Is it wrong that I don't even like her anymore?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by juliabohemian, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. juliabohemian

    juliabohemian New Member

    This is my first post here, so I realize that this is probably disgustingly rhetorical.

    Allow me to explain. I'm a 31 year old mother of two. I have Adhd, depression and a borderline personality disorder of my own. My almost 8 year old daughter has severe Adhd with ODD. My husband and 5 year old daughter appear to be mentally unafflicted. My husband is supportive to some extent. His belief is that people can be scared and threatened into obedience, which works only on a very limited basis.

    It started when she was two and a half with violent outbursts. I knew when she pulled her newborn baby sister off of the couch that something was wrong. That and she never slept for more than a few hours at a time. Forget about spanking her -she caused me more physical harm. Breaks everything she touches and has no concept of boundaries. She always acts so shocked, like she really had no idea that she wasn't supposed to do that, even though she's been told 500 times before.

    Her sister is fed up with her. She's only five and she's looked at me desperately before and said "can you just make her shut up?" Sorry -I tell her. If I could do that, I'd have done it already.

    She takes anything she wants, whether it belongs to her or not. She has no qualms about taking her sister's toys and breaking them or even taking my or my husband's things. When we question her about it, she feigns ignorance.

    At the moment she's in her room, screaming at the top of her lungs and bashing...something. Who cares now, since all of her toys are destined to be destroyed eventually. This is because she disappeared down the street with her sister's scooter (again) and I had to go looking for her (again) She claims to have no memory of this incident, even though I physically saw her with my own eyes.

    Yesterday she stole money out of my wallet and bribed a neighbor kid out of his toys. Luckily his mother overheard this and intercepted my cash. All the while my daughter acts like she has no idea what the problem is. In the end, I'm the bad guy because I'm making her stay in her room/go without television/lose her outside privilege. She'll scream like she's the victim "please give me one more chance." I'm thinking that I'm the victim in this scenario.

    Then she lies -right to my face and with no remorse. I can offer her CSI style evidence, labeled and bagged and she'd still deny any involvement. She'd let her sister take the blame and not even blink.

    I don't even like her anymore. I wish someone would take her off my hands. I used to feel like that would make me a failure as a parent, but I passed caring about that sometime last year when she cut holes in all of the screens in our house and I found her climbing on top of the neighbor's car. She's on Risperdal and Adderall. We can't afford actual therapy for her, although I'm not sure how much it would help. Sad thing is that she does fine at school. Her IQ and test scores are way above normal. There's nothing wrong with her intelligence. Her behavior is at its worst when she's at home and especially when she's on a break from school.

    Do I have options here? Is there someplace I can send this kid where they can handle her better than I can? I'm done having my life rearranged by this. I want my life back.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok, hi and welcome. I don't believe your child is so beyond help that you need to send her anywhere. Also, there are free or low cost therapy clinics everywhere. Who put her on medication? Is it helping?

    It can be a little slow on weekends. I happened to check in and glad you posted. some thoughts and questioins.
    First of all, DO NOT assume that she knows how to behave just because you have told her 500 times. She could have some sort of disability that disconnects cause and effect reasoning. No matter who has already seen her, I highly recommend seeing a neuropsychologist. Above all other professionals, I believe they do the most intensive and long and involved diagnostic testing. It takes a while to get in, but it's worth it. My son was tested for ten hours. He was an "odd duck" who had gotten a collection of wrong diagnoses, including ADHD/ODD and bipolar disorder. He was actually on the high functioning autism spectrum and is doing great now. No matter what is the matter with your daughter, spanking won't help. It also seems that repetition doesn't work and her look of surprise sort of tells me that she isn't sure why she is getting into trouble. A neuropsychologist is a psychologist with extra training in the brain (knows neurological disorders too). You can find them at university or children's hospitals.

    Please try to understand that while you are not the bad guy here, your daughter isn't either. Something is very wrong with her. She is not just a 'bad' seed trying to drive you nuts. Most likely, she hates herself for her behavior, but doesn't know how to stop it or can't stop it.

    1/ Was your daughter's early development normal? Did she cuddle with you, make good eye contact, babble, walk and talk on time? Is she very precocious, a very early reader, a child who sounds like a "little professor?" Does she play with toys normally? Good imagination?

