Needing help, I have no idea where to turn

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ssb990206, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. ssb990206

    ssb990206 New Member

    This is very hard for me to do. I hate asking for help, but I no longer know what to do for my 6 year old daughter. She has become increasingly aggressive toward her siblings, stays in trouble at school, and is constantly in trouble at home. I have tried positive reinforcement, time outs, giving extra attention, and even corporal punishment as a last result to no avail. I have spoken to the peds. doctor and she has made a referral to a behavoiral specialist. Unfortunately, we have not yet gotten a response for an appointment. I was told sometimes it takes months to get an appointment.
    I feel like I have failed my daughter. Where did my once smiling, bubbly, little girl go to? I sit here with tears streaming down my face feeling guilty because it is almost bedtime and I can get some peace. I know I shouldn't feel this way, but I can't help it. Please help me. I just don't know what to do anymore. Is this my fault? Am I the problem?
  2. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! Welcome to the crowd! Don't blame yourself, she could have an issue that up until recently wasn't obvious.

    Many will stop by to give you some help - you've found a great group.

    A few questions:

    1. how was her early development? Milestones on time, etc?
    2. any fascination with one subject - somewhat of an expert on it?
    3. any sensory "quirks" like certain sounds would send her over the top, tags on shirts drive her crazy, smells or tastes that would send her off the wall?
    4. any type of mental/physical history in the family or alcohol or drug abuse?

    Sorry about being invasive, but answers to these things can really help us fine tune some suggestions.

    Try buzzing through the "Explosive Child" by Ross Greene - it can reassure you that this isn't unheard of!

    Again, welcome to the crowd! Make sure you stop in at the watercooler - we goof off and commisserate with each other!

    I'll be back, it's now time for the "bed battle"!

  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    {{{SSB}}} Welcome, you aren't alone anymore. Please make sure you ask to be placed on the cancellation list with the behavioral specialist.

    I have a few questions to add:
    Have the problems come on gradually or suddenly?
    How is she doing academically in school?
    Does she have any underlying sleep or other health problems?

    Please stop blaming yourself... a good mother doesn't seek out referrals and spend hours searching on the internet to try to figure out what's going on with their child. Gentle {{{hugs}}} to you.
  4. ssb990206

    ssb990206 New Member

    First I want to thank you for your replies. Now for a little family history. My daughter's father abused drugs while I was pregnant with her. The relationship was very volatile. He was never physically abusive with me, but very verbally and emotionally abusive throughout our marriage. I finally got up the nerve to leave him when my daughter was 2 yrs. old. After divorcing her dad I married my high school sweetheart and he considers both of my daughters his own. I do have an older daughter who is special needs. She is not totally dependent on me, but does require a little extra attention. We also have a son who is almost 3. Summer's father sees her every other weekend if he can manage the time and calls maybe once every two weeks. He has tried to kill himself multiple times and does have problems with anger, which terrifies me that my daughter my carry the same problems. I noticed her behavior changing dramatically about 6 months ago, but when I look back at it, there were other things that I should have picked up on. She had a very bad temper as a toddler. She met all her milestones on time or early. She is extremely smart and loves school. She has been in some trouble at school. Mostly talking and disobeying the teacher. The biggest thing was getting into a fight on the school bus less than a week after school started. She started the fight. She is very manipulative for being only 6. She will tell you exactly what you wanna hear when you ask her why she behaves a certain way. She loves to be involved in sports but gets very upset when she can't do something or thinks she should be able to do it better. There is nothing in paticular that seems to set her off. I have repeatedly talked to her father about this, but he says she doesn't behave this way when she is with him. Which then again he doesn't see her very often and let's her do what she wants to do. I think I've answered most of the questions. Any advice will be greatly appreciated as I have no clue what's going on.

  5. TPaul

    TPaul Idecor8

    Welcome to the board here,
    I am pretty new here myself and have already been helped and am glad I found this board.

    It sounds as if your ex hub might possibly have BiPolar (BP) disease. Some of the symptoms you mentioned sounds like can happen with a BiPolar (BP) person. BiPolar (BP)- Manic depressive can be hereditary. My wife has it, and now my son has been recently diagnosed. I suspect that my oldest daughter might possibly have some issues with it too. It is a challenge.

    Do get your daughter in to see a psychiatrist or other professional as soon as you can.

    Hugs during those trying times. And do not feel guilty for wanting everyone to be in bed so you can have some peace and quiet and be able to relax. That is what I hold on to each day, the quiet night so I can recoop and recharge for the next days challenge.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hon, your six year old needs a total evaluation. I prefer NeuroPsychs...they test for everything under the sun and take a lot of care in diagnosing. My son had ten hours of testing, but it was worth it.

