Frustrations and other things

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Cardigangirl, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. Cardigangirl

    Cardigangirl New Member name is Dena. I am new to this forum. Joined because I have a difficult child who is 10 years old and a easy child who is 9.
    My husband is a submariner in the USNavy and is often deployed. We are stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. My DEX lives in Ohio
    with his new family and doesn't have much interaction with my difficult child or my easy child. I was diagnosed ADD as a child and had grown out of it in early adulthood. There is small history for everyone.

    Now daughter, difficult child, is ADHD/ODD...and I have anxiety issues...( wonder why ) and it is so difficult for me to
    really try and big the healthy mom sometimes. Being alone on a rock far away from home is hard to maintain sanity with a difficult child. Very hard. I get little to zero help with her and get thrown back and forth in the Naval Residential Treatment Center (RTC)/Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) system and have even tried loal...non military system as well. It seems many of these psychiatric docs seem to be completely oblivious to children with these disorders and are unable to give parents the right tools for management. I have at times thought I was going to loose my mind with this battle and still feel so 90% of the time. I try and maintain sanity, but it is so hard. i feel alone, basically. I have been given diagnoses for her...saying she is just ADD or she is bipolar. Which is completely absurd! She never ever goes though depression...ever. so how can soemone say she is bipolar? seriously. I ahve no friends for support in this matter..nothing. My husband , when he is home and not at sea, instills strict discipline and order, which seems to help. I am just drained. I cannot do follow his lead. I know I am not alone and am so glad to have found this group.

    One more thing...has anyone ever thought that ADHD/ODD is VERY similar to autism? I have been doing alot of research at night, since I have a hard time sleeping...and have noticed more similarities than differences between autistic children and ADHD/ODD children. I wonder if the same medications would work for both? Just a thought.

    Thanks for reading this. I have no where else to turn.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome.
    My son, who is on the high functioning autism spectrum, was first diagnosed with ADHD/ODD then bipolar (both were wrong). What is it that you see? Let me ask you a few questions?

    First of all, who diagnosed your child and has she ever seen a neuropsychologist? I didn't "get" the bipolar diagnosis. either as my son never acted depressed, and he wasn't bipolar, but he also wasn't ADHD. Grrrrrrrrrr. Spectrum kids need interventions to do well in life. Stimulants alone will not help them. Some of the spectrum kids can't tolerate stims and get extra-wild. If your child seems "spectrumy" it would be a good idea to look into it.

    How was her early development--speech, eye contact, cuddling, imaginative play, did she play well with toys, ever line things up, ever do any arm flapping or strange gestures, and was she always socially appropriate with her peers? Can she transition well or does that send her into a rage? Does she seem clueless or like she doesn't "get it?"

    Any psychiatric problems on either side of the family tree beyond ADD? Anything that MAY have been beyond ADD, but just wasn't diagnosed?

    Others will come along too. I recommend getting a neuropsychologist evaluation. They are better than evaluations from other professionals...far more intensive and accurate.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome-love the name! Glad you found us but sorry you had to. The good thing is by finding us you are no longer alone! You will find amazing support here!

    My difficult child is 11 and is ADHD and Bipolar. He never goes through what I typically think of as depression. From what I've read depression in children often comes out as anger.

    I agree with MWM that a neuropsychologist evaluation is a good idea!

    Again, Welcome!:)
  4. Cardigangirl

    Cardigangirl New Member

    Thank you both for your replies to my thread. My difficult child was diagnosed ADHD by one doctor and ADD by another doctor and then Bipolar by yet another. Now I have been with her during these Psychiatric visitits and have noticed the actualy amount of information and observation is limited and seemingly insincere and unintelligent, in one case. I have a bit of knowledge about this field, I have a background in Psychology, so I do have an understanding how these visits should go. Though I have never taken her to a neuropsychologist, just several adolescent behavioral psychiatric's. I will go down that avenue, thank you for the mention.

    My difficult child's behavior from infancy was delicate to say the least. I breastfed both my children, immediately from the beginning she was excessive in her feeding behaviors. The nurses in my recoop room from delivery stated " my she is a little baracuda!" with her nursing habits. Very hard to nurse and as she grew aware of her surroundings..within a month after birth, would be easily distracted from her feedings from the slightest noicse, it was quite frustrating. ( my easy child, born 15 months later exhibited normal breastfeeding behavior and was as typical as the rest of my friends babies seemed to be ) I know it is quite unfair to compare both, but I do. My difficult child had a VERY difficult time with naptime and bedtime. Crying for long periods of time ( not colicky...doctors even agreed ) just because she was refusing to be put down. Even with a little more cuddle time...still throwing huge fits about being put down for the night. Again, my two children acting completely opposite this. My difficult child has always had ZERO impulse control and has always been defiant towards anyone telling her what to do, when she doesn't want to do it.

