New here

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by threebabygirls, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. threebabygirls

    threebabygirls New Member

    I am new here, and don't know why I didn't think to look for an on-line support group before. I'm still looking over the forum, learning the abbreviations and such, but wanted to introduce myself and my situation.

    I've been married for 8 years, and we have 3 dds, ages 8, 6, and 4. From the start, the 6 yo has been a challenge. I knew something wasn't right, but couldn't put my finger on it, and no one would believe me. She has always been "high needs," and I'm afraid of the long-term effects it will have on our other dds. In the late spring of this year, shortly before her 6th birthday, she was diagnosed with ODD. We are on our third therapist, and our first psychiatrist, who did the dxing. I was afraid she was bipolar, but he assured me since almost all of her "problems" are at home, it was more likely ODD, and that if she were truly bipolar, she would not be able to function no matter where she was (99% of her outbursts are at home).
    I often blame myself, and I guess I'm still in denial, as I've heard several times that ODD is a "made up" disorder. I myself have a major depressive disorder, and have been in and out of therapy since I was 10, and have been on medications for most of the past 12 years. Some days I feel I can't go on. I have enough mental health problems and sometimes don't think I'm strong enough to deal with hers, too. husband is not a great source of support, as he rarely sees her tantrums/viciousness, and therefore usually has a hard time believing me when I say it's as bad as it is. Until recently, he wouldn't even acknowledge that there was a problem. He just kept saying she'd "grow out of it." I've always known that would not be the case.
    Some days she can be the sweetest thing on the face of the earth, and the next day I'm cowering in the bathroom, sobbing; or comforting my 8 yo, as she and I are the main targets of difficult child's wrath.
    At her annual check-up last week, our pediatrician told me ODD is rarely the only thing going on. That terrifies me, frankly. I don't feel I'm equipped to deal with everything, and frequently question why? WHY is she like this? I know she can't help it, but dammit, our lives are miserable. She doesn't deserve to be like this, and I cry for her.

    That ended up longer than I thought it would, so my apologies for rambling.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome.

    First off, the likely reason she is like she is is that she has inherited something that makes her different. It isn't anyone's fault and it's a waste of time blaming yourself. It's usually NOT your parenting. You have two other kids not like her--that is a good clue that there is something going on with this child beyond your parenting skills.

    Well, you have a really smart pediatrician. ODD rarely stands alone, but rather than being afraid, think of it as a challenge. I have a few questions that will help us help you:

    1/How was her early development? Did she cuddle, make good eye contact, interact appropriate with her peers, play normally with toys, talk and potty on time? Any issues with food, textures, loud noise? Can she transition from one activity well? How does she do in school, academically?

    2/Are there any other psychiatric disorders on either side of her biological family tree? Any substance abuse?

    3/Has she had a complete neuropsychologist evaluation?

    In many disorders kids act out only at home (at least in the beginning) because that is where they feel the safest. They hold it in at school and it comes bursting out at home (lucky us). That also includes bipolar. I don't know if she has it, but your doctor is wrong about bipolar kids acting out all over. They often save it for us. Ditto for Aspergers and a variety of other problems. And Mom and sibs and often the main target with Dad seeing the good side of the child, and us seeing the "disorder." That can make it hard to get Dad on the same page. You may want to tape some of the rages.

    Others will come along. You may want to do a signature like mine below.
  3. Just wanted to stop in and say welcome. You have come to a wonderful site filled with lots of advice and friendly shoulders.

  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Adding my welcome!
  5. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Hello and welcome. You will love being a part of this wonderful on-line community. I have learned a great deal here and you will too.

    I am so sorry things are so rough for you and your family right now. We all can relate to what you are going through as well as what you are feeling. I have been dealing with this for 17 years and still have trouble not blaming myself. Our natural instinct as well as what most of the world tells us, when something goes wrong with our children, especially when it surfaces as behavior problems, it is due to bad parenting. SO NOT TRUE!!! I too still ask why?? The truth is, we will never know why.

    In the beginning I was like your husband, I always used to say "well she'll grow out of it". Seventeen and a half years later and I am still waiting for that!! lol I am in agreement with your doctor ODD rarely stands alone. My daughter, way back when, was diagnosis with ODD as well as ADHD. And like yours she rarely acted out unless she was home or with people she was very comfortable with. She started displaying her "home behaviors" at school when she hit junior high. She couldn't sit still in elementary school, she needed services however the rages and destructive behavior didn't surface in school until the 6th grade.

    I know you are scared and feeling overwhelmed. You are not alone. The saying is true, "Misery really does love company". After I discovered this website and connected with these wonderful people I didn't feel so isolated anymore. People here really do understand how hard this is as they live it daily too. That really helps, believe me. I have gained so much knowledge and strength from all of the wise warrior moms (and some dads too) on this board.

    Hang in there and God bless. :)
  6. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    <<<Hugs>>> you were not rambling at all! All of us can relate in one way or another. Some of us are right there with you, some of us have been there and are still here to share their story of survival.

