Join Date: May 2005
Location: Upstate NY
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Being a mom is HARD. To not even have an inch of your own personal space or a minute of privacy in the bathroom can lead to burnout and resentment IMO. I would shut that down today. I babysat for a family whose oldest (8 years old) was like that. Wanted to be right next to me all the time. Wanted to come in the bathroom with me. Seemed to be scared if she wasn't RIGHT with the adult in charge. I don't see how allowing that is a healthy or productive thing for HER or anyone else. So I gently extended the time and space. Starting with the bathroom! She'd sit right outside the locked door and I'd talk to her and play a game - I'd guess how many fingers she was holding up then she'd put them under the door so I could see if I was right. When she was comfortable with that, I'd have her race from the bathroom door to her bedroom door and back - could I finish in one trip or two trips or three? We made up games like that and she was fine without me next to her in very short order. To be afraid in your own house would be awful, but she quickly became very comfortable being anywhere in the house without me.
After reading all the posts on this thread, I think I would take her to a developmental pediatrician or a psychologist who has experience with varied DXs like ASDs and ODD. I teach 5 and 6 year olds with ASDs and these are ALL behaviors we work on every day:
- misunderstanding social situations
- over policing peer interactions (you gave an example of mediating)
- "manipulation" that is done in a different way than normal kid manipulation
- explosive episodes which look just like the spiraling or melting you describe
- inability to come out of a melt down
- wanting to fix something that is unfixable (i.e. wishing you had never cut the potato) and not being able to let that go
There's so many things you can do to help these behaviors-- social stories, sensory diets, work with the vestibular system, heavy/hard physical "work," tactile play, RDI, power cards (I love these), voice scales and emotion scales, checklists, schedules, timers, etc.
If you want more info abou any of those just let me know.
It's hard, really hard being with an explosive child. And I only have to do it 8 hours a day! I can imagine how hard it is all day long. There ARE strategies that work though.