwise; she is not responsible enough to have anything but supervised visits with David until she can take care of him–and ideally become independent herself, first.