Newbie with ODD child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bewildered, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. Bewildered

    Bewildered New Member

    I have a very strong-willed 8 year old adopted daughter. We've had her since she was 2 days old. She is generally a really good kid, very well behaved at school and elsewhere. However, at home, she can be extremely defiant. I first noticed at age 3, when we began using timeouts for discipline. She HATES time outs. When she was small and refused to go in a timeout, we could just pick her up and just put her in the time out spot. However, as she beacame older and stronger, this became problematic as one or both of us would get hurt. She used to bite, now she slaps, punches and kicks. Her 3-4-5-6-7 minute time outs turn into 45-120 minute battles. We take away privileges like tv, playdates, etc but eventually we are back in the fray. I tried to get help from her pediatrician several months ago when her fits gained in frequency from once every 4-6 weeks to once or twice a week (more, recently), but he was really no help whatsoever. We are looking for a new pediatrician. I got her into counseling, and things improved a great deal before her first appointment (before she even knew this was coming). She seems to like the counselor, they've only met 3 times so far and will meet again tomorrow. I did some research and found info on ODD. It's her, dead-on. I showed her counselor what I found. She seems a bit reticent to admit this may be my difficult child's problem but I am proceeding with this self-diagnosis for now. Had a horrible day yesterday. She fought for an hour in the morning when I asked her to get ready for her swim lesson because I would not go upstairs with her. She finally calmed down and did as she was told, I cut her fun day at the beach short as discipline. Later, after we got home, she went off again, this time because she did not want to do the math work she had been promising me she would do all week. She needs a little extra help with math as well as reading comprehension over the summer to start her school year on good footing, as reccomended by her teacher. She is extremely bright and intuitive but does not apply herself. I try to get the schoolwork in maybe 3 or 4 days a week . 4 weeks ago, I gave her the option to choose when to do her summer reading and math during the day, but if she did not finish it in good humor by dinnertime it was understood that we would go back to her having to do it every morning, about 30 minutes of work each day, before any fun could happen. Well, she has not been completely finishing her work on the days I give it to her, and last night she gave it zero effort before she completely went off the deep end. Wound up having 2 hours of hystrionics, which included her slapping me repeatedly(pretty much continuously for the 2 hours), mouthing off, calling me stupid, cornering me, locking me out on the screened porch when I tried to go out to stay calm, etc etc. I managed to remain calm, did not yell, tried to ignore her and not engage, did not spank or hit back. It was a doozy, though. She even went after my husband, who, after witnessing this first hand instead of hiding like usual, finally read the info I had given him two weeks ago. I am completely frazzled and worried sick about her mental state. Everyone who knows her would never in a million years guess what this sweet, empathetic, quiet spoken child is like at home.

    A long post, but any input is welcome and appreciated!
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member


    Thanks for all the info in the post. I'll try not to overwhelm you but:

    *ODD maybe describe your daughter but it isn't a "real" diagnosis as it do3esn't explain WHY she is acting that way (my personal opinion is that it was included in the DSM for insurance coding)

    *She needs to stop hitting you. There is NO WAY my daughter would have been allowed to hit me for 2 hours. (My daughter is extremely violent and is currently in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and she attacked me numerous times but there is no way I would have let her hit me for two hours.) Pin her hands down, walk away, etc. whatever works best in the situation.

    *Pediatricians don't usually treat mental illness. A child psychiatric or a developmental pediatrician are your best bets.

    *I'd recommend "What Your Explosive Child is Trying to Tell You" by Douglas Riley and "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. If she is having problems at school, I would also recommend "Lost At School" - also by Greene. These are the "bibles" for defiant children.

    *Something that I didn't try until recently is the gluten-free, casein-free All-Natural diet. The theory is that children with an intolerance to gluten, caesin and all the chemicals in our foods today will react with behavioral and neurological symptoms that can be improved by eliminating these from their diets. We have seen HUGE changes in our sons since starting this at the beginning of summer.

    Others will come along with their advice. From all of us, take what you need and leave the rest. We all have our own list of things that worked and things that didn't and hopefully you can find a suggestion that helps your family. What you will definitely find here is a very supportive group of parents with similar children.

