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I would like to say how particularly interesting I found reading "Brock's Story" in the Family History section of the last issue of the Newsletter. Our elder daughter, Laura, is only five, but school has highlighted certain areas of difficulty, and these areas were precisely pinpointed in Brock's story.

"Organizational skills are poor... His poor impulse control and vivid story telling makes it difficult for Brock to make lasting friendships.. He requires fine limits and constant guidance, enjoys testing those limits and resists guidance, but at the end of the day he's the first one to kiss you good night, give you a hug and express his love in front of anyone present!" All these things could apply to Laura! In fact, I found the similarities so interesting that I photocopied the page and gave a copy to Laura's teachers at school. I felt that it may help them to understand her.

On the whole, Laura has enjoyed her first year at school, but she has had a very difficult time during the last couple of weeks because a friend rejected her. This friend told Laura in no uncertain terms (as children do) that she no longer liked Laura. Laura was so upset that she lashed out, quite violently at times. She surprised and frightened herself with the violence of her own reaction, and this caused more stress, leading to slightly raised amino acid levels. This led to more "inappropriate behavior" or perhaps I should say, "unacceptable behavior."

We had to more or less re-teach Laura how to interact with and react to the other children. She was beginning to take the most innocuous, negative response as a rejection and to lash out violently as a result of her upset. We had to explain how this is not the way to deal with the situation, and to discuss with her how she could have reacted more positively. We explained that this is the road to possible friendships, and the other way is not. She agrees with us, and wants to do what we suggest. Laura might have been severely punished for the way she was behaving. We are lucky to have such a sympathetic and supportive school.

Our thanks to Celeste for articulating the things she did so succinctly. If she has any more advice we would be more than grateful for it. If anybody has similar experiences, it would be great to hear about them, and to learn how they cope!

- With much love, Nicky

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