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Helping the introverted preschooler...

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
My dd2 is very introverted and highly sensitive (well, from my informal diagnosis from Elain Aron's book the Highly Sensitive Child).

She talks and sings and is goofy at home. She's been in preschool for 5 months now and she still is very similar to how she was in the beginning (well, except she doesn't have meltdowns and tantrums when she comes home anymore - I've learned to feed her well before hand, send a substantial snack, and feed her almost as soon as we walk in the door). But she's an observer, and doesn't participate much. She is bright and does her papers just fine, but she won't sing or dance with the other children. She rarely talks (I'm not even sure she actually has said much to the teachers). The ratio is 9 students per 1 teacher, and there are two classes that share the same room (separated slightly by a folding wall). The two classes join for group activities (like the songs and free play). But dd2 won't participate. I observed her early in the year and she was so serious looking, wouldn't crack a smile, until she saw me, then relaxed a bit and smiled. Then she went right back to not smiling and doing her work.

She knows her shapes and colors and they checked by having her color shapes the colors they specified (and since she's 4 so that doesn't surprise me). She writes her own name, colors her papers, and does her artwork without a problem). When it came time to learn her phone number, she showed me how she told them. She used her fingers to show the numbers of her phone number instead of telling them verbally. I don't know if they've asked her what her first and last name is, but I have no idea if she's said what it is (she knows it, and just told me it a minute ago, but I doubt she's told them when asked at school).

She finally interacts a bit with the other kids during free play, but she didn't at first.

Because she's in with the three year old group (because of a late in the year birthday), she's going to have an extra year to get acclimated to being in school. Fortunately she is in a very accepting environment. The teachers and director seem to be very supportive of all the children, and is very patient with her.

But, on the other hand, I worry that she will not be outgrowing this reticence anytime in the near future. I worry that some day she will not have such understanding teachers and she will be judged harshly and treated unkindly.

I had tried to get her evaluated at a state-run preschool early intervention program, before the preschool year started (not because I knew she was introverted at the time, but because she would have multiple excessive meltdowns and temper tantrums). We went to the evaluation and she just wouldn't participate. So they couldn't evaluate. They suggested I either take a wait and see approach or come back to them if she wasn't improving, or find a private specialist.

Has anyone had any similar experiences with a very introverted preschooler? Have you been able to get any kind of help to help them? Did they eventually find their voice at school? Have they not found their voice and have been treated badly by the teacher for lack of verbal participation? She's very cooperative otherwise, and incredibly attentive, but just not verbal in school. In fact, occasionally they see her speak outside of school (there is one boy we live next to that is her friend and they recently observed her chatting up a storm with him. The teacher was flabbergasted to hear her voice).

I don't think she has learning disabilities. I think she is just extremely introverted and I don't want to push her beyond her personal limits (just yet). Well, I've tried, but she is very determined. But I do want to help her communicate in the school setting. At some point it will be required of her.

How can I help her? Any btdt stories?

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 58
Is the shyness affecting her quality of life? Is she unhappy? Shyness is not necessarily a bad thing.
If it were affecting her quality of life, then I'd say start by pursuing it with her daycare teachers. See what their opinion is.
post #3 of 58
kmc, my dd1 had more than her share of struggles at preschool. The first thing I would suggest would be to set up outside playdates with a classmate. A lot of kids do a lot better one on one than they do in a group enviroment. Pick whichever kid she seems to like the most who would be gentle and willing to play and ask the parent. You can explain the situation to the parent, too. When she has that familiarity with a classmate outside of class time that can act as an ice-breaker for her. This has been the single most important thing in helping dd1 with her sensitivities even though sometimes it's a little difficult for me to approach the other parents. Play on their sympathies if you have to. It really can help a lot even if the kids don't really play together very much at the playdate. Just having that extra familiarity can go a long way. My dds both really enjoy going over to other kids' houses, but ymmv and she might prefer to host.

Two other things for you — there's a tribe for highly sensitive children although I don't think anyone has posted to it for awhile. It might be helpful to read through. You'll see quite a few old posts from me there. Here's a link — http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=196898 .

