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Difficult transitions….

My 6 year old is an interesting child.  She can be the sweetest child one moment and the meanest the next.  The fact of the matter is that she cannot handle change…

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It took us quite awhile to figure out exactly what was going on with her.  She would walk up to strangers in an airport and pinch them… slam doors on people coming to visit after our youngest was born and has the most interesting love/ hate relationship with people who have any meaning to her.  We actually have to warn sitters that she will hate them when they arrive and hate them when they leave, but be their best friend every minute that they are at our home.

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Clearly this is a difficulty for people who love her the most, like aunts, grandparents and even babysitters.  We have found that the best way to handle this issue is to prepare people who come into our home.  I am always amused at the people who simply try to tell her that she is being unkind.  Please don’t misunderstand.  Of coarse we tell her that she needs to be kind and try to help her adapt; however, what she really needs is time.  After all, as an adult, I do not necessarily like situations that I consider threatening.  For our daughter, she has an even bigger issue.  At 16 months old, she was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes.  In a matter of hours, she went from complete security to a world of needles, insulin, doctors and hospitals.  She never really quite knows whether someone is coming to hurt her or love her…

Over the years, we have made progress.  She no longer pinches strangers, hits friends and can better regulate her reactions to others.  We can once again have guests over for birthday parties and most of our sitters and family are now prepared for the greetings and goodbyes.  I imagine this will continue to be a process as she gets older and look forward to the day we can look back at this and laugh.

How do you handle change and trust for your child?  We would love to hear your techniques.

One Comment

  1. Charmaine says:

    I try to introduce them both to situations and people as early as possible either by telling them or showing pictures or by actually doing a “dry run” of the situation. And that has worked well for me, in the case of sitters we always do interviews with the kids here so that they can see the person, and if we’re going someplace different I always show pictures of what the place will be like so there will be less anxiety. Now because all kids on the spectrum are different that approach (from speaking with other parents) doesn’t work on all kids on the spectrum. But that works for me.

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