    She really never exhibited any "different" behaviors, as a baby and child. She was good otherwise. Then the sibling jealousy came along when she started noticing mommy's babay bump, but nothing out of the norm for sib jealousy. She and my son are both very close and are often reffered to as her behavior issues, though, with other children, are a way different matter. She, as I said perviously, has zero impulse control, she is hyper and is bossy. Often gets her feelings hurt too easily from other kids, even when they apologize,( ie...knocking her over while playing, by accident...) she remains upset. She defies EVERY bit of instruction I give her, when I get onto her. My tone remains calm and I keep eye contact, I try not to yell...sometimes I do. BUT, nevertheless...she adamntly defies by facial or CONSTANT arguing...and I mean constant. She will yell and rarely gets upset enough to cry, but when she does cry over an argument, it is because she lost it. She still throws fits in her room when she does not get her way. Teachers constantly complain about her and she has no desire to learn.
    She also has thoughts, soemtimes, that she wants to harm her brother, for no reason in particular. She usually turns the thoughts around and hugs him and she knows it is bad to think those things. When she gets mad, she will go toher room and bite herself, she states she does this because she is so mad.

    It has just gotten worse the older she has gotten. It is hard for me to remember her age of 10, when she has the body of a 14 year old. Very hard, I have to remember she has issues and is just 10.

    I am sick of the misdagnoses from psychs that are not taking the time to really find out what is wrong with her. The drugs she has been given to take

    Quickly, mental background..NO ONE in our family has bipolar, I have done a study and found this out. Our family, both mine and the DEX's is ADD, ADHD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Anxiety disorders, addictions ( both alocohol and drugs ). That is about it.

    Thank you guys for your support
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Welcome! I don't have much extra time this morning so this will be a short post. I agree with having full neuropsychologist testing done. Then, I would also suggest arranging for an MDE at a children's hospital with a good psychiatric staff- of course, they should review the test results as well as consider all other aspects.

    Hang in there! There are great people here!
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    G'day, Dena.

    You said, "One more thing...has anyone ever thought that ADHD/ODD is VERY similar to autism? I have been doing alot of research at night, since I have a hard time sleeping...and have noticed more similarities than differences between autistic children and ADHD/ODD children. I wonder if the same medications would work for both? Just a thought."

    Increasingly, a number of experts are thinking that ADHD is actually somewhere on the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) scale. YOu're not the first to think of it.

    Like MWM, my older son was first diagnosed as ADHD (never got the bipolar label, though). He wasn't diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) (Asperger's) until he was about 15, the same time (same doctor) who diagnosed difficult child 3 as autistic (also Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)).
    Both have ADHD as well.
    Their sister (in the middle) was diagnosed ADD but he said she "shows some traits of Asperger's" but not enough for a diagnosis. Increasingly, we think she would now meet the criteria for Asperger's.

    A suggestion - we recommend you avoid anything which identifies your child. Hence - our codes. It also leaves you freer to speak your mind and to vent, when necessary, without anybody you're venting about being able to track your posts. For example, I had a lot of complaints about the education department in our region, as well as a few teachers. And I KNOW that the teachers in our school, at least, were tracking everything I wrote where they could. By keeping anonymous I was able to prevent them reading my posts here.

    Back to your issues - you are no longer alone. We're here. You probably already deal with time zone stuff, living in Hawaii. It's an even bigger issue here - other people on this site are going to bed as I'm getting up, and vice versa. So there will always be someone here on this site you can dump on! You & I are only two hours (and a day) apart, so we can be on at similar times.

    The suggestion of seeing a neuropsychologist is a good one. Not an option for us in Australia, but I hear good things about it in the US.

    In the meantime there are things you can do, starting NOW.

    1) Get a copy of "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. There is also some discussion of this book in Early Childhood, if you want to see how others on this site discuss it and how to apply the methods to younger children. This book is not a cure, it's a way of managing as parents. You are having trouble at the moment which indicates that whatever you are doing, it's not working like it should. There are good reasons for this, which will become clear when you read the book. Or you can pick people's brains more specifically. For now - it's quickest just to direct you to the book first!

