Early intervention, occupational therapy, child psychology: help, my head is spinning!
We have an extremely strong-willed, big emotions, boundary-testing 2 1/2 year old. She has been this way from the get-go ~ every. single.thing. is and has been a struggle with her, despite our attempts to "choose our battles." There are times when it seems that she looks around for some source of provocation, that there is something deep-seated that is causing her discontent, and that no matter our approach or our embrace, she has been born to this life of struggle. But that is the dire and pessimistic side of me talking; she can also exhibit great joy and positive energy, is exceptionally bright and capable, but it is all so overshadowed by the "negative intensity" as one child psychologist termed it.
At this point, we have tried many approaches and modalities to assist her (acupuncture, dietary interventions/food sensitivities and allergies, homeopathy, herbs). None have really made a dent, and our family dynamic has been overwhelmingly overshadowed and dampened, really, by her presence. We love her and want to help guide her through the tantrums, the anguish, and the overall dissatisfaction that has characterized her existence thus far, but we are at a crossroads.
The following have been suggested to us: "early intervention" by the likes of Children's Hospital or another entity; play therapy; occupational therapy (though this seems more suited to those with sensory integration issues, and this does not really appear to be the case with our daughter); parent child interaction therapy; a small home-based daycare with a supportive and warm caregiver; family therapy. We feel overwhelmed by the process of selecting one of these approaches and finding an appropriate and effective practitioner, and daunted by the time and expense that might take. I am looking both for general counsel from those who have "been there" and specific recommendations and/or names of professionals who might be able to assist us.