The other thing is I really like Mary Sheedy Kurcinka's books and in particular, "Kids, Parents and Power Struggles", although I'm not fond of the title. It has a whole lot in there about different temperaments and not really that much about power struggles. It's about recognizing different needs for different temperaments within the family and elsewhere. I was able to find my dd in there when so many other parenting books seemed one-size-fits-all, even "The Highly Sensitive Child" — it's kinda one-size-fits-all-highly-sensitives and dd1 has some aspects of that kind of sensitivity and some aspects of spiritedness and some aspects of sensory issues, but I could find her in all her quirks in KPP. It's a great read!
post #4 of 58
Thread Starter 
Wow, 34 pages on that highly sensitive child tribe thread. Thanks so much for that link, beanma. I have so much I'll be reading.

Ha, I think I have KPP book on my bookshelf. One of my "to read" books when I get the chance. I will start reading one book, end up losing it somewhere in the house, then forget I even have it. Or we get busy doing other things, and reading books is not something I really make enough of a priority. I need to change that. I need to start taking notes on them - and take notes on the computer, I think. Because when I write stuff down in notebooks, I inevitably misplace the notebook (or the kids use it for scribbling in). I really wish I could just download all the information in them without having to actually spend the time to do it manually.

I have the phone # of one of her classmates, and I was planning on giving her a call, but so far, my kids have been sick with one thing after another for the past 8 weeks, so that hasn't helped. I'm going to try and see if I can't arrange something soon.

Come to think of it, I also know one of the other moms of her classmates - she was my MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers) group leader. I think I can probably dig up her phone # too. But again, I have to have some healthy kids before I feel right about inviting them over to the house. But I think, it would be doable in the next few weeks.

Hopefully I will be able to get a playdate or two in.
post #5 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by leafylady View Post
Is the shyness affecting her quality of life? Is she unhappy? Shyness is not necessarily a bad thing.
If it were affecting her quality of life, then I'd say start by pursuing it with her daycare teachers. See what their opinion is.
She has less issue now than she did before, but I know one of the little boys' mother has told me that he wants to talk more to my dd, but she doesn't talk to him. I've seen her point blank ignore this little boy when I was waiting once for the teacher, and he seemed to genuinely want to talk with her, but she just kept looking away from him. He looked sad a minute, gave up trying, then went off to find someone else to talk to.

But aside from the friendship angle, I worry more about if she gets a teacher who doesn't understand how she works. They test the children verbally about what their name and phone number is. I don't know how she responded when asked about her name (it wouldn't surprise me if she said nothing). I do know that she used her fingers to show her phone number. I don't know if that's how all the kids did it, but I don't think so. Another mother told me her son told them verbally what their phone number is.

All she needs to do is get one unsympathetic teacher and it could negatively impact her for a long time, and it could crush her to the point where she hates her school experience. She's that sensitive.

At any rate, I'm worried more about that than about the friendship thing. She's good with the neighborhood kids, just the school friends and the 2 teachers she won't really talk to, even though she's supposed to sometimes.
Fortunately for now, they are understanding and there is no consequences for not participating in group activities.
post #6 of 58
Hey everybody, Miss Information PM'd me because she had seen my article about having been a shy child. I hadn't been looking at this forum so hadn't seen the thread. I'm going to put most of my reply here rather than PM in case it might be helpful to other moms too.

Shyness and introversion are not the same thing. Here's an article on shyness with some good advice about social situations. Important point: Introverts prefer solitary to social activities, but do not fear social encounters like shy people do. "If you see two people standing by a wall at a party," Carducci says, "the introvert is there because he wants to be. The shy person is there because he feels like he has to be." Read that and Caring for Your Introvert and see which one sounds more like your daughter. (I added these and a couple more links to the bottom of my article.) Does she need a lot of alone time at home? Does she talk much about other people and their activities, or is she more "living in her own world"?

