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#1 of 26 Old 07-05-2007, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm wondering more and more if DD has some problems with anxiety that we have not recognized. I really don't know much about anxiety in kids, especially gifted ones. Can we talk about this a little?

DD's issues:

Very controlling and rigid--has definite ideas about how things should go, and loses it when they don't go that way. This extends to things such as language use.

Hates to be wrong or to fail. We cannot get her to dress herself because she will freak out if she can't get her underwear correctly pulled up the first time or her arm through the sleeve the first time. Says she "can't" do a lot of things that she probably can because she remembers that she didn't succeed on the first try.

Gets angry easily; ramps up from 0-10 in an instant.

Weird about the potty--frequently withholds urine for 6+ hours and angrily resists any suggestion that she might have to go. Despite this, she never has (and never has had) accidents, although she pees copiously at night.

Very defiant lately, although this may be a 3yo thing!

ETA: Transitions are a major issue too.

And background, too: major health issues for the past 6 months, including painful tests, daily medication, obvious parental anxiety, and a hospital stay.


Reasons why I wouldn't have considered her anxious:

Very few fears, of anything at all. In fact, I can barely think of a time when she had a typical toddler fear (the only thing I can think of is shots).

Very outgoing. No anxiety about leaving us at all. Never has been clingy. Loves meeting people and going places.

Does not seem to need reassurance from us very often; prefers to handle pain and disappointment independently.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#2 of 26 Old 07-05-2007, 01:20 PM
 
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Well, I hope that other similarities in our children is not leading you to assume your daughter must have anxiety because my son does. This is one of my favorite topics; I may not have much time to respond right now due to dd chatting away with me at the moment, but I will try. And here's a major disclaimer: Any beliefs I state, whether or not prefaced as such, are a direct result of my experiences with ds and are not at all research-based.

As a little one, around age 3, my son began to express extreme fear of death. Mostly, he worried about his death and mine. He worried about how he would take care of himself after I died and obsessively asked me specific questions like: Who will tie my shoes when you die? Who will tell me what time it is when you die? and so on. Also around the same time, he developed a heightened awareness of his body in general;; I'd often see him with his palm pressed to his chest, just "checking to see if it's still beating."

Prior to that, he exhibited many of the traits you list for your daughter: the rigidness, need to control, extreme perfectionism, andd urine withholding (we called him "Steel Bladder" as a joke before we realized the withholding was serios and intentional). But, before the age of 3ish, there were no other obvious signs of "anxiety" as in fears/phobias.

Around age 4, he began to feel frequent urges to urinate and to visit the bathroom compulsively. This child had been completely out of diapers since before age 3 with never an "accident," and had held it ALL DAY, but now had to pee constantly. Long story short, after ruling out physical conditions, we determined this was kind of an OCD behavior, and a therapist told me that the witholding he'd been doing was actually another manifestation of the same issue. Wow, was that ever enlightening.

Anyway...can I come back and fill in the rest of our time-line later? He's almost 7, so there's a ways to go and I need to address the needs of dd (who, btw, is relatively anxiety-free, save the occasional separation anxiety that never, ever plagued ds!) I'll be back...
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#3 of 26 Old 07-05-2007, 01:40 PM
 
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I have a 9 y.o,. who is gifted and anxiety is a major issue. The control issues are huge - her mind is working so fast and is already 10 minutes ahead of reality and someone not following her script really derails her thinking process

Perfectionism is another challenge for her, as are transitions of any kind - a lot of anxiety comes up during those.

I did some reading about parenting anxious and gifted children and that has been a huge help. She is learning to articulate her anxiety and to allow us to support her when the anxiety gets too high - gradually she is learning to manage it herself.

Fortunately she is a very attached child and that helps - it helps me understand where she is coming from in teh super difficult moments and it gives her a strong sense of a home base while she becomes more competent and independent.
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#4 of 26 Old 07-05-2007, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Teachma, I can't say your description of your DS hasn't influenced my thinking here, but I think that's a good thing. We have this nebulous, ever-present sense of a "something" with DD (as you know) and I hadn't really considered the possiblity of anxiety until recently, but I want to keep my mind open. Actually, it's the urine withholding that strikes me the most. It just seems very, uh, uptight, for lack of a better word. You know? I suppose I should just be glad that she doesn't withhold feces.

