Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by notwhatisignedupfor, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. notwhatisignedupfor

    notwhatisignedupfor New Member

    Where to start, not sure. I guess I am looking for a place I can get more information and talk to people who possibly understand what I am going through.

    I have 2 kids, a 9yr old son and a 6yr old daughter. I have called her my jekyl-hyde kid since she was a toddler. One minute, she's an angel and the next, it's a nightmare over something so tiny. For the most part, she's good for everyone but us. Our family/close friends see that she's stubborn and not a good listener, but they do not see the total meltdowns. Went to one therapist who had us do behavior charts. It was fine except if she was going to melt, there was no reward that was going to stop it. Went to another one who suggested that perhaps we give her too many chores. (She puts her clothes away, helps set the table and helps empty the dishwasher.) The latest therapist recommended therapy and then after our initial meeting suggested psychological testing. So we've just finished 2 days off that, presumably to rule-in/rule-out adhd, odd and/or bipolar. I don't see the adhd but they say it is a possibility. She can pay attention, she's not hyper, ahead at school.

    So, now we wait 2 weeks for their results. Not sure what I want to hear. I want a solution but I don't want my child labeled for life. That seems like a pretty heavy burden for a kid.

    Our daily life is basically waiting for the next meltdown because there is just no telling when it's coming. Nothing is ever her fault, it's always ours. She'll go from happy to head-spitting in minutes and then can switch right back. Meanwhile, I feel like I got hit by a truck.

    Does anyone here have an ODD kid? Is it just with the parents because I thought it was all adults. What about bipolar? God, all I can think about is Britney Spears every time they say that...

    I have another kid whose basically getting the short end of the stick, a job that's high stress right now and not getting the attention it needs.

    Not sure how long I can hang on to this rope anymore, it's getting more and more frayed by the minute. I can't remember the last time I wasn't in tears at least once during the day over this.
  2. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Your daugter sounds much like mine and the processes that you've gone through also. Does she have a lot of anxiety? What state are you located in?

    Can you fill out your profile under the User CP button at the top of the page? Just a little about yourself and kids without any identifying markers.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Welcome! It sounds like you are taking the right steps already. I wouldn't worry too much about a life-long label right now- I know it's hard- but kids who improve and don't need supports (medications, etc) anymore when they are older usually get that label removed. And if they don't, there are so many of them growing up with labels these days, she'll have a lot of company! Not to make too light of it- I know it's hard as a parent, so just try to get through this one day at a time.

    Parents here understand and can offer a lot of experience. Keep us posted!!
  4. RhondaVoos

    RhondaVoos Rhonda

    Hang in there! There are more Moms than you can count going through exactly the same thing with one or MORE kids here. You will find advice, a shoulder to cry on and if all else fails, you can find someone worse off than you are (I know that is not supposed to make us feel better, but c'mon it does help sometimes) The most recommended book here that I can see is "Parenting the explosive child" I haven't read it yet, just ordered it. We use "Parenting with Love and Logic (LoveandLogic.com click on articles for lots of free reading) saved our bacon let me tell you! We adopted two older kids from foster care, ODD issues, Attachment issues, ADHD the list goes on. 6 years later we are doing fairly well. Everyone remarks about my kids excellent manners and great behavior, they just don't see what goes on at home. We all understand that. This was not what any of us signed up for. Congrats for being brave enough to say it! That and admitting that you need help are huge challenges. You can do this, it just doesn't always feel like it. Try everything, keep what helps. It's okay to not like your kid all the time. I adopted my daughter even though i really did not like her most of the time (I have always loved her) Took about 5 years to get to where I enjoy her company. Don't beat yourself up and don't let anyone else do it either. Do the best you can with what you know and never stop learning new tricks!
  5. notwhatisignedupfor

    notwhatisignedupfor New Member

    tried to update profile, not really sure what to put.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. Have a few questions to ask you that can help us help you. First of all, a very young child CAN have bipolar--it is often misdiagnosed as ADHD or ODD or both. ODD rarely stands alone.
    Secondly, was your child also observed for possible high functioning autistic spectrum disorder? Ever see a neuropsychologist or Psychiatrist (with the MD?) I wouldn't trust a plain therapist to diagnose a child. JMO

    Ok: questions:
    1/ Are there are mood disorders (including depression) or substance abuse (including alcoholism) on either side of your child's family tree?

