I knew Mariah didn't walk as well at school as she was capable of, but I thought she was doing "ok." The thing with Mariah is that people feel sorry for her. They won't make her do what she's capable of. If Mariah senses that someone feels sorry for her, then she will ride that train as far as it takes her. She won't walk. She won't go get things for herself. She will whine about things to see what else she can get. She will pretend not to know how to do things or not to remember things in order to get more attention. She will act super fearful or overly affectionate to get more attention. It goes in a downward spiral if the adult doesn't put a stop to it and just tell her that she needs to do what was asked of her. Bottom line, its not good for her for people to feel sorry for her because it encourages her to act helpless because in her mind, uncapable = more attention.
But still, I thought that Mariah was doing ok walking at school. I thought her teachers KNEW. She was not doing ok. I got the progress report from her teacher and the evals from the OT and PT. The OT stated she took ONE step and appeared very "fearful" and held her arms in a "high guard" position. Um... what!?
Her teacher said her walking had gotten worse and she was "more fearful" of walking independently.
This is the opposite of what we've seen at home. She has gotten better at walking but MORE dramatic about whining and not wanting to do it. I don't take the drama though. In our house, you do what you are capable of or you just don't get to do things. Mariah knows this so if she wants to throw a fit, she goes up to her room and when she's done, she comes back down and does what I asked. We have very few issues these days.
So, I was upset at the evals and the progress report. I was a little angry at Mariah for acting like that but I know its a product of her previous environment and I thought I had explained that to people well enough. I wonder if people think I am just being mean when I say I don't let her get away with not doing things?? I wonder if they think I'm exaggerating when I say she will manipulate people to get out of things. I don't mean it in a mean way! I mean it as a warning to adults that you cannot let her manipulate you by the way she acts because she will and its not good for her to think she can control you!
I decided what to do. I sent two videos of Mariah walking here at home to her teacher asking if Mariah was walking the same way at school as at home because we thought she was progressing nicely, and she was doing awesome at PT.
The next day at school her teacher told me, "I got the videos; that is AMAZING!"
The school PT emailed me and said, "I like how "teacher" put it, "We have been bamboozled!" We will be working on encouraging her to walk independently now!
Game is up little girl. I'm tired of being the "mean" one who makes her walk. Its no wonder she came home from school and had such a bad attitude about doing things on her own! She went to school and thought she didn't have to do anything! I should be able to be the mama once in a while and let the professionals get Mariah to do her best. The frustrating part is that the professionals, Drs. PTs, OTs, teachers, random people at birthday parties, family members, think I am MEAN to let her struggle to do things. They think I am not telling the truth about what she can do. I guess they think I am just making it up?? She will never learn how to do things if people do them for her. She is capable and the more she works on doing things herself, the better she'll get at them. Its not mean to expect her to do what she is capable of because it will only make her better at it.
*sigh* I hope that now we can move on with her walking. Everyone has to be on the same page or its confusing to her. In the TWO days that her teacher had with her post-video clip, Mariah has walked SO much better for me at home and been generally happier. It really is true that a child who thinks she can control the adults in her environment is not a happy, secure child because if she can manipulate them; who is taking care of her?