Hi Newbie here. Venting hoping for advice/commiseration

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Trix, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Trix

    Trix New Member

    My difficult child is driving me mad. EVERYTHING is a battle all the time. She is aggressive,unorganized and seems to be getting harder to handle everyday. I have an appointment to take her to get tested at the end of April I am just so tired and that seems so far away. We have tried everything. Bribery, Charts, rewards, elimination diets, Clonidine makes her sleepy but that is all it seems to do, more activities, less activities. her room is bare aside from her bed and a single toy right now, time-outs, Spankings My husband spanks it causes us to argue and she just screams louder kick her door harder and the tantrum lasts for another 45 minutes.

    We had to leave church this morning because she kept sneaking out of Sunday school and then was being disruptive so I could not keep her with me I finally gave up and we came home. Where she proceeded to have 3 meltdowns each lasting over an hour, two of those involved throwing herself at the door,kicking the door spitting, making herself drool and screaming at the top of her lungs, my husband spanked her which increased the volume of the screaming and changed the door kicking to laying in the floor beating the floor with hands and feet then getting on the bed and screaming while biting/chewing her comforter. Friday night she slipped out of the building during cheer-leading awards/celebration and went outside in the parking lot alone in the dark and the rain. Saturday evening she refused to participate in her final cheer-leading/game and after a meltdown we left. We had to run by the consignment shop where she peed on herself and in the floor which did not seem to bother her at all as she ever so nonchalantly walks up to me to tell me she peed all over herself and the floor, I had to purchase new pants and change her so we could go home without getting her booster wet. We don't have a diagnosis yet . The school has been very helpful but I feel for her poor teacher whom she loves but seems bent on driving crazy. I am at my wits end and sat in the church nursery today and cried after they told me they just can't handle her in the Sunday school class .
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Hi Trix, glad you found us, sorry you had to. What kind of specialist is testing her? Has she been allergy tested as well? Allergies can also aggravate existing conditions.
    Traditional parenting methods often don't work with difficult children, and every kid is different, so you'll have to try many things to find what does work for her.
    I'd also suggest reading The Explosive Child by Ross Greene, it's good starting material for understanding how to work with her.
    Is she in school yet? If so, does she have an IEP?
  3. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    Welcome to our corner of the World Wide Web. I used to spank difficult child, but I stopped doing it because it did nothing except escalate things. I would spank him and his meltdown would just get worse. I don't know if your husband will listen to you about that, but I would definitely stop spanking her. I understand that he is probably trying to parent the way that he was parented, but it does not work with your daughter and only seems to be making thing worse.

    Yuppie signature says that she's five. Did she start school this past September? Has she always been difficult, or is this something that has changed as she got older?
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi, Trix. Count me in as one who would stop the spanking. Even though it seems like she is doing all these things on purpose just to bug you, she isn't. Obviously something is wired differently in her brain and she can't help her anger and acting out. Hitting her will just amp it up.

    Is this your biological child, you and hub? Did she have a chaotic very early life (infancy, toddlerhood?). Were her milestones on time? How does she relate to her same age peers?

    On the parenting side, first of all, I'd take her to a neuropsychologist. Some professionals just don't test as well or as thoroughly as other ones do and I'm afraid that if you go to the wrong one YOU may be blamed for this and it's not your fault. Secondly, since she is so difficult, it may be necessary, until she can get under some control, for you to make some concessions and changes to your lifestyle. When my son was very young and very active and would run off or disappear one of us would stay home with him if we were going places he could get lost or run off in or just disrupt our enjoyment. I didn't go to the fireworks for three years because he was terrified of the loud noise, and that was ok. It wasn't his fault that he was afraid. Your little one's sucking on things reminds me of sensory disorders, which usually co-exist with other childhood disorders. My son used to suck his shirt until it was soaking wet halfway down.

