"Children like Avery change the world. They grow up to be passionate, opinionated adults. The hard part is getting them there."
"She doesn't have temper tantrums. She has emotional storms. You'll find that they will cluster and you'll have days where they are back to back. It's not her, it is how a brain works and the synapses fire."
"I bet you try to be logical and calm with her?"... "That doesn't work with Avery. She has big emotions and wants you to have big emotions too."
"She has rigid thinking. Black and white. There is no gray area with her. It's very much how a scientist thinks. She knows how she wants things to go and when things don't follow a certain plan, she doesn't know how to handle it, or voice her frustration properly."
"Everything you do to parent your other children is not going to work with Avery. You will have to learn a whole new set of skills to deal with her."
"Of course she is going to be wonderful at school and then come home and lash out and misbehave. You don't go out into the world and show your bad moods to the neighbors or the mailman or the grocery store clerk, either. You save up your stress and release it where you feel safe."
Everything the psychologist said...made perfect sense. She made me feel like I'm not a failure. I may not have the skills or knowledge yet, to cope with her, but I'm not a failure. Perhaps I would be failing her if I chose to ignore this and sweep it under the rug...but, I'm not. I'm facing it head on and even though it is one of the hardest things I have ever done, I'm doing it.
Our plan from this point forward is to do therapy every few weeks, at The Children's Center. They will be working with Avery and trying to help her find ways to communicate with us better and find ways to deal with "gray" areas. They will be working with Josh and I on ways to cope with her emotional storms and what we can do to help with her frustration and aggression. We may have times of family therapy, since Avery's differences do affect our other children. This will all be tried for about six months before we discuss any medication options. I would like to use those as a last resort. I'm certain that if our reactions to Avery can be better, then things will improve.
It's going to be a long, bumpy road. One that I am willing to take, for my beautiful girl.