newbie to forum, struggling mom

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Mysunshine, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. Mysunshine

    Mysunshine New Member

    I guess this is the first stop after joining the forum?

    right now my biggest struggle is my 12 daughter. she may have some kind of ODD or conduct disorder. she meets the criteria for ODD sometimes, but not all the time.
    She is driving me over the edge. She is constantly stirring up trouble with her brother, trying to irritate him and me too sometimes.
    She was on medication for ADHD in the past but off for a few months because it makes her feel spacy. We're going to the doctor today about it and I have a long list of her behaviours I want to discuss, after she leaves the room of course.

    If I dont get some kind of help, I seriously don't think I will be able to manage her in the coming years. Everytime she gets things all strirred up, she's angry, I'm angry, etc., I get tearful. I make sure she doesnt see that- I dont want her to think I am any more of a pushover than she already does.
    We had a yelling match this mornnig before school. It really sets it off for a yucky day for us both.
    Since I recently kicked her step-dad out,(whole other story) she seems to be acting more rude to me. She used to be my best little buddy and had a hate/hate relationship with him, but now that he's gone, she treats me (sometimes) like she did him.

    She is a bright child, and loving and happy when she chooses to be.

    I think this may be a good place to start trying to figure out how I can deal with this for my part.
  2. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member

    Welcome! I am not as wise as the others here on this board...I am sure they will give you some good advice. Just wanted to let you know that you are no longer alone! This is a great place to post and read.
  3. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    Stopping in to say hi! :bigsmile: Your mommy instinct seems to be telling you that more may be going on than ADHD. Don't know who diagnosis'd her before, but you're going about it the right way, going back to the doctor with your concerns. I would ask for a referral to get a second opinion, and most recommend either a neuropsychologist or a multi-disciplinary evaluation (usually done at hospital, children's mental health) if you can get one. They usually give you the best overall picture of what might be going on with your difficult child. I also recommend the book The Explosive Child, it helped us quite a bit in picking our battles and changing how we interacted with our difficult child.

    Some other questions - who(psychiatrist, pediatrician)/when/why diagnosed her originally, what medications were tried and how did she react, how was she growing up, how is she at school, how is she with her peers/friends, how does she interact socially, anything in the family history such as bipolar, depression - anything you feel you want to share that might give members some insight and help them give you advice on what they had done in similar situations, and I'm sure there are members who've gone through it too.

    My difficult child is not a morning person, and hates school, so many of our mornings have started like yours. I just hate those, as I think it takes me longer than it does him to get out of the mood. For me, the only thing we can do is just not talk to him, or as few words as possible, it's the only thing that keeps him from getting moody until he's been up at least 1/2 hour. Sorry you had one of those mornings.

    One other thing that probably could be adding to her acting out is that she's a 12 year old girl. My girl has about 4 years to go, but from observing 6 nieces grow up, 12 is when they start to really get moody from that puberty thing, and don't come out of it until about 16. I'm not looking forward to it, and my girl is a easy child :faint: Maybe some other members with young teen girls can give you advice about that.

    Welcome to the site, hope you find the support and advice you need and even just an ear to vent to when you need it.
  4. Mysunshine

    Mysunshine New Member

    Hope my answering questions is not too wordy.

    Her pediatrician diagnosed her about age 5. I had taken her in because I was teetering on the edge of losing my mind. She was pitching a lot of fits; I guess is the best way to explain it. Of course she was very hyper, but it was not too different from most kids that age but it was more than hyper. She was always unhappy with something- One big problem she had was with her socks. Silly as it seems now, it was such a battle every morning, with her taking her shoes off over and over, trying to get her socks just right, and saying the seam part hurt her foot. I honestly can’t remember the other issues but they were similar and often. Even though my son had adhd, it came as a surprise to me that this was the diagnosis that applied to her. We started the medications though, and it helped a lot. She was not tired or withdrawn or zombie like, just as if it lifted the hood of problems to reveal the sweet little girl under it. Before that I often felt that I love my child, but I don’t like her. Every day when I picked her up from daycare or school, she would pitch major fits.
    Since then we have had a really nice period of mother-daughter closeness and I’m sad to see it go, but that happens in most cases at her age.

    She has done okay in the years since then, with some medication changes along the way. There have been complaints about hyperactivity in class which was when medications were adjusted.
    This year her 2 younger teachers have complained about her interruptions in class and being disruptive and distracting to other kids. All of these things are not unexpected to me. What she has been doing a lot of though, is tapping a pen for example, and when told to stop doing that, starting some other equally distracting thing like tapping her foot. She has done this to me at home. She watches me to see if I get irritated and if I give her the poker face and keep working on whatever I was, she intensifies her efforts.
    She is getting into lots of trouble with “strikes” they get for misbehavior, but the school has not contacted me. She did get called in to the principal’s office when a boy complained she hit him in PE. She got out of it though.

    Friends- few. She just doesn’t fit in. She is very empathetic and generally kind, but I guess not girly enough. She plays sports with the boys during PE. Transition to middle school has been hard. Last school year there were a few sleep over’s but this year no friends close enough to do that. She is not a cast out or recluse- she gets along on the surface, but doesn’t have any close friends.

    Family medical- Adhd both sides of her family, along with depression and bipolar on my side. I have bipolar 2 hypomania, on medications for 10 years.
    A major thing in the back of my mind is that she is often said to be like my niece who put my sister thru He*! When she went through this age, running away, drinking, drugs, early sex, etc, like her mom did at that age. People who knew my niece at that age say difficult child is just like her- hope she doesn’t put you through what she put her mom through.

    I agree some of this is her hormonal changes. But I’ve also read that this is the time when mental health issues really rise to the surface.
    difficult child has so much potential to succeed academically and in sports, but her bad attitude and being disrespectful to adults is going to hold her back and, I fear, close doors.
  5. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Hello Mysunshine, and welcome!

    From the sound of things, there might be more going on than just ADHD. I'm not a doctor by any means, but a lot of us have found that ADHD is an initial diagnosis based on the symptoms of an underlying issue.

    Other conditions (Autism spectrum disorders, Mood disorders, etc.) without appropriate accommodations or interventions can result in hyper and defiant behaviour which can look like ADHD or ODD (another common initial diagnosis).

    I would suggest that you have your child re-evaluated. As 'Chelle suggested, a neuropsychologist is a good bet, as the testing is intensive and can highlight neurological issues that other forms of testing don't necessarily find.

    The issue with your daughter's socks caught my attention. Did she or does she have any other sensory issues? Irritated by tags in the neck of clothing, or certain fabric textures, issues with food textures, lights, sounds, etc? These sorts of things are often part of Sensory Integration Disorder (Sensory Integration Disorder (SID)), which can stand alone or be part of other conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)). A neuropsychologist can help pinpoint these types of issues as well.

    Others will be along to weigh in with their excellent advice. You've found a great place here...full of support.