Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by crazytown, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. crazytown

    crazytown New Member


    I'm new to this forum, and just wanted to introduce myself. I'm 35 married to my amazing husband and we have 5 kids. The eldest 3 are mine from a previous marriage, and my second eldest, my daughter 9 years old is my "troubled" one so to say.
    I guess I am looking for a place where others are having the same kind of issues, and might be able to get some advise and support without being judged by those who aren't in the same situation.
    A little about my girl. She was actually a pretty good baby, up until she was around 2 years old. From then it has been one hell of a ride. When she was little she would be like a walking tornado... smashing things, hitting everyone, running away, hitting her head on things or hitting herself, defiant to the extreme, will not listen to any authority. When she was in primary she got into the classroom one day and painted the classroom with the craft paint, had letters home, threats of suspension and expulsion, she ran away from school, lucky to be found in the very thick bushes down the street. Constantly hits her siblings and yells at them and us (my husband and I) back chatting and spewing anger at every one.
    Has seen a school councilor a couple times, with not much help.

    I am going to take her to the doctor this week to see what help we can get. With 4 other kids life can be very stressful. At times I don't think I can cope. My ex (her father) is no help, and we are having issues with him at the moment. She has been living with her dad for the last year, but I think as of this week she might be coming back to me to live. I must admit I am scared to have her back full time, as she really upsets the other kids and hurts them. I have been really depressed over the last year which hasn't helped. I really wonder how my hubby handles all this as 3 aren't his ( he loves them like his own though).

    If anyone has some suggestions as to improve things I would love to hear it! Thanks in advance :)
  2. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Sorry you are going thru all that. I think she needs more than a school counselor. Hopefully your doctor can point you in the right direction. What age was she when you and your frist husband split up? Then you had children with your second husband? Then she lived with your ex... I don't have a clue - just grasping for straws. Maybe it has been a lot for her to adjust to. Hopefully you will get answers soon. KSM
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome. Glad you found us but truly sorry you needed to even look. It sure sounds like your daughter is a troubled child who needs a full evaluation so you know which way to go in trying for help. Since she has shown these behaviors for five years or more I think you need to see a child Psychiatrist and then explore the availability of a team to do a full neuro/psychiatric examination. Those exams aren't cheap but you will see in writing the breadth of her problems.

    I, also, combined families in my 30's and fully understand that there can be so much going on that you just have to delay focusing on one child even though in your heart you know you should do so. Feeling overwhelmed is normal.
    I'll be rooting for you as you take the next steps. You can do it! Hugs DDD
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Are you in the US or somewhere else? Interventions differ country-to-country. We don't call the early grades "primary" and we spell counselor like this so I wondered if you are maybe in the UK?
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Adding in my welcome. Sorry you needed to find us but glad you did. It does sound like she needs further evaluations. I would start with a combination of a therapist, a child psychiatrist, and a neuro-psychologist. Each can help with different pieces of the puzzle and give you a more complete picture so you have a better idea of what is going on.
  6. crazytown

    crazytown New Member

    Thank you for all your support. Yes, I'm from Australia. Things haven't been the smoothest for the kids at all, and I understand that can have an effect on them. So, I guess help might ease any trauma from the marriage breakup and other things...I hope. But since it has been going on since she was so young I think there is more to it. But I'm sure it has only fueled any issue she may have as her coping strategies are probably not the same as the other kids.
  7. crazytown

    crazytown New Member

    Hi, thanks for your welcome. I am new to being in a forum, I tried to reply before but I don't think it came up, so I'm sorry if it did and this is a double up! Yes, I'm from Australia, a little far from most of you, but I hope that's ok. I do agree that maybe the divorce between her father and I and the issues surrounding it could be increasing any problems she may have, but on the other hand this started before we divorced at around the age of 2. The other kids seem to be ok, and when I can see how they all act and behave in comparison to her I see that things are very different and her behaviour isn't "normal" .
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    We welcome people from anywhere :) The only difference is that the places we get help from are different. We have another Aussie here who may be able to suggest where to start :)

    I believe in "mom gut." If you think something is different about your daughter, I believe that you should investigate what it is. in my opinion Take the first step, whatever that is, to getting an evaluation and go from there. It's great to have you, but so sorry you had to come here.
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Hi. Fellow Aussie here. Outskirts of Sydney. Welcome!

    Suggestion - remain anonymous. You will be glad of it here. It allows you to freely vent, knowing that you can't be tracked by anyone you're dealing with. We use code names or similar, to avoid being 'outed'.

    There is support available (of various kinds) through school, if she's attending public school. Private - they can also access the federal educational support funding. But first you would need a specialist to back you up, to preferably give you at least a provisional diagnosis. The funding is based on the level of need according to forms you fill in with the school counsellor etc.

    But that might be further down the path for you.

    Step 1 - get her assessed. Your gut instincts are worth listening to. Generally a pediatrician is a good start. If you have a good GP who can help you keep on track with health care and support, it's good. A GP can also write a Mental Care Plan to help you get access to bulk-billed psychology appointments for her if it's felt they would help.

