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Long post - anxieties as the parent of a too smart kid

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hello.  I hope no one minds if I post this here.  I'm not sure I have a specific question (well, I have many, but none are the point of this post).  Mostly, I have so much swirling around in my head about my daughter, and while I can share with real life friends, so far no one has any real understanding of what we deal with.  This is long - kind of a data dump, but it feels good to get it out.  Mostly I'm hoping someone will say they understand and maybe can give me some comfort so I can stop worrying so much.


People tend to react strongly to my daughter - they either are in awe of her and want to congratulate us (which makes it hard for them to understand why parenting her is not the easiest thing!) or think she is just stubborn and strong-willed and we are lax parents.  The way I feel, and try to convey if I do talk about her, is that she is who she is, just like anyone else.  She's no better or worse than anyone else, but she is different, and our challenges and experiences are so different from anyone else's.


I swear I knew her personality months before her birth - it was just so strong!  I remember saying when I was pregnant that she would not be easy, but she would be a whole lot of fun.  The difficulties started immediately with nursing.  Day 1 she did great, day 2 my milk came in and she didn't like that it came out faster and refused to nurse.  The lactation consultant told me there was nothing wrong and she was just stubborn - highly unhelpful but I do think completely accurate.  Her instincts seemed at odds with survival skills for the longest time.  To put it in metaphysical sense (not that I believe this but it's a fun way to articulate it), it was as if some powerful ancient spirit found itself in the body of a newborn and was all "you expect me to do what? Not happening."  Eating, sleeping, pooping... nothing ever "just happens" for her.  Her thinking level was so fully developed that there was never a time before full awareness of everything.  At almost 5, she still refuses to go directly in the potty, #1 or #2.  As of spring, she decided to wear underwear, but will still put on a pull-up every time she has to go to the bathroom.  She just says she isn't ready, and that it feels different without a diaper.  Mostly she's just terrified because it's different.


At the same time, she could spell her name (and recognize it in print) around 18 months, knew all her colors, shapes, letters, could count, as in count objects, not just recite numbers, all seemingly instantly without us doing anything other than what I would do with any kid.  Yet, the strong will...  I say almost without reservation that she could do pretty much anything she wanted to.  However, the difference between what she can do and what she will do is huge.  Her reading is getting stronger, but she tells me she doesn't like to read because sometimes she doesn't know the words.  It's as if she runs from even the slightest bit of discomfort, be it in something being challenging, meeting new people (well, adults.  She generally likes kids.) or trying new things. She had a big accomplishment at school last week because she tried the juice there, even though it's not the kind she has at home or the same kind of cups.  I feel like others see that she's really smart, while in our day to day life, it's all about the struggle to do basic things that come so much easier to everyone else.  Plus the intensity, and the anxiety.  She's been very worried about both getting older/bigger and death.  She keeps saying she wants to be littler or not get any bigger, and occasionally she announces that none of us are ever going to die, as if she could stop it through force of will.  It's very upsetting to her and so hard to know what to say since I don't think there's anyone who doesn't struggle with mortality.  It's just not usually at 4.


I have a friend with a Masters in Psychology who told me, at age 2, that my daughter absolutely has autism and needs to be treated and will probably need a special school.  I realize the lack of professionalism in diagnosing a child, using no diagnostic tools, after an afternoon spent together, yet this has continued to haunt me.  I know a diagnosis is not the end of the world, it's more that if it were true, I'm not getting her the help she needs.  However, the more I research, the more her traits match up with gifted and not with autistic.  Even though some anecdotal traits of people with autism are similar, any time I revisit the checklist of warning signs, they absolutely do not match up.  Still, it keeps popping up in my head as another thing to worry about.  


Over the summer we had her evaluated by an OT for the toileting issues and other sensory issues.  While she does have some sensitivities, the overall conclusion was that "she's a challenge."  Even her sensory issues are more "in her head" and context-driven than anything, and are all over the place, not consistent with SPD.  They did a basic overall evaluation. She maxed out on the working memory test (where she had to repeat an increasingly longer set of numbers back) but otherwise nothing abnormal.  While this test was not for autism, the OT said that is something that comes to mind with a really smart kid with sensory issues, but after the evaluation and time spent with her, they did not feel there was any reason to suspect it or to do further screening.  The OT asked me if I was familiar with research around gifted kids and sensory issues and felt that was what we were seeing.  We did do a few months of therapy, which she enjoyed, as a bridge to nursery school, but I don't think it did any good sensory-wise. 


