Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Problems

This is cross posted from one of my homeschool boards. This is the short list of some of the issues we have with Brianna. There is more stuff and sometimes we have less stuff. This is just an in general list. The next post is about what we're going to be looking into.

I called my sister the other night about Brianna because she has a special needs child. My nephew has ADHD, Tourettes and ODD (along with several other not as prominent issues). After reading many posts on my boards, I wanted to ask her about Aspergers because I was starting to see Brianna in a lot of the posts.

One of the reasons we pulled Brianna out of PS was behavioural issues. She picked up and copied all the worst behaviours from her classmates. They just seem magnified now.

She has "listening problems". She knows the rules in the house. We are very consistent parents who don't change things all the time so the rules and expectations have been the same all her life. Yet she doesn't listen. You can tell her she can't do X and 5 minutes later you find her doing it as if she had permission to do so.

She has some very weird habits like picking/tearing her toenails. Yesterday she was sitting on the couch reading and suddenly came to me saying her toenail came off. Now her pinkie toenails are very oddly shaped and fragile so it doesn't surprise me how easy they come off, but this (tearing off the entire pinkie nail) has happened several times.

No kind of reinforcement works for her. Negative, positive, rewards systems, ect.... Reward systems seem to work a little bit but no matter how much she loves them (cause she does, she gets excited anytime one is introduced) they only work for a few days to a couple weeks.

The other day I let her pick out some toys that she could earn with good behaviour. Real toys too not just dollar store junk. She picked out stuff she was really excited to play with. The next day I reminded her of our "deal" of good behaviour/toy. At least 20 times that day she was reminded of this yet the bad behaviour stayed.

She has a food issue. She is boarderline overweight, something we've struggled with for a few years. She was worse around 5 yrs old but thankfully has become more proportionate. However, she steals and hides food. In plain view she eats more than I do, sometimes as much as DH who is a labourer for a living (read eats a LOT). Then she steals more. Usually junk food (which is "normally" restricted, it's a treat - not all the time, but not never), but also healthy food. She'll wake in the middle of the night, take food from the kitchen and hide it in her bed. She'll over eat to the point of an upset stomach.

She has extremes when it comes to empathy. Either she seems to not care at ALL about other people's feelings or care WAY too much. Example, Olivia fell and cut her cheek on a bolt on my treadmill, the baby cried for maybe 30 seconds. Brianna cried for 3 HOURS. And it wasn't a guilt thing either cause Brianna had nothing to do with it, she was on the other end of the room. Even after we came back from the drs and told her all Olivia needed was a special bandaid (one of those butterfly ones to hold the edges together) and was perfectly fine (at this point Olivia was laughing and playing) yet Brianna was still freaking out.

When she's asked why she does X, her tone of voice, her body language, her facial expressions all say she truely has NO IDEA why. It's almost like that old imaginary friend thing, ya know "I didn't do it, Boo did" (while she does have an imaginary friend she has not actually blamed "Naya" for anything, it was just an example.

She has immature social issues. She is 8 1/2 and seems far more interested in stuff (tv shows, toys, ect...) for preschoolers than anything her peers may think is "cool". While I am a great believer in nothing is too babyish for her to like, it seems odd that she really doesn't seem to care about anything that is meant for her age level.

She loves crafty stuff. Could do it for hours. But won't in any shape way or form take care of her craft supplies. If she steps on a box of crayons her demeanor is like "oh well" but then later gets upset when she doesn't have the crayons. At one point I told her I wouldn't buy anymore supplies since she didn't take care of them, she'd have to buy them with her own money. She went out and spent her own money and took care of them the exact same way. I told her at another point that I'd buy her more craft stuff or new different types of craft stuff if she could show me she could take care of them (and at this point all I cared was that they weren't on the floor), still, took care of them the same way as before, didn't.

She discovered nail salons. Her friend got her nails done with airbrushing pictures. Brianna fell in love. We made a deal that if she'd even just TRY to stop biting her nails I'd take her to get them done. She's never made it through even one day without biting them even though she constantly says she will and can we get her nails done next week.

So after all this, my sister says it sounds like it may be ODD (oppositional defiance disorder). I've gotten several people telling me Sensory Processing Disorder. After researching them, it sounds more like SPD. My next post is more of a keep track for me post of the list of symptoms Brianna DOES show.

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