Introduction and Help Needed

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by stuckinamess, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. stuckinamess

    stuckinamess New Member

    I believe I have posted here before. It was quite awhile ago. However, I am not able to find any of my old posts.

    Since she was born she has always been strong willed and irritable to say the least. She was the type of kid that would scream in the car for hours straight. Never cry herself to sleep, you would think she was being tortured. As a toddler, it would take my husband and I hours to get her dressed. She would strip everything off as soon as we got it on her. At 2.5 she would throw toys at her older sister. My now 8 year old has scars on her chest from dd5 biting and scratching her.

    Below is something I wrote about her earlier today.

    Everyone outside of immediate family describes her as the sweetest most loving little girl. She is quiet, obedient, loves to give hugs and cuddle. At home she is impossible to live with.

    The last month or so things have gotten so bad that we have almost taken her to the emergency behavior health place here. She is turning extremely violent. THrowing things at us, hitting, kicking biting. It's hard to even go anywhere with her in the car because if she gets in one of her "moods" she will throw everything she can at us. Yes, while driving, she is throwing things at me. I have had to stop. Had to put dd8 in the front seat with me because her sister will attack her in the back seat. We can't keep her to keep her seatbelt on. Had to put the child locks back on the door because she would keep opening the door. SHe screams at us all the time about how much she hates us and we are mean and evil and she wishes we would just leave and never come back.

    SHe hates going to school, even though she is perfect when she gets there and says she likes it. The teachers have had to help me twice already to get her into the school. This past week a teacher put her arm around her to try to get her to go in and she started pushing and hitting at her.

    Spanking doesn't help, it just makes her angrier and the behavior gets worse. She turned 5 in July, weighs 60 pounds so I can barely lift her anymore so getting her to time out or to stay there when she is there is next to impossible. Oh yeah, a month or so ago, she pointed out "mommy, I have hair on my privates". Yup, that's right. Took her to the dr. he says it's not unusual. Maybe not, but with all the behavior problems, maybe there is more going on. NOpe, don't worry about it. SHe will be fine.

    I HATE being around her when she gets like this. I try so hard to reinforce the good behavior when she isn't in one of these moods. It's just so hard and draining. My dd8 is crying all the time because of it. She is scared of her. WHen dd5 is in a good mood, she is helpful, loving and sweet. It's also taking it's toll on my marriage, which I'm sure she senses.

    We go to a child psychologist tomorrow. Hopefully we can start getting some answers.

    I should mention that I am high school Special Education. teacher. I am working on my masters in Sped. My caseload consists of students with EBD. One would think I could deal with this. Actually, going to work every day and being with my students is like a vacation from home. I hate that feeling.

    Any suggestions on what to bring up to the Psychologist tom.? How do I prevent him, like most dr.'s have said from saying it's just a stage, she will grow out of it. At what point is it no longer a stage?
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I would say this is definitely beyond a stage and you are right to be looking for answers.

    in my opinion, there are two main aspects of getting a specialist to take you seriously. The first is to get doctors and specialists on your team who will listen. The day my pediatrician wouldn't take concerns about my child being violent would be the day that he would become my former pediatrician.

    The second is to be thoroughly prepared for the first appointment. We suggest that parents take time to do a parent report (see link below) and bring it along but that may be unreasonable at this late hour for you.

    When specialists won't take you seriously, we suggest videotaping a tantrum without the child being aware they're on camera. We've heard parents report back that their pediatricians were extremely apologetic after seeing it for themselves.

    Just a note: for these little ones, we really recommend seeing either a pediatric neuropsychologist or a developmental pediatrician, depending on what's available in your area. They usually do a far more thorough assessment than the general psychologists who often focus on behavioral interventions and psychiatrist who tend to jump to medications fairly quickly.
  3. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I went to google and typed in "puberty starting younger" and found several articles that pretty much said the same thing; that 7 is considered normal for puberty to start in girls. I'm posting a link to one for you to review. From what I read, I would get a second opinion if your doctor thinks it's 'normal' for a 5 year old to begin puberty, especially with the behavior issues. If he said it wasn't unusual and you weren't seeing such extreme behavior, I might feel differently.

    Other than that, I have nothing to add to what SRL posted, but I did want to welcome you to the board. It's a great place for support.