    2/ Does she talk about seeing or hearing things that aren't there? Does she seem socially clueless? Any mood disorders or substance abuse (besides you) on either side of the family tree? The more there is, the more genetic it can get.

    3/Has she ever had any supports in school? How does she do there? Does she behave in school then explode at home?

    While you're trying to figure her out, I would buy Ross Greene's "The Explosive Child" and utilize his methods to calm your entire family now. Find a neuropsychologist now. The earlier you know what's wrong (and take into account that you may get a few wrong diagnosis. at first) the better the prognosis for the longterm.

    Others will come along. Until then I"m going to leave a link for you to look at to see if either ring a bell:
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Welcome to the crowd!

    No, it's not wrong that you don't even like her! We've pretty much all been there, so don't worry about it!

    First suggestion: get a copy of "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene, it's an easy read (not a lot of technical jargon) and you actually find yourself laughing at some of the stuff that's gone on in his office.

    Second: Go in and fill out a profile (it makes it easier for us to get to know you)

    Questions: who gave out the diagnosis', is she on medications, does she have any sensory issues, have friends in school, have an IEP in school, have trouble maintaining eye contact and has she had a neuropsychologist done?

    Always feel comfortable to post what you're feeling around here. We do understand and you'll get to see that there are quite a few of us who are wearing the same shoes as you are.

    Don't be surprised if you don't get a lot of responses over the weekend and then get tons on Monday! It slows down around here on the weekends!

    Again, welcome! We're a pretty nice group!

  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Hello, I noticed that you said she does better at school. Sounds like she likes structure and challenge. Does she have a structured schedule at home? She may be overwhelmed with the free time on her hand and just not sure what to do. If she chooses one activity, then she may not have time for another.

    I wonder if you tried scheduling one day with her and see how that goes? Tonight sit down and ask her if she has any plans for tomorrow - does she know what she might like to do? Make a list of everything she needs and wants to do including meals, chores, games. Work with her to help her make a schedule of events. Have her post this schedule somewhere where she will see it when she gets up. Let her have as much input as possible - this is HER plan and then see if she does attempt to follow it the next day.

    Start with a list of fun things so that she can choose from that list - either schedule the actual thing in or just state "free time" and have that list handy.

    Try thinking of new activities for her to do - maybe purchasing craft items or giving her a list of scavenger hunt items to find.

    Keep hanging in there!
  5. juliabohemian

    juliabohemian New Member

    That's just it, perhaps. I'm up to date on the DSM IV. Her intelligence is not impaired. She's not even cognitively impaired. She knows exactly what she's doing because I've seen her selectively understand things when it suits her and selectively not understand them when it doesn't. She's emotionally manipulative. She will start crying if she thinks she can use it to her benefit and is able to stop on a second's notice if the tide turns. She attempts to use humor to stop other kids or her sister from crying when she's caused them harm to compensate for her inability to have compassion. She does not seem to understand when she has caused someone harm -physically, emotionally or by damaging their property.

    Developmentally she was right on and ahead of schedule. Physically normal, verbal at 8 months, spoke clearly, advanced vocab, learned to read before kindergarten. She's capable of making eye contact but seems to dislike it. She'll do it, but acts as though she's being put out or inconvenienced. Anytime she's being punished for anything, she acts as though it's an enormous inconvenience. She always claims to have no idea what our problem is with what she did.

    She hasn't been assigned any sort of IEP because her grades and test scores are right on target or above. She misbehaves at school some. It varies year to year on just how lenient the teacher is. Kindergarten was a nightmare. Second grade, the teacher loved her. For the most part, she gets along with other kids. She does not seem to be socially inept or unable to follow cues or body language. She prefers the company of boys.

    She was diagnosed at 5 with adhd and odd, by an excellent doctor -actually several. I trust his diagnosis. She underwent a whole bunch of tests before they decided what was wrong with her. That's not the issue. The issue is that her psychiatrist seems to have taken the point of view that it's just the way she is and I'm supposed to roll with the punches. Sorry, but I'm tired of my home being completely run by this kid. It's been this way since she was about 2. The best years of my life have gone down the toilet. I haven't been able to go back to work or finish my degree or get my life on track since this all began.
  6. juliabohemian

    juliabohemian New Member

    Adrienne -there's the caveat. I'm severely depressed. I recently had a rather bad episode during which I was suicidal. I don't have the energy or the attention span to coordinate my daughter's entertainment. Maybe that's supposed to be part of my job, but I honestly am not capable right now. My daughter thinks she is supposed to be entertained 24 hours a day. She will complain that she is bored as though it is my fault there is nothing to do. She knows what her options are and I'm sorry that they're limited. But that's life. When I was a kid, I only had my sister to play with and I made do.

