first major meltdown this week...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ksm, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Just when you think things are getting better... then the proverbial $h!t hits the fan. Last night easy child and difficult child asked to watch a movie. It was already 9pm but we said one movie, if it was about 1.5 hours long. I noticed the light on in the bedroom and confronted them that the movie should have been over. Turns out, after the first movie, they put in a second one. Made them turn it off and go to bed. Then this morning, they woke up and put in another movie and was watching it. Normally, staying up late on Friday wouldn't be a problem, but they had commitments at 9am this morning.

    I was upset, because for two days, they have been promising to clean their room. And for two days, they have been stuffing things every where, but where they belong. There was clean clothes all over the floor of the closet, dirty clothes squished in to the shelves of clean clothes, trash stuffed in the corners of the room, etc. Usually I would have ignored it - but on Wednesday, they begged for us to be a "temporary" home for an exchange student. It is just for 6 weeks, and it is something husband and I had done in the past (before we adopted the girls) There was one year where we did it for a year when we had already adopted the granddaughters - but it was 4 years ago. And it was before the major problems with difficult child began.

    Now I am kicking myself for agreeing to it. They have totally forgotten all they had promised to do to help with getting the house ready for the exchange student. Stupid me for thinking this would be a great motivator for them. The only positive thing I have to look forward to... is difficult child usually won't have a volcano level meltdown when someone else is around to watch it. It gets saved for me. At least husband was home this morning and had to help restrain her. Really the first time we had to do that.

    It seems the meltdowns only happen when we catch her in a lie. Then she starts yelling excuses why it wasn't her. When we don't buy in to her warped reasoning, she loses it. It feels like a major diversionary tactic. Like the time her little sis had "lost" 3 dollar bills after coming home from the pool. It is the next day and we still can't find it. difficult child starts getting defensive when we hadn't even accused of anything. I was to take them to the pool again, but first wanted to get to the end of the $3. difficult child goes and gets $3 from her stash and throws it at her sister tells her to stop whining about losing $3 - just take my money and shut up - and then demands to go to the pool. I explained I didn't want her $3... I just wanted to find out about easy child's $3. After about 20 minutes of not taking them to the pool - difficult child fesses up and says she found her sisters money in the dryer. OK... we had been looking for it for a day... and she had found the money... and still lets us think she knew nothing about it? Then the excuses starts... I didn't know it was hers... etc... So no swimming that day. And then she loses it big time and says we hate her, she shouldn't be alive, etc.

    Same thing today. Put my foot down and said before they could do other things, they had to sort their dirty clothes for the laundry. She starts getting mad, complaining that some clothes had more whites than color on it and easy child had put it in the wrong pile. It just kept escalating and easy child is asking her to stop ranting, it wasn't going to do any good, they would just get in more trouble, etc. But she just got out of control. Again. easy child is younger and picks up on peoples moods and the consequences. difficult child doesn't have a clue how her outburst is going to just make things worse not better. She screamed that she was going to find another family to live with. I told her I was to the point that if she could find someone - and they knew all about her behaviors and still wanted her - I would discuss it. I know I shouldn't have said that but I am so beat down I can hardly take anymore. But of course, we all take it - and stand ready for more.

    Now I am dealing with insurance saying that further testing is not indicated! How would they like to deal with her on a daily basis??? Gonna be a long weekend... KSM
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    So sorry ksm. difficult child doesn't like to get caught in lies and goes to great lengths, including crying, to convince me he's telling the truth. I can honestly say we have never had a major meltdown over it though. I consider myself lucky.

    Guess all I can do is send many supportive {{{{(((HUGS)))}}}}.
  3. keista

    keista New Member


    been there done that. Don't beat yourself up about it. Just the other night I actually called DD1 and idiot. Well, patience was gone, and she called me an idiot first, so I thought I'd try changing tactics. It did work for about 10 seconds - she couldn't believe I actually said it - but then she escalated some more.

