almost 3 year old! I need help :(

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Britanae, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. Britanae

    Britanae New Member

    Hi. Ive been having alot of trouble with my 2-almost-3 year old. And Im not exactly sure where to begin, so I guess Ill start from the beginning. When she was a newborn even, she did not like to be held or cuddled. She would stick her arms up and her butt out and try and slide right out of your arms. Thankfully Ive never dropped her! But it came close a couple of times. She still hasnt slept through the night once, but atleast now she just plays in her room when she wakes up and eventually goes back to sleep. She hasnt been taking naps for a few months now, even though we still lay her down for an hour or so, and its much needed! And every now and then when we lay her down for "nap time" she takes off her diaper and smears poop all over her room. Shes done this probably around 15 times in the last 6 months. The only way she wont do this is if we tape her diaper on, which I think confuses her because were still trying to potty train her.
    Im a stay at home mom, and all I do all day long is play with her and her brother(1 and a half years) (other than cleaning up the house every couple of minutes!). We play with toys, playdough, finger paints, ect. but nothing ever ends well. She is always whining or screaming or hitting or pushing, and it always ends in a timeout.
    On alot of the other parenting sites Ive posted on, people either tell me its my fault, or thats just a normal 2 year old. Buteven other parents around me say things like, she doesnt smile very often or that she has "a very strong personality". And then I see other kids her age (She goes to a daycare a couple times a week so she can play with other kids, and we have friends that come over for playdates) and its like everything they do, she takes to the extreme. And even comparing her to my son, hes just such a happy little cuddley guy! Yes he gets into trouble too, especially as he gets closer to 2, but its normal toddler things! He gets into things he knows hes not supposed to, throws tantrums, even stomps his feet sometimes, but its what every other kid his age does. And I see other parents feel embarrassed or frustrated when their kids acts like that, and Im just like this is my easy child!
    Ive also read alot of parenting books and personality books, and nothing seems to work. I try redirecting her, like if she takes a toy away from her brother I ask her to give it back and then try to give her another toy. What happens is always: She doesnt want the other toy and she will NOT give it back, so eventually Ill try to give the other toy to her brother and then she wants it. (I dont take the first toy away from her because that just shows her its okay to take toys away.) And then if I dont give her toy #2 she throws the first toy at her brother then screams and tries to take it away from me, and sometimes she even hits me too. I calmly tell her, "We dont hit. Hitting hurts.", and then she goes in timeout. Never fails!
    It just seems like shes an overall unhappy child, and it hurts me because of course it feels like my fault. We give her as much attention as possible when shes being a good girl (Which isnt very often lately), and tell her were proud of her and we love her all the time when shes being good. But it doesnt help at all. Ive set up an appointment for this coming Wednesday with her pediatrician, but until then I just dont know what to do because these last 2 weeks have been the worst yet. And this happens every couple of months, She will be ok for awhile where the tantrums and behavior wont be as bad ( about the far end for most kids), and then for a couple of weeks she will be completely horrible to where I just dont know what to do. It seems like she spends all day in timeout and I feel like a horrible parent!!
    Is there anyone who has any suggestions or who has been through or going through the same thing? Because its just hurting me so bad feeling like all of this is my fault. Its like everytime I lay her down at night I just break down and cry. I love my little girl, and I want her to be happy and know shes loved.
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Hi, welcome to our forum.

    I have book recommendation for you. It won't give you definitive answers, but it will alert you to some things to watch for plus some direction based on what you're seeing. For instance, the noncuddling and taking off diapers could be signs of a sensory system that is atypical (search Sensory Processing Disorder).

    "What Your Explosive Child Is Trying to Tell You: Discovering the Pathway from Symptoms to Solutions by Dr. Douglas Riley"

    Besides the difficult behaviors, is there anything else that is developmentally unusual, such as speech delays or unusual interests or play behaviors?
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I whole-heartedly agree with SRL's book recommendation. Reading that might give you some hope. I would also recommend an Occupational Therapy evaluation. I really does sound like your little one has some huge sensory issues and they would be able to find them and help her and you deal with them.