    We are barely making it financially. I cannot afford sports or lessons or any sort of camp for her. I can't even afford to replace or repair all of the things she's broken and lost. Our house is trashed because of her. It depresses me even more just looking at it. I find myself thinking about how nice things were before I had kids and worked full time. I find myself wishing I had never had kids, even if that means losing out on the younger one who never gives me any trouble. It's not worth it and I'm apparently not any good at it. How am I supposed to take care of kids when I can barely summon the enthusiasm to go grocery shopping?

    I have these neighbors -very nice Christian family with 8 kids. The mother homeschools them. They are all such nice kids. Seriously. She actually had nine and one died from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) when it was an infant. She's the one who should have the kids, not me.
  7. JodyS

    JodyS New Member

    Sounds oh so familiar so much of what you say. Do you have anyone that can give you a break? I know we are currently looking into Social Services help. They have a program for parents with children with mental disorders to go to "Respite" care for a weekend a month or e/o month. It is hard to send your child away, but I found a wonderful family to take my son as I do foster care as well and met them that way.
  8. juliabohemian

    juliabohemian New Member

    Jody -thanks. I've heard of that, but I don't know anything about it. I just went to the library and picked up "The Explosive Child" and am a few chapters along already. It's very informative and makes sense.

    I esp found the passage about the kid being concerned that his father was taking an alternative route to work rather interesting. My daughter is very bothered if I take a shortcut or alternative route. My car was recently not working very well and I couldn't take it on the freeway. We had to take side streets to church and she seemed convinced that the only way we could get to church was by taking the freeway. She demanded to know what the heck I was doing and seemed seriously afraid that we would never arrive at our destination. It's very hard for me to hear that and not hear "Do you know how to drive? Do you know that you're doing? I don't trust your judgement." Of course she does and says other things that sort of reinforce the validity of that interpretation.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If she is that rigid, I would seriously wonder if she has high functioning autism. Those kids can totally freak if anything is done differently and it can look a lot like defiance or disrespectful, but, really, the child is anxious when anything is done in a different way. My son used to be that way. He is much better now, but he has gotten a lot of help. I still suggest the neuropsychologist. Good luck, whatever you decide to do :)
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Julia, welcome.
    Your daughter sounds so much like my son!

    In regard to the rigidity, it's possible she's on the high end of autism. We still wonder about my son. But our child psychiatric gave me some GREAT ideas for dealing with-that.
    One is to set a timer for transitions, for ex., from the computer to the dinner table. It was always a major meltdown. So we set a timer and gave our son a 15-min warning. Then 10, then 5, etc. It took a few days--actually, wks--but it really worked.
    Also, the dr said to tell my difficult child that I was going to run errands in a certain order, and then deliberately rearrange the order so he would have a meltdown. It was to teach my son that 1) I am in charge, 2) the world will not end if things are changed, 3) you're still with-mom, you're still in the same car, you still live in the same house so the only thing that's changed is the direction we're going down the street, therefore, 4) you'd better learn to cope.
    The best part of it was that although I, too, was at the end of my rope and very depressed, and dreaded being in the same planet with-my difficult child, much less the same room, these exercises gave me control. I mean, I MADE difficult child have a meltdown. It wasn't an accident. I caused something to happen. The world did not end for my son or for myself.
    It was a huge revelation.
    It sounds ridiculous but it was so empowering.
    I rearranged the errands like that for several wks, and also took pretend trips to the grocery store (where you don't HAVE to buy anything so you can immediately leave when your kids acts up) and oh, what a change!!!

    I woke up ea morning with-a plan, rather than a nebulous fear of what the day might hold.

    I know you don't have a lot of $, but a sitter is imperative for your peace of mind, by the way. Hire someone who is very strong willed and bossy. A quiet, bookish teenager won't work.
    We had very bad luck with-the daycare at the gym. They were not trained properly and we almost pressed charges once, but that's another story.

    I totally agree with-Adrianne that structure is the way to go. I know you feel like you can't do it right now but it will pay off in the end.
    That probably sounds ridiculous, having just said that I rearranged our errands, etc., but what I mean by structure is that ea day, you plan a cpl things, such as going to the park, going to the store, baking cookies, etc. and you do them at certain times during the day.
    I like to have chores done first thing in the a.m., for ex.

