newbie here - wondering how her tiny tot got this way...(long sorry)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Merz, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. Merz

    Merz New Member

    Hi all. I have three girls, aged 12, 5 and 3. They all have (mostly mild) developmental issues, along the lines of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and ADHD stuff, but an incomplete picture...

    Its my tiny 3 year olds future that is concerning me most.

    When my eldest was going to a behavioural psychiatric for some of her issues, the psychiatric did a brief assessment of my three year old (who was only 2 at the time). The behavioural psychiatric said that my tiny girl appeared to be Oppositionally Defiant and on a road to Conduct Disorder. At 2! :mad:

    This took me aback and I was unable to accept it. I felt like, she is 2, she has 2 older sisters who are not oppositionally defiant (they are plenty of other things), who are loving and nurturing (mostly) and my youngest was being raised by the same parents so how could she be?

    But truth be told (one year later) I am facing up to this.

    She is loving and caring but it doesnt come naturally, its like learned behaviour from me as I have tried to be very gentle with her and she has enjoyed