See, we haven't had anything like those death conversations you mention, although she does ask about death fairly often, usually in the context of her grandfather (who died when she was two). I don't sense fear in the conversations, though she rarely ever vocalizes any fear about anything to me. (I sometimes can get her to say she was scared, but it may be prompting on my part more than reality.)

I think I'm getting confused about the overlap between specific fears/phobias (which I don't think DD has at all) and general, um, uptightness?

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#5 of 26 Old 07-05-2007, 02:56 PM
 
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I suppose I should just be glad that she doesn't withhold feces.
You should! We didn't have issues with this either, at least not to start out with. He regularly pooped on a toilet from age 18 months on, once daily, right before his bath. I though it was kind of strange that he learned control over bowel movements and used the potty 100% of the time for them so young, and so long before he learned to urinate in the potty. I also questioned that he was so "regular." Same exact time every single day with no other bowel movements at all. But, when he was about 4 years old, he woke up one morning and said his tummy hurt. I encouraged him to see if he had to poop, and he started to cry. I soon learned that he felt he couldn't need to poop because it "wasn't night time," and he didn't poop in the mornings. This opened up a new awareness in me, that he had actually been controlling his bowel movements, or at least paying close attention to when they occurred...And honestly, it was only around the age of 5.5 or 6ish that he became willing to poop at other times of the day. Dh and I still give a sideways glance and a smile every once in a while when he declares that he's going to poop and runs off at 10 am to do so...

Okay. So back to the other anxiety stuff. Shortly after the onset of the compulsive urinating, at about 4 years 7 mos. he developed a concern over poison ivy, and specifically the word poison. He started asking me if I was sure X (whatever he had touched) wasn't poison and if I was sure he'd be okay. This led to near constant asking for reassurance about everything, "Are you sure?" or "Do you promise?" or "How do you know?" And that led into the "Mom, I think I touched the bottom of my shoe. Is that okay?" Eventually, he was informing me each time a part of his body came into contact with anything else around the house. And soon, he even started telling me about all the things he had touched while he was at school! : This is about when I sought the help of a play therapist, and we saw an incredible change in just a few months.

However. Ds is still a kid who struggles with anxiety. Sometimes he's worried (for no apparent reason) that he might throw up. Sometimes he's worried that because the teacher used a flashlight for a science experiment, and he looked into it, he might be blind when he wakes up the next day. And, ds is also intense and highly sensitive. Sometimes it's hard for me to tell which, the intensity, the sensitivity or the anxiety, is affecting his actions at a given moment. Take this example from last night.

DS: Do you know that a person's voice sounds different to himself than it does to everyone else?
Me: Yeah, isn't that interesting?
DS: (Eyes welling up) Well then how can you ever know what my voice sounds like to me? (full on crying begins)
Me: Well, I do know of a way that you can hear your voice the way others hear it. If you leave a message on our answering machine and listen to it, you can get a better idea of how you sound to other people.
DS: Well, that is a good idea. (Pause) But I really want you to hear the way I hear my voice. (Crying continues.) What can we do?

He really seems to feel that these ideas are *so* important that he can't get past them. The back-and-forth on an issue like this can last for upwards of an hour! I feel like his sensitivity contributes to the idea feeling important to him and the ocd stands in his way of letting it go...or something...

Anyway, I am sure this isn't what you (or anyone) really wanted from this thread. But in the case that you are interested, it's a nifty little window into the life of my rather challenging child.
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#6 of 26 Old 07-05-2007, 03:00 PM
 
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DS suffers from anxiety, too. Interestingly enough, he was never a clingy child, either. He always seemed very excited about new adventures. I learned that as long as I was there, he was fine. If I left, many times, but not always, he started to wig out. DS would also withhold his urine, but I attributed this to not wanting to break from what he was doing. I'll have to think about that more.
ETA: Transitions are a big problem with us, too. It has s.l.o.w.l.y been getting better.

DS' anxiety peaks when he is asked to perform. He has big time performance anxiety. He doesn't have full fledged meltdowns, but rather he starts using his coping behavior to calm himself down. He'll start to hum, sing, tap, avert his eyes, go into a blank stare, repetitively touch objects or whatever seems to work at that moment. When he was being tested this past fall, the tester left the stopwatch on the table (probably ticking away.....) and he threw it against the wall. He is not an aggressive child normally.

