Introducing Myself

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by misskrystal, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. misskrystal

    misskrystal New Member

    Hello all!:D

    I just stumbled across this site last night looking for help with my oldest daughter. I will call her "Hayley".

    We don't have a diagnosis. Seems everyone is willing to tell me what she isn't, but not what she is. It's driving me insane. I have been dealing though, but this past weekend has given me a kick in the butt. Last Wednesday Hayley went to stay with her Grandma. This would be my mother in law. mother in law and I have always agreed something wasn't right. Ever since she was a baby she has been different. Well this weekend mother in law got the full dose that is "Hayley". Now she is sure we can't just let this go anymore. Hayley can't just do as she is told, she is always pushing. Now she doesn't do this with everyone. It used to be only me, but now it's grandma and me. I used to think it was just something to do with me. I wasn't sure what, but I couldn't understand why she would be that way with only one person.
    You tell her to stop, or if she knows it's a rule, she will break it and then occasionally she will point it out to you that she is doing it. Example. Grandma has never let her get on the counters. But this weekend she hopped up there and said, "Look Grandma, I am up here." She is 6 and I swear I can't trust her around anything. She climbs, jumps, etc. She has even jumped off the top bunk of our bunk beds!
    She is terrible to animals, and has to be supervised around them. I remember this spring seeing her grab a cat by it back legs and fling it into the air...:surprise:
    She cannot sleep. We have to give her Melatonin just to get her to somewhat sleep. Our other kids don't want anything to do with her. She breaks toys constantly, pulls stickers off, you name it.
    She also refuses to try in school. She is in first grade, and it's a battle to get her to do her work. She will swear she can't count backwards, no matter how many times you work with her.

    Well my mother in law says she thinks I deserve a nedal for doing this day in and day out. She knows husband doesn't help and she swears she can't imagine doing all of this. She had her from Wednesday night (no school thursday and friday) and normally wouldn't have sent her home until Sunday, but she said she couldn't do it any more.
    I think she may have ODD or CD but I don't understand much about the two. Thanks for listening to me, I am sure I will be here often, it seems as though I will find a shoulder to cry on here.:redface:
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Increasingly, I don't believe in ODD as a distinct diagnosis on its own, unconnected to anything except what is innate in the child.

    That's not to say that we don't endure what is described as ODD, but is it a specific, stand-alone diagnosis?

    I am not an expert, I emphasise here, so I will get off my soapbox. But I say this to give you hope - whatever is described as ODD, from what I have observed you have a good chance of turning it around.

    This also isn't about blame - if you try your best and fail to turn it around, do not bury yourself in guilt. Even if you discover you did things the wrong way - guilt will only slow you down and get in your way. if you truly want to help your child - shove guilt to the backburner and roll up your sleeves.

    Your mother in law sounds like a treasure. Welcome aboard to both of you.

    So now some suggestions - I wonder how you are telling her the rules. Some kids have a need to constantly test boundaries, so as soon as you define a boundary that have to see if they can surmount it. Life is a challenge, an adventure to be embarked upon with enthusiasm and energy, and rules for such people are there to be challenged. "You can't climb Mt Everest, it will never be done because you haven't got enough oxygen up there to breathe."
    But they did it.
    Interestingly, science fiction writer Isaac Asimov had written a short story about how alien beings lived at the top of Mt Everest and in various ways were preventing people from climbing it. Unfortunately for Asimov, the magazine that bought his story was delayed in publishing, so the story cam out a few weeks AFTER Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Everest. Asimov used to use this story to show what a disastrous predictor of the future he felt he was as a sci-fi writer, that he predicted Everest would never be climbed, AFTER it was achieved!

    But I digress. I'm good at that. And this is another facet of what you observe in your daughter - the attention span of a gnat, unless it's something she's vitally interested in or she has a quiet place to be, somewhere she is safe and knows well, to concentrate.

    Have a look at ADHD. We can't diagnose here, but that would be a good starting point. We also often recommend here that you try to arrange for a neuropsychologist appointment, to get her thoroughly assessed. That way you know what you are dealing with in terms of her capability, her intelligence, her deficit areas. Once you have some idea, then you know where and how to begin to help.

