Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Mental Health

We had a meeting today with the main players: hubby and myself, the school principal, homeroom teacher and teacher's assistant, the board's speech pathologist, and child psychologist.

Our daughter's speech, comprehension, and academics are average or above average for her age, although there are still some areas that require work.  Her biggest problem is her difficulty with peer social interaction, particularly in larger groups.  She either avoids it altogether, or she will be too blunt or disruptive until other kids will react negatively toward her, which feeds her anxiety to the point of meltdown.

Preliminary testing shows she most likely has some form of ADHD and there are also some hints on the autism spectrum. We've sent a referral for a professional medical evaluation but who knows how long that will take, given the slow Quebec provincial system.  In the meantime we now have some tools and strategies that will better enable us to help her.

I admit there have been times that I've felt I've failed at parenting. There have been days where I've been reduced to tears because our daughter refused to listen and was blatantly disrespectful.  Time-out doesn't work.  Removal of privileges doesn't work often.  I use corporal punishment only when absolutely necessary but even that doesn't make her understand that what she's doing is unacceptable.

However after this meeting my husband and I now need to educate ourselves on how to best deal with the situation, because what we often think of as the "standard" parenting approach isn't sufficient.  We can't compare our daughter's behaviour to our own at that age.  It's not fair to her and doesn't take her idiosyncrasies into account.

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