When ds is asked to perform, it means that all eyes are on him and his perfectionistic tendencies are raised full tilt. Just to be clear, we do not ask him to "perform" at home, but he has been asked to at school among other situations out of our immediate control. DS also starts to have a hard time sitting still when he is anxious. Despite being a boy, he really isn't overly wiggly until he is in a situation where he doesn't understand the expectations and then he WILL NOT sit still. Essentially, when ds is anxious, he manifests all sorts of ADHD and OCD types of behaviors. His behaviors are situation specific and go away immediately when he is removed from the situation.

If you haven't read "Freeing Your Child From Anxiety" by Tamar Chansky, I would highly suggest it.

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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#7 of 26 Old 07-05-2007, 03:07 PM
 
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I have a 9 y.o,. who is gifted and anxiety is a major issue. The control issues are huge - her mind is working so fast and is already 10 minutes ahead of reality and someone not following her script really derails her thinking process

Perfectionism is another challenge for her, as are transitions of any kind - a lot of anxiety comes up during those.

I did some reading about parenting anxious and gifted children and that has been a huge help. She is learning to articulate her anxiety and to allow us to support her when the anxiety gets too high - gradually she is learning to manage it herself.

Fortunately she is a very attached child and that helps - it helps me understand where she is coming from in teh super difficult moments and it gives her a strong sense of a home base while she becomes more competent and independent.

OMG, my 10yo dd us JUST like this too! Can you share what you've read to help?
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#8 of 26 Old 07-05-2007, 04:45 PM
 
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If you haven't read "Freeing Your Child From Anxiety" by Tamar Chansky, I would highly suggest it.
Ditto. And, it is really possible for a kid to have an anxiety problem without having a lot of specific phobia type fears.
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#9 of 26 Old 07-05-2007, 04:57 PM
 
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Many gifted kids have anxiety caused by perfectionism. Also it's important to keep in mind that for a gifted child, even more so than for a typical child, there is a hyper awareness about his/her surroundings combined with almost total powerlessness--that could cause anxiety in anyone. DD1 had some of these issues, and I figured out that in order not to be anxious, she really needed to have more control of her environment than she did.
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#10 of 26 Old 07-05-2007, 05:35 PM
 
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Also it's important to keep in mind that for a gifted child, even more so than for a typical child, there is a hyper awareness about his/her surroundings combined with almost total powerlessness--that could cause anxiety in anyone.
This has absolutely been the case for ds. As a matter of fact, his outward expressions of anxiety have substantially subsided since he has become a confident reader and learned to tell time. He used to ask obsessively about whether we were going to be late, but now that his sense of time has developed and he knows how to read a clock, this has lessened tremendously. Which isn't to say that it doesn't affect him any longer, but it doesn't have the same impact on the rest of the family because he can self-monitor. And the reading thing-- he MUST read all print within his field of vision at any given time. I don't know whether he's paranoid about a secret plot against him or something, but he is very uncomfortable with the idea that any information might exist around him without his having access to it. And now that he does have access because he can finally read anything and everything, he seems more relaxed in any environment.
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#11 of 26 Old 07-05-2007, 08:48 PM
 
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A therapist loaned me a book put out by the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto) and I think it was called Parenting Your Anxious Child or something along those lines. At first I was skeptical because I didn't think of dd as particularly anxious - and then I read the chapter on "The Defiant Child" and I was sure they had been spying on our family

When we started responding to her tantrums, rages, and tirades as symptoms of anxiety instead of behaviour/relationship challenges, things mestarted improving almost immediately. We did some travelling last summer, and with each new place we stayed she became a little control freak and flipping out at every member of the family in some really awful ways. It was so hard.

None of our usual GD approaches helped - they only made things escalate. We were getting pretty tempted to ditch GD and then I decided to try responding to her as if she were expressing anxiety and whoosh, the rage deflated, the tears came, the talk about new smells, and what will the sheets feel like and where will we eat tonight and what if I forget where the bathroom is in the middle of the night...... Once we started really supporting her and helping her prepare herself for any transitions she coped so much better.

She has come a long way in the past year. That said, something is up right now because today with her was :

She has always been super attached, almost exclusively to me, although when she is in the mood she will occasionally give dh the time of day She used to wake many times a night becasue a sheet rubbed against her skin and woke her up - she is still super sensitive to all sensory stimulation.