Based on my own experiences at school, I think that doing well in written work and following instructions will make teachers aware that she is learning. Expect to hear some concern from teachers if she doesn't speak when they ask her to. (I generally did respond verbally when that was expected of me, unless I was put in a really really difficult spot, so I don't know what would have happened if I had refused to speak at all.) It sounds like she has a good environment for "warming up" to school, and after another year there she may make a lot more progress than you expect. Yes, probably someday she will have a teacher who just doesn't understand and treats her poorly. When that happens, you will cuddle your daughter on your lap and practice active listening, and then you will schedule a conference with the teacher and (instead of ripping her to shreds, as you will want to do) you'll patiently explain that the harsh approach is not necessary to motivate your child and give concrete suggestions about how to work with her.

I like the idea of setting up one-on-one playdates (once your kids are healthy!) with kids who interest your daughter. That worked well for me.

Quote:
I know one of the little boys' mother has told me that he wants to talk more to my dd, but she doesn't talk to him. I've seen her point blank ignore this little boy when I was waiting once for the teacher, and he seemed to genuinely want to talk with her, but she just kept looking away from him.
Did you talk with her about this? Maybe there is something about him specifically that bothers her, and you could help her work through it. Maybe he's happened to approach her when she was preoccupied with something else, and she didn't realize she was hurting his feelings by not responding.

It's not so bad being an observer. All through preschool and elementary school, I rarely did anything on the playground but walk around observing the other kids. I grew up to become a developmental psychologist.
post #7 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnviroBecca View Post
Hey everybody, Miss Information PM'd me because she had seen my article about having been a shy child. I hadn't been looking at this forum so hadn't seen the thread. I'm going to put most of my reply here rather than PM in case it might be helpful to other moms too.

Shyness and introversion are not the same thing. Here's an article on shyness with some good advice about social situations. Important point: Introverts prefer solitary to social activities, but do not fear social encounters like shy people do. "If you see two people standing by a wall at a party," Carducci says, "the introvert is there because he wants to be. The shy person is there because he feels like he has to be." Read that and Caring for Your Introvert and see which one sounds more like your daughter. (I added these and a couple more links to the bottom of my article.) Does she need a lot of alone time at home? Does she talk much about other people and their activities, or is she more "living in her own world"?

Based on my own experiences at school, I think that doing well in written work and following instructions will make teachers aware that she is learning. Expect to hear some concern from teachers if she doesn't speak when they ask her to. (I generally did respond verbally when that was expected of me, unless I was put in a really really difficult spot, so I don't know what would have happened if I had refused to speak at all.) It sounds like she has a good environment for "warming up" to school, and after another year there she may make a lot more progress than you expect. Yes, probably someday she will have a teacher who just doesn't understand and treats her poorly. When that happens, you will cuddle your daughter on your lap and practice active listening, and then you will schedule a conference with the teacher and (instead of ripping her to shreds, as you will want to do) you'll patiently explain that the harsh approach is not necessary to motivate your child and give concrete suggestions about how to work with her.

I like the idea of setting up one-on-one playdates (once your kids are healthy!) with kids who interest your daughter. That worked well for me.

Did you talk with her about this? Maybe there is something about him specifically that bothers her, and you could help her work through it. Maybe he's happened to approach her when she was preoccupied with something else, and she didn't realize she was hurting his feelings by not responding.

It's not so bad being an observer. All through preschool and elementary school, I rarely did anything on the playground but walk around observing the other kids. I grew up to become a developmental psychologist.
Wow - thank you so kindly for responding with some good information. I will check out those links. I had asked her at the time why she didn't talk to the boy. She told me and still tells me it's because she's "shy". I made the mistake of telling people when she was younger that she was shy, so I think she's internalized the label, even though I've stopped calling her shy to other people. That's the answer she always gives when she's asked why she doesn't talk much.

I know she isn't shy in other situations - like at home and with the neighborhood kids that she knows and is familiar with. But I do know she's very sensitive, and when kids (even her own sisters) don't want to play with her, she takes it very much to heart, is very sad and will usually cry, or alternately, she'll get mad and start getting grouchy. But only when she's playing at home. She doesn't have much of any expression at school - like when she tries so hard not to even crack a smile.