Nursery school started this Fall.  Going in, the only thing I said to the teachers was a little about the sensory issues and toileting issues, since normally it is a no pull-up school.  Sensory-wise, I let them know she gets uncomfortable in group settings and they may see her cover her ears for noise or just feeling like she needs to block something out.  That's it, though.  I didn't want to say anything about being gifted because I wanted to see what someone neutral saw without putting any ideas out there, and I'm just sensitive to that being something that can be touchy.  Last week I spent a class with her for the first time, and observed how she did and didn't participate.  She definitely stands out in a group of kids for doing her own thing... But absolutely paying attention because I could see that even when if she seemed to be doing her own thing, she'd suddenly join in when there was something she liked.  After class, I asked the teacher if what I observed was pretty typical for her.  The teacher got a little nervous, then said that in 20 years of teaching, she's never told a parent their child was gifted until my daughter.  She said they've come to an unspoken understanding - there are hard rules about behavior such as not being disruptive, hitting, etc, but other than that they don't force her to do anything.  She usually does participate, but often in her own way.  In the teacher's words "she is thinking on a whole different level and we don't want to get in her way."  Wow.  I was floored.  First, that they are so amazing with her, and for that I am so very grateful, but mostly because the way she talked about her is pretty much how I say it.  So it's not just me.  This was huge for me, but when I told my husband, his response was pretty much, "So?  We already know all that."  I don't know why I need that validation, but somehow I'm still insecure that she's difficult because we are bad parents and don't set enough limits.  Not that we don't try!


I feel so lucky that her first intro to school is so positive.  She loves it!  However, we specifically wanted a non-academic school, and I think that's why.  She's learning to operate in a group setting, play with other kids, enjoy time away from her family, etc.  All things she needed badly and was so ready for.  But what happens next year?  I don't know that all teachers are going to see her that way, or that it's even realistic to expect her to be allowed to do her own thing in a large class of kids needing to learn.  I'm obsessing over school, and I don't know what I can do to make it better.  My experience with school was not good.  I tended to be an under-the-radar kid so I just drifted through, and didn't feel engaged until my AP classes in the last two years of high school.  My husband and my mother-in-law both had off the charts IQs as kids and much worse experiences with school - they are both more confrontational so I'm sure that's why it was more contentious.  So my expectations are not good.  Thinking back to myself, and what I would have wanted, I think it's either 1. a class of kids like me learning at my level or 2. to be left alone to read and learn because I was interested in everything.  I feel like 1 is not likely - no schools for the gifted here.  There is a gifted program at our elementary school, but honestly I'm not sure if that's even the answer.  Even if there is more/harder work, I can't see my daughter doing well in a overly structured setting.  She learns seemingly by osmosis - by exposure with a gentle nudge here and there, and really resists any kind of learning that's at too basic a level.  I love the unschooling idea, except I don't know how we'd pull it off.  Plus, she really needs time with peers and enjoys playing with other kids.  I don't know what that will be like in a few years and especially once the differences become more clear, but the last thing I want is for her to be stuck at home and isolated.  I wish she could stay in nursery school for play time and just continue to pick things up as she's been doing!


I think some of my anxieties are related to unresolved issues from my childhood - I find myself tearing up when I read about gifted kids and their needs, and thinking how much it would have helped me as a kid to know I wasn't the only one.  I pretty much always was told how smart I was, as if that was something I should be commended for rather than something I was born with and couldn't control, while my own experience was that I was struggling with things no one else even thought about and couldn't understand.  I felt I was on my own.  I hope that my daughter will never feel that but I also don't want my anxieties and experience to color hers.


So, if you made it this far, thanks for letting me get this out.  If anyone can tell me gently to chill out because it really isn't so bad, that would help, too :)

post #2 of 11
I just wanted to stop by and give you a hug mama... Sounds difficult. I have no advice but wonder if I will run into this with my now two year old who is very intense and knows everything. Hugs again.
post #3 of 11
It sounds like you are giving great attention to the needs of your bright and dynamic child. I just wanted to say that I enjoyed reading your thoughts and feelings, thanks for sharing. How wonderful that her nursery school
teachers recognize her for who she is. May I ask what philosophy the school uses?
As a gifted adult, you will no doubt be able to support her as she grows with her gifts. Best regards to you both.
post #4 of 11

Wow, you DO have your hands full. Never a dull moment, right? Are you planning any more? I am telling you, three of that kind is where it's at - I am usually exhausted before 6 pm, even though all three of them are in school or daycare situations part-time.

