it’s always something

There’s been behavioral issues at school with M, especially in the afternoons. The nun is no longer there in the afternoons, and the regular teacher is showing signs of getting fed up with M. She says that M is disruptive and disturbing to the other children, jumping on things, throwing things, destroying other children’s things, flushing things down the toilet, etc. They want her to nap, which she has stopped doing. Now she fights them, and it gets her riled up, just like she used to do with me. The teacher says the other children don’t like her. So, that’s great. Really great. Just what a mother wants to hear.

I sometimes see this behavior outside of school, so I know what they’re talking about. Just today, at her new primary doctor’s office, she was acting completely insane. Whining, screaming, throwing things, hitting me, pulling on him, and just being wild and disruptive and completely unbearable. He told me her behavior is more than a typical two-year-old, it’s “extreme”. Which it was, at the office, and sometimes is at home (like when she has her raging tantrums). I look around the office and see other children sitting quietly, or playing in one place, quietly, and think… good god, why are those children able to do that and mine isn’t? I know I shouldn’t compare, but it’s difficult not to do. My child acts miserable, just miserable, and I want her to be content and at peace, if not all the time, then a lot of the time.

Even with the Montessori school, the new doctor, and the therapist, I still don’t feel like anyone is “on M’s side”, except for me. No one is able to say, “yes this is hard, but we’ll figure it out, and she’ll be ok”. The teacher just seems stressed and bothered, the doctor seemed overwhelmed with the behavior, and the therapist helps me to brainstorm ideas, but we haven’t exactly done anything huge there. She’s only seen M once, and that visit was so horrible I wonder if she ever wants the child in her office again!

So we are going to get lab work done, to look for deficiencies, check the thyroid, all of that. I’ve been emailing the teacher to try to come up with ideas for what to do in the classroom, but to be honest I’m almost ready to take her out either every other day or half day. I just can’t stand the thought of her being somewhere where no one wants to be around her. Am I just setting her up to fail by sending her every day?

With all that being said, there are many days when I feel like she’s as well behaved as anyone else her age, and we don’t have issues. Then there are days like today. There are days when behavior at school is fine and it’s horrible at home, and days when she’s being terrible at school but did great at home. I watch other kids in classes, or at stores, or offices, and wonder how they are able to be so calm and well-behaved when my kid isn’t. It definitely makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong, or at the very least, like I’m the only parent out there feeling this way.

Where are all the other parents of high needs children??

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10 Comments »

  1. I know the feeling. Wallace screamed and cried for his first year and a half. I felt like I was doing something wrong since no one would help me with his issues. I would see other babies happy to look around, be talked to, crawl while mine was having none of it. When I came across the high needs baby articles on Dr Sears, I at least felt validated.

    I’m sorry the teacher is telling you these things in this manner. It is not professional and not okay. They need to work with you on how to help her. She is having a hard time, not giving them a hard time.

  2. That sounds so hard and frustrating. I hate that you feel like you’re on your own. The teacher needs to be working with you. M isn’t doing this stuff deliberately–she’s obviously struggling and it just freaking sucks that you can’t fix it. Your love for her is obviously so huge. I wish she could communicate to you what she needs. I hope you can find a team to strategize–and maybe consult another therapist? I wish I had advice for you, but I think you’re doing the right things.

  3. I think it’s important to know that if M had the skills to do the things required of her in certain situations, she would do them successfully. The task is for you and her to figure out what skills she hasn’t developed yet :). A great resource I have used that goes deeper into this is Dr. Ross Greene at http://www.livesinthebalance.org. Tons of free resources on here!

    With the exception of the physical attacks, M resembles my L all the way down to the social issues at school. Things that trigger L: transitions, things that don’t go as expected, having to sit still at school, answering on demand, downtime. L is a total proprioceptive sensory child and we did OT for about six months. My viewpoint is that you have to start at the sensory system before any other system can be ready to work properly (if our senses are out of whack, our emotional state will be out of whack, which prevents us from being able to make good choices).

    My advice, for whatever it’s worth, would be to get an evaluation for OT as soon as possible. I highly recommend this as your first step. We do the behavioral therapist as well, but the OT makes the biggest impact in what triggers her. And since she is close to being three, consider going to your school district for them to do testing as well to see if she can qualify for an IEP.

    Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone and it does get better (oh so slowly!).

  4. ITA with these ladies – you’re not doing anything wrong! M is having a hard time, (with whatever… I know you’re trying to find out what isn’t working) and it sounds like you’re the only one hearing what are essentially cries for help. I’m sorry the teacher isn’t being supportive, and I wonder if the nun being gone and this teacher’s lack of patience are a part of the problem. I hope the new doctor becomes a partner in helping you to help M.

  5. My daughter is 28 years old and had issues with raging tantrums, etc all of her growing up years. (Teenage years were as hard as the toddler years) As time went on, I came to realize that she was reacting to extreme anxiety and just could not handle many things. She’s a mother herself now and still suffers from anxiety. It’s just the way her brain is wired. Your baby girl does not understand why she acts the way she does. She doesn’t have the words to tell you, so her emotional outbursts, violent reactions, etc show that her brain and nervous system are on overload. It’s hard to know when kids are just being bratty and when they truly are just out of control because of what is going on in their little brains. You don’t really know what that baby was exposed to in utero either. So many factors could be involved. My heart goes out to you. It is exhausting to have a high needs kid that is unpredictable. If at all possible keep M’s environment as peaceful and predictable as possible. Maybe school is not right for her right now. Maybe that’s what she is trying to tell you. (Just a thought) I admire your devotion to your precious daughter. Hang in there! One more word of advice: Keep your discipline consistent! This was my major failure with my daughter. They are master manipulators and many times I gave in just so the screaming and throwing things would stop. Big, huge mistake!!!! Another piece of advice: M probably should be an only child…It’s going to take everything you’ve got just to make it through the tough days. 🙂

  6. I am so sorry for M. Must be really tough for her. And therefore hard on you too. Have you run food diaries or looked at sugar and/or FODMAPS? Tough to do with children her age where they already have strong food preferences. Good wishes to you.

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