New - Intro (sorry long)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Wendi, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. Wendi

    Wendi New Member

    Hi! I signed up here a while back and the link got lost... not sure if I ever posted, but if so it has been a long time.

    I have 7 yr old triplets, all three on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum and ADHD (though there are some docs who are strict DSM'ers who disagree, quoting if one is on the autism spectrum, one cannot also have ADHD... personally I think the DSM criteria for ADHD should be changed to take that out!).

    Two of them, DS and daughter, it has been suspected they have ODD.

    DS I'm not so sure about anymore, though he still does a lot of things that are defiant, it is a lot less severe than it used to be. He still needs to do exactly what I told him NOT to do, but he only does it once now, where it used to be like 15 times after I "reminded him of the rule not to do that". But then again, about 2 minutes later he "forgets" and does it again... and consequences don't really matter. He says he really did not want to do that for the next week, or whatever. I guess compared to daughter, his situation is not really that bad, so I keept thinking maybe he is not ODD.

    With daughter, it is getting worse every day and I'm really having problems trying to figure out what to do. No matter what I say, she MUST do the opposite, even if it is something that will be helpful to her, or that she really wants to do. She also has a diagnosis of Anxiety-not otherwise specified and gets herself so worked up with anxiety that she gets stomach aches (on occasion has even vomited).

    ANY suggestion of what to do to calm herself is refused, even though she knows it will work. If SHE comes up with the idea, that's fine - she'll do it... but often she gets so anxious she forgets what she can do to calm, and if I 'remind' her to do it, all heck breaks loose and she gets a lot worse.

    She seems to want to hurt me, psychologically. She is constantly trying to get me angry to the point of losing control, and ONLY then does she seem satisfied. She does things like this to her siblings, too, but not to the extent she does them to me.

    There is a girl at school who used to bully her at times, though the school is being very cooperative. But then daughter turns around and does everything that girl did to her (which she hated) and does them to her siblings. I just can't figure out why she would do that. when I point out that she is doing the same thing that girl did to her, she seems to do it more often.

    I just don't know what to do, especially since all the docs we've seen seem very reluctant to diagnosis ODD in a child with autism and adhd and anxiety-not otherwise specified.

    by the way none of my kids are on medications other than allergy/asthma medications.

    OK, here are my questions:

    How old is a child usually when diagnosed ODD? Is 7 too young?

    Does the child have to act defiant in all situations? For example, at school, they don't seem to have the problems they have at home, at least not to the same extent.

    What do I do??? I'm really lost and confused. I have done so many things for so many years with the autism and sensory issues. They have come from being diagnosis severe autism for DS and moderate autism for daughter to very mild for both, where most people cannot believe they even have that diagnosis. I've worked hard to get them here, and somehow lost concentration on the ODD matters, thinking this is normal or if I change myself this will go away. But now I"m at the point where I have tried everything I can think of and all I am doing is I keep blaming myself... that all this is because I'm such a horrible mother and not the kids' fault... and I know that is not healthy.

    Anyway, if you have gotten this far, thanks for reading!

  2. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    Hi Wendi!
    First of are is NOT healthy to blame yourself. I know, easier said than done & I stumble quite frequently...putting the blame on myself. I suppose it is only natural to feel that way when we are speaking of children....young children that have these issues that are "out of control", we tend to blame ourselves for "making" them that way. We must continue to remind ourselves that we are doing EVERYTHING we can to help them, not harm them or make the situation blaming ourselves is not the answer.

    The question about age of difficult child was 5 when she got the quick diagnosis of ODD. Some of the things you mentioned are the same with her...she has ALWAYS done the opposite, it doesn't matter what it is. We became way concerned when it turned into things that would harm her or someone else (runs in front of moving cars, touches fire, grabs sharp objects, I could go on). If it is suppose to be open, she will close it....on, she'll turn it off...I could go on here too, this is a daily non-stop thing with her. Defiant in all situation???? Well, honestly, I have found with my difficult child that it normally ends up that way after time. Some places are a bit better than others though along with some people are treated different than others.

