I feel like giving up! HELP!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by brokenlostandconfused, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. This is my first time reaching out in this way so forgive me if I leave out necessary details.

    I have a 7 year old little girl. She is the oldest of 2 children. She was tested and diagnosed as ADHD. Unlike most cases, there are no developmental delays or issues. She is actually the opposite. She is almost TOO intelligent. She flies through work that is given to her, she has tested 3 grades above her grade level. But then there is the other side....
    She is a nightmare. She lies, steals, fights, destroys property and possibly worst of all, shows absolutely NO remorse for it.

    It scares me. I have tried every parenting technique suggested. I did have to medicate my child but it is closely monitored and I am doing all I can to ensure the right balance of medications. She speaks with a child psychologist weekly. NONE of these things help.
    I have explained to her more times than I can count what will happen to her if she continues her behavior. And once again, there is no remorse. She is unfeeling. She does not care about anything, so punishment is like a joke. There is nothing that seems to matter to her so when you try and take it away as a means of behavior modification, it does not even register.

    As the days go by, she gets smarter and her defiance grows. Her intelligence makes her defiance so frightening because she is so cunning and manipulative. She has NEVER slept through the night so I wake up to all kinds of destruction around the house. I have set alarms all around in an attempt to prevent her going into dangerous place but she knows how to avoid/get around them.
    I am at my wits end. I have NO clue what to do or where to turn. I have called the police and had them try and scare her straight. That failed. I just feel like giving up.
    I know this is just a shot in the dark but does ANYONE out there have any suggestions?
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012
  2. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    Others will be along with more details, but a quick answer includes the following ideas:

    - ADHD is attention related, and does not include the behavior issues you see. Something else is going on as well.

    - We recommend you get a neuropsychological evaluation done. You are more likely to find it at a children hospital.

    - One book that has helped many of us is Dr. Greene's "Explosive Child"

    - You are not a lone, and it is not a parenting issue.
  3. batzy1

    batzy1 New Member

    I too just reached out on here yesterday for the first time. I don't have any suggestions, I'm a steparent of an 8 year old boy that fits your discription of you 7 year old daughter. I feel like giving up all the time especially since he isn't mine. My husband is finally starting to wake up and realize how serious the issues are, that was the hardest part I think, not only was I dealing with such a nightmare but my husband didn't see how bad or dangerous his son is. We have our own 2 year old boy and I'm constantly in fear for his safety and that of our little dogs because his son would hurt them the first chance he gets. We get his son for the summer and it turns my summer into a nightmare and by the time it's over my husband and I are exhausted and stressed to our max. It really hit a cord when you said the punishment has no effect, my stepson is the same way, we've had to take away every priveledge and send him to his room and my husband even tried spanking him once, he didn't even blink. I don't know what to tell you, cause I don't know how to solve my own problems, we are doing the best we can, I read everything I can to help me. It also helps to know people out there understand how hard it is.
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Hi there... :welcomecat:

    I know how you feel, to some extent. ADHD may be part of the issue, but I don't think that's your real problem. I have a son (step) who was diagnosis'd ADHD and the medications they gave him made life hell for him. And us. Stimulants were BAD for him.

    I second aeroeng regarding a neuropsychologist evaluation.

    I also have a daughter (step as well) who doesn't sleep, steals, lies, destroys, manipulates... Yep. She's better at hiding it now - I am not sanguine enough to say it's not happening. But she's also 17. Part of Onyxx's issues were learned, part PTSD, and part bipolar. At one point a psychiatrist said she might have ADHD, let's try stims. UUUGGGHHH that was HORRIBLE, she didn't sleep anyway and that was the worst.

    Lack of sleep can cause some really horrible behavior. I'll be honest, I'm pretty much neurotypical and if I don't get enough sleep (at least 7 hours per night) I turn into someone I don't even like. When you take a child who has other issues and deprive them of sleep (as her brain is doing to her), the other issues not only multiply but grow exponentially. Even ADHD.

    Onyxx began not sleeping through the night because of abuse she was experiencing at bio's home. Soon, she was hallucinating and hurting people. Mind, she'd always had a "temper" and was charming and manipulative (like bio). The less sleep she got, the worse the behavior was. She would sleep during daylight hours - when everyone else is awake - simply because of that. What I believe is that she's always been bipolar, and had a predisposition to Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)... And what happened to her triggered it.

    She turned it into abusing others, destroying others' things, and so on. No remorse (unless it got something for her, and then it was over the top), and consequences have no effect except to make her more violent.

    The police won't make a dent unless she ends up in juvie... And probably not even then. You really, really need to have her evaluated by a neuropsychologist team, and they may even suggest a residential treatment center (Residential Treatment Center (RTC)). Also, if she's not sleeping, stims may not be a good idea... What is she taking for the ADHD?
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I agree with the others. This is not just ADHD.

    Has she become better or worse since starting the stims? While medication is often necessary and stims usually the first tried, they can make certain conditions worse.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Can you tell us about her early development, history, and if there was chaos in her early years? Does she live with both bio. parents? Siblngs? The more we know, the more we can help...welcome to the board!
  7. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    What medications is she on and in what dosages? I agree wholeheartedly about the medications. difficult child 1 does NOT do well at all on stims and we've found that Risperdal and Prozac actually CAUSE him to be psychotic. They both affected his sleep as well which causes a huge increase in behavior and he never got a break from that cycle. Now that he's off those medications and is only taking a non-stimulant for his ADHD and Tenex to help with the sleep, things are better here.