She fits the classic profile in so many ways - but it is still a challenge to know how to support her and help her live well within a family. I love her like crazy
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#12 of 26 Old 07-06-2007, 02:03 AM
 
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We had the withholding of feces here. It was awful and lasted for nearly 6 months (but 100% on the potty since early May!!!). We've also had hair twirling and facial tics, among other things. To the OP, I know you're expecting in February, and we had a huge surge of anxiety-driven behavior after ds#2 was born and for quite a few months after. Things have calmed down a bit, but if there is a stressful situation, they get much worse.

That said ... as I read these entries I see so much of ds#1. He is a big control freak and sometimes a perfectionist. Although he doesn't obsess on death (yet -- I think it is coming), he does obsess on getting hurt or on other family members getting hurt. It bothers him so much that he spends a fair amount of time denying the laws of physics. ("If we have a car accident, Mommy, only the cars will get hurt, not the people.")

Transitions are difficult, and he has a huge temper. I do so some mellowing of both of these things, but only in the last 2 months or so. Since your dd is a few months younger than my ds#1, perhaps you will see some mellowing soon.

I've spent a fair amount of time thinking something is "off" about ds#1 (at least daily). But really, I think it is pure anxiety and frustration that he just doesn't have the life experience to adequately explain to us or even to understand what he's feeling. I have found that even the slightest alteration in eating or sleeping patterns can send him into a flurry of anxious behavior that can take weeks to undo. I would bet your dd's recent medical issues have exacerbated her usual feelings.

I don't know if I've been clear as it is late and I'm exhausted. But I do think gifted kids are more prone to anxiety and depression, as well as other mental illnesses. (I remember reading somewhere that giftedness, autism, OCD, and bipolar disorder tend to run in families.) So it doesn't surprise me that so many of us have seen these behaviors to a varying degree in our kids.
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#13 of 26 Old 07-06-2007, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ironically enough, just after I told you all that DD never has phobias, she refused to go to daycare today because it's water day and she is apparently afraid of the sprinklers. "They might get water in my eyes. What if they get water in my eyes?" It took half an hour of trying to reassure her before we decided she would go, but we would tell her teachers she didn't want to go near the sprinkler. The weird thing is that her teachers said she loves the sprinkler and always goes right in it. : Oh, and last night, after I said she never had accidents, she didn't get her clothes off quite in time and peed on herself before she got onto the potty--MAJOR meltdown. She'd obviously been holding it for hours. Poor kid.

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there is a hyper awareness about his/her surroundings combined with almost total powerlessness--that could cause anxiety in anyone.
This really sounds right. And I think it's true that she is frustrated by not knowing how to do things like read, write, and tell time. She also gets very frustrated when I can't adequately explain things or don't know the answer to something.

Thanks for this thread.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#14 of 26 Old 07-06-2007, 11:14 AM
 
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But I do think gifted kids are more prone to anxiety and depression, as well as other mental illnesses. (I remember reading somewhere that giftedness, autism, OCD, and bipolar disorder tend to run in families.) So it doesn't surprise me that so many of us have seen these behaviors to a varying degree in our kids.
Autism isn't a mental illness; it's a developmental disability. Sorry. Just had to mention that.

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#15 of 26 Old 07-06-2007, 12:18 PM
 
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Autism isn't a mental illness; it's a developmental disability. Sorry. Just had to mention that.

I didn't mean it that way and should've also stated developmental disability with mental illness. Sorry if it came out that way. Insomnia combined with teething 10 month old = incoherency. I meant it more along the lines of there seems to be this "thing" that runs in families that connects these 3 very different divergent states of mental being (for lack of a better phrase). They are certainly not the same and interestingly, can co-exist in the same person. But I find if fascinating that they run in families. I know they exist in my dh's family and I suspect the same in my own (although there are no formal diagnoses of the suspected family members).
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#16 of 26 Old 07-06-2007, 12:46 PM
 
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Very controlling and rigid--has definite ideas about how things should go, and loses it when they don't go that way. This extends to things such as language use.

Hates to be wrong or to fail. We cannot get her to dress herself because she will freak out if she can't get her underwear correctly pulled up the first time or her arm through the sleeve the first time. Says she "can't" do a lot of things that she probably can because she remembers that she didn't succeed on the first try.

Gets angry easily; ramps up from 0-10 in an instant.

Weird about the potty--frequently withholds urine for 6+ hours and angrily resists any suggestion that she might have to go. Despite this, she never has (and never has had) accidents, although she pees copiously at night.

