Another "newbie"

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by *KC*, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. *KC*

    *KC* New Member

    Hi all and good morning. Just joined the site this morning, but thought I would get my introduction out of the way...

    I am 30 yrs old and engaged to my fiance of 5 yrs. We are a blended family with my 7 yr old son from a previous relationship and my fiance's 10 yr old daughter from a previouis marriage.

    My mom refers to us as the "noisy family", lol.

    I struggle with Fibromyalgia (a chronic pain condition) and diabetes on a daily basis. I also have PTSD and most recently was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. I have SEVERE food allergies that have crept up on me within the last 2 years that have resulted in many hospital visits.

    My 7 yr old son got diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, and Borderline Conduct Disorder in Senior Kindergarten. At that time, his teacher noted some behavioral and attention issues and he was having rage episodes at home. Now that he is on medication (Concerta + Risperadol) there is noted differences in his behavior, however, the ADHD is still not fully under control and I am noting behavior I haven't seen before (withdrawl/anxiousness/sensitivity). I am a bit axious as school is starting in just a few weeks, but guess we will just see how things pan out the first few weeks.

    My 10 yr old step-daughter got diagnosed with Tourette's and anxiety disorders. She is my ultimate struggle. I find that it is a VERY thin line in distinguishing behaviour related to her disorders and "temper tantrum" behavior of a 10 yr old and relaying consequences for those unwanted behaviors. She is always defient towards me and if she doesn't like what I have to say she cries (literally) to her father, my fiance. She is quite the manipulater. She is on multiple medications, which have helped manage her tics and some of the "attitude". My fiance and I have seen two social-workers/counselors regarding her conditions, but nothing seems to work in the long run of things. I definately see additional behaviors that seem to fit ADHD and ODD, but I haven't brought this to anyone's attention.

    I am looking into couples therapy, as well as family therapy, in our area. I don't know what else to do, I am at my wits end!
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hi and welcome! Did anyone outside of the school system thoroughly evaluate these kids? I'm thinking your son might be mis-diagnosed and could benefit from a thorough neuropsychological evaluation/testing. The diagnosis he has is pretty common for young children who don't behave the way teachers want them to but often it is not the right diagnosis.

    Also, I'd suggest reading The Explosive Child by Ross Greene.
  3. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    I'm also new here and have a 6.5 yo son with Tourette's Syndrome. I know how you feel...Sometimes it is so hard to know what is Tourette's Syndrome and what isn't. What medications has your stepdaughter tried? My son has tried Strattera (caused serious vomitting), Zoloft (mania???), Focalin (massive anxiety and increase in tics), clonidine (wonderful, but metabolizes quickly), Prozac (not sure), and imipramine (some improvement). It is exhausting.

    Take care.
  4. Jungleland

    Jungleland Welcome to my jungle!

    Hi, and welcome to this wonderful place. Please visit often.

    Hugs of welcome,
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Welcome!! Sounds like you and your fiance have your work cut out for you.

    As a fellow fibro sufferer, I feel your pain, literally! Our kids sure do take it out of us, don't they?

    Given the food allergies, have you tried teh gluten free/casein free diet? I know many people who have gotten HUGE help with fibro using this (wish I was one of them. I tried and it didn't help, but I am an odd one!) AND many here have found HUGE behavior changes when their kids stick to the girlfriend/cf diet.

    It will take some research to achieve the diet but after a month or so you should see some real changes. A google on girlfriend/cf diet (casein is in milk so all dairy is elminated as part of it) will give you a LOT of info.

    I agree that some indepth testing is needed. I am highly skeptical of a diagnosis of borderline conduct disorder when applied to a kindergartener. SO many things may be contributing to it, and could help it. That diagnosis is serious and often people will give up on therapy because little helps conduct disorder. It is WRONG to give up on a child this young.

    Many hugs, and welcome!
  6. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member

    Hi, KC, and welcome.

    Therapy is a good idea. Raising a difficult child (or two) puts a tremendous strain on a marriage, and I would encourage you and your fiance to get help dealing with these issues now. Many marriages fall apart because the parents aren't on the same page when it comes to handling a difficult child. Much better to start strong so you can weather the inevitable storms together.

  7. nuone

    nuone New Member

    Hi - pretty much a newbie myself and have been reading the threads with much interest and really wishing that I had found this site many years ago. I have a 16 yr old adopted difficult child and could really have done with this kind of support and shared knowledge while going through these crazy-filled years. I am surprised that your child has had conduct disorder associated with him at this early age. My difficult child has been on medications since pretty early - adhd, odd which has sadly developed into conduct disorder. We have been through the mill, into places and situations that can only be described as omg - what now !!!! Have you done much research on cd - it is quite a hectic thing, and my difficult child displayed signs of this kind of behaviour from an early age too, but having said that, we are still here, he is still living in my home even though it is a minefield most of the time, and reading through some of the other threads on this site gives me comfort that I am not alone in this (husband left when he was 5) and seeing what others go through has been good for me in realising that I will make it through a little longer. Thanks for a great place to be. Hope that I can have something to share that will help along the way.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there :D

    I'm one of those old timers who has seen a lot. I would defintely want both girls to see a neuropsychologist. in the opinion of many of us they are the very best diagnosticians, doing anywhere from 6-10 hours of testing. There cover everything.

