child's behavior affecting reputation

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Boston32, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Boston32

    Boston32 New Member

    I am new to this forum but so relieved to find other parents going through the same types of issues...My 7 yr old daughter has always been challenging but the last couple of years have been awful. When she started 1st grade last year she started getting really aggressive with other kids, and one parent even moved their child out of her class because of her. Then she went to counseling and got better for awhile. She was evaluated and diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. This year started off ok and she started making friends but all of a sudden started spiraling out of control again...In the last couple of weeks she has punched/kicked/hit several kids at school or on the bus, punched and mouthed off to a teacher, become very defiant at home, throws tantrums constantly, threatens, spits, teases family members, etc. I just found her another therapist because the first one moved away...she has been without therapy for awhile so I think this may be why she is regressing. Some parents from the school have complained about her (rightfully so) and I feel like as soon as all the parents find out about this behavior no one in town will talk to me and she will get no more playdate invites. I am so embarrassed right now! I spend so much time and energy trying to do damage control, apologize to parents, have her write apology notes to others. I am emotionally drained. As a result of all this I don't really "like" her a lot of the time. I love her as she is my child but I resent her for putting us through this. My husband thinks it is horrible that I feel this way

    Just wondering if anyone is going through the same thing or have experienced a backlash from the community due to their child's unacceptable or unsafe behavior? I hate that her behavior is possibly going to ruin our reputation despite the fact that I have another child who's behavior is perfectly normal
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Oh sure, I have and it even affects family life with his cousins. they know he is disabled but still will not invite him at times and I have felt left out. I have had lots of practice saying I dont care what people think but truth is sometimes I wish for sure that I had a kid who was just acting neutral if not "good" in certain situations. My son is NEVER invited to play or to birthday parties etc. and he desperately wants to go.

    I have really had to learn to develop a tough skin. Most people do not understand conditions that cause behavioral difficulties. Are you certain of her diagnosis? Could she be having other issues like adhd (impulse control issues), or subtle learning issues or minimal brain issues like auditory processing problems (sounds are not interpreted by the brain correctly including language or sorting through what sounds are important with competing sounds around)...

    Could she have any form of social communicaiton problem... not reading non verbal cues well, not able to give and take in conversations and play?? could she be being bullied and needing to act tough to make sure she is not hurt (or maybe she perceives things this way?) is she depressed along with anxiety?

    Does she have any sensory issues like being sensitive to sounds, sights, tastes, smells, touch or does she overly seek these things.... tune in to all of those sensory areas?

    Have you ever considered a neuropsychologist evaluation? These are longer evaluations with psychologists who specialize in helping sort through how the brain works in relationship to behaviors/moods.

    You are not alone... I think if someone joins in a "back lash" well...they are no real friend of yours. Every child deserves understanding and as long as you are trying then your daughter should have some support so she can feel encouraged. you will need that too.

    Your reputation, I am sure that is harder in a small town but honestly I think this is a chance for personal growth. I HATE conflict and the judgement I feel... so I am having to deal with the fact that every day someone complains and even directly says something at times about me and my choices...uggg. I have improved greatly when it comes to just standing up for my son and not worrying what others think about him. But our children would do better if they could. I believe that. I have posted here before a saying that I believe.... WHEN OUR CHILDREN DESERVE OUR LOVE THE LEAST IS WHEN THEY NEED IT THE MOST. I know you love your daughter, not questioning that at all... it just inspires me when I am frustrated with my son. The issue is what your daughter is suffering thru. It is hard not to care about what others think, but you must put on what they call here a suit of armor... not just to fight for her rights but to protect yourself from the jabs. be her biggest cheerleader in public...people learn from our example how to treat our kids (and any others that have similar issues. ) (NOT easy to do... it is hard to like our kids when they are acting in an ugly way... there are two recent treads on just that topic and you will see you are not alone with those feelings.... sometimes we just have to act as if, no worries that you feel that way at times-- you are human I assume, LOL)

    I tend to put my energy into finding solutions and sharing here so I can stay sane. I have redoubled my efforts to find therapy for my son (Occupational Therapist (OT), SPeech lang, PT and counseling. Counseling is for the effects of his disability but I have no illusions that it will stop his disability)

    Hope you can find more resources for examining what is driving this behavior. It may be a developmental or physical issue (including mental healthy diagnosis like bipolar)

    If you share more about her early development including any risks, milestone development/delays? , motor concerns? Language development? friendships since did they play... sharing? imitating... can she play pretend play with others or does she run the show or skip back and forth imaginative kinds of play?