If you are a developmental psychologist, do you think it would be advisable to seek some sort of evaluation for her? I did try to get her screened at a public school system run early intervention program, just to see why she was having the spectacular meltdowns she was having and I had no experience with. She couldn't be evaluated because she wouldn't participate. She did one thing - point to a letter or shape or something, but she wouldn't respond during the other testing. She quietly went with all the testers at each station, and she seemed like she was okay, but when I talked to the coordinator about her eval, she said she didn't participate and therefore couldn't be tested. They said I could try and pursue more privately, or I could wait and see how preschool turns out.

I have lots of book resources, but I sometimes would rather some expert say, well this is your dd and this is what we think and here's the things you need to do to help her. Because all I feel I'm doing is trying to piece things together and not sure if I'm doing it right, and I'm not learning these fast enough.

I've gone down a wrong path or two and it's kind of frustrating to be guessing at this.
post #8 of 58
I am unclear as to why you want to put her in an early intervention program. You don't indicate that she is suffering on the academic side or that she has any emotional problems. She is just an introvert (or possibly just plain shy). There is nothing wrong with either of those things, certainly nothing that requires professional intervention.

I would simply find a school that fits her personality rather than trying to get her personality to fit the school. Not all children (heck, not all people) enjoy doing group activities. It sounds like she would do really well in a Montessori program, for example, or some other school that uses developmental pedagogy focusing on individual rather than group activities.

Incidentally, just to underline the fact that shyness and introversion really are two different things, my DD is extremly shy BUT also an EXTRAVERT. She cowers behind me in new situations but once she is comfortable in a group, she participates big time.
post #9 of 58
I prefer saying "you are feeling shy" to "you are shy". She seems comfortable with the word as a way to let you know what's going on with her, so I would just subtly correct the usage:

dd: I didn't talk to him 'cause I'm shy.

mom: Oh, you were feeling shy? Well, sometimes you do feel shy and don't want to talk, but sometimes you just talk our ears off, don't you?

Let her know that she can feel shy and it's okay, but she can feel talkative or outgoing (at home, with grandma, etc) and that's okay, too. Sometimes we're happy, sometimes we're sad, sometimes we're silly, sometimes we're mad, etc...
post #10 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanGoddess View Post
I am unclear as to why you want to put her in an early intervention program. You don't indicate that she is suffering on the academic side or that she has any emotional problems. She is just an introvert (or possibly just plain shy). There is nothing wrong with either of those things, certainly nothing that requires professional intervention.

I would simply find a school that fits her personality rather than trying to get her personality to fit the school. Not all children (heck, not all people) enjoy doing group activities. It sounds like she would do really well in a Montessori program, for example, or some other school that uses developmental pedagogy focusing on individual rather than group activities.

Incidentally, just to underline the fact that shyness and introversion really are two different things, my DD is extremly shy BUT also an EXTRAVERT. She cowers behind me in new situations but once she is comfortable in a group, she participates big time.
Oh, sorry about not clarifying. I don't want to put her in an early intervention program - she's actually in every other aspect besides the emotional one developmentally ahead. I just wanted to know what I was dealing with. I wanted someone to tell me this is why she's acting the way she does and did when things were really bad.

Let me tell you why I wanted her to be evaluated by someone. She would have these really intense meltdowns when she was 3 - about 3 or 4 of them got so severe that she actually looked like she was almost feral. One time she was so upset that she started salivating at the mouth a lot, and her eyes looked a bit wild. When I went close to her to hold her, she grunted and growled, and then when I started to leave the room, she grunted and wailed. Then I just sat on her bed, waited a minute, and then just decided to hold her anyway tightly until her body relaxed.

Another time, I videotaped her (because no one, not even my dh ever knew the intensity of her tantrums/meltdowns) and she got so angry at me that she started hitting me and tried to bite me.

