Struggling with my 4 year olds uncontrollable violent rage

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by nzmum, Nov 28, 2014.

  1. nzmum

    nzmum New Member

    Hello, I am here because i have concerns about my almost 4 year old, I have been trying to find information online about different behaviour disorders as i feel she may have one of them although her symptoms dont fit any particular one .i have always felt that she was different, even as a baby she would notice tiny changes in routine, from the age of 3 months she would not sleep in a different place .She has always had terrible trouble with sleeping and is very sensitive to light and noise.She is completely opposed to doing what we want/ask her to do, as a toddler this was normal, ( i am a trained preschool teacher so i know what to expect) but as she has gotten older it has become more noticeable that she is completely unable /unwilling to do what she is told , ever.I tried sending her to daycare and had to pull her put because she would not do anything the teachers wanted her to do and they would have her screaming at the table while she was supposed to be eating with the other children, i though she just wasn't ready for structure and routines so i took her out,at 3 i enrolled her in kindergarten for 4 hours 3 days a week ( we live in new zealand) and she was doing well at first or so i thought, then the teachers started telling me they had concerns about her behaviour , that she was very anxious, defiant etc, as well as unwilling to even try and play with other children, she has been at the kindergarten for almost a year and has not made one single friend, has zero interest in other children at all, will snatch/push other children when she wants something they have and show absolutely no remorse or empathy.She can not handle other children touching her accidentally or brushing against her and will scream at them if this happens. yet she has fantastic social skills when it comes to interacting with our adult friends( everyone loves her she's so charming) and children who are a lot older than her ( i suspect because they put her on a pedestal and give her what she wants because she's little) she shows unwarranted hostility towards children her own age often , she has a 9 year old friend who she loves and plays very well with.The thing that i am MOST concerned about is the angry meltdowns she has when she doesn't get what she wants, lately ( for the past year) has has been making completely unreasonable demands and screaming at us to comply with them for example she would demand ice cream for dinner , we would say no , calmly explain why and offer an alternative such as if you eat your dinner you can have some later, she will LOSE the plot and throw herself around the floor hitting herself against furniture , if i put her in her bedroom she will destroy it, tip over furniture ,throw chairs, break toys and make it it look we have been burgled , while she is doing this she will be shaking with rage and has wet her pants before because she is so angry and upset, completely out of control emotions.Once she has calmed down, we cuddle her because its heartbreaking to watch her so out of control ( but we still dont give in to the original demand) we will try and talk to her about what happened and why she thinks she got so angry, she will blame us and say we were mean because we wouldn't give her ( in this case) ice cream, she used to show remorse for wrecking her bedroom but lately she doesn't seem to care, we removed a lot of her toys as a consequence and she doesn't seem to care .This has been happening 2-3 times a week lately and i can't go anywhere with her and her baby brother on my own in case she has one of these in a shop and i can't get her and her brother back to the car safely ( people are so good at staring without offering help) ,for the last month every family outing has been ruined by one of her meltdowns and they are getting worse and more frequent, its only a matter of time before she starts breaking windows and she has already broken a mirror.She is quite manipulative and demands all her daddys attention , to the point where we have trouble even having a conversation with her around .She has had a pretty stable life with two loving parents and we have lots of extended family here who all adore her .There is a VERY strong family history on both sides of mental illness , skitzophrenia, bipolar disorder, ADHD , Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) .my dad I'm pretty sure is a psychopath ( we have no contact) , her great grandfather on her dads side is potentially one too, both myself and her father are ( relatively ) mentally healthy with no significant problems as are a lot of other people in our families .Here is a list of concerning behaviours- shows no interest in making friends with children her own age , lack of empathy when she hurts people , manipulative, very clever, completely defiant almost always,has severe night terrors ( we once had to call an Ambulance as she was throwing herself against walls and we could not restrain her without feeling like we were hurting her) , hysterical meltdowns often when things are not right e.g. something is dirty or broken or she hasn't gotten what she wants ,hurts others and self during tantrums, will bang head against floor etc,nightmares, very poor sleep, anxiety, very demanding and controlling,oversensitive to touch when upset/anxious and for a couple of hours after a tantrum,lack of remorse, blames others for behaviour, takes pleasure in deliberately annoying people,extremely good memory, remembers things in great detail from more than two years ago,notices fine details, very sensitive, on the other hand she is also , very loving towards her baby brother, has never hurt him,shows genuine affection towards us and her extended family,shows genuine concern for people if they are sick etc.does not hurt animals but does not like them at all .Her kindergarten has referred us to early intervention services who have observed her and suggested boundaries for behaviour , rewards consequences etc, this is for while she is at kindergarten .I dont believe these things will help, this is beyond normal four year old defiance .I realise she is very young and some may say I'm expecting too much from her but i just feel deep down that something isn't right and always have and i want to get her the help she needs before its too late.I am really worried about how she will cope at school in a years time when she is due to start .
     
