The Children's Center is a really beautiful place. I was impressed, from the moment I walked in and saw the wonderful artwork, sculptures and open areas. The staff, who was really pleasant and friendly, quickly put me at ease.
Thankfully, because I was a nervous wreck. (What? You didn't get that from my previous post, today?)
Well, at the end of it, I wasn't really surprised with any of her thoughts or comments. She is listing Avery as having a mood disorder not otherwise specified and sensory processing disorder. No big shocker, as we suspected both of these. Basically, Avery is unable to control her emotions and they can change rather quickly, without any known stimulus. The sensory aspect is the issue she has with loud noises and places that have a lot of background noise, such as the lunchtime cafeteria at school.
Our direction from here, leads me in two place. First, we are going to be meeting with a pediatric psychiatrist, that I can discuss Avery's sleeping patterns with. Avery cannot fall asleep without a small dose of melatonin, but even with that, she is only sleeping about seven hours a night. She is awakening at 3:30 am and never going back to sleep. That is not typical behavior for a six year old. If necessary, the psychiatrist may be able to prescribe something other than melatonin, that will assist her in finding a more normal, longer, sleep schedule.
Secondly, we will be meeting with an occupational therapist, that will help us learn what we can do to assist Avery in situations that overload her senses, causing her to become frustrated. I think this will be a huge help for her, as our only coping mechanism currently, is to provide earplugs for her.
The lack of sleep and her inability to filter out extra noise could be contributing greatly to the aggression that she exhibits. She doesn't know how else to deal with her emotions and as such, it displays as anger. It makes sense, if you think about it. I get overwhelmed when I don't get enough sleep and when my environment feels chaotic...and I'm 29 years old. A six year old is going to have a much harder time dealing with those situations, if she needs to learn a certain way to cope, that I haven't taught her.
So...forward we go. I have a feeling this is just the very beginning of a long road for us...but, it's a start. No matter what I have to do, I will do whatever it takes, to keep my beautiful girl smiling.