Need Help/suggestions/support: Child with- ODD, ADHD, history of sexual abuse

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by chococat, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. chococat

    chococat New Member

    Hello, I haven't been on this forum in quite some time because my daughter had been doing well, but some very serious behaviors and issues have just come up. Let me start with a little background: My daughter is 10 years old has ODD, ADHD, Insomnia, and we recently (this spring) found out she was sexually abused by some kids (younger than 12 years old) in our old apartment complex from the age of 6-8. This came out because I caught her watching a pornographic video on the laptop, with a female friend (her age) and asked her if something had happened to her that might have lead to this behavior. (since that incident I have made the laptop inaccesible to her) She's been in therapy for years, and on medication since she was 6 years old, and has begun processing the abuse with her therapist and I since I found out. This summer she went to stay with her dad, step-mom, half-brother (age 9) and half-sister (age 3). Her dad and step-mom are aware of her diagnoses and were told about the sexual abuse. a couple weeks ago her step-mom called and told me that she (the step-mom) went outside to smoke and looked in the bedroom window to check on the kids and saw my daughter put a pillow over the 3 year old half-sister's face. She ran inside and stopped her. When asked why she did it, my daughter said she was "bothering her"... I called and spoke to my daughter and heard no other issues until Thursday night... I got a call saying that my daughter's step mom walked into the room and saw my daughter touching her half-sister in a sexually inappropriate way... My daughter was extremely upset, as was the step-mother (not to mention how angry/upset/confused I was, as well) The step-mom sent my daughter to my mom's house for the remainder of her visit (only 4 days til she was scheduled to leave.) I called my daughter's therapist and he said that he would begin a more specific kind of therapy for her once she returns home. She is visiting my ex (he was with me for 7 years) right now, he is also aware of what happened and she will not be around any kids during her visit. The therapist will also have a phone session with her on Thursday. He also informed me that he would be required to report this incident if he was given any more information (names, etc) and suggested that it be reported by us. He said that because of her age, the circumstances, and this being a first time occurance that my daughter would not be treated as a criminal, but would be required to have therapy etc (which was our plan already, anyways) I asked the step-mom to report the incident, and when she did so she called me and said that my daughter could not come back to visit next summer because the step-mom was told by CPS that she (the step-mom) was in trouble for failure-to-protect because she allowed(?) my daughter to be alone with her half-sister after the pillow incident... Has anyone here ever gone through something like this? Has anyone ever heard of a parent being charge for failure to protect when a difficult child hurt a sibling? Does anyone have any input, suggestions, advice? This incident occured in Michigan, we currently live in Utah. This whole situation is extremely upsetting to me. I feel terrible that this happened, feel terrible that my daughter did this to her half-sister (though the step-mom said she is doing well, doesn't act any different, or realize that anything bad happened), that I wasn't there for my daughter, that my daughter is going to lose the relationship with her siblings, and worry about how this will affect her... There are no other children in my home, besides my daughter, and I will be providing constant supervision when she is around other children, from now on. I don't know what else to write, there's just so much that I don't even know where to end this.... Thank you for reading this and for any advice or suggestions...
  2. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    It sounds like you are doing everything you can to help your daughter. This is a heart wrenching situation. If you are worried about her losing the relationship with her siblings maybe a long distance relationship would be best. They can see each other with a web cam (supervised of course), send letters, emails, presents in the mail (kids love getting mail.) It sounds like you have a good relationship with the step-mom.