The final straw came when we walked two blocks to her sister's preschool in the fall of 06. It was a beautiful day, I took the baby in the stroller, and my older two walked. But dd2 was really upset about walking to school, and kept asking me to pick her up and carry her. Since I only had the stroller, I couldn't carry her and push the stroller at the same time (it was one of those big honkin' ones, and my oldest never could push it straight). Anyway, by the time we got to the preschool, dd2 was a mess. She was actually crying and screaming by the time we got to school, and this time she didn't care who saw her (normally she acted better in public). This was the biggest tantrum/meltdown in public. I got the recommendation for the Early Intervention from the preschool. When we started to leave and she wailed even louder. I ended up picking her up, trying to push the stroller with her a little bit, put her down when my arms got tired and rested, and picked her up again. It helped her a bit, but it took about 3 times as long to get home (but at least there was time to take, not like it was on the way to school).

She has gotten better since then, but still, she objects the loudest about anything that makes her unhappy, she easily gets upset around the neighborhood kids or her sisters if they didn't play what she wanted to play , she still has a lot of trouble accepting disappointment, she thinks everyone laughs at her to be mean (even when she does silly stuff and we are laughing at what she does just as we do to any of our kids when they do cute things). She digs in her heels when she feels forced to do anything (I try to use playful parenting when she's like that). And she's a perfectionist. If her art doesn't go the way she wants to sometimes, she gets really upset about it. The other day, she wouldn't even let me help her fix it. She just cried for about 10 minutes and was inconsolable until she cried it out.

To an outsider looking in (like my mother and one of my sisters) she looks like she's a brat. If I adopt that view (and sometimes I had), then it puts me really at odds with her. It makes me not like her very much and we engage in a power struggle. However, if I reframe her behavior, and I look at it from the POV that she's a highly sensitive child who's not really capable of emotional self-regulation, then I have a lot more empathy for her. It's really not always easy though. Because I still slip into the mindset sometimes that she's just being obstinate to make my day hard. But I'm working on that, though it's been slow going because I have three little ones to juggle and I have had some of my own issues going on.

So, long story short, I'm working on connecting with her more and learning more about her so that I can help her and we can have a better relationship and I'm thinking of the future and trying to find out what I can do now to set the stage for success on the emotional front at school and life in general. To help her become resilient to the stresses of life (from teachers, from peers,etc).

Clear as mud?

At any rate, you are possibly right about finding a different school, however, I think there's only one M school in the area, and I'm thinking it is going to be expensive (it's in one of the more affluent towns around me). And she may have a problem with not going to the same school her sister is (she tends to want whatever big sister has).

Right now, I do a lot of montessori sensory and practical life things with her at home, but I never really thought about actually putting her in a M school. Maybe it's something I can at least look into. I have 1.5 years yet before I have to make a decision.
post #11 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanma View Post
I prefer saying "you are feeling shy" to "you are shy". She seems comfortable with the word as a way to let you know what's going on with her, so I would just subtly correct the usage:

dd: I didn't talk to him 'cause I'm shy.

mom: Oh, you were feeling shy? Well, sometimes you do feel shy and don't want to talk, but sometimes you just talk our ears off, don't you?

Let her know that she can feel shy and it's okay, but she can feel talkative or outgoing (at home, with grandma, etc) and that's okay, too. Sometimes we're happy, sometimes we're sad, sometimes we're silly, sometimes we're mad, etc...
I will definitely have to use this script because it sure makes a lot more sense to say it that way to validate the feeling without labeling the child.
post #12 of 58
All of what you describe sounds within the realm of normal to me. Rather than "get her evaluated", I think you should work on "finding help for us to get along together and at school." Look for a family therapist who can meet with both of you (or the whole family) and help you learn effective tactics for coping with your daughter's behavior while also helping her learn more effective ways to express her feelings and to feel safe in public.
post #13 of 58
Quote:
Right now, I do a lot of montessori sensory and practical life things with her at home, but I never really thought about actually putting her in a M school. Maybe it's something I can at least look into. I have 1.5 years yet before I have to make a decision
.

Can't write much now but just wanted to say that Montessori starts at age three and is a three-year cycle.
post #14 of 58
I don't usually visit this forum, but saw the title from the new posts page...