    2/How was his early development? Did he do these things on time or appropriately: speech, eye contact with strangers, toy play, imaginative play, socialize with peers, potty? Any weird obsessions or strange recurrent movements such as arm flapping, lip smacking, hitting himself, rocking, etc. Is he maybe, on the other hand, overly precocious, an early reader, does he talk like a "Little Professor?" Any overly obsessive interests?

    You may want to do a signature like I did below. Welcome!
  7. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Most of us do. It's the ODD behavior that bring us to our knees and bring us here. However, I don't think it's a "disorder" necessarily. It's more of a term to describe behaviors. Generally, there is something that is causing the ODD-anxiety, mood disorders, etc.

    I used to think the same myself. No labels. However, what I have found that labels are not set in stone and can be helpful in getting treatment and services.

    You might want to capture the meltdowns on video. Pictures=1000 words. It can be helpful when dealing with professionals. I know my kids rarely had a meltdown in public. When Daughter did it the first time it was in front of 200 horrified kids, parents, and coaches at a soccer practice. Anyway, have the camera ready. I'm completely serious.

    Thing is, typical kids do not meltdown over chores. Most therapists are simply unprepared to deal with our type of kids. And, many of our kids do not make any progress anyway until the behavior is controlled medication. I'm glad to know you got a evaluation for her.

  8. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Don't think of it as a "Label". Think of it as the term the docs understand to get the correct treatment.

    That terminology will also open doors to services if she needs them. Many people find it almost impossible to get the services we know are out there for our kids - Kids who have been diagnosed with anything have an advantage over those without and then even so, it can be difficult to tap into these services.

    Once the diagnosis has been made, the treatment plan can begin. There are lots of success stories out there. Stories of amazing kids who learned to take control of their lives. Kids who are committed to doing what it takes to get to where they want to be. Kids who no matter what the diagnosis was grew up to be happy and productive adults, some even become parents and are great at that job. The sooner treatment can begin, the easier it is for the child to succeed. You send her the message that you know she can dream and reach her dreams - you will help but she must also work at it.

    We will be here to cheer you on.
  9. notwhatisignedupfor

    notwhatisignedupfor New Member

    Secondly, was your child also observed for possible high functioning autistic spectrum disorder? No, I don't even know what that is. :(

    Ever see a neuropsychologist or Psychiatrist (with the MD?) I wouldn't trust a plain therapist to diagnose a child. JMO We are seeing a psychiatrist (MD) and she is seeing a therapist and being tested by a Developmental Psychologist

    Ok: questions:
    1/ Are there are mood disorders (including depression) or substance abuse (including alcoholism) on either side of your child's family tree? Yes, but not severe.

    2/How was his early development? Did he do these things on time or appropriately: speech, eye contact with strangers, toy play, imaginative play, socialize with peers, potty? Any weird obsessions or strange recurrent movements such as arm flapping, lip smacking, hitting himself, rocking, etc. Is he maybe, on the other hand, overly precocious, an early reader, does he talk like a "Little Professor?" Any overly obsessive interests? Her development has been very normal, no movements, no tics, no habits, not an early or late reader, talker, walker, nope. Unless loving everything HS Musical, Hannah Montana & Camp Rock is abnormally obsessive - nope.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok, thanks. any mood disorders, severe or not, can be a red flag for a mood disorder in the child. Also alcoholism is considered a red flag too. I'm not sure what a developmental psychologist is. Anyway, good luck!
  11. notwhatisignedupfor

    notwhatisignedupfor New Member

    He is doing a full battery of psychiatric tests at a pretty reputable place near here. I didn't understand most of it but he said it would tell us how she sees the world. He's doing an iq test, that's about the only part i understood.

    NO shock that none of this is covered by insurance.
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I thought neuropsychologist testing was not going to help with my son, but it did help reveal some things and it has helped again even a year later. It's good you're having this done, even though it is expensive.

    As far as mood disorders, MWM is right. Of course, we can't diagnose here (diagnosis) but from our exxperience, depression and anxiety run in my family, although no one has needed to be hospitalized and everyone works and is completely functional- family, homes, etc. Now my son, he has mood cycling and possibly will end up with a bipolar label all his life- actually it is a very good possibility. I have come to find that a lot of professionals are starting to look at the mood disorders (depression, bipolar, anxiety, etc) as a spectrum, where one person might be on one end and another in the family might fall somewhere else on that line.

