Yeah, I've spoken to the swim coach a few times now, both with and without her present. She's doing really well, she's making qualifying times for championship meets and there's been a drastic improvement from when she started. We're just worried about injuries and burnout. It doesn't seem to affect her performance or ability to listen and take feedback or make corrections, I think that's because she does understand it's a process and that's where improvement comes from. It seems to just exclusively be an obsession with not stopping. The only things I get from questions or conversations are "I like winning", "I want to be the best", or "I don't know". Dad sometimes rode his bike with her or ran with her but didn't compete, race or swim. We're still trying to get her weight up a bit (which goes up so slowly now, despite her easily outeating even me haha) so we go to the doctor every 3 months, but she won't say a word to them. Her squad also sees a sports psychologist at the start and even of each meet season. Whenever I have an informal conversation at meets with her friends and her about it, her drive seems to just stem from wanting to win so badly. Her squad coach will order her off training, but then she'll just go for an extra run or bike ride. Explaining and trying to educate her about it doesn't seem to change her mind. She also is in a sporting program at her high school so does an extension health and physical education class subject, which goes into different health problems and fostering a positive relationship with sport and exercise.
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Hey guys, thanks for all your help so far. We're getting a lot better. Nowadays she'll communicate a little more willingly with actions, and she'll use a few words more often. She doesn't really hold a conversation very easily but she'll laugh sometimes and seems to have some sport friends now. Still hates psychologists, counselors and doctors though. I tried to get her more involved in something social. She and her Dad were both very active, so I tried to do sports with her. She didn't want to do team sports, but cross country running, pool swimming and mountain biking have become winners. This however, has introduced another problem. It's not as big of a problem, and her good grades were probably an early indicator of it. She's got an extremely competitive drive inside her, which has definitely come to light since getting her into more organised sporting competitions. She doesn't seem to know when to stop. For example, we had a mountain biking event this weekend just gone. Her 2nd race and she came off, landed badly on her wrist and refused to let myself or the medics look at it, avoiding us until she'd finished all of her racing for the day. She ended up breaking one of her wrist bones and has refused to listen to anything. She even got up at 4AM to ride her bike to school (I told her she couldn't since her arm is literally in a cast). Prior to this, she's ended up throwing up, she's had legs shaking due to cramps or muscles being so sore because she's pushed too hard, I think she possibly caused her own cold a little bit ago from pushing too hard. If I say there isn't training or we have to do something else instead of going for a run or ride, she'll tear off and go on her own regardless of what I say. If she was 16+, I could maybe get passed it, but she's barely 15, and she blows off EVERYTHING for training. She even blew off an awards night at school, nevermind trying to get her out for dinner, the movies or the shops. All of the sports are a problem, there is so much self-imposed competitive pressure, I don't know how to handle it and neither does her swimming coach (we don't have one for running or biking). I don't entirely understand WHY she puts so much pressure on herself. I've asked, I've suggested reasons, she just says she doesn't know.
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and thank you!
I believe she had grandparents on the mum's side, but they turned a blindeye the moment her dad got sick and I don't have any contact details, neither does she unfortunately, but she also shakes her head when I ask if she wants to explore that avenue.
She's very good at school and participates, provided she doesn't have to talk.
Unfortunately at the time, I had no idea what she was into, and neither did her teachers because she never talked to them. She always participates in everything I put in front of her, but I never get any sort of emotion or reaction from her.
An update though: she will talk a little more to me now. She will say a short phrase if absolutely necessary, and can pick between two options if I ask (say between steak and potato or bolognese for dinner). However, we have had another problem arise: she refuses to go to any kind of doctor, including a regular GP. I'm a little concerned for her. She was rather underweight, so we've gotten that back to speed now, but she still doesn't get periods. I don't want to embarrass her, but I don't think that is normal and I would like to take her to a doctor to ask. She is 14, so I'm unsure about "forcing" her to a doctor, but I'm also unsure about me going in and asking about her which feels like I'm doing it behind her back in a way.
