New here need some advice

I am new to all of this, do not even know where to begin. I have a step daughter who is 10 that is just out of control! Quick run down, my husband got custody back in 2004 when her mother decided drugs were more important than her daughter. My hubby and i got together in 2009. He had a lot of trouble with her then with stealing violent tendency, hoarding food. In the past two year she has gotten a lot worse. We have had to lock up all the food, as she would clean out the fridge, lock up all the knifes anything she could use to destroy stuff. She held a knife over my 17 yr old daughter, she cut holes in her brothers sheets while he slept. She bites people for no reason. Her behavior started acting up at school as well. The doctors she is seeing say they do not have a diagnoses for her, she was finally admitted and put on a 72 hr hold and transferred to a hospital. Where she acted like a prefect angel. The doctors at the hospital said she has a mood disorder and put her on 375 mg of depakote. she came home yesterday afternoon, didnt do much but when she returned to school today had a total defiant day had to be removed from the classroom. I do not know what to do anymore, the other children in the home are afraid of her, do not want to be around her because of the things she does. I need some advice support..

thank you


New Member
Hi Melissa. What a tough situation. Many of us can relate. I am sitting here with (just counted because it is the first day I have worn a short sleeved shirt in a long time and I didn't realize) with no less than 12 bruises on my arms and a huge one on my shin. Aggressive kids are just so hard.

Many of us will ask you questions. Not to be nosy, just helps you see which of us can relate and we can share more specific stories of caution and hope and success.

What kinds of evaluations has she had besides the hospital? any Occupational Therapist (OT) or Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluations. Did they do a neuropsychological evaluation or just the psychiatric and psychiatric evaluations? Is she on an IEP (are you in the USA??) in school?? What kind of behavior program do they use?

Biting can be a sign of a sensory issue. (can be other things but always good to check in case you can get some help) does she have other signs, does she seek sensory input to a huge degree, does she avoid sensory input (smells, tastes, lights, sounds, touch)...Has she always had these behavioral issues? Does she have friends? How does she play with others?

Safety is huge. Will your insurance cover PCA help in your home? Have you ever contacted your county to see if you can get support for her (there are grants and waivers and insurances for kids with mental health issues or developmental issues and some are income dependent and others are not). They may be able to help with in home support, respite, camps etc.

If you can't get more support would you ever consider a residential placement? If her school can't handle her they may need to place her (and so they pay) in a higher level of care which can even include residential therapeutic care.

There will be many more along. This is a wonderful community and I am glad you posted. You will find you are not alone and there are even several step parents who you will see can really relate to your situation!

HUGS to you and welcome!


Welcome. buddy really already asked great questions! So all I can really add, is to see if you can video tape her episodes, what starts them how she or you all stops them. As you will find out Im really big on taping it because of my situation. Also, if you do tape, don't let her catch you, try your best to secretly do it. Bipolar can be another possibility.