    I also live in Utah. I have a sometimes violent difficult child and haven't heard of the failure to protect. I think that CPS might differ from state to state and sometimes differ depending on which person you get as a case manager. Michigan CPS might be different than Utah CPS.
  3. chococat

    chococat New Member

    Thank you for your response. I feel like no matter how many "right" things I have done/do it feels like things happen anyways :( I know it could have been worse if I wasn't proactive... but I still feel a little helpless. When she was very young I taught her that her body was her body, taught her about personal space, read "your body belongs to you", encoruaged her to speak with me if anyone ever hurt her etc etc... and she was abused anyways, not once but several time over several years... I had her in therapy before we even found out about the abuse, and after we increased the therapy, I bought her books (shes' a big reader, and really appreciated this), we talked... *sigh* I'm just very torn up about this whole thing. I never wanted my daughter to have to experience any of these things and always tried to give her the best chances and the most resources, tools, and education for life... I'm so glad I only had 1 child, I don't know what I'd do if I had to care for more than just her, she's been a challenge her whole life and I know it's not her fault... Another thing I forgot to mention in my first post: my daughter takes clonidine twice a day for impulsivity and the step-mom hadn't been giving the afternoon dose consistently because my difficult child was being "good." I can't help but wonder, if she had been given the medications, if these things would have happened :(
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member


    Welcome to the board. I'm sorry you needed to find us. My daughter (Kanga) was also sexually abused prior to kindergarten and was/is dangerous to the other children. Some advice from the trenches:

    1. She should never be left alone with other children. This includes playing outside. And absolutely no sleepovers. This is not a punishment, it is a safety measure.

    2. While step-mom may have been threatened with 'failure to protect', it will be dad who needs to decide how he wants to manage his relationship with his daughter. If your mom lives near him and she has no other children in her home, maybe your daughter can stay with her and dad can pick her up each day when they can focus on supervising her directly (eye-sight supervision 100% of the time).

    3. Don't bother calling CPS unless (a) it is an adult or older teen abusing a child (b) it is your last hope to get services. In most places, they are useless in dealing with difficult child-children, they are 'trained' to deal with difficult child-parents.

    4. Find a therapist who specializes (check them out carefully) in childhood sexual abuse. Find out which type of therapy they will be using with her (EMDT, CBT, DBT, etc).

    5. Let your daughter know that what happened to her when she was little was not her fault. Also let her know that trying to smother her sister and touching her in a sexual way is completely unacceptable and that any future incidents of her doing that will result in the same punishment as if she hit them.

    6. Ask the psychiatrist to review her medications, while not giving her the Clonodine consistently probably contributed to the lack of impulse control, there may be a better medication for her and the psychiatrist needs to be given all of the info about the summer so that he/she can decide.

    7. Look in a mirror and tell yourself that this is not your fault. You did not abuse her. You did not allow abuse to continue with your knowledge. It is normal to allow children to play together. It is normal for children, despite the best lessons on good touch/bad touch, to not tell when something like this happens.

    8. Stick around here. I've been here 10 years and this board has supported me through more crisis than I care to remember.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I was a foster/adoptive mom. In my state, you can be charged with failure to protect if you allow your child to be around a dangerous child IF you know about it. I'm not surprised she was charged. We adopted a boy who sexually perped on our two younger kids and as soon as we found out, he was gone.

    I recommend taking her to a therapist who SPECIFICALLY works with children who were sexually abused. Not all therapists know how to approach this issue the right way. My two younger kids went (as the ones who were perped on) and both are doing extremely well in their teens. They have never touched another child inappropriately. This is has to dealt with swiftly and completely.

  6. chococat

    chococat New Member

    Thanks for the responses, I read them from my phone but was unable to respond easily since I was out of town. Update on this: My daughter returned home on Monday and has started school. She met with her therapist Tuesday and we started working on this issue. I also spoke with her psychiatrist and we have an appointment to meet with her on the 6th (earliest available). I'm searching for other resources/support in our area, but doesn't look like there is much. I got a call from the lady at CPS in MI and I explained the situation to her and assured her that my daughter was now getting specific treatment for this, and had been getting treatment prior to the event, I gave a release of information for her to speak with my daughters therapist. When I went to MI to visit family I called her to see if she needed to meet with me but I never got a response, so I'm assuming that is a no (I know they are very busy.) My daughter has been doing very well since she's been home and I'm continuing to monitor her if she's around any other kids.