New here, seeking support and advice

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by geekparent, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. geekparent

    geekparent New Member

    I didn't see a forum for introductions, so I hope that it's okay to introduce myself here.

    I'm the mother of a 7 1/2 year old girl, and my husband and I are at our wit's end and don't know what to do with her.

    Most of the time, she's a pleasant, sweet, compassionate little girl, if highly sensitive (cries easily, is offended/hurt feelings easily, frustrated easily). However, there are times when things do not go her way, and she has "meltdowns" and begins to seriously act out: screaming, yelling, kicking, hitting, scratching.

    We've been in therapy for more than 2 yrs because all our initial encounters came back with "It's your parenting skill. You're not firm enough with her. You're not consistent enough." Basically the whole, it's a parental thing, but I kept thinking "this isn't normal, something is wrong with my child."

    She was diagnosed (finally) as having anxiety, and more recently with a tentative diagnosis of ADHD, but more toward the lack of impulse control and hyperactivity. She's intelligent, has always done well in school and doesn't have problems focusing or doing her schoolwork, though she gets very frustrated when she doesn't know the answers right away or doesn't perform as quickly as her peers (in classroom quiz, team type activities). There are also signs of ODD.

    She was put on Concerta as a experimental trial to see if it curbed the acting out and melt downs. It did, for all of three weeks. Then beginning this week, it started up again. Now, her school has put her on behavioral probation and will expel her if she has one more bad outburst. (Background: Yes, the school is aware that she is being seen/treated by a psychologist and a psychiatrist. Also, the school did not tell me until yesterday that this whole week has been bad, so I feel that I have been ambushed by this sudden "we can't take it anymore." Had I known that there were issues, I would have contacted her psychiatrist and psychologist.)

    husband and I just don't know what to do anymore. We don't want her to get kicked out of school, but on the other hand, I hardly want her at a school where they've clearly demonstrated that they don't want to work with us or be partners in getting her the proper help and assistance that she needs.

    I guess I'm asking a lot of questions: what to do about school? How do I even go about enrolling her in a new school, what do I tell them? "Beware that my kids has ups and downs and will attack you?" Could she have been misdiagnosed?
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome! I was in a similar position at your difficult children age. My difficult child did well in school, well academically speaking, at that age.
    Everytime I asked for help from them (ie: 504 plan or IEP) they told me her grades were too good. Even though I knew she was capable of more. So in my opinion she was not working up to her potential.

    By law the school has to education your child. If they have to give her an IEP for 'behavior' that is possible.
  3. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    By the way, my daughter started off great on Concerta, too. Then she said 'it makes me hate you'. Yeah, tell me how scary that was! We did trial a few medications (Ritalin, Concerta, Straterra) before settling on Adderal XR - that one helped her concentrate and not be impulsive during class.
  4. geekparent

    geekparent New Member

    Well, she is currently in private school. Do they have the same requirements? They've never offered an IEP.
  5. geekparent

    geekparent New Member

    Also, I should add that my daughter isn't in school today due to a snow day, however, I'd planned on keeping her out until I talked to the principal and possibly the school board as well. Is that a logical plan or will that just cause more trouble?
  6. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! We're on a snow day too. Mine are driving me nuts! I would recommend that you get a neuropsychologist done for her. You can have them done at a Children's or Teaching Hospital (a ton of outpatient tests that measure all kinds of stuff).

    I get "icky" when they come up with ADHD/ODD for kids at this age. To me, these are more "symptoms" of different things as opposed to a diagnosis. All 3 of my older kids were diagnosed with the same thing and it turned out that they've all got Aspergers Syndrome. Your daughter sounds EXACTLY like difficult child 3 - girls can present very differently than boys.

    Concerta was great with difficult child 1 for the first couple of weeks. Then the exact same thing happened with him as your daughter.

    As far as school goes, I don't believe that they have the same requirements as far as IEP's go. Public schools are lawfully required to provide an IEP if the situation warrants it. Private schools can pick and choose what students they want to or are able to accomodate.

    Take many many deep breaths. It's a bit of a rough road, but we're here to help - ask questions, double check, and then ask the questions again - there's a major learning curve for all of us and this is a great group with a LOT of experience!

    Welcome to the crowd!

  7. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I too would like to find out if by law the school has to offer an IEP. My guess is if your child is determined to have a special need of some kind and it is documented as such, they might have to oblige you with an IEP. It's been our experience with our child, that most private schools will cooperative with parents, especially if the child has a confirmed diagnosis. Smaller classrooms and a caring teacher, with at least some training with special needs children, was very helpful when our child was much younger. If the school is particularly uncooperative, it might be best to look for another school. If at all possible, it might be best to wait until the next school year though.

    If you enroll her in a new can either be fully honest or something less than that. You might say that she is being evaluated for ADHD and that it would be best if she were in a smaller classroom with a highly trained teacher.

    I would be sure to stay as active as possible with the teacher/class at this new school. Volunteer for all helpful as appropriate. Do this from the beginning.

    Don't hesitate to try different medications and keep records of how your child is reacting to the medications. This includes comments from your child's teachers. If your doctor is not cooperative, then you might consider getting a second opinion.

    Consider the services of a therapist for your child. This might include private therapy or family therapy. And if the personal stressors of having a special needs child begin to overwhelm you, don't hesitate to get a therapist for yourself. Believe me, all of us here understand this.

    A few more things

    ...consider hiring a really smart high school student to tutor your child. IT'll be fun and your child's self esteem will blossom if they do well academically.

    Take time for yourself and your relationship with your spouse...its very important.
  8. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    Just saying Hi! :bigsmile: And to answer one of your questions, yes a child can be misdiagnosed, and/or the psychiatrist can hmmmmm and ohhhh and not really give a diagnosis as they know SOMETHING is going on but aren't sure what. We had our difficult child first evaluated about 8 years old, and got the 2nd scenario I mentioned above, then when he was 11 I found this board, figured out a few things and said what we're doing isn't working it's been 3 years, something is going on with difficult child, and had him reevaluated and got his diagnosis that I'm sure is the right one. With the proper diagnosis and the right medication and accomodations at school my difficult child is doing very well right now. At one point I swore he wouldn't even make it to grade 8 and now he's 1/2 way through grade 11 and gets good marks (in the classes he likes anyway LOL)

    Like nvts suggested, try getting your difficult child in for a neuropych evaluation, or a multi-disciplinary evaluation. If you're not sure in your diagnosis, then it's probably not the right one. And a re-evaluation, and the most in-depth one you can get, won't hurt and could be just what your difficult child needs.

    Also like nvts I saw my difficult child in some of the things you said, the anxiety big time, impulse control, intelligence, frustration when not getting answers immediately. Not saying your difficult child is on the autistic spectrum, not a doctor here, but it's just one more thing a re-evaluation could rule out or confirm for you. You could go to and do the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionaire they have on their website, print it out and take it to your psychiatrist. It doesn't diagnose for you, but can give you an indication. Do lots of reading on anything you suspect, helped me a lot, educating myself. And post here lots and ask lots of questions of the members, there's lots here with experience in most stuff, you're not the only one. That's how I always felt till I found this site, because none of my friends/family had ever gone through what we were going through. Check out the book The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. Helped me a lot.

    Being Canada here, can't really help you out with your school questions, but do suggest you check out the Special Education 101 forum on the board and ask some questions there. They really can help you out with that.

    Welcome to the site :flower: Hope you find the advice you need and the ear you need to vent to.