Friday, baby girl and I met with the educational psychologist at school. It was the first time baby girl met her. The purpose of the meeting was to explore baby girls understanding of her feelings with a view to being able to identify when she’s ‘loosing control’.
I was a little cautious about this idea because I’m not sure baby girl is ready to ‘take care of her self’ she’s still showing me she wants me ‘to take care of her’, none the less I was still quite excited at this new idea, well that was until I attempted to explore baby girls knowledge and understanding of feelings in preparation for the appointment. Aside from happy and sad she didn’t seem able to think about any other kinds of feelings, and even happy and sad were a little hazy.
So, we started the session by talking about happy and sad and what things made baby girl feel that way. Other than ‘playing’ for happy and ‘not playing’ for sad, she struggled to come up with any other suggestions, even with some prompting.
Between the Educational Psychologist and myself we managed to devise a list of things that made baby girl happy, and things that made her feel sad.
We then moved on to exploring her understanding of her, sometimes difficult, behaviour, she had no understanding.
We asked her what sorts of things might make her feel worried, panicky, anxious (or ‘un-calm’ as she put it), she didn’t know.
We talked to her about how she feels inside when she’s having a difficult time and feeling un-calm, she didn’t know.
We talked about how mummys cuddles help her to calm down and asked her what other things might help her calm down, she didn’t know.
We some how managed to draw up a 1,2,3 scale of how she looks, from ‘calm to un-calm’, I really don’t think she understood what we were doing and seemed more interested in getting the pen the educational psychologist was using.
The session started with her looking very worried sat on a chair next to me, after lots of wondering about, constantly snatching at the pen, having to be re-focused and reminded to listen she eventually ended up squirming on my lap, baby voice and all with my stroking her back and trying to calm her down.
I took baby girl back to class and returned to the meeting.
The educational psychologist agreed with me that she didn’t feel baby girl was going to be able to recognise her own feelings and would need the grown ups around her to help her with this. I pointed out that I already do this at home and generally I’m able to manage baby girl quite well by preventing her from becoming dysregulated in the first place, but in school there isn’t anyone to recognise her anxiety, what triggers it or even to help her to calm down. She asked that I work with baby girl on the 1,2,3 chart at home and said she felt it was also important that it was implemented in school too. She commented that for baby girls age she would have expected a much better understanding of feelings and would be asking the school to provide her with extra support with this.
She’s going to contact me with a date for our next appointment, she said it could be as far away as September when baby girl enters her new class?!
In the mean time I’ve spoken to our gp and requested a referral to the community paediatrician to investigate my concerns over possible sensory issues she may have. If she does have some sort of sensory processing disorder or sensory issue, it may explain why she can easily become dysregulated, and may also be the reason she needs 12- 13 hours a night sleep!
For now, we must wait for the next appointment…………..