You may (or may not) have noticed that I have been mentally constipated for the best part of 2 years.
I had been unable to find a laxative to unbung my usual verbosity. It simply dried up.
The urge to run-n-tell has been within me but, in all honesty, I’ve been struggling to form a cohesive blog.
Bah, enough of the scatology. Basically I’ve been crap. Shit, there I go again. Oops and again!
In a nutshell, Things were going well, Pickle was jogging forwards at a sloth’s pace. I started putting more into my work, I got me a shiny new office and a shiny new colleague and I started to feel like a shiny new me. Not just the adoptive mum, with the adopted kid. It felt good, taking time away to focus directly on Pickle’s challenges, proactively tackling them and not simply focusing on the negative thoughts lounging around in my head. I felt like a better parent.
So much has happened over the last 2 years, it difficult to know how or where to begin. There’s no point in going over those past months since life as an adoptive parent is pretty much a haze at the best of times. I will start from the here and now and just type whatever guff spews from my fingertips and hope it makes some semblance of sense. Forgive the lack of coherence until I get back into the blogosphere stride.
Pickle is now in a year 3 pupil. A junior.
New teacher. New classroom. New building. New rules. New expectations. New anxieties. And with these, of course, new behaviours.
Some of his previous behaviours flicker now and then, but on a much lower heat, and they simmer for half the time. Rarely boiling over with the fervid zeal they used to.
His new behaviours have been, at times, rather extreme and, let’s say, different. More short-lived, yet more aggressive. More reasoned, yet more manipulating. More intelligent, yet more desperate. And worst of all, they’ve involved self-harming.
Sitting back, watching your child hurt himself, bang his head against brick wall, thump his own head, cause purposeful friction burns on his knuckles, scratch himself until he bleeds, all while maintaining a neutral expression is possibly one of the most heart-wrenching things I’ve ever had to do. Stressful to say the least.
There comes a point where imbibing the super-human powers found at the bottom of a ‘Cardi bottle simply aren’t enough to turn me into the virago I was hoping.
Time for expert intervention.
First port of call: school. We have called in his new teacher and the SENCO. We have drawn up a CAF and established a Team Around the Child. The first couple of meetings have been promising.
We have had a speech and language assessment. All fine. We have had a referral to parenting support, which was deemed unnecessary due to the progress he has made with us and the techniques and startegies that we already have in place. We have see the paediatrician, who diagnosed “attachment disorder manifesting itself in anxiety and impulsive behaviour”. We have seen family support worker who, as well as being on the academic case to gain as much school intervention as possible, has engaged in play therapy focusing on anger management.
Our final referral, the one I’m dreading, is for CAMHS. We’ve yet to hear back. With the recent negative press in relation to our mental health services and the generally poor feedback from adoptive parents tangled in the CAMHS web, I’m feeling rather unenthusiastic and sceptical.
But since Pickle has fought – and continues to fight – so hard to gain some control over his emotions and behaviours. I will fight even harder to gain him the very best support.