  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Bewildered. Welcome. Here's some iced tea with magical calming qualities. :)

    Your daughter sounds like my son. He does not like to transition, and hates homework. And used to kick and hit and bite. And spit.

    I would make an appointment with-a neuropsychologist and have lots of testing done, especially since you've already noticed that she needs help with-math and reading. When my son was in 3rd gr, he tested 3 yrs ahead in oral verbal skills, and kindergarten level in math. Clearly, a huge gap in his abililties, but not an overall gap. It indicated that parts of his brain were very well developed, and parts were way behind. We had to find a way to tap into the undeveloped and underdeveloped parts. He was and is lacking in social skills and clues, such as why he should say Please and Thank you, and why it bothers people that he kicks them. He was truly clueless. He thought he had a right.

    We did neurofeedback, and it didn't hurt, but it didn't help much, either. Adderall helped more. And getting him off wheat/gluten helped a lot. He was more pleasant and less hyper.

    We held our son back one yr in 3rd gr and it helped immensely. Instead of struggling and being angry all the time, he sailed through the yr.

    Unfortunately, he is slipping again, and we are moving him to a new school for 6th gr.

    It sounds like your daughter learns differently. Try having her touch things for math. Like blocks, coins, etc. My son has memorized fractions about 6 times and for some reason, every 6 mo, forgets it all. He does very well with-pie pcs, such as cutouts from paper.
    Just talking to your daughter and instructing her in the traditional sense is going to set her off. All she hears is blah, blah, blah but instead of being boring, it is making her mad. Try to keep your voice well modulated and your words to a minimum, and your/her physical participation higher.

    We have had to strip my son's room of everything except a mattress because he has been so belligerant and violent. He has earned things back.
    Problem is, I assumed he would want to earn back sheets and blankets. Nope. He wanted his Yu-gi-oh cards and his action figures and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. He'd be happy with-his toys and video games in a jail cell. (It may well come to that, LOL!)
    He doesn't think like we do.
    Your daughter doesn't think like you do. Figure out how she thinks. Earning time at the end of the day for fun is too long of a time period, too far away. She's got an "I want it now" mentality. Break her chores/homework into chunks of time, say, 15 min, then give her a small reward, operative word being "small" so she doesn't get distracted. Go back and forth. Takes more time, but then, don't her tantrums take time? She could do something she likes, say, color a page in a coloring book, or eat a fruit snack. NO TV or video games during the breaks. They activate the frontal lobes with-useless electrical activity.

    by the way, the "I want it now" mentality is something that took me yrs to figure out. I thought it was a temperament flaw, and in a way, it is. But mostly it's like a short circuit in the brain and these kids can't figure out long term consequences.
    They will, eventually. It takes yrs of counseling, sometimes medications, and patience.

    Others here will jump in and offer more ideas.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2009
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    P.S. We picked up our son at the hospital when he was two days old, too. :)
  5. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    First, welcome to the site. You have found the right place!

    I would like to echo many of the points JJJ made. ODD may certainly fit your daughter, but ODD is more usually an umbrella name for a list of behaviors that are signs of or caused by something else. There are no medical interventions for ODD.

    I would also recommend reading "The Explosive Child". It's a wonderful insight into our difficult children and contains some strategies for "picking and choosing" the home battles.

    As far as her violence toward you - I totally agree with JJJ, you need to disengage immediately. If your daughter is unresponsive to verbal discipline (such as "don't hit me") then you need to stop and walk away. If she follows you, lock the bathroom door. This new response from you may get a new response from her. But ultimately you cannot allow her to use you as a punching bag.

    A few suggestions for you. First and foremost is a comprehensive evaluation for your daughter. She needs to see a pediatric psychologist or psychiatrist. One way to start is to explore a local children's hospital or teaching university. Ask for a multidisciplinary evaluation for your daughter. It is testing, usally over the course of a couple days, where your daughter is seen by doctors of differing discipline. Many times it will also include an educational specialist as well (which would be good since there may be some slight learning disabilities which are making her frustrated with the work - this was the case with my son). Once you do that, you will have a clearer picture of what is going on with your daughter. When you know what's going on, you can begin to treat. It may be through medicine, talk therapy, behavior modification or a combo of any or all of those (as in my son's case).

