7 year old daughter suspended :(

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by LastHope, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. LastHope

    LastHope New Member

    So it's 4 AM and I can't sleep at all - My daughter was suspended today from 2nd grade for kicking a fellow student as well as being disrespectful to the principal and school therapist. Her father and I have been dealing with her ODD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) for at least 5.5 years. She is currently seeing a therapist and is on 150 mg of Zoloft. I have been advocating with her psychiatrist to look more closely into the idea that she may have bipolar. (I have bipolar disorder - diagnosed at 18, 39 now). She can be very violent (as I'm sure you are all familiar with) but also deals with low self-esteem, suicidal ideation and has said some disturbing things (for example; she said that if she didn't get chosen for princess to a contest - chosen by drawing, she was going to "stab that woman in the neck" Her dad and I have done everything we can thing of to try to help her and I just don't know what to do anymore. I'm very afraid that she will be expelled and don't know what I do at that point? I've looked briefly at alternative schools - but they are manly for kids at least12 and up. and my gosh, the price of some of these programs is as much as $150,000. That's more than my house is worth!!

    I guess I'm hoping to find that I'm not alone and to see what worked for your children.

    Thank you for listening.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    First of all has she been evaluated by a neuropsychologist? I would definitely start there. You really don't know what you are dealing with right yet. My son was diagnosed with bipolar at eight and it was a wrong diagnosis. I'm not convinced doctors know what bipolar looks like at such a young age...I'd want to have her tested for everything on every level (this is where the neuropsychologist comes in). Both ODD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) do not tend to stand alone.

    I am wondering if perhaps she has autistic spectrum issues. I do not know if she does, however many children with bipolar on the family tree have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) children. I post also on an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) board and this is a common scenario. At any rate, you will not know unless you take her to a top notch diagnostican and in my opinion neuropsychs can not be topped for diagnostics. They do 6-10 hours of testing.

    You can find them at childern's hospitals and universities hospitals. They often have long waiting lists, but they are worth the wait. Until then, I recommend buying "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene to help you over the rough spots.

    I think 150 mgs. of Zoloft is a huge dose for such a young child. I could not handle 50 mgs. and I was an adult when I took it. I ended up in the hospial for toxicity. Antidepressants can make, especially children, even more aggressive. I'd be very nervous about the medication level for such a young child. Does it help?

    Welcome to the board :)....although sorry you have to be here. Notice, I'm awake too :)
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Midwest is right. You need to have a THOROUGH evaluation done. Certain medications for certain kids can cause huge problems. For my son it was Prozac and Risperdal. Others have had good luck with both. It all depends on the child AND the correct diagnosis.

    Does she have an IEP or anything at school? If not, I would get that going ASAP. It will get her some help during school and also put some guidelines in place as far as discipline. The discipline part goes into effect the day you get confirmation they received your request for services. If she does have an IEP, what kinds of accommodations and/or services is she getting at school?

    Welcome to our little corner of the world. You will learn a lot here.
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I agree with the other posts. Once you send a registered letter then there is record of a suspected disability which protects her from expulsion. In your IEP request ask for all areas to be evaluated including behavior because the mandate is to write positive behavior goals and plans. (What she needs to learn not what she needs to stop doing ) so she can feel better about herself and be more successful. You need to be on top of who does this and which tests ...they need your signature on the proposed assessment plan so if you want come here and let us know what they suggest and we can give you thoughts and ideas ...
    Your choice of course.
    We too had increase in aggression on an ssri medication. Maybe time to let them know you're thinking this medication isn't helping.
    I suspect (mho) she is under-aware of how her actions really affect others and what really matters is how upset she is in those moments. Not in a mental illness-she is a danger, kind of way ...it is very common for kids with emotional delays no matter the cause to struggle with this. Kids like many of ours need specific & direct training to learn to identify feelings how to handle frustration etc. & what to do to make better choices /problem solve.
    Trust me on this....you are not alone and my sons first suspension happened in grade K! It's just bad practice to think a kid will suddenly improve from a suspension. It only punishes the parents. She will do better when she can...
    With support.
  5. LastHope

    LastHope New Member

    Midwest mom,

    I have not seen a neurophych but will def look into that. I'm unsure if they are certain of what Bipolar looks like in a young age myself - I just see 2 distinct personality types in her - one very aggressive, violent, defiant, and really mean and the other is sweet, lovable, energetic and all around happy. I have ready the Explosive Child - I think I've read it twice now LOL and we've tried the A, B and C baskets thing and ended up almost giving in to everything she had a fit over. I was suspect too of the 150 mg of Zoloft but went with the psychiatrist for 1 because I've just never had to deal with anything like this but also I was just looking for the super cure! The medication seems to have helped somewhat - it's taken her level of violence down from scratching, biting and punching us (her sister and I mostly) daily and throwing major fits where we have to drag her kicking and screaming out of stores to the occasional physical altercation (kicking another child at school, punching her sister in the stomach) but is still very defiant and disrespectful, very quick to become uber frustrated with anything that doesn't go exactly her way.

    I put a call into her pediatrician to see if I need to get a referral for a neuropsychologist and hopefully at least I can get an appointment for her there.

    Thanks so much for the advice!
  6. LastHope

    LastHope New Member


    You know I don't' think she does have and IEP I know we've done some tests and put some other things in place with the school psychologist but I don't recall the term IEP. I'll call the school tomorrow and find out about getting that process started as well!

    Thanks so much!!
  7. LastHope

    LastHope New Member


    I will def bring the IEP here - cuz I'm clueless!! I'm so happy I found this board - Like I mentioned I suffer with Bipolar and dealing with that in myself then dealing with all the stuff my daughter brings to the table is sometimes overwhelming to say the least! I think you are right on as far as the fact that to her she isn't aware of how her actions affect others and it's all about how she is feeling during that moment. To add to her issues, she is also very introverted when it comes to talking to her therapist, psychiatrist and the school therapist. She will answer questions Yes or No and also tends to just answer the way "we want her to answer"
  8. Confused

    Confused Guest

    Yes, I agree with the others you need a full evaluation done. Since you already will have the proof she has had issues at school, their report will help you greatly. My friends daughter is Bipolar, and has been on many different medications to find the right balance. Trial and error I guess. She still has her outbursts and is lucky the school works with her, even during her extreme violence at school. That dosage does sound too high! I hope things get better for you soon.