Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Of Meltdowns, School Testing, and Cavities

In the past, the longest we've been able to go without some sort of violent outburst has been about six months.  This time around, we've made it about eight, but it looks like that streak of calm is coming to an end.

Yesterday, Danielle lost it in a big way.  She had a meltdown, complete with crying, screaming, ranting, raving, calling names, and throwing things around in her room.  Although she didn't get violent against people, it's behavior like this that usually indicates that a violent explosion is just around the corner.

The day before, she had started with some pretty amped-up, out-of-control rudeness, defiance, and disrespect.  This is also a harbinger of an impending explosion.

The triggers to both of these episodes?  It was the same old thing: we asked Danielle to help out around the house.  The first episode happened when we asked her to help out with some household chores.  The second episode started when we asked her to clean her room because something in there was starting to stink.

After crying, screaming, and carrying on to the nth degree, she finally discovered the source of the smell -- she had some wet, soggy papers stashed somewhere, and they were starting to mold.

In another recent development, we got Danielle's state mandated testing results back.  Not surprisingly, she still has not achieved proficiency in English/Language Arts or Math.  It's discouraging, because her failing scores on the state mandated tests mean she will likely not pass our state's high school exit examination.

And then, just to add more unfortunate news to the pile, Danielle had another four cavities when she went for her six-month dental checkup.  The dentist said she's not doing an adequate job of brushing and flossing.

She'll turn 18 in just a bit over a year.  When that birthday arrives, she'll most likely lose her state-sponsored health insurance.  Even if the current political climate changes that, she will definitely lose her dental coverage.  Our state system does not offer any dental coverage for those over 18, no matter how serious their problem.

I explained to Danielle that if she doesn't learn to brush soon, she's potentially facing a very painful toothache and a lot of costly dental bills.  With as many cavities as she's had, I'm worried she might not have any teeth left by the time she turns 35.

It's just a sad, sad situation.

As for my dearth of blogging lately, I've been gone for a number of reasons.  First off, there hasn't been much to write about on the Danielle front (positive or negative) so there hasn't been much to say.  I've been working on a number of other writing projects, which have somewhat diluted my enthusiasm for blogging.  Also, work's been crazy busy of late, so what little time I do have available, it's not really being spent here.

Still, I figured an update was warranted, especially because it sure looks like an explosion is nigh.

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