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Have you read up on high functioning autism or Asperger's Syndrome?
     
  3. nzmum

    nzmum New Member

    Y
     
  4. nzmum

    nzmum New Member

    Yes ,she has some if the symptoms,she is obsessive and becomes upset with changes in routine,she is obsessed with doing things in the same order and remembers tiny details,she is also obsessed wth balloons and still cries sometimes about a balloon she had two years ago that eventually went flat( helium) ,she will spontaneously remember it and cry because it is gone and will sometimes throw a tantrum about it,if she sees balloons that have popped or gone soft she becomes very upset,she likes to have a pile of balloons in the house at all times but doesent really play with them ,just has to have them there and will become very upset if I take them away / throw them out,she does however have advanced language which from what I have read is not typical of Autusm : aspergers ,she could communicate with us using 85 different words by 15 months of age but physical skills seem delayed,she still can't pedal a bike with training wheels .she also becomes overwhelmed by crowds and we can't take her to carnivals or things like that as she gets hysterical over little things and we think it is because her senses are overwhelmed.sorry for the novel .
     
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Aspergers includes advanced language, although they often have trouble holding give-and-take conversations as they tend to monologue at people about their special interests and not always listen back. My son had good physical skills but was behind in language and potty skills. He has a great vocabulary now and is far more social at 21 than when he was little, however he has been having interventions since infancy practically. He is diagnosed with a different type of autism than Aspergers called pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified.

    Kids on the autism spectrum in all areas often don't like being touched due to sensory issues. They may seem to have no empathy because many, especially Aspies, tend to have emotionless faces and no idea how to express emotions. ANd they can't read emotions in others and can sometimes embarass us with their inappropriateness.

    Overhwhelmed in crowds...my son still knows when he has to leave. He can not handle a lot of people together. This is also typical of kids who are on the spectrum. They have such sensitive senory issues that they are easily overwhelmed by noise, crowds, a lack of schedule (they like things to be the same) and just any sort of chaos throws them off. My son used to rage in the car if we went to, say, his school in a different direction than usual. He'd say, "That's not the way! That's not the way." Even if the road was blocked and we had no choice this would upset him. Even if we got there and said, "See? We're here!" he would still have to calm himself from us having taken a different route.On an interesting note, he has a crazy sense of smell and can smell things that others can't from rooms or blocks away. His senses are so sharp...yet so sensitive.

    These particular kids on the spectrum can make tremendous strides with the right interventions. It is NOT a hopeless problem by any means. Do you have services for autism in NZ? I find that some countries have more services for children who are differently wired than other countries so please don't be offended. Our kids get lot sof help in school and also the community, but I know in some places there are no real interventions in schools.
     
  6. nzmum

    nzmum New Member

    Yes her social interactions do often involve her just talking for a long time about some thing that interested her or telling someone a story ,she does get very anxious if something changed,she has a super sensitive sense of smell too,she also can't handle touching wet dirty squishy textures and Freaks out if she gets dirty and wants me to wash her clothes immediately ,I spent a while convincing her kindergarten that I do let her get dirty and explore as I was sure they thought her anxiety around this came from me.yes we do have lots of help here re ASDs it's just getting some sort of "diagnosis" thTs going to be hard,at the moment early intervention services who are the people who work in collBoration with schools : kindergarten and us at home seem to think it's just a mild behaviour problem and she needs more rules,they pretty much said that they feel me emphasising all her anxiety quirks and the things that set her off and freak her out have left the teachers " too scared" to discipline her and that's why she had behaviour issues .Sigh. I know this is not the case,it's not just a case of her not behaving,children who are just " naughty " don't become hysterical over balloons they had two years ago that they shouldn't even remember much mess care about.
     
  7. nzmum

    nzmum New Member

    Excuse all my typos errors.
     
  8. nzmum

    nzmum New Member

    Do you think I should try to film one if her tantrums discretely ? She also often has hight terror style tantrums when she wakes from an afternoon nap if she has fallen asleep on the couch or car.she us hysterical during these and hurts herself by throwing herself around the floor,when you try and talk to her its like she's not there and isn't really awake,her heart is racing and she's sweating and her eyes look wild yet she can't really see you,it's so awful .thus diezent happen every time though.
     
