Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Because of some of the new symptoms Abby has been experiencing we have decided that it is time to seek out a behavioral therapist. What kind of eats at me is that I am a trained therapist and my specialization is anxiety disorders. I feel like I should know what to do wit her... but don't.

I think there are a couple of reasons. One is the clear one that she is my daughter. Treating your own family members is strictly forbidden by our ethical code so that is an easy one. The second reason is that she is a child. I didn't work with children very often. Another reason is that there is so little background information. Usually when I met with a new client I spent a great deal of time getting a good, thorough history. Usually out of a persons history would arise a diagnosis. With Abby we know that her "issues" come from her global diagnosis of RS but we don't know the mechanisms causing it.

I know that when I sit down with the specialist (once we find him/her) I am going to have to put into words what I have not been able to yet. So here is the beginning of the list that we need to start tackling:

- Extreme anxiety about changes in schedule
- Anxiety over certain scenes in movies and tv that cause her to count obsessively
- The need to have certain toys (mostly dolls) settled in a very, very, very specific way or else she goes into hysteria
- Anxiety about seeing any baby that we see in a store. If the baby is covered or facing the other direction she melts down.
- Inability to meet new people. When she does she will spit or hit or do other inappropriate things. SO frustrating.
- The new constant need for oral input and stimulation... we had been making progress on this but lost all progress.
- Spontaneous actions like stepping off stairs, curbs, chairs, etc. when she knows she could get hurt. This one came out of nowhere
- Inability to tolerate smells and sounds. This is another one we had been making progress on...
- The inability to sleep through the night STILL!
- Resurgence of nightmares

The list is unfortunately longer but this is where I would like to start.


  1. When will you guys be meeting with one? Please keep us posted on what you find out.

  2. Do NOT ever think you're not a good parent or therapist for not knowing what to do in this situation. Sometimes it's for the best to ask for outside help when you have problems within your personal life. Heck, I talk to my contact at the nursery all spring/summer long with garden stuff.

    You're doing a fantastic job. Even when it's hard to see it yourself, know that so many people think so.

  3. C - We are still waiting on an appointment. They are surprisingly hard to get.

    M - Thank you for saying that! There are those days where you just feel like an all around failure. Unfortunately there have been a lot of those days lately.

  4. My son is 28 years old and has RS. He has extreme anxiety. We have done a few things to help him as he has lots of sensory issues that result in behaviors. We have used weighted blankets, special glasses with prisms called irlen lenses and have recently put up a sensory swing which gives him deep pressure which calms him. He feels calm with deep pressure like Temple Grandin in the HBO movie.