New Here: Could use your thoughts

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by grmac, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. grmac

    grmac New Member

    I've been lurking awhile since I began to see Tweety Bird (TB) having issues. We are in the beginnings of her evaluation. From what they have come up with so far, she will be referred to a therapist for play therapy and a behavioral therapist. My question is, have any of you been through play therapy and does it really help? The psychologist told me that when she begins therapy that things will get worse before it gets better. Not looking forward to that! But if it really does help then we at least have something to look forward to down the road. Any input/suggestions would be greatly welcomed!
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome. (sorry you had to find us)

    Can you tell us a bit more?
    Where does the PTSD come from TB?
    ODD is an "odd" diagnosis - it doesn't tell you much except that there is a problem... many of us on this board consider it to be a "placeholder" diagnosis at best... at least it acknowledges that there IS a problem (i.e. it isn't just your parenting!), while the search goes on for the "correct" diagnosis or dxes.

    What was she like as a baby?
    Is this your own child, or adopted?
    Family history of mental illness, or developmental disorders?
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi grmac, welcome! Glad you found us, but sorry you had to. I am a grandma raising my 16 year old granddaughter so I know a little of what you are dealing with. My son-in-law committed suicide when my granddaughter was 3/1/2 at which time my daughter went south. I took my granddaughter to a therapist immediately. Part of it was play therapy, and sand tray. She remained in that therapy for 3 years and I do believe it helped. She liked going and I believe she worked through some of her fears/sorrows/feelings as much as she could at that age. She was, however, not diagnosed with anything. There will be others along who will have more support for you. I send you good thoughts and warm wishes for finding your way through and finding peace along the way.
  4. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    If you look at my signature, you'll see that V is in playtherapy. I posted several times on wether it was useful or not. But from the little I know, our kids' issues are very different. V never had any traumatic experience. He was just born different (we are still uncovering the layers of issues).
    Playtherapy can mean so many things depending on the therapist. Our therapist favors the following methode: not intervein in the child's play, let the child take the lead. The child uses play like adults use words to work through feelings. In our case, she agreed to change her methods since V needs to learn social skills, turn taking, accept othr's input, etc...
    I suggest you have a nice long talk with the future therapist, and be very clear on what you want her to work on. Explain what progress would mean to you (being able to go in public for 1 hour without a meltdown during or afterwards? Being able to say "hello" to who she meets during the day? "being able to handle x hours of preschool?, etc..)
    Welcome to the forum! You'll get a lot of help and support here.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome to the board.

    Was this child adopted and, if so and even if not, did she have a chaotic, crazy early life? The more you share about her, the easier it is to send you in the right direction. What was she like as an infant? What is her genetic history like? What does she do that would require play therapy? Does she have any delays and/or strange quirks? Has she ever had a total evaluation?

    Warm wishes and glad you found us!
  6. forkeeps251

    forkeeps251 Member

    Our experience with a play therapist was that it was sort of a gateway to refer us to other specialists. Because of difficult child's age, no one is psychology or psychiatry would see him (he was 5 going on 6). I held off for a while because I didn't really think a play therapist would do anything... However, the way it worked at the children's physician network I was going through is that I would first meet with a play therapist, then she would meet with my son twice more, and then the last appointment was for her to give me her observations and referral. So we did that, and then he was referred to a psychologist and a psychiatrist. The psychologist did an evaluation on him (testing for ADHD and anxiety disorders), which consisted of a 1 hour appointment then a 3 hour appointment at a later time. The psychiatrist, then was of course only used to perscribe medications.

    Since then we have not been back to the play therapist, but it definatly helped to get us in and point us in the right direction for other specialists we saw.
  7. grmac