    Even if your difficult child doesn't understand the plan, the thing is that YOU know there's a plan and stick to it. Eventually, the routine will surface and your difficult child will be more stable with-the consistent expectations.

    I hope that helps a little.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    But if she's on the high end of the autism spectrum (we don't know if she is or not) then she needs interventions so she can cope with transitions as she gets older. Nobody will structure her life as an adult unless she really does need supports forever. It is very important to teach these kids how to handle changes. And it can be done. My son has made so many gains...he can deal with hearing "This will work too" now. He couldn't when he was younger. The best help longterm for ridigity is interventions, interventions, interventions. It will alleviate rages too. Seems to be a big problem with this particular child.
  12. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Has she had a psychological testing by a Psychiatrist or a neuropsychologist? This would involve, many, many hours of testing.........and not just reveal the IQ, but rather the discrenpancies between the different IQs, the way she processed information, and any underlying psychological diagnoses. My son has the exact same IQ information you described, but as you see in my profile, has many many disorders.

    I know money is a huge issue. Do you have insurance? If so, you can demand that this be done. If not, social services should be able to help you.

    Oh, and welcome to our board. You have found a wonderful group of people who have been there done that.
  13. juliabohemian

    juliabohemian New Member

    Not sure about autism. Her communication skills are excellent -the verbal ones, anyway. She has no trouble explaining something, when it suits her. She was plenty affectionate and physical as a baby/toddler -slightly less now, but still. She had no delayed physical development. It's possible that she has some non-verbal learning disability or a sensory intergration dysfunction, like discussed in "The Explosive Child." I will look into this Neuro-psychiatric. The kids have healthy families, so they have excellent medical coverage. It just doesn't cover regular therapy sessions.

    I have noticed that she does better when I warn her in advance that something is going to happen. Like it was 8:45 and I told her it's time for bed. She immediately screamed and then I said -finish whatever your reading and be prepared to be in bed by 9 and she was much more adapting. I guess the thing that bothers me most is that she treats my every command/order as though it's a suggestion that she has the option of turning down. I have no patience and no energy. When I've got this other kid that just does what she's supposed to do with no hassle, the problem is more obvious.
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Julia, sounds just like our family. Our easy child was SO easy, we "blame" her for our problems with-difficult child ... she was TOO perfect, and she spoiled us. LOL!
  15. juliabohemian

    juliabohemian New Member

    Well when we had our first -the difficult child- she never slept as an infant. She wouldn't nurse. I thought there was something wrong with me. No she just wanted way more milk than I could make in time for her to drink it. Even with formula she only slept a few hours at a time. At 18 months when my husband and I are staying up until 11pm with her, someone actually points out to us that kids that age normally have a more aggressive sleep regimen. Really? I'm baffled.

    When she was 2.5 the second child comes. She's an angel. By the time she is sleeping though the night I am STILL getting up at least once a night for the other one. She had to be rocked to sleep until she was 3. Then she had night terrors for several months at age four -I had them too. Then she wouldn't potty train until she was a few months shy of kindergarten. Nothing wrong with her physically. She would admit to being too lazy to bother. She'd pee on the sidewalk. I'd ask her why and she'd say she was busy. Of course she did that with number 2 also.

    So when the easy child potty trains flawlessly after three days at the age of three and a half, it makes me think -why the hell is my kid like this?

    My mother (who I believe also has a Borderline (BPD)) although we'll never know since she'd never actually see a mental health professional or trust anyone's judgement outside of her own -used to tell me that she hoped I had a kid just like me. My kid isn't just just like me. She's worse. Way worse. I don't want to believe this is some kind of punishment from God since that defies most new testament dogma. But there are days that it sure feels that way.
  16. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Hi Julia,

    I've been reading these posts and just noticed that we're neighbors! I'm in OC as well. Not sure how Healthy Families works, but have you looked into getting help from county mental health? Here's a link:

    They might be able to refer you to a neuropsychologist who accepts your insurance.

    My difficult child 2 underwent neuropsychologist testing this past Spring, and it was very helpful in identifying what his specific needs were. The person we saw is over in Irvine near the airport.