None of my kids combines this furor of intense traits your daughter shows, but between the three of them I just kept nodding my head. Diagnosed at a young age with autistic traits, though the kid is so clearly not autistic it's almost laughable in retrospect? DS1, check. Below knee-high and yet will so strong grown men quail and despair? DD, check. Obsessed with mortality? DS1 from age 2.75, check (this comes and goes, it's currently strong again). Extreme feeding and potty issues, for no organic reasons anyone can see? DD, check. Clear need for SPD-themed therapy, great fun in same, but absolutely no difference observable? DS1, check. A personality from utero? DS2, check. And so on...


Trauma from school left over for me? check check check. However, like you, I have been pleasantly surprised so far - while not everyone understands my children, most people react positively, enjoy them for their spirit and personality, only worry about the traits that clearly impact them or others negatively and that we, as parents, work hard on as well (DS1's explosivity, DD's stubbornness) - and everyone just loves DS2, who was diagnosed with a severe birth defect in utero and let everyone know, from before he was born even if you care to believe it, how much he wanted to be part of our life regardless.


It sounds like a lot of things are going right for you at this point. I am not quite clear on where you are - nursery school sounds like UK or Oz, so what is her schooling trajectory going to be? Is there very academic kindergarten/year 1/whatever looming? Can she stay at the school for it? Why not try to trust them on continuing to get it right until proven otherwise?


Oh, and welcome! Check out older threads with titles that sound applicable - there are a lot of parents here with VERY intense kids, and you will get a lot of been there done that stories, helpful tips, and hugs. It's such hard work, but it is also a great ride - whenever I am desperate, I joke with another mom who I know IRL about" potted-plant kids" - we'd go stir-crazy!

post #5 of 11

Many hugs.  Been there, done that.  The details are different, but the story line is similar here.


A few things in no particular order that stand out:

*Deal with the anxiety.  Find a way to let your DD cope.  In our house, this has meant finding a way to give our DD (now 11) lots of space to just be.  That is, ways to spend huge blocks of time without anyone telling her what to do.  She participated in many fewer activities than most kids up until about a year ago so that she could have most of the weekends dedicated to doing nothing besides exactly what she wanted (mostly unstructured play, later hours sitting on the couch reading).  More recently (since age 8 or so), we've been discovering just how much intense physical activity does for her.  We're up to getting her 6 hours a week or so of intense running, soccer, or swimming.  Along the way, we've discussed personality, introversion, anxiety, and how things like anxiety trigger adrenaline which affects feelings and working memory.


*Start figuring out who in your area can do neuropsychological testing for twice exceptional kids, particularly girls with autism.  I'm not saying go test now, but have the information in your back pocket as these folks can be hard to find.  One thing about autism is that it's very difficult to diagnose in girls.  In our case, DD does not seem to have autism, but does have many of the co-morbid issues that tend to go along with autism.  Having spent a few years focused on the anxiety, sensory issues, and social skills have helped immensely. 


*It sounds like this preschool has the pulse of your child.  Make an appointment with the teachers who seem to be most in tune with her, and ask them for advice - what do they know about the local schools and what would they have you look for/avoid in choosing an educational environment?


*We spent the first few years of elementary school focused on basic social and functional skills more than the academic needs.  When DD was in second grade, it became clear that we needed to address the academic needs as well, as the misfit to the academic environment was playing into the social and functional (e.g. toileting) skills.  Things continue as very much a work in progress, but no one at the school can believe it when they see my 11 year old DD standing tall, speaking out clearly and (mostly) appropriately, and hanging out with friends.  I've often questioned if I waiting too long to act, acted too soon, put our focus on the wrong needs, didn't push for enough acceleration for academic needs, pushed too hard to acceleration, etc.  I think in the end, we have largely succeeded by focusing on how DD was reacting to her environment and following her lead, backed up with cold, hard numbers from public and private testing.


Many hugs.  Remember this parenting gig is a marathon, not a sprint.  Keep plugging away at the issues in front of you, but there no little gained by addressing everything immediately or worrying about what might be or could be.

post #6 of 11

Geofizz, I think your dd and mine (12 almost 13) have been similar in a lot of ways over the years.