  9. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    This is all very interesting nzmum. I have read every word that you have written with deep thought. I am with you on something is going on with your daughter, but what? This is very difficult. She has some signs of aspergers/autism , but then doesn't. You're right, a little bit of everything, but not enough for one thing. Does she have headaches by any chance? I have had migraines from a very young age and I would avoid lights and sounds because they could trigger a migraine. Also, she could have misophonia which is someone who just hates certain types of sounds and noises. I wouldn't be too worried about her not being able to peddle a bike yet. If she can't peddle one by age 8, then I would be very concerned.

    Right now, what I am most worried of is her anger and rages. That must be absolutely terrible and horrifying for her to feel and you to watch, especially at such a young age. Have you ruled out her being abused physically or sexually? This kind of behavior, if not psychological, is screaming abuse of some kind. I am sure you have thought about it of course, but you can never be too sure. How many parents have we heard say "we had no idea our child was being abused, we thought we protected our child so much, how could this have happened?". You have to take a look around again, even at people who you would even hate to have to look at such as your own husband, relatives on both sides, the little neighbor boy/girl down the street, the cousin, day care workers, so on and so forth. I don't want to scare you or cause you paranoia, but it doesn't hurt to be aware of these things. It's just something to consider. We live in a world where 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused and 80% of the time, by someone they know. So that's why we all have to take it into heavy consideration when we see this type of behavior.
     
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    nzmum-First off welcome to our corner of the world. I am glad you found us but sorry you needed to. I may have missed it, but have you had your daughter evaluated? Obviously, the violent raging at that age is a concern. My own son was very violent at that age (and for years to come but no longer is). I would definitely start off with having her evaluated.

    There is good in having more than one type of person look at your child. We started with a child psychiatrist (psychiatrist) and a child psychologist (therapist). Eventually we also had a neuropsychologist evaluate him as well. This multi-disciplinary approach can give you a very good idea of what may be happening with your child. For us it turned out to be a slew of mental health issues and learning issues; it's different for every person.

    Yes she is young, but I still would get these different evaluations done. We did start very early with our son (my husband and I are both teachers and new what was happening was beyond normal "boy" behavior).

    Sending some gentle hugs your way and hoping you stay around. You will find much support here (this place was literally a lifesaver for me when I found it). Take what you can and leave the rest and know we are here for you.
     
  11. nzmum

    nzmum New Member

    Hello, thanks for your suggestions but i can sure you she is not being abused, the only people she is ever alone with are my mother who is the most doting grandparent you can imagine and would never hurt her , and my husband who is a fantastic father , i have suffered anxiety about leaving her with other people due to some large earthquakes that happened in our city ( christchurch) where a lot of people were hurt and killed when buildings collapsed ( i was pregnant with her at the time )so i dont really leave her with anyone but my mother and my husband as i always worry there could be another earthquake ,although we do spend a lot of time with extended family i am always there, she is also not the kind of child who would put up with that, she is very vocal when she doesn't like something and impossible to manipulate ,she does not hesitate at all to tell you if she doesn't like something.Her rage has only been a real concern this year, and her tantrums have only just started being over being over being told she can't do something by us, previously they were mostly over things like getting dirty accidentally, or not being able to find something she is looking for or general little things that cause her anxiety like a popped balloon, she would have major meltdown over finding a popped balloon.Also she has had odd behaviours since birth, at 6 weeks old i moved her from her capsule to a rear facing convertible carseat and she screamed the entire drive for the first few times she went in it, because it was different, the same with moving from a bassinet to a crib ( we call them cots) at 3 months, when we moved into this house a year ago it took her a month to start sleeping here, and she has the most beautiful bedroom all decorated for her.She just can not cope with change at all.
     
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Do you have a specialist who can evaluate for spectrum? Raging is part of the spectrum until they have learned better coping and communication skills. To me she sounds classic, not at all ambivalent.

    From one who lived with an autistic son (higher functioning) I really think it would be your worthwhile to take her to somebody who is knowledgeable about this. Anyone who says it is behavioral and she will outgrow it or it's your parenting is pretty much not in touch with what Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is, which is a neurological difference which causes strange behaviors and even raging. But all this can become under control and an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) diagnosis is actually not a bad one. Many ASDers learn how to cope well and become very cool adults, like my son did. The raging stopped once he learned how to communicate better. And I'm not talking about words. It's more than that...different...hard to explain ;)
     