    Also, you might approach your school psychologist and explain what's happening with your difficult child. If your school doesn't have someone on staff, there should be someone at the district level that can help.

    I've had days where I wish I could send my difficult child's to live with someone else -- like your Christian neighbor with the happy, smiling baseball team of kids! I thought that surely someone else could do a better job than I could, and could want them more than I did at the time. There are still days when I just plain don't like one or more of them!

    I think you also need to address your depression and get a handle on that, because it's just going to make the going that much harder for you if you don't. been there done that.

    So welcome to the board, and feel free to pm me if you have any questions about local resources. I'm happy to help.
  17. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Hi and welcome to the board. :flowers: I'm sorry you have to be here, but am glad you found us.

    I relate so much to your story. I have struggled with major depression for most of my life (finally overcome in recent years) and had a Borderline (BPD) diagnosis for a time. Long story...I'll explain later. And I can relate so much to your daughter. My mom has always said that Wynter (my difficult child) is Heather (me) times 10. LOL I have a lot of thoughts I want to share, but I don't have the mental capacity tonight and will come back later. I did want to go ahead and welcome you, though, and give you this link on NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) (as MWM has already given you the ones for bipolar and autism) just to see if you can relate.

    If I forget to come back - memory issues - send me a PM to remind me. I swear, I'd forget my own name if my kids didn't remind me. (It's MOOOOOOOMMMMMM!!!, by the way.):rofl:

    Here's the link for NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) info:
  18. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Hi, welcome.

    In describing your first child, you said, "I guess the thing that bothers me most is that she treats my every command/order as though it's a suggestion that she has the option of turning down."

    It is things like this that make me also consider high-functioning autism (including Asperger's) as a possibility.

    We often misunderstand what autism is. The diagnostic criteria seemed to have shifted a great deal in recent years. I remember reading about autism when I was a child - I grew up with a stack of old Readers Digests on the bookshelves - and I remember thinking, "I never want to have a kid with autism, it would be so horrible. And to say there is no cure, and you are better off putting them in an institution and forgetting you ever had them! Not me, never, no way!"
    Oh boy, have we changed!

    difficult child 3 is not typical. I have learnt that few autistic kids ARE typical. difficult child 3 currently attends a drama class that is technically for kids with learning problems, but in fact the majority of his classmates have autism or Asperger's. There are a few others - a Downs kid or two, a couple with unspecified developmental delay, a boy with Prader-Willi - but as a result of this mix, the IQ span is incredible. difficult child 3's IQ has been conservatively measured as about 145, and he's not the brightest in the group (although he's one of the brightest). And his best friend in the group has just learned to read - at 18. difficult child 3 was reading in infancy.

    Autism is a mix of a kid who is socially inappropriate (not necessarily withdrawn); has communication problems (but not always) and some level of extreme special interest or obsessiveness.

    Where there has been no language delay the diagnosis while still technically autism, can be Asperger's Syndrome.

    From Wikipedia, "Asperger syndrome ... is one of several autism spectrum disorders (Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)) characterized by difficulties in social interaction and by restricted, stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities. AS is distinguished from the other ASDs in having no general delay in language or cognitive development. Although not mentioned in standard diagnostic criteria, motor clumsiness and atypical use of language are frequently reported."

    difficult child 3 is socially inappropriate, in that he is extremely outgoing and would tell our life history to a total stranger. Difficulty in making eye contact - not difficult child 3. He will SEEK OUT people to talk to. If we go to a park and he has the camera to take photos, he will often walk up to a person and introduce himself (often clumsily, although we've been trying to teach him).
    And your comment about your daughter not taking orders from you - if could be connected to an Asperger's component where she simply does not acknowledge any difference between you and her, in terms of status. difficult child 3 is like this. difficult child 1 was not. easy child 2/difficult child 2 was (and is).
    It seems odd to see this 100% acceptance of all people being equal, as a flaw - but it is, when you actually have to live with it. And when I think about it - even easy child has shown signs of this. Back when she first was transferred to a city school with a very high Aboriginal enrolment (as well as a lot of kids from a very wide range of cultural and racial backgrounds) easy child made friends with a lot of kids, regardless. But she had a run-in very early on with one large girl who was a bit of a bully. This girl was picking on her, easy child called her a "female dog" and from that point on, other kids would come up and hassle easy child as well, "because you called my cousin a b**ch".
    It was the word "cousin" that tipped me off - I asked easy child is the girl she's insulted was a Koori (aboriginal) and easy child said, "I don't know. She's a kid. Like me."
    I persisted. What colour was her hair? What colour was her skin? What about her sisters? Her cousins? What colour were they?
    I finally worked out, with a fair degree of certainty, that easy child had landed herself a label of racist. She had not realised that the girl she insulted belonged to a different group of people (according to easy child, the girl had a great tan!) and the problem would need to be sorted or easy child would continue to get hassled.
    I won't go into detail - we sorted it (in an unusual but effective way) and the girls became friends. But easy child had not recognised any difference between her and this other girl.

