Dysregulated Children – the Escalating Cycle
Parents, teachers and carers will tell you they can ‘see it coming’ and dread the signals from the dysregulated child which herald a ‘meltdown’. Yet those in the middle find it hard to see the whole pattern and their role in the process.
As systems thinkers who work with these children, practitioners at Bower Place have been interested to understand and map the pattern of interaction that unfolds between all those involved. Like all recursive interactions, it is an endless cycle with no beginning or end, in which each person’s actions fuel that of others and where each feel driven by the other and impotent to effect change on their own behalf.
As words are linear, we need to start the description at one point in the cycle and the obvious place is the point at which the child demonstrates the ’problem’ behaviour. This may be an externalizing response with tantrums, screaming swearing and threatening or an internalized response like anxiety, fear or despair. The behaviour elicits a response in the parent or carer who comes close to resolve the difficulty. When this fails to produce the desired result and in fact escalates the behaviour, the adult withdraws in anger or despair and themselves feels helpless and dysregulated. At this point the child is effectively abandoned with their out of control feelings. Eventually the situation calms but effectively no-one is close enough to regulate the child’s emotions or support them to self-regulate. Inevitably an event will occur where once again the child is unable to manage themselves and the pattern repeats. Every time it does so it entrenches each person’s experience of impotence and inability to exercise effective and appropriate control of themselves, the child or their world.
Understanding and mapping pattern provides a starting point for the practitioner to intervene. It places the difficulty outside the child and allows each person to begin to explore the possibilities available to them to change the pattern and their willingness to take responsibility to do so.
Appointments are available
Fees & Charges
We are able to provide a Bulk Billing service by a psychologist and Medicare accredited Mental Health Social Workers for clients who hold a Mental Health Care Plan from their GP.
We also work with clients covered by NDIS support plans.
Clients who are not covered by either a Mental Health Care Plan or the NDIS are able to access services within the Complex Needs Clinic at a low fee rate of $60 per 90 minute session.
Bower Place has a wide range of qualifications & other training opportunities available including: