Am I a failure?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tlj34, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. tlj34

    tlj34 New Member

    I am new to the website and am so happy to have found this! I have a beautiful five year old little girl named Riley. She was diagnosed a year ago with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and ODD. I feel like the ODD has gotten so out of control. Even with the therapy and counselling, I feel so out control! I have done everything from screaming to crying to begging and pleading with her. She gets out of control when we are in public, she hits, punches, kicks me and I am just not sure how to deal with it, so we end up leaving wherever we are at just so I can get her to calm down. She argues with me, she defies me, she gets so violent with me and herself. She throws things across the room and the smallest thing can set her off. ie maybe a puzzle piece doesn't fit right, the whole puzzle goes flying across the room and she may kick me or punch herself or even her little sister, if she's close enough. I am at my wits end! I have cried myself to sleep most nights, wondering what it is I am doing wrong. I am so glad to read that other moms are going through the same things. It's somewhat of a relief to know I am not alone. She has not started school, I was told it would be better to hold her back a year, so she will be starting this next school year and I am soooo scared. The autism is bad enough but with the ODD, I am so afraid for her and other children and the teachers. HELP!! It just doesn't seem like I can reason with her and I gave up on that a long time ago. She is so smart and bright and beautiful and I love her so much, I just feel like I am stuck right now, I need some help. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice? I am open for anything. God knows I have tried everything I can think of. I just want her to be happy in all aspects of life. I would appreciate any advice or suggestions.
  2. C.J.

    C.J. New Member

    First of all, you're not a failure. You're a concerned parent raising a child with multiple disorders. When your mother's heart knew something wasn't right, you sought professional help for her. That's a warrior mom at work.

    Next, because you've found this site, you're seeking to educate yourself about what you're facing right now, and perhaps, what is in store in the future. Once again, warrior mom at work.

    You didn't do this to your child. None of us here have the answers as to why our children come with these problems. What I have learned after several years, coupled with some successes and some setbacks, is my child was meant to teach me many things. You're near the beginning of this journey - and you're among friends here.

    Others will be on later with some specific suggestions for you and your child, but I could not let your question go unanswered.

    You're not a failure. You're a warrior mom.

  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and Welcome--

    You are NOT a failure. Let me repeat that...
    You are NOT a failure.

    It's easy to feel like one, though. Especially when you are trying so hard just to do something simple with your child...I remember the battles I had trying to get my daughter prepared to go to kindergarten. The tantrums! The screaming! The protests over the simplest, silliest, non-sensical, non-issues. I cried myself to sleep many a night.

    Believe it or not--you are already further ahead than I was at that stage. My pediatrician kept insisting that the problems I was having with my daughter were MY fault...and that I needed better parenting skills. It wasn't until she was enrolled at public school that I got a whole team of adults (teachers, social workers and school counselors) that noticed that something was not quite right with difficult child and who were willing to help her negotiate some of her social and anger issues. It was their input that finally got my pediatrician to admit that perhaps my daughter DID need some sort of testing.

    Please know that you are not alone....many of us are travelling this road with you...and though we may not have the magic answers ourselves--we are always here to lend our support and and ear if you need it.

    Best wishes,

  4. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    You are not a failure!

    Are you in the USA? If so, there's more the school can and should do. Let us know.
  5. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    {{{Hugs}}} and welcome. You aren't alone any longer. I agree with the others' sentiment that you are not a failure. I also agree with Sheila that your school district should be doing more (or something!) to educate your daughter.

    Have you received any guidance about how to work with your daughter? A lot of us have found The Explosive Child by Ross Greene helpful in decreasing the number of meltdowns our kids have. There's also a thread at the top of this forum that discusses the book as it applies to younger kids.