    Back to parenting, I would not force your child to go to places that set her off, even though it is an inconvenience to you not to go. It is probably hard for her to be in a crowd or a group and it is useless to pretend that she is just like everyone else's child because she's not and that makes us have to moderate our lives. Hopefully she will see a good professional who can help you with her. I recommend, while you wait for the evaluation, reading "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. And please try to talk your husband into not spanking her. One day she may just slap him back and nothing will be gained.j

    Gentle hugs and stay in touch!
  5. Trix

    Trix New Member

    She has been allergy tested and only has seasonal allergies she takes Zyrtec as needed for them. She is in school and has an IEP for speech but they want to end speech now that she is doing so much better with it. She is supposed to see a child psychiatrist that specializes in Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity, Anxiety and Depression.
  6. Trix

    Trix New Member

    I feel like spanking does just escalate things. the whole situation is putting a lot of stress on our marriage because of our differing views on how to handle it. I'm very much an AP type of parent and he is very "old school" . She did start school this year and she loves it but has a lot of issues at school as far as sitting still, waiting her turn, talking out of turn, clinging on the teacher, climbing on tables and chairs etc.. She is very smart they think probably above her grade level but it is impossible to make her "test" so you can't really get an exact idea of where she is. She started talking at 9 months then regressed and stopped talking until we started speech therapy, she has always been very clingy and dramatic, she is also very loving but seems to lack the understanding that her behavior can negatively effect other people. She loves to hug on people but doesn't really have much empathy for other peole I don't really know how to explain it. She has been a very intense child since she was just a baby.
  7. Trix

    Trix New Member

    She is our biological child and her early life was fairly average. She has always been very intense and difficult to manage but very sweet and loving. She was late or behind in speech, She sat up a little late but still within normal time, she skipped from scooting to walking ad never crawled. She does not do very well with peers she prefers adults or older children. The difficult thing is she wants to go places and it is just a matter of setting her off by refusing to take her or risking something will set her off at the place. She actually saw leaving church as a punishment even when I explained that we could stay if she could calm down. She wanted to stay but could not seem to stop the tantrum or the chanting long enough to be able to and that just upset her that much more.

    She already hits back she is very aggressive she regularly hits,kicks or scratches us and her older sibling. Unusually enough she is very good with the baby and very gentle. It is all very confusing and frustrating.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    This child has challenges - and you don't know what they are.
    A comprehensive evaluation can help define some of these challenges. neuropsychologist or child behavioural/developmental team out of a childrens hospital, etc. are usually more comprehensive.
    Not all of these cover off the Occupational Therapist (OT) perspective - you might want to get that done separately. An Occupational Therapist (OT) can evaluate for sensory and motor skills issues, she could have both. Occupational Therapist (OT) report will be useful to comprehensive evaluator. Plus, Occupational Therapist (OT) has interventions, accommodations and therapies that help.

    Did anyone mention "The Explosive Child" yet?
    Lots of us have made good use of the book. It's a different perspective and alternative approach to handling kids with challenges.
  9. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    At what age did she start speech therapy? Has autism been suggested? Sounds a lot like my child at that age. He was diagnosis'd with ADHD and ODD. I would bet there are some sensory issues involved (for your daughter as well as my son).

    Did you say what type of evaluation you have in April?


    Hi Trix - My story with difficult child has been almost identical to yours. Turns out, he's on the Autistic Spectrum. After years of going through this (and right now - we're not in a great space) - I truly believe they have very little - no control over the meltdowns once they start. I do want to tell you what our new therapist told me last week - which NO ONE has ever said to me in the eight years we have been seeking help - each time a meltdown happens, Cortisol is released and this can have many damaging affects on the brain. She is sending us to a neurologist. As far as your husband...he sounds like mine. The spankings aren't working. They're not going to. It just makes the situation worse. After YEARS my husband is finally starting to get that this is not flagrant disrespect...it is a condition. Our marriage has taken a huge hit from all of this. One of the things that happened is I would protect my son from spankings and verbal rants from my husband and so it became like me and difficult child "against" husband which wasn't good either. My difficult child is much better with younger children and adults than he is with peers. I was just talking to husband last night about making his room almost like a "padded" room because last night he was threatening to stab himself with a pencil. Right now, we're going through a very aggressive time again: holes in walls, doors, etc. I'm sorry if I'm all over the place here...my thoughts are very scattered right now...that's one reason I haven't been posting...it's hard for me to get a sentence together. You are DEFINITELY in the right place.
  11. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Wow! Same here!! Have you had any Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluations?
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi trix! Welcome!

