Do you see what I see?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by PersonalEnigma, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. PersonalEnigma

    PersonalEnigma New Member

    It's been ages since I\ve been here (3 years to be specific). My newborn baby has grown into a very active and interesting little girl. But she is a terribly challenging little one.

    When she was really little, well under a year old, she was suprisingly capable of being decetive. She loved the TV clicker. I would tell her not to take it, then she'd go after it, then hide it behind her back and deny that she had it. She would also sometimes throw it across the room then say she didn't take it. Her behaviours of this type continued. She frequently take things she is not supposed to have (and knows she is not supposed to have). If we put things up too high for her to reach, she will climb to get them. I can't hide stuff either - she seeks them out, and is very persistant about it. her favorites are playing in the dogs' water (or any other liquid or cream if she can't get the water), drawing with markers (on the floor, her body, toys, and occasionally paper), stealing food (usually the peanut butter out of the top cupboards since I can lock the fridge), and my make-up which she wears whenever it occurs to her to get pretty (and I almost never wear make-up).

    When confronted with what she has done she will respond by lying. For example when drawing on something, I ask her, is that paper? I have discussed only drawing on paper many times. Her response: "It looked like paper". She has no comprehension that some things are not hers (like my stuff, her brother's stuff, her dad's stuff) and has little to no sign of remorse after destroying something, or taking something. When asked to give something that was taken she will hide it, deny having it, run away, or grin and evade. She will also sneak things she should not have into her room, or somewhere else she thinks I won't see. I often find things hidden away later, and she denies knowing how it got there (like the peanutbutter in her bed). Though, soemtimes I will ask if she's seen something and she might admit to having it.

    Additionally, S loves to annoy. She and her brother are often at eachoher's throats. S nearly always starts it. She keeps bugging long after L has had his limit. She is also quite physical hitting, kicking, and pushing. She likes to copy a lot to annoy him (though that's semi normal for this stage).

    Pets are another issue. She loves the animals, and has always known exactly how to be gentle to them. But, she will deliberately annoy them. She seems to delight in getting them upset with her. She doesn' hurt them, but will drag he dog aroudn the house (on a leash), or carry the cat to the dogs and drop her on them. She has been warned by me and he animals many times, and has been lightly bitten by the dogs and the cats several times. While that upsets her, she still wants to push it. Warning her that she will be bitten slows her briefly, but not completely.

    S tends to avoid doing as she is told. Even when she wants something (like to go outside) she will avoid it because I want her to do it (running away, refusing to put on shoes/coat, etc). I have also had a really hard time with toilet training. She is perfectly capable of using a toilet, but prefers to use a diaper whenever she can, and will go find one to put on when she gets the chance. She will refuse to use the toilet any time she is asked to, but will go on her own. The best way to get her to do anything is to use reverse psychology - telling her not to do what you want - but she will outgrow that in no time.

    I swear, S never stops. She is always on the go, and I can't keep up. If I confronted her on what she does all the time I'd never stop fighting her. She is also a bad sleeper, and I am only just starting to get her to sleep in her own bed. She still wakes at least twice a night, though she will go back to bed.

    Developmentally she has been ahead of the curve. I've seen no language problems, speech issues, coordination issues, etc. She knows her alphabet, can count to 20, and has a keen interest in anything and everything. She's quite delightful really, other than her difficult behaviours. She's not totally into tantrums, but when she has them they seem to be put on - she can turn them off as fast as she turned them on. But she sure can scream and holler when she doesn't get her way (which is more often than not).

    So... I hate to use a negative label on someone so young, but at the same time... I can't just let it go after what I've been through with L (who is a whole other story). i am terrified about her going to school, but am really hoping that it will give her somewhere to channel her energy. I am worried that she has ADHD and ODD. The diagnosis is hear-wrenching, especially after I've felt so strongly that L's ODD dignosis was inacurate (the behaviours directly relating to the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) issues). She has not had any formal testing yet, though I am leaning towards it.

    Am I being too hasty or over worried? I fret that my experience with L has made me hyper sensitive...
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    The earlier you test her, the better she will respond to help and interventions. ADHD/ODD is often the first diagnosis a child gets. Very often, it is not the last. The earlier you start getting help for her, which can NEVER hurt, the better the outcome. in my opinion it's much better than seeing if it goes away. It usually doesn't and you have bigger problems as they get older that you wish you had addressed long ago. Interventions never hurt ANY child. Better to be safe than sorry.

    Good luck :)
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Gotta go with MWM on this one. Since you've already got a child on the spectrum, it's a possibility that she could be very high functioning. It's also been my experience (my oldest 3 have Aspergers) that girls present differently than boys (general statement - not scientific fact in any way - lol!). My daughter is defiant, lies like a rug, and has got to be the MOST annoying kid on the planet!

    I'd get it checked out - your Mom-gut is telling you that something isn't right - I've learned never to ignore the "mom-gut". It's usually pretty accurate!

    Welcome back!

