In Chasing Lilly, I wrote that we filled out over 300 Critical Incident Reports the first year! Do you think that was fun? Absolutely not. When a child is giving you fits, the last thing that you may think to do is to document some red-flag behaviors. It is so important to do this, though!
Write down and date reports of unusual or harmful behavior, and keep your “circle of people” in the loop. Your circle of people would be other care-givers, therapists, teacher, case workers, –anyone who works with you to help a child. If you don’t, then if something serious should happen, you won’t have the documentation to back you up.
This documentation also brings to light areas that your team can address to help the child. Quite often, you will see a pattern that may not have been evident if things had not been documented.
What to document? Unusual violence, tremors or seizure activity, not sleeping, self-harming, sexual acting out, inappropriate sexual advances, aggression toward others or pets, substance abuse, lying with intent to frame, stealing, etc.
One word of advice is to do the documentation in private. The child does not need to know that you are doing a report on them. How would you feel if the tables were turned?
Be encouraged, because as time goes on, the number of reports will decrease as the child receives healing from the nurturing and support shown by you and your circle. – Nealie