This has been a really useful thread in regards to my dd. I think she is definitely an introvert and I have always thought there is a difference between introversion and shyness (people always label her as shy, but I disagree) - now I can with confidence let them know that it is in fact introversion if I feel the need to explain what they see.

My ds is an extrovert (I'm a chatty introvert who likes one on one or two situations) so it's interesting getting the right balance for us all.

OP, I relate to what you say that if you start seeing your dd as a brat in relation to others opinions it starts to really work against the entire relationship and your ability to help your dd (I'm reflecting on myself here!). I also try and approach it from a place of connecting with her and need to ignore others comments (sometimes open and rude comments too around me (had one the other day that made me ).
post #15 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnviroBecca View Post
All of what you describe sounds within the realm of normal to me. Rather than "get her evaluated", I think you should work on "finding help for us to get along together and at school." Look for a family therapist who can meet with both of you (or the whole family) and help you learn effective tactics for coping with your daughter's behavior while also helping her learn more effective ways to express her feelings and to feel safe in public.
Normal? Maybe, but not one of my sisters kids, not any of my friends children, not my other children, nor any of my siblings (and I have 4) acted this way about anything. She is incredibly INTENSE...LOUD...NEGATIVE...DEMANDING...PERSISTENT ...
but at the same time, can be incredibly cuddly and very empathic.

Strong reactions from others wound her deeply. Even just being firm or raising our voices or telling her she did something wrong or hurtful will end up making her run from the room in tears.

She is just not emotionally resilient right now. She doesn't have true SPD, but she would constantly tell me things were too loud, and water would bother her when she had to wash her hands or if it got on her clothes. That has lessened somewhat.

I think she's incredibly introverted, she's incredibly sensitive, and she's also very hard to handle. It would be a 60-40 chance she'd wake up either crabby or peaceful. And often she would have gotten locked into her emotional state.

Right now, most times, she wouldn't use her words to communicate her needs (and she was quite capable of it, because she's been speaking in complete sentences since age 2).

Even now, she'll often grunt and point because it's too much of an effort for her to speak. She often wants to be babied, and only recently has been wiping herself when toileting.

She's teetering on a meltdown right now because I'm not addressing her needs, she's at a puddle on the floor crying because I'm not jumping up to get her fish crackers. Well, technically there are fish crackers in a bowl, but she doesn't want those crackers, she wants her own crackers.

So, while to some it may be normal. I don't think it's very normal. My 2.5 year old can tolerate a small wait better than my 4 year old can.

It's incredibly hard to put up with. Incredibly. I've been dealing with this for about 3 years now, and I get very tired of it. She's the one that honestly makes me dislike mothering the most. I get very little joy out of listening to her endless voicing of unhappiness at the state of her life. I have 2 other children who have needs to, but she manages to make hers the most known to everyone.

That's why I look for answers and help. Because it's that, or... well I don't want to think about the or. I've wanted to run away from mothering because of dealing with this. Seriously. Walk away for good and find a new life without kids. Not a good situation for either of us.

Now I have to deal with the meltdown she's having because she dropped her fish crackers on the floor.
post #16 of 58
Ok i have now read your full explanation and I get it. It sounds like she is incredibly sensitive and is indeed, as you put it I think, incapable of "emotional self-regulation".

I think you really do need to help her through this because she will have a very hard time in life if this is not nipped in the bud. Not only will she be very disappointed all the time but no one will like her. Now that I have read the whole thing, I would actually KEEP her in a play-based, group environment at school because I think that she could use as much group interaction as possible.

I would not put her in anything like Early Intervention because it does not sound like she needs help academically or with motor skills or anything like that but I would definitely get her some counseling with a good child counsellor or child psychologist to help her deal with her emotions when things don't go her way.

Hope this helps and good luck!
post #17 of 58
go get KPPS off the shelf. She's in there! Your dd sounds a lot like my dd1. I'll be back later to say more, but I've got to get her off to school...
post #18 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanGoddess View Post
Ok i have now read your full explanation and I get it. It sounds like she is incredibly sensitive and is indeed, as you put it I think, incapable of "emotional self-regulation".