  13. nzmum

    nzmum New Member

    Hello, thank you! i am in the process of trying to get evaluations done, its hard because we have free public healthcare here but its slow and sometimes the professionals they use are not very good. I'm not really sure where to start we have insurance that covers psychiatrists but not psychologists , and can not really afford to see private psychologists for this, maybe a couple of consults but full evaluations would cost thousands, however i am going to look at that if we have to .In the meantime i have been using The early intervention service ,the woman assigned to us observed her at kindergarten ( and i dont mean to sound arrogant but the person they had doing it as only as qualified as me, a preschool teacher ) but has done a little bit of extra training, her job is to observe her and then refer to other professionals if she thinks it is needed , i suspect from what she has told me that she is not going to do this as she thinks ( after observing her at kindergarten twice) that she just has behaviour issues and needs boundaries, i know this is not the case.Unfortunately she did not have any of her anxiety driven meltdowns while the woman was observing her , i was hoping she would.We are seeing her again next week where she is going to tell us the next step.If she is not making any further referrals i will seek private help .some of her symptoms seem like ADD and ODD but then she has so many Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) traits as well.I have also realised through reading and looking at her behaviour differently that her interactions with others have to be controlled by her ,her play is scripted, she tells you what to do and say , she can't play spontaneously in a give and take scenario and that is why she can't play with kids her own age or younger , at all.Im just reading more and more and seeing more and more behaviours that she shows as not being quite right for her age,she also can not handle being around toddlers, we had a friend visit with their two year old and she was beside herself with upset because he was running around the yard touching things and playing and she could not handle the disorder, she was almost inconsolable and the friends left .Its going to be very hard when her brother started crawling which he will be doing any day now.We also got a puppy and had to re home it because it caused her so much anxiety when it ran around unpredictably chewing things and just acting like a puppy does, it was so stressful for us seeing her in so much distress , it turned her world upside down and she was miserable.Im ranting now sorry.Yes i will seek further evaluations.
     
  14. nzmum

    nzmum New Member

    Thank you, i think you are correct, I'm going to do this as soon as possible, i will start making appointments on monday,i think I'm going to have to just pay for private specialists at this stage .
     
  15. nzmum

    nzmum New Member

    I slo read a lot more after you suggested spectrum disorders and it definitely makes sense .
     
  16. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Ok, good on you for keeping a good eye for these kinds of things. I honestly don't know and I am so sorry your daughter is going through so much turmoil at such a young age.
     
  17. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    nzmum- welcome and so many hugs. I understand as my sons sleeping patterns started at birth ( up 4 times a night) overall he was ok. By 1 1/2yr old the violence started, he threw a sipper cup breaking his first window when he was mad. ( well a little older) he has the violence, tantrums, could last hours, so many more things over the years and Im still trying to get official diagnose for hi. Tell me about healthcare! Ok, first thing you got all great advice they all here have helped me so much, dont be scared and back down like I did believing it was ALL my fault or he was all boy, or their spoiled....listen to everyone here! Listen to your gut!! Having a hidden camera to record her from being happy then tantrums, how she acts with everyone, then at times let her see you recording her, write everything down that happens, even the good. It helps the Dr.s and us as parents pin point the "triggers" as others say here. I wish you luck and completely understand. Im still learning. I wish you luck
     
  18. nzmum

    nzmum New Member

    Thank you.yes i have started writing things down as i forget and i want to think she's ok and its just a phase etc so i dismiss things as not being significant but then when i look at it all written down i see that there is something wrong.
     
  19. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    I wish you and your daughter the best and to figure out whats going on asap.
     
  20. nzmum

    nzmum New Member

    how do you handle you child being picked on by other children? for awhile now i have noticed two little girls in particular at kindergarten who have quickly figured out exactly how to wind my daughter up and make her very upset, by saying things like "you're not a mermaid" and "you're a baby" i know this seems insignificant but she gets SO upset but his stuff, they also call her over and offer her toys they have that they know she loves and then snatch them away and tell her she can't play with them , or some other such mean comment , and then sit there and laugh while she has a meltdown, i think that as well as being concerned about why my daughter behaves the way she does the kindergarten should also be talking with the girls parents about the fact that their daughters have become bullies, they are carefully calculating , sneaky and deliberate in the way they wind her up and as i parent i would be concerned if my child was this deliberately nasty to others.Im so annoyed by it that just today when i dropped her off i saw them sneakily hit her as she walked past and then look at each other and grin, i went over and told them i want them to leave my daughter alone , they dont have to play with her if they dont like her but they can damn well leave her alone .I have spoken to the teachers and they say they are keeping an eye on it etc but i dont feel they are doing enough.I also wonder what else these girls are doing to her that they are getting away with when out of the teachers eyesight.
     
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