    I can't speak for others, but if anyone told me a five year old had any sort of conduct disorder, I'd chalk the person up to the "quack" department and move on. That isn't supposed to be diagnosed until 18 and is usually after a long history of defiance/mental illness that either isn't treated or can't be treated.

    How does everyone get along? Do the girls get along? Are you and SO on the same page?
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi KC, welcome.
    Boy, do you have your hands full!
    I agree with-the others, that 7 is way too young for borderline conduct disorder. That's something that comes with-teen yrs.
    I also agree with-Susiestar about the gluten free diet. If you have allergies, chances are high that your son has allergies, too. He is too young to explain that his stomach hurts and it's making him cranky--he's just going to light off on you.
    I find it interesting that on the Concerta and Risperidal that he's exhibiting other symptoms. That should tell you something.
    So sorry about your stepdaughter being manipulative. I hope that your fiance stops that in her tracks when she comes running to him. You two have to be on the exact same page, to the point where you call one another on your cell phones and send emails explaining what she's up to in the past hr or so. That way you can head her off at the pass.
    I don't know anything about Tourettes but lots of others here do.
    Good idea for couples therapy!
  10. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome! I do not envy you being a stepmom to this 10yr old difficult child. SHe will for sure test your relationship with your fiance. From personal experience and from reading the site I recommend that you let your fiance parent his daughter and you stay back a bit as an ally/friend when she needs you. Let her decide when she needs you.

    I will say that having a stepmom that was an ally for my difficult child was very helpful. It was not until stepmom felt the need to change that relationship that my difficult child lost that ally and she no longer is involved in her day to day life. Basically wants nothing to do with her. But, she got involved to the point of trying her own things (despite knowing from conversations with me that it would not work) and now has totally given up on my difficult child.
    I am not saying it would be hard to not be involved in the day to day - but you have to let Fiance do all the parenting of her. You can speak to him privately with suggestions and new ideas, but let him do it. It will be invaluable to your stepdaughter to have you to go to.
    You must support your fiance in his ways. But, you can certainly explain them better for stepdaughter when she doesn't understand him.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Welcome, KC.

    I also endorse the recommendation to get your son assessed by a neuropsychologist. The diagnosis is a surprising one given his age. Misdiagnoses at this age are unfortunately fairly common. The anxiety coming into thr mix now, plus the raging - he sounds scared and frustrated. So what could be making him frustrated? THAT is what you need to observe. Watch him interact with others, watch him alone at play. Watch when he is calm (something is working for him) and watch what happens BEFORE his rage begins. What appears to have triggered it? Why is he really angry?

    Compare this with other kids and how they behave and interact. The difference is the boundary between them and your son.

    There are a number of possibilities and it is good that you are on the ball enough to have had him assessed already. However, ANY assessment, especially in such a young kid, needs to be taken with a grain of salt. If your instinct says it's not a good fit or doesn't explain everything, then trust your instincts and keep asking questions and getting him tested. Keep all results, even the ones you don't agree with, because tucked away in there can be vital information later in his development.

    Example - difficult child 3, if assessed now for the first time ever, with no history taken into account, would get a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome. A snapshot taken now (in terms of his capabilities and presentation) would show his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), his extreme anxiety, his high ability in some areas (savant skills) and the deficits in his social interactions. However, he is doing quite well socially at a fairly formal level. He's not so good at the more informal relaxed chat with kids his own age, but he's getting better fast. he is coming out with appropriate (and fast!) quips.

    In reality, he is definitely autistic. The reasons - he was non-verbal for the first few years. Not only non-verbal, but language itself seemed to be aclosed book. A kid who has lost the power of speech but who can still turn and look at you when he hears his name, and who can respond to instructions ("Put the cup on the bench") definitely has language capability, even if he doesn't have speech. But a child who cannot even comprehend instructions or respond to his own name - that is a child who doesn't have language.
    In difficult child 3's case, language did happen. It took time and I suspect he had to use a different part of his brain, the part that we use when we learn a second language, to learn the whole concept of communnication.

    But if that early history were not known, it would change his diagnosis.
    So although early diagnoses of difficult child 3 were wrong, included in there is vital testing results that can be put to good use in later assessments.