    Many of us have children who display traits either at school and never at home (like my son) or at home and never in public (like your daughter). One way to show both your daughter or the medical professional she ultimately sees would be to have a video recorder ready. Next time she "goes off" hit the record button. Keep a behavior diary every day. Note what seems to set her off the worse. Note the time she went to bed, or what she had to eat, or what/how much she did that day. There's a pretty good chance you will find some common threads if you really make an effort.

    A couple questions for you. Do you know any health history of her bio family? How does she do in school in regards to academics and socially?

    I'm sorry you had to find your way here, but I think you will find that you are not alone.

  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just adding in my welcome-others have already offered great advice. Glad you found us, you are definitely no longer alone.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. Adoptive mom of four here.

    Was your child's birthmother on drugs or drinking while pregnant? Did she have mental illness? Did her birthfather?

    For the first two years of her life, did your child have any love, hugging, consistent caregiving? We adopted a two year old also. He'd been exposed to drugs and alcohol.

    ODD isn't really a very good diagnosis. It's unhelpful and fits 99% of the kids here, only ODD rarely if ever stands alone. She most likely has other things going on that cause her defiant behavior, and you need to find out what they are. I'd see a neuropsychologist. It is harder to nail down disorders when kids are adopted unless you have a very strong genetic history on her. One of my children is like that--we know her birthmother and birthfather. The one we adopted at two was a foster child and his birthmom gave birth than said "Cya!" She was high as a kite when she delivered him. He had crack in his system as well as a case of syphillis. So I sort of know where you may be coming from. When we got a call from the social worker when L. was two years old, she was in tears. "Will you PLEASE adopt this child? He's only two and I'm afraid if you don't take him he'll end up in an institution and he's so young. Everyone else said no." I still get tears in my eyes when I think of that call. He has turned into the sweetst kid, although he does have autistic spectrum disorder. But he has no problem behaviors anymore. HE DID!!!!

    Why not tell us more about this child's history so we can help better?
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I wanted to jump on the bandwagon with-JJJ and Sharon. Go into the bathroom and lock the door. She will kick and scream and you will hear things breaking. (You could put things away b4 her next fit, too ... ) It's better than breaking, say, your arm.
    I used to sit at my computer in tears, with-the door locking, typing on this bb, begging for help. been there done that.
    It does get better.
    MWM, your note is heartwrenching. You have all come so far.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Terry, every time I type it or think about it, I get tears in my eyes. NOBODY would take him. We werent fully licensed yet, but they were willing to put him into a new foster home (his foster home since birth could no longer keep him) and hold him nearby for us until we got our license. He was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo difficult, nobody wanted to stay up all night with a baby. First they called all their African-American families and they all said "No thanks." Secondly, they called everyone else and they all said, "Sorry, no way." We were unable to say no, so we knew we had a problem on our hands, but it was never as bad as it was explained to us. He was different and did rage, but he was also always loving and sweet. He didn't sleep for two years so we didn't either!!!

    I'm very proud of him. He works hard and responded very well to intervention and has learned to control his temper most of the time. I can't say enough about my precious big boy (sixteen soon--driving next year). I always tell anyone that high functioning autism can turn out well. This boy, who as a toddler was almost nonfunctional, is probably going to go to a two year college and we'll take it from there. He may always need somebody to look in on him because of his strange social issues, but he is on his way to a productive life. It just breaks my heart over and over again that nobody wanted him. He's one of the sweetest boys I have ever met, and I'm not just saying that because he's my son. How sad if he had been institutionalized or bounced around in foster care.

    Ok, my emotional vent is over and I do have tears in my eyes.
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I've seen his photo - he's a gorgeous kid. And a credit to you, MWM.

    He also is a credit to himself. You showed him te way and he is smart enough and willing enough to take a good lead.

