Rachel is an affectionate and lively 10 year old girl. We adopted her almost 9 years ago, when she was under 2 At the time. She was doing well and hopes were high that she would continue to meet her developmental stages and thrive.
When she started school, at just turned 4, it became very quickly apparent that she wasn’t keeping up with her peers and the gap widened very quickly. She was very vulnerable in mainstream school and was bullied for her first year. This combined with her learning difficulties and high levels of anxiety resulted in her either hysterically laughing or sobbing continuously. She moved to a special school when she was 6, since then she has started to make progress academically but what has become increasingly more apparent are her mental health difficulties, especially her high levels of anxiety.
Living with Rachel, feels like we are continually walking on egg shells. It is very difficult to pre-empt what may trigger her anxiety or send her into crisis and trigger a meltdown. We have to provide a very structured routine to help her manage her anxiety levels and this means we have to limit surprises and keep routine paramount. She has separation anxiety and is unable to leave our side to access any form of after school activity. She did try brownies for a short while but her anxiety became so high we had to stop it. She has regular sensory integration therapy sessions to help her to self regulate her emotions. During the school day, she has regular sensory breaks to try and help her.
She also has psoriasis and eczema, which flares up when her anxiety levels are high. This limits her activities further, due to extra support being needed after swimming etc. It also affects her self esteem and is very sore.
Being able to receive a quilt would mean so much to Rachel. She loves being able to wrap herself in a blanket when it all become too much for her and I know that having her own special quilt that she can do this with will mean the word to her.