    But you need help with practicalities, with both kids. They each have their problems (whatever the diagnosis) and underneath it all, life for each of them is frustrating in different ways. You don't have to wait for a therapist or for a diagnosis, to put in some daily practical management which can help you all NOW. YOu need your fiance on board with this too, or he will rpaidly find himself the focus of a lot of hostility form both kids (you become "good cop, bad cop" if only one of you does this).

    What you need to do - acquaint yourselves, both of you, with "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It was a lifesaver for us, for so many of us on tis site. A few people have reported thta it didn't help them much if at all, but in general, most of us have found some amazing results.

    It's also a lot easier than many of the alternatives (and it is also an alternative to do nothing). You don't need charts with this, you don't need tables, graphs etc. You take form it what you feel can heklp and leave what can't. You can also be flexible and modify or adapt, as you feel you need to. But underpinning it all, is a different way of looking at the problems and a different approach to your child, especially achild who has a need for control in his/her life (which can happen, if the child feels life is out of control). You allow the child control, where it really doesn't matter to you. You also set the example to the child, of how you want the child to behave. No yelling, no 'standover' tactics (which so many parents use to great effect with most kids - and it didn't do US any harm!).
    Other adults around you may think you've gone mad, but this does work. You still keep the reins in your hand, but you slacken them off a bit and let the child (the horse in the harness) walk on at their own pace. You give informeation and l ead them to making their own decision. "We could go left, which will take us for a pretty walk but will mean we take much longer to get home, or we could go straight ahead to get home quickly but it's not such a pretty view. What would you like?"
    If you need to get home and don't want the risk that the child will opt for the longer walk, you could say, "If we get home quickly, we can do X, Y or Z. What would you like to do when we get home?"
    There is so much more to this, I've only given you a very quick example of a fragment of this.

    For a quick preview, go to Early Childhood and look at the stickies there on adapting Explosive Child to younger children. Then get the book out of the library, if you're reluctant to spend money on yet another "I've got just the book for you!" situation. If I bought every book recommended to me... I'd be broke and have no room in the house. But I did go out and buy this one.

    Keep us posted on how you go. And if your fiance wants to lurk here, or join - he won't be the only bloke. My husband is a quiet-ish regular here too.

  12. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Welcome. You have a lot on your plate. Very good and very caring physicians, both for your physical well being and mental health care will be imperative.

    I think a neuro psychiatric exam might be a good idea. Has the girl seen a neurologist recently for an exam? Remember, if you don't have a good rapport with the doctor, it is acceptable to seek a second opinion.

    Are you seeing a good psychologist for weekly therapy? I really do like your idea of getting Family Counseling or marriage counseling. You are on the right track. Is she on medication? Surely, this is a possible need.

    Is the boy somewhat defiant or oppositional? Perhaps all the turmoil in the house is getting to him. I doubt he has anything like conduct disorder.

    There is a book called 123 Magic that is really very might want to check that out. I would say this book is ideal for children under 10. The Ross book, for kids a tad older and is excellent. You have children both ages...if you get both, you are set!!!

    Some say Fish Oil helps with ADD symptoms and this possibility might be explored with the doctors for the children. If you go to a place like Whole Foods, you can ask for someone with knowledge on the subject. I one time asked if they have a product for children and I found one with low dosages like this. They even have a "gummy" version these days...although I'm not sure if this is at Whole Foods. I saw it at Costco.

    As a side note, I talk with many naturalists about Fibromyalgia, and there was a study that showed Magnesium can be helpful. One kind called Magneisum Malate was said to be the best. It is sometimes hard to find. You can easily get it on line at a place called Their shipping charges are reasonable.

    If you find yourself depressed, we have talked here about how D3 tablet a B Complex can sometimes help with this.

    Wishing you well...please continue seeking the advice of physicians and mental health experts. No doubt you will have to do some trial and error. Don't give up hope. Keep on moving forward. Consider going to the library and read up on natural healing, vitamins and positive psychology for your own personal healing.

    Side note:
    Hugs and welcome also to Nuone.
    Lasted edited by : Aug 31, 2009
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Fish oil is also supposed to help fibromyalgia, along with magnesium. There are a lot of suggested treatments, I've seen many come and go over the years. Cold baths was another I saw (not for me).
    Yes, I also have FM as a symptom. I keep it under control with pain medication under supervision of a pain clinic. Trying to keep my own condition managed is important because it's the only way I can help my family.
    So if you try the fish oil and/or magnesium, you could all try it together. It's also part of saying to the kids, "You're not on your own in this."

  14. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Well, the funnnnnnny thing is that there is some talk that magnesium might help ADD as well!

    It seems magnesium and Fish Oil are very beneficial to our systems and in many different ways.

    Just being a little off can cause or contribute to many problems.

    Additionally, there is talk that there are things that we tend not to get enough of in our foods.