RachelCK, reading your description (and thanks for writing it so well, it was engaging to read) I can see where someone might suggest ASD, although I would think more on the Aspergers end though I know they folded Asperger's into ASD. I don't have a asperger or autistic child, but I know several across the spectrum. My niece is moderately-severely autistic and will always need care, and dd1's best friend at school has an autism diagnosis, but I would have never known unless her mom brought it up. I would be able to spot the ADHD in that kid, but she's really sweet and smart, just super exuberant. The rigid thinking/stubbornness can be characteristic of asperger's and that's probably what your friend is picking up on. Of course, people w/o ASD can be stubborn, too. 


I was worried about autism with my dd1 because we have it in the extended family and also because dd1 was so obviously different from other kids, but she definitely wasn't (and isn't) on the ASD spectrum. She probably does have an anxiety disorder. We did have her tested (by a psychologist, not a psychiatrist because we did not want a prescription solution) because while she was obviously smart she refused to participate in school (small private loosely academic) and just meowed her way through until 2nd or 3rd grade. She had sep anxiety until she was around 8 or 9 and it was just out the roof when she was in Pre-K and K. She refused to even attempt to read with the K teacher (who she loved) and would burst into tears and collapse into a puddle. The school approached us in 2nd or 3rd grade and asked about testing her because she just would not try to read at all. We worked with her at home, too, but she was usually ended up in tears then, too. She always had an excellent vocabulary and loved stories and had a long attention span for being read to, but the act of being asked to read, especially to read out loud just sent her anxiety soaring. She didn't participate fully in the testing although she liked the tester and I did too. I mentioned the anxiety to the psychologist and she administered tests for that to dd1, but dd1 denied feeling anxious or worried (she doesn't have a great objective sense of self). She doesn't carry a low level of anxiety around like some folks do, but instead has anxiety attacks when confronted with situations like being asked to read aloud when she wasn't completely confident of her abilities.


So, to make a long story short, she did not have dyslexia or any other reading disorder and although she didn't test for having an anxiety disorder I'm sure that's what inhibited her progress. Once she was confident she could do it right, though, she took off. She can read anything she wants to now at 12, almost 13. She likes "The Hunger Games" and "Divergent" series. She probably does have some issues in math. The testing we had gave her a tentative diagnosis of NVLD (non-verbal learning disorder) which could be accurate. She has math anxiety for sure and her teacher just does not get her and that doesn't help. I think she's probably gifted or at least bright (to be a technical about it) in everything else. She loves science and her science teacher and got the only A+ he gave out this year. 


Much like GeoFizz, because of dd1's other issues with anxiety we never pushed the academics and just worked on the social skills. We never had any toileting issues because I read about elimination communication on here when she was about 5 months old and started introducing the toilet then and catching a few pees and poops, so introducing the toilet was never an anxiety trigger for her. But we had so many other issues. She was always unsure about other kids and really connected with adults initially more easily. She wanted to like the other kids and be liked by them, but they were more unpredictable than adults and were a source of anxiety to her.


We watched some videos recently of early dance recitals when dd2 (my more conventional and moderately gifted child) was 3 and dd1 was 6 and she was pretending to be a kitten throughout the whole dance recital, too. There were tearful book reports and she wouldn't do her science presentation until I came up and held the poster for her with dd2 clinging to my leg. We were really lucky to find a school environment that allowed her to grow socially at her own pace and didn't mind me being there to facilitate. In 5th grade we moved her to public school and from there to a charter 6th-12th school. She is doing so well now (except for math) and has As in everything, doesn't mind speaking in front of the class, has many friends, etc.


I agree about asking the nursery school teachers for advice on next steps. They sound like they really "get" her. My dd1 did and still does a lot of oblique learning (my term) where she refuses direct instruction, but prefers to sit on the sidelines and watch others first, or looks like she's not paying attention in class (drawing or doodling), but then interjects with a relevant and insightful comment.

post #7 of 11

Welcome!   I understand :Hug   You have described my DS (4yrs) AKA Captain Opposite!  He's a strong personality, with some sensory issues, aspergers has been mentioned, but it doesn't exactly fit, lots of anxiety, can read well but won't, no ability to regulate emotion, rigid with rules(the rules he makes up), some potty issues, but I think those are over now, fear of death, doesn't want to grow up or have another birthday, says he is going to live forever (willpower I guess?).  If anyone has enough willpower to make themselves live forever, it would be him.


