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Desperately need help with strategies for DD(11 Posts)
DD2 (11) was recently diagnosed with developmental co-ordination disorder. It answers a lot of questions about her behaviour (hyper emotional responses to challenge, stress etc) and we're getting good support for physical and organisational needs in school.
However, I am just so weary with the daily struggle at home. All our efforts to get her to do anything she needs to (shower/ homework / change clothes etc) are met with literally hours of evasion and resistance varying from tears, arguments, negotiations, tantrums, to simple silent refusal.
Last night it took over an hour to just get her to go up for a shower. It's making us all tense, tired and irritable. DH is usually very even tempered but even he is getting tired.
She's bright, articulate, academically able, and physically very mature (she's nearly as tall as I am) so it's like having a mix of teen and toddler in the house!
I feel like I'm in a constant battle with her and would be so grateful for some ideas / experiences of what might work. Her behaviour in school is exemplary and so it's clear she feels safe at home to express all her frustrations, but the current situation isn't sustainable for any of us, and worst of all, she's clearly unhappy.
Any ideas? I'm open to practically anything at the moment.
Our DS, who we think has ASD/PDA as well as ADHD and anxiety, presents completely differently at school to home. He is a model child at school and like an angry Tasmanian devil at home. I think this Jekyll and Hyde presentation is quite common with ASD and PDA and I sympathise with you as it is exhausting. It's very difficult to get school onboard as it is so hard for them to to understand the difficulties you are having at home.
I would second everything Polter suggests, especially the Ross Green book as it has helped us enormously with DS.
I would also ask for a referral to a Neuro Developmental Paed and/or CAMHS depending how your area works as I don't think this behaviour stems from DCD I am afraid.
The PDA resources are excellent and I am following them up.
It has been suggested within the family that DD2 may be displaying ASD tendencies but they've been so well masked by her academic success, compliance in school, and just the fact she's female, I think. She has a lot of physical discomfort/pain as a result of years of physically compensating for hypermobility in her legs (she was under an orthopaedic consultant for 8 years and only got transferred recently to the general paediatrician which led to the DCD dx. ) and along with hormonal surges etc I put her refusal to do things down to the fact she was tired and in pain. But it's definitely going beyond that now. The only thing that puzzles me is, why the sudden change in behaviour? She's always been a fairly easy biddable child but it's like a switch has been thrown in the past 6 months.
She's the loveliest child imaginable and I feel totally inadequate at the moment.
<<She's always been a fairly easy biddable child but it's like a switch has been thrown in the past 6 months.>>
Given her age do you think the onset of puberty could be a factor? People joke about 'Kevin the teenager' but the massive upsurge in hormones is very real and difficult (for both young person and parent) to deal with.
Not suggesting that its 'just' puberty by the way. Just that it's likely to be a complicating factor.
Thank you everyone - I feel like someone understands!
I'd put it down to puberty which was also contributing to the increased physical pain (literally, growing pains. She's grown 4 inches in a year!) . Then the DCD diagnosis made a lot of sense. And then it started getting worse...
I love the idea of alarms to support her evening routine (although it would depend on her being organised enough to have a charged phone - another battle!) rather than me having to tell her constantly. She has said she'd like a time table / incentive chart so that's something I'll discuss with her this weekend.
PolterGoose the demands outstripping her coping strategies makes perfect sense. She can't wait for high school (the variety of teachers to reduce personality clashes, plus routine of a strict timetable are exactly what she needs) but is very anxious about the social and organisational aspects. The fact she is taller than her 15 year old sister (who's not small!) means she's not going to look like the very unsure and vulnerable Year 7 she will be. It's quite scary.
I've downloaded a couple of the recommended books to my Kindle. Thank you all again.
Again I sympathise as it has taken me a long time to understand why our DS has unraveled so quickly. Despite having an older DD with a long list of labels including ASD and ADHD we had no concerns at all about DS until he started in year 2, when things just feel apart rapidly. Someone on here once said that ASD shows itself whenever it is ready and that helps me feel less guilty about it. And again I second what Polter said about there being a point where the demands of life and school exceed their ability to cope and the demand avoidance really kicks in.
My DD is hypermobile, and her growth spurt was a massive thing for her joints. The joints are already loose compared to the average kid and then a bunch of hormones pitch up and tell them to get looser to allow for four inches (wow) of growth. Just holding a sitting position for any length of time is hard work.
My DD learned to touch type which we thought would do the trick, but then for her year 10 exams all her joints swelled up including her knees! Now she is doing exams in a room on her own with sofas and a giant beanbag.
I agree with PDA as worth looking at. My friend's DD had it and the most useful description was treating it like a panic attack if demands were made.
If you can afford a really good independent Ed Psych, it would be money well spent. Getting a really good picture before secondary school will give you a better chance of transition being a success.
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