Just looking for suggestions, maybe it's just normal behavior...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by jenniferse, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. jenniferse

    jenniferse New Member

    Hey guys, thanks for having a forum like this that parents can come to for info and insight!!

    I am the 35 y/o mommy to daughter#1 - 7 y/o and daughter#2 - 2 y/o.
    I am a wife to my hubby, fiance of 12 years, wife for a little less than 1 month now..

    My issues are with daughter#1. She has always been very social, very outgoing, extroverted and fun. She danced for a while and now plays competitive soccer. She's a natural born leader, all her teachers have said that since Kindergarten, even in daycare as a little one. She has progressively gotten more and more difficult to deal with. She does things despite the consequence, she seems to not "learn" from the mistake but rather continues to do them regardless.

    She has been getting in CONSTANT trouble at school for not being able to respect others space and talking at inappropriate times. She is constantly getting bad marks on her report card for these things and bringing home RED color changes more and more and more, even though she KNOWS there will be consequences at home and school as well. It's like she's just gonna do what in the heck ever she wants no matter who says it's not OK. She lies for no reason, about silly stuff, stuff that makes me say, SERIOUSLY honey, there was not even a good reason to lie about that...I mean, I get kids lying about stuff, they are afraid they will get in trouble or they are just scared, but there are silly trivial things that don't matter and really wouldn't hold a consequence but lying about them then does and she's constantly in trouble...it's terrible....Her teacher told me that she's not that worried about it, she's doing better 1/2 way through the year, but the RED color changes are coming more and more frequently and it's always for inappropriate behavior, speaking at inappropriate times or not respecting other classmates, touching the other kids when they don't want her to..stuff like that.

    When playing soccer she doesn't listen to anyone, not coach not her parents not the referee, and when someone does finally make her turn to acknowledge they are speaking to her, she gets angry.

    She throws fits when she doesn't get what she wants or we don't pay her closer attention than we do her sister, they are inappropriate fits, even as minute as what song is playing on the radio, it's really crazy.

    I mean this kid was so good at 2 y/o that I even said, the terrible twos??? No way, she's an angel! But the day she turned 4, literally the day, something just changed...a switch flipped.

    Homework and spelling word review is a nightmare, she doesn't want anyone to help her if she has an issue but she constantly says, I don't know how to spell it, is this plus this equaled to this? I can't figure it out....I don't want to do this I don't want to do that...and fighting me over it, again, despite the consequences she KNOWS that are at the brunt of her misbehavior.

    My husband says, you've just spoiled her, she is just rotten...but I'm her mom, I do not spoil her that way, I love her that much......and she does get disciplined, I've NEVER just GIVEN in to her or let her walk all over me for that matter....I'm just beginning to get scared that until I get to the point that I am completely ****** and have absolutely had it, that kid just doesn't care....and then there is spanking involved and loud yelling and mayhem that my now daughter#2 at 2 y/o is hearing...and it's disrupting the house....I have to get a hold of the situation...

    So, that being said, any suggestions of am I just dealing with normal 7 year old DIVA emotional behaviors or am I headed for something much worse and at what age do you say, hey, this is NOT just normal behavior and it will pass...because I've been thinking it's going to pass for the last 3.5 years and it's worsening...
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Let me guess...
    At 4, did she start preschool?
  3. jenniferse

    jenniferse New Member

    no, at 4, she was still with the same in home care provider that she had been with since she was 6 months old...like her 2nd mom, we are still very close and she currently cares for my youngest...???
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Unless... the daycare provider started prepping her for school? coloring, crafts, that kind of stuff?

    Because... our family had a really great kid... until starting K at age 4.5... K wasn't tragic, Gr 1 was down-hill, Gr 2 was... off the rails. And it went downhill from there. School - and school-type activities - are often the source of problems.

    What are her motor skills like? Especially the "fine" ones... tieing shoes, using knife-and-fork "properly", writing, drawing, coloring, cutting....? These activities form a major part of school for the first 4-6 years.

    You mention "not listening"... that's a classical symptom (NOT a problem, a symptom) of a number of different things.

    Has she ever been evaluated? as in, comprehensive evaluation? neuropsychologist, or children's hospital evaluation team?
    How about Occupational Therapist (OT) and/or Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluations?

    And no, this isn't "normal" 7yo stuff... but you already knew that, right?
    (I live with a part-time DIVA, but... not like what you describe)
  5. jenniferse

    jenniferse New Member

    I have not had her evaluated, and she is still in the 1st grade, late birthday....They said the districts don't even do prelim evaluations until midway through 2nd grade....I just keep hoping it gets better, that what ever it is she "grows out of,or matures through"...my heart of hearts tells me she is headed down a long windy road....and it's not going to straighten out..I suppose now you're going to tell me i should have her evaluated...:)
    I am going to for sure, I just needed to know that I was not overreacting, every acts like I'm overreacting,but I'm really worried about my baby...:(

    thank you!!!
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Well... there's two approaches. We're kind of split on this board - just other parents, based on our own experience...

