Letting Your Children Fly, When Your Anxiety Cripples You
The constant fear I suffer as a parent.
My little girl struggles with her social skills. She is two years old and isn’t talking. We are waiting for an appointment, for speech therapy. Three months ago she was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. (ASD)
For her development, we agreed it was best if she started nursery, in an attempt to socialise her. She starts after Easter, before this I haven’t questioned it.
However, the is the second time we have attempted to get her into a nursery. The first time she became so distressed she shut down. She would cry and get herself so worked up that she went to sleep. I removed her from the nursery for a couple of months, to give other professionals time to work with her.
Whenever I think about trying to get her back into nursery it hits me. Crippling anxiety at the thought of my little girl going to through the same distress as last time.
How do I explain what is going on, to her? As she is non-verbal, she wouldn’t be able to tell me if it is difficult for her. My logical side says we will know. If it affects her that badly again, we can wait another couple of months.
What if the staff don’t understand her? I know they are trained professionals. Of course, they will understand her. They have children as young as 6 months. They can look after non-verbal children.
What about if they lose her or she gets hurt. She is quick and into everything?
And on it goes the anxiety and the fear.
I can’t talk to her other mum about this. It would, in all honesty, start her anxiety off. This is the last thing I need.
My logical half says that nursery is the best thing for her. It could even help develop her language and social skills. I also know that as she is a July birthday she will go to school when she is just 4. It is essential, she gets the best possible start.
From the moment she has been born I have lived with anxiety and fear. Fear of her chocking, fear of her going missing, it goes on. I know it’s illogical. I never suffered from anxiety of any form before she was born. Now it is always there.
As a parent, we have to make the best decisions for our children, even if it crippled us with panic.
We have to think of what is best for them, even if it might not be best for our mental health.
I love her so much she is my world. Worrying about our children is a normal part of parenting. mine seems to be amplified due to her being non-verbal.
Her ASD means that she perceives the world in a different manner than some children. Something simple such as too much noise and a strange smell can send her into a world over stimulation. She then reacts through her behaviour as she is unable to tell us what the problem is. These factors increase my concern for her wherever she goes.
Through our time with her, we have learnt the signs of when she is overstimulated, frightened and sad. Nursery workers will struggle with this at the beginning. It is this that increases my anxiety.
I have to put my fears aside and smile so she doesn’t pick it up. Sometimes this is the hardest part of parenting. As parents, we have to put our feelings aside and pursue the path which is the best for our children. Only time will tell whether my anxiety is reduced over this.
Once my little girl is settled, it will be her little sister's turn. There is lots of advice for new parents out there. Few people talk about the crippling anxiety that comes with it.