Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Beachlife123, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. Beachlife123

    Beachlife123 Guest

    I am new to this site and am impressed by the wealth of knowledge and support offered. I am a single mom (divorced and work full time) of an eight year old daughter. My daughter went through extensive evaluations by her psychiatrist, child psychologist, educational specialist and occupational therapist about 1.5 ago. At the end of the day she was diagnosed with: NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD), ADHD, Anxiety not otherwise specified, and Sensory Integration Disorder.

    My daughter is very complex. Over the past two years we've come a LONG way. My daughter now takes a shower for the most part without freaking out and allows me to brush her hair. She doesn't flip out if the seams on her socks are not perfect. She will wear a variety of clothes. We still have a LONG way to go but I stay positive. I have a great group of doctors, therapist, and a school that supports my daughter 100%. However we have a LONG way to go. As a single mother its not easy - I have pretty much given up a social life and I don't date.

    The positive: She is very bright although the end result of the WISC IV landed on the average side of the spectrum. Her doctor said this is an underestimate of her ability due to her emotional issues. Her Achievement Scores (WJ-III) ranged from high average to very superior. She struggles in math but we are very lucky to have a school that supports her 100% and the best part is I have NOT had to even draft an IEP. She is friendly - has a lot of friends and socially gets along well with other children. She has a passion which is a great love for dance and she works very hard at her passion. She is funny and sweet and has a big heart.

    Areas of opportunity: She is VERY DIFFICULT at times and always STRONG WILLED. She does not like the word NO and does not like to listen to direction. Let me preface by stating she is a perfect angel at school and at dance. She reserves her defiance for the home. I am thankful for this but man is it draining! She refuses to take her ADD medications as they give her a stomach ache and headache (we are back to the psychiatrist to get this addressed). She is disrespectful to me calls me every bad word under the sun. Her temper tantrums are severe - although better then they were a year ago. At least she hasn't put a hole in the wall. She throws things at me rather violently. I've pretty much tried everything. Her therapist said I MUST get her back on ADD medications before we can even try to make headway. I've TRIED every form of discipline. As of last week I've pretty much taken everything out of her bedroom, tv privileges etc. I've created a behavior chart (about the 20th time) but she is 8 and I fear if I do not get this behavior in check we are going to be in big trouble. I cannot continue to be the punching bag nor can I tolerate the violent behavior. I know after she has these episodes she scares herself. It's almost as if she can't control herself. We did have a brain scan and she does not have seizures. I do give her LOTS and LOTS of love including positive reinforcement, hugs, kisses etc.

    Has anyone experienced these issues and if so what has helped? I am at the end of my rope.

    Thanks so much
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome! I'm glad you found us.

    I'm in Utah right now and don't have all my reference books with me. Have you read much about NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD)? The rest of your daughter's diagnoses (attention issues, sensory issues and anxiety) fall under the umbrella diagnosis of NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). So it's really a package deal. That's not to say that all the symptoms don't need to be treated -- just that you need to think of it as a symptom complex.

    I'm not sure that ADHD medications are going to help much here because stimulants tend to exacerbate pre-existing anxiety and actually make meltdowns worse. What is really going to help is understanding why your daughter is melting down, and I suspect it's because she has a hard time transitioning and she's inflexible (that's part of NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD)). She may do better with a medication that reduces anxiety or helps with emotional reactivity.

    A book that will also help you with understanding her mindset is The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. In my experience, punishments, reward charts, taking things away don't seem to make a difference in changing the behaviors of these kids all that much.

    Does she get Occupational Therapist (OT) to help with her sensory issues? That also may help a lot.

    Those are just some quick thoughts I have. Others should be by to offer theirs, although it can be slow here on the weekends.

    Again, welcome.
  3. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    My difficult child, who is 11, is very similar to your daughter. Great in school, straight A student. Then he comes home and completely melts down in my doorway. The thing he says to make would make my mother roll over in her grave. And the fact that you have to handle it all by yourself makes it worse. Punishement, time outs, and taking privledges away did nothing for my difficult child. His anxiety gets the best of him and he needs to try to control every aspect of things, and heaven help us if we don't just when he calls! Maybe she needs medication for her anxiety. That helped difficult child to a point that we can at least try to work on what is causing him anxiety and how to deal with it.

    Good luck. I know that it's exhausting. Try to take care of yourself along the way as well. You can't help her if you can't help yourself.

  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    My difficult child is very similar, except that she will exhibit those explosive behaviors anywhere. I've often had to put the childlocks back into use on my truck and I'm so glad it's a 4-door equipped with those! The thing with sock seams and clothing tags is also common in the gifted, my difficult child and I are both that way, it's related to a super-sensitive nervous system. Often goes hand-in-hand with being a super taster (also my difficult child and I) and needless to say it makes finding food either one of us will eat and still get decent nutrition from difficult. I'm so glad there are so many snacky-type foods on the market today that have added fiber, I wish they'd been available when I was young, would have saved me a lot of pain.
    We're still trying to get a definitive diagnosis on kiddo, she tried to hurt herself at school last week (bad reaction to medications) and was placed in a short term facility. She's still there and giving the staff a run for their money and keeping them on their toes. I tried calling several times last night and while I was talking to the nurse I heard an alarm going off in the background. Yep, that was mine, during her tantrum she hit the caged panic button (turns out she pinched her finger while door-slamming in the time-out room). I hope she doesn't make the leap from panic-button response to fire alarm response.
    During her good periods she's a wonderful child, helpful and considerate with an infectious giggle that can spread happiness to anyone that hears it. I'm also a single (working on getting divorced) mom, and all our relatives are a 2-day drive from us or further. Hang in there hon, I feel your pain.
  5. ShanDiann

    ShanDiann Guest


    I am new here myself. I have found a load of support here in just a few weeks. My sweet darling is 7 and is very similar except he will meltdown anywhere. Like the others have said, punishment and rewards don't seem to do much for our kids. One thing that I have found that helps some is alot of specific positive reinforcement when something goes right. The ADHD medications do help difficult child to some extent. However, the only way he will take it is if I open the capsule and sprinkle it in applesauce. This was actually a recommendation from the doctor when he refused to take it. Good Luck and again welcome!
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just wanted to add in my welcome-glad you found us and know that you have found a very soft place to land.