    Some people believe you start with a comprehensive evaluation.
    Our experience was, start with the stuff that tends to get missed... and that most comprehensive evaluators are not set up to deal with at the detailed level...
    Interesting thing is, these evaluations will not result in "big" dxes... if any dxes at all. But... there are interventions and accommodations that help these things, and if she has any of these, it's worth getting started... including at school.

    1) Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation for motor skills and sensory issues. Either is huge, they can have both. Occupational Therapist (OT) won't usually diagnosis anything, but does have therapies and interventions that help, and the Occupational Therapist (OT) report is useful at school and for other evaluators to take into consideration.

    2) Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluation for APDs, especially the non-language forms... problems like auditory figure ground are huge, but usually missed... this one is where the person has normal (or better) hearing, has good language development, does well one-on-one in a quiet room... but falls apart/performance degrades/doesn't "listen"/etc. in a "classroom" (i.e. a very noisy environment). No medications for this at all... but auditory accommodations are a huge benefit, including personal FM systems (sometimes called auditory trainers) and/or soundfield systems.

    These may be part of the picture, they may be a major part of the picture... or they may be side-notes to some other problem(s). But it's worth checking these out... "in" or "out", it pays to know.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The time to start looking for answers is when you see it having a negative impact on her life, like always being in trouble. And/or when your instincts say that something isn't right. Mom instincts are a gift meant to ensure the survival of your child. They don't lie, or fudge or exaggerate. If you ignore your mom instincts, it usually ends up in regrets. The times I made really BIG mistakes iwth my kids were always when an expert (or my mom) insisted one thing and my gut said another and I did what the expert wanted. Mistake in a huge way every time.

    I am thinking something is going on. This is not normal for a child who was 'well behaved' the first few years. I am wondering if maybe she has a problem with the social cues and things that are not taught explicitly. Most diagnosis's of this are of some level of autism, but it is NOT a hopeless diagnosis. My father is an Aspie, meaning if he were ever evaluated he would get a diagnosis of asperger's disorder. He taught school for almost 40 yrs very successfully, has a family that loves him, a wife of over 45 yrs, and overall has had a wonderful independent life. My son is also an aspie but he is in college getting top grades and has a lot of friends, is always doing something with them, andhas turned from a difficult child to a easy child in a major way.

    Autism is NOT the stereotyped thing people think of. The diagnosis isn't scary once you realize it is just meaning that she has to elarn things a different way. She may not realize that other people don't want her in their space - it may not make sense to her. This would be a symptom. How do you help it? Look for social stories online and on amazon/ebay/bookstores/ She will likely need the various social rules spelled out and practiced.

    I am not saying she IS or MUST be autistic in any degree or level. It is just one diagnosis I can thnk of that would have these behaviors happening.

    One thing to think about is that children do well when they are able, not when they want to. Chances are she isn't really sure what those social rules are, and something is keeping her from remembering them.

    I would do the Occupational Therapist (OT) and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluations. Ignore the school when they say she is 'too young' or they don't do that yet. They do. THey are required to evaluate her within a certain number of days after receiving a letter from you asking for a full and complete evaluation. You can find a form in the archives to put her name and school etc... in and then you send the letter certified mail return receipt requested. Make sure that the letter says that it is your permission for the school to do the testing so they don't try to tell you that you have to sign other forms and the deadline doesn't start until they are signed. The cert mail will put into place legal protections for your daughter and that timeline that is mandated by federal law. It is NOT optional and is not tied to the school calendar. Regardless of what the school tells you.

    I would also look for private Occupational Therapist (OT) and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluations because school ones just are not the most complete. they can do part of it, but you also need private evaluation to find the stuff that impacts her outside of school.

    Welcome to our forum. Here you will find a huge source of support, info, help and lots of people who won't judge you and who will understand because we have been there done that.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, I have raised five kids already (got the t-shirt I SURVIVED). In the US, we usually start with early intervention, however you didn't see anything very early (no delays or rages,r ight?) So you start when you notice trouble and the earlier, the better because a young brain can be changed more easily than an older one.

    If this were me, I would start with either a neuropsychologist evaluation or, because s he is so young, a complete evaluation by a group of professionals who work together (you usually find this in university)...a team approach, so to speak. That's how we started with my son. This is especially important because she is having academic problems and needs help maybe with modifications in school...and without certain buzz words you won't get any. You kind of have to play the game. The school will also have to evaluate, but they are less trustworthy and usually do not do as good a job of figuring out what is going on. However, they still have to do it. So you need to put a request in writing for IEP testing. This is very important to get help and understanding in school and, in the long run, for your c hild to succeed. Due to an IEP, for example, my son got Occupational Therapist (OT), PT, social skills and learning accomodations in school (free of charge, but very effective). Oops...he also got speech. He was labeled "autistic spectrum." My daughter who is simply Learning Disability (LD) got help learning how to read...she had a processing problem that held her back from reading and a poor short term memory. She has caught up to her peers and is now reading at her grade level (she is now 15), but in third grade she was not able to figure out how to put sounds together at all. She was a non-reader, even with Title One help.

