Friday, April 22, 2011

Breaking the Biting

I woke up around 5:00a in tears.  I had dreamt that my sister had taken the girls from me, and there was nothing I could do to get them back.  In my dream - she came to my parents house, and we were sitting on our old wooden twin beds that could be made into bunk beds, and arguing.  Keep in mind these beds are long gone, and I think we were 4 and 6 last time we slept in our twin beds, in the same room like they were set up in my dream.  I sat directly across from her and I kept telling her that she was not doing the right thing for her children, as taking the Vampire from me would be devastating...  I was the mother she knew.  She kept telling me that I screwed the Vampire up by taking her from her real mother, and blaming the biting on me.  She insisted that I would never see the girls again, and that this entire fiasco was my fault to begin with.  The entire time I wanted to pop her upside the head with a pillow and tell her that she would give me the girls back - but even in dream world - I had restraint.

My heart ached.  The girls stayed the night with Mamaw because it is Good Friday - and they're both out of school.  I couldn't go into the bedroom and see them sleeping in their beds and re-assure myself that it was just a stupid dream, and they are safe.  I checked my cell phone, and didn't have any calls from my mom, and I know that if there was an issue, she would call me.  So I tried to rationalize that, and calm myself down.  I eventually fell back asleep - but the dream has lingered with me all day.

If I am so good for these children, why can't I break the Vampire's biting?  It has become increasingly worse.  The daycare director told me that she will need to have another care conference about it because the Vampire has been so out of control.  She told me it's not just the biting, but the other aggressive behavior, yelling, hitting, kicking, pinching, spitting.  I'm at a loss.  She did so well for so long.  She was at 3-4 bites a week which was an improvement.  This last week she had to have bit 8-10 times.  Very disheartening.  I've been doing everything I can for her.  Uncle M has been working hard with her!  What are we missing....

The first thing the ASD tester said to me after meeting the Vampire was "is she in speech therapy?"  My answer, "she is in social behavior therapy with a speech therapist".  ASD tester, "she really needs speech therapy.  really."  Me, "OK - I will push for that."  So I call the parent mentor for our IEP program, and leave her a message.  This was all on 4/15.  On Tuesday 4/19, the mentor gets back with me.  I told her that our behavior therapist has diagnosed the Vampire with PTSD, and would like for me to get her into the IEP so she can begin receiving the therapy she deserves.  The mentor says, "she is mis-informed.  a diagnosis of PTSD will not qualify her for an IEP.  Have you tried Head Start?"  Yes.  I tried Head Start.  I was assured that she would get a place in Jan/Feb....  they never got back with me.  Yes - I let it go.  She was accepted to her current daycare, and I thought that would be better for her.  The mentor told me "if you would like her re-tested, you can request that, but you must know - they can turn down your request."  Nice.  I have a child.  I am fighting to get her the help she needs before patterns are developed that could possibly cause her trouble for the rest of her life.  And they can turn me down?  No wonder so many kids fall through the cracks...

Better get off my soapbox before I really get on a roll with this rant.  After the holiday I will be contacting Head Start.  Maybe if she goes 1/2 day to Head start and 1/2 day to the other daycare it will be best for her.  Maybe if she spends less time at one center during the day - the likelihood of her biting will decrease and she will some day forget about that impulse entirely.  I told Uncle M that we need to start focusing on the positives hardcore - to the point that we merely tell them that we are disappointed about the negatives, then praise whatever they did that was good.  We have been having her say sentences (10x per bite) as a "punishment".  I will not bite at school.  Over and over.  It's good practice for her as well as she struggles with the word "school", and we're trying to help her with her speech, but maybe we are focusing on the negatives too much.  I will be looking on the internet this weekend for videos that will help a child her age with speech progression.  They have videos for everything else.  Uncle M joked that we need to get her the Rosetta Stone system for the English language.  I am just at a point where I realize that no one else will help her more than Uncle M and I.  As a friend of mine put it, we have to "advocate" for her.  It is frustrating that people are so ready to give up on children.  If I knew exactly how to help her I would, but I don't, and the people I am asking for help - aren't always willing to help.  It's so sad to me! 

Drama Queen has been acting out a lot lately too.  She doesn't want to listen to the teacher or do her homework.  I am going to write the teacher a note, asking her to call me because I think DQ is getting bored in school.  She knows all her kindergarten sight words.  She is reading at a 1st grade level.  Her math skills are excellent.  I want to see if Mrs B. can either challenge her a little more or put her in a program where she will be challenged more.  She told me that she didn't like school cause all they did was the same old thing.  I don't want to see her lose interest in school.  To me a good education is priceless.  There is only a little over a month of school left for her.  I don't want her to think that going back to 1st grade is going to be "the pits". 

Uncle M and I are toying with the idea of taking the Vampire off of gluten to see if this can curb her negative behavior.  I'm also looking into doing more with fresh foods in our diets.  Things like buying a portion of a cow that is local, and we know the farmer doesn't do anything to enhance the growth of the cow un-naturally.  The more educated I am about all of this, the less I really want to keep feeding my kids this junk.  Have you heard/read about the Happy Meal that never decomposed?  GROSS!  I will keep you posted how far this goes as it will require LOTS of preparation on Uncle M and my part - but if it's best for the Vampire - then we just have to try it.  I hear there are a lot of links between gluten intolerance and autism or autistic behaviors.  

The greenhouse continues to look great!  Our corn in the first row is knee high.  I am very excited about this.   Little Bit (or Little Girl - the kitten) provides Uncle M with hours of amusement now as she plays fetch.  He calls her a Calico Retriever.  He will toss her little toy mouse and she will scurry after it - then drop it at his side.  Rinse.  Repeat.  It's pretty cute.  He showed DQ that she plays fetch, and DQ will sit and play that with her.  She is still fairly gentle with the girls, and I am glad we have such a mellow cat, but I can't believe I have a cat that plays fetch better than my Labrador Retriever!  It is priceless! 

I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday weekend!  I am looking forward to seeing my family, and watching the girls faces light up when they see what the Easter Bunny brings them! 

Aunt TT


  1. *hugs* So sorry to hear about your continued stress but I am glad to hear you are still looking at ways to cope and improve things. The diet may help, and I wish you the best of luck with everything you are facing. I wish I could be there for you. I am still here for you and thinking of you. Much love.

  2. This post certainly runs the gambit of emotions... but I loved the bit about "Little Bit" and wish you lots of luck in the gluten-free experiment! The effects food could have on us boggle my mind... that sounds like a very interesting (in a good way!) road to go down!
    We love you!!