I am a professional caregiver, I have an in-home daycare, and I have a problem with a little girl who has been coming to us for about 6 months. She is 19 months now and though this problem has been off and on, it is finally just making me bonkers and I can't seem to do anything about it or find any resources to help me with it! She is only with me 2 days a week (monday and friday) and seems to HATE other kids. She apparently had this problem at the dayhome she was in before us, I spoke to that caregiver and she said she never did have a solution and there were literally days that she would cry ALL DAY LONG after any small episode with another child (though particularly with another young girl smaller than her).
She is 2 months younger than my daughter and one month older than another girl we have, but has been developmentally very different from either of them. Physically, she was quite slow (not walking until about 15 months?), socially (even though she has been in care since she was 6 months, poor thing) she really has no ability to even play side-by-side with other children, and will often just "freak out" when they do something like take a toy or even play loudly near her. She seems to be very good, however, at parroting sounds and even words though she doesn't communicate with me at all in ways that I can understand. (though she always has a soother in her mouth!).
I am at my wits end because there are times when she just will not settle, AT ALL. I mean she will cry for hours, even if I try to hold her (or of course distract her in a multitude of ways). If I try to pay special attention to her, of course my daughter and the other kids will come over, and that just sets her off again.
Apparently she doesn't have this problem when in the care of only adults (with no kids around) and according to her mother she is fine at a playgroup they attend regularly- though the mother is the first to admit that she is very overprotective of the girl and is trying to stop smothering her (her words). She will send her to my place with special toys and books but the only thing that I can find to calm her is to sit her in front of the TV- which normally I only use for special occasions or when the weather is too bad to go anywhere. Her mother actually sent her with the little girls personal DVD/TV player last time! I didn't use it but I am at the point where I am going to either keep her in front of the TV so that the other kids and I can go about our days in peace or put her in the basement in a play yard so it's harder to hear her scream.
Does anybody have any suggestions, advice, links to send the mother that might also help myself? The mom is trying to work on helping her daughter be less fearful in general as well. I am generally an AP kind of parent and try to use those philosophies in my day home but the mother is different in her system, BUT she and her daughter are very attached (though she is more babying and overprotective of her in my opinion).
I wanted to add- we are testing her to see if she possibly has anything that might be "wrong" with her with some very basic tests before we consider maybe giving her a referral for professional help. I actually don't think there's anything going on though according to the different scales and tests I've looked at other than some serious social issues and maybe physical delays.