It is utterly exhausting, but he is so funny too!  


There seem to be many kids on this forum with similar personality types - especially in the preschool age range.  I haven't ruled out aspergers or NVLD, but then again it could all be characteristics of gifted children with overexcitabilities.  


Thanks for sharing!  It sounds like you have a future leader on your hands :)    

post #8 of 11

No BTDT experience but lots of sympathy. Also, I wanted to comment on this: " I love the unschooling idea, except I don't know how we'd pull it off.  Plus, she really needs time with peers and enjoys playing with other kids."


Even if you don't set out to, I would not be surprised if you find yourselves unschooling during after-school hours. It is an option, I know people who have their kids in school for the social aspects, and a lot of times kids who are interested in learning will naturally teach themselves or ask questions outside school. Eventually she may need advanced academics- being bored in school, especially with a strong willed child, tends not to end well- but for the first few years if there's no way for her to get advanced academics without being in a different peer group, you can do unschooling at home to supplement her at-school education.


Also, although it sounds like she's doing great, be aware that it's possible for her socially to be at a lower level. I had a friend growing up who was held back in kindergarten due to her social level even though she was smart enough to start first. I realized awhile ago that my problem with school was that, socially, I was behind everyone (all my friends were a grade level below me, at grade-based summer camps- I was miserable with my own grade but socially flourished in the grade below me) even though, academically, I was above everyone (causing boredom)- I would have done a lot better if I'd either been held back or pushed up a grade. Especially if she's in a school where they can give more advanced work- keep an eye out for the possibility that your daughter might socially do better in a lower grade even though you know that, academically, she'd be fine at a far higher level.

post #9 of 11
Originally Posted by sillysapling View Post

Especially if she's in a school where they can give more advanced work- keep an eye out for the possibility that your daughter might socially do better in a lower grade even though you know that, academically, she'd be fine at a far higher level.


Or look for a school where classrooms are not rigidly age-levelled. Our local school is a K-12 with fewer than a hundred students and all classes span 2-5 grade-years. In such a school it's sometimes possible to be both with one's social peers and one's intellectual peers. Of course problems can still arise, say, when your child is the oldest in a grade-cluster and most of the academic flexibility is concerned with spanning the needs of younger children.



post #10 of 11

This reminds me of myself as a child, in some ways. And yes, I can remember being very young, because, like your daughter, I was very "aware." I was aware that women were treated differently than men. I was aware that greed for material posessions was why some adults were slaves to their 9-5 jobs. I was aware that true happiness would always be out of my reach, and that what was promised to us as children would never truly be fulfilled. I had my books memorized by the time I was 13 months. 


I didn't necessarily struggle to "fit in" with things like going potty, but I think it was my personality.....very social and outgoing, so I used my intelligence to adapt to others' levels, though I never really felt fulfilled inside, and I remember always feeling like I was dumbing myself down for both other children, and adults. Dumbing myself down for adults was always hard, because they always seemed to approach me like I was automatically less aware of things than they were.....because well, all other children were. I just sort of adapted. There is a type of depression that comes with being much smarter than most people, and then an apathy that comes with that. It's when you realize you are in a world you don't really belong, where no one really understands you, and what you have to offer (which is a lot) is not met with understanding from others. I hesitate to call it depression, because I'm not saying your daughter needs an SSRI (prozac).


I bet your daughter is actually much further along than I was. I don't think my intelligence was genius level, only very superior. I was able to adapt and be happy. Play sports, be successful. I always dated older, deeper men, but I managed to not run away from home. Like I said, I was an extrovert. I made friends my own age, even though high school girls could be vapid and uninteresting. Even around the age of 6, sometimes I "fought the establishment" and rebelled against what adults expected of me, but most of the time I was content to just shine, get 100%'s on everything, and then laugh to myself about how I wasn't even trying. Having some limits and rules was good for me, because I was always trying to fight against everything. The rules were probably what saved me from being an addict or something, because when your daughter gets to the real world, she is going to have to somewhat live within its rules to succeed (dress nicely, wash her hair every day, be polite, show up for her classes in college, pretend like she cares, etc). And when you are very intelligent, those things can tend to seem meaningless. I still struggle with that.