    The behaviour problems - you can begin NOW. Get a copy of "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It's like a bible for a lot of us. It's counter-intuitive but it gives you a different way of managing the kids, one that you might find easier and which has a chance of working.

    You read the book and use what you feel right with. But go through it all and think about your daughter.

    A good way to begin is to consider - she's basically a good kid who wants to please you, but who also wants to FIND OUT.

    Example: I was watching my 2 year old niece at a family barbecue. Niece was standing by the garden bed (a fair bit of clay in this soil) picking up a clod of earth, carrying it to the path and dropping it. She watched as it dropped, then walked back to the garden bed, picked up another clod of earth, carried it to the cement path and dropped this one too. Over and over she did this. Her mother called her to come and have lunch but the little girl acted as if she hadn't heard. Another of my sisters said with annoyance, "She's being very naughty to ignore you, I'd smack for that."
    I said, "No, I think she has made her own choice - she is so fascinated with what she is doing, watching what happens to lumps of earth when you drop them, that she has chosen to ignore, because for this minute it has less importance."
    The cranky sister got angry with me for trying to read too much into the situation, a child that age doesn't think in any concrete fashion. Yeah, right. But the mother is a lot like me and saw what I meant. She held off on the smack, she went to her daughter and took her by the hand and said, "It will still be there after lunch. Come and eat now." Yes,s the child threw a mild tantrum but was able to be persuaded.

    I didn't know it at the time, but I had just done something from "Explosive Child" - I had analysed why the child was doing what she was doing and had helped find a way around the apparent obstacle. You have to find a way around -if you try meeting the irresistible force with the immovable object then you will eventually get to a point where your child will have been well taught how to successfully stand her ground.

    Such obstinacy can be murder, or it can be the child's salvation. it all depends on when and how the child applies that obstinacy.

    A child is a telescope mirror that hasn't been polished properly. If you go at the mirror with harsh abrasives you will permanently scratch it or, heaven forbid, break it. But if you apply the grit at the right amount and the right grade at the right time, you will improve what you began with (already good raw material) into something world class.

    You begin with observing the child. What rings her bells? What upsets he? WHat calms her down? Then you use these as tools to take things further. make a list of what you want to work on. Put a priority on it - A. B and C. Then go back and clean up the categories. A should only be the stuff that is vital, urgent and immediate. Dr Greene says the only things thta should be here are immediate safety, and school attendance. I've even taken school attendance out of the box because for difficult child 3, he is motivated to do his schoolwork so it's no longer an issue. The day he doesn't want to do his schoolwork is the day I take his temperature and call the doctor.

    B is for the handful of things you want to work on now. They should be behaviours/problems within your child's ability (not what you THINK she should be able to do at her age - she may not be able to) and only a few things, not an overwhelming list. B things - you will push to get what you want but not at the expense of a meltdown; instead you will back off anf defuse if she begins Occupational Therapist (OT) get too upset. A bright kid especially will quickly learn that you are trying to keep her calm and will generally value this. It begins a positive feedback loop instead of the negative one you're headed towards.

    C - it's the category for everything else. It's the "we're just not going there yet." And you have to stick on it, not change the rules until you've considered it carefully.

    Your behaviour to her sets the pattern for her behaviour to you. SO treat her with respect FIRST, to set the example.

    You could be dealing with more than ADHD, but it's a useful first hypothesis.

    Keep us posted on how you get on.

  3. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    Hello MissKrystal! I just wanted to acknowledge you and welcome you to the site. There are many people here that will understand the problem with your daughter, myself included. It's not easy, but you will get thru it. There is a great support system here and a wealth of knowledge on this site. Others will be along soon to give you more detailed advice, take a deep breath and hang on!
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome! Glad you found us, sorry you had to. You will find much support here. You said she doesn't have a diagnosis. Have you taken her to see a psychiatrist and a neuropsychologist? I highly recommend both as they should be able to give you quite a bit of insight. Know that you are not alone and we care.
  5. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Hi and welcome. Someone will come along with the usual questions, so this is just a greeting and to let you know you're not alone.