    Step 2 - a really good resource we found, was "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. Check out your local library. We found that by changing how we applied discipline to our child, we got totally different (and greatly improved) results. It's almost a 180 degree turnaround in approach. Normally when you have a challenging child, you tend to clamp down harder on controls and discipline. With this system, you actually become your child's facilitator instead of obstacle, so the child learns to not fight you, but work with you. There is some discussion on this book scattered throughout the site, do a search for it. It really helps.

    Depending on where you are, will make a difference in what kind of help you can get and how you go about getting it. It shouldn't make a difference, but it does. There are a lot of things you can do, but it can take talking to other parents to find out about them. Dept of Ed won't always tell you, especially early on. They tend to be punishment-focussed until you have a diagnosis that indicates that is not appropriate. Even then, they don't always walk away from a punishment focus.

    As you will see from the ages of my kids, we've been fighting battles for a long time. I've learned a lot about how to get the support we needed, and how to get around the red tape. It is easier these days. I also have a useful contact in NSW DET should you need to get more specific help with school.

    It's late, got to head for bed. I'll check in first thing tomorrow.

  10. crazytown

    crazytown New Member

    Thanks again for the welcome ladies!

    And hello to fellow aussie :) I will have a look for that book, I think any information is gold if it can help out! I'm from N.S.W too. I've had an up and down relationship with school councilors. Some seem unconcerned about helping her but only getting the funding for the school. I even had them make her see a councilor without my knowledge! So, I think going private with this might be best. At least then I can be filled in on any issues or strategies.
    We have tried so many approaches to her with very little difference in results.
    From what I have read about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) my daughter has ALL the symptoms of it, and they even say if this only happens once a week or month it could be this diagnosis.....she displays these symptoms daily :/
    So, a doctor I will go to seeking help......oh I hope I can find something that helps!
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Be careful. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) may be another symptom, not the main disorder. Some kids develop Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as a way to try to control what feels to them uncontrollable aspects of their lives. Are you near a major city, or out in the country? If you're anywhere in the state system currently, I can give you a name to call in Sydney. He can't help directly, but he can help cut through stalemates with your Regional Office.

    A neuropsychologist assessment would be really useful. Private assessments are a lot more expensive but can be a lot quicker to organise. For a cheaper one (but still good) you can try any major university within range, they have very good psychology departments where students need to be trained, and where such assessments are done under qualified supervision. But there is a waiting list. When we were trying to organise one of these for easy child 2/difficult child 2 last year, we were at one point told there was a waiting list to go on the waiting list! But we got in within a couple of months, which was good. That was UNSW psychiatric department.
    I believe Westmead could help also.

    If you're out west, there's good support educationally around Dubbo. Central Coast is good too. Illawarra - not so great. The Shire - Regional are challenging in my opinion.

    There are options you could try within the state education system, but there will be hoops to jump through. Even with the private system, there will be hoops to jump through. A neuropsychologist assessment will greatly speed this up, good assessments are gold when it comes to getting a snapshot of a kid's capabilities and learning problems. We've found a good semi-private neuropsychologist in Sydney that we've used for difficult child 3 twice in the last four years. easy child 2/difficult child 2 was too old for that person's clinic, which is why we had to find someone else for her.

    Depending on where you are if you're well outside Sydney, there could well be a uni, or branch of a uni, near enough to you to be of help. Give them a call, ask for the psychiatric department and ask them if they can advise you of the chance of a neuropsychologist assessment for your daughter as a matter of urgency. The reason for the urgency - she needs support and can't get it without a clearer picture of her needs, and at 9 she can't afford to lose too much time.

    Any hassles, let me know.

  12. crazytown

    crazytown New Member

    There is a lot to take it! Thank you for the advise, I just looked up some neuropsychologist's in my area... which is the Hunter. Sydney area is too far for us. There seems to be a few around, but I guess now is just nutting out which ones are good. I have heard some are not so good, and fob you off and make you feel like rubbish. Wow, they are expensive! I am going to go through the doctors to get that support scheme thing! One of my friends has that book I was suggested which is great. I'll give that a read too. It's going to be a long journey, so thank you :)
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    No worries. You've got the best of both choices thanks to the freeway. An option for you is to find a good pediatrician in your area, possibly the uni or JH Hospital. See if the uni has a neuropsychologist clinic you can get into. But if not, head for Syd Uni and Headspace. Or RNSH. You'd need a referral, a good GP can help there. You'll need that anyway.

    Another mob to think of contacting - maybe early days yet - is Carers NSW. They have a Young Carers group as well, that can provide support for the other kids. Some of the activities I recall are in the Hunter.

    It is going to be a long journey, but the support is there. This group is here.

  14. crazytown

    crazytown New Member

    Thanks Marg :D
  15. Marg's Man

    Marg's Man Member

    This is the mob Marg was talking about:

    Two of our daughters (who were carers themselves) married carers. These kids REALLY connect and understand the problems.