Behaviour assessment for Eldest.

As you all know we have been home ed for a while.

 Some of the reason for that were the cuts and bruises that Eldest used to come home with, some of the reason was that Eldest was throwing herself into piles of boxes, not listening and being ‘obstructive’ according to the teachers.
 With no cooperation from them on moving forward I pulled her out. She was being hurt by other children and she was hurting them.
 After that she seemed to calm down, it was fine. She dug in with education – reading, writing, maths and other fun stuff. It didn’t last for long. She’s always been a little naughty…
In public she took to ignoring me, talking to anyone she felt like. Perhaps she needs more social interaction I thought, more people. So she went to art classes, football schools and kick boxing. Same people every week – just like everyone suggested. In kick boxing she refused to listen and instead did what she liked. Then when taking part in an activity she displayed strange behaviours – such that I can’t even describe. At football, during activities she would stick with one. Just one and repeat it for the whole session.
 Art classes are where I died a little inside. When given time to draw freely – she couldn’t. She couldn’t just draw without having instructions.
Each teacher had a comment to make about her listening skills, her behaviour, her fixations. I came away red faced and sweaty at my appalling parenting.
You start to feel like a failure. You start to feel like no matter how hard you try that it doesn’t matter. You start to feel like hiding your child away.
I didn’t, not because I didn’t want to but because I have cried for hours after horrible emotional outbursts, because I have to keep her window locked because she tried to jump out of it after I asked her to tidy up, because on a good day, on that day, she is great. Every day I hope for that day.
I watch her struggle with emotions, her own and other peoples. If she tells me she hates me and wants to leave and I tell her I’m upset – she doesn’t understand why. She doesn’t get it. When she pulled her shelves out of the wall (the day they went up by hanging off them) and I told her no DVD time for a week she asked me ‘why?’. She lives her life in a series of unrelated events. I have to live that with her.
She goes to Brownie’s now. Brown Owl is very good with her. I arrive early sometimes and I see the other girls sitting, colouring in, making their parents lovely cards and I see her red faced, out of puff and loud in the background. For a moment, less than a second I wonder what that must be like. To peak in and see your child sitting contentedly making you a card. She tries to include the other girls but they don’t want to play with her, they don’t want to do what she is doing.
I’m not jealous, I don’t want to swap, I just wonder what it’d be like.
I left the room once to put the kettle on and she put Mojo in a box and tried to shake it. I was gone for about 30 seconds. I ran back in hearing the distressed high-pitched screams from a toddler. I don’t trust her anymore.
You might think she sounds very naughty, she is pushing boundaries but the utter cluelessness on her face implies otherwise.
I fear for other children when she is around. I worry what unsuitable things she might say in public. I worry that one day she will know that I find her the most difficult part of my life.
I spoke to the Health Visitor today and I hadn’t managed to get through a full description of the behaviour and she raised her hand a little, and just said ‘She needs to be seen, now’.

Before I began the description I asked Eldest to play in her room for  moment, within seconds she was screaming, barking and jumping. I didn’t want her to hear how difficult I find her, how I really feel and how close to edge I really feel.

I’m ashamed to say that I nearly cried when the Health Visitor said she could help.
We have a holiday coming up. It isn’t a holiday. It’s an exercise in how many times I will need to tell her to calm down, to stop it, to stop shouting, to be careful of the other kids. You might think that I am too harsh, you might think that maybe, just maybe I am too strict.

The truth is I wish I could be strict with her, but I don’t have any control over her or the situation right now.

I feel lost, I feel alone and I feel a little bit broken.

Zara

10 thoughts on “Behaviour assessment for Eldest.

  1. That sounds incredibly difficult, frustrating and wearing to deal with on a daily basis. I hope the assessment goes ‘well’ and maybe there are some family support workers who can offer you a little respite or groups you can take her too where they have the experience and knowledge to help you all. Take care x

    1. That is it really, I’ve been dealing with it as if she was just a difficult child and it hasn’t really ever worked, now I just admit it. I am hoping there will be plenty of advice in the coming weeks. Thank you for your comment. x

  2. I sympathise with you so much love. I felt broken after this weekend and when I tried to explain it to people I just sound like I’m intolerant.
    Really hope you’re able to get some support and that she is able to express to you what she needs – sending hugs xxx

