“…I’m afraid that how it is.”

25 06 2010

The mostly functional parents sat on one sofa in their living room whilst the clinical psychologist sat on the other.

“So how are things?” She asks.

The mostly functional parents start with the positives, LML’s improved language development, improved behaviour when out walking and an improving relationship with Lolly.

They then move on to the challenges. The anxiety when going somewhere unfamiliar or when her routine changes; when having her nappy changed, particularly when its soiled; when someone new comes into the group, for example when the parent fortunate enough not to have to get up early comes down stairs.

That even though the relationship with Lolly is improving LML regularly pokes, slaps, kicks and hits her little sister (often hitting her with any hard object she has to hand).

They talk about how difficult it is when LML has reduced Lolly to tears and then whilst one of the mostly functional parents comforts her LML will take the opportunity to do a ‘naughty’ act.

The pychologist nods her head and says, “Yes, that must be difficult. I think you need to ignore the ‘naughty’ act and just focus and Lolly. You can sort the mess out later.”

The mostly functional parents talk about how it doesn’t matter how much time they spend playing and focussing on LML as soon as they stop, even for the shortest of periods, LML will be doing something ‘naughty’. She’ll be either hitting her sister or maybe climbing into a draw to get paints, glue, pens out.

The psychologist says, “Hmm, that’s a difficult one. It’s typical attachment disorder behaviour. I would suggest that she’s trying to remain the centre of your focus, that she feels that you won’t come back if you aren’t there with her giving her your attention, and if what she can get is negative attention then that will do for her. With older children we would normally suggest using something like an egg timer so that you can say to the child I’m going to make a cup of tea, you continue playing / watching TV and I’ll be back when the bell rings in two minutes. But because of LML’s development delay I would guess that she wouldn’t be able to manage that. I think you’re just going to have to work hard and keep on top of things. I can’t really offer you anything more than that. At this point I think I’m afraid that’s how it is.”

They finish by talking about the various ways LML seeks to gain control of most situations and how they choose their battles allowing LML to feel in control but when it matters asserting their authority.

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One response

30 06 2010
IsobelandCat

You have my whole hearted sympathy and admiration.

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