    If the specialists won't listen, find one that will. What you're describing is not typical behavior for a 5 year old. It's not normal for an older sibling to be afraid of a younger sibling. Trust your instints.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would take her to a neuropsychologist or a Child Psychiatrist (with the MD). Are there any psychiatric disorders or substance abuse in the family tree? How was her early development--speech, eye contact, relationships with peers? in my opinion this is too much for just a regular Psycologist--I'd want her evaluated on every level and NeuroPsychs do that. She is dangerous to your other daughter and needs help badly. I would start at the top, as far as getting help. I am not convinced that a Psycologist without the extra training a neuropsychologist or Psychiatrist has can properly diagnose her--often they put everything down to ODD, which rarely stands alone. Your other daughter deserves a safe home. Please take her to a top-notch professional so you can get her stable. Something is going on. She may need medications, and a Psychiatrist is the best one to help with them.
  5. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    Hello and welcome. I'm so sorry you've had to find your way here. I agree with the others that something is definitely going on. One point I would like to make is to make sure you get your older girl in counseling. The abuse on a sibling by a difficult child can really be serious if not addressed appropriately.
    In addition, I predict that you will see this behavior in school more and more as she becomes more comfortable. You may want to have her assessed by the school district to make sure her behaviors aren't having an educational impact. by the way, how does she sleep?
  6. stuckinamess

    stuckinamess New Member

    Thank you ladies for the support. We went to the appointment today. He actually listened to me instead of blowing me off. He is referring us to occupational therapy, some of you know I have been trying to get this for almost three years, he wants her to see a endocrinoligist(Sp?). He also wants to see her again with us. He said as young as she is he is not going to spend a lot of time talking with her but teaching us how to better deal with her and basically teach us to be the therapist at home. He also has a Resident student who has specialized training in Parent/Child Behavior interaction, or something to that sort, so he is going to see if she would be willing to see us.

    He did give her a "diagnosis" of ODD and MD-not otherwise specified. He said he uses those lightly but it will give us a starting ground to get some help for her. He also said with as young as she is it's hard to give a specific diagnosis. As we work together, we can always change the diagnosis.
  7. stuckinamess

    stuckinamess New Member

    I need some tips on dealing with my dd5. Today she got upset at the store and started throwing things at me. Wouldn't get in the car. Once I got her in the car she kept unbuckling herself. Started hitting and kicking her sister. Kicked me in the head, hit me in the head and was throwing shoes at me. I don't know what to do. I can't even go anywhere in fear of her acting like this. I am at the point that I don't even want her here anymore. I have to find a way to deal with this. My husband is working nights right now, so he is home for a few minutes in the morning to help with her, but rather than that, I have dinner and bedtime to deal with by myself. Then I have to find the energy to do my homework. I can't keep going. I have told my husband I am thinking of leaving. I know that won't solve the problem, but I just want to quit.
  8. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I like psychologists and the help they offer. However, I think it's premature to diagnosis a child - or anyone, for that matter - after only one visit. Children especially can be more difficult to diagnosis because so many symptoms of the various disorders/illnesses overlap and children don't have the life experience, insight, nor the vocabulary to describe what they're feeling/thinking/experiencing. We can describe the behaviors we are seeing, and the psychologist can witness those behaviors, but we really need to know what's prompting the behavior.

    With the diagnosis of Mood Disorder-not otherwise specified, did the psychologist refer you to a psychiatrist (psychiatrist) for medication?

    With a 5 year old, I would really want a different kind of evaluation, either with a developmental pediatrician, a neuropsychologist or a multi-disciplinary evaluation.

    As for your immediate problem of how to deal with her: Is there someone - a family member, neighbor, babysitter - that can watch her while you run errands? I would try to avoid taking her if at all possible until you get a better handle on her diagnosis and treatment. If she's unbuckling and throwing things in the car, I would pull over and not move again until she stopped. You'll have to be prepared to outlast her...and our difficult child's do have stamina.

    Have you read The Explosive Child by Ross Greene? I highly recommend it, as do many others on this board. I believe there is an article on this board that explains how to modify his technique for younger children...SRL will know more about that. I didn't find that book until my child was older. If nothing else, it really explains the way our kiddos' mind works and understanding that really goes a long way.

    (((hugs))) I know it's hard, it's frustrating and it's exhausting. It helps me to remember that the behavior is a symptom of an illness or disorder and not just being bad. I have days where I repeat that to myself like a mantra.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am glad to see the psychologist recommended an endocrinologist. The early puberty is worrisome. A pediatric endocrinologist should be consulted as soon as possible.

