New here & looking for helpful advice, please!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by amburrleigh, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. amburrleigh

    amburrleigh New Member

    My 6 year old daughter has had defiance issues since the age of 3 (or at least that's when we first noticed that it wasn't just typical defiance). We sought counseling about a year ago and were told that ODD was a very likely diagnosis, but the counselor didn't have much experience with kids her age, so she referred us to a psychologist. We met with the psychologist once & in a period of 1 1/2 hours, she told me that she felt like my difficult child was likely ODD, ADHD & would be rx'd as bipolar by the time she hit her teens. While waiting for an appointment for an actual diagnostic evaluation with this psychologist, difficult child's behavior greatly improved for about 3 months, with her "fits" only occurring every week or two, instead of almost daily. I hadn't felt comfortable with the psychologist jumping to so many conclusions in such a short time (and in my opinion my daughter hasn't displayed any symptoms of ADHD), and we moved on to other help. We've recently been seeing a counselor through a local church. My daughter LOVES him, but because her symptoms are worst at home and rarely in public, I feel like he may think I'm exaggerating. She has had 5 "fits" in the last 3 days & I feel like I'm losing my mind. A typical fit for her involves lots of name-calling & "I hate you"s, as well as throwing anything within reach at me, hitting, kicking, biting, etc. If anyone else gets close during a fit, she won't hesitate to hit them, either. The most confusing thing is that she will seem to calm down when I ask her simple questions, and will remain calm-ish for several minutes, until I suggest that we go on to something else, then she'll say "NO! I want to fight you!" I'm in the process of searching for a pediatric psychiatrist in my area (DFW) and was also considering something like "Total Transformation" or the program that Anthony Kane offers. Has anyone tried any programs like this or have any advice for me????? Thanks so much.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Skip the "programs-". For "our" kinds of kids, they just don't work.
    Have you ever read "The Explosive Child"? It has a different take on kids like ours, and some approaches that seem to work at least some of the time...

    ODD is a very poor diagnosis to be getting at this age... if there are behavior problems (that's what an ODD diagnosis means...) at this age, there will be a reason, or multiple reasons. You are wise to question a psychiatrist jumping to conclusions and tossing out things like BiPolar (BP)... Far better to get a comprehensive evaluation. And while you're waiting, toss in an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation for sensory and motor skills, and an Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluation for language, hearing and auditory processing to the extent possible.

    Your most important thing right now is to get to the bottom of the causes...

    Can you tell us more about your daughter? Adopted or bio? single-parent home or who else lives there? early childhood... developmental milestones/delays, behavior patterns from infancy, what was going on at about age 3 that involved some major change? Not being nosy... but this info may help other parents on the board see things in your situation that they have already been through...
  3. amburrleigh

    amburrleigh New Member

    My difficult child is my biological daughter. I'm a single mother, Dad's been gone since she was barely 2 (and was rarely around before then). She has a 3yo brother who has recently begun mimicking some of her behaviors, but reacts completely different to discipline. Seems to be a perfectly "normal" 3 yo. We've lived with my mother since she was born & we do have issues of inconsistency there. At 3, her defiance was just more thought-out than typical tots & as soon as a limit was set she'd make plans to break it. Her fits didn't really start being more than a simple tantrum until about age 4 1/2 or 5. She is perfect at school. Has already mastered all of the kindergarten skills required & loves to learn. She focuses well & is above standards in her reading & math skills. She hasn't had any developmental delays that I'm aware of. Sometimes I can tell her fits are just a way that she thinks she can use to get what she wants, but other times, they come out of no where & sometimes they come & go within seconds. She usually ends up a few minutes after a fit, apologizing and crying. She told me last night that she "feels really bad for [herself] and for [me]."
  4. lkleiv77