    2) You mentioned in another thread (I DO pay attention - sometimes, anyway) that you're having trouble with schools and teachers. Check out the Special Education forum and pick THEIR brains if you need to. They're good.

    3) Your daughter sounds like a sad, confused and very bright girl. She is caring, loving and wants to please you, but doesn't know how because the world is a confusing place that doesn't follow the rules. (These are the rules she has worked out to describe what she observes and has analysed). "Not wanting to learn" just doesn't seem right. There is something very wrong with this picture, and I think your comment that the teachers just don't "get" her is a big part of the problem. I suspect she DOES want to learn but things are getting in the way badly, and this is adding to her frustration and self-loathing. The anxiety - it often goes hand in hand with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), along with sensory issues, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), social problems etc. Not all Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids have these problems and not all kids with these problems have Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). There is a fair bit of overlap, though.

    There are a lot of things about your daughter that you will be able to use to turn things around. But you need to go about it differently, and it will be frustratingly tedious for you at times. But once you find yourself making progress I think you will begin to actually enjoy the process and find there are many things to delight in, with your kids.

    In other words - once you get the knack (and work out what the trick is) you will find that although it's hard work, it is rewarding.

    You say you've got a background in psychology - then you understand that we can't diagnose here, we can only talk about things as parents to parents. But for something to think about (certainly not diagnostic) - have a look at, look for their online Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) checklist. Run the test, see how the kids score. See how you score too, if you like. While you can't prove anything with this test, it can be helpful and you can also print it out and take it to show a doctor, if you wish. It would give a doctor some idea of the issues concerning you.

    Oh, you asked about ADHD medications and whether they help with autistic kids - stims definitely help my kids. The difference in them is almost magic. But it isn't so for all Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids.

    Very much a case of "su ck it and see".

    One last bit of advice - try to not get into battles with her, because when you clash you risk losing. Instead, try to work around a problem. See her as someone really wanting to do the right thing but just not knowing how. Don't see her as a deliberately defiant kid. She has her reasons, even if they only make sense to her. Listen to her, find out what her reasons are and find out what she is interested in (or obsessed with?) and use that as your starting point with her.

    Do the same with your son. If this is Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in any form, this should help. If it's something else, it shouldn't hurt, at least not in the short term.

    Keep good notes on what the problems are, what the good things are and anything else. Document everything. (I keep a diary on the computer and back it up).

    There are so many things I could tell you but I would only overload you. Others here could tell you even more. But there's plenty of time yet.

    I hope this helps get you started.

  7. KateM

    KateM Member

    Hi and Welcome, Cardigangirl!

    My difficult child was initially diagnosis as ADD( at age 5) and then was diagnosis with Aspergers at age 14. There are alot of overlapping symptoms. As such, there is treatment that can be helpful to both diagnosis. Structure is important to kids with these diagnosis Knowing what to expect and helping with transitions is also good for these kids.

    I agree with the other posters-- getting a good evaluation will point you in the right direction. Also, reading really helps me. A book many have found helpful, as Marg has recommended, is "The Explosive Child".

    Posting and reading this site should really be beneficial, too! It's a supportive place! Glad to have you with us!
  8. Cardigangirl

    Cardigangirl New Member

    Thank you for your message Kate!

    Marg, thank you for all the information. I truly enjoyed reading it and found somethings to be interesting. I edited my difficult child's & easy child's name out of my last post, thank you for letting me know that.

    I will definitely get the book and look up the site you mentioned. You hit my difficult child's behavior on the nail. She does experience everything you talked about. I know I need to maintain a certain amount of grace with her and even though it is difficult for me, at times, it is something I am striving to do. I do document her behavior almost daily. I do this to bring up points of behavioral interest and change, for when I do see her psychiatric. I am looking forward to this new one and will have more information to give.

    Thank you so much!
  9. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    My 11 yr old son was diagnosed with severe anxiety last fall. He displayed part of what your daugher is going through. He chews on his shirt sleeve (or even mine) at times. We have given him gum to chew (has permission to chew at school) when he feels like chewing.

    The main thing of similarity was the feelings of harming. My difficult child had impulses to harm himself. At the center of our trouble his body had told him to jump from the third floor balcony at the Mall of America. Like your daughter, he did not want to harm anyone, even himself. He was able to stop himself but was so upset about it I had to take him down to ground level and outside to calm him down.