    Although bio. father is gone, his genes live in your child. If he has tried to kill himself numerous times, he probably has something like bipolar disorder and people with this also have a high rate of substance abuse. Your daughter sounds like she COULD have an emerging mood disorders and in my opinion behavioral therapy probably won't do the trick. Most of our differently wired kids don't respond to normal behavioral methods such as charts or time outs. She may need medication, depending on what the problem is, so it's important to find out the best you can (in the mental health profession nothing is for sure...there are no blood tests). But the wrong treatment delays the help the child needs.

    NeuroPsychs can be found in university and children's hospitals. I hope you decide to take her to see one.

    Good luck, whatever you decide to do and welcome to the board :tongue:
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I know BiPolar (BP) has been suggested here, but there are a number of possibilities, including Asperger's. It can present (especially when unmanaged) as aggression, lack of respect for authority (because they simply don't have the social skills to recognise difference in status and respect due, according to different social position or age) and also can be associated (again when unmanaged, especially) with severe depression.

    It can also be atypical in girls, harder to diagnose.

    The early high intelligence coupled with the early behaviour issues are a red flag to me.

    Have a look at, look for the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire there and run it on your daughter and her father. It's not officially diagnostic, but it's worth printing out the results and showing them to any neuropsychologist you get your daughter in to see.

    In the meantime, read "Explosive Child" by Ross Greene, it can help in a number of different conditions which present this way. You can also use this on 'normal' kids. And adults.

    If it's Asperger's, it's not necessarily bad news. It can be good news. Any diagnosis can make it more easy to cope, in so many ways. Not just for you, but for her.


  8. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Go for the neuropsychologist evaluation. If you do not have access to that for whatever reason, try to find a board certified child psychiatrist. She needs help, and so do you.

    Hugs, and this is a supportive good place. I don't know what I would have done without this board. I don't know .
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    First of all SSB, I'm so sorry. Clearly, you are feeling awful about all this and are totally drained.

    It was wise of you to ask for help for you and your six year old daughter. You have not failed your daughter. As you can see, this is an entire website devoted to help parents concerned about their kids exhibiting behaviors similar to the ones you have mentioned. Often times, there is some sort of genetic predisposition that causes our children to behave differently. Proper medication, behavioral interventions and they say parents who learn how to react in a calm, self assured manner...make the difference.

    Sure, this is a lot to do and one thing that I find a tad frustrating is that it is hard to find the resources, but all starts with asking and that is what you have done!

    It does sound like your daughter's biological father might have some sort of issues that were never addressed appropriately. Was he ever diagnosis'd with anything? Even if you don't know what that is exactly, in the back of your mind, surely you realize there is a chance that your daughter's father has something going on...ADHD, BiPolar (BP) Disorder...but it really could be anything.

    If the bio dad is showing signs of not being "stable" for example, shows up to pick up his daughter drunk or is cussing, then I wouldn't let you daughter spend the weekend with him. If he does this a lot, I would get an attorney and stop the visitation.

    You mentioned the big delay in getting her evaluated by a behavioral specialist. Why is that? Can you get her to a child psychiatrist? A child psychologist? You know what, I would get the ball rolling...PERIOD. I would go to the next town if I had to, but I do think you really need to start moving on this. A neuro-psychiatric evaluation is good, but might require a specialist that is expensive and has a long waiting list. You can do this the mean time, you could get her to a child psychiatrist to see if they have some ideas. There is nothing wrong with doing a few different things.

    You absolutely have not failed your daughter. You have a LOT on your plate. A lot of things to take care of.

    Sometimes when a lot of things pile up, its hard to spread the attention around, but as best as you are able, please make sure you give your six year old equal mom "time." You mentioned an older daughter with special needs and she might be taking a lot of time away from the younger one, or at least it feels that way to her.

    Are there any kind relatives that might be able to help you? An aunt or grandmother who can come over and watch tv with the kids or take the to McDonalds, etc. Just an hour of something fun and loving might be a real plus for all concerned.

    Meanwhile, as best as you are able, please take good care of yourself and your relationship with your new husband.
  10. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

  11. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Just wanted to add my welcome ~ you've been given a great deal of good advice. The only thing I might add is PTSD. It presents very differently in children & it sounds like her early childhood was chaotic.

    We cannot diagnose here - that isn't our role. We are here to offer ideas of where to start. A good evaluation would be at the top of your list. A neuropsychologist if possible (though that isn't the end all be all when all is said & done).

    Again welcome - when you're beyond your rope come here. Lots of wisdom; more support.