I think you really do need to help her through this because she will have a very hard time in life if this is not nipped in the bud. Not only will she be very disappointed all the time but no one will like her. Now that I have read the whole thing, I would actually KEEP her in a play-based, group environment at school because I think that she could use as much group interaction as possible.

I would not put her in anything like Early Intervention because it does not sound like she needs help academically or with motor skills or anything like that but I would definitely get her some counseling with a good child counsellor or child psychologist to help her deal with her emotions when things don't go her way.

Hope this helps and good luck!
Whew. You can't know how relieved I am to hear you say this. I love her so much and just want to help her, at the same time, it's so hard because my own parents were very insensitive and really didn't approve of me having any kind of emotional response. I was often sent away and not dealt with. And my eldest dd, well, she really is more even keel, more balanced. She never had these kinds of behaviors, so I really have little experience with these extreme reactions to things. I've been AP since my first, but have since realized that just being AP doesn't automatically equip you to handle every challenge you come across.

What typically works for dd1, and dd3, just doesn't for dd2. So I'm having to really research behavior. Even though I'm sensitive myself, trying to teach her things I'm just understanding now is really difficult. I understand her, but I'm not always helping her in the right way (sometimes simply because I don't plan very well, and other times because I have 2 other children I have to juggle).

I'm working on it, and I've started with the KPP book. I've typed out notes from the first 3 or 4 chapters. I've printed it out for dh too, because even though overall he's a good dad, he (like me), still reacts without thinking sometimes, and makes things worse.

Sometimes I can't believe how this isn't second nature to me, that I have to work so hard at it. But I think that's because it doesn't take much to meet my other two children's needs. Dd1 and dd3 just need a little extra connection, and things are made okay in their minds and they go off and resume playing or whatever. But with dd2, it's like the end of the world sometimes. Even when we attempt to help or fix things, it's not okay in her mind.

I was hoping that school would help give her some confidence, and she'd have some positive experiences there that would help to give her esteem a boost, but that has been slow in coming. She enjoys it enough, and wants to go, but still, she's not blossoming like I'd hoped she would have. I was hoping that having something of her own to look forward to would help her out in other areas. But it's not been quite that way.

I probably should go through some of the posts I've made about her on another message board, and compile them to get a complete picture of her. If I do take her to a psychologist, at least I'd have a pretty accurate history of some of her episodes. I don't want to find out what's "wrong" with her or to medicate her. I want to find out exactly who she is so I can help her.

That's the only reason why I went to the Early Intervention Screening. I just wanted someone to either tell me if there was something I was missing, or that she was quite normal and her behavior was typical and that things would be fine. But I didn't expect her to not participate at all. I half expected her to actually pass with flying colors, and them to say she was perfectly fine and that she was just a little immature but she'd grow out of it. I wasn't expecting them to tell me she refused to participate. That doesn't happen that often during screening. I know this because I asked the counselor right there. I asked her if it was "normal" for a child to not be responsive at all to prompting. She said, "well, no, not really. We usually can get them to do something". But then again, it was a screening with other children. She wasn't the only one that day. They had to move along the children to each station, so I'm sure they didn't have time to really let her warm up to the exercises.

On a side note, this is affecting her life in other ways too. She also wouldn't let the dentist check her teeth for her first appt. Even though I went first, and her older sister went next and she watched both of us. She wouldn't let him near her mouth when I sat her on my lap.

Anyway, thanks for helping me work through this. I'm going to start with KPP and work my way through the other books I have.
post #19 of 58
Do you think she could be a perfectionist? Refusing to participate because she's afraid of making a mistake?
post #20 of 58
Quote:
I probably should go through some of the posts I've made about her on another message board, and compile them to get a complete picture of her. If I do take her to a psychologist, at least I'd have a pretty accurate history of some of her episodes. I don't want to find out what's "wrong" with her or to medicate her. I want to find out exactly who she is so I can help her.
Psychologists and counsellors cannot medicate. Only psychiatrists can do that and I would not go down that road.

Again, from reading your posts, EI is not at all what she needs. She just needs counselling.
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