    lkleiv77 New Member

    Hi there. I'm sorry, I don't have much to offer except that we are going through the exact same thing with our son. From what I have found on my own, ADD or ADHD is what everyone wants to jump to because it is an easy lable. just like you, I don't see those signs in my child. As it stands now, L is seeing a therapist who is going through some of the anger issues with him. Teaching him techn'cs for managing it. Honestly, while it could be helping I don't think it is really getting to the bottom of anything. Like you, the worst of it is at home. I hate you and I should just kill myself could start just from asking L to make a simple transition from watching tv to homework or dinner. Every transition has to be counted down so that there is confirmation everyone knows in "10 minutes it dinner time" - just an example. When we went to the school 6 months ago (K) and requested an evaluation all they could do is give us stuff to try - like they suggested a reward chart. They didn't want to listen to the fact that he has had some form of chart since he is 1! (we have tried everything from charts to diet) Needless to say the school was useless. I am currently waiting on some sort of diagnostic findings b4 I push them for more assistance.
    -In addtion to the therapy we have a nuero phys test set up for july. I know there are some sensory issues (shoes too tight, smells - stuff like that) so who knows maybe it will help us understand a little more. 1 thing that is a little different betwen us, is that I do think L could have early onset bi-p. His moods come and go in waves. He could have 10 swings in a day or he can go for a week at a time. Obviously I have no answers or help for you as it seems we are still at the same stage. I can offer you an ear though. I am not sure of your family dynamic but I have 2 other children and dealing with these "rages" it even harder when you want to shelter others from seeing it. husband and I have come up with some things on our own that seem to have helped us navigate through rages better. Message me if you want me to shoot you a note with what we found that worked for us- its just small stuff but each moment that is less of a struggle is a win in my book!
    - I would suggest start keeping a daily journal immediately. Even if you scribble random words for each day - just something to give you an idea of how the day went. I write down everything. Bed time, type of sleep, did he use the word hate today or the word kill, did he give me a kiss at bed, did he poop - all these little things seem so small but after a month of little things when you go back and map it out things may stand out to you that you never saw b4.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Ever had an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation for sensory issues?
    She's too young yet for a full Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) work-up for auditory processing, but that can play into things as well.
    If they are "holding their day together" and exploding at home... it can often be the case that it takes way too much effort to hold their day together at school, and leaves too little left over for at home... and then, the smallest, stupidest things sometimes put them "over the top". The fact that she feels bad about her rages? is actually a good thing. in my opinion, it means there probably IS a cause, somewhere.
  6. amburrleigh

    amburrleigh New Member

    LKLeiv77~ thank you so much! I would love whatever help you might offer :) My daughter does have some sensory things going on that I never thought much of until reading through some of the forums. She wears all of her socks inside out, refuses to wear any shirts or dresses that have any itchy aspects, cuts the tags out of EVERYTHING & never (or at least VERY RARELY) wears pants. My problem is finding where to go to get help at the moment. I'm not sure who to call to get evaluations & testing going. I'm also not sure how to send a private message to give you an email address??
  7. amburrleigh

    amburrleigh New Member

    She hasn't had any testing done for sensory issues or any official diagnostic evaluations. I'm having trouble figuring out where to go & who to call. She does however have several sensory issues (I explain more in my other response). I've always thought that it was a good thing that she felt remorseful after. She doesn't ALWAYS, but usually she feels guilty & says she hates herself for acting that way. It hurts so much to watch her struggle. :(
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You have to enable "private messaging" on your profile. It isn't an option when you first join... I forget how many days it is, but it isn't many, and you've probably been here long enough.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Sensory issues? Get an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation (occupational therapy)... for both sensory and motor skills. OTs don't do a lot in the way of dxes, but DO have therapies that help these things... AND the Occupational Therapist (OT) reports are very useful to all other professionals dealing with your child. You have enough observational data to justify the Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation. And yes... sensory issues can cause all sorts of behavior issues...
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome to the board.

    I am going to respectfully disagree that a three year old has the ability to think ahead of ways to defy you and am going to suggest that her overreaction to being told "no" or being denied what she likes is not normal and needs to be looked into. She obviously has less of an ability to control herself than other kids. Many of our kids do well at school (at least in the early grades) but, because they are holding it in for so long, totally explode at home, at the people they know love them best. in my opinion children do not wake up each morning and decide "How can I get my way and make mom miserable?" As an adult who raged as a child, it just was nothing like plan was ever made and the feelings of remorse were deep after I lost control of myself. I think you should take her to a neuropsychologist for a total evaluation. A neuropsychologist will pretty much cover everything. You may not get a definite diagnosis at her age...she is too young...but you will certainly know where she has difficulties (impulse control? Transitions? Noise? Overcrowding? Being overtired?). I've been to all the professionals both for myself and my son, and I feel neuropsychs do the best comprehensive testing of our children.

    I would not waste any money on "quick fix" programs or behavioral therapists. Our kids tend to not react well to them. These are for typical kids who get a little out of control. I believe most of our kids do not have the normal "quit" responses that other kids have...and the could be many disorders.

    Keep in touch and update us on your progress and plans!