2 posts in one day!
Today I got Dinky’s paediatrician appointment for the child development centre. 9th July 2013! Finally, after I first raised concerns with the GP regarding her behaviour July 2012, we have an appointment with a proper professional. I say proper, as I am not convinced her old play therapist qualifies as a proper professional. I asked her what I could do about the behaviour once, and she said that she didn’t deal with that side of things, she is only trained to assess her play. So I asked what her play says, that she is a bright and intelligent child working through some issues! A Sherlock in the making! Anyone could make that assessment, my theory is that she didn’t really have a clue. I would have stopped her going, only it gave Dinky a break from class and she would have been furious if I stopped her going. Actually I think it gave the class teacher a break and the senco could guarantee some downtime without being disturbed!
I also got the book ‘The Explosive Child by Ross W. Greene’ in the post today.
It is a very interesting read. It is basically a book on children with PDA, but because USA doesn’t recognise PDA, they just get the term ‘explosive child’. The Doc does say that it would seem to be a development delay in the areas of flexibility, frustration tolerance and problem solving. He also says that ‘explosions’ happen whenever he (the child) doesn’t have the skills to deal well with the demands that are being placed on him. I very much like the phrase ‘kids do well if they can’.
I fully intend to use this book in the first TAC meeting we have so everyone is on the same page about why Dinky is the way she is. It is not wilful, it is an issue with having the correct skills to deal well with the demands being placed on her. Therefore she is demand avoidant, to avoid the stress and voila… PDA.
This book really got me thinking about parenting….
EVERYONE.. has a view on parenting… especially when talking about challenging children. It is quite amusing (in hindsight- not at the time), how many people are the experts in how to tackle challenging behaviour! Even those without kids!
I bet loads of mums of children with PDA can list tons of examples of ‘helpful advice’.
I have, in the past month or so, begun to realise just how different parenting a child with PDA or an explosive child is to a ‘normal’ child.
It is almost the exact opposite of what people tell you, you should or shouldn’t be doing! I have had enough people tell me what I should do with or for Dinky. I have had:
- She needs more discipline
- She needs to know who is boss
- She needs a slap (so many objections, on so many levels… this is not the 50’s we as a society have moved on people!)
- Sticker/ reward charts
- minute charts
- special time
- removal of favourite objects
- Time out
- naughty step
- you need to be more consistent
- you need to shout more/less
- whatever you do, do not give in
Do you know what I have learnt?
NONE of it works! (I haven’t tried the smacking as I have always refused to do it). Up until January/February I had no idea about PDA. Now I do. Now I am starting to see more and more that these meltdowns/explosions are not her fault. They are panic attacks. I refuse to punish my child for something they have no control over. It would be like punishing a dyslexic child for not being able to read. or an asthmatic child for having an asthma attack.
Poor parenting for Dinky would be punishing her when she has a meltdown and I will not do it! I will do the opposite of what people tell me I should do because I know now what will and wont work.
I must be seen by the school and by those who do not know that Dinky probably has PDA, as an awful parent. The difference is I no longer care! I am the only person who can stick up for her and her needs. I will of course aim to correct this way of thinking from the school and others who know us as a family unit.
I just hope the paediatrician doesn’t leave it too long between appointments to get her assessed thoroughly enough to come up with a diagnosis. I feel I am hindered without that piece of paper to prove that I am right and that dinky needs the support that is recommended for children with PDA.
It is so sad to think that there are tons of adults out there who never got the recognition for their PDA, and still thousands of children up and down the country and in fact all over the world are having to deal with being massively misunderstood.