I'm not sure I can do this post justice with my iPhone as my sole computer but I really do have to try at this point.
Dd will be five in a week. She has always been a little quirky. Extremely outgoing with everyone, a few strange self-stim-ish behaviors, some fears that were wildly overblown (Uh. Bugs and plants??)...
We addressed things as they came up with her ped who always just brushed them off as no serious cause for concern.
But now...i am really and truly concerned. We recently went through a very traumatic move...basically our bad bad landlords were totally negligent and also liars and their malfiecence led to us suddenly being forced to move. DD has been very upset by the suddenness of the move and confused. And to make matters worse we don't really have another home at the moment. We are staying with obliging relatives right now and since dh also lost his job in november...prospects aren't good. We are doing our best to maintain a comforting and loving and secure environment for her but she recognizes the upheaval and it has seriously turned all her "quirks" on overdrive.
Here are my red flags:
- near daily catastrophic meltdowns at the sight of any bug, spider or fly in the house.
- (this is new in the last month, since the move) obsessive focus in getting small hairs or fabric fibers off fingers. If we don't catch her, she will go through periods of the day trying to wash her hands every minute to "get the hairs off." I am alarmed, to say the least. She freaks out if she sees even a tiny little speck of a hair on any of us, especially her little sister and we have only avoided more catastrophic meltdowns by rigorously accommodating this phobia.
- She does. Not. Listen. I have to repeat requests over and over again and often cannot get her attention without yelling (horrible, I know). A lot. Too much yelling. And she doesn't pay attention...to anything. I have been homeschooling but we are having more and more trouble with lessons because she will focus for .5 seconds before getting bored or wanting to give up. I don't want to pressure her with school...if anything we've followed a montessori-ish unschooling approach with everything except reading and writing which I am sort of anxious for her to learn (in the hopes that being able to read and write for herself will expand her world and boost her confidence). She just doesn't focus, doesnt listen and doesn't obey without LOTS of babysitting and harping (which means mommy = bad guy).
- has not stopped the self gratification-y behavior she started at 9 months old that the doctor swore she would grow out of by 4. She does it way less than she used to but she still does it sometimes...
- she loves people and is very engaging with everyone she sees (to an extreme) but she doesn't look people in the eye when she's talking (despite our trying to teach her that) and seems oblivious to the social cues people give (ie busy, not interested, don't understand, etc). The other day we played on the playground and there were lots of kids there. She seemed to play with them, even though a few of them gave her weird looks when she started rattling on about her dreams (see next). She's not really "in her own world" most of the day...she does interact with us...
- the dreams...she is REALLY into her dreams. She sleeps with us right now and several times weve been smacked in the face by her in the midst of a dream. She wakes up daily with vivid recollections of her dreams and when she has a good one, she excitedly tells us she's "unlocked" a new dream. She also draws distinctions between "picture dreams" and "video dreams" - we havent quite figured out what the distinctions are exactly but...they seem important to her.
There are other things but those are the biggees. The ones that make my dh and I look at each other and feel like we're staring down that scary black hole of mental disorders and therapy and "What did we do to her to cause this?" guilt.
Does this sound like anything to you? What? Any advice for treating? Helping her adjust? Avoiding drugs (this is big for us)?
She has a check up in two weeks but I hardly even know where to start.
Pretty overwhelmed right now... :-( I hate this feeling that she's slipping away from me in some way. And I don't know what to do to help her...
Do you think it could just be because of the move? Moving is really stressful for a child. We just moved as well, and my 5 year old had an awful time with it. The meltdowns, the not listening, and he also started having potty accidents. Is it possible that the move is making her "quirks" temporarily worse? I can definitely understand your concern. It really hurt me to see how hard the move was on my son. I tried to make it as easy for him as possible, but he really absorbed all of my stress and was reacting to that, I think.
i think the mental health forum is more for adults with mental health concerns. if i were you, i'd post this over is "special needs" parenting. the ladies there have loads of info regarding spectrum stuff. good luck!