I'm going to tell you something about Lucy. My sweet Lucycakes has been struggling through some behaviors that I don't understand, for about a eighteen months now. At first, I assumed she needed more attention during her mommy's difficult pregnancy. I thought with a bit of extra attention & affection, she'd grow out of her little quirks. It became clear that it was not a passing phase, so as time went on, I tried to discipline her out of it. I used time-outs and eventually moved on to sticker charts. The older and more verbally expressive she becomes, the more I realized that she is truly struggling with something else. She is not like my other children in some ways, and as I think back on it, there have been some differences from infancy. It isn't a behavior issue, it isn't bad parenting... Lucy may be dealing with a condition called Sensory Processing Disorder.
A lot of things I have read seem to fit her to a T. However, some things don't fit the mold. I don't know if she is dealing with anxiety due to trying to cope with her world, if she has some behavioral issues alongside her neurological condition, or if it is something else entirely. I'm not a diagnostician and I obviously am not objective.
I am just really relieved to learn that there is a "name" for what she is suffering with, and that there are effective treatments that will allow her to make the connections she needs to make & go on to have a perfectly normal childhood. I don't want her to be labeled a brat/naughty/crybaby... she isn't. She doesn't process sensory information the same way we do. The world can be an overwhelming and scary place for her. As an adult, I would struggle with coping so I can only imagine how a toddler gets through the day!
Knowing that this is REAL and that I am not alone has helped me personally. We have contacted the right people and filled out a bunch of paperwork in anticipation of a full battery of testing. In a month or so, we will learn whether this is something I can help her through at home, something she needs occupational therapy for, or something she needs a special education program to help her through.
Out of respect for Lucy, I won't be going into detail about her particular issues. However, this article can help you understand what sensory issues look like and how they impact our family: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/10/children-sensory-issues_n_1506341.html
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers! We are lucky to have Lucy. Again, we are at the very beginning of the process so I can't say that this is definitely what she has, or the only thing she has. No matter what "label" she has, she is a fun, funny, fantastic little girl and there is nothing I won't do to make sure she has the best. Lucy is a delightful little lady to be around... she is engaging and very expressive, so I know she will help me to help her as time goes on. :)