    It is a blessing that your daughter can tell you what is happening - I wonder how many kids who do harm themselves or others never felt comfortable asking for help about these thoughts and they finally got too strong?

    My son finally begged for help - these thoughts of self harm were starting to point toward actions that could kill him (like wanting to open the car door on the freeway). He was admitted to a psychiatric hospital and put on Flouxatine (Prozac) and Clonazepam. These are not right for all kids but worked like magic for my son. We are now taking him off the Clonazepam which is meant as a short term medication. At first I saw problems with withdrawing but we slowed down the cut back rate and he is doing great.

    The psychiatric hospital and his psychiatrist have given him coping skills to help him keep these impulses at bay. He is doing very well with these.

    As I said, my son has only part of what your daughter is experiencing. However, I do know and feel the frustration of a child who seems to defy everything. I think when a child has as much going on as yours does, anything introduced, even a chore, can be overwhelming. As Marguerite stated, she is not trying to be defiant. I think she is just having a hard time adjusting or figuring out how the new item will fit into her world. "But if I do this now, I will miss out watching the t.v. show" These kids may already have the agenda for their day planned in their minds and when you add something, it is just too hard to meet their own plans and add yours also. I feel like that at work somethimes when the tasks come pouring in and I feel I don't have enough time to meet all the deadlines.

    10 years old is a good age to start including her in planning. Sit down with her to plan the day - she may need it in writing - include free times that she gets to choose what to do ("I'm going to clean the kitchen from 9:00 am - 9:30 am, do you want to help me with that or would you rather play a game with your brother? At 9:30, I would like you to help me with the laundry and then at 10:00 we will have a snack. After that, you get to plan what you want to do until 11:00." She may enjoy writing a schedule on a poster board. Get different color markers.

    It sounds like she is a good big sister - praise her for that and point out that it is so helpful to have such a caring big girl in the house. Maybe at night after the little brother is put to bed, you sit down with her to plan the next day or just have a snack and girl talk.

    I hope you find some answers soon. The right diagnosis is a biggy and others on board will know more about the medications than I do.
  10. Christy

    Christy New Member

    You've gotten some great advice so far and I have nothing newto add but I wanted to offer my support. I'm glad you are here. You will find that this forum is a wealth of information as well as a great place to vent our frustrations. Good luck finding the evaluations and interventions you need for your daughter.

  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Welcome CardiganGirl! I am so glad you found us. Sorry you needed to, but glad you are here, nonetheless.

    Just in case you didn't understand the term, MDE (see klmno's post) is a multi-disciplinary evaluation. There is info on these on the FAQ/Board Help forum. It is a team of professionals (docs and others) who all evaluate your child and then work together to figure things out. If you are lucky, a neuropsychologist is included in the team. We were lucky enough to have this, but many here were not. That is why most here recommend the neuropsychologist seperately. Neuropsychs (good ones) do 10-12 or more hours of testing, broken up over several days. We found the MDE (with a neuropsychologist) at the developmental pediatrician's office. This is rare. Usually an MDE is found at a major university or children's hospital.

    Also found in the FAQ/Board Help section of this site is a thread on Parent Report or Parent Input. I forget which it is called. It is a way to organize info about your daughter so that the docs will "get it". I found it to be amazingly helpful, as have others. It should NOT be tackled in one session, you really need several to do it justice. If you have a doctor appointment sooner than that, be brief on each section and fill in more info later. One of the most important parts of this report, for me, was the photo. I got a bunch of little photos about 1" by 1 1/2" from the school that were stickers. I used these throughout the report, at each section beginning and in the middle of long sections, so that the docs would remember WHICH child they were learning about. Heck, I find it useful in stuff I give to my docs now! Anyway, wanted to let you know this was in there - it might help give a more complete view of your daughter to the doctors.

    I know how hard it is to remember they are just little girls when their bodies look so much older. My 12yo could be taken for (and HAS been taken for) over 18! It is alarming, but is what it is. Working to remember how young they are really does help increase patience for me.

    Another thing that helped me was learning to tell the signs at the beginning of when I was getting angry. Physical signs like clenching my teeth, etc... I found it in a book called Look Out, Mom's Gonna Blow, or something like that. It was a Christian book, but was not strictly bible based or any specific brand of religion other than Christian. Learning how to tell when I was starting to become very angry was incredibly helpful - it let me manage myself, after that I could better handle my son when he was getting angry.

