Today has definitely been a rough day. It’s days like this that really make me sit down and wonder if I’m doing the right things, saying the right things, and getting her the help she needs.
Our 7 year old daughter, Veronica, is currently in a Partial Hospitalization Program at a local psychiatric facility. She was hospitalized about a month ago due to a full psychotic break, which was a first for her. Prior to that we were wondering if she was on the autism spectrum, but after the break all the “professionals” were leaning towards schizophrenia.
Now at her new treatment program, they are finally going to refer us to get her the full autism testing to see if she falls on the spectrum. I think she does as she shows an incredible amount of signs.
Either way, whatever she needs we will provide to the best of our ability. Right now we are in a place where we have a lot more questions than we do answers. We know she needs help and have finally gotten her in to a program that we are praying will help both her and us.
She came to a point where she was completely non-functional both at school and home, so this is where we are now.
For now, though, it doesn’t make things any easier. Thankfully I have a background in psychiatric treatment so I am able to put skills I learned for myself in to calming her anxiety attacks and trying to get her to listen and understand.
I tend to have mixed results, but it’s a lot better than where we were.
Today, though, I’m just glad it’s bed time. She’s been doing fairly well for most of the day. Typical issues of having to remind her a few times to do things and asking her repeatedly to please not lock the toddlers in the dog crate, but over all not a horrible day.
Until there was a loud knock at the door.
Our downstairs neighbour had run up the stairs to alert me that Veronica was standing in the window, in just her panties, leaning on the screen and half-way out the window. I quickly thanked her for telling me and ran to get my daughter.
The thing is, this isn’t the first time she’s stood in the window. And I always tell her to get down. Getting her to put clothes on when the windows are open is another daily fight. In my panic, I yelled. I hate yelling, but I was scared to death. We live on the 3rd floor. That’s quite a fall to the ground.
But all she heard was my yelling, and immediately she thought that I hated her. We both took a breather and I came back to her to explain to her that it wasn’t right that I yelled and asked if she understood why I yelled and was so upset. She thought it was because she hadn’t asked permission to open the window.
I had to explain to her that it’s fine to look out the window, but those screens are not meant to hold her weight and are not meant to be leaned against. I explained that she can fall through that window and get seriously hurt. I had to keep redirecting the conversation because she kept getting distracted by my beauty marks (my freckles, her latest obsession). I kept telling her that this is very serious and she needs to listen. I think I finally got her to understand, because she told me, “I will never lean out the window again. I could fall and get hurt!”
I feel, though, that the hazards are all-too constant in our house. We finally got her to stop messing with the cats, and now are having to get her to not hang out windows.
I’m terrified that one day she is going to get seriously injured by her impulsivity.
Special Needs Children: When trying to maintain your own sanity