Very defiant lately, although this may be a 3yo thing!

ETA: Transitions are a major issue too.
this could be me describing my 5yo, laurel! last month she asked if she could go out and play with the neighbor...i said, "sure, get your tennis shoes on and go!" she spent an hour tying, retying, and screaming over her shoelace. she was unable to get the laces the exact length and proportion that she felt was necessary. that is just the latest example. sigh.

as a 2.5 - 3.5 yo we had a lot of controlling issues over the potty...she potty trained over night (went from pull ups to panties with ZERO accidents) but started willfully withholding things which of course caused problems.

we have no official diagnosis of "gifted" as yet, but she starts K in the fall, so we'll see. she was one of those 3yos reading books on her own, doing math in her head, etc. i guess i'm just posting a "me too" to say that it seems that this kind of behavior IS kind of prevalent with gifted kids and i definitely feel your pain!

busy mama to four
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#17 of 26 Old 07-06-2007, 01:33 PM
 
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Reasons why I wouldn't have considered her anxious:

Very few fears, of anything at all. In fact, I can barely think of a time when she had a typical toddler fear (the only thing I can think of is shots).

Very outgoing. No anxiety about leaving us at all. Never has been clingy. Loves meeting people and going places.

Does not seem to need reassurance from us very often; prefers to handle pain and disappointment independently.


Oh goodness!! I'm glad I read this thread.
The above describes my oldest EXACTLY. She is also a perfectionist, and also can get highly defiant, and opinionated about what she wants to do. So much of this thread describes her.... I never thought of the possibility of being anxious, but she will fixate on certain ideas...

I wonder if it is a combo of that perfectionism causing anxiety with heightened sensitivity exascerbating the situation. ACH! One time we saw her desperately want to go down a water slide, but she was sooooo afraid, she attempted it like 20 times and only went once.

Ok. I need to find that book, and maybe start approaching her from trying to deal with anxiety and see if that helps any.


Tammy
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#18 of 26 Old 07-06-2007, 07:04 PM
 
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Our ds definitely has anxious tendencies as well - it's part of his overall sensitivities and ability to see/infer things that other people don't. I keep meaning to read the anxiety books, so I'm subbing to this one so I remember.

We were "specially selected" for security screening on our recent flight and we had to go through this machine where they puffed air on us and then analyzed it for chemicals (i.e. explosives). I had to think really fast in my explanation for ds of why we had to go through this machine. Luckily, he was distracted enough about the noise the machine made (it was pretty loud - and loud noises are a phobia of his) to not pursue that! whew!

So far, the Occupational Therapy we've been doing for his sensory stuff and lots of explanations have kept his anxieties manageable. OT has made a huge difference for his fear of loud noises. He actually ENJOYED lighting off fireworks last night (we did it late because we were traveling on the 4th), even the one or two that made noise (we try to buy ones that don't). He made it through a thunderstorm on our trip without a major meltdown (just a minor one).

He did the urine withholding thing at daycare after he was just potty trained (age 3). He would ago ALL day without peeing. He was afraid of the noise the toilets made when flushed, even if they told him he didn't have to flush it. And he was afraid he couldn't turn the water on to wash his hands. Finally they had one teacher spend 4 hours with him in the bathroom until he could pee with her. And she HAD to be there for him to pee. Gradually he expanded to let other teachers be with him, and now it's no big deal (unless it's one of those evil self-flushing toilets).

He's also a perfectionist - he's convinced that if he can't do it on the first try, he can't do it. It's very frustrating for reading right now because he CAN read (1st grade level or so, not advanced, but that's not the point), he just can't read every single word of the stuff that interests him and so he says he can't.

There seems to be a constellation of kids out there with these kinds of traits. Interesting.

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#19 of 26 Old 07-06-2007, 07:06 PM
 
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Ironically enough, just after I told you all that DD never has phobias, she refused to go to daycare today because it's water day and she is apparently afraid of the sprinklers. "They might get water in my eyes. What if they get water in my eyes?" It took half an hour of trying to reassure her before we decided she would go, but we would tell her teachers she didn't want to go near the sprinkler. The weird thing is that her teachers said she loves the sprinkler and always goes right in it. :
Ds is like this too - something I read either about anxiety or sensory stuff (sorry, I'm getting my literatures mixed up here), said that this kind of anxiety is a control thing - if THEY control it, then they know when to expect it and it's OK. But if someone ELSE splashes them, it's unexpected and sends their system for a loop.