    1. That is just it, when they are doing the things they do automatically the parent is judged. The other thing is because I’m with her 90% of the week it’s difficult to explain her behaviour, even to family. I think once we get a grip on how to communicate with each other better, or at least me understand things from her point of view things will get better. Thank you for stopping by. x

  3. It sounds like a struggle, you’re really brave to admit your feelings on here. I hope your assessment goes well.

    1. There is still a lot here I haven’t said. Some of them I don’t think I can ever type. I hope so too! Thank you for stopping by x

  4. Brave lady. We have our own issues with Oli, not behaviour wise but more SEN. I’ve not been brave enough to talk about it yet. I hope you get support in some way, a way which sees you all smiling xx

    1. It’s so frustrating keeping it all to yourself isn’t it? I spent a large chunk of the day on the phone yesterday and have a lot more stuff going on now. She’s going to be assessed for her behaviour but also we went though a little check list of characteristics to see where she fell on those too. In the end we are going forward with an education pschologist to see if we can go back in to mainstream without upsetting everyone, behaviour assessment and a look at if there is any underlying SEN things that we need to be aware of. It is stupid but I think the hardest thing has been admitting to myself she just isn’t like other kids. I know it’s hard to talk about, it makes me cry even thinking about it. xx

  5. I’m home educating my ASD son at the moment after many years of mainstream school so I identify with the way that you feel very ambivalent about the “coping” with a child who obviously did not manage school but still cannot manage home either.

    Have you considered that she might have Asperger’s which presents very differently in girls to what you might think or know about autism. There might be a lot of sensory seeking behaviour in there – just not knowing what to do with herself – dysregulation etc etc as well as the social communication issues. She may not be able to tell you how she feels – and is just expressing her “out of synchness” by behaving really badly. Mumsnet has a good sensory processing thread going in SN children or chat (cannot remember which).

    My son is generally quite well behaved but finds amusing himself or doing any sort of self motivated task extremely difficult be it drawing writing research unless it is something he is currently interested in (at the moment he is obsessed by train and plane journeys – not engineering you understand but the actual company and interior fittings and price of travel)

    We have a very structured timetable – very simple and short and add in very regular meetings in parks but I confess I find it difficult to get him to keep the the timetable he is constantly interrupting or asking me when it is finished. But he likes to know exactly what we are doing and when and strangely he has liked having a reading book read aloud to him every day – knowing there is 20 mins of that and some spelling exercise or a little art task. He is incredibly impatient though – I think the feeling that he is somehow not doing what I want or what he “wants” stops him ever fully relaxing and getting into the rhythm. And he worries – worries that I am going to send him back to school, that I am cross, when he going to see the children he likes etc. Anxiety is quite a large part of his reactions I think – I put it down to being lazy or impatient but actually it is anxiety – so I do my best to address that in very explicit terms – we will see x then, if you go back to school it will be a school where they make you happy, I am happy when you stick to the task I set and it is only 20 mins not all day etc etc.

    I think his lack of understanding about my reasons for things or my long term objectives or even WHAT is making me cross could all be summed up in one thing “theory of mind” not like of imagination just an inability to “read my mind”

    And I am constantly aware I need to keep explaining everything very simply to him and make it very clear to him how the day is going to unfold. And cherish the moments where he is happy and in a good mood and use that as a bond between us. We laugh a lot – he tells fantastic jokes.

    Good luck with your assessment – home educating children on the spectrum is a very different task but has so many wonderful advantages. Hope you can find out what is “wrong” or how you can get some support soon.

    1. I am happy to say that although we didn’t get any further with an assessment, even though ‘they’ as a collective said they believed there was some degree of difficulty there, we managed to move forward as a unit and I think I understand her better now. It was a huge learning curve for me and I have accepted that she has a different thought process to me, and in fact now she has zoomed on and the behavioural things that had me worried and quite upset seems to be a distant memory. We still have our days, I think all people do, but in the morning she will just say ‘I feel like I might have a day’ and that is her telling me she needs either alone time or something to occupy. I really appreciate your reply to this post. I think you are right on so many points, I also took a look at our structure and it was me designing it for what I thought to be ease but turns out it was a restriction. A lot has changed since this post and I now take it as it comes. What strikes me most is that even though there is a general feel something might not be ‘right’ with my Eldest they aren’t sure what it is, that is ‘wrong’ either.
      Thank you again for your response. xxx

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