    Take care.... you are not alone. I am glad you found us.
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Just curious... has she or your other child recently had strep?
  4. soapbox

    soapbox Member

    Hi, and welcome.
    I'm one of the BTDTs... kid goes massively downhill starting in grade 1.

    I'm going to echo advice you've already been given:
    Please get the most comprehensive evaluation that you can, including Occupational Therapist (OT) for sensory and motor skills, and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) for hearing, Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), and other APDS - and you may have to fight for this last set, but at age 7, she's old enough to do ALL of it.

    Is her only current diagnosis "anxiety disorder"?
    I do not discount the fact that it may well be accurate.
    But it is not likely "the" diagnosis. And it may not even be primary.
    It isn't unusual for kids with multiple challenges, to become anxious when their world falls apart (e.g. school).

    There could be a very wide range of problems going on... and only a complete evaluation is going to get to the bottom of it. But I'll show you ONE combo of things, just so you can "see" that there is logic to some of this stuff...

    ADHD is a very common diagnosis, frequently the "first" diagnosis many kids get. It may or may not be accurate. The child may be Aspie, or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), or have mental health issues like bi-polar, rather than really having ADHD. OR... the child may be ADHD plus other stuff.

    Here's how the ADHD equation works:
    - 50% of the kids with ADHD, also have Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) - developmental coordination disorder, a motor-skills/neuromotor condition that can affect fine motor skills (writing, dressing, scissors), gros motor skills (running, bike riding, sports), or both.
    - I don't know the numbers on this one, but frequently, kids with ADHD also have various LDs - learning disabilities, things like dysgraphia, dyscalcula, dyslexia, etc.
    - 70% of the kids with ADHD plus a Learning Disability (LD), also have an Auditory Processing Disorders (APD).

    And that's before the problems mount - if the original issues are not caught early and dealt with, anxiety and/or depression frequently come into the picture.

    For all of these, there is HUGE hope. Finding the problem is the first step. Then, you can fight for interventions, accommodations, and/or medications, as seems appropriate.

    There is lots if hope. Come join us Warrior Moms... keep fighting, keep digging, find the answers...
  5. Boston32

    Boston32 New Member

    Thanks for the thoughtful responses. The diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) was indeed the result of an extensive neuropsychologist exam. In the exam the psychologist did add that ADHD could not be completely ruled out as well as bipolar...This last one really freaked me out! But he also found aspects of ODD but this wasn't her diagnosis. We are going to try intense psychotherapy for a bit to see if any improvements will come as a result. If not, we may have to see a psychiatrist. In response to Buddy, she was evaluated for sensory deficits, language processing issues, etc...pretty much everything. She does not have a learning disability; just the diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Thanks again and I'm glad I found this forum!
  6. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    We had a similar problem with some of mothers of two of difficult child's "friends". What was really frustrating for me was that they knew what we were going through with difficult child. They knew that we were taking him to the therapist, to the psychiatrist, that we were considering medications. Still, one of the mothers posted on Facebook that I was the "useless parent of an f'ing bully." That hurt more than anything! And the stupid thing about it was that her kid started the problem, but the mom was one of these, "Not my baby! He would never do anything bad" and put all of the blame on difficult child because she knows that there are behavioral problems with him.

    I have no good advice for, but I wanted to jump in and tell you that I know how you feel. Is your daughter taking any medications for her Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I think FB is for saying what is going on in life in a casual way, encouraging others etc... NEVER to hurt someone.. I will not ever understand that in a million years. How people can bully in a public way (as adults) then complain about children who have legitimate problems???

    Anyway, not the point I guess....

    Boston32, wow you have been through a lot. Sounds like you are saying there are maybe some loose ends but of course finding out the issues is such a process......

    I feel for you and your difficult child. All we can control is our own reactions and feelings I guess.... You have people here who can validate you though. we do get it and know that it is not a reflection on you. No one blames a parent for their child getting cancer--often they have fund raisers and so much support-- but for some reason we are blamed when our kids have conditions that affect their behavior even though we work as hard to get them well and often for an indefinite period of time....never an end to it for many of us. ((((Boston32))))
  8. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Buddy, it was REALLY hurtful. Last spring difficult child was placed on the same baseball team as this other kid and I was out of my mind. My anxiety about this mother was through the roof. Want to know the funny thing? The two boys were fine together. It was a typical kids spat. They're mad at each other today, they're friends tomorrow. If the mother would have just let the kids work it out, everything would have been fine.

    I truly think that's because mental illness is something that can not be seen. You can go to a doctor and have testing done and be told your child has cancer, diabetes, pneumonia, etc. Most of our kids look perfectly "normal" (whatever that is). They do not look ill. They do not look like a child with cancer would look. Because our kids looks all right, people assume that they are all right.