    There is a lot of research underway these days on issues our kids are dealing with and that gives us a lot of hope. Even with the limited knowledge available now, there are many success stories. I know it feels like a desparate situation to come to terms with your child having a mental health problem or learning disability, whatever the case may be. But be assured, you are doing the right thing and the best thing for your child. If you didn't come to terms with it and accept it and seek help and support for your child, you wouldn't be able to help him/her. Hang in there!!
  13. notwhatisignedupfor

    notwhatisignedupfor New Member

    okay, i've read a little bit about high functioning autism and there's not really anything there that describes my daughter.

    looking at everyone's signatures. wow. are these things all diagnosed by docs or are they parental observations?

    really, really dreading the appointment where they review the tests. i can't have a conversation about my daughter without tears.

    the center we took her to told me that they don't go the route of psyc testing because they want to just see what they can do in counseling because that often works and testing is expensive. one appointment talking to us and they said they wanted the testing. :( she said she's never seen anyone so sad about their situation. really? really? how do you not go into that and be sad?
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    As a general rule, we put in our sigs what doctors have diagnosed. At least I do. But I think sometimes doctors hand out labels like alphabet soup, when the 'disorder' is actually a symptom, part of the whole package. For example difficult child 3 has a diagnosis of high-functioning autism. But he also has ADHD, Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) (which is a blanket term which includes autism) and anxiety. It is all connected to his autism. He's not been officially diagnosed as ODD but he would meet the criteria. Again, he is like this (or used to be - he's amazing, now) because our way of handling him was actually making him worse, he was not getting the right care (for him). What we were doing - it would have been right for a 'normal' kid, but for him - we had to change. When we changed, he did a lot better. So I looked at the new methods and realised - I could do that with easy child kids just as easily.

    IQ testing - make sure you get a copy of the sub-scores, all those separate tests which then get averaged out to give a final IQ score. They can be very helpful in finding ways to help the child. Any large differences in sub-score tests can point to areas where the child could need remedial help. Any high score areas show the child's gifts which would benefit form being encouraged.

    Sometimes when sub-scores get averaged, and all teachers or parents are given is the overall IQ score, it can give you a false impression that she is doing well for a kid with that score. As in, "Your child is doing well at school really, for a kid who is only a little above average." (we actually got told this, about both difficult child 1 and difficult child 3). In actuality, as in difficult child 3's case, the sub-scores showed very low test results in some areas and very high in others. Since a child cannot 'fake' a false high result, the higher scores indicate the child's true abilities if only there were no learning problems.
    So instead of a slightly above-average child who is doing well, you could have (as we have had) a child who is very bright but learning-disabled; a child who is frustrated with himself and others for failing to help, who is really struggling in some areas (and would benefit from coaching or remedial assistance) and who could become a real behaviour problem if nothing is done.

    In difficult child 1's case, a low sub-score in Coding, for example, eventually signposted to the child's vision problems which were easily remedied with specs. He had other problems too, but each one could at least be helped, with an eventual improvement in his performance.

    Your child is difficult with you but not others - she knows you love her, she feels safe with you and she can't hold it in ALL the time. It's a common problem.

    If you can, get your husband to lurk here or post here. Mine does, it has made a big difference in so many ways.

    And don't rule out the high-functioning autism or related conditions - the "not a cuddler" is interesting. And she is still very young. At least Asperger's could still be a possibility, as well as the sensory issues you describe and the extreme interest in some things (like Hannah Montana). But don't be spooked by the possibility of Asperger's - she is who and what she is already, and in this world are some amazing Aspies. To read more, look up just about anything written by Tony Attwood.


  15. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Can you tell us a little more about her sensitivities? You mentioned to socks, shoes, and shirts. Is it pretty extreme with her? Is she extremely particular about foods as well? How about overly sensitive to lights or sounds or crowds?

    I live with this at our house and you can't imaginge how much it can impact a child.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think we are putting down doctor's diagnoses. I can't imagine anyone trying to diagnose these kids themselves...we just aren't qualified to do it. And most of us have more than one evaluation because new symptoms tend to appear as the child gets older, but a "working diagnosis" is a good place to start.
    I would be leery of any professional who wants to try therapy first without even knowing what is wrong. In general, that doesn't help kids who are severe enough for parents to post here. Therapy can help, but not in of itself. You really do need to know the "label" so you know how to deal with your child. Then you can get help in school and the community and this can be the difference between a good and bad prognosis for kids like ours. Good luck :)