    I think most of us here were first given the ADHD diagnosis for our kids. Our first psychiatrist explained Asperger's as having ADHD as a symptom, though it was written down separately to increase the access to services and funding. But most of us, no matter what diagnosis we end up with, start off with ADHD.

    The Explosive Child is great at helping parent our kids. It is a different way of looking at parenting, but is incredibly helpful. Marg is also very very helpful at letting us see how our kids think, which helps us handle how they act. She just is able to open a window into how the kids think, I am always amazed by her ability to do this. I get a lot less mad (and yell a lot less) when I "get" the why behind my kids' actions.

    The other thing I want to mention here (before I write a book at you, LOL!) is the possiblity of sensory issues. Have you heard of Sensory Integration Disorder? It is when the brain can't process all the input from the senses. From my understanding, the first technique thing that is recommended to help a child with sensory issues is a full evaluation by an occupational therapist. The schools may do an evaluation by an Occupational Therapist (OT), but it rarely gives the full picture. A private Occupational Therapist (OT) will do a much better job. Then they teach you about brushing your child. this is done over or under clothes with a very soft brush, like a surgical scrub brush. It is simple, but amazing. DO NOT DO THIS with-O TRAINING BY AN Occupational Therapist (OT)!!! If you brush certain areas, or don't follow the procedure properly, it can create more problems. Brushing the stomach, for example, can create problems throughout the digestive tract. So training is important. But WOW! my youngest quit having major tantrums and outbursts when we started the brushing. He also was happy, so much less anxious, and amazingly calm. I used it on my daughter (who had PTSD) after I was trained and the Occupational Therapist (OT) said that as long as I did it properly it would not hurt her and I didn't need a separate session for her. It really helped with her anxiety and panic attacks.

    Anyway, glad you are here, I hope to see you around often!

  12. Cardigangirl

    Cardigangirl New Member

    Susie, thank you for all the info. I will bring alot of it up at her psychiatric appointment coming up soon. You mentioned brushing..VERY interesting...I am
    a masseuse, so of course, when you mentioned that it hit home. I know in massage, there are limitations and no goes when it comes to certain type of people...people who are subject to stroke and/or have had a recent stroke , active cancer patients ..these types we cannot massage because it could further agitate their illness and/or cause death. I am assuming "brushing" , like massage, has to do with the circulatory system...which of course is in line with the nervous system. I always massage my children and they both get so calm...sometimes fall asleep.
    I started it from infancy to present. My difficult child really gets still and quiet when I massage her back or play with her hair. I will definitely look into this "brushing" technique and get with a pro on this. THANK YOU!
  13. Cardigangirl

    Cardigangirl New Member

    Adrianne, thank you for your reply. I gained EXTREME anxiety from my divorce a few years back. My difficult child was born with issues...I know divorce can greatly impact easy child's....much less difficult child's. My difficult child has a hard time with change, I would not even doubt the fact that she is suffering from anxieties. That is something to mention to the psychiatric as well. You know speaking of psychiatric's.....the three that I took her to did not do any tests that I know of. I will make sure this new one does this a little more thorough. I want results. Thank you so much!
  14. Cardigangirl

    Cardigangirl New Member

    klmno and Christy, thank you for your replies and show of support. I truly appreciate it!
  15. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    When my difficult child started seeing a psychologist, he had me, my husband, difficult child, and difficult child's teacher each fill out a survey. It was really interesting that he showed us how our views on certain things differ. My husband and teachers showed a difficult child as a higher level of anxiety than I did. He used this as a tool to start the treatment plan (and confirmed the psychiatric hospital diagnosis of anxiety).

    I also requested a test for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) which he did during one session to rule out that - difficult child was showing a possibility of scrupolosity. This came out negative.

    difficult child's medical doctor has also run a series of blood tests to not only find anything wrong but to create a base line - if certain medications are prescribed, doctor will need to keep an eye on certain things through blood tests.

    Our psychiatrist sends his report via the computer to difficult child's medical record that our medication doctor reviews for medication changes.
  16. Cardigangirl

    Cardigangirl New Member

    Thank you Adrianne , for your reply. My daughter's psychs never did any type of surveys or had blood tests run. I was completely unaware I could ask them to test her on different things. I thought I was supposed to leave that up to the pro on that. Thank you for the mention!