Depressed over daughter's mental/physical issues

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Aviana
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/15/2011 10:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I'm new here.  Just looking for a place to vent, I guess.  Feeling very depressed over my life situation right now.  See, my school-age daughter has sensory processing disorder and separation anxiety, so I homeschool her.  Which would be fine except that she has real trouble doing actual "schoolwork," so I have to be VERY creative about teaching, which is exhausting and doesn't always work anyway, so it's also frustrating.
 
She also gets this really weird energy in the evening, like she has to wrestle, be in your face, has mood swings, etc.  I mean this goes on for 6 or 7 hours, which is exhausting and, I hate to say it, but really annoying!
 
I can totally relate to everything about her, because I have her same issues (even that weird energy).  I absolutely know it's not her fault.  We have some things in place to help her deal with everything and to moderate her behavior, but it doesn't always work.  The doctors just say we're doing the right thing.  I haven't mentioned the weird energy to the docs because it just started up again after getting better for several years, so maybe I should take her back for that.  Not sure if there's anything they can offer for that, though. 
 
I think a big part of it is her needing more playtime with other kids.  I work really hard at providing that, but it doesn't always pan out. 
 
So I'm feeling worn out, frustrated, not wanting to do anything, incl. the basics.  Just feeling really, really bad right now. 
 
Thank you for listening.  It helps just to reach out.  I've read some of the other threads and I know there are lots of caring people here. 
 

Tirzah
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 1/16/2011 12:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Have you looked into the Special Recreation Association in your area? I used to work at a couple different ones & besides being great for the kids it provided a much needed respite for their parents. Depending on how large your SRA is, they might offer programs a couple times a week up to 6 days a week and several times a day. The cost is usually nominal as it is subsidized by the county. You can contact your local park district for information.
The good ones don't just focus on recreation, but also plan fun education activities centered around participants' needs. I think it would probably be a good idea to mention again to her pediatrician & also might be worth contacting your local school district for additional testing. Maybe there is something else now going on, or at a minimum they might be able to offer additional suggestions for homeschooling or public resources. I used to teach & know that some homeschooled special ed children would come in 3x/week for an hour or two of special services -- I don't think that's commonly offered, but I mention it only to say that you never know what the school district might be able to suggest. They are required to manage an IEP for all children in their district even if the children attend private school or are homeschooled. The services are free, so be sure to take advantage of them.
Also, the school might be able to connect you with a support group for other moms with special needs children. Other parents can be the very best sources of ideas & also offer emotional support. Finally, I'm not sure what would help with the sensory processing, but the separation anxiety is something that a warm, caring, experienced teacher should be able to manage. Over my career, I taught children ranging from age 5 to age 17. Though in the Kindergarten classes I had many more children who struggled with separating from parents, I dealt with that issue at all levels. There are methods to help children feel comfortable in school & to resolve fears within the first week of school. But not knowing your neighborhood school, perhaps such a teacher hasn't been available to your child. Don't give up hope, though. I have seen children comfortably transition to a school setting in 4th grade, in middle school, or even in high school, once a caring and well-trained teacher became available. Perhaps that is something to look into again -- if not for this school year, perhaps for the next one (or for summer school, as a trial run). Besides traditional schooling, some districts can provide a traveling professional teacher to work with your child in your home. Testing must demonstrate a need for that & not every district has funds for it, but sometimes even the poorest districts can get grants (if they agree your daughter needs it, there are grant writing courses online & you could even draft the grant for the district and ask them just to review and submit it).

Sorry, I know that's a lot to take in. Just want to encourage you that there are a lot of options out there. All hope is not lost. You have been doing the best for your daughter so far, but it is very, very common for parents to get burned out... even when their special needs child is in school during the day and in enrichment classes/special rec in early evening. I don't know how you've been managing so long, but God bless you for giving so much to your child. It's perfectly normal to have discipline/behavioral mod work most, but not all of the time. That doesn't mean it's not successful. Sometimes it can work for a while even, and the children regress or relapse. Consistency and keeping to a schedule are key. And there is no shame in asking for help with that.

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 1/16/2011 12:23 AM (GMT -6)   
PS -- I forgot to welcome you to HW. So welcome. I agree that the members here are very kind & I'm sure others will have encouraging words to add soon. :)

Aviana
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/16/2011 1:13 AM (GMT -6)   

Frances,  thank you for all the ideas.  I'll look into them as I have the time and energy.  I'll make a list and have my husband help me.  When I get depressed I'm really bad about follow-thru. 

