very worried about my daughter.(44 Posts)
My dd has just turend six.She was having big problems in year one,deeply unhappy and increasingly anxious,although for a long time she had been happy in school.In the end her anxiety got so extreme that we removed her from school (three weeks ago) and intend to home-ed for a while at least.
She seemed to get worse initially when she left school,she had developed a nervous tic,and that got worse,along with repeating a little worried phrase.She has been getting generally very hyper.Then she had a slight improvement,more chatty,more noisy and seemed on an upward trend.She's had blood tests done (no results yet).
But today she was rather worse again,a lot of tics,hyper,unable to keep still at all,worrying about all sorts of small fears (spiders etc)and tbh I am really very worried.Wasn't sure whether to post in health or behaviour even.She really is a changed child,she was always very confident and outgoing,and sunny.Now she is super anxious,hyper,unable to answer direct questions or to make decisions.She is more fearful and not herself at all.
She is sleeping fine and eating,although she looks thinner (she is very thin anyway and has grown).
She is an extremely bright child,and she is still funny,and loving,but just very different.I don't know what to think or how to proceed now.
Sorry for typos,am v. stressed ,and rubbish at typing at the best of times.
What was it about school that upset her so much? What did the school say and how did they try to help?
How worrying for you, I was a very anxious child and so sympathise. Hopefully someone will be along with more experience of dealing with this.
Assuming you've seen the GP because of the tests, what did they say? Any suggestion of a referral to a child psychologist?
That sounds worrying. WOuld your local LEA offer any support, from an ed psyche or suchlike?
I can't say I have loads of wider experience than myself but I was like this as a child, except for the hyper bit. I was introverted but extremely anxious and fretful, very thin, looked unwell frankly, lots of tics and 'habits'. OCD into puberty... very bright at school except for mathematically, extreme 'thinker'.
Anyway, for me it was abpout being very capable, but also hyper perceptive and always second guessing everything. I am a perfectionist and very hard on myself and I also didn't get heaps of praise from parents which exacerbated the situation.
I've read Elaine Aron's book on Highly Sensitive Children since I've become a parent as my DD1 shares similar traits - you may find that helpful but it is really to do with the oversensitivity issues some children have which can go hand in hand with anxiety and heightened perception/worrying. Your post doesn't particularly point to that but you may find some relevance.
For me, openness and talking things through - or a culture of that would have helped me. I felt kooky and odd which increased the anxiety as I could see my parents going "what the hell is wrong with this child??" however much they tried to conceal it. They also used to draw attention to my tics.
My DS1 also had a ticcy phase which I never mentioned apart from when the silly noises got on my nerves to extreme levels, but even then I just talked about it as npise when I was trying to concentrate rather than something annoying about him iyswim.
I could say loads but will stop in case not relevant to you and your child.
Does she really understand that she doesn't have to go back to school?
Perhaps she's struggling to work through how she feels and doesn't know how to tell you what was wrong at school to make her so unhappy?
There is information on this website that may help as well
I've linked to their screening questionnaire but there is a huge amount of info on the website that's work reading through
We haven't been able to get to the bottom of it.She clams up,I don't know if there even is one specific reason.She was certainly very stressed at lunchtimes and playtime,and the head ,(who is lovely and has been very concerned) arranged for some older girls to sit with DD at lunchtime.This helped slightly but then she got very bothered about it again and won't/can't say why.Workwise she was doing well.The head arranged for her to see the ed-psychologist who assessed her as highly intelligent and several years ahead of her peer group in several areas,she felt that she was out of kilter and that her peer group would find her hard to fathom,and she them,and certainly she had no great friends.(Her favourite friend isn't in her school.)There were murmers form another child that she may have been picked on,but I don't know what the truth of that is,as she doesn't say.
there were some problems in the beginning with the TA not being all that kind but the head addressed that and it stopped.
We can virtually pin the start of it to one day though-she wet herself at school (never happened before)and that night threw a roaring temp,rash etc.A couple of weeks later frequent urination which showed no infection and eventually resolved.It was when she was back in school after the illness that she seemed increasingly unhappy,and it got worse and worse when she started in year one.
Do you know what I'd do - I would take her to a cranial osteopath - it could be related to her growing and physically things can get a bit out of sync and some osteopathy might be just the ticket. I know for myself that after one of my babies, I became very hyper and anxious and just not myself but it was a physical thing rather than an emotional thing. After struggling on for 2 years with nothing changing, i finally went to see an osteopath and it took a few sessions but I'm back to being me again - my nervous system was being constantly irritated by my spine being all restricted. Definitely worth considering i would say.
Also - how is her diet? Does she eat much processed or pre prepared food or sweet things?
ah - just read your last post - that sounds really traumatic for her - def take her to a CO - I'm almost certain it will help.
Similar to Hobgoblin, fretful, over anxious, v thin, academically capable but panicked if there was something I couldn't understand almost straightaway, v easily internally upset/frightened by other children being unkind, being told off for anything would have haunted me for weeks. Not repeated tics or phrases but stress induced terrible eczema and definite loss of appetite. If myh parents asked me what was wrong, tehre would be too many things, seemingly silly or just things I couldn't properly articulate. It can feel very distressing.
This was at the same age as your dd, where you have the awareness to be frightened but not having the capability to rationalise it. It got significantly better when I was in a small very ordered class with a firm emphasis on manners to each other with a kind, perceptive teacher who said she was just like me when younger that made all the difference. My parents, especially my mother, just accepted that was who I was and boosted my self esteem and encouraged but never pushed or pressured (v difficult balancing act I now realise) - apart from feeding me Minadex (yuk).