    I am sooo glad you found us. You have come to the right place and I hope you stick around.
  4. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    You are NOT alone. Not to a T, but your daughter does remind me of V when he was younger. Him too could not stand to be cuddled and we arch back trying to escape.
    Since she is not 3 yet, I would suggest you call early intervention (birth through 3), they might be able to help you. Their programs are really good and it is free of charge. If she qualifies, they will also help with the transition from Early intervention to school district. Some times, they even choose to keep the child in their program beyond the age of 3. So even if her birthday is soon, call! If you type up early intervention and your state, you should find their phone on google. Your pediatrician will also have their number.
    And don't listen to the "typical" parents: they have NO clue what you are going through. It is NOT your fault, keep asking questions, exploring and analizing. With a better understanding will come relief.
    It is hard but as you progress in your journey you will learn to deal with it, maybe see patterns, celebrate the success and keep on working on what needs improvements.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Your little one is very young, but I do not believe for a second that this is your parenting or in any way your fault. You are dealing with a child who is atypical, and even this young I would take her in for an assessment to see if she qualifies for special services. Schools have a birth-three program then a preschool program.

    Smearing the poop sounds like a sensory issue...she likes the way it feels; maybe even the way it smells (yes,

    Lack of cuddling or liking to be held is common in autistic spectrum kids. They do not necessarily need to have the entire spectrum, but perhaps she has part of it. That's a red flag. As is a very low frustration level and inappropriateness with same age peers. Does he sort of have a stoic look on his face? Is she delayed in speech?

    I would take him to see a neuropsychologist, if one will take such a young child. The younger the child gets help (not psychiatric help, but help for his disorders, whatever they are) the better the overall prognosis. You need and deserve a peaceful house and some relaxation. Putting off an assessment serves no purpose at all since you have tried all you know how to try and nothing has worked and you are frazzled. Conventional discipline does not often work for our special children.

    Be sure to find time to take care of yourself as well, if you can. Long bubble baths with candles, a girl's night out maybe with hub watching the two, an exercise class...we are no good to our loved ones if we are falling apart ourselves. (((Hugs)))
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  6. Britanae

    Britanae New Member

    Thank you guys so much! I looked up the Sensory Processing Disorder, and my daughter seems to have everything on that checklist, from not sleeping, not liking to be cuddled or held, breaking every toy or book she can get her hands on, hitting, pushing, and kicking others... it literally all fits with her! So hopefully now we can get her some help! Thanks again!! And also, I downloaded on kobo The Explosive Child, and hopefully this can help me too!
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The key to helps with sensory issues is an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation (do both sensory and motor skills - you never know if there is more going on...) plus Occupational Therapist (OT) therapy and some accommodations/interventions that the Occupational Therapist (OT) can help you with...

    It ALWAYS is easier when we have some clue as to what is going on.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I agree with all my board peers here.... sounds like you have a child the same as each one of us has.... one that is wired differently and as you beautifully put it.. it is not that you expect her to be perfect... you SEE in your own second child that there will be issues with kids...

    But our kids do these things (and others) to a different degree, intensity and frequency. It is NOT the same as parenting a typical child and no typical family parent can ever ever understand...even if they try. So turn your ears off to them. (eyes if on the internet, smile)

    I would for sure call ECSE (called similar things in each state) Early Childhood Special Education. But if you happen to not be in a place where they are as good as they should be (it happens, should be the same everywhere but we all know that different areas are differetn) for sure also pursue a private evaluation. If you need a referral very politely but assuredly TELL your doctor what you want. They will often try to reassure you that things are within normal limits. Unfortunately it is not their gamble to take. One thing that is SOLID in any research/literature is that though there are no guarantees.... for differently wired kids (adhd, sensory integration disorders, language impairments, autism spectrum etc...)early intervention gives them a better chance. do list: (especially if you are concerned in these areas...but sometimes it is really subtle so it is nice to have things checked out to make sure)

    1. Call ECSE for free evaluation.... if they hem and haw put the request in writing because then they are mandated by law to follow up and do the assessment within a certain period of time.