    I fourth the recommendation of a neuropsychologist evaluation. I second the recommendation of the book The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. I add a recommendation to seriously look at the medications possibly causing some of this behavior. There is definitely more going on than just ADHD and all the typical parenting methods will not work. If she really is that "gifted", you might want to look into Asynchronous Development as well. That might also figure into the picture.

    You have found a grat place with a wealth of knowledge based on first-hand experiences. Welcome to our little corner of the world. Glad you found us but sooo sorry you had to.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I'm in with the others, definitely follow your gut (which sounds to me like you dont think this is just adhd), even if she had severe adhd, with total lack of impulse control, you would not see the manipulation and lack of remorse. There are other things at play. We are a diverse group here in many ways but we do get it when a kid is very very hard to parent. If you share more details (bio child, adopted, what age the symptoms started, what were her infant/toddler years like, how is school, etc....) we can share more stories that directly relate.

    I hope you can find a neuropsychologist quickly, they can have long waiting lists but compared to a lifetime of challenges, it is well worth the wait. If your insurance refuses and you can't afford out of pocket, then you might try a developmental pediatrician....check to see that they will do a comprehensive evaluation using multiple evaluators to get a big picture of what is going on...motor, learning styles, emotional issues, chemical and neurological symptoms.... Neuropsychologists are trained to make connections between behavior and how our brains work. They are broader in perspective than a typical psychologist, psychiatrist, neurologist, pediatrician..... in my humble opinion.

    HUGS, you are not alone...it is really tough.
  9. Gosh, I'm in tears reading, lol. Thanks for all the responses.
    Ok, to try and address all the questions....
    She is on Vyvanse 20mg and 1mg of Intuniv. It did help in the realm of school focus, which IS why I know it's not just ADHD. I had her on a stronger dosage of the Vyvanse, without the Intuniv but that did not work. We also tried Concerta and it did not help at ALL. This combo of medications has improved certain areas.

    She has a younger sister who will be 4 in a month. They both live with me. But I am a single parent. There is no parental involvement.
    Her home environment has been extremely stable because I know how important consistency is, esp for children like her.
    As an infant, she never slept. I partnered with her doctor then to chart her sleep and for the first year of her life, she average 7 hours of sleep a day, including naps. I was told by doctors that she would get the sleep she needed and not to be concerned. But I'm a mother. It's my job.
    While I was pregnant, she became very jealous. And once her sister was born the competition for attention began. I have made every effort to do thing for and with her separate of her sister so that her attention is individualized. It doesnt help.

    Others think I am over reacting, and that kids do these things. But i KNOW it's not normal. It's terrifying to think your child has no remorse. She does not care about consequences. Whatever they are, she will satisfy her need for whatever she wants and worry about the punishment later. And THAT is scary.

    I will try and look into getting a neuropsychologist evaluation when we see her psychologist. Again, thanks so much for the support. It's MUCH needed.
  10. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    {{{{HUGS}}}} to you. Kids like ours are usually such big "puzzles" that it takes the RIGHT professionals and the RIGHT medications to get them where they need to be. I really feel for you. Always and forever, TRUST YOUR MOMMY GUT! God gave it to us for a reason and it is rarely wrong. When you say the current medication combination helps in some areas, what kinds of improvement have you noticed?

    Since sleep has been an issue, I would even consider pursuing a sleep study. It might be that she's getting enough sleep but then again she might not be and/or it might not be the right kind of sleep. Know what I mean?? A sleep study is really the only way you'll know for sure.

    Don't be surprised if the psychologist doesn't think a neuropsychologist is necessary or doesn't agree to one. It could come across to him/her that you don't trust their judgement. They could take it very personally since they are also psychologists but "only" have the NEURO to go with it. Not saying this will happen but don't want you to be surprised if it does. We changed psychiatrists because they weren't willing to write the order for a neuropsychologist because they didn't think it was necessary. We got a neuropsychologist done and it turned out the psychiatrist was WAY off base with diagnosis and therefore the medications.
  11. We actually did have a sleep study done and they said they didnt see anything other than a very mild case of apnea. They suggested that she lose weight but as you probably know, the ADHD medications took care of that.
    She improved for the most part in impulse control while at school. Honestly, even now, while in her summer enrichment program, she is great during the day. I'm guessing the medications wear off late afternoon, early evening which is why 5pm at our house is insane, lol. I can't pinpoint when she steals (from my purse or otherwise) because I usually dont know she has stolen money until I find it on her and getting the truth about that is impossible. But I am usually up working till 2am, it is after that [between 2am and 6am] that she binges on food or destroys things around the house.

    I am totally prepared for the pushback from the psychologist as well as the doctor. I do believe I need to find a new doctor as well.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Unless you are sitting on your wallet while working... or carry it on your person 24/7... you really have NO idea when she is stealing. difficult children are extremely bold, and creative.