I just wanted to say, be there for your daughter. Some day, she will really need you. She will have her heart broken, she will struggle to fit in, and you will be the one person who realllllly knows her, that can give her great advice, from a place of understanding HER. She is a very special girl. Let her know that you understand that the world can be a challenge, but there is nothing wrong with fitting in. Trust me, she will need those skills. Just let her know that you understand her. She wants to be understood. She will understand everything you say. Emotionally, she is ready to hear that you are there for her and understand her. Don't let her know about the "struggle" of raising her, but do let her know that you understand she is intelligent and you want her to be happy. But most of all, enforce the rules with her. Let her know that it is okay to fit in, and sometimes this is how life has to be. She will understand where you are coming from. She doesn't understand why she should do something, just because everyone else is doing it. Let her know you are teaching her these things, so she can adapt and live in the real world. So she can relate to other kids her age. Let her know that is the reason.....she just needs someone to explain that to her. You can get very specific, as to the values of fitting in. If she is anything like me, she doesn't like to be told to do something "just because X is doing it." So give her a very deep, philosophical reason, about her future, for why she should use the potty, etc.


I had some sensory issues, looking back. And some anxieties. I was always convinced I was going to go to hell. I would obsess over silly things, and spend all day ruminating about them. I was just too smart for my own good, so my head would get stuck on an impossible loop, problems with no solution. I hated restrictive clothing (still do). Some kids are sensitive to tags, etc. I have read that. I have read that very intelligent people sometimes wear the same thing every day, because they know how it feels on their body. There is a wikipedia page about this.....it is something really intelligent people struggle with. I will post it if I find it. Wearing something new, your brain is hyper-aware of all the new places the seams are touching your skin. I fall into that category. It is just part of being aware of everything.


I also can sometimes remember things, almost in greater detail than the first time I experience them. I can memorize a page, and go back and examine it later. When your brain is that aware, things like restrictive clothing WILL bug you.


However, if someone were to just explain to me that I need to wear X trendy outfit to fit in, I might do it, if they gave me like 5 iron-clad reasons that I can't really refute. Even at her age, the logic has to be iron-clad. Don't give her BS reasons. I am not willing to do that logic on my own, why I should wear X outfit, because it would be done for others, so "they" have to present me with the argument. So I guess, it goes back to explaining things to your daughter, all the reasons for doing what we do in this strange world we live in. I don't htink it is beyond her ability to fit in, she just needs reasons to experience a little discomfort for it. In the end, she will be much happier. It isn't exactly a joy to be that smart. Balancing it with "normal person" behaviors is better. Others may struggle to ace a test, and she may struggle to wear a cute outfit over ugly baggy clothes, for no apparent reason......same amount of struggle in both cases, but nothing that you shouldn't encourage your kids to do. Hope that helps...I am very rushed right now, as you can likely tell!!!! :)


Sorry if I talked about myself too much. I guess I just really related. Maybe you relate a lot too. But I finally read the last two paragraphs of your post......which I didn't do before, because I wanted to jump in while the baby is napping. :) I would go with the gifted program at school, at least try it. There will be a few kids she can at least see more as peers, closer than in other classes. If a kid is 15 IQ points below her, that is much better for her, than 30, or no interactions. Like I said, she will be happier in the long run, by learning to adapt now. That is my two cents. You know your child best though. She will be learning through osmosis no matter where she is....at home, or at school. She will likely spend a lot of time just observing the interactions of the people in class, vs the actual lesson of the day.....but there is more going on there than what you could provide at home, more complex real-world interactions to observe. I think she'll like it. Just be sure to give her plenty of time at home to do her own thing, on her own level, in addition to school. Such as time to read or journal, or time outdoors to think her own thoughts.

Edited by bobcat - 12/30/13 at 12:48pm
post #11 of 11
Originally Posted by bobcat View Post
 I hesitate to call it depression, because I'm not saying your daughter needs an SSRI (prozac).

Medication isn't the only (or even always the best) way to treat mental problems. If her daughter does show signs of depression- medication should be a last resort, and ignoring it just to avoid medicating is very dangerous. I know I've had clinical depression since 10 (I wasn't able to be diagnosed until 18 as my mom refused to get me help, but I've had the same symptoms), I may have had it far longer than that. Ignoring it did me no good. I don't think shoving me on meds would have helped, either, though.


I didn't read anything that tripped any red flags about depression, but I don't know the child and it's not always easy to see. If she does have depression- it would do a great disservice to her to say she doesn't just because medication isn't the right response.


I overall agree with the rest of your post, though.

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