    Hurting you psychologically....we have always said that our difficult child wakes up with that mission of the make sure everyone she comes in contact with is miserable! She will irritate, bother, push & push until she gets the loudest or most negative response from that person. It has often been to the tune of hurting people also & she acts as if it's enjoyment for her.

    What to do??? I'm not sure I can give advice on that, knowing that I am in the same boat. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone & PLEASE take the blame off of yourself. You have your hands full & should be patting yourself on the back for all you do & have done for your children to help them!!!!!! I'm sure others will be along to offer some great advice for you!

    {{{hugs}}} & hang in there!!!!!
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member


    Just a couple of thoughs:

    1. read The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. He really gives some insight as to how their brains work. It's not a lot of technical terms, funny in spots and pretty insightful.

    2. don't blame yourself. There's too much blame out there and we're the LAST group that deserves it

    3. they will direct their nastyness toward the person most likely to love them for who they are rather than what they say

    4. make sure you take care of you

    welcome Home!

  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think you have your hands overfull! I also had a child who was determined to make me hurt psychologically. Things are much much better now that he lives with his grandparents. And he is older.

    As far as doing the opposite of what you say, try saying the opposite of what you want. Does that work? We had some success with that, at least at home.

    Don't blame yourself. You didn't cause it. It just is. Like air.


  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi Wendi and welcome!

    It sounds like you're dealing with a very oppositional and defiant little girl, regardless of what label is applied, and at the end of the day, it's figuring out how to manage those behaviors that is important - in my humble opinion.

    Seems like a lot of kids act out where they're more comfortable. We dealt with wild behaviors for a couple of years at home before they crossed over into school (not saying your daughter's will).

    You are not a horrible mother and this is no one's "fault". It just is what it is and we do the best that we can, all the time searching for that right answer. Sounds like you've done an impressive job already!

    I also highly recommend the book The Explosive Child (and I am most definitely not a self-help book kind of person). It helps you understand their thought processes a bit, plus helps you figure out which behaviors you want to address now and which you can wait on - you can't fight all the battles all the time. Plus, the book gave me a really big laugh because I swear he was writing about my son! It was just such a relief to know that I wasn't the World's Worst Mother and that other folks were dealing with similar behaviors.

    My thank you was/is very much like your daughter - black is white, day is night, and he had the knack of hitting emotional buttons I never knew I had. Honestly, even though we were in therapy and Special Education and seeing a psychiatrist, it got to the point where the kid could get me worked up in split seconds.

    My take on this kind of behavior is that it is all about control. She has it and you don't (in her mind). I don't even think it's conscious - it's just that internal thought process glitch that refuses to be compliant, under any circumstances. Now, I used to be a screamer. And thank you just ate it up. Nothing more satisfying than to see Mom completely wig out. I'm a slow learner but when I *finally* got that and was able to take all emotion out of my responses to his behaviors, things got better. Not perfect but better. My motivator, because I'm wickedly competetive, was that I was not going to give him the big pay off.

    I'm wondering if maybe visual cues to help her calm down might be effective? That way you're not "telling" her? Maybe print up a couple of pictures or symbols (maybe a lot of them, LOL, in case of tearing)? Sit down with- her in a calm moment and tell her that she's a big girl and knows what to do, and you understand she wants to do it on her own, but because sometimes she gets so flustered you thought maybe these special pictures would help her to remember - maybe a series on a page, this one is to remind you to X, this one is to remind you to Y, this one is to remind you to Z.

    I'm going to assume they were preemies? Did they, and daughter#2 particularly, have a rocky NICU course at all? There's an ongoing Canadian Study of preemies and how they develop socially, emotionally, cognitively. I think it's been going on about 20 years now - they came out with a finding about 8 years ago that former preemies were *much* more likely to have ADHD and other social/emotional issues long past any obvious problems from the prematurity were apparent. My oldest was a 30-weeker twin and I do tend to lean more towards subtle neurologic issues in former preemies with behavior issues... may not help at the end of the day but if she hasn't been seen by a developmental pediatrician (and she probably has - you sound very on top of things), it might be worth a visit. Just my bias and I'm probably completely off base.

    Again, welcome!