Living in a state of perpetual Crisis with 9 year old ADHD/ odd daughter

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by cbrinke, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. cbrinke

    cbrinke New Member

    Hi- I am a parent of a 9 year old ADHD girl. She has a 13 year old sister and a three year old brother. Dad travels 4 days a week and I am a stay at home mother, previous ESE teacher. I really feel for the single mothers that I see posting on this thread because there are times when I feel like I just want to run away because I am so stressed out with the constant arguing, outbursts and emotional mood swings. I am certain that I am depressed. I have read that mothers of ADHD kids tend to alienate themselves from their child because they feel hopeless and I can empathize with this. Being a former teacher, I am a fairly strict parent and it seems that this is the worst thing for an ODD child. I have learned to pick my battles, not hold the ADHD/ODD child as accountable as my other children- just to keep the peace in the house. My husband comes home from his traveling refreshed and will get onto her about trivial things that I have just given up on and so I am forced to deal with the fallout that I am trying to avoid.

    My 13 year old rule following easy daughter is reluctant to invite friends over for a sleepover due to the the craziness and tantrums in the house. My three year old son is learning very bad behaviors from his 9 year old sister. I do not think it is fair to ruin the childhood of my other two kids by being subjected to the daily tantrums and outbursts. I am at the point now that I would send the 9 year old to a boarding school, if we could afford it. I feel that at this point, after trying many behavior modification systems that have very short shelf lives... IM DONE. If I try to explain why I said "no" I get an emotional outburst, fingers in ears, wallowing on the floor drooling/crying like an abused animal reaction. I am not able to TEACH my daughter anything and my only role is to feed her and clean up after her. I do not see her future as being a productive member of society and I do not know where to go from here for the sanity of the family. I am ashamed to admit that I sometimes count down the years until she is out of the home. Feeling so hopeless. I am currently looking into boarding schools that specialize in adhd and they cost about 100K a year.. ARe you kidding me? Who can afford that?
  2. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    Welcome to our corner of the Internet. It's the weekend, so it tends to be a little slower around here. Others will be along soon.

    The first thing I want to say that is that I understand EXACTLY how you feel. The constant fighting and stress can wreak havoc on a stay at home mom. Dad comes home and has not dealt with the nonsense that you've dealt with all afternoon and he can't understand why you are stressed and crying and need a drink - badly. been there done that. I, too, am counting the days, weeks, months, years, until my difficult child goes off to college. I have told my husband that once he graduates college is is NOT coming back here to live. Graduation means he's on his own. And this is my own son that I'm talking about!! I say this because I wanted you to know that you are not alone in your feelings.

    Who diagnosed your daughter with ADHD and ODD? Does she see a therapist? Does she currently take any medications? How does she behave in school? Any information you can give us will help us to give you suggestions.
  3. cbrinke

    cbrinke New Member

    Thanks for the reply Bunny.. I have been bracing for judgmental comments and this was a nice surprise .:) My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD when she was 6, i recognized it early because I have worked with Special Education kids for a while. She has been on Concerta (dont remember why we moved from this) to Vyvanse to Focolyn (A complete aggressive nightmare ) and then back to Vyvance. We just recently saw a Neurologist who add ODD to our alphabet and we stared taking intuniv, which I am pleased with so far.. I think, its only been 2 weeks at 1 mg.

    Quick Quest- what is difficult child and easy child? We had one family therapist appointment to tell her that she has ADHD. I guess my next step is to see a behavior therapist and more counseling for myself and her. The therapist suggested that we read THE EXPLOSIVE child.. It seems to be talking about my kid exactly. Just now starting it though.

    My husband is a pilot and I stay at home because its just too hard to manage three kids a house and job with him being gone so much. I am 43 and I truely think the stress of the ODD behaviors is the reason that I am in early menopause, which is not helping me in the patience department. My daughter does not have any Learning Disability (LD) so she only has a 504 plan and up until this week, she has done mostly OK at school - she saves her negative behaviors for home. This week her teacher said that she REFUSED to participate in ALL learning activities the entire day. I have a good relationship with the teacher as she also taught my 13 year old. Any suggestions are welcome.. I have heard that zoloft helps with the anxieties but I hate to have her on 3 medications. She is already skin and bones.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    NHi there. I am also wondering who diagnosed your daughter because in my opinion it sounds worse than ADHD/ODD to me too. Many of us feel ODD is a rather useless diagnosis t hat is used when the diagnostician has no idea what is really wrong and is not qualified to do intensive testing. I would highly recommend having her neuropsychologist tested as more is probably going on than what you know and things can get better if you know which devil you face.Can you give us some of her early background info, including her infancy and toddlerhood behavior...delays, if she cuddled, if she made and makes good strong eye contact with family AND strangers, if she can tolerate noises, crowds, all material textures, if she can transition from one activity to another (this is big). How does s he socialize with her same age peers?

    I am thinking that if she rages almost every day to the point of drooling, a bigger disorder is going on than any she has been diagnosed with yet and she probably needs interventions and/or maybe medication too. Behavioral modification does NOT work for our differently wired children. They need creative parenting from experts beyond just plain therapists.

    Welcome to the board!
  5. cbrinke

    cbrinke New Member

    Ella never had a fear of strangers was funny and loved to be silly with the adults. She was delayed in speaking but only slightly. When I say drooling, I meant that cowering on the floor crying like a beaten animal. I have heard other parents describe it that way. She pretty much explodes when she feels criticized, even if its just a misspelled a word on a study practice test. I have even changed how we do it and I never see her paper, she grades her own. If you ask her to clean up the spilled carton of pudding, she argues with you about it. She is unable to say OK.. Everything is I KNOW!. She steals from the grocery store despite repeatedly being brought to the manager in the security rooms. I describe Ella as letting her body just make all decsions instead of her brain. She seem to not understand how her actions affect others. She is super competitive and super sensitive. The testing doctor said that she was also the mot anxious 6 year old he had tested, worried about getting answers correct.

