Monday, June 27, 2011

The Checklist

Last night I slept horribly. I had dreams and nightmares about E. I felt like my brain would not shut off and all I could think about was how we need to start getting him help.

E. has his good days and bad days. I am fearful of summer with him out of school. He loves to hover around and annoy everyone present, rather than play like most five year olds. If we go anywhere or have anyone over, he spends the majority of time acting silly, cute, or just plain weird. There are occasions where he is sweet, happy and loving. But I sometimes wonder what is genuine and what is not. Last week in church he did great, was obedient, and even cuddled with me. But, guess what was at stake after church was over? Right, cake.

I spent part of last week doing some research about getting a neuropsychological evaluation for E. I was referred to a local woman who sounds lovely and I was so excited to call her. Unfortunately, she doesn't work with children younger than six. No one within an hour and a half drive from us does. I am wondering if we should wait until he is six. I have also heard rave reviews about a therapist a few hours away specializing in working with kids with attachment issues and trauma. I contacted him tonight by email to see how we can get help for E.

His group's website had a checklist on their site that caught my eye.

Circle the items if they are frequently or often true.
  1. My child acts cute or charms others to get others to do what my child wants.
  2. My child often does not make eye contact when adults want to make eye contract with my child.
  3. My child is overly friendly with strangers.
  4. My child pushes me away or becomes stiff when I try to hug, unless my child wants something from me.
  5. My child argues for long periods of time, often about ridiculous things.
  6. My child has a tremendous need to have control over everything, becoming very upset if things don't go my child's way.
  7. My child acts amazingly innocent, or pretends that things aren't that bad when caught doing something wrong.
  8. My child does very dangerous things, ignoring that my child may be hurt.
  9. My child deliberately breaks or ruins things.
  10. My child doesn't seem to feel age-appropriate guilt when my child does something wrong.
  11. My child teases, hurts, or is cruel to other children.
  12. My child seems unable to stop from doing things on impulse.
  13. My child steals, or shows up with things that belong to others with unusual or suspicious reasons for how my child got these things.
  14. My child demands things, instead of asking for them.
  15. My child doesn't seem to learn from mistakes and misbehavior (no matter what the consequence, the child continues the behavior).
  16. My child tries to get sympathy from others by telling them that I abuse, don't feed, or don't provide the basic life necessities.
  17. My child "shakes off" pain when hurt, refusing to let anyone provide comfort.
  18. My child likes to sneak things without permission, even though my child could have had these things if my child had asked.
  19. My child lies, often about obvious or ridiculous things, or when it would have been easier to tell the truth.
  20. My child is very bossy with other children and adults.
  21. My child hoards or sneaks food, or has other unusual eating habits (eats paper, raw flour, package mixes, baker's chocolate, etc.
  22. My child can't keep friends for more than a week.
  23. My child throws temper tantrums that last for hours.
  24. My child chatters non-stop, asks repeated questions about things that make no sense, mutters, or is hard to understand when talking.
  25. My child is accident-prone (gets hurt a lot), or complains a lot about every little ache and pain (needs constant band aids).
  26. My child teases, hurts, or is cruel to animals.
  27. My child doesn't do as well in school as my child could with even a little more effort.
  28. My child has set fires, or is preoccupied with fire.
  29. My child prefers to watch violent cartoons and/or TV shows or horror movie (regardless of whether or not you allow your child to do this).
  30. My child was abused/neglected during the first year of life, or had several changes of primary caretaker during the first several years of life.
  31. My child was in an orphanage for more than the first year of life.
  32. My child was adopted after the age of eighteen months.

If you find that more than a few items (more than five or so) have been circled, your child may be experiencing difficulties that require professional assistance. If, in addition to several items being marked, any of the last three items is check, your child may be experiencing attachment related problems.

Sadly, I circled 22 items on this list.


Ericka said...

Come here! Stay with me!
He can definitely get tested here.
Also, contact
A Family For Every Child
Christy Obie-Barrett,
Executive Director

Address:880 Beltline Road
Springfield, OR 97477
Phone: 541-343-2856
Toll-Free: 877-343-2856

Kathy C. said...

Many blessing to you. May God give you strength for the road ahead. ANd do get help. Trust your instincts.

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

I circled 23 for my Little Miss.

So sad. So hard.

Walking this walk with you. Hoping we can both get help from the therapist several hours away.