Neglect and the subsequent trauma it causes does awful, awful stuff to the brain.
Dolly's needs are practically invisible though. She has such good "herd mentality" that she does not stand out in a crowd. Unless you really (REALLY) know Dolly, you simply cannot tell that she does not understand much of what you're saying to her.
I don't know where to start.
Is it English language learning difficulties?
Is it some kind of processing disorder?
Is it that her brain is simply stuck at a younger emotional age due to the trauma of foster care?
Is it one or more of all of the above?
I have almost no resources at my disposal right now. Miss Mary should be able to help with some of this. But really, she's a bit of a dingbat. Well...dingbat isn't the best word. But I don't know what to use. Basically, I think it's safe to say that she realizes I do a lot of "therapy" stuff at home. She backs me up if there's something I want reinforced. But if left to her own plan, therapy with Miss Mary doesn't amount to much of anything!!
The school system is perfectly worthless. We're only two days in but I know that Dolly is being left to fend for herself more than she is capable.
For example, it was my desire that Dolly take a cold lunch from home every day this year. I bought her a nice lunch box. We talked about bringing food from home. We talked about how it would be different from last year when she was in preschool and I went ahead and had her eat hot lunch. I told her how she would eat the food from home. She was a part of picking what would go in her lunch. And now, two days in to the school year, the poor dear carried her lunch box through the hot lunch line and took school lunch. She also ate some of what I sent both days.
Dolly does NOT need two lunches!!!
Dolly needs a healthy lunch from home. (Dolly has food issues. Portion control with healthy food is a very good thing for Dolly. Continuing to eat large quantities of sub-standard "healthy" food isn't so good for her. I really want to establish eating patterns that will benefit her as she grows older. The school options pretty much suck.)
But Dolly simply does not understand. And since the herd is going through a line, Dolly follows right along. Her teacher, Mrs. Beach, could be approached to help Dolly learn this. But is it worth the stress it might cause Dolly? Perhaps it's better if I just have her take hot lunch and follow completely along with the herd.
I've got tons of examples that prove Dolly uses most of her thought energy to try and please those around her. This herd mentality of Dolly's makes it difficult for her to say what SHE wants or what SHE needs. Dolly tells you what she thinks you want to hear regardless of whether or not she understands what you're asking her. The investigation last summer and the recent ridiculous video made with Minnie are two big examples that stand out to me. There are lots of little ones that occur daily that I could add to the mix as well.
I'm pretty sure I'm going to say something to her doctor at her next well-child exam a little over a month from now. Maybe I can get a referral and get her back in speech therapy. I do not want to add that crazy to my life, but I do want to do whatever it takes to help Dolly.
But the one thing that would help the most seems to elude her.
Foster Care sucks.