Sounds like any student would be lucky to have you as a teacher.  It's especially true for my daughter that the teacher can make all the difference.  If she bonds to that teacher, she could go to that school forever.  But how on earth would I find that teacher?  (Just a rhetorical question.)  Plus, the teacher changes with each grade. 

Anyway, I do appreciate your detailed response and the warm welcome.  Just posting helped me feel better...I just took a shower, the first one in, well, let's just say a while. 


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42430
   Posted 1/16/2011 3:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Aviana,

I too would like to welcome you to the forum. I am sorry that you are struggling so. I think Frances had some good ideas for you so when you get rested up a little give them a try. I know you are probably very exhausted at this point. But doing what Frances advised could free up some of your time. You need you time. That is so important for recharging our batteries.

I hope that you feel better soon. Take care, keep posting.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

red lightening
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 1/16/2011 9:31 AM (GMT -6)   
How about an afternoon intense exercise workout of some sort. Gyms are only $20.00 a month...or perhaps jogging or trampoline...something your child enjoys doing outside with fresh air. She could channel that immense energy into physicality. Also what about a recreational sport for kids her age...softball, track, soccer?

It's Genetic
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1540
   Posted 1/16/2011 9:33 AM (GMT -6)   
It's possible, Depressed O.D.M./P. issues, that a
depression is affecting your daughter which could stem from the
learning difficulty. If it occurs during a certain time of the late afternoon, you might wish to discuss this with your psychiatrist. It's possible that a chemical imbalance is manifesting itself. If you can get that corrected, things may improve greatly for both you and her.

All you are noticing about your daughter's behavior should be discussed with a psychiatrist so that a solution may be found and so that proper medication may resolve a major issue: depression.


All that you need to do is part of a larger puzzle to stabilize her unusual behavior. She might even find that she may be able to attend a good private school where more individual attention is availble.

Post Edited (It's Genetic) : 1/16/2011 8:49:50 AM (GMT-7)


Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 1/16/2011 2:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I know you said it was a rhetorical question, but I'll answer it anyways. ;)
Go to the school & ask to meet with the teachers. The school really should offer that to you as a parent, but it rarely happens. Be insistent. Don't get rude or anything, but just let them know that you really want to meet with the teacher to help your daughter prepare to re-enter school. If you see that there are things the teacher is doing that could cause problems for your child, mention it to the teacher & see if she is receptive to making modifications. If she isn't, ask to meet with another teacher.
For all that's said against teachers, there truly are wonderful, caring individuals out there. Finding someone who will be GREAT for your daughter this year can mean that next year she will be able to survive with a mediocre teacher (though hopefully that doesn't happen, I realize there are no guarantees). A caring, qualified teacher will work with your daughter to help her not just learn content, but also learn strategies to self-soothe and function in an environment that is slightly less ideal. As with anything, there are risks -- but the benefit of having a great teacher, being able to make friends, developing strategies & getting additional high-level feedback about managing her disability are typically direction-changing, if not life-changing.
Your daughter has a lot going on & any advantage you can give her, even if only for a year, can mean a lot for her (and you). I have seen the progress that a child can make in a year. Even in as little as 3 months, I saw a child with severe PDD change from screaming any time a person or thing touched him, to being comfortable enough to occasionally give hugs to his parents & favorite teachers, and to be okay with someone accidentally brushing up against him for a second or two. He learned to refocus & not have a complete breakdown, and that was in only 3 months. He had a mediocre teacher the next school year & b/c of what he learned with my co-teacher and me, he survived... long enough to make it to the next grade level where he had a fantastic teacher who was a mentor to me. Behaviorally, I didn't even recognize the child by the end of that school year.
So my advice to you -- as it is to anyone with depression -- is to focus on today. Don't let your head get filled with regrets about yesterday or fears for tomorrow. Today is what really matters & today is where you can have the greatest impact.

Aviana
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/16/2011 5:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all so much.  All such caring, thoughtful replies and welcomes.  Will try to reply more specifically when I have the energy.  I am processing all the great suggestions, just want you all to know that I am reading and thinking and thanking!!  I'll continue to read and appreciate any replies.
 
Aviana

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 1/16/2011 5:46 PM (GMT -6)   
((((hugs for Aviana))))

hang in there! :)

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42430
   Posted 1/16/2011 6:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Take things one day at a time for awhile. Do something nice for just you. I think you deserve that.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies
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