    All kids have this capacity, but the longerthey rage and kick against the system (and parents - sometimes literally!) the harder it can be to find teir way back.

    No kid WANTS to be bad. Well, maybe the extremely rare sociopath, but even they want to learn how to be good so they can keep their freedom when they get older...

    The thing is, if she presents as ODD then look for the underlying reason. Something is very wrong and she needs help.

    We tend to raise our kids using methods which were used on us. Hey, we turned out alright, didn't we?
    The trouble is, these methods which can be so successful for some people, can actually make others a lot worse. And if a discipline method is not working or is unenforcable, drop it. It's better to have anarchy, than to have failure. because anarchy is apparently with your permission. Failure is you losing face and that is BAD.

    So don't start a battle you know you can't win.

    Read the books recommended. As a priority - Ross Greene's methods have saved so many of us and our kids. A lot of his methods can seem counterintuitive, but they work. If you need a quick preview, Google the books, I found sample chapters online. There is also some discussion on Explosive Child in the Early Childhood forum that would be worth a look for you.

    I suspect what is happening, is an ongoing battle between you and her for control. But although you are an adult, you have other focusses and distractions in your life, while she is able to focus every ounce of her (very strong) willpower into getting what SHE wants. Remember this - when it comes to a battle of wills, SHE WILL WIN. If not today, then soon.
    So do your best to wither not engage, or instead use her willpower to get what you want.

    That actually can happen more easily than you think. The way we raise our kids, is to take them through various stages of personal development. difficult children seem to need to take longer to go through these dstages and to need a lot more support in the process. But some difficult children (the explosive ones especially, the stubborn ones, the ones needing control) may actually be able to skip some stages in these areas, by learning to use their stubbornness and turn it into self-discipline.

    The difference comes down to control. She needs to know she has choice. Your recent use of choice for her was very good. Why did it fail? Did she lose track of time or did she abuse the freedom of choice to try to dodge the work?

    The other important thing to use - natural consequences. If homework isn't done, she gets into trouble at school. It's not your problem, but if she asks you for help, you can be a support and maybe offer to remind her to do her homework. Or you can offer to help her work out how to do a tricky problem. But at the first sign of tantrum - not your problem. Walk away.

    I've had my kids begging me to come back and help them do their homework!

    Try to get into her head - why would she avoid homework? Often it's because of the anxiety that builds inside. She may be happy playing a game (with just a small niggle inside that she has homework to do and it makes her anxious to just think about it). You say/her conscience says, "You have homework to do," and the anxiety suddenly ramps up to nausea stage. But if she turns away to determinedly play more of her game, the anxiety subsides a little. This is the positive feedback which actually teaches her to avoid doing homework! It's very hard to counter-teach her to do her homework, when her own anxiety and adreanalin levels are conspiring to teach the opposite.

    She needs to feel in control - giving her choice of how to do it and which to do first is good. But if one sybject scares her more than the other, she will willingly do the easy one and tantrum over the tricky one. Or find other things she has to do - displacement activity. It's normal, we all do it. Adults do it.

    So if she can learn, NOW, to recognise displacementactivity and find her own ways to overcome it, then she will be able to do something, as a child, that a lot of adults never properly learn.

    That is just an example of the sort of logic you need with a child like this. There is a lot you can do to hlep her. The thing is - she needs you as a helper, not as a tyrant controlling her. As tings currently stand, you're associated with the yucky anxiety feeling and that is what she wants to avoid, that's why she hits you. It's not right.

    Onoe of the big things with "Explosive Child" is learning to avoid tantrums, to walk away or try to de-escalate. It's not spoiling her for you to try to avoid a tantrum. Nor is it failing her to let someone else take responsibility for punishing her for school-related things. Life has its way of taking vengeance on us all when we break the rules. And if it's life punishing her, then it's NOT YOUR FAULT in her eyes.

    "The teacher gave you detention for not doing homework? Oh dear, that is unfortunate darling. What can we do to help you avoid this happening again? I'm here to help you. Of course I can't make the detention go away, I am not your teacher. But can you think of a way I can help you get your homework turned in on time next week?"