Please look at that link. I really think that treatment could help your dd, it reduces the conflict between your neuro system and the physical one.
I treated my hyper senstive non sleeping child and my other hyper sensitive ticcing child!
hobbgoblin she does sound just like you.The ed psych said that because she is so super aware of everything she notices all kinds of things that go over the heads of most five/six year olds,and then has to try and make sense of them. I will go and get that book now that you suggested. we do give her a lot of praise,at least I hope we do! But yes,she is a perfectionist.She does second guess all kinds of complex scenarios for everything.e.g "there might be a spider in my supper" (no there's not)"how do you know that a spider didn't fall in when you turned away? etc etc?"this can go on for ages as she can out argue anyone.
car girl I will check out the link,thanks so much-yes I think she is trying to work through her feelings,she seems at once happy not to be going to school but sad about it too and missing her teachers.She was always very emotionally articulate,bizarrely so,but now she is mute on the subject and I am trying hard not to push her.
remember to play-funnily enough I have booked a cranial appointment for her in a few weeks,she had it as a baby when she was too excited to switch off and it helped her then.
car girl,I looked at the questionaire but only one box was tickable for me,she was a c-section baby.Other than that no ticks.I will check the website further though.
Kangaroo I do think that is just the sort of class that would suit her,although the one she was in was similar,(15 children) I think ideally she would do best with a really small class.She is very like a friends 12 year old who is in a tiny prep now as he couldn't cope with his first school.However as we live in a tiny rural community the choices are not many.(p.s. what is minadex??!)
It was our cranial osteopath who sent us!
The being unable to switch off was what made me seek help, dd had too much adrenalin which is very easy to test for, their pupils contract with the little torch light thing the drs use and then after a several seconds actually commpletley dilate - it's very freaky to witness!
Gosh that's interesting,I can ask about it at her cranial session.She was seen as a baby at the Children's osteopathy centre and they were really brilliant there.We don't live in London anymore so she is seeing someone locally who is well thought of and experienced.She's also seen a homoeopath,who is also trained child psychologist and whose opinion of DD was identical to the Ed psych's.We went to the GP too in case we were missing somethingobvious and also because we'd read that there is a theory that strep infection (which may have been the thing she had) can trigger anxiety/ocd/school phobia and a host of other things due to antibodies attacking the basal ganglia.So she is being tested for thyroid,and for antibodies and possibly a few other things.I suppose it is the extreme change that is the most worrying.The tics bother me but I know they are quite common and I'm not mentioning them to DD.She has this frantic quality,as though she is going through the motions rather than being really happy,and although she's not like that constantly-she was relatively relaxed and happy at Christmas as DH's sister was here and she had lots to occupy her-she is like that enough for it to be distressing us.
Think Minadex goes by a slightly different name now, but it was children's tonic fortified with iron & it tasted vile!
It can be hard to find the right mix of children in a class. My issues began with a spiteful teacher (like your dd's TA, I guess?) - shakes your security and you become maybe hyper aware of what's going on around you like a constant alert state.
Looking into the future, am wondering if dd could work alongside one kindly TA in the day in class (not for the academic support but to protect her a bit) & be involved in something supervised with an adult, or working with the very young ones at lunchtime - and have friendships very managed. It's what I try to do for older ones who are struggling a bit.
Hope the CT goes well.
She is hyper aware,and she was at birth even, but whereas it used to be a really nice trait now it causes her constant worry. Certainly the TA seemed to be a big factor in the beginning,dd was afraid of her and worried about being with her when her regular teacher was somewhere else.The head arranged for the teacher to be the main person looking after DD,but by then she was so stressed anyway that I don't think it made much difference.And if there was any change at all at school she would go completely hysterical and panic.
I remember minadex now I think! that has jogged a memory of me being given it.Also haliborange though,yum!
We are home schooling for at least another two terms and then we will see.I have a smaller dd too and she has been very upset seeing her sister hysterical about school,hiding in the house in the mornings,sobbing all the way to school and just in an awful state,so we all need some time to get over it I think.
Yes, a teacher, secondary boys, despite my early experiences!
My mother once said other parents asked her why I cried so much, so I just internalised it more, not wanting to embarrass her (that's how super-sensitives think).
Is there another relative she is close to she might open up to, especially if dd doing an activity alongside rather than a 'serious talk'? Maybe she doesn't want to upset you by talking about it or is embarrassed? My gt-aunt was always better at getting me to talk than my mother, as she would tell me stories about her naughtiness at school, so I knew she wasn't perfect, and she was also good at reflecting back my emotions, understanding the jumble that would sometimes pour forth.
To me it sounds like she has sensory processing difficulties. Have you read this book? I'd recommend a referral to and ed psych and an occupational therapist tbh.Have you looked at Aspergers syndrome? Do you think her traits are similar? Anxiety and hypervigilence is common in Asperger girls.
Kanga I did hope she would open up to one of our friends as we have a couple who do love her and are good at chatting in an oblique way, but she is so clammed up.Maybe that will change in time? A few months back she would come out of school with a given number (she would count them) of things she felt she had to tell me,and I think that became so overwhelming that she just clammed up instead.I wish now that I'd taken her out earlier,but the received wisdom was that she would "settle down" and we decided to give it a term,in the end we took her out just before the end as she was in such distress.
Should add that I'm finding the posts massively helpful,so thanks so much all.It really helps hearing about your own experiences,as she sounds so similar. I just want to help her back to her natural state and to build her confidence again,as she is a wonderful child, really lovely and sparkling.
Am off to bed now, but will pop back in tomorrow.
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