    2. Call for a neuropsychologist evaluation ...

    3. Call for a speech/language evaluation (includes social communication and processing problems)

    4. Occupational Therapy Evaluation for sensory integration disorder (the touch sensitivity,not wanting to cuddle, any issues with sounds? with things she sees? With picky food issues or smell problems.... kids either can avoid these or seek out certain specific things) Good to check motor development too.

    Most of us who have ever gone to a childhood psychologist come away with a behavioral diagnosis which usually leads to more sticker charts and time outs and things we already know do not help very well. these things can work well for a few things and for kids who do not have differently wired brains... but for our kids who learn in a different way or process information in a different way....well it typically does not help. (and we are left feeling like we are poor parents to some degree since all the interventions focus on how we do things wrong even when we follow their suggestions to a T)

    HUGS, and supportive shoulders to lean on...... Let us know how things are going.
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    With your little one What Your Explosive child is trying to tell you may help even more... I use The Explosive Child methods too though ... from the time my son was little but he was really low verbal for a long time and so some of the methods I had to adapt. The Doug Riley book is talked about here a lot too and he said (on this board actually) that he devoted some of his book specifically to early childhood.
  10. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    Just adding my support and extending my understanding of what you're going through. With my grandson, he is a cuddler, thank heavens, but the play behaviors, etc., I totally get what you're saying. The Explosive Child really helped us, and we are in the journey of eliminating things like sensory issues, etc. It is a journey, with two steps forward and one step back (and the reverse!), and it's hard. You've got another kid who seems pretty typical, so that should tell you it isn't you. No, people with typical kids with which typical interventions work won't understand, so quarantine yourself against the judgments, even well-meaning ones. I just keep Dr. Greene's statement "If they could do well, they would" in my head when I'm ready to lose my mind. Behaviors serve a purpose, even if it's a screaming, throwing, tantrumming, poop-smearing call for help. Bless her heart. You've taken a great first step!
  11. BoogiesMama

    BoogiesMama Guest

    I know that it's hard to listen to people tell you it's your fault and you feel guilty, but don't do that! My son started showing signs of something not quite right at about 1 1/2, at age 2 he was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD and still now at age 4 he is a work in progress as far as trying to put the whole puzzle together with what is going on with him, this past week they added anxiety to his list of issues. I had so many family members on his dad's side telling me he was fine, it was just terrible twos, etc. I did not agree that cutting dogs ears with scissors, punching cats in the face, etc. was normal 2 year old behavior and continued to pursue help for my son.
    He did many of the things you described your daughter is doing and then some. We dealt with poop smearing, hitting, etc. Only difference was my son wanted to be held constantly. We had playpen, swing, bouncy seat and they all were a waste of money. Even his highchair was an issue most days and sometimes we just had to feed him sitting on one of our laps.
    Don't let guilt take over your days, trust me it's a waste of energy. Be proud of yourself that you are recognizing there is something not quite right and you are doing something about it. A lot of parents like to live in denial and do nothing. The younger you get some help the better! It doesn't just help your daughter, it helps you and that is just as important. We had many days we loved our son, but really didn't like him, didn't like being around him but due to his extreme seperation anxiety we couldn't and still don't get much time away from him. Difference is now we like him:flirtysmile3:
    Just hang in there and if the doctor tells you she's too young, then find someone who will help. We had to do some searching for someone to help my son at age 2, but thank God he has an awesome pediatrician who didn't give up and pushed until he found someone to refer us to.
    I use to lay in bad at night and think back on the day and realize that all I did was punish and argue with my son too, and I felt awful! But that was what motivated me to find him some help because I knew if I was feeling like that about his day, imagine how he felt about it. Hang in there!
    What do the time outs do for her? putting my son in a corner where he was still aware of us didn't work, but following his docs advise we put him in a room where he couldn't hurt himself and shut the door and walk away. he changes his tune real quick when he realizes he will not be allowed to interact with us if he gets out of contril
  12. Britanae

    Britanae New Member

    I know exactly what you mean! My mom is insisting that shes just a normal kid and that Im over reacting. And it hurts because I just know that theres something wrong. I did call and set up an evaluation for her with our school district because her birthday is in April and shell be 3, so by the time the evaluation is done shell have to transfer over anyways. I just want to get it done with so I can show my mom that there is something wrong. Which is hilarious because she barely EVER sees her. Its just all so frustrating but hopefully now we can get everything staightened out and get some help. Im so happy I found this site and Im really thankful for all of you!
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Do it for you son, not to show up Mom. She doesn't see him every day and she is probably in denial.

