Sunday, 1 March 2015

Living with Disorder

I strongly suspect that our eight-year-old daughter "Missy" has ADHD.  We're in the process of having her evaluated but that takes time, and in the meantime I'm looking into resources that might help us cope.

Some of the signs are clear.  She gets distracted or loses focus too easily, so her schoolteacher has provided her with an anti-noise headset so that she can concentrate on her work.  She often will blurt out what's on her mind, demand that something be done, or interrupt a conversation.  This has caused much tension between her and the people around her.

She also dislikes transitions, ignores clear instructions, and gets extremely upset when redirected.  Attempts at correction have often been futile: she repeats bad behaviour even after being disciplined for it.  Due to serious behaviour-related incidents she has been banned from going to two of her friends' houses.  For her most recent birthday party, seven kids were invited but only two showed up.  That was a huge indication for me that she needs help.

There's no doubt that she's intelligent.  She's performing above average in all of her classes.  Unfortunately her lack of social control has caused her to become an outcast among her peers and a target for bullying.  Last summer we had no choice but to avoid our local community swimming pool because two of the main instigators happened to be there and I didn't want to have a scene.

What concerns me most is that Missy doesn't seem to understand the consequences of her actions even after being disciplined.  Time-outs never worked.  Removal of privileges results in a full-blown temper tantrum along with denials, threats, and slamming doors.

The worst happened when she lost her best friend "Angie" for the second time in six months.  As previously mentioned Missy was banned from playing with Angie due to bad behaviour.  After much effort on my part to patch things up with the parents, Angie was allowed to play at our house.  However one afternoon after school Missy was rude to Angie's mother (I didn't hear what was said though), who immediately cancelled an invitation to Angie's birthday party and reinstated the play ban.  At this rate, Missy won't have any friends left at all.  I am always the one who has to reach out on her behalf; none of her supposed friends ever call us.

I'm seriously considering home-schooling next year because it appears that she can't handle the social pressures.

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