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Thank you. I've asked her if she wants me in with her before and she always nods/shakes her head in the direction of wanting me in with her, I was just thinking that if I didn't go in would it maybe push her to speak or would it just not work even more? Because I always end up answering questions for her and she knows I'll answer if she just stays silent. I have never sent her in by herself because she shakes her head about going in alone, but there was another young girl there the last time and she went in by herself. The sessions we have gone to end up being aimed at supporting me anyway because she won't respond to them much. They've given some ideas about working on confidence, particularly surrounding taking an interest in things she likes and spending time with her and vocalising to her even if she doesn't respond, but I don't know what her favourite anything is. She'll usually nod and shake her head or gesture but as soon as I give her a choice, she shuts down, so I have no idea what her interests are or even what her favourite food is. I tried to put my foot down on one occasion about her picking an icecream out and she had to pick which one she wanted. It took her over 4 hours, i never got impatient or anything, we were at a bike race track so we had plenty of time, and I gave her a ton of praise afterwards, but then next time I tried to do it she just froze so I can't do that because I think it scared her and just made it worse. If I word it as "do you want x" I can get a nod or shake but if I go "which one of xs do you want" or "do you want x or y" I can't get a response. I'm glad you said that as I felt bad doubting a doctor (I've never gone for a 2nd opinion before). I've switched her over to the same doctor practice I go to, which is much closer to where I live, so we're going to go see what they say tomorrow.
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Thank you. Do you think its best I go in with her to see professionals like counsellors or is it better I stay in the waiting room so she only has to talk to them and can't use me as an excuse to not talk? She definitely has a habit of turning away when doctors ask her questions or try to talk to her, prompting me to do it for her. Is there a way to get her to respond in some more comfortable way or do I just do it for her and hope she gets more confident? I did bring up the possibility of selective mutism with her (lifelong) local gp but they've just brushed it off as she's always just been shy and it's nothing to worry about. So I've been taking her to psychologists without a referral because her gp said it wasn't necessary, just hoping I'm picking the right one. Do you think we just need to try a different gp or a different counsellor? Or stay with the same counsellor and persist with them? For the most part, they've just said she's shy and probably needs more time to come to terms with the loss of her dad but I'm not sure trauma has to do with his death as she was doing it before his death, and she hasn't changed her habits at all.
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It's a bit of a whirlwind story. I've just taken on a 14yo girl from my best mate. His wife died in a car crash when his daughter was 2, and he passed away last year in May due to illness he'd been fighting for a few years. I took on the role of her guardian. I've never had a ton to do with her as I work weekends and my mate and I normally met up for dirt bike rides and lunches during the weekdays when and she was usually at school. I started going over for dinners and helping out the two of them with food and chores and helping him get to medical appointmentsthe final 10-12 months so did start seeing her a lot more, but I could never get a reaction from her then either. I'm 32 but definitely don't feel it, I like kids but I'm not really big into romantic relationships so never intended on having a family, and feel like I've never been so ill equipped in my life. I am, however, really eager to foster a relationship with her and create the best environment and foundation for her as I can. Despite the problems we're having, I can't imagine life without her and I love her to bits. The problem: I have had her for over 12 months now and I have taken her to counsellors, psychologists, sports, everything I can think of (and they could think of), but I can't get her to talk. I'll get one or two word answers to questions, sometimes. I've been called in by all her teachers who've said she won't talk and gets straight As for exams and assignments but won't talk for public speaking or group tasks and won't answer questionsor talk to them if they go over to her desk. She apparently just goes down to sports courts at lunches and plays basketball or netball on her own. She'll join in with other kids if asked, but won't talk or react emotionally at all. She'll join in with anything we do on weekends (I adjusted work so I'm always able to go to her school and be home on weekends), but I cannot get her to converse. She also seems unable to pick things she likes. If we go to a grocery store or a clothes store and I say find something you like, she just stays still next to me and doesn't react. I don't know why, she won't write it, she won't talk or explain it, I don't know what to do. I can understand she may have been shocked and upset when her father passed away, but nothing has changed at all since I first took her on and it seemed similar beforehand anyway, with both me and her father. He always said she was shy growing up but this seems extreme and he never worded it like this. She's also underweight and wont eat anywhere near the amount she should be but I can't understand why when she won't talk. Any suggestions?
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