Heal thy self

15 01 2012

As always happens after an LML related appointment, CD and GM have a bit of a de-brief.

Earlier in the week it followed a their second CAMHS appointment, which they attended without LML.

“I don’t feel like we got very far” says CD, “we didn’t get any further than the last session.”

“No” agrees GM, “we can only hope they actually read LML’s CPR before the next appointment. They have had it fir over a month.”

“I can’t believe that they asked us what we should do in the next session – who are the flippin therapists for goodness sake, us or them!!??”

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Bliss

29 10 2011

“Mummy” says LML,

“I” she points to her chest,

“Love” she spreads her hands over her chest,

“You” she points to GM and ends with a dazzling smile.





Changing of the Guard

6 07 2011

You’ll be seeing a different doctor today, the old one has moved on to pastures new” the administrator informs the Mostly Functional parents as they begin the routine that is the six monthly child development appointment.

The new doctor seems friendly enough, she soon starts to examine Lolly. She questions the Mostly Functional parents about Lolly’s health and behaviour. “I think she needs additional support. I’ll contact the nursery SENCO to make a referral for early years funding.”

The kids are bouncing around the consultation room, in to everything. GM and CD spend a lot of time stopping them from playing with the medical equipment that is all over the room, the sink, the giant paper rolls, the surgical gloves, the curtain. They tag team it, without any need for discussion or agreement.

It’s soon LML’s turn. After a number of routine questions the paediatrician focusses in on LML’s behaviour. “Is she always like this?” she enquires as LML flits from one prohibited activity to another.

I would like to refer her to the Child & Adolecent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), it’s difficult because many of the behaviours for Attachment Disorder are also seen in ADHD. I think we should assess her for ADHD, medication may help slow her down and focus more, making it easier for her to access education.”

Grumpy Mum is quick to say, “When we adopted LML we knew her behaviour might be challenging, we accepted that that’s who she is. I’m not sure either of us would want to manage her behaviour with drugs.”

The parents accept that this is a route in to CAHMS though; something they have been talking about how to achieve for some time. The Mostly Functional parents agree to complete a Connor’s Parent Rating Scale. Not convinced that the paediatrician, after less than an hours consultation, has made a correct ‘diagnosis’, they still see the benefits of the route she is proposing as it’s likely to open up new opportunities for support for the family and LML.





Good things come to those who wait

13 11 2010

Crap Dad had waited for this moment for over three years. He didn’t want to move. He wanted to extend the moment for as long as he could.

He’d read the books and endlessly discussed attachment disorder with everyone from social workers, clinical psychologists, teachers, other adopters to family members. He’d discussed what this meant on a day to day basis, how LML was always alert, rarely relaxed and a little… distant, unwilling to share moments of intimacy . But at this moment all of the hard work, the strategies and tools, the patience and practice had started to pay off.

“Three years”, he thinks, “Three years, I’ve waited for this.”

When he’d put the Iron Giant on the DVD player, he’d done so at Lolly’s request. It was 7.00am, they’d already been up an hour and a half and he’d had enough of kids TV.

Lolly had almost immediately come to sit next to him on the sofa. Shortly afterwards LML joined them. She curled up on the settee, laying across Crap Dad with her head resting on his lap, totally relaxed, watching the film.

Three years he had waited for this moment and he relished every second of it.

He gently patted her back and stroked her head, internally celebrating these simple actions.

“Three years…”





Absent Parent

10 07 2010

The screaming is intense, much more intense than usual. Crap Dad rinses the flannel he’d gone to get and returns to the dinning room. Lolly is very distressed, her face is various shades of purple, he mouth wide open and the tears are starting to form and roll down her cheeks. She continues to scream.

Crap Dad tries to comfort her. He asks LML what has happened, she looks at him blankly. He scans Lolly but can’t see anything. He continues to try and sooth her but the screaming just gets louder. “Has LML hit you? Show me where it hurts, baby.” More screaming, her face changing colours like an over excited chameleon.

He checks again, asking, “Does it hurt here?” Then he sees the marks start to appear. Millimetres to the the side of her right eye four very small welts start to appear. Evenly spaced they can only mean one thing, he scours the table and floor, “Where is that fork?”





“…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.





repetative beats

17 06 2010

GM and LML ‘chat’ as they walk to the park …

“where daddy?”

“he’s gone into town LML”

“where daddy?”

“he’s gone to town sweetheart”

“where daddy?”

“where is daddy?”

“town .. where lolly?”

“nursery darling”

“where daddy?”

“daddy went to town”

“where lolly?”

“lolly is at nursery today”

“where going?”

“we’re going to the park love”

“where …”

This continues, on an anxious cycle, for the entire 20 minute walk.








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