Sandy, Jo and Chris had been friends for years.
Having grown up in the same neighbourhood, attended the same schools and college, they were closer than family and inseparable.
It came as no surprise then that as adults, the three rented an apartment together.
Through thick and thin, broken relationships, unemployment and financial challenges, they all pulled together, totally supportive of each other, with very few differences of opinion.
Theirs was the kind of relationship envied by the majority of their friends, perhaps misunderstood by a few, and the topic of teasing conversation often over a pint down the local.
View original post 309 more words
‘………….By Annalisa Barbieri
She’s not doing any work at school, is extremely sensitive to criticism and sees offence where there is none. Annalisa Barbieri advises a reader
Our only child, who is 10, has had regular, uncontrollable temper outbursts for the past four years. She was bullied at school for nearly two years by three “friends”, between the ages of six and eight. We were unaware of all of this. At home we were seeing sustained tantrums, often from the minute we got back after school. Unfortunately, we didn’t know what to do at the time and would often shout back at her and threaten to withdraw treats.
When she was about seven we realised we needed considerable help and were even starting to think she had a condition such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. A friend who works with young children in a psychiatric capacity told us there was nothing wrong with her and asked if she was being bullied. We said no. We decided to go to our GP but went to the school first to see if they could offer advice. They told us only then about the past year of bad behaviour and the bullying by the three friends.
We were shocked – these girls came for tea and were her three closest school friends. We were also relieved as we believed we had found the answer to her behaviour.
The bullying continued. She is a clever girl but was producing little or no work in the classroom, often folding her arms and refusing to work. She started to try to stay off school. On more than one occasion, I returned home with her to calm her down.
As she grew older she started to tell us things, describing feeling alone most days and how other children poked fun at her. She had started to answer back to teachers and play the class fool.
I read everything I could find on bullying and the effects it could have on neural development. I was convinced her behaviour, which the school was now very concerned about, was a result of bullying. The school didn’t agree, saying the bullying had stopped. Her behaviour at school was now the problem.
At home we reversed our approach and reaction to her behaviour and stopped fighting fire with fire. We asked for a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) referral and she started a course of weekly, private counselling. We were also successful in getting her a place on a day course by Kidscape. It was a great day and helped her to see she was not alone and was not, in her words, a freak.
The CAMHS referral didn’t go beyond the initial triage on the two occasions on which we were referred (a year apart). It was acknowledged that she had a high level of anxiety about school and friends but that she was able to function normally. The counselling lasted a year and the conclusion was that though she was a happy, well-balanced, thoughtful child, she was “highly anxious” about friends and friendships.
Her tantrums at home are getting worse and she is becoming increasingly physical, though she is very articulate about the tantrums. She feels remorse and shame after an outburst. She explains that when she feels hurt or upset she holds it in until she gets home; it then bursts out without her having any control. She describes her brain as having two sides – a happy side and an angry side. Sometimes the angry side takes over and she cannot control it. She tries very hard to stay in the happy side and not let the angry side win.
She is extraordinarily sensitive to criticism and sees offence at every turn. Sometimes there is an outburst because I smiled at the wrong moment and she thinks I am laughing at her.
I contacted three specialists: professionals in child psychotherapy, child bullying and autism. No one can diagnose your daughter from a letter, but the professional in autism thought it was worth you exploring autism/Asperger syndrome and pathological demand avoidance as possibilities. But the only way of knowing is for your daughter to have a formal diagnostic assessment.
You may know that girls on the spectrum present differently and can be very hard to diagnose. Many health and education professionals can miss it because girls learn to mimic “how to behave” socially. I have put some links at the bottom here, which I’d like you to look at, including how to get a diagnosis. Certain things made me wonder: the explosions as soon as she gets home from school, the seeming inability to read your facial expressions, the high anxiety over some social situations. Children with autism can also be bullied because the way they communicate and interact may be different from their peers, and they may misinterpret social situations.
Your very much longer letter told me of the many avenues you have tried in an attempt to help your daughter, although there was nothing about her early years. But I see some routes were not fully explored because other professionals offered you alternative theories. I also wonder if the bullying has become the sole focus and so stopped one, perhaps, seeing anything else that might be going on?
Ben Lloyd, a child and adolescent psychotherapist (childpsychotherapy.org.uk) also wondered if the bullying was a symptom or the cause.
Leaving aside the autism for a moment, Lloyd explains: “A task of parenting is to help channel ordinary, healthy aggression and help a child to regulate their own emotions that are in the first place unfamiliar to them. It sounds as though your daughter has not been able to develop a way of tolerating ordinary enough frustrations that are necessary for emotional development to take place.”
It certainly doesn’t sound as if your daughter has learned to modulate her emotions or has emotional containment. But we don’t know why. Obviously a child with autism would find this much harder.
I would search the autism.org.uk website for sections on autism spectrum disorder, Asperger’s, pathological demand avoidance, women and girls andgetting a diagnosis. Then I would go to your GP and start again to find help for your daughter (or you can do this privately if you prefer). I would also recommend you get some counselling (aft.org.uk; bacp.co.uk) to support yourself.
Your problems solved
Contact Annalisa Barbieri, The Guardian, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU or email email@example.com. Annalisa regrets she cannot enter into personal correspondence.
Follow Annalisa on Twitter @AnnalisaB ……………’
Do we really know who our friends or enemies are and when one may transform into the other.
No one is perfect, so who are we to judge others.
You may not agree but we all have a little mental illness in us. We all carrying traits of bpd, bipolar, anxiety, depression etc.
Don’t believe me? Take a lot at any of the mental illness info and tell me you can’t find at least a few that make you raise your eyebrows.
We may not all carrying enough traits to warrant that pretty little piece of typed paper stating we are fudged in the head. But Im telling ya its there those pesky traits.
So before we judge we need to take a hard look at the glass houses we live in. Because darling Mr/Mrs judgemental non fudged in the head, lack of empathy, scared narrow mind people. We all a little crazy. Some of us are just more accepting of our faults
I refuse to be fat forever
Life, Stories, News and Challenges of living in the UK with a disability.
HNC/HND Health and Social Care level 4/ NVQ level 4
This is an unofficial Spiral Dynamics blog. It is not endorsed by D. Beck PhD.
Awareness, Education, Research & Quips
"The truth is like poetry, and most people hate poetry."
Res ipsa loquitur ("The thing itself speaks")
En sintonía con la realidad
When MPs give a reason for wanting something - it's an excuse to suit their own endgame.
Paleoconservative news and opinion
My journey through it all
Muslim immigration and Muslim statistics
Our mission is to use the most ethical and positive business practices in order to EMPOWER, ENHANCE, and ENRICH the lives of individuals with disabilities, inspiring them to reach their full potential! Knowing that every day is better than the next, if you believe in yourself and your ability...not your disability!
New Perspective on Life