And very often it's the THOUGHT rather than the actuality that's the scary part.

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#20 of 26 Old 07-07-2007, 02:03 PM
 
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Ds is like this too - something I read either about anxiety or sensory stuff (sorry, I'm getting my literatures mixed up here), said that this kind of anxiety is a control thing - if THEY control it, then they know when to expect it and it's OK. But if someone ELSE splashes them, it's unexpected and sends their system for a loop.

And very often it's the THOUGHT rather than the actuality that's the scary part.
YUP!!!!
THAT is my 4 year old!!! That was also me.
Tammy
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#21 of 26 Old 07-07-2007, 10:45 PM
 
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The "water in my eyes" is actually something my daughter (not my son, who is usually the more obsessive) worries about often. She also goes to camp where she has the opportunity to play in sprinklers. Her other new concern is accidentally swalliowing sunscreen. She apparently mentions it often to her counselors throughout the morning,"I think maybe I swallowed some a little sunscreen." But, it doesn't stop her from wearing the sunscreen, and she doesn't take the next step my son always would: Will it make me sick? What will happen to me? Will I throw up?

Here's a quick scenario ffrom neddtime this evening. Would any of your children do this? I asked ds to go to bed easly, at 7:30, because I knew he was really tired from a busy day. He asked, "How late can I read?" I said, "Only 8:00 today. I really want you to get a lot of rest tonight." "Only 8," he whined, but went upstairs. About 8:10, he came back down because he "didn't feel right," a common, generalized complaint. Usually means he's got something worrisome on his mind. I told him to get a drink of water and he'd feel better then. He drank, then asked, "Mom, is it okay that I stopped reading at 7:58 instead of 8:00?" I told him, "Of course it's okay. Why wouldn't it be?" He said, "Well, I really was going to read until 8, but I finished Chapter 10 at 7:58 and it didn't make sense to start the next chapter. Are you sure it's okay?" : So, he decided to stop reading 2 minutes earlier than the time he originally wanted to read til (not like I told him he HAD to read until 8 or anything...) and he had anxiety over it. Familiar scenario anyone?
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#22 of 26 Old 07-08-2007, 12:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teachma View Post
The "water in my eyes" is actually something my daughter (not my son, who is usually the more obsessive) worries about often. She also goes to camp where she has the opportunity to play in sprinklers. Her other new concern is accidentally swalliowing sunscreen. She apparently mentions it often to her counselors throughout the morning,"I think maybe I swallowed some a little sunscreen." But, it doesn't stop her from wearing the sunscreen, and she doesn't take the next step my son always would: Will it make me sick? What will happen to me? Will I throw up?

Here's a quick scenario ffrom neddtime this evening. Would any of your children do this? I asked ds to go to bed easly, at 7:30, because I knew he was really tired from a busy day. He asked, "How late can I read?" I said, "Only 8:00 today. I really want you to get a lot of rest tonight." "Only 8," he whined, but went upstairs. About 8:10, he came back down because he "didn't feel right," a common, generalized complaint. Usually means he's got something worrisome on his mind. I told him to get a drink of water and he'd feel better then. He drank, then asked, "Mom, is it okay that I stopped reading at 7:58 instead of 8:00?" I told him, "Of course it's okay. Why wouldn't it be?" He said, "Well, I really was going to read until 8, but I finished Chapter 10 at 7:58 and it didn't make sense to start the next chapter. Are you sure it's okay?" : So, he decided to stop reading 2 minutes earlier than the time he originally wanted to read til (not like I told him he HAD to read until 8 or anything...) and he had anxiety over it. Familiar scenario anyone?
Familiar in a similar kind of way. H often gets upset if we don't go downstairs in the morning at exactly 7:05 a.m. Nevermind what time we actually get up. I can totally see it morphing into what you describe.
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#23 of 26 Old 07-08-2007, 02:45 AM
 
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wow- this is really making me think about some things I never connected with anxiety or giftedness. DD, for about a month, withheld pee for 10 hrs or more at a time (including at night) at age 18 mos. She would only pee (in the floor) when we took off her diaper. we had a follow-up urologist apt (coincidentally) b/c of vesicourital reflux (urine refluxing from bladder to kidneys). So we were at the hospital for many hours. I looked at DH and said, "she hasn't peed in 5 hrs. Should I take off her diaper right here in the exam room?" I did and she immediately peed all over the floor. We cleaned it up and put her diaper back on. poor thing.


