new here looking for suggestions

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by singledad, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. singledad

    singledad New Member

    First off I just found this forum and have seen some pretty good stuff here figured I would post and see what kind of suggestions I get.

    Background, my daughter has been diagnosed with ADHD and am in the process of getting her tested to see where she is on the spectrum. She has a above average IQ (114 overall) but is below on the reading and comprehention aspects of it. She is now medicated and it has really helped with her focus and impulsiveness. Although the physical behaviors she was exhibiting before medication are now taking a different path and becoming more "covert" and sneaky. She is defiant at home with me but behaves acceptable to my parents. I am a single father and have been for the past 7 years. She is an only child and can tend to be posessive of me. I am currently dating somebody that has two kids of her own that have their own issues but none that come out socially or affect their school. My daughter is continually displaying social behaviors that are unacceptable to myself and my girlfriend. She plays in a mean controlling way and is also very bossy. I am finishing up with my second college degree where I went back to school with the intention of getting a better career so that I could support my daughter better and have more time to spend with her. I am considering a boarding school for her or a specialty school but am presently considered "low income". I am also seeking an appointment with a psychiatrist to see if there is anything they can do. My daughter has fallen behind in school prior to her being medicated and is in third grade on a second grade reading level. She is doing better socially in school this year as she transferred from a public school into a state supported charter school. She still has a long way to go before she can be considered "normal" I just don't know where to really start with her. Any and all suggestions welcome. If you need more clarification or more details on behaviors I'm an open book if it means I can help my daughter succeed.
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Singledad, welcome.
    Sounds like you're actually doing all the right things.
    Your daughter may never catch up in school, regarding grade level. I wouldn't worry about it. I would just encourage her to learn. Period. Right now we are struggling with-our son, who is one level behind. Some of it is him, some is the school, some of it is a bad fit, etc.
    When you say she's on the spectrum, I'm assuming it's Asperger's, but I wanted to clarify, because I have heard of bipolar being a spectrum disorder, too.
    I'd suggest that you read as many as these notes as you can, because you will hit upon similar situations and it will help you come up with-specific questions.
    Right now your note has good background, but in regard to specific suggestions, it's just too hard, because I, for one, need specific examples, Know what I mean??
  3. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Welcome to the board! Are you sure you don't have my daughter living with you? Controlling, sense of entitlement, is exhausting.

    Other parents will be along to share their experiences. My first thought is to suggest to you to get your hands on the book "the explosive child" by Ross Greene. It's a very helpful resource for many a weary mom and dad.

    What kind of testing has your daughter had? Many veterans here swear by a neuropsychologist exam. It is very thorough and intense and helps prevent misdiagnoses.

    You are not alone, and you have found a soft place to land.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there :)

    My first thought is always, when i hear of these situations, is that you are doing many things right. Are you living with your girlfriend and her kids and where is Mom? Does girlfriend act like mom and set rules for her? How does she feel about the other children? Spectrum kids do poorly with change and often don't see authority figures as people in charge. Rather they see them as peers. Regular discipline often does not work with spectrum kids (I have one).

    My hub was a step (those kids are grown now) and it was very difficult for my kids and for him. But he didn't have any kids, so at least my kids didn't have that adjustment to make as well. That can cause problems with difficult children...stepfamilies tend to break up more than biological families. I saw why first hand. Hub had to back off and be more a friend than a parent and I parented my three kids with my ex. That worked really well. You may want to do that rather than have girlfriend as an authority figure which she may resent. That won't help her behavior...she could use it as a reason to rebel.

    Also, can you please fill us in on some of her behaviors that bother you? When was the last time she was evaluated by a professional outside of school? Are there any psychiatric problems on either side of her family tree, including birthmother? Remember, she has half her genes.

    Phew!!!! :tongue: Um, others will come along soon.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    That sounds like the IQscore you have is likely to be inaccurate, probably a gross underestimate. How accurate does it feel to you?

    The problem with IQ testing where high schores are seen in some areas and low scores in others, is that thereshould never be a final score calculated. It simply isn't valid, because too wide a disparity means the test is no longer sufficiently accurwte. The wider the disparity between the sub-scores, the bigger the error bars, so you would get a score of 114, but you would have to label it as "plus or minus 30 points" which frankly makes it ludicrous.

    We have been told tat the higher sub-scores in the skill areas indicate where the child SHOULD be, but the low score ares indicate where the child needs remedial help; and often with tat remedial help, the score can be lifted to eventually give a usable (and generally much higher and also more accurate) score.

    A chils who is given an artificially low schore doe to wide disparity, is a child who is likely to be very frutrated and understimulated in some area,s and needing remdial help in other areas; but the slightly above average IQ score freezes the child out of both. "She is too smart to need remedial" coupled with "She's not that bright, she doesn't really need extension" can set te kid up for failure. Both those statements ar4e likely to be wrong.

    The most neglected kids are the gifted-learning disabled. They're also the most misidentified.

    Yourdaughter sounds to me likeshe would benefit from further detailed neuropsychologist investigation. The "defiance" you describesounds very familiar to me - we no longer consider it to be defiance, but a combination of other factors mostly coming from poor social skills and a different way of learning those social skills. Normal kids learn by osmosis - Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids do not, they need to be actively taught social skills as you would teach Science or Geography.

    Two things to help you here:

    1) Get your hands on "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It will help you manage the behaviour in practical terms as well as help you understdn the reasons behind it.

    2) go to and look for their online Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire. You can't use it to officially diagnose but you can print out the result (whatever she scores) and take it to the doctor when you go, to indicate the areas of concern to you. You live ewith these problems and don't always recognise what is normal and what isn't - when you're constantly together, you accept stuff as OK when it may not be. There could be things you simply haven't thought of, that may have slipped below your radar. THis can help. It can also lead you to some useful solutions, some strageties to put in place to begin to reallty help her learn how to beahve more appropriately toward you. But you will need to modify your approach to her as well, so will your girlfriend. So you both need to really understand why difficult child is like she is, in order to help her move towards more acceptable behaviour.

    Discipline won't work. Otherwise you wouldn't need us. So don't think you're a bad parent, this is not your fauly. Neither is it her fault. But tat doesn't mean it can't be helped. There is a lot of help, a lot of potential. Maybe far more than you realise.

    let us know more, we can help. Get your girlfriend to lurk here too, what she reads may help her plus she may have some useful contributions.