    It's not magic, there will be setbacks. But a minor setback has to be preferable to a two hour tantrum.

    We're here. We're either dealing with the same issues or we've worked our way through this already. Feel free to pick our brains and dump on us as needed.

    Welcome. Sorry you need us, glad we're here.

  11. Bewildered

    Bewildered New Member

    Thanks everyone for the good advice. She is seeing her therapist tonight, and I will get the name of a good neuropsychologist from her.

    Believe me, I don't want to allow the hitting to continue, but this kid is very determined. The whole thing began on a stair landing, and I was pretty well trapped there for a bit . I did try to grab her hands or block slaps, but I could not safely remove her or myself from the area without the risk of someone falling down the stairs. I do try to lock myself in a bathroom, but she follows me or and/or blocks the door. When I have tried to remove her in the past she has been hurt by catching her hand in the door as I shut it, or a knee when she tries to block the door, etc. I have told her that she has no one to blame but herself, she should not mess with the door, but her determination to irritate me erases any memory of the consequenses. I have tried restraining her...we place her in a high backed chair and I kneel behind her and hold her arms so she can't hit me, but she is getting too strong for this method. She squirms and fights back so hard that she winds up with red marks on her arms. I don't want to inflict her eyes, even if she causes it by her own actions, in her eyes I'm the one who hurt her.
    Honestly, the other night when the marathon session happened, I was determined to not let her get a reaction from me, and she didn't. Once I safely got off the stairs, I locked myself in the bathroom. I walked away several times to other areas of the house, she followed me each time. She calmed down for a while and apologized, but flew off the handle again when I tried to talk to her about the discipline for her inappropriate behavior. This time I was able to walk away immediately and she did not try to raise her hand to me. I told her she would not be able to go to a birthday party later in the week if she did not calm down immediately and get to bed, and she thought about it for a minute but did what I asked.

    She is generally a very good girl, and very intelligent. She was reading at close to a fifth grade level by the end of second grade. She struggles a bit with math, but not enough for them to hold her back. When we work and test her on it at home, she does fine. She just needs to learn to focus at test time at school. Part of her problem is that she is not very independent. She wants someone to coach her along and help her every step of the way or she won't even try. We have been working on that at home too. Last year, her teacher gave the children all of their homework for the week on Mondays, it was up to them to finish it at their own pace and turn it in on Fridays. 90% of the time she would just try to do it all on Monday.

    This morning she was whining about her punishment for her bevior on Monday. We did not allow her to go to her swim lesson, something she really enjoys, and we did not let her go to the swim park at all yesterday. Today, after she completed about 30 minutes of reading and math, we told her she could take her swim lesson today but would not be allowed to stay and play at the swim park. If she continues to behave well we will let her stay tomorrow to play after her lesson. I have given her loads of rope over the last 3 weeks with her reading and math, but she repeatedly avoided it, so I am sticking to my guns now. No fun until she completes it in the morning. It's not a lot of work, just enough to keep her on track for the beginning of the year. I told her we could make a game out of it, like playing school, and she could choose a teacher name for me. She happily chose the name of a favorite preschool teacher. So far so good.