    No advice, just ((((HUGS))))) and the knowledge you are not alone. Sounds very much like my girls. Instead of an exchange student, I've got a kitten dangling in front of mine, but they still don't do the things they need to do on a regular basis to get it.
  4. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the hugs Keista and TeDo. Sure needed them. KSM
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I know ins. says more testing is not indicated... but what if there were grounds for more testing through the school?
    Its so easy to get caught up in "the behavior is the problem" and miss subtle underlying problems - and I mean subtle - that drive these kids crazy. been there done that.
    1) ADD - we'll assume for now that the diagnosis is accurate... are medications well adjusted? or is she even on medications? (I don't remember if you said something earlier)

    2) To get this far in school and not get Learning Disability (LD) labels means these are not so likely. BUT... she could have:
    - an auditory processing problem - not language processing (that usually gets caught earlier), but issues with auditory focus, auditory filtering, etc. - this makes learning in a classroom exhausting and difficult - they perform worse than expected... turns out, they really don't know what is expected because they don't get the highly-verbal instruction that is part of school.
    - minor motor skills problems - if fine motor skills are affected but not gross skills, its not so obvious (kids with gross skills problems are "clumsy"). And its possible to be "reasonably able" to accomplish the task, but not in a timely manner nor repeatedly - so, for example, writing is either "low output", OR it gets done... but the kid is so brain-dead fromt he effort, that coping becomes difficult.
    - dysgraphia is one Learning Disability (LD) often NOT caught - they catch dyslexia because it affects both reading and writing, but dysgraphia affects only writing - and many teachers assume that if they can read, they can write.

    Other issues that you can work with at home... and/or with existing resources:
    - sleep issues (quality of sleep) - ADD kids are often affected, need (but hate) realy solid sleep routines
    - getting enough physical exercise - the answer is NOT team sports, but rather... activities tailored to the kid.
    - finding success... find something she loves and shows talent at, and support her in pursiing this... music, art, swimming, cooking, SOMETHING. Anything that helps her re-label herself as "successful" at something. It REALLY helps their attitude!
  6. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I take great exception to the statement that if LDs haven't been caught by now then she likely doesn't have them. At least in the US that is pure hogwash. MANY children are passed to the next level with no ability to do the work - students just are not kept back here esp if they have problems because the teachers don't want to deal with them and because the current mode of thinking says that holding them back will give bigger social problems and make things worse.

    There aer a LOT of Learning Disability (LD)'s that are NEVER caught. I know MANY people who had no clue they had Learning Disability (LD)'s until high school, college or in some cases grad school. My MOTHER is one of them. Heck, I have dyscalculia and dysgraphia and only learned of this after my son was diagnosis'd at age 9 or 10. I kept all my college notes until I realized that I cannot read ANY of them. In college if somoene wanted notes from me I would go and type them or use printing and copy them. If I didn't do it the same day that I had the class there was no hope because I could not read them - my own notes. Thankfully my memory keeps way more than i want it too so that a few key words would bring the ideas back to me. Otherwise I would not have gotten through college - the dysgraphia is that bad, esp after the arthritis and fibromyalgia weigh in (and tehy were active long before college).

    It sounds very much like Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) may be one of the issues you are dealing with. Even if it isn't, do all you can to avoid needing the truth from your difficult child. If there is a puddle on the floor, regardless if you know difficult child made it or not, try asking for them to help you clean it up. "I didn't do it - it wasn't me" will be said. THe response is that you didn't say they did, you just need them to help clean it up. There is a lady with some awesome youtube videos about this that were very helpful for me.

    One resource to get if you don't have it is "Parenting with Love and Logic" by Fay and Cline. I found it very very helpful as it used logical consequences and worked on strengthening the parent-child bond. You can learn about the various books that they have on their website - . Check out the teacher stuff too - some of it was helpful for me even though I wasn't homeschooling Wiz when I found it.