    First, her behavior around you is in fact all your fault. She's knows you will love her regardless of what she does, so she's safe doing whatever around you. Unfortunately for your mother in law, she now feels completely loved and safe there, too.

    For some of our kids, they can keep it somewhat together around others, but not at home. They've held everything in too long and it all has to come out somewhere and that somewhere is frequently at home. I'm sorry.

    Another vote for The Explosive Child. It really does help you see how our kids' minds work and gives you some tips that are truly helpful. Take what you want from it, leave the rest.

    To survive the journey with your daughter, your husband has got to step up and help. You both have to work together to help her. Maybe your mother in law can help on getting him to see you can't do this alone, especially not with other kids in the house.

    Definitely try to get her a neuropsychologist evaluation. If there's a Children's Hospital near you, they can usually do it. Other aveues are a psychiatric hospital with a pediatric unit. If nothing else, find a good clinic and see what they have to offer. The more you can figure out the whys, the more you'll be able to treat.

    Don't blame yourself for her behavior. Don't do the what ifs or kicking of yourself for mistakes in the past. More than likely, she's the way she is because of chemical or neurological disorder. She has no control of this at present and neither do you. As a parent, you've done the absolute best you can. It shows in just the little you've written. You love her and you've tried every trick at your disposal. Hopefully, The Explosive Child will help you a little more and we'll be here to help as much as we can.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'll ask the usual First of all ODD rarely stands alone and CD is for kids over eighteen and I was told it is a reaction to lack of treatment for a mental illness. You may want to do a signature like I did below.

    1/Has your daugher ever seen a neuropsychologist? These are great evaluators and you can find them at University and/or Children's hospitals--they'll do 6-10 hours of testing in every area to get you on the right track. I would go to one.

    2/Are there any psychiatric problems on either side of your daughter's family tree? Any substance abuse?

    3/How was her early development? Did she talk on time, make good eye contact with strangers, cuddle well, socialize appropriately with peers, play with toys the right way? Any sensitivities to sound, touch, light? Can she transition from one activity to another well?

    I would not try to diagnose her yourself nor leave it to a pediatrician or even a therapist. I'd have her evaluated because there is help and hope IF you know what you are dealing with.

    Welcome to the board :)
  7. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Welcome to the board! Sorry you had to find us, but you'll find lots of good people here.

    I'll reiterate what the others have said and encourage you to have your daughter evaluated thoroughly so that a diagnosis can be made. ODD doesn't usually stand alone. CD is a diagnosis given to kids under 18, but they have to have a pattern of behavior that's fairly longstanding. Six is probably rather young. A diagnosis with features similar to CD is Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), Reactive Attachment Disorder. Both CD and Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) will be considered if a child has patterns of cruel behavior to animals, fire setting, stealing, and/or harmful behaviors toward others who can't easily defend themselves. Your comment about your daughter's treatment of animals raises a red flag in this regard, but it doesn't make a diagnosis on its own ... a thorough exam and testing will fill in the whole picture. You will also want to have her tested for learning disabilities that may be frustrating her at school. If they aren't present, that will be helpful information too.

    Many people here have found The Explosive Child to be very helpful, although honestly I found its recommendations made things worse for us. It's one of those things you should read for yourself, read other books as well, and consider your doctor's recommendations once an evaluation has been done. Loving firmness and consistent, understandable consequences will never go wrong! It's just very hard to do. :)

    I hope your husband will work along with you as you strive to get more information to help your daughter. Good luck, and keep posting.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome Misskrystal. Sorry you had to find us.

    The part about throwing the cat scares me, in all honesty.

    I agree, that it would be helpful for you to read The Explosive Child.

    I would make an appointment with-a specialist pronto.

    You have got your hands full.
    Your M-i-l sounds like a gem. :)

    Marg has some great pointers.

    I have to go ... my difficult child is counting to 20 behind me ... don't know exactly why but it's some kind of a warning for me ...
  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Adding my welcome, Miss Krystal!
  10. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome MissK!

    I am glad you found us.

    She sure sounds like a handful. I hope you get some time to yourself to reenergize. It will be helpful to all your kids if you are pampered a bit! :D
    Make sure husband knows we recommended that! LOL!

