Friday, March 23, 2018

Crippling anxiety

My daughter has suffered with anxiety since the age of 2 but we never knew it was anxiety, we called it terrible twos times ten, she was hyperactive, aggressive, didn't sleep, willlful, head stong
She had a fear of escalators, sliding doors and glass buildins
She was very impulsive

At age 4 she changed, hello challenging behavior
In school she made her self invisible so no attention was drawn to her
Her teachers spotted it not me, I was struggling with her behavior which I couldn't get my head around
Street angel house devil is what we  described her as
She was like a shook coke bottle
School was with the lid on, home is where the lid came off and exploded everywhere, it was like her inner volcano irrupted
Her teachers where shocked at how i described her at home and us shocked at how they described her at school
Massive contradiction
We worked together and this lead to assessment discussions

We unfortunately moved counties mid waiting on lists.  She struggled so so badly in her new very large  school and she became so anxious and overwhelmed
They also recommended assessment
I moved her to a tiny country school
Big mistake but I didn't realise that till much later
In a big school or medium sized school you have escapism and options
There are more friend options
In a small school where there are 30 in the whole school it's disastrous as you have no escape , but the resources and interventions where better, you can't win, what you think is good is not always the case
My DD was heavily dominated by a girl in the school, her anxiety got so bad she was sick a lot, belly aches and head aches, typical anxiety complaints

We got her assessed and low and behold we got a shock of our life
Our girl had more wrong than we thought and finally everything started to make sense, all those struggles all those years and yes, this was why and I finally understood my DD

I won't go into too much detail of her DX as she's now technically an adult
Her iq is is above average just a few percent below superior, she's no Sheldon Cooper but she is one very intelligent cookie.  She needs routines and is a visual learner.  She needs schedules and written reminders for everything and even they don't always work, she is very forgetful. Her mind races from task to task so she finds it hard to focus on just one, she can't even watch a DVD from start to finish

Secondary school was disastrous, the more the years went on the worse the anxiety became, she is on Prozac daily possibly for life.  Her treatment was only ever for anxiety and not her actual DX so this just made life impossible for her, not her fault but camhs fault. School refusals also became a regular and imaginary illnesses

She is soon to leave school and start a new education path in the national learning network, we feel this is the best way forward for her.  Since she has been doing less and less time in school she is so much more calmer and happier in her self, her confidence and self esteem is starting to come back, slowly but its getting better

Some causes of dds anxiety

Peers: why?  Dd is a rule follower, she is very kind and gentle mannered, she can be naive and aloof so peer personalities just don't work for her
She is older than her years and has had huge responsibilities early in her life with having special needs siblings, she by passed teens and went straight to adulthood, that's not a good thing, it's ruined it for her even maintaining friendships, children need to have a childhood, it's no one's fault but more support for siblings would have helped tremendously

Dd finds crowds overwhelming, a coping mechanism of hers is to switch off and pretend she's not there, become invisible by bringing no attention onto herself at all
She can't read body language
She can't hold eye contact
She can't keep attention to tasks
She feels dizzy and faint in large crowds
She can't understand irresponsible and reckless behavior
She cant understand sarcasm and takes things literally
If she sees peers in the street she will cross the road (and often without looking left and right) in a panic to avoid them and not cross paths with them
If we see peers in a shop she freezes, gets clumsy and panics

But what she can do

Maintain an extremely intellectual conversation with adults, adults are blown away to realise an 18 year old has such a grasp on life and politics and an understanding of adult life in general

She can look after 2 autistic 6 year olds solo and cope extremely well

She can change nappies, make bottles,.bath a toddler, dress a toddler
Special needs or other wise and function quite extraordinary in an adult type life

She has the ability to understand non verbal adults and children, use pecs, and other forms of communication

She has the Patience of a saint, she is so good with adults and kids with special need's

I can't even begin to tell you enough about her and all she is capable of

She is a volunteer with the special Olympics
She helps a girl 1 day a week with her homework
She helps a mum with her 4 home schooled children 1 day a week also
She is in high demand as a babysitter

She is also a junior carer here at home
She is as much a carer in the house as we are to her 3 autistic siblings

She has an uber stressful home life yet she still finds time to volunteer and help others,  she is the kindest most loyal loving sweetest girl, she is simply amazing

Anxiety has robbed so much from my gorgeous daughter
I just hope she finds a way to fight it and get all she lost back , her self esteem and confidence for one

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