    I agree, a comprehensive evaluation with a neuropsychologist or through a child development clinic would be best. Just a common issue that if she is evaluated in the mental health system the diagnosis could focus more on the behaviors and kids often get anxiety, ODD, intermittent explosive disorder, etc and an adhd diagnosis. While these may be true for some, they are also symptoms of bigger "umbrella " conditions like autism and the treatment is quite different. Sometimes its hard to tell but if seriously trying behavior modification charts and rewards, consequences kinds of programs doesnt work, theres probably something else. It usually isn't due to family problems but of course family problems can complicate things. If not an umbrella diagnosis. There can also be some subtle or less well known things complicating the picture like sensory integration disorder, fine or gross motor problems, auditory or visual processing problems .....it takes a while to sort out but a good place to start is a neuropsychologist. They are especially trained to connect behavior with how our brains work.

    I hope your hubby will be willing to read the explosive child too. She is young, so another book is what your explosive child is trying to tell you by Doug Riley . It talks a little more about younger kids but both are good.

    Take care! Trust your gut! It's true, undoing the aggression is hard enough but if she is receiving it, it will be very difficult to eliminate.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Trix!

    I agree with-the others here--she needs more testing, no more spankings, and a much more reliable schedule. Especially sleep.

    I hope you can get your husband on board to stop the spanking. If it doesn't work, why keep doing it? Is he just angry or what?

    When you said she skipped crawling, I wanted to let you know that my son is "Aspie-lite" and he didn't crawl much--maybe one day--and right now we are making up for lost time by taking him to an NILD class. They do really, really basic stuff that sort of imitates the cross-crawl that he missed, so that he can incorporate both sides of his brain, instead of just running on extra electrical stimulation in the frontal lobe, which is your basic ADHD. So they have him doing huge figure 8's on a chalkboard, both vertically and horizontally, starting from one point, and then doing it the other way around, and then once he gets that down pat, they do math problems while he's doing the figure 8's. They also do motifs, which look like cursive letter "L" or a Greek pattern, and they have to fit on a line that is about 2 ft wide, and he has to stand directly in front of it. No leaning.
    It sounds simple but I cannot tell you how much progress he has made. And it really washes over into other areas of his life.

    In regard to the meltdowns, clonidine helped us, too, and also, Concerta. We have to give it at 6 a.m. if not earlier so it will wear off in time for him to eat dinner. Otherwise, he won't eat much at all.
    And of course, therapy has helped, too. One thing he liked to do was raise his voice and back me into a corner, which didn't go over well, since I'm claustrophobic, and I'd panic and yell back, and sometimes he'd pin my arms. We did a lot of work with that!
    I've had to call the police a cpl times, too. When you call, you want to be sure to tell them it's a kid with-a diagnosis so they send over the right people.

    Lots more but I have to go. I think we have a book page here somewhere. I would recommend you look those over and read a few. One would be What Your Defiant Child is Trying to Tell You, another would be Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight.
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I just did a quick search to find the name of the PT that many schools use now in kindergarten, and it's not actually PT, it's standard fare for preschoolers, where you touch your elbow to your opposite knee, etc. and I came across a blog that poo-poohs the notion of needing cross-crawl at all.
    All I can say that our NILD is working! It does not involve cross-crawl, but similar concepts. Kids like ours definitely use their frontal lobes too much, that is a fact. I think the blog I found was written only for regular kids.
    Anyway, someone here might recall what the name of those sets of exercises are.
  15. Trix

    Trix New Member

    We had the first part of her Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation and go back Wednesday for the second part.
  16. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Awesome, I hope they offer you ideas and help!
  17. IT1967

    IT1967 Member

    My husband has never spanked my kids, but he can be very loud and yell when things get out of control (I have done it too, but not nearly to the extent husband did). Since the kid have started medications, that problem has been practically eliminated. But I wonder what the effect of all that yelling was on my kids when they were younger. It caused a lot of disagreements between my husband and I. I wish I had started with-the counsellor and evaluations sooner than last year. But it is what it is, and we're just trying to move forward. I hope you can get some answers quickly. I've way cut back on commitments for my kids. It makes me sad because I see all these other friends with-their normal kids doing all kinds of things we just can't do with-our children. That's just the way it is for us for the moment. Things have improved since starting the medications, but by no means are perfect.
  18. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

  19. Trix

    Trix New Member

    I got another email today from her teacher. (This is pretty standard for us)

    Mrs. M, I am having a several issues with (KitKat) this morning. Has anything changed? She is off task, out of seat, talking out of turn, acting very silly, non-compliant, and non-verbal at times.

    Any suggestions?

    Mrs. T
  20. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You need to figure out WHY.
    Did you ever ask her?