    You've come to the right place, this is my web sanctuary and it's full of so many wonderful friends!
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi, Welcome.
    Here's a lawn chair and some iced tea.
    Doesn't your therapist give you ideas for how to deal with-your difficult child so you don't have to cower in the bathroom, sobbing? You need to be in charge. Up your own medications if you have to.
    I agree, ODD is usually the result of something else; ADHD, severe allergies, Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), etc.

    What are your difficult child's triggers? Textures? Loud noises? Change (my son used to have horrid meltdowns during any kind of transition, from TV to dinner, from brushing teeth to bed, from school to an errand. We have improved a lot. You can too!)

    Have you read The Explosive Child? Most everyone here recommends it.

    I'm reading the Manipulative Child now, too. I'll let you know how it is.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Hello and welcome to the board :flowers:

    What the doctor told you was bull. Alot of our kids act out mostly at home because it's where they feel the safest. Nichole, my 19 yr old with bipolar didn't truely begin to act out in school until high school. She had issues, but none major enough for the school to be concerned.

    I'm not saying your daughter has bipolar. I'm just saying this doctor is not raising a difficult child. lol They don't necessarily follow what it says in the textbooks. But many docs won't consider a bipolar or any substantial mood diagnosis until the child is much older.

    You may want to try The Explosive Child By Ross Greene. Many parents here have found it to be a huge help to them.

    You've landed in a wonderful place. Glad you found us.:D

  9. Lori4ever

    Lori4ever New Member

    Welcome! You have landed in a place that is a wealth of knowledge, as everyone here has gone through this in one way or another. I have to agree with Lisa that it can be that she only acts out at home. My youngest was an 'only at home' type act-up and at age 9, our whole world changed with him. It's rough, but you're not alone.
  10. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Popping in to offer you my welcome. Many have given you good advice so I have little more to offer.

    I hope our little corner of the world can help you navigate yours. :)
  11. SaraT

    SaraT New Member

    Welcome to the family. Sorry you had to find us, but you'll be glad you did. Everyone here is full of information, opinions, and laughs when needed. I have been here 6 years,on and off, and it has helped me greatly.

    The others have given you good advise, so I'll just send support that husband can see difficult child's rages and get on same page with you.
  12. threebabygirls

    threebabygirls New Member

    1. Her early development was fine. She was "clingier" than my oldest, but made all her milestones when she should have. She has a problem with clothes; it presented itself not too long ago. She cannot stand "restrictive" things like jeans, or other pants with a zipper and button. She doesn't like loud noises, which is ironic because she is a frequent yeller. As far as school goes, she had two years of preschool with a little separation anxiety, but not bad and it wasn't long-lived. Kindergarten went better than I expected. She had a little difficulty with letter recognition (only with 3 or 4 letters), and when I really cracked down on it, she improved. Her teacher's main concerns were her difficulty in keeping her things organized (she'd misplace a thing or two) and her lack of following instructions (her teacher would hand out a paper and before she could tell them what to do, difficult child would have started instead of waiting for instructions).

    2. the only psychiatric problems in the family tree are depression and occasional anxiety. One of my nieces (age 7) was recently diagnosed as ADHD, but we're not sure that is her problem. Only substance abuse is a paternal grandfather (whom she has never met) who is alcoholic.

    3. Considering I am not sure what a neuropsychologist evaluation is, I'd guess not.

    The only thing so far her therapist has suggested is trying to diffuse her stress before it explodes. Sometimes I'm successful, oftentimes I'm not. her triggers are hard to pinpoint because some days something will set her off, and others she won't even bat an eye. Searching my memory, the only thing that consistently sets her off is restrictive clothing. I'll have to get The Explosive Child at the library; thanks for recommending it.
  13. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Hello and Welcome!

    You have found a great place for 24/7 support and advice!

    Many people have suggested that I look for a parent support group to join but frankly, getting away for an evening is no small task. If I am going to stick husband with difficult child after a long day at work, it is going to be for something I enjoy like shopping or dining out with a friend --not sitting in a room and discussing difficult child. So this site is the perfect solution. We can connect with hundreds of wise parents facing similar situations, and all from the comfort of our own homes!

    Glad you've found us.
  14. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Hi and welcome to our little corner of the web.

    A neuropsychologist evaluation is a very in-depth evaluation of our kids. You can probably locate on at any children's hospital or learning university hospital. The tests can last 12 hours (split over a course of 2 or 3 days) and they really dig deep and are very thorough. It is highly recommended that you get one.

    If you think that you are rambling, that's OK. Ramble on! We all need to from time to time.

    You are not alone.
  15. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Hello and welcome,

    I second the recommendation to get a neuropsychologist evaluation for your daughter. It may be able to highlight for you exactly what issues she is dealing with, and that is the first step to getting the right sort of treatment.

    You mention a couple of sensory issues that she displays (not liking restrictive clothing, trouble with loud noises, etc.) Does she show any other sensitivities? Food textures, lights, certain smells? She may have some sensory integration issues.

