CASE STUDY INFO
Bella is a 3 year old girl who is half Thai, half American. Her father is a teacher at the school for older grades. Bella's mom recently gave birth to Bella's first sibling: a little sister. Halfway through her mom's pregnancy, Bella started acting out. She is prone to fits of extreme emotion - one minute happy and giggling, the next sobbing or scowling in anger at a teacher or peer. When Bella is angry, she can get physical by snatching a toy from a peer or pushing them. Bella is very possessive over her homeroom teacher and does not stand for other students trying to share in the attention. She often physically clings to the legs of the teacher. Bella has a complicated relationship with her father. On the one hand, they seem extremely close, but on the other she often throws tantrums when he comes to pick her up if he asks her to do something like go clean up in the classroom before they leave. They seem to have a relationship where the dad is more like her friend, and she doesn't like it when he tries to change that dynamic by trying to exert some kind of authority over her. While Bella's tantrums and moods are severe, the question has arisen whether she truly cannot control her emotions - or whether some of it is a game to get attention. On one occasion she was sobbing heavily in her father's arms as he started carrying her home, but when the teachers waved goodbye to her she looked over his back and quickly stopped crying - flashing them a big grin. Bella refuses to apologize when her erratic behavior upsets or harms someone else.
It's unclear at this point what her dad's opinion is on her behavior but generally most everyone treats her moods as something more deserving of an eye roll than a hug. Since her sister has been born, Bella's behavior has not improved by much. Bella has recently graduated from Nursery 1 and will soon be joining a new classroom this coming August in Nursery 2.