I am cleaning up my bedroom that currently looks like a poorly organized law office, full of documents, cds, usbs, printouts that are marked up with highlighters and post it notes. As I go through some of the stuff, I can’t avoid the obvious. What an unnecessary and vicious attack imposed on my family, especially my child!
I hope some of my observations from pre-kidnapping of my child by the State of Florida are eye-openers for other parents. Prevention is key. However, you need awareness first in order to prevent.
Here are some of the things I noticed about my child’s behavior that I think parents/guardians should be on the lookout for. It’s not stuff the ordinary person walks around knowing since most of us don’t think this can happen to our children:
(The period of time the below behaviors took place in, approx. Jan-July 2009. This occurred before she was removed from my home, and placed to live with the alleged sex offender, a non-relative, in the home he shared with my child’s father. My child had been spending court-approved overnights with the father hence his contact.)
1) We live in Florida. In the middle of Summer, insisting on wearing layers and more layers of clothing.
2) Stating, “I’m pushing”, while she is actually holding in her stools. Saying she is “afraid” of going potty.
3) Urinary Tract Infections.
4) Sexualized behavior you wouldn’t expect a young child to know (i.e. intense kissing, masturbation, attempting to insert objects to genitals-vagina/anus). Undressing dolls and having their genitals touch in “play”.
5) Violent tantrum outbursts (i.e. drawing “the monster” and stabbing the drawing with the pencil then transferring the anger toward the nearest person).
6) Refusing to be assisted with pull-up cleaning by day school staff, insisting only mother can help. Stating to cleaning staff and other caregivers “are you going to hurt me?” as indicator of why child refuses help.
7) Sudden behavior change reported by school to you (i.e. biting children, throwing chairs).
8 Suddenly afraid of going to the father’s house (had to literally be buckled down by father when he picked child up for visitation). At other times, she cried when she stated she did not want to leave school. Usually on a Friday, when she knew it was time to see “daddy” on Saturday.
9) Sudden increase in clingyness and fear of being anywhere without mother present. (My child had two violent outbursts at the Broward County Sexual Assault Treatment Center (SATC) , one in which the organization across the street – Broward County’s Children Home Society – had to call the SATC to inquire about “the child screaming” right outside their entrance. Of course, the SATC did not note this critical example of something that deems more questioning, in spite of the outbursts occurring directly in front of the eyes of Counselor, Emily Lawler and Child Protection Team worker, Lucia Zanabria.)
10) Self depreciative comments: “I am an ugly monster, I am a bad girl, I am dirty, I am sick, you hate me…”
11) Changing clothing/panties every 5 minutes, stating “I’m dirty, I’m dirty”.
12) Sudden regression in potty-training. I’ve read that children tend to get fully potty-trained at a slower pace in day school/care than children who are being taken care of at home. But the workers at my daughter’s day school and I worked really well together in trying to get this going. Who doesn’t want to save the very expensive weekly expense of wipeys and pull-ups, if possible? So we got my child to work on wearing panties, although with accidents, but making progress. Why did she all of a sudden regress to her pull-ups? There were several of us at work with this, yet we couldn’t stop the accidents’ frequency from increasing.
(As of February 2011, pleased to report child is significantly more in control of her anger, thanks to professional therapeutic assistance. However, there is a lot more time and work needed.)
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