    Not sure who is telling you what is NOT wrong with your child. But, I hope they certainly come to a conclusion soon on what the issue is so it can start to be treated. Behavior modification, medications, etc. Whatever it may be.

    Have you tried checking for food allergies?
    Have you kept a journal of your concerns? I would keep one for everything with her. What she eats, when she uses the bathroom, how she sleeps, etc.
    Does she ever have a meltdown? You know the kind, I am sure! ;)

    by the way - your mother in law is AWESOME!!!!
  11. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Just wanted to point out that Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is a diagnosis given when all else has been ruled out and is not usually considered if a child has been raised in one loving stable home from the beginning. Cruelty to animals can also occur in Autistic Spectrum Disorders (as in the child doesn't understand socially appropriate behavior) or in mood disorders like Bipolar Disorder.

    Welcome aboard. I hope you are able to arrange a neuropsychological evaluation (found at children's and university teaching hospitals) soon so you can get to the bottom of what's going on.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I ditto what smallmom said. I doubt Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is a factor here. You have to rule out EVERYTHING ELSE before you should accept a diagnosis. of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). However cruelty to animals is a big red flag that somthing really bad is emerging and I think you should see a neuropsychologist ASAP to stem it early. (((HUgs))) THere is hope.
  13. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Well, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is not a wastebasket diagnosis (given when all else has been ruled out and nothing else fits), it's a definite diagnosis. It can occur even in children who have been in a stable home but have not, for some reason, formed a close trusting bond with a primary caregiver. It can also be seen in conjunction with other diagnoses. The main thing is neither to assume nor to automatically discount various diagnoses but to get a thorough evaluation done that provides enough information to make an accurate diagnosis. Of course cruelty to animals can be seen in more than one clinical setting and that's why I urged a complete evaluation before.

    While everyone (including me) prefers a treatable diagnosis to one that isn't considered to have a good outcome, on the other hand, refusal to accept a carefully made diagnosis isn't helpful. There is treatment for CD and Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), but the wrong treatment is just as harmful to a child as wrong treatment for anything else. I know this from personal experience. I'm not trying to 'push' certain diagnoses, I'm trying to convey some information that can be considered along with all other possibilities.
  14. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    Hi! I'm also new here and wanted to welcome you. I do agree that Explosive Child is a great book, it helped me work with difficult child better. You have a great mother in law and hope you find the answers you're looking for.
  15. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    Hi misskrystal. :D Our difficult child didn't get a diagnosis right away either and we got a lot of it could be this, it could be that, until I finally said what we're doing isn't working and got a good re-evaluation. Don't know who your daughter has seen, but I think you should get her the most thorough evaluation you can, a multidisciplinary evaluation. or a neuropsychologist. I think the FAQ forum has some explanation of these. As someone suggested, check with the nearest childrens hospital. Even if they don't offer them, they may be able to steer you to somewhere they do. I just went along trying to cope for 3 years, and when we got the right diagnosis, it helped so much to get proper therapies and accomodations in place that changed my difficult child around.

    I too read The Explosive Child, and used from it what I thought would work for me, and it did help in learning to communicate with my difficult child. And to learn how to decide what battles were important and which I should let go for now. One thing I've learned is to validate what he's saying/feeling. When he says "I don't want to go to school" I try and start my reply with something like I understand you don't want to because...and give reasons showing I know why he hates it....and then end with the but you have to go because legally you have to. I used to just do the well so, you have to go, and that was the end of it. That's gone a long way in keeping him calmer when he's serious about not wanting to go to school that day, and lately I find that he says it in a half joking way just to let me know he still doesn't like school.

    Welcome to the site :flower::bigsmile: Hope you find the advise and shoulder you need to help through.
  16. misskrystal

    misskrystal New Member

    Hey all!
    Thanks for the warm welcomes!

