Just found this group and SO grateful!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by crazym&p, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. crazym&p

    crazym&p New Member

    Hi, everyone! I am a mother to 2 difficult children, both girls, age 11 and 5. I feel like I am truly losing my mind. difficult child 1 (who will actually be 11 in 10 days) just started her third week of partial hospitalization. It looks like we will end up with diagnoses of ADHD-combined and ODD, with heavy emphasis on the ODD. She also has trichotillomania and dermatillomania. I just finished reading the Chandler papers on ODD, which were a breath of fresh air - so validating. I am so relieved to find people who know what I'm going through. My child will not do anything that we want her to or ask of her, just because she doesn't have to. I am living in an emotional war zone and badly need some reinforcements. She has been suspended 3 times since winter break and the school really doesn't want her to return, but is willing to let her try again after she completes PH. Like most people on here, people think we are terrible parents despite the fact that I have worked in mental health as a social worker for 10 years with children and adolescents. The in-laws, who are professional enablers, think we should send her to live with them (just because that's what they want). She is emotionally and verbally abusive to her younger sister, also known as difficult child 2.We have just started the Smart Parenting program that the PH program recommended, so fingers crossed. Based on what I have read on this forum, I will be ordering and reading The Explosive Child as well.

    difficult child 2 was born ODD. Seriously. We started seeing symptoms at age 15 months. Everyone thinks it's adorable how "strong-willed" she is. Even her PreK teachers thought it was cute until recently. Now she's out of control. On top of the issues we have always had with her, she is now getting more extreme behaviors modeled for her by difficult child 1. So now the school wants to discuss her as well. We are in a bad situation - we live in the worst school district in one of the worst states in the US. Public schools are not an option for us and we can't move right now. Our private school wants us to go away. We have completely lost control of our home and our children and feel like we are literally suffocating. As a result, I have developed an anxiety problem where I have trouble swallowing and have lost 15 pounds in 3 months. I was already underweight.

    Before someone suggests it, neither of our children have any symptoms or red flags for any ASDs. They are neurotypical. Both have advanced cognitive, language, and social skills, though both have difficulty with social situations due to oppositional behavior. They are both extremely "bossy."

    I am just really glad to have a place where I can admit that right now, I don't like my children, and I really want them to go away. That's such a horrible thing for a parent to say, but we all have our limits. I look forward to getting to know everyone on here!
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi crazy!

    sounds like you have your hands full but are also a very capable mom! Your girls are lucky.

    We look forward to getting to know you better as well. Welcome aboard!

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Any psychiatric problems on either side of their GENETIC family trees? That includes Dad, even if he's never been in their lives. Unfortunately, both parents, there or absent, contribute 50% of a child's DNA. Are they on any medication? Has it worked?
  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hello. Really sorry you are going through such a stressful time. I understand your honest feelings :) I too am new to this forum and have just got a copy of "The Explosive Child" which I can see is absolutely relevant to my own case and is going to be a valuable tool indeed.... My son is only four but already I can see how my behaviour with him really alters his own... It is hard to admit - and I don't mean to widen this out to a general rule - but until recently I haven't been very focused on how best to handle my son when he is being oppositional or "difficult". I have just got angry and stressed myself - which just made things much, much worse (of course?) More recently I have been more attentive and more "parental", basically because I cannot live in such conditions of horrible tantrums, rages, etc, in the sense that I have stopped trying to impose my will on my son and I have also stopped judging and condemning him for his obstinacy and rages (as though he was just being a spoilt brat). Feeling more compassion and understanding makes me want to reach out and help him in his difficulties of dealing with frustration, etc, rather than "punish" him. And, lo and behold, his behaviour has got better and we are not locked in such terrible battle all the time... But it's not all going to be plain sailing. There are troubled waters ahead, for sure... But I want to learn how to navigate through them rather than just getting caught up in the storm all the time! I am not at all saying this is "our fault" or being bad parents or any of that. I am just saying that we have been dealt the hand we have been dealt in having "difficult" children and different methods HAVE to be used with them rather than the ones we have tried and failed at...
    Do read the book! It's good...
  5. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Crazym.

    You have definitely come to the right place. Read Flutterby's thread and you'll get some ideas. Also, read The Defiant Child by Dr. Douglas Riley. And The Out-of-Sync Child.

    Many hugs.
  7. crazym&p

    crazym&p New Member

    Yes, psychiatric problems on both sides of the family tree. I have been treated for chronic major depression for 14 years. My family has a history of ADHD and Borderline PD (which is my greatest fear at this time).

    Dad and I are married and he has always been heavily involved - where would I be without him? He had ADHD as a child, though it was probably misdiagnosed - he met criteria for ODD or CD as well. His side of the family has major psychiatric problems, all undiagnosed, because they deny everything.