    My son and daughter are both in their teens and doing much much better than expected (daughter wants to go to college) due to the early interventions. Along the way, we also had the normal hearing tests, neurological exams, and my son, who was very complicated, had a genetics test. He was a long journey.

    Your daughter sounds l ike she could use some work on her social skills. They can offer that in school too, but she has to qualify. It is good that she has so many good traits. There is a lot of hope for her, but it's a go od idea to get her on track ASAP.

    Welcome to the board :)

    To IC: It's not that I disagree with you. I don't :) It's just that in my experience they do catch those issues at the neuropsychologist...or they send you to somebody else afterward. Sensory issues aren't that hard to figure out and the processing problems my daughter has were actually caught in school (yes, in school...lol!). In our experience there was no need to go from professional to professional. However, a child team approach also includes a group of professionals who all work together. I still like the neuropsychologist better due to the intensity of the testing in all areas, but a team approach is often good for younger kids. So we are NOT at odds. Just had different experirences, I think. In our case, my son went to a group of professionals at a university hospital and was tested seperately by each one. It was headed by a neuropsychologist and he spent all day there (with a few breaks to eat and veg out). I don't remember everyone there, but do know there was a speech therapist and a few others. He was only six at the time and he's eighteen now and I'm fifty-eight and my memory ain't all tha great anymore...haha :)
  9. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    First of all, welcome to our little family. You have found a a very supportive group of parents here.

    This jumped out at me. How does your husband treat her at home? If she thinks that her dad really doesn't like her, or really does think that she's "rotten" that can only make things alot worse (believe me on this one! difficult child seriously thinks that he is not loved in any way here and it makes thing SO much harder to deal with). Also, how old was your daughter when your younger daughter was born? We were told that we loved difficult child until he was 5, and after that any love we had for him turned to hate? Guess what happened when difficult child turned 5? His little brother was born and he started school? Don't get me wrong, he was ALWAYS difficult, but he seems to think that something in the home changed at 5 (which it did) and that suddenly we hated him.

    Have you spoken to the school about testing her for hearing problems or auditory processing issues? You said that they don't start looking for things until mid way into second grade, but I think if you ask for the testing they have to do it, regardless of the age.
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    You are in the USA?? Federal law mandates child find beginning at the age of ....BIRTH.... now some things are hard to identify early, like specific learning disabilities because of course, there is little to test for that before second/third grade and even later for some kids who are more borderline....but honestly, from your initial post, I dont think you are looking at simply a specific learning disability.

    I agree one thing to check out (along all the things others said....Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)/auditory processing and Occupational Therapist (OT) sensory--esp given the lack of awareness of space/boundaries. ) would be high functioning autism or Aspergers. These kids can seem very typical except for a few social issues and the types of things you described. There are folks who do not understand the true range of issues in autism spectrum disorders who will say no way it is possible, but, and of course this is only from a little post so no way you can take it as a sure thing...just something to investigate......there are many kids who have been treated as either just a behavior disorder, adhd plus ODDand/or anxiety....and years and years later they finally get the appropriate diagnosis of some form of autism spectrum disorder. Kids on the spectrum often DO like to be with others, seem like leaders (but it is that they only can see it their way and want things their way, they can be pretty rigid about it sometimes), but they have skill deficits that make things difficult and the gap widens as they get older. They also do not always have eye contact problems, and many many are typical academically or even gifted.

    As they get older things get tougher and they are labeled more and more with unflattering and unhelpful labels that have to do with describing their behavior (rude, disrespectful, oppositional, bossy, lazy, disorganized, spoiled, etc....)

    I would for sure put in writing that you want a full educational evaluation including behavior analysis which if you start now may not be done by the end of this year but will put her at the top of the list for next year because there are time lines for completing evaluations...then while you are gearing up for that, set up the private Occupational Therapist (OT) and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluations.....along with a neuropsychologist. (another way to go is to do a developmental pediatrician or a child development clinic where they have all of these folks as a team) but in general if you only see a psychologist or psychiatrist you will just get a behavior or mood diagnosis and I for one feel like kids need a broader evaluation to start. (there are clear exceptions, yours is not one of those I suspect, like known abuse or strong family history of a specific mental healthy diagnosis, but even then we need to know strengths and weaknesses in learning and they do not do those kinds of tests).

    so if you have the s/l and Occupational Therapist (OT) results to bring to a neuropsychologist who can then help see how the brain and behavior is connected (they do a broader view in my opinion, so can diagnosis mood, developmental issues, mental health issues, learning issues, etc.)....then THOSE results can be brought and school evaluations must consider outside information. They do not have to take it as it is but they must consider it when assessing your child.