    We have switched family docs 3 times now because they don't believe anything is wrong with her. She sits nicely in the little room, (well they say nicely but she is all over the place). I originally saw a pediatric specialist (I think that was her title). She said she thought it was Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified. This was In preschool. She was moving out of state so she referred me to a doctor good with Autism. Well that doctor had health issues and was out for at least six months and told me to go to KU. (2 hours from here) We drove up there went through the song and dance in MAYBE 2 hours and they said, "Nope she isn't autistic. She fell just below the line." So I asked what it was she had. They said they weren't sure, but to keep going.
    She was shuffled a lot from birth to six months. Her bio mom was totally unstable. She has the same problems difficult child has but she hasn't had a lock in diagnosis either. Then after we got her at 6 months we had another 6 months of every other weekend custody with the bio mom. difficult child would scream and cling to us when she left. Always made me feel terrible. When she would come back she couldn't sleep and would wake up screaming and would be inconsolable. She would start settling down about the time we had to let her go again. I was so happy when I was able to adopt her.
    So the family doctor we see now doesn't believe she has anything wrong. But We have an appointment. tomorrow to see him and mother in law is eager to go. (She likes to jump all over people who don't think I am doing a good job or don't believe.;)) We are really going because we found out at difficult child's school checkup that she is constipated back into her small intestine if I recall correctly. We gave her the medications but they said if she started having problems again that we should bring her back.
    I will look around for that book, it sounds VERY helpful. I have thought about keeping a journal, and have wondered about food allergies, especially since this constipation thing. I mean she eats square meals and everything so I don't see why she has this trouble.
    Oh, and she has been on Strattera before, but they had her at the highest dose the doctor wanted to give and I didn't see a difference. It worked for a bit and then it was like she wasn't taking it. We were on Adderall XR, it was working ok, but didn't seem like it was enough. The dr that perscribed it moved so we got a new doctor and the first thing he did was take her off and put her back on Strattera. No matter what I said. Sigh.
    I will let you all know how it goes. Sorry if I missed someones question somewhere!

  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Welcome!! You have gotten a lot of great info! I want to encourage the suggestions that you get the Explosive Child book. It is extremely helpful for many, many of us.

    I also want to suggest you get a PRIVATE occupational therapy evaluation. Schools DO offer this, but they generally only evaluate for what is impacting academics. There is a lot more to a full Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation than that. One thing they look for are sensory issues or sensory integration disorder. Kids who are always jumping off of things, etc... MAY very well have sensory issues.

    If you want to read about sensory issues, I suggest "The Out of Sync Child" by Carol Kranowitz. I can personally say that the sensory issues my son has have been treated with-o medicines (youngest son thank you), and have made a HUGE difference in every aspect of his life. (NOT saying medicines are bad, just that this is one area you can make a BIG difference in with-o them. EACH of my kids is on medications for different things. And those are much needed also.)

    Anyway, welcome to our group, and hugs!

  18. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The constipation thing - it could be connected to sensory issues, it could be a number of things. difficult child 1 has problems with this, he wouldn't "go" to the toilet except when reminded. Still a problem, not so bad. He once had to go to hospital with suspected appendicitis; it turned out to be severe constipation and they had to clean him out manually - he is still traumatised by that. Remembering what he had to endure is what motivates him now to remember to 'go'.

    Asperger's is difficult to diagnose in girls; they can present differently, it can be confusing. The rules are being rewritten, I'd get her re-evaluated. We've been told with two of our three difficult children that they're not Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). And we've been told they are. Chances are the diagnostic criteria could have changed since Hayley was last evaluated.

    Have you checked her score on the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire on yet? That would be interesting. Regardless of what result she gets, print the result and take it to the specialist of your choice and see what they say.

    Good luck, keep us posted.

  19. Feeling Helpless

    Feeling Helpless Oldie but Goodie

    Just wanted to say hi and welcome. I have a 7 year old difficult child and we are waiting on an evaluation from the psychiatrist on 11-11-08. I am then going to ask for a neuropsph evaluation. I am also a newbie here and have found this site very helpful. I am reading the explosive child now so I have not had time to implement it yet. We are seeing a new counselor and he suggested a book called Transforming the difficult child by Howard Glasser. With all the stuff you talk about going on then you definitely need to get some help now. I have known something was wrong for about 4 years now and I still am trying to get the correct diagnosis. Mine has been diagnosed with ADHD/mood disorder. Good luck and know there are always people here for you.