    We are pretty much a genetic toxic soup.

    difficult child 1 is on medications - we have tried everything. Currently on Dexedrine, Celexa, and Tenex. Very little improvement with any medications. The Celexa did decrease the frequency of tantrums. difficult child 2 takes no medications, we are trying to see if we can manage behavior without them, but I think they are definitely in our future. We are trying to wait - she's only 5 :(
  8. crazym&p

    crazym&p New Member

    Thanks for the support. difficult child 2 is definitely an Out-of Sync child - we read the book when she was 18 months. We are exploring an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation before having to go the psychiatric route. She is a sensory seeker and has poor body awareness.
  9. Cyberthrasher

    Cyberthrasher New Member

    My wife and I are new here too (within the last week) and we've already received invaluable help from the members here. We're in the same boat with people treating us like we're bad parents and don't know what we're doing (as it appears many of the parents here are as well). I can't offer you much insight into your problems, other then the fact that the resources you've picked up are the same ones that look promising to us. I know it's all helped me realize that I have to really force myself to take a good look at how my own actions are effecting the situation. Hopefully it all works out for you. I'm sure you'll find all the support you need here.

    - Allen
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi and welcome! I will do a longer post later - my hands are bad today.

    Get the Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation as soon as you can. My youngest has Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) (sensory integ disorder) and it has lead to majro problems. the psychiatrists and esp the neuropsychologist that I have spoken with (he saw one psychiatrist, the other was seeing my daughter and I asked about this) said that by treating the Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) early (age 3 or 4 was the diagnosis but we did the right thigns before sort of by accident), we very likely kept it from developing to the point where he got an asperger's diagnosis. We all (my side) have autistic traits but the help for Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) was enough to help him learn to handle them before things got bad enough that they warranted the aspie diagnosis. The neuropsychologist said that they are on a spectrum - Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) and autism - and sometiems the right treatment for one part of the problem can keep others from getting worse. But it isn't enough in many cases and you cannot be upset if you didn't get help earlier. You do the best you can when you can.

    GEt a copy of The Out of Sync Child Has Fun and use it. Note which activities she likes and which she hates and which she doesn't care about. Over time you will find trends and often what they like and/or seek out turn out to be exactly what they need. Also have the Occupational Therapist (OT) teach you how to do brushign therapy with joint compression. It is easy and fast and incredible. most astonishing therapy I have ever seen for anyone. The Has Fun book has lots of activities but many use stuff you ahve or tells you how to make your own version of stuff you need.

    Love and Logic is an amazing resource, as is The Explosive Child. Check out the Coolaborative problem Solving sticky at the top of the Early Childhood thread for ways to use TEC methods with kids under 4 if difficult child 2 is under 4.
  11. crazym&p

    crazym&p New Member

    Thanks for the support. I have The Out of Sync Child Has Fun - I'm actually a developmental therapist for kids under 3. I carry out Occupational Therapist (OT), PT, and ST treatment plans for a living. We have done brushing therapy with joint compression, a weighted vest, a crash pad/sensory space. My boss is actually the expert on Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) in our region :) Unfortunately, our insurance plan does not cover Occupational Therapist (OT), and we are financially tapped right now from difficult child 1 in a PH program. I feel so guilty not having the resources to "fix" everything at one time. The local school system is not an option for Occupational Therapist (OT) - I know this because I also do volunteer work as an educational advocate. We have one Occupational Therapist (OT) in our county - she's not even trained in sensory techniques. She doesn't even have peds certification. It's ridiculous - don't even get me started on the ST and PT in our county. So it's private pay if it's anything. We have been "making do" for years with my knowledge from work and informal consults with my co-workers.

    I'm really interested in TEC and can't wait to read it. The reviews I've read appealed to me because it seems to acknowledge the fact that traditional behavior plans do not work for my kids. If one more person tells me to do a sticker chart or behavioral contract I may hurt them. Did they think I didn't try that? My second / part time job is as an in-home counselor for CPS. I help people solve these problems all of the time. Which makes it that much more embarrassing that I can't get my own children settled. It makes me question everything - my parenting skills, my professional knowledge. Yet I'm well known for being the go-to counselor for behavioral counseling. So I can't be completely wrong in what I'm doing. It's just not working with my children. I feel completely inept in my home. Sorry for the impromptu rant...it happens a lot these days. Another reason I'm glad to have found people who have been there done that.
  12. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm going to assume to speak for the membership at large here - "Ditto"!!
  13. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    As with ANY issue, it's easier to be objective from the outside and see multiple points of view when they don't directly impact your life. When it's your own situation, of course you're more subjective about it. Perfectly normal. But you're going into this with a lot more tools than most of us had from the get-go, I'd love to be able to get my kid tested for Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) and into Occupational Therapist (OT) if she needs it, though I'd likely have to take her to another county for it. I'm still fighting the docs on getting her fully assessed, they simply don't want to do it. Use what you do know, and remember there's always more to learn, every kid is different, and make sure you have time for YOU in there somewhere, too. Give yourself the time to relax, step back, and look at things like you were on the outside.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't know if it's the same everywhere, but my son got PT, Occupational Therapist (OT) services in school. Didn't cost anything. Helped a lot.
  15. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator


    Trichotillomania and dermatillomania are anxiety-based disorders. Didn't the PHP give her a diagnosis of anxiety in any form?

    Many of us here believe that ODD is not a helpful diagnosis. We believe that underlying causes (like ADHD and anxiety) fuel the ODD behaviors. When the underlying causes are identified and treated, the oppositional behaviors will subside and improve.

    My younger daughter has severe anxiety. When her anxiety is out of control, she looks like a very oppositional child. But when we can get her anxiety under control with the right medications and therapy, she becomes much more compliant. Ross Greene's Collaborative Problem Solving techniques also help a great deal.

    Again, welcome. You will find a lot of support here.