The ironic thing is that at age 5.5, she is still strugging with potty training. (as her 27-mo-old sister just potty trained by herself in about a day- no accidents). She holds her pee b/c she can't stop whatever she is working on (can't tolerate interruptions) and then she'll RACE to the bathroom and sometimes not make it. Before age 4, she had accidents b/c she really didn't seem to feel the sensations that told her to go. (again, sensory). She has never been dry at night- we have to use antibiotic ointment regularly to keep the rashy bumps down on her bottom- ped says b/c her gut is colonized, the pee causes bacterial rash?

we have many of the other symptoms mentioned here- extreme rigidity, freak-outs if things dont' happen the way she thinks they should, if she is not understood, if someone doesn't listen to her or follow her plan, if she is interrupted, if the tower she is building falls apart, if there is a deviation from the agreed-upon plan or any perceived injustice from her point of view.

alot of her phobias we have connected with the sensory issues- bathtub phobia (shaking, turning blue, abject terror) at age 2 after once hearing a loud noise while in the tub, swings (never got on one and would scream in terror for my life if I walked toward one, "Mama, NOOOO!" (conquered this fear in OT at age 3- now loves them), doorknobs (used to ask me to cover them before she would walk by them- said they looked like noses on a face), dust bunnies (sensory- can never tell which way they will go), mylar balloons when she was younger (b/c they were unpredictable?), bath or sink faucets (you tell me), pool "jets" (the place where the water comes into the pool) (this one she recently was able to tell me is b/c she hates the way the water feels on her skin as it shoots out), dogs (b/c she is afraid they will "lick my clothes"- this is a current one. I characterize these fears as phobias b/c the reaction to even the possibility of coming into contact with these things brings on such an intense fear reaction. They come and go and cycle in and out and fade at times of lower stress.

"Gets angry easily; ramps up from 0-10 in an instant."

ditto for this and the defiance

back to listening,
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#24 of 26 Old 07-08-2007, 02:52 AM
 
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forgot to mention- we had some concern about seizure activity when DD was very young. DD had hand tremors as a baby, then staring spells, sound prolongation type studdering, echolalia, spoke in a sing-songy voice, etc etc. Saw Ped. neurologist, had 2 EEG's- both normal (though as I understand it, they have to basically have a seizure during the EEG to get a positive result).

anyway, this neurologist/phychiatrist told me that DD had the beginnings of OCD!!! She was 3!!! This was b/c of her reacting fearfully to toys that moved and repeatedly asking him to go get a toy that she'd played with in his office 6 mos earlier and not being able to move past it or let it go. No one else we consulted concurred though some agreed that we might end up with some anxiety disorder type dx eventually.

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#25 of 26 Old 07-08-2007, 07:42 AM
 
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My DS has some anxiety, and I worry about him because I have OCD. (I worry because I suffer from OCD, and I worry because I fear he might have OCD )

He tends not to be too outspoken about his feelings, so for a long time, I doubted he was having problems. When I began openly communicating with him about what was difficult for him, he clearly stated he had a lot of anxiety.

What I've done is talk with him a lot--he's very open about his emotions when given the opportunity--and continue letting him know that if he ever feels he needs additional help, he can come to us without fear of shame.

Also, as much as possible, we try to make our home his "soft place to fall," where he is not treated poorly because he is not just like everyone else.
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#26 of 26 Old 07-08-2007, 01:39 PM
 
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The FRIENDS program is great...

http://www.friendsinfo.net/

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FRIENDS is the only childhood anxiety prevention and treatment program acknowledged by the World Health Organization for its more than 12 years of comprehensive validation and assessment across several countries and languages using rigorous randomised control studies.In simple terms, this research says that up to 80% of children showing signs of an anxiety disorder no longer display that disorder after completing the program. This effect has been confirmed at up to 6 years posttreatment.
Since I've started using some of the strategies from FRIENDS I've seen some relief for both kids. And ever since I starting viewing and reacting to "behaviour" as emotion expressed rather than behaviour, the blow outs have lessened overall. DD can still lose it with the best of them, but it's generally resolved sooner. And with DS I also work to manage his sensory load, and that helps a lot.

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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