    I have been distracted by my phone several times writing this so I am sure it is all over the place, I hope others will be along to check in and can be more clear, sorry....
  11. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    If you are in the USA, that is illegal. Please let us know what country you are in so we can help you deal with the schools.
  12. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    She sounds a bit like my first grade son. He does not like to be corrected, does not want to attempt anything new because he doesn't want to do it wrong and when he is required to do a task he gives up before trying or becomes dependent on the adult doing it so it is right. The child refused to attempt to ride a two-wheeler for years, but now that he's 7 and getting too big for the bike that has training wheels I gave him an ultimatum- no scooter until you TRY to ride the bike for 5 minutes. Well, he stormed off and wasn't going to ride that scooter if it meant he had to try the bike. Next day, he tried the bike, fell, went inside, came out, tried again and figured it out in less than 10 minutes. He was then cruising excitedly down the street and declared bike riding was awesome. It seems he has to wait until he is overly ready to do things (like swim, etc) and then he has less chance of perceived failure. For my son, this is tied to anxiety/self-conciousness. Maybe your daughter is hyper aware and sensitive of any perceived shortcoming and gets defiant or ignores when she comes face to face with criticism.
  13. jenniferse

    jenniferse New Member

    She will try new things, but often so unsure of herself that she can't do it right or well or whatever her expectation is so she gets angry and sad about it, then just wants to quit.

    Her dad is very hard on her with reguard to soccer, he just wants her to perform at her full potential and she is very talented.

    I am hard on her about her behavior and about her laziness and school/home behavior, but I feel like that is my job as her mother, to lead her in the right direction.

    I am determined to figure that kid out I tell you!! :)

  14. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Have we yet suggested the books ...TheExplosive Child and Lost In School by Ross Greene and also What Your Explosive. Child is trying to tell you by Douglas. Riley.
    Even if not explosive it helps with kids who do not respond to typical parenting methods. Yes it is our responsibility to teach them to do better but for many of us that means giving up on the traditional reward /consequence methods. If there are organic issues and/or skill deficits that just leads to hurt feelings, frustration, and an increase in battles. Check them out. Huge perspective changers. (No it does not mean giving in...it is a different way to work on things ).
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Go read the books by Greene.... don't HAVE to get both... Lost in School is a teacher's perspective, The Explosive Child is a parent perspective... same bottom line.

    Key lesson fro those books?
    "Kids do well if they can". NOT... Kids do well if they want to.

    Behavior... is the result of something.
    Laziness is... just a label, but a dangerous one, because... it's usually the result of other things.

    You can give a kid medications to reduce a fever... but if you don't deal with the cause of the fever it doesn't really do any good and may do harm.

    Trying to apply methods to change behavior... may be like treating the fever.
    What is the underlying cause?

    (sorry if I sound a bit harsh... difficult child spent 10 years in school with the "lazy" label... the reality is, he's got 7+ dxes... most, received recently, and finally getting the right accommodations and interventions, and... they don't call him lazy any more!)
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  16. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and welcome!

    I just had to LOL at the teachers describing her as a "natural born leader" - that's just code for "bossy". (As you can tell, I'm the parent of a "natural born leader" myself!)

    OK - so there is clearly something going on. She seems clueless about the social clues from others and is constantly invading their personal space, it also sounds like there are some impulse control issues. Neither of these is something you can really discpline for - the first because she has no idea what you are talking about and the second because she doesn't have a "brake" in her head that kicks in when it should....by the time she knows that she wants to do something - she has already gone and done it before there was even time to think about possible consequences.

    I think it's going to be important to rule out auditory processing issues, as well. Even though her ears are probably fine - the brain may not actually be processsing all the sounds correctly. A soccer field is a noisy, chaotic place - she may be genuinely unable to distinguish the sound of the coach speaking from the noise of the game. And by the time she is grabbed and forced to turn around to look at the speaker, the speaker is probably aggravated with her - and so your daughter responds angrily at the aggravated tone.

    So I agree with the others who are advising you to look into some testing. Once you get an idea of where the problems are - it will help point you in the correct direction for making positive changes.

    Good luck!
  17. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Lazy is (in my mind at least) a harsh and likely inaccurate label for a 7 year old. In what ways do you think she exhibits 'lazy' behavior? Is it because she isn't meeting the standards you and your husband have set for her? Part of blossoming into your own person is to discover your talents (good job encouraging her to join soccer) and then strive for excellence, but these are intrinsic qualities (inside the person) and can't be forced by outsiders and still yield both outward success and an intact self-esteem.