New at this

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by AtMyWitsEnd33, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. AtMyWitsEnd33

    AtMyWitsEnd33 New Member

    I am here because I am the mother of a 9 year old daughter who was diagnosed with anxiety and co-morbid ADHD about a year and a half ago. She is currently seeing a psychiatrist and a psychologist who are treating her (mostly for the anxiety portion). When we first began seeing the doctors it was summer and there was no school - things seemed to improve quickly and people started saying that they saw a change in my daughter. Now that school is fully underway things are falling apart at the seams again.
    A large portion of the problem is that she has a very hard time functioning in a social situation, yet she wants to be social and have a lot of friends. She started in a new school this year and at the beginning had a lot of friends and kids were seeking her out to play etc. Now that her "true colors" have begin to shine through she is losing friends, having trouble in extracurricular activities and she/we is/are in a major downward spiral.
    She is very bright and thus far her diagnoses have not interfered with her learning, but they are interfering with just about every other aspect of her life and they are taking a toll on our family.
    Her doctors have talked about medication and I think that it may be time to move forward with that. I am exhausted. Ever since she was born I have tried to figure this child out but have never been able. I just want to enjoy my daughter and get our family back to happy status but am not sure that medication is the answer or not.
  2. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Welcome! There will be lots of questions at first as we get to know you.

    Who did the diagnosis? I've had very hit and miss with a psychiatrist or therapist being able to diagnosis. The one who has done the diagnosis with difficult child 1 was a neuropsychologist. He has a bunch of co-morbid stuff and I don't think she caught all of it, but she was right on with what she did diagnosis. (I just think there is another diagnosis in there looming in the background.)

    Has she been tested for autism? Does she have an IEP?
  3. AtMyWitsEnd33

    AtMyWitsEnd33 New Member

    The original testing was done by a child psychologist and a learning specialist. Their office was a little whacked so I wound up going to the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychology of our local children's hospital. That is where we are now, seeing a psychiatrist every six weeks and a psychologist once a week.

    She is definitely not autistic and interacts very well with adults, especially in a one on one situation. She definitely has impulse control problems and very often cries and says she wants to be good but she doesn't know how. It's heartbreaking for me as her mom.

    And if you wouldn't mind bringing me up to speed on the lingo. . . difficult child? easy child? I know husband and stay at home mom, I'll learn quick I promise!!!! :) And thank you for reaching out, it's hard being new.
  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member


    For definitions of the acronyms, if you hold your cursor on the line under the abbreviations, it should pop up.
  5. AtMyWitsEnd33

    AtMyWitsEnd33 New Member

    Thank you! Got it. That'll make things easier. And I forgot to answer one question that Liahona asked -- daughter does not have an IEP, but something called 'RIT' (response to intervention) which is similar to a 504 but is not legally binding. So far, her diagnoses have not interfered at all with her learning, in fact she is over the 90th percentile in all the standardized testing she has taken so far. She is extremely smart, which sometimes is part of the problem.
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    If she is gifted and adhd with anxiety yes, she could have some serious social problems. Some gifted children are great academically but not as sophisticated socially. One thing, and not knowing more I will just throw this out there, but of course you know what she is like in the big picture, many kids with Asperger's do very well conversationally, especially with adults. They can have some serious opinions and rigid rules about things along with not fully understanding subtle social rules which can really interfere with making or keeping friends. They are often diagnosed first with adhd/anxiety and sometimes ODD. Many people are not diagnosed correctly with Asperger's until they are much older and see an autism specialist or a neuropsychologist who really understands the full Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) spectrum. (regardless of whether asperger's is an issue, a neuropsychologist evaluation is really comprehensive and will help figure out if there is any other diagnosis worth considering) Just a thought to look at. of course I am saying this only from the little bit you wrote because it is a common story many here and in my real life have gone through. Doesn't mean it actually applies to you of course.
    In terms of medications, I can only share our experience and that is that my son would not be living with me with out medications. That said, it is a rough road to find the right medication and then to keep having to adjust as they grow and change. Still, for us it is critical, wish it was not that way but it is. If medications make a child's life more like a child should be able to live, then it is worth it. It is a huge decision and anyone who thinks parents just want to drug their kids into submission is crazy. It simply doesn't work that way. You try a medication, if it helps great, you use the minimal dose that works. It doesn't make all the behaviors go away, it puts them in a place to be able to reduce behaviors and work on skills. medications are just one tool toward working with a child. (that is IF they work, sometimes it is just not the right thing) Has she been tested by an Occupational Therapist (OT) for sensory integration issues? Does she have any motor problems (clumsy, etc)?