    Please ramble away. This is a safe place to vent, ask questions, and get tons of helpful advice.

    So glad you found us, but sorry that you had to.

  16. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) - Sensory Integration Disorder
    That is the term to search on. My daughter had this, too, but has outgrown it to some extent - or maybe it just does not impact me as much anymore. The biggest problems were the tags on her shirts, the seam on the sock at the toes, her hair having to be the same way everyday and not feeling the coldness & hotness of the different seasons. We had trouble transitioning from coats and shorts every year.

    One thing you should learn right off the bat is that these kids do not typically respond positively to traditional parenting techiniques. Well, I guess you probably learned that already. But, what I will teach you is that it is OK to change things up. Even with one out of three kids. Most likely you will parent them all a bit differently.

    So, start thinking about some creative ways to change your parenting style for your difficult child. It is hard. The way we parenting has been thought about for years and stepping out of that comfort zone is a difficult thing to do. But, it will help you to expand your thoughts and open up to different non-traditional possibilities.

  17. threebabygirls

    threebabygirls New Member

    My life would be so much easier if she responded to "traditional" techniques! I've had a hard time stressing this to friends, and even family members. I couldn't tell you how many times I've been told that she just needs to be "spanked." I don't spank my kids. I have in the past, and she does not hesitate to hit me in return. And honestly, what sense does it make to hit a child and tell them that they are not allowed to hit others? sorry for going off on that tangent. Anyway, I have tried different things with her and frequently find myself at a loss.
    Being summer, I forgot about the seam on the toe of the sock thing! She can't stand it, either, and if the elastic is slightly loose and the sock starts slipping down her foot, she freaks out. I cut the tags off 25% of her shirts/dresses. Thank goodness so many brands are going "tagless!" I don't have to do her hair the exact same every day, but she refuses to leave the house without some sort of hair accessory.
    Oh, and her other main complaint is that nothing is ever "fair." For instance, I could give each of them the exact same amount of crackers, and she'll INSIST that someone else has more. I hear it 20 times a day; "it's not fair!!" :mad:

    As far as the neuropsychologist evaluation, how do I go about getting one? Ask her psychiatrist? pediatrician? I feel so helpless sometimes and have no idea where to turn.
    Thanks to all who have responded. I've been on quite a few forums over the past couple years and this is without a doubt the nicest group I've joined thus far.
  18. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    I wanted to extend my welcome to you!

    This forum has been, heads and shoulders, the best resource as far as learning how to cope,deal, and survive, my little darlings.

    First off, your daughter's issues aren't about "home". Both of my difficult children were fine at school. Home was, and continues to be, the main place they tend to let loose. Though, at about nine, Daughter had her first meltdown at school. Thing is, that meltdown tainted her forever in the eyes of her peers. Not an easy thing to live down when you have pretty much the same classmates for the rest of your schooling.

    I chuckled (not funny, I know) when I read your comment about "traditional" techniques of parenting. If those worked for any of us, we wouldn't be here. We probably would be more like those who believe that our difficult children just a spanking to set them straight. Yeah, I so wish!

    Do you have a video camera? Or a digitial camera that can take video? How about taking some footage for your husband to help make him into a believer? My husband is gone most of the time working, and about 3 years ago Daughter had a full-on grade-A meltdown when I was gone shopping. He called me after he locked himself in the garage (such a guy) huffing and puffing out of breath after getting into a physical confrontation with her and she wouldn't stop attacking him. It started over something simple until things out completely out of control.

    Keep the footage for any psychiatrists, Peds, or therapist you may encounter along with road with difficult child. Comes in very handy. A picture paints a thousand words.

    You need help finding ways to take back your home and not responding to the "not fair" stuff.

    The sensitivity to clothing is a big red flag that there are deeper things other than ODD going on. Some disagree, but it is my belief that ODD is a manifestation of other disorders. It is a term for the BEHAVIOR that is a result of other neurologically based disorders. I would encourage you to investigate Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) further.

    As far as a neuropsychological evaluation, my son's neurologist was the best resource. I would advise you to seek out a pediatric neurologist affiliated with a teaching university hospital, AKA medical school. Find the one nearest you and ask for the pediatric neurology department. You might even want to take her to a neurologist as a way to rule out any visible brain abnormalities.

    As far as family, friends, and others, who wish to share their parenting wisdom, you have a few options:


    Come up with a few snappy, sarcastic, comebacks. (My personal favorite)

    Tell them to mind their own darn business.

    This is a good day! You found us!:peaceful:
  19. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Just popping in to add my welcome. :flowers:

    I ramble, too. You're in good company. :D
  20. threebabygirls

    threebabygirls New Member

    I do have video capabilities on my digital camera. I'll have to bring it out next meltdown. I have shown husband footage before (I'm a school bus driver and took home my surveillance tape for him to witness her behavior when it's just the girls and me), and he got a slightly better appreciation for what I deal with on a daily basis.

    We don't live far from Penn State Children's hospital, so I'll start there, I suppose. thanks to all of you who have been so helpful! And I am so thankful to have found you all.