    Also wanted to point out that sensory issues almost never stand alone as a singular problem. it is usually part of another disorder and an Occupational Therapist (OT) can't diagnose that. They can help with the therapy, but are not diagnosticians.

    Good luck!
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Keep in mind, though, that while the Occupational Therapist (OT) cannot do a diagnosis, the information from an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation is extremely useful to others who work with your child - including those who do comprehensive evaluations and are able to do dxes. We were told to get the Occupational Therapist (OT) and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) reports first, because those details are not necessarily covered in a comprehensive evaluation but will be included if available.
  15. buddy

    buddy New Member

  16. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    I've had people blame me for my kids' behavior, too.

    Until they find out that I didn't even meet them till Onyxx was 8... Then it's "well what did you do to her after that?"


    Hang in there. And hang in here, too!
  17. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Brit, congratulation for contacting the school and requesting an evaluation. I hope you find a team ready to help you.
    on the other hand, if have started reading other threads on the forum, you will realize that schools are not always the most helpful...
    Just to play it safe, I would start looking into private evaluations if I were you. It can take a long time to get the referrals, find the right professional and be on the waiting list for an appointment. So just get the ball rolling. And same for Occupational Therapist (OT) and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), do private ones as well.
    It might sound like overkill, but in reality it is extremely helpful (when you are dealing with a school district less than willing to spend the time and money in helping your child).
    I'm glad you found us. This forum will help you a lot.
  18. Confused

    Confused Guest

    Yes, you do need to get her tested. You as a mom knows if her child is "different". I know I didnt think so at first, but after a while I really started looking at my son comparing him to my daughter, other boys and girls his age,older younger,family, everything! I know all kids are different. But I was told its all my fault with my son or my grandfather says I need to give him a spanking, ignore him when hes bad or just send him to his room. He says problem will be solved. I said theres something not right about him" He says if the doctors don't think so , then he is fine, he is all boy being nasty, they didn't have all these "excuses" they do now! I disagree, they have technology, Dr's have learned in the last 40 plus years etc! Oh my sons tantrums lasted few hours sometimes 2 more times a day, (calmed down since) he used to bite himself, loves slamming and pounding on doors, says hateful and violent threats, gets mad easy etc. So although different from yours, we still notice there's something "different"

    Mine does not act this way at school, he gets into a little trouble, talks back, nothing major, so until or if he does, I have no back up, hence all my fault cuz it happens at home or with other family and a couple of friends! Good luck with your little one. Its not you! Hugs
  19. Britanae

    Britanae New Member

    Hey everyone! Just an update- We got our daughter in to see her pediatrician... and she agreed that the things she does just doesnt seem right for a child her age. Im so happy that she understands what Im talking about! She set up a few different evaluations to be done, one with our school district and another with a specialist, and once we get those done, the results will be sent to a developmental specialist (who is an hour and a half away but thats alright!)
    Our doctor is confused by our daughter because the things she does resembles other children with Aspergers, and Autism, but our daughter has been talking since she was 6 months old and hasnt stopped since! She can sing her ABC's in both French and English and can sing 10 other different songs! She turns 3 in just over a month and can already count to 20! So for now she has everyone stumped, so we will get the evaluations done and go from there.
    I just wanted to say Thank YOU!!!!! for all of your help and understanding and I am so very glad I came across this site! You are all amazing and I will forever be thankful! :D
  20. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    That is good news. One thing to keep in mind is that with Asperger's, the kids are VERY intelligent. They struggle with social stuff so it's not surprising to me that she's that smart but still has issues. That's okay. With the right interventions, she will do well.