    Many schools will say that if a child is developing academically then they don't need an IEP. That is not true. Federal law includes social/emotional development as a reason to have an IEP. If this is interfering with her ability to get along in school socially then she is eligible for an IEP. Many parents here will testify to that fact. see and and several other websites for special education.

    Welcome, sounds like your hands are full! So glad you have found this site. You will see many of us struggle with out of the box kids. So, if you are up to us more!!! c u later, Buddy
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm going to ditto the neuropsychologist evaluation. Sounds like she is "differently wired" and could use the intensive type of evalution a neuropsychologist does. in my opinion nobody is better than a neuropsychologist at diagnosing. I trust Mom Gut. If you think something is going on that has not been discovered yet, keep looking. I want to add t hat she COULD still be on the autism spectrum. Many autistic kids interact well with adults because they are accepting of "different-ness." Peers are not so forgiving. Aspergers kids tend to be very bright but socially clueless. I would not rule it would be a shame if she were put on some psychiatric medications and did not really have a psychiatric problem. She COULD be on the high functioning end of the spectrum and be taught how to socialize. Just a thought. Been there, done that. They told me "no way" too at first.

    Welcome to the board :)
  8. Bunny

    Bunny Guest


    If you think that it is time to look into medications, then I would bring that up the next time you and difficult child go see the psychiatrist, but I have to says that medications will not make it perfect. I don't know if they ever can. They are more of a tool, a helper if you will. I know with my difficult child, he still has his moments, but they are not a often as they once were, and when he does whirl out of control, he is mush easier to bring back down.
  9. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    Maybe a peer mentor, older buddy, sister mentor etc can help , one really needs 2 or 3 close friends

    I suggest checking out the Collaborative problem solving approach by Ross Greene - see his site and start working with specific problems - detail is important , no blame focusing initially on your child's concerns , not behavior , your concerns and solving problems
  10. AtMyWitsEnd33

    AtMyWitsEnd33 New Member

    I am overwhelmed by the support I have gotten in just two days on this site! Thank you everyone for your feedback and information -- I am eternally grateful.

    Ever since my daughter was born I have always thought something was not right about her. She was a very colicky infant who was difficult to console and was not as happy as I always thought a baby should be. Toys entertained her for 3 minutes each before she wanted to move onto something new. She has never just sat and played with a toy for 15-20 min. She is always onto the next thing. So many of her behaviors point to ADHD but she has also failed an emotions recognition test. She was shown several photographs of real human faces with various expressions and had a very difficult time determining what that facial expression meant. The docs seemed to gloss over that fact and not be concerned but as a parent and human being it is something that has always haunted me. It is so hard for me to understand how you cannot look at a sad face and know that person is sad.

    I have to admit I am EXHAUSTED. For her entire 9 years I have done battle with this child. I spend most of my time wishing for her to grow up fast so that maybe the problems will go away. I want to enjoy my daughter, I want to be able to look forward to spending time together rather than dreading when the next explosion is going to occur. One on one with an adult she is great. If she is getting 100% of your undivided attention she is happy as can be - but we all know that is so unhealthy and not realistic. The other thing that has always amazed me is that she is the happiest on stage - when she performs (she sings, dances and is involved with theater) she lights up like a firework. It's like that is how much attention she needs to be a happy kid - and I know that that is terribly unhealthy.

    I spoke to the therapist on Tuesday when we were there for our weekly appointment and she suggested having us fill out the Conner (?) Scale for ADHD to see if medication would be the next step. I hate to put too much faith in medications, knowing they will only give us a tiny bit of relief but at this point even a tiny bit could help me keep my sanity. Someone we know who is a former nurse also suggested seeing a neuropsychologist and perhaps having an EEG. I have no doubt that this child's brain is wired differently than most kids, I am here mom and I see it every day. She doesn't think the way most kids think.
    I am so tired of feeling guilty that it's my fault or that I am not doing enough as a parent. I just want to wave my magic wand and fix it all.
    On the flip side, I have seen her do "normal" things (and I HATE that word normal but don't know how else to word it) and have seen her care about others and do the right thing. She has it in her, there is just something that gets in the way sometimes. She cries and cries saying she wants to make the right choices and she wants to be "good" but she doesn't know how. She knows what is expected of her but she doesn't know how to fulfill it. It breaks my heart. As she grows older I am getting more and more concerned about depression because her self esteem is really low.
    I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say that seeing the psychiatrist and therapist have been helpful, especially with the anxiety piece, but now I feel like we are back in another downward spiral and I am very discouraged.
    Thank you all again for your amazing support and understanding. I am beginning to feel less like I am trapped on an island by myself.

