New here with a question about fetal stress and possible link to disorders in childre

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by colorkittens, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. colorkittens

    colorkittens New Member

    Hi all,
    I'm new here and hoping that I can find help and support. I have an 11yo girl who has been diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified and ODD, both within the past two years. She also likely has some sort of generalized anxiety disorder. She has always been a difficult child but the ODD like behaviors have reared their ugly head in the past year or two and are only getting worse. I am not convinced of any of her diagnosis and often wonder is she may have some sort of personality disorder. She is most oppositional and mean to me than others and I often feel that she is punishing me for something and I'm not sure what or why.

    I have a 3 year old who is a doll and who gives me hope that I am not a terrible parent but I must admit, I feel like a terrible parent much of the time because I cannot manage my daughter. Because she was diagnosed late, I am still new to this whole process of coming to terms with her issues and am still searching for the "why?". I know it probably doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things and I need to move past this but I need to learn to stop blaming myself. I am just so baffled with her behavior. My stomach turns on a regular basis by how unloving, selfish and mean she is around the clock. Her birth father was very abusive- physically, verbally and emotionally. He was very abusive while she was in the womb and I was under a lot of stress during my pregnancy with her. The abuse continued when she was born and I left him for good when she was 3 months old. Unfortunately, he is still a part of her life as an every other weekend parent and she gets very spoiled at his house, which I think fuels her anger towards me all the more.

    Her birth father has obvious symptoms of a personality disorder.

    My question is if anyone else has experience like this of their children being subjected to stress/an abusive environment as an unborn child or very young infant and if you attribute this to some of your child's problems.
  2. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    That was my experience while pregnant with my difficult child and one therapist thinks that difficult child has Traumatic Stress. I'll have to look it up for you later because I don't have time right now, but basically when the mother is stressed (not normal stress, but high levels of negative stress), particularly in the third trimester, the increase in cortisol levels in the mother's body impact the development of the brain of the fetus - I believe the hippocampus. I'm doing this all from memory and that's not always very reliable, but you may want to google Traumatic Stress and see what you think.

    As far as the behavior changes, some of that can be attributed to her age. From about 10 to between 13 and 15 is when we see the puberty changes and in a kid that already has issues, it can be much more dramatic.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Stress can be a factor, as can be genetics. Physical stress, as in decreased heart tones during labor ect are a strong factor, they already know this to be true.......they've observed it enough with follow up care.

    I agree totally.

    Welcome to the board. I'm glad you found us. :)


  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Colorkittens.
    I am so sorry.
    I'm thinking there's a genetic link with-the bio dad. And the good part is, you can probably get it under control with-the right medications and right diet.
    The bad part is living with-it now.
    ODD can stem from any number of things.
    You can be ODD and have Asperger's, or bipolar, or borderline, or anxiety ... you get the idea. So it's really just an adjective, as far as I'm concerned.

    The stress of living with-her bio dad every other wk and dealing with-his issues is definitely making it worse.

    I would get a bunch of books from the library (I think there's a book list on one of these pages) ... The Explosive Child, The Depressed Child, The Bipolar Child, The Manipulative Child, and learn as much as you can about kids like this and how you can think outside the box. One thing is to choose just one issue at a time to work on. IOW, if she hits, just work on the hitting issue for a few wks. Give her little rewards ... a piece of candy or whatever each time she yells but doesn't hit. Or work on voice volume. But to work on everything at once is too overwhelming for both of you.
  5. colorkittens

    colorkittens New Member

    Thank you all for your responses. I was hoping to find some sort of local support group in my area but I haven't yet. I'm glad to know you all are out there and look forward to being a part of this board. I feel very alone and often ashamed. Going out in public with my daughter and attempting to hang out with other moms is so hard (tried it today- public pool- which ended in her arguing and arguing with me over wanting junky snacks and me having to bring her home). I've read many, many books on the autism spectrum, odd, difficult children, etc. and none of the parenting strategies have helped much. I am going to research the traumatic stress disorder thing more in hopes that that can give me new ideas/insight for managing behavior and understanding why she is like this. It terrifies me to think that she is only 11 and the worst years are still ahead of us.
  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    You'll want to look for sources with Dr. van der Kolk. He's also the guy that pioneered Complex PTSD.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Not necessarily...
    We had our worst years in the early teens. Until we got the right combo of dxes, medications, interventions and accommodations... we're not out of the teen years yet, but we're pretty sure the worst is behind us.