    Does your daughter receive any therapies? Speech, social, Occupational Therapist (OT), etc?
  6. tlj34

    tlj34 New Member

    She is in therapy. Occupational Therapist (OT), ABA and emotion regulation. The problem we are having is she WILL NOT cooperate. We've been at the same place for over a year and I just feel it is not the right way to go for her. I feel she needs a one on one approach. If she could see the same person every week, it would give her a chance to get used to it. I am not saying the place we go to is not qualified...they are great people, it's just not for Riley. I am sooo tired today and Riley has been on a rampage. I feel like I give in to her all the time because she wears me down, then I cry because I feel guilty for giving in. These tantrums can go on for an hour!!
    The pediatric psychiatrist feels medications may be necessary for her to take the edge off of her anxiety...I just don't know how I feel about it. I want to do everything possible for her to get an education and enjoy it...I've been calling around our area (Tennessee/Georgia), to see if I can find someone who works from their home or...I don't know, she needs help and I hate that I can't give it to her. Noone seems to have time to sit down and answer my questions, (I'm talking about the professionals), they all seem too busy and I have loads of questions that have gone and still remain unanswered! I know I haven't been on in a husband and I are in the beginning process of divorce and things have been crazy! Thankyou all for the great suggestion, encouragement and thoughts! I appreciate it soooo much!
  7. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    tlj34: I think any parent of a child who is acting in any manner that is unnerving to a parent wears the adult down to a fizzy remnant of that former being that seemed to be who one WAS? We all think going into being a parent that we will be able to manage why we have so much love to give! Then we find that inside the crusty core of the bone weary being that has taken over the interior of our fleash dwells MOMMY MONSTER! She has no ideas she is angery and messy and has no energy anywhere in any of her circuits. She doubts her own ability, her sanity, her will to go on.
    What ever you are planning for your daughters education it might be a very good idea to try to find someone who can be a mothers helper or who is qualified to care for you girl for some amount of time on a regular basis. You need to have others not just you who are able and do watch her and care for her so you can recharge.
    It is impossible to learn and think and create on full overwhelm. and it happens under far less extreme stress than what you are describing.
    I am not an expert. And when children or adult what is the worst feeling for anyone is to be out of control. Perhaps some of her anxiety is that she feels she needs you and she does feel aware of how difficult things are becoming for her as she has more she can do. If you could find another regular person that she began to feel was also consistent in her life she would learn to transition to others more easily as she enters school and other types of relationships.
    For me with my son, who is not as complicated or extreme, but by no means a walk in the park, the first time I had the oppertunity to say out loud 'what I need is someone to just watch my boy for less than one hour a couple time a day so I can take a walk and get a break" up popped the first help I did get.
    Also I always suggest massage and hot tubs for stress for children and adults. relaxation is learned behavior.
    And our children are sensitive to how we are feeling. So take that breath out load and consciously relax and speak as sincerely and soothingly for your own comfort and also with her. Remember your voice will be internalized in your children. use your beautiful woman loving mother voice as much as you can. It will help keep you both feeling loved and lovingly.
    When calming a child I use a humming tone that conveys that care and direction towards calm.
    Cuddle up and calm down. Soft touch on a hand or face or brow.
    Some kids hate it, I quess. But I have not once had these utterly fail me.
    You are a worried overworked mother. Tired, yes, failing...oh no.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, sweetie, NO, this is not your fault. Take a deep breath.

    1. The school district should be able to help you with interventions while, at the same time, giving you a break. If she is not responding to her therapists, perhaps she needs different ones. I'd look into it. I would call about Early Education for children on the autism spectrum. My son was in school by age 3.

    2. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids freak out in public often. They can't handle the stimuli, the people, the lights, the sounds, and any request to transition from one activity to another is also a trigger. The child isn't bad or even really ODD. He is reacting like an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) child. He needs help and you do too so that you understand what a GOOD mother you are.

    I don't think therapy is useful for kids on the spectrum. They are wired differently and respond best to interventions. I hope you can get him the proper help...fight for it...(((Hugs))) to a wonderful mother.