The Developmental Conundrum of Our Little Whirlwind

Our little Whirlwind is not so little any more, she seems to be growing by the day. Each morning when she gets up she seems to be slightly bigger and all her clothes seem to be a slightly smaller. There is no doubt she will out grow her Dad Leaping Winnieand I, and I expect, her big brother. None of us are known for our height! Her legs are getting longer and longer and springier and springier. She never just walks, she skips and leaps everywhere and yes on occasions she literally bounces off the walls!

Emotionally, socially and academically however, she is not growing quite so rapidly. In fact there has been very little change, developmentally, over the last few years. We know that this has a lot to do with her deep rooted trauma and attachment issues, but it is also becoming increasingly apparent that she has a severe learning difficultly. At eight year’s old she can barely read or write, she cannot count to thirty and finds it tricky to grasp and understand concepts. The problem is, nobody knows whether this is because she doesn’t want to learn and move on, or whether she just can’t do it. Her overwhelming and unfaltering desire to remain in control means it is very difficult for anyone to assess her.

magic wandWe receive a huge amount of support but what we really need is someone with a magic wand. Someone who can give us answers, so that we know what we are dealing with. What we want to know is will this ever change, or is this how it will always be. Will Winnie every be able to play with peers in an appropriate way? Will she ever stop approaching strangers? Will she ever learn to read and write? Above all will she ever understand the world around her, which in turn will make everything else possible?

If this is how it is always going to be then we will all need to learn how to manage it and help Winnie live as full a life as possible. But we don’t known if this is how it will always be. Nobody does. And so we will carry on hoping. We will encourage her to learn (at her own speed and in her own way). We will constantly repeat the rules of social engagement and interaction. We will continue to micro-manage her behaviour to ensure she remains safe (this might be slightly trickier when the teenage years kick in!) We will do everything we have been doing for the last five years and probably a lot more and hope that one day she will understand. I just hope that we are not trying to get her to do something that is not possible!

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