    It would be a good idea to have her evaluated by a pediatric neurologist, as well as a neuropsychologist. The sudden behavior changes can be a result of seizures of some kinds.

    As for the diagnosis, am I correct in the understnading that he gave a diagnosis for paperwork but that the psychologist feels he has a lot of work and time before the diagnosis is set in stone? I know my insurance DEMANDS a diagnosis before they will pay for further visits. Some docs thus have given us "preliminary" diagnosis so that they could continue evaluating our children's issues.

    Sibling abuse is a huge problem. Search on amazon for books on Sibling abuse. I have read several and found them to be very helpful. We ended up with a 9 yo with PTSD from her brother's abuse of her. It was a rough rough road, and we aren't done with it yet.


  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    If there is a Chidlren's hospital anywhere you can get to, try toget evaluations done there, as opposed to havign docs who treat adults and kids do evaluations. Children's Hospital may also have a pediatrician. gynecologist, to help with the puberty onset. Endocrinologist is a must, but if you absolutely can't find one, a pediatrician gyno (usually only found at a children's hospital) is an option.

  11. tired Cheryl

    tired Cheryl New Member

    I sent a long post last night but it must have gotten lost since I was having trouble with the site not working.

    I am in a hurry this morning. Just wanted to welcome you and tell you that you are not alone.

    My GHG is a lot like yours except he exhibits his behaviors everywhere. This may have helped us abit as he has hit, spit on, bit teachers and doctors. I have been hit in the head with his shoes while driving so many times that I cannot count!

    read some of my posts about him and you will see what I am talking about!

    My husband works nights too!

    Hang in there, do not drive when she is melting down, limit where you take her (easier dais than done), seek neuropsychologist evaluation, think about medications, keep us posted here! We do care and more importantly understand! Many times family and friends who do care just do not understand. Let us know how you are doing.

    More later,
  12. tired Cheryl

    tired Cheryl New Member

    Another technique that I a have been using with success most recently is removing <u>me</u> from the situation whenever possible.

    For example, difficult child has a particular way that he want his chocolate milk prepared every morning (known only to him) and I get it wrong every day which leads to explosion number one of the day.

    So, I decided to give him the milk, several cups, spoons, forks, and chocolate (lots of napkins too.) The first day he got all wound up and started yelling at me for making his milk the wrong way yet again. Well, I calmly reminded him that I had nothing to do with it. That caused him to sit and think long enough for me to remove milk and other items that he was ready to throw. He had moderate meltdown but did stay in his room. The good news is that we have not had another chocolate milk meltdown all week. This is huge. Hope that it lasts.

    Same thing with getting dressed. Now instead of asking or telling him to get dressed I just leave his clothes out on his bed and mention casually that his clothes for the day are on his bed. Almost every day this week he has gone to his room within 15 minutes and dressed himself (which then I praise him for exuberantly), this has never happened before.

    Just thought I would pass this on to you. Maybe it will help?
    I know that I am the focus or target=(victim) of 90% of the meltdowns at home so, I am trying to remove myself from the equation. Even small improvements seem like huge victories some days.
  13. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    Hello! I'm new around here myself. I normally hang out in the general forum, but stopped by here today & your post gave me flashbacks! I think these wonderful ladies here have given you some great advice & it sounds as if you are on the right track for some help. It's so hard when we feel alone & have the feeling of not even wanting to be around our children that make the day so hard to get through. You are not alone, in many situations you describe. I have gone through many times of unbelievable cases with my difficult child in the car.....she would (still does on occasion) throw anything & everything at me while I was driving, would get herself out of her seat & attack me (grabbed the steering wheel twice!), opened the door while the car was moving, thrown fits in the middle of the street after I refused to keep driving with her distracting me. I could go on & that's "just" relating to your car of many issues I'm sure (like me). Sadly, it took a major car accident in July to calm her down a bit when we are driving ( she re-lives it every time we get on the highway over & over)....a little is better than alot. We have been dealing with doctors & therapy for quite awhile now & are still waiting to finally get into a better Children's Hospital a distance away for an evaluation too (take 4-8 months to get here). Also, I do agree about removing myself from the situation whenever possible. My thoughts are with you!!!