    grmac New Member

    Thank you all for giving me a little insight about a play therapist. Let's see if I can answer some of your questions. TB is my son's daughter. We have not adopted her because my son is still very much a part of her life. I do have guardianship. Bio mom of TB was a teen mom who was using meth and pot during her pregnancy. TB was born premature but well. After she was born, the mother would cart her around from home to home, walk around with her at all hours of the night (she was basically homeless), and would dump her off with anybody and disappear for 3-4 days at a time. We have no idea what she was exposed to. When she was about 4 months old she got RSV. My son talked the mother into letting TB come stay with us until she got well. She came back for her in 3 days. Then, 3 days after that, TB ended up back into the hospital with RSV going into double pneumonia. TB was in the hospital for 3 days and released to us (per CPS). We found out she never had any shots so as soon as she was well, we had her scheduled for her first set of shots. As luck would have it, she contracted HIB. HIB is one of the things they are inoculated for. She was very very ill and was quarentined for 10 days in the hospital hooked up to IV medications. Since she had such a rough start (illnesses, no real bonding with bio mom, neglect, etc.) the psychologist believes she may have PTSD. TB has real anger issues (throws her chair across the room, breaks her toys, etc.) as well as fears and anxiety. Even with all this she can be very lovable. There are no mental health issues on our side but not sure about mom's side. Mother did have ADHD as a child but the psychologist doesn't believe TB does. The mother is currently in prison so this is also causing some issues for TB. She rarely saw mom anyway but always misses her. TB was a very good baby for us and was a little delayed crawling, walking, talking, etc. (probably due to being premature and her later illnesses) but seems to be caught up now! I hope I've covered it.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Well she has some pretty big flags for a couple of things, but of course we can only go by what you say and are not psychiatrists or thing (and I live with this in my house) is a form of attachment disorder. She does not sound like a child on the severe end of reactive attachment disorder from your brief description but you mentioned the neglect and going from place to place and it was likely at that young age her bonding cycle (the baby cries, adult meets needs/interacts, baby learns trust) communication cycle was likely not consistent. And then the illnesses, that too can be a risk factor (if happens between birth and age three) for attachment disorder. The rages can be a part of that, or of other things of course. And the obvious is that she has neurological deficits in the ability to regulate and modulate herself due to prenatal (and maybe postnatal) drug/alcohol exposure. even if she was physically healthy, those kinds of brain injuries can start to happen early in in development and you can imagine, not many kids get off scott free if they have that happen. When you google prenatal drug exposure you will see many of the things you describe. The good thing is if you can get full assessments on her (Occupational Therapist (OT), Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), neuropsychologist) you can begin to learn how she processes the world and there can be many different kinds of therapy that can help.
    Thanks for sharing her story, for her situation some amount of play therapy may help but I pray you get a very experienced therapist who knows about attachment and bonding (somewill say but attachment disorder is rare, no it is not....full blown Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) may be lower incidence but the attachment disorder area is a continuum and it can go from a lack of trust or being a clingy baby to serious issues).
    IT is important to make sure that the therapist works to support your role as being the main person she can trust, not to allow difficult child to triangulate and play off the therapist (they can be sweet to the therapist and then they think, oh she is so sweet, must be a parenting issue, but it is what they had learned for survival when moving around or having other care sweet and you might finally get your pain relieved or food etc...from random people, but then they go off on the parent, sometimes only in private)...

    Take care, I am sure others will chime to comment on your new info. I think it is lovely you are able to care for this child....we get it, hope you find what I have found...this is a very supportive group.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I waffled on whether or not to weigh in, but I'll give you my .02 and you can take what you want from it.

    My two youngest children were sexually abused by an older child that we adopted and play therapy was GREAT for them. It was a way for them to talk about it. But I don't think that is the best type of therapy for most kids. I think you need an evaluation first to see what is going on (I like neuropsychs). Once you know, then you can make an informed decision on what would work best for your child. I am not a fan of behaviorists. Things like reward charts and the normal things we are told to do, tend not to work with our differently wired children...did your child have any speech delays? Any other quirks?

    Good luck, whatever you choose to do, and keep us posted :)
  10. grmac

    grmac New Member

    MWM, she has been evaluated (not a neuropsychologist though) where she was being checked for ADHD, Austism, ect. but all came out ok. She was a little delayed with speech, crawling, walking, etc. but we attributed that to her being premature and the illnesses she went through. She seems to have caught up and speech certainly isn't a problem now if you know what I mean! The psychiatrist really believes that most of her problems lay in not bonding with mom and the trauma from illness when she was so young. It's also been hard on her knowing that mom is in prison. However, the point you made is a valid one. We have NO idea what could have happened to her during the times that mom had her in the beginning and/or when she was dropped off here and there with other people. The psychiatrist seems to feel that play therapy will help give her a "voice" to help deal with some of the things that happened to her early on when she had no voice.