What a night I had last night. Yesterday was a bit stressful for me because I went to the doctors to ask about what we can do with Bridie’s selective mutism. It seems to be getting worse as does her anxiety. I spoke toÂ our PrincipalÂ about it at school and she’s getting the psychologist to come and assess her but I think I need to get some outside help also. Mark (the doctor) gave me some names of clinical psychologists who have dealt with selective mutism and anxiety in children so I think we’ll book in to see one of them. He said we need some sort of diagnosis to see exactly what the root cause is. I hate the word diagnosis. It’s not like it will make her a different person if she has one but I don’t want a label if she doesn’t need one. I feel bad too because I have always looked at her and thought how she’s nothing like Beth, therefore she’ll be ok but of course they are different kids anyway with different personalities and issues. Â Beth had selective mutism quite severely until she started school. Bill also didn’t talk through his 3 year old kinder year so I thoughtÂ Bridie wouldÂ grow out of it like Bill did.I feel we need to get on top of it sooner rather than later as she started off the school year well and has regressed somewhat since then in my opinion. On the plus side though a couple of the staff members have told me that she has spoken to them which is fantastic.
I called one of the psychologists who told me surprisingly that selective mutism and autism are not linked. Donna Williams has written a book about Exposure Anxiety which discusses selective mutism so I thought that that had been part of Beth’s autism when she wasn’t verbal. Now I wonder if it was a different thing all together. Of course children with autism experience issues to the extremes so Beth’s was probably more severe due to her autism.
Last night when Beth went to put her pyjamas on I noticed a bit of blood on her knickers. I’ve spoken to her about getting her period and she’s always shut me down with the “I want to be a powerpuff girl” response. She absolutely freaked when I tried to talk about it with her last night. It was horrible, it made me realise how completely unprepared I was for it. She refused to pull her pyjama pants down so that I could put knickers on her and kept trying to break away from me. I showed her a pad and placed it in the knickers to show her that it didn’t hurt but it made no difference, she kept taking it out and throwing it away. I was trying to find the book with the social stories in to talk to her about it but each time I left the room she’d take it off again. In the end I showed her a book that my friend Dominique had lent me about changing a pad. She sat with me in my arms and I read her other stories and every once in a while she would wimper “I don’t want my period”. It’s heartbreaking as there’s nothing I could say but “I know darling, neither do I” as it is a horrible thing but unfortunately it’s just life. She slept in bed with me for the night and when I checked this morning it was at least still there though it was clean. I think she had in fact scratched herself a bit. I need to organise myself more for this as it’s going to happen soon and neither of us are prepared for how much it’ll effect us both. I’m trying to think of something non breakable that I can buy her that’s special just because she’s getting her period, maybe a nice charm necklace on a leather strap. It was an awful night and we were both shaking with the verocity of her trying to fight me off and wanting so much for this thing not to happen. I’m so glad it really wasn’t but I’m dreading the time that it’s for real.