    difficult child 3 - views an adult as being on the same social scale as a child, ANY child. It's the ultimate in egocentricity - 100% equality, because in difficult child's eyes, "everyone thinks and feels exactly what I do."
    With a very young child, this equates to, "Why didn't you get me what I wanted? I was thinking it hard enough, you should be able to know what I'm thinking." And you get the child who throws a tantrum the first time they ask for a drink, because they shouldn't HAVE to ask; you should KNOW. After all, you're the person who has been meeting the child's physical needs all her life. You MUST know! And if you know, and don't comply, then you must be withholding what she wants out of deliberate malice. = tantrum.

    There are nicer sides to this - difficult child 3's drama group classmates all really are great friends. They greet each other with a hug and encourage one another. They are learning the different capabilities (although some of the autistic kids are more scathing or condescending about others who aren't on their level). It is helping to overcome some of the social problems.

    WHAT WORKS - We've found that if we treat difficult child 3 with the respect tat we require form him, we have a chance of getting it. Eventually. He will still get impatient (especially when feeling frustrated) but we do not get loud and angry with him, we just quietly say, "I didn't use that tone of voice with you; please treat me with respect."

    We also found that we MUST give time warnings, even if he's doing a job he doesn't particularly like. For a while we found that we would give a time warning when he was, say, playing a computer game and yet when we went to call him for the final warning, he would insist he hadn't been told. And in his mind, he hadn't. He would then accuse us of lying to him and spoiling his fun.
    So we put a post-it note in the corner of the computer screen with the name of the task and the time warning he'd been given. It meant that if he said, "I never got told!" we could just point to the note and say, "remember me putting this there?"

    The thing is, by doing this you are giving your child RESPECT. And it is the same respect we want - if we're in the laundry doing the ironing, and our kid comes in and says, "Where's my drink?" we not inclined to drop what we're doing and go get them a drink, are we?
    Even if the kid asks politely, "Mum, can you please get me a drink?" we are likely to say, "I am doing the ironing, I need to finish this first." And if the child comes back in at five minute intervals (or less) and says, "I want my drink!" it's going to make us cranky.
    But that is what WE are doing, when we nag and expect immediate compliance.

    It's important to get back in touch with what we want, as a whole. OK, we say we want a peaceful life, but we really messed THAt up, we went and had kids. So lets think - what we really want, is for our kids to do what we ask them to.
    Now, how do we achieve that?
    We do what we need to do. And we avoid punishments, instead we aim for natural consequences.
    For example: difficult child 3 is playing computer games. From HIS point of view, he has finally, for the first time, managed to unlock the next level on a particularly tricky game. He is deep in concentration and trying to manage some new action on-screen. And then I come on and say, "Dinner time!"
    If he can spare ANY mental power, he might crossly say, "Not now!"
    If I insist on instant compliance by walking over and shutting off the game, it will trigger a meltdown of Krakatoa proportions.
    If I nag, he might not even remember that I had previously told him his dinner was ready.

    Most GOOD computer games have a PAUSE option, at least at some point. So what I do now - I ask him to pause as soon as he can. I then make sure I have eye contact and say, "Your dinner will be ready for you in ten minutes. Please organise your game to fit in with this."
    If he fails to do this, then the natural consequences will be that his dinner is cold and he probably will have to eat alone. OK, dinner can always be reheated in the microwave oven, but the message still gets home.

    There is so much more I could say, but it will overload you. My point is - a lot about your daughter, from the high IQ, the better success at school, the apparent doing better with routine, the obsessiveness about certain things, doing better with time warnings, even the early reading (hyperlexia?) all fits with what I see when I meet someone with any one of a number of forms of high-functioning autism.

    difficult child 3 is definitely autistic - he had quite severe language delay. But he has sure caught up now, I reckon he's halfway to a law degree. When tested, he scores within the normal range, with some of his language scores being almost off the scale brilliant.

