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how do you deal with sceptical friends and family?

(12 Posts)
tink123 Mon 31-Aug-09 10:44:14

My dd is 6 yrs and has sensory issues and high levels of anxiety. Her anxiety is worse at mo. I had a friend coming to stay last week and had to cancel cos dd got so uptight. She had constant tummy ache, not sleeping, tried to make herself sick and stopped eating for two weeks and lost 3lbs. She has just started eating again now.

I know the difference between true anxiety in dd and when she is USING it to try and control me. When my friend could not come I told dd she had to work, I never tell dd we are cancelling things cos she was upset, as I know she will learn to use her anxiety to control us.

I have a SIL coming over from abroad in a month and she says that we should just take dd to a park and it will sort out her problems and that we should make her do things if she does not want to. We have had loads of family issues and she is very dominating. She wants dd to stay over night and play with her cousins while i leave her. She will not do it and even if she would i know for a fact SIL will not call me if she has anxiety meltdown and will just tell her to get over it.

It really annoys me that ppl will not accept that dd has problems and thinks i should ignore them. I do not expect anyone to understand what SID means to a child. ( I barely understand it) but they should respect when I say there is something wrong with dd.

am i going ott, any advice appreciated.

anonandlikeit Mon 31-Aug-09 10:55:18

ds2 has anxiety/OCD & autsim & mild CP.
you know your dd & know how far you can push her.
The only thin I will say is that certainly with ds2 if we do not continually challenge & push him to do a little more he becomes more & more anxious & the things he is willing to do & try become narrower & more limited & impact on the family more & more.

But don't allow someone to dictate to you when & how you should try & encourage your daughter, that really is something that you should manage as you are the one that will have to live with the results & an anxious unhappy child.
DO you have an OT & a psych advising you?

tink123 Mon 31-Aug-09 11:04:27

hi, she has regular si therapy via OT. We do push her on daily things and will make her do certain things, but we know where her limits are and we know signs of where to stop pushing her because she is going over the edge. We know as she gets older she should develop coping skills to do more and more. The problem is she sees SIL and cousins about once a year so they are strangers to her.

debs40 Mon 31-Aug-09 11:10:37


Sounds like this is a tough one to manage.

I would put other people's views to one side at the moment and try and concentrate on how YOU are going to manage the problems your duaghter has.

Not eating and making herself sick sound a very dramatic reaction to a visit. Are you sure it was just the visit? Was it not something your DD looked like she might enjoy? Have you spoken with her about it? Does she generally have a problem with weight loss?

I ask because I wouldn't have a clue what my boys weigh as I never weigh them! smile It sounds like this is something which is worrying you.

Have you sought advice on managing the anxiety? Who diagnosed SID? Have they not supplied you with information about the ways to manage any consequent anxiety?

I think you have to be very clear and very consistent with how you deal with this. You say these problems are genuine and upsetting and yet you also don't tell her the truth about cancelling things because you think if she knows you are cancelling things for her, she will 'use' it to control you. There appears to be an element of doubt in your own mind about how to manage this and perhaps other people's comments are touching a raw nerve??

I think you have to decide and be comfortable with the decisions you make and to do that YOU need to be clear about what is genuine and what is not.

If your DD is genuinely anxious about visits etc then you will have to manage these is a way which encourages her to socialise but which isn't too stressful. You don't want to feed the anxiety with isolation but small steps are important.

So I agree, overnight stays with someone she doesn't know that well do not appear to be sensible. Perhaps don't have anyone to stay overnight yourself until things calm down.

When you meet up with people, prepare your DD, perhaps only a little time before (a day or so) so she doesn't have weeks to stew on it. Tell her specifically what is going to happen i.e. tomorrow we will meet so and so on the park at 12 for an hour and then we will do x, y or z. Give her a way of getting out if she becomes too stressed e.g. say come and talk to mummy while we are there if you are worried about anything.

My son always wants to stay at home. Sometimes it can be tiring to get him out but he always enjoys himself when he is out and about and this helps me the next time I want to persuade him

Good luck

tink123 Mon 31-Aug-09 11:20:01

DD is ok socially with her own school friends. The OT is brilliant and has offered us advice to prepare for the visit. I do not think it was so much my friend coming but fact she was bringing young baby as well.

I have no doubts that weight loss was caused by anxiety about this incident, as this happened earlier in the year when MIL died. This is as much a learning exp for me but we are dealing with it step by step. DD has made amazing progress since starting therapy two years ago, and I am terrified of seeing that unravel. I know I have anxiety about her condition and I am overprotective.

We are managing small steps at mo, having friends over to play, dd going to their house. I know in the end she will enjoy it. Problem is SIL comes in like a steam roller and just assumes dd will stay over. She asks dd if she would like to do something and dd agrees not understanding full implications. Then when it comes to it, dd does not want to go, so I tell SIL and she belittles me saying that it is being over protective and that is what bothered me.

Maybe this is more of an issue about mine and SIL relationship

tink123 Mon 31-Aug-09 11:22:34

We are probably going to not tell dd that friend is coming to visit and arrange during school term. Will be easier. OT says this might be best, just to let friend turn up and dd does not have to deal with the anticipation.

claw3 Mon 31-Aug-09 11:35:44

Hi Tink, my son has Sensory Modulation Disorder and i know exactly where you are coming from. Im having a hard time convincing the school at the moment, they feel i should 'just leave him to it, he has to learn'they are failing to see they he needs help to learn how to do those things.

But on the plus side my mum and DP have started to come around a bit and change their 'there is nothing wrong with him attitude'.

debs40 Mon 31-Aug-09 11:48:06

Tink it sounds like you have it under control and are managing well. I think you are right, you are worried about this domineering SIL upsetting things and this is making you question what you know to be the best thing for your DD.

Are you in the UK? How did you get your diagnosis of SID? I didn't think the srvices are that switched on to these things here!

TheDMshouldbeRivened Mon 31-Aug-09 11:56:03

I ignore people who don't believe. ds1 has aspergers and it took time to govern his anxiety. Sometimes I let him go at his own pace, other times I made him. Because they cant rule your life. He didn't like me being on the phone but tough. He had to get used to it.

tink123 Mon 31-Aug-09 12:16:35

DD has never formally been dx. Paed has ruled out asd and will only dx complex social communicatio disorder. It was specialist OT that stated she had it, although this will never be offical dx

tink123 Mon 31-Aug-09 12:17:16

Yes in the UK, debs

debs40 Mon 31-Aug-09 12:24:42

Well you have done well getting this far! You know your dd best. Stick to your guns and don't let others (like SIL) knock your confidence

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