I’ve taken on a coach to help me sort through all the feelings that I have for my daughter. The last several months have been hard on all of us. So many things have happened to her both natural and not that it is impossible to figure out what is causing her escalated behaviors, but I’m willing to try. No one else will help her the way I will, and no-one else will help me as much as I can help myself.
My coach asked me to list my daughter’s behaviors, both good and negative – along with details, thoughts and feelings. So, check them out below. I’ll probably add to these over time.
- Terrific memory = when asked specific things, Nove’s memory is wonderful and detailed. But if you ask her something broad and general, she will have trouble accessing memory and turning thoughts into words. For instance asking ” what did you do today”? will garner an ” I don’t remember”. But, asking “Did you have apples and a PB&J sandwich today?” will get you a “No! We had chicken nuggets”!
- She’s not worried about appearances = Outside of specific ideas of how things should be, she’s not worried about the way she or anyone else looks. She doesn’t care that my car has hail dents all over it, or that it is dirty. She likes my guy’s new Mustang as much as she likes my piece of junk. This can be a drawback too, so look for it under The Bad post.
- Literal = she says what she means and hears us as saying things in a literal way also. This is good in that she’s not hiding things usually. It can lead to confusion since our everyday speech usually includes idioms and synonyms.
- Creativity = she can make up stories and play pretend like no-one I’ve ever met. She doesn’t have the skills to use paints or crayons to express this, but the stories in her head are amazing.
- Entertaining = if you can find your patience, she will entertain you for hours by telling stories, pretending to be someone else and drawing you into her make believe world.
- She states what she sees = while she does lie (usually to protect herself from reprimand after eating too much food), she won’t tell you you don’t look fat in your jeans if she thinks you do. Now, it’s up to her perspective. If she thinks your jeans should fit differently than they do – even differently than they were designed, she’s going to tell you they don’t fit you.
- She’s a fantastic reader = If she gets lost and can call home, all I have to do is ask her to read the signs around her. She can read above her age level, though comprehension of abstract ideas is tough. For instance, fact vs opinion isn’t easy to understand – because what people think is what they think. That is a solid thought and if someone thinks it, it should be an opinion. At least for her.
- Fixation = She fixates on ideas with rigidity beyond compromise. If she thinks something should work a certain way, an event should come after another certain event, or your red shoes should be on your feet today – she may not be able to deal with the situation when life doesn’t happen that way.
- Bossiness = she’s creative as long as she’s boss. As long as she directs the play, the conversation, the trip to the store – everything is fine. If you don’t do things the way she wants or thinks, you are in trouble and should prepare for a meltdown, name calling and general anger at you.
- Sensory dysfunction = she hates showers and having her hair washed, combed or touched. This has been life long. Hair washing day is usually one day a week which is sometimes not often enough. But screaming, and physical violence from her isn’t worth doing it more often usually. Baths are easier, but not always as effective.
- Anxiety = she worries over doing tasks that are hard for her – like writing, dressing, math and other fine motor skill usage. Large open spaces inside of buildings where noises echo or are magnified bother her.
- Violent = in the last year and a half, she’s become both physically and verbally violent. She hits, kicks, punches, throws objects and pushes people. She also yells, screams, and hurls obscenity at those around her and threatens with bodily harm or death to those who wont’ give her what she wants.
- Self loathing = usually during or right after a melt down, she says she is stupid and that she can’t do better.