    There is also a school of thought that ADHD is actually one end of the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) scale, fitting in neatly to one end of autism (up near the Asperger's end).

    When I see, especially in a young child, that they've been given a diagnosis of ADHD plus ODD - I think, "I wonder if this could be Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)?"

    ODD is one of those conditions that SHOULD take a lot of testing and observation over a long period of time, to diagnose. But I think that there exists out there, especially in ADHD kids and autistic kids, a subset of difficult behaviour that can LOOK like ODD, but is in fact caused by parenting. Now, before you get upset with me - I am NOT saying that you are a bad parent. Far from it. Chances are, you are too good at parenting. BUT (and remember, I include myself in this) sometimes the WAY we parent, often based on the GOOD parenting we observed or experienced ourselves, is exactly the wrong sort of parenting for kids like ours. It may work brilliantly with other kids in our family, but for one kid, it can make them worse.

    That is how it was for us. And that is how it has been for many others on this site. We earnestly read every book on parenting to validate what we already are doing (and so often these books tell us we're doing everything as we should be) and our other kids do well - but the strict, no-nonsense approach of reward-punishment and "do unto others" is not stopping the tantrums or the bed behaviour. If anything, it's all getting worse, and we get glares when we go out in public shopping, with people clearly thinking we're lousy parents. WE know how hard we work at it! WHY doesn't it work?

    It doesn't work, because of relativity. That 100% egalitarianism in the child, which says, "we are all equal" is the problem. To a child who feels this way, one larger person who uses any kind of force (including force of personality) to rule the roost, is a bully and a threat. They do not accept our authority to do these things - in fact, they resent it.

    To win we need to move beyond resentment and work on cooperation - each with the other. It actually speeds up understanding of social requirements to do this, so it becomes win-win.

    I have moved well beyond my phobia of having an autistic child, and into the realm of possibilities. I have found that autism has bequeathed many good qualities to these kids, which otherwise would be in much smaller measure. I can use these qualities as added leverage and assurance that we are working towards a good future for the kids, cooperatively.

    And to make it good news on your budget - I've learned a lot of good stuff without having to spend money in vast sums. Our best therapy has often been what we've worked out for ourselves.

    One last thing - difficult child 3 qualified for an IEP despite his high IQ, because of his autism. It works on a functional level - what do we need, in practical terms, to help this child achieve to the best of his abilities? Just because a child is already doing better than average is NO excuse for the system not giving the child any help he/she needs.

    Your daughter may not have autism, but there are a lot of similarities I can see, which for practical purposes would respond to similar management techniques (and hopefully make EVERYBODY's life more enjoyable).

  19. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    my mom used the say the same thing about my little sister. And she got her wish; my niece is very difficult. (In retrospect, my mom did confess that she didn't really mean it, especially since her granddaughter had serious emotional issues and my little sister was just a bit wild).

    I see your kids came in the opposite order of ours--the difficult child first and then the easy child. Either way, it is quite a revelation. Kids are all different anyway, but there's a huge diff between something like introvert and extrovert, vs pooping on the sidewalk and not sleeping all night.

    I think you've come to the right place here!
  20. SaraT

    SaraT New Member

    Hi and welcome. Don't be too hard on yourself about not liking your daughter. There are still days I don't like my difficult child very much. The old saying " you have to love them but you don't have to like them" comes to mind often in my house.

    I am with the others on reading "The Explosive Child" and getting a full neurophysc workup done. Often ODD is actually a misdiagnosis of something else.(just MHO). My difficult child was diagnosis'd ADHD/ODD at first, but later we found out she actuall doesn't have ODD at all. She is actually ADHD/Mood Disorder(propbable BiPolar (BP))/Aspergers Syndrom. The Aspergers and Mood disorder explained a lot of her ODD traits. Once we set more structure and added a mood stablizer, she was like a different kid. Her meltdowns lessened greatly(although she still has some, they are not as long, 2 hrs used to be the norm), and her aggression also went down significantly. The point is, the correct diagnosis makes All the difference in helping kids like ours.

    What helped me cope with all this? A lot of research and learning about difficult child's disorders. Knowing all you can about them gives you such peace of mind. Then you know its NOT your fault, and they Can be helped.

    Hugs and good luck on your search for answers.