    Just curious -- has anyone read the book "Your Defiant Child" by Russell Barkley? I have read it and am just wondering if anyone else has any feedback. Also, there is a book called ADHD: Putting on the Brakes that is written for children (in both a boy and girl form) - has anyone read that with your child? Any feedback?

    Thank you again. <3
  11. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    I recommend books by Ross Greene , not Barkley - Your child is lacking skills, and that shows up in certain situations where the demands placed apon her outstrip her skills - Barkley - give medications , treat symptoms with behavior mofdification - rewards, punishments, consequences, praise etc don't teach skills, don't promote thinking

  12. MISS

    MISS New Member


    Your problem sounds very familiar to me. My 16yo son has been suffering a similar issue. I have struggled with medicine and diagnoses for years. I will try to help in anyway I can after I catch up on all your posts. He is doing better now. Need to warm up to this posting thing!!!! Just put my drug dealing 18 year old out of the house so I am reeling a little. He is why I found this forum. And THANK GOODNESS I DID!!!!!
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  13. MISS

    MISS New Member

    Allan, So true!!! We found that teaching coping skills was the only solution..
  14. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi there, your daughter sounds wonderful! Not at all diminishing the fact that she is a really challenging child, but I love the great things you post about her. You got some good advice as far as seeing a neuropsychologist and maybe, if you can do that, wait until that time then start medications. If it is a long time away and if the connors points to a possibility that adhd is an issue then a trial on medications could be helpful. Your expectations are really good, it doen't cure anything, but it can put our children into a place where teaching skills can happen more readily.

    I too like Ross Green, The Explosive Child and his other books. We went the behavior chart, reward route on and off (mostly to humor people who insisted it would work, and then when they tried, of course it didn't) Hard to keep a sticker chart or other chart especially when your child rips them out of your hand or off a wall an destroys them. My son is not good t delayed gratification so doesn't earn things that way ever. (In fact if he wants something I know he can't have, instead of saying no I say well if you can do X for a full month....knowing full well that will not happen...but he is always gung-ho to try. I always let him start over too...IF he ever does do teh correct behavior that long I WOULD get he reward!)
  15. MISS

    MISS New Member

    Buddy summed it up perfectly. As my sons were adopted I was prepared, somewhat, for problems. J felt mostly overwhelmed by his "differentness"/aspergers. It lead to suicide attempts. I was in protect mode. medications seemed to make things worse. The IEP was essential. Coping skills and confidence building have helped immensely. He now just states to new people that he has trouble assessing expression and tone so he may ask a lot of questions. And/or he may go into his head a little. When that doesn't work, and he is met with derision or confusion, he works to neutralize the situation or lets it go. He comes to me or his dad to debrief and either make a plan or release it. It is a heartbreaking amount of personal responsibility for him, but it is working. Alas, he is older. I would have laid the groundwork earlier had I known. For you....your guilt and pain, it is NOT you! At all. Breathe. A neuro is a good idea for your daughter. Remember.. definitive diagnoses are hard to come by with your childs profile. We still don't know for certain.


    Hard to keep a sticker chart or other chart especially when your child rips them out of your hand or off a wall an destroys them.

    I love that sentence, Buddy. It is so true. Things that apply and work for your "average" child do not usually work with our difficult children.


    How do I post a line by another member to comment on it? I just copied and pasted Buddy's statement but it didn't look right.
  18. AtMyWitsEnd33

    AtMyWitsEnd33 New Member

    Thank you Buddy! I love my daughter and would do anything for her but I HATE her behavior so much of the time. IT is so hard to look at a beautiful talented child and know that unless she gets her behavior under control she is not going to be able to use any of her God given gifts. I want great things for her so I want her to learn how to cope.

    Just out of curiosity -- what exactly does a neuro consult entail? Would we need to be referred by her psychiatrist or therapist? Are we talking about all sorts of testing like EEG and CT scans? I am unfamiliar with this route and am just considering my daughter's anxiety about medical doctors and medical procedures. What kind of information will it give us? Anyone who has taken their child for a neuro consult, please advise. Thank you! :)
  19. AtMyWitsEnd33

    AtMyWitsEnd33 New Member

    StressedToMax, did you try the "reply with quote" button?
  20. AtMyWitsEnd33

    AtMyWitsEnd33 New Member

    OMG! Reward charts make me laugh. Everyone suggests stickers on a piece of paper. My daughter doesn't give a damn about stickers on a piece of paper. She needs immediate, over the top, completely unreasonable, exorbitant, expensive rewards that are beyond any reason. Stickers? PFT!