Emotionally difficult child functions as a 5 year old

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by flutterby, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    That's the newest revelation. Not sure if revelation is the right word - just having it said out loud.

    The weird thing is that she does have friends her age (although she doesn't do much with them outside of school) and her intelligence puts her on par with older kids and adults. She's not one to follow the crowd, either. So, from the outside you wouldn't know that she has the emotional maturity of a 5 year old.

    We had in home therapy yesterday, I saw regular therapist today, and had a meeting with caseworkers and the consensus is that everyone is grasping at straws and no one really has a handle on her.

  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    That is a substantial delay. Profound, really. Given the way she goes on with the angst and insists that you be right there when she does it, it makes sense. What is amazing is the way you have been able to cope with it with-o ending up in a psychiatric hospital yourself.

    Do you think she just stopped developing emotionally at the age of 5 or that it has taken her all these years to develop to the point she is at the emotional age of 5?

    The consensus that no one has a real handle on her isn't a big surprise. It is amazing that they realize they don't have a handle on things. Did they have any suggestions for further evaluation or for ways to begin to help her?
  3. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    No one knows, but I think she stopped developing in some ways at 5 and I think she regressed some, as well. therapist seems to think that she turns some of it on and off at will to manipulate, and I agree with that to a degree.

    She also hesitantly mentioned attachment disorder. I think it's something she's tossing around in her mind, because she thinks that difficult child didn't bond with me like she should have - because her needs were (and are) so great that it is simply impossible to fulfill them. I don't know about that. difficult child definitely bonded with me. This impossible to fulfill need is a classic trait of borderline.

    In home therapist, caseworkers, difficult child, and I are meeting on the 15th to have a "Come to Jesus meeting" with difficult child, as well as to brainstorm. They also want to find someone to work with her one on one out in the community and they want me to write up a description of difficult child so they can find someone who wants to do the job (because she frustrates everyone to no end) and they will interview them. I jokingly said, "A 15 year old pain in the [donkey], who is stubborn, obstinate and her own worst enemy". They said, yes send them that kind of stuff because it is accurate and they will turn it into better wording. haha :faint:
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Heather, I obviously don't know your daughter, but I have some new perspectives after having a son in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) over the last 10 months. My guess is that the underlying NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) is playing a greater role than you're giving it credit for. That's the wiring piece, and the part that is impossible to change, but can be worked with therapeutically. My further guess is that because she has felt different from being born with an NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD), she has developed a secondary depression, mood dysregulation, whatever you want to call it. That's the chemical piece, and the part that needs medication so she can access the therapy.

    So really, it's a two-pronged approach. Stabilize the mood and then put in appropriate interventions to address the NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) (which are similar to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) interventions). When my son's Residential Treatment Center (RTC) approached him in this manner, what a difference! For 16 years, no one could reach him. Now he's doing triathlons and will be graduating from high school in December. Who woulda thunk?

    I know the professionals keep tossing around fancy diagnoses, but it really may be simpler than that. And time's a-wasting. Your daughter needs treatment now. I have no idea if my theory makes sense, but I just thought I'd put it out there for you.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Attachment disorders are supposed to be considered AFTER everything else has been ruled out. They are a spectrum the way autism is, with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) being the most severe and other versions being milder. Or this is what the research I have done says. Unless things changed a lot in the last two years or so, it is still thought to be that way (or I greatly misunderstood, which could be).

    My point is that the tdocs who are thinking attachment disorder need to wait until other things have been ruled out to go down that road. Your assessment of borderline is probably closer to the target. There probably are elements of NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) that are having a bigger impact than the therapy is addressing, simply because NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) can create havoc in almost every aspect of thought and of life. difficult child may have some attachment issues, I personally believe they are very common and something each person has to learn how to handle because it is a rare thing for anyone to perfectly meet the need for closeness of another person, even one they carried inside their body for 40 weeks. Except in the severe cases, we each learn to handle it. Many people adopt animals because animals bond with you at whatever level you set. If you raise the dog to spend the day amusing itself in a crate and to be played with for a bit in the evening and a little longer on the weekend, many animals are fine with that. Cats don't even need the crate mostly. If you raise a dog to expect 2-3 hours of intense 1:1 playing and training every evening, and to be with you while you work every day, the dog grows up to be fine iwth that. Dogs can even get used to the latter situation after having the former situation for several years. It takes time, but not NEARLY the time it takes a child to adjust to a change like that.

    My point is that I would not hitch up the attachment wagon as a cause yet. You are too close to the beginning of the journey to helping her find the right diagnosis and the right way to help. I am sure there is some attachment issue, but the cause is more likely to be something like borderline. Even if it isn't, we really do not know a whole lot about effective therapy for attachment disorders and we do have therapies for many of the other components of the problems she likely has.

    I think the description that they ask for is awesome. Be honest with them and let them pretty it up. The description will help them have a better grip on the situation for their work with her as well as for the purpose of hiring someone to help her. If you lived near here I would suggest someone I think would be PERFECT, actually I can think of 2 women who would each work well with her. Mostly because I have seen them work with very difficult kids of all ages and they just seem to be able to not only reach the most difficult difficult children, but to actually ENJOY them while they do it. I wish I could clone either of them and send you one. Just a thought, like other teachers, sp ed teachers are only paid for 9 months of work each year. It may be stretched over 12 months, but they do have 3 months of unemployment every year. The ones I know often take jobs like what you are needing for the summer. If there is a teacher she liked and you liked, it may be someone to suggest that the people call.

    I am glad you are getting some more help. I have worried about you and your health - difficult children sure do take a toll when you have health issues, don't they?
  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    SW - one of the caseworkers is from BDD (board of developmental disabilities). They are the ones that are going to be hiring a very specific person to work with difficult child. We already have 2 PCA's on the books, but this person's job will be more specific. Her NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) definitely plays a large role.

    Susie - I think she is just tossing that around in her head given how difficult child was as an infant - impossible to soothe. I think she was actually more asking what I thought about it (she always tells me that she wishes I had a degree to go with my knowledge). Everyone is just grasping at straws with difficult child, so it doesn't phase me when something is thrown out there. It's thrown out, we discuss it, and go from there.
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree with-Smallworld and with-this: This impossible to fulfill need is a classic trait of borderline

    No matter what it is, be aware that she is not able to behave or take in emotional info like a regular teen. Sigh. Many hugs.