    The good side, she snaps out of whatever drama pretty quick if she is left alone and I can ignore the crying. Its almost like nothing happened and I get apology letters and she wants to give back massages and foot rubs. She can be very sweet and considerate as well. She is VERY Good at Softball.
  6. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    Hi. Glad you found us, but sorry you have to be here. I understand where you are coming from. I am a stay at home mom as well. And for years husband traveled at least 3 weeks a month. It wasn't fun. He is home now, but not much help. My difficult child is 16 now, but she has been wreaking havok since she was about 1 and a half. Everyone here will give you excellent advice. I wish I had found this site years earlier. I will agree with previous posters. Have her evaluated by a neuropsychologist. I wish I had that knowledge when difficult child was 9. I hope you can find the help you need. It does sound as if she needs re-evaluated, and possibly started on some medication. It is hard to talk/reason/discipline a difficult child when they are raging all over the place.

    I hope the next few days are calm, and you can find a neuropsychologist. Hugs.
  7. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    Welcome from a fellow Floridian! Although it doesn't feel much like Florida these past few days - you know you're a true Floridian when you freeze in temps under 60! But anyway...

    I definitely feel your pain! She sounds somewhat like my difficult child.

    You've found a great place here - there is such wonderful support from been there done that parents!
  8. cbrinke

    cbrinke New Member

    Wow- I love this site. I feel so welcome and almost not alone in all this. What is the difference between a neuorpsychologist and a regular therapist? So I am hearing that the behavior therapy is not usually that successful?
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Regular therapist is trained to deal with neurotypical people.
    If your kid is wired differently... their approaches do not work.

    neuropsychologist is is trained in both the neurological and behavioral aspects, and can do a better job of a comprehensive evaluation. However, they are not the only option. We have used child developmental/behavioral teams out of childrens' or teaching hospitals, as well as PhD-level psychologists who specialize in comprehensive evaluations.

    Really, it's about starting with a different assumption.
    Most tdocs assume the behavior is the problem, and set out to correct it.
    However... for lots of "our" kids around this board... the behavior is just a symptom.
    We found that we made little progress until we started getting real answers and accurate dxes.

    Is this your bio-child? or adopted?
    What was she like as a baby and toddler and pre-schooler?
  10. cbrinke

    cbrinke New Member

    Hi INsane cdn- That was a very nice description that I am going to pass on to my husband.
    All three of our children are bio. She was an easy baby like to be held and with me ALOT. Toddler slow to talk and I thought there was a language deficiency at first because she did not act like she understood things said to her and did not comply as she should at age 2 and 3. Her funny antics stopped being funny at 3.5. There are not alot of kids in the neighborhood to play with and I have noticed that she isnt invited to birthday parties like the older daughter.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Until you know what you are really dealing with... there's no way to know what the goals should be.
    Getting the right dxes - and getting ALL of them - is a massive challenge for many of our kids.
    Mine is in HS and we're still fighting for one more diagnosis.
  12. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    Take a deep breath. You are among friends here. Like I said, many of us have been through many mod the same things you re dealing and have feltn the same things that you are feeling. You are definitely not alone.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would still have her totally evaluated. Still sounds like way more than ADHD to me. At the very least it is better to be safe than sorry.Is she on medication? If so, it's not helping. Her taintrums sound extreme for ADHD.

    I know ADHD is a less scary diagnosis than some others, but she really does seem worse than ADHD. And ADHD is often a first diagnosis a nd a wrong one. My son was first dxd. with ADHD/ODD too and that wasn't the problem.

    Our kids tend to not become more "typical" hanging around with typical kids. The typical kids usually just reject their behavior and they don't copy their behavior. She could have anything from high functioning autism (ASDers love adults over kids because they are so much more accepting) to a childhood mood disorder with other things sandwiched in between. I don't know who diagnosed your daughter but unless it was a neuropsychologist who tested for 6-10 hours, I'd want more answers. She isn't improving and you are not happy with her behaviors. in my opinion she has been misdiagnosed which is why she isn't getting any better. And that's not fair to either of you. She isn't "bad"...she is miserable. And these kids are born this way. It's not your fault.
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, cbrinke. I know how you feel!
    I agree with-the others, that you need a more comprehensive diagnosis. Your daughter is most likely having meltdowns because she doesn't understand what is expected of her; I'm thinking some kind of auditory processing issue or other hearing/brain connection issue (not whether she can hear but how it's interpreted). Usually when kids shut down they are overstimulated. That can be anything from a scratchy tag on the back of her shirt, to fluorescent lights, to too much noise (other kids) to lack of sleep, to a hidden allergy.
    I would keep a journal (I know, you don't need more to do, but ...) and track what she's eating, how much she is sleeping, whether she is playing video games, her school hours, etc. and see if there is a pattern. It will be helpful to show the doctors, too.
    Don't worry about the medications; we're all on the medication merry-go-round here and eventually something will work.
    In the meantime, I would take one behavior at a time, rather than everything at once. Also, sit down with-your husband and talk about a plan, and how he can't focus on tiny little things because that's going to set her off even more. That doesn't mean she can't learn or be disciplined; just that you can't start in on that the minute she's in the door.
    I love your description of how you can't educate her, and you are only feeding her and cleaning her up. So real, and so disheartening. You know there's a kid in there somewhere.