  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Whatever the case, it sounds like you have a "spirited" child :) Have you read or do you know of "Raising your Spirited Child"? (I don't have the author to hand). Part of my problem with the ADHD/ODD diagnosis in one so young - without in any way wanting to discourage you from getting her evaluated - is that some children really can seem pretty much like your daughter in the toddler/pre-school years and then change enormously... I have known one such case myself (and witnessed the transformation!) and heard of others anecdotally. I do feel myself that three is a little too young to be concerned about lack of clear moral sense... But totally understand your concern, especially given your experience with your other child. For what it is worth, I again just wanted to say a word in favour of "keep your options open", while also getting any intervention or evaluations that are available to you and seem helpful.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Malika, I respectfully disagree. Most kids who show problems very young...enough that a parent's gut says "something is wrong" are right that something is. ADHD/ODD is a lot different than autistic spectrum which can be diagnosed quite young and can only be helped with interventions. There isn't much you can do just by your parenting style. I'm not talking about your son...I am addressing the parent who wrote. There is no down side to an evaluation. Early interventions have never hurt any child. The earlier the better! Although traditional autistic spectrum kids are delayed especially in speech, Asperger's kids are usually ahead of other children that way, but can not adapt or do well with their peers. As they get older it can become so debilitating that even the brightest can not be completely independent. Because they have so much potential if it is caught early, it is best diagnosed and treated. I don't know if this child has Aspergers, but she has some's best to check it out.

    "Little children little problems. Big children big problems." I have raised five children and believe this with all my heart. in my opinion, it is best to get help as young as you can when the brain is still flexible rather than waiting for the horrible teen years that many of these kids (if not most) go on to have.
  6. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I said absolutely nothing in my post about discouraging an evaluation, so I'm not quite sure what you disagree with, MWM. I have seen a big change in my son after I changed my parenting style with him and I have also known and heard about cases where a very spirited toddler calmed down greatly as they got older. Two things based on experience that I share simply because none of us KNOWS for sure what is going on with another child and because it is useful to keep an open mind with rapidly changing and developing small children. Of course there may also be a classifiable "problem" but that is obvious. I really don't think I've said anything here that can reasonably be taken issue with (not very grammatical :) )
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok, sorry :)

    However, I still think an evaluation and early intervention beats the "hope for the best" approach. A child can calm down (my son did A LOT) and trade the hyperness for other worse problems. My son used to hang from the rafters and now he is a couch potato. But he has typical problems associated with young adults who are on the autism spectrum. I knew in my gut something was wrong when we adopted him and, although the symptoms have shifted, the problems have always been there. He is much better than he would have been untreated though.

    Sorry again! :)
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I agree that evaluation is needed for Enigma's child. The "lying" about things like the remote or even taking it when told not to, are not necessarily signs of problems. Kids your daughter's age do not really grasp the difference between reality and fantasy and lies and truth. Your comments about her being deceitful before age 1 reflect an attitude toward her behavior that is not necessarily rooted in the realities of child development at that age. Kids before the age of 1 can lie, I guess, but more likely they are exploring truth and fantasy and often they get caught up in a thought or investigation or playing and simply do not realize that what you said applies to what they are doing. Before the age of 1 most children have a very limited grasp of language also, so this can contribute to the perception that the child is lying or being deceitful when in reality they simply are not developed enough to grasp the concepts of lying and deceit.

    Regardless, given the family history and your sense that something isn't right, I would contact the doctor to set up and early screening for autism, etc.... While many of us are not up on the latest research, I have it from an excellent neuropsychologist that the latest research is starting to show that adhd may actually be on the autistic spectrum rahter than being something totally foreign to it.

    PLEASE include screening for sensory issues and sensory integration disorder by an Occupational Therapist (OT) in the tests you have done. The earlier you start brushing therapy and the right types of sensory diet for her individual needs, the more she can move past them as an adult.

    I do NOT mean to say that you are wrong in your perceptions of her, simply that some of the things in your post may not be taken well if you go to a counselor, doctor, or whomever does the screening - simply because what may seem deceitful to you may trigger a reaction that you are too harsh or expect more than a child her age could normally do. I am WELL aware that sometimes we describe something and others say "oh, all kids do that" or "it is normal at X age for a child to do that, you are expecting too much" etc... when what is really going on is that the behaviors that are a problem are taken to such an extreme in degree or frequency or whatever that it really IS a problem. A LOt of the time people hear us Warrior Moms describe what a problem is and they don't realize that our difficult children take it to extremes that many people don't even realize a child COULD take it to.

    You may be able to get a LOT of help through Head Start, esp if she is found to have a problem. It will not depend on your income if she has a problem and they often have a lot of resources, esp starting at around age 3.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sus, good post. However, I work at Head Start right now and that's not where to go for interventions. We really don't have the funds or resources to help neurologically disordered children. We HAVE them, but basically we don't know what to do for's the school districts that help kids from age 3 and up.