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Posted: Mon May 14, 2012 2:42 pm
We have to agree to differ on this one. As I have said before, I was really, really down for a long time when my son was little and at his most hyperactive. (I had never been depressed like that before. I'd usually been the lucky one who got whatever she wanted, travelled the world, husband that I adored etc. etc.) It was my son's teacher, Mary, a wonderful person for whom I had the greatest respect, who hauled me back up again. So much depends on the language you use. In those days, if my mum or someone who knew me well had said to Mary simply that I was "a bit down" I would not have considered that as a betrayal of trust at all. On the contrary, it might have meant that I got the help which I desperately needed a whole lot quicker, and my son would have got his happy mum back again too. So much depends on the individuals concerned, this forum is about sharing ideas. It's a bit like the "bringing up baby" books, you can read them all and see which one you like the most!
Posted: Mon May 14, 2012 5:22 pm
I agree with Ladybird not to go behind your daughter's back to discuss her situation with the teacher. Fine if your granddaughter is picking up on the sadness, your daughter agrees and wants the teacher to be aware of why, but not feel able to say so herself.
if the doctor says it is definately not depression, perhaps you could go with your daughter and ask for counselling as talking to a non judgemental stranger can help.
Posted: Mon May 14, 2012 5:45 pm
I have to agree with Ladybird and Myrtle. Sadness and grief are very different to depression and your daughter and her GP have already considered and rejected the possibility that this is a depressive illness. Talking to a teacher could give the impression, albeit unintended, that your daughter does not have the capacity to properly care for your grandaughter. Trust broken is exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to fully regain.
Counselling provided specifically for parents of disabled children rather than generic counselling or joining a group with other parents of disabled children may help but otherwise just being a mother who cares and is willing to listen and provide support when required may be all that your daughter wants and needs and that is what you are providing.
Posted: Mon May 14, 2012 7:38 pm
The sad reality is that, for my generation,many mums were not offered counselling or proper support or group therapy. I shall never ever forget a meeting where every mum ended up in tears when asked to tell a speaker how they were told of their child's disability. We all knew that we needed counselling, but it simply wasn't available. (A brief resume of a long story). In our rural area, where special children may be bussed 15 miles away to school, isolation can be a real problem for the families concerned. Parents on a low income, unable to work because of their child's disability, may not be able to afford the fuel to visit the school. Poor public transport may mean that parents unable to drive may not be able to get to the school at all.
Posted: Mon May 14, 2012 9:50 pm
Just wanted to respond to Bowlingbuns post if I may.
Bowlingbun, I understand what you are saying but surely the difference is that you would have been happy for someone to tell the teacher Mary that you were struggling to cope, I would say from what I have read that this would not be the case at all for the Little Princess' mum.
She has repeatedly said she doesn't want help so surely that should be respected. I know that we all draw on the personal experience that we all have to try and give advice but it is obvious that mum wants to be left to manage her own way then to do anything else would be wrong and intrusive.
Regarding counselling..I'll do my personal bit here.
I was informed of my daughter's diagnosis of a rare syndrome via a message left on my answerphone. I had 5 children, was working 2 jobs and had my own psychological issues (anxiety, agoraphobia and depressive episodes). I wasn't offered any counselling either but knew that this weird sounding syndrome wasn't good news when most of my daughter's "professionals" (physio, OT, speech therapists etc) threw their arms around me and said "I'm SO sorry".
For me personally, I wouldn't have taken the counselling if it had been offered at that time (pride!) but much later on, especially the last three years, if someone had offered it to me, I would have jumped at the chance.
As you say, we are all different but personal choices need to be respected and understood..even if we don't understand it ourselves. I hope the OP continues to gather info because there is a good chance that one day it will be needed..but not right now.
Posted: Mon May 14, 2012 10:56 pm
Actually I was trying to put a brave face on things, and cover up my feelings. Mainly because my son's problems were not properly diagnosed until he was 8 or 9. Despite the fact that my first son exceeded all his milestones and was a delightful child, I had endless hurtful criticism about my youngest son's behaviour, "the mother" was blamed many times. I was doing my utmost to help him, only three years earlier I'd been running a Brownie pack of 24 girls single handed 1,000 miles away from anywhere in the Australian bush. My husband was also an experienced Scouter, who had his own troop of a similar size. We just couldn't control No2 son's hyperactivity. It's all a long time ago now, but I'm not sure that I would have put myself forward for counselling, although anyone who had known me for a long time would have known immediately that I desperately needed it. This certainly isn't a "one size fits all" issue!
Posted: Mon May 14, 2012 11:13 pm
Bowlingbun, with all due respect this is not about you but about someone's daughter and Ladybird has made the perfectly valid point that individuals must be allowed to make their own choices. All we can do is indicate the options which may prove useful and acceptable, preferably based on a wider perspective than solely our individual experience, and leave people to choose what if anything is relevant to them, would help them and is acceptable to them. Would it perhaps help you to start a thread and tell us about yourself so that you can talk about the things which seem to be bothering you and members can see if they can suggest anything to help?
Posted: Tue May 15, 2012 8:37 am
My initial comment was that it might be worth talking to the teacher concerned. Special needs teachers are highly trained and aware of the difficulties and challenges of caring for a particular child, and may be able to pass on coping strategies specific to that child, making home life easier, for example. My subsequent comments were made to explain further, and the underlying feelings involved, drawing on my own experience. Children need parents who are happy and feeling positive. If mum and/or dad are struggling to come to terms with their situation they need to know that a problem shared is a problem halved. It's OK to ask for help, not an admission of failure.
Posted: Tue May 15, 2012 9:16 am
... It's OK to ask for help, not an admission of failure.
I think that you are reading something into my post which is not there, at no time have I ever in this thread or any other suggested that asking for help is a sign of failure, most, if not all of us, find ourselves looking at some point for assistance with our caring role, whether it is asking for care services to be provided, respite or, in some cases, help with the emotional strain of caring. The point which I was making was that it is up to the individual to decide what and when help is needed, not someone else however well-meaning.
Posted: Tue May 15, 2012 10:39 am
Throughout my life, I have always found it really useful to hear how other people have coped with a situation; and I share own experiences in that they might help someone else. Many of my friends and I with disabled children felt in some ways that we had been a failure but having a less than perfect child. Parents with normal children can be very hurtful without realising it, so can the general public. How you wish you weren't the one with a disabled child, especially when he's screaming his head off in the supermarket but you simply have to buy something to eat!; that your child could sit quietly and watch rather than run around constantly. Sometimes it seems easier to cut yourself off, to avoid these problems, but this isolation can be very damaging, causing low mood, depression, whatever you like to call it. Mums just need the opportunity to talk with people who understand what they are feeling and going through, not very expensive or time consuming, but it can make all the difference in the world to the whole family.