    Do you have a Parent Report? It is a document that you create to keep all the info/papers/etc... about difficult child in one place. Years ago some moms here wrote up the outline and it is super helpful wtih insurance appeals, docs, teachers, etc.... You can give the people you are working with copies of whatever sections they need and you have it all at hand at each appointment. The link in my sig will take you to the thread that explains the Parent Report and has the outline. It was the best tool I had in my arsenal when working to get help for my kids.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    There are quite a few issues that "tend" to go with ADD/ADHD - and are often not caught and/or not dealt with.
    In particular... you might want to look into these:

    - Working memory - the math issue really looks like it could be a working memory issue. If you don't have enough working memory, then memorization tasks are next to impossible. Does she have problems with other memorization tasks? (states and capitols, for example) If it affects multiple subjects (math, social studies, history, maybe english or a second language), assume this is an issue until ruled out by a professional. Toss it out to the school, too.

    - Executive Functions - the ability to initiate tasks, plan, organize, shift between tasks, inhibit (self-management), and so on. These issues alone, combined with the ADD diagnosis, qualify her for an IEP. These executive function issues are considered a "developmental delay". Most kids will eventually mature and develop at least reasonable levels of these skills, but not completely (thus the classical ADD disorganization picture...). These skills need to be taught and/or reinforced daily, PLUS allowances made for the fact that she is not "at grade level" in these skills. I don't know your system well enough to tell you HOW to get the IEP for this - but she definitely needs it.

    - reading at 2 grades higher means there's no way she has dyslexia. Doesn't sound like she has dysgraphia, either - without accommodations, she's scoring well on standardized testing. But that does NOT rule out dyscalcula - a learning disability to do with math. Has she ever been taught strategies for basic math rather than memorization? For example: 2x tables = doubling. 4x tables = double, then double again. The rule of 9s. 3x = triple, 6x = triple then double. You can cover most of the times tables with a handful of rules (I ended up memorizing exactly one cell on one times table... 7x7!) Some of these kids can give you the LOGIC for math problems - but can't do the actual math to get the right answer - might even be advanced compared to the rest of the class in finding strategy, but they don't get recognized for it. School needs to push the edges of her ability/disability with math.

    On a separate note - sounds like she's definitely still dealing with depression and/or anxiety issues. I'm guessing this will be secondary problems... i.e. caused by her background and/or abilities/disabilities mix (which is really hard on self-esteem). The psychiatrist who's dealing with her medications should be able to get to the bottom of the various source issues... OR you may need another specialist. But you will need to get to the bottom of it.

    I agree with Suzie that Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) may be another factor - radical attachment disorder. Even if it isn't full-blown Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), she probably has attachment issues. If so, this is definitely a factor in her depression/anxiety... and you will need to find ways to resolve this if you are going to get past the other issues.

    Also agree with Suzie on the Parent Report - "somebody" has to keep a master document going with ALL of the issues, what has been tried, why stuff didn't work, etc. The Parent Report is a good framework. The more YOU can document, lay out in detail, have YOUR case in black and white, the better prepared you are to get the support of schools and medical professionals. (Getting support of insurance is a whole different kettle of wax, I hear... we don't have that issue directly, but do have to find the right people to do referrals to other right people....!)

    As the ADD behaviors are a problem at school as well as at home, you might want to look at two more books...
    1) Driven to Distraction (E.Halloway) - I've heard there's an updated version coming out within weeks, but if you can get ANY version from the library, it would be a good start. The book is a very balanced discussion of ADD/ADHD right through life, with the positives as well as the negatives (yes there are positives).

    2) The Explosive Child - OR Lost In School. Both by the same author - you don't need to GET both. The first is a parent-perspective, and the second is a teacher-perspective, of the same material. For some kids, the different approach to problem solving works amazingly well. But even if the approach isn't "the" answer for this child, the discussion about hidden problems, what some of them are, and the impact they have, is really useful. Again, if you can, get it from the library first - if it resonates, if it seems to make sense for this child, THEN get the book. (We have both versions... so we can lend out Lost In School to the teachers without giving up our own version).