    But mental illness is so subjective. We've all seen it here. One doctor says one thing. Another doctor says another. This specialist agrees with me. The other specialist thinks that I'm completely off my rocker.

    People who have never dealt with mental illness, be it with an adult or a child, have no clue what it's like to have to live with someone suffering from it. They just assume it's the person's fault that they are sad and miserable, or that it's the parents' fault that their child can not behave. Until they walk a mile in our shoes they have no right saying anything.
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    {{{bunny}}} just so wrong....

    You are right, too bad she didn't see it as an opportunity for him to grow and develop in his social skills. but she clearly had poor social skills of her own. I would have been so hurt and as I said, I am working my butt off trying to learn to deal with what others think... I wish it was one less issue on my plate, but I keep trying.

    It is all understandable as to why it is happening.. all the judgement and lack of sympathy.... but it is not right. I am glad the kids did ok but sorry you had to suffer at her hands... hope she gets a clue some day and not the hard way.....
  10. mazdamama

    mazdamama New Member

    Just wanted to put my two cents in for what they are worth. I have two boys that will act out in public and embarass me but if someone looks oddly at me I just pop out with "It is so much fun raising special needs kids". I keep telling myself I should just get business cards printed up. I really don't give a hoot about my reputation because it is just fine. People around this small town know that I am a fighter and advocate for these two boys. When Daniel was bout 5 he was running to get to my van from a restaurant. An old biddie yelled at him and said his mother or grandmother should beat his ****. I waited until the boys were in the van and walked over to her and her firend. I let her know what these twp boys had been through and that unless you know what is going on you should keep your mouth SHUT.
    Sadly, the bio mom of the ex daugh in law had adoptive parents that chose to hide their flawed daughter. She was round and would not fit into their square hole. They were...umm...upstanding members of the community and did not want their community to know the problems Mama Rae had. They did not want their reputation ruined.
    I often wonder what they told people when she poured lighter fluid on herself and lit herself on fire.

    Your child is more important than any reputation.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow! I really feel bad for you and I really agree with Mazdamama too! You are doing a great job of raising a very difficult child...who cares what Jane Clueless thinks? They have no idea, none, nada! (((Hugs)))
  12. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    As I think Buddy mentioned, there is a thread somewhere here that was started recently about loving but not liking your child. in my humble opinion, this is a perfectly "normal" feeling considering what we have to deal with on a daily basis. Life as we knew it, thought it would be, is shattered. Most of our energy becomes centered around the child who needs our help the most. We have to learn all we can about our child's disability and decide which therapist, psychiatrist, neurologist got it right - So many conflicting povs! Then, we're left to deal with finding the most appropriate school, program, etc... to help our children succeed in a world that isn't prepared for them. If we're lucky, we find that "magic" program, school, etc. that is a great "fit" for our children. If we're "lucky" the school will agree to allow our children to attend this "magic" program. And, I haven't even mentioned drugs yet. If our children need medication, life can become a roller coaster ride as we give them one drug, find it doesn't work, switch to another, find it doesn't work, etc., etc., etc., until the right drug or combination is found. Totally exhausting, totally draining... And this is only the beginning...

    We have other responsibilities in life. We need to take care of our other children, nurture our relationships with our SO, husband,s, etc., Nurture our relationship with ourselves... There is work to deal with, bills to pay, etc., etc., etc., Life goes on... No wonder it is difficult to "like" our difficult children. It can feel like they are s*cking the life right out of us... Draining us... Leaving us empty...

    I lost many "friends" because either they didn't understand or because I didn't have the time, energy needed to maintain our relationships. I learned to develop a thicker skin, a "rhino skin" (got this word from this site). I'm not going to lie, it wasn't easy, still isn't at times. However, the friends I do have are true friends. I'm grateful for this. As far as families, my husband's wanted nothing to do with our difficult children, especially difficult child 2. We weren't invited to a family wedding because my kids were a major embarrassment. That was the last straw... My family thought they had all the answers, couldn't understand the concept of "tough love." Eventually we drifted, other things happened, and I have no contact with them. As far as the community in general, I learned that I had to hold my head up high, not care what others think, not an easy thing to do!! I just kept repeating to myself that these are my children, I love them fiercely (had to force this part at times when I especially didn't like them), and will do what is necessary to give them the best start in life.

    So sorry you found us but glad you're here. This is a wonderful site. It helped me get through some of the darkest times in my life. The people here are amazing!! SFR