    For more background, We adopted her when she was 2 days old. We know the birth mother,X, but not the birth father. I think her birth mother was clean throughout the pregnancy, but I'll never know for sure. X gave birth on Thursday. We were awarded guardianship 2 days later, as the courts were booked until the following Wednesday for the adoption paperwork. The first night, we got a call from X's lawyer saying that she hadn't stopped crying all day, she and her dad wanted to come and get the baby. I agreed to bring the baby to them instead. I thought we were never going to see the baby again. However, X just needed a little more time with her, so we essentially had joint custody for the next 3 days. The adoption papers were signed without a hitch on Wednesday. X came to visit for a few minutes once a week or so, until my daughter was about 7 months old. Then X fell off the face of the earth. I later learned it was because she was pregnant again and was too embarrassed to see me. We have had little to no communication since then.
    X was adopted herself. Her younger brother was adopted as well, when she was about 10, and he proved to be a real handful and I think she was somewhat neglected in the attention department as a result. X was raped at age 13 by a friend of the family who lived in the neighborhood. His wife, a nurse, gave X drugs. I have only pieced bits of X's story together thru comments made by X, by X's own mother, and by a mutual aquaintance. She gave birth to my daughter at age 16. X then became involved with a local drug dealer who beat her. She had 2 other children by this man, and kept them. However, after the father of THOSE 2 children finally wound up in jail, X was essentialy homeless. Her 2 chldren wound up being cared for by their paternal aunt during the week, and by their maternal grandmother on the weekends. I have not seen or heard from X or X's mother for 3 years now. I would like to try to open communications again, but we have always left the ball in their court. Seeing us and seeing my daughter was always psychologically p[ainful for X and we never pushed harder than we deemed comfortable.

    I will read the reccomended books and will try the new diet as well. I am willing to try whatever it takes. I know my daughter does not WANT to act out this way. It's like someone else takes over her body. (When she was 3, we let her name the naughty person so we could tell hm to go away. She called him 'dogbone') We are trying to get to the bottom of it. She seems to like her therapist, but this will only be her 4th session. I know we have a lot of work to do. I am thankful that I found this site.

    Thanks so much to all of you who are willing to share your experiences and your ideas.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My strong suspicion is, although she may have told you she was clean during her pregnancy, she probably wasn't and that could very well be contributing to your daughter's problems. We were told that most birthmothers don't 'fess up to alcohol or drug use while they are pregnant. Also, if the birthmother doesn't find out that she's pregnant quickly, she has no chance to think about changing her habits. Just one alcohol binge can damage a fetus. I would tell the neuropsychologist she could have been exposed to drugs and/or alcohol in utero because the b-mom's lifestyle was that of drugs.
    The only thing that matters about your child regarding her birth relatives is if there are genetic issues, such as mental illness, autistisc spectrum disorder, or maybe even genetic disorders that you have to test your daughter for. Obviously, she has limited access to her own biology, which limits you. It will be harder for you, just like it was for me, to get a firm picture of what's going on with your daughter because you don't have much history on her. But keep on trying. For many years we did an updated neuropsychologist on our son every two years to see if anything new seemed to have popped up. We found that helpful! Good luck.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Welcome! Your daughter sure seems to be determined in the ways only a difficult child can be. I can remember being trapped on the landing of our townhouse by Wiz. I couldn't go up or down without one of us falling and he was hitting so fast and hard it was impossible to contain him. One of these incidents happened when I was just 4 weeks out of spinal surgery in my neck and still had the neck brace on. A fall could have paralyzed me for life. Just thinking about it brings that panicky feeling back.

    ODD is just a name, in my opinion. It doesn't help you really help the child, or tell you what is behind the behaviors. Search out a neuropsychologist and a developmental pediatrician. Whatever answers you get keep searching until the answers and treatments feel right to YOU. Even though she is not your bio daughter, she is still your daughter. You have instincts that will guide you through this maze. If something feels really wrong then avoid it or stop it or whatever so that you find what feels right. I am maybe not explaining it well, but those instincts are there to help your child get what is needed for a healthy life. The really big mistakes I have made as a parent have been when I ignored my instincts.

    You really NEED a child and adolescent psychiatrist to help you. Don't let the pediatrician prescribe medications to help with her behavior. Peds just do not know enough about psychiatric medicine to be useful and safe in suggesting medications. I think medications may be needed at some point, and getting a relationship with a certified child and adolescent psychiatrist will be needed.

    It would be very useful to have her evaluated for sensory integration disorder (Sensory Integration Disorder (SID)). This is when the brain processes sensory information abnormally. It can be a huge part of treatment to help our kids, and treatment does not involve medicines or other invasive measures. Brushign therapy for Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) has been shown to create new pathways in the brain so that the info is processed more effectively. I can't think of another treatment that can claim this, so I am passionate about it. You need a PRIVATE Occupational Therapist (Occupational Therapist (OT)) who is knowledgable about Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) to evaluate her. Schools have OTs but they focus only on how academics are affected. Private OTs are more reliable esp since finding a problem means the school has to pay for treatment - so school OTs are less likely to identify something as a problem (NOT that they try to deny services but they do get pressure to treat as many kids in the smallest amt of time with a teeny amt of money.)

    Over the years you will (and have) acquire large amounts of info about your daughter. All sorts of tests, doctors, therapists etc... will weigh in. You are going to need a way to keep all the info, test results, notes from doctor appts, etc organized. Years ago some of the women on this forum came up with a general guideline for a Parent Report. It is tremendously useful because you will have the info at your figertips to fill out all those infernal forms at the doctor's office and to show the docs what you have done/learned/tried and how it worked out. You can give docs, school, etc a copy of the report or part of it (you don't want to share all the info with everyone, esp not with school, usually) and they can have it in the file to refer to. Every doctor/professional who has seen mine has found it to be truly useful. You can find the outline in the Board Help/FAQ section of the board. here is teh link to it: (It is called Parent Input/Multidisciplinary evaluation if you want the title of the thread).

    Lots of hugs to welcome you to our little corner of the internet!
  14. Bewildered

    Bewildered New Member

    Thank you, Susiestar, lots of good advice. Your incident on the landing must have been terrifying! I think the most awful thing about these episodes is that when I look into her eyes, difficult child isn't there.

    MWM, what an emotional adoption story! If only these children knew just how much we really love them! I tell her constantly, but I wonder if she really can know how much.

    Actually, that poses another question. difficult child rarely will tell us that she loves us. If I'm at work, I call home frequently (she stays with my mother, who lives in an in-law apartment at my home, when I have to work) to tell her I love her and miss her, but she will not reply. When we kiss her goodnight and tell her we love her, again, and pointedly, no reply. I know it's probably just another control issue, but it bothers me. Is this the case with anyone else?

    difficult child has been trying very hard to get her chores and schoolwork done without a fuss. I praised her for her good behavior yesterday, and pointed out how quickly everything got done when she didn't waste her time and my time creating a fuss. And, since she was focused on the work instead of on making a scene, she did really well with it.

    difficult child had another session with her counselor last night. They talked a lot about her anger and how to recognize when an outburst may be approaching. I got the name of a neuropsychologist last night and will make an appointment. Her counselor said to not expect to see him until October, but he's very good so it is worth the wait. Meanwhile, she will work with difficult child to try to get to whatever triggers there might be.

    I have not involved her pediatrician since I first told him about the problem back in April. He was no help...said she was just a strong-willed child and gave me a book on parenting and setting limits. I no longer consider him her pediatrician. difficult child has always been very healthy, she only saw the pediatrician for well-child visits with the exception of one ear infection 3 years ago. I will be getting difficult child in to see a new pediatrician as soon as we can get in for a meet and greet to make sure difficult child is comfortable with her. It was something we talked about just before her last appointment anyway. difficult child said she wanted a lady doctor instead. I want to avoid any drugs if at all possible, so I want the opinions of as many professionals as possible before I take those measures.

    Lots of calls to make today. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you who are loving and parenting under trying circumstances!
  15. idohope

    idohope Member

    I am a newbie as well and still figuring things out but wanted to reply as it seemed uncanny how your description matched things that have gone on in our house, in particular the hand injury when our difficult child caught it in a door as I tried to shut it. I have often locked myself in a car to create a safe distance from my difficult child, but most recently had to come out when she climbed on the wet hood/roof (she has sprayed it with hose) and was banging on the windshield. Was too dangerous, I thought she would fall off.

    (Our interior doors are hollow and the locks are useless. I have learned a lot about "home remodeling" from this site. Wonder if that will ever be a TV show: difficult child Home Renovation where you learn to install solid doors, locks and alarms :D )

    So not much in the way of suggestions beyond what has been posted just empathy and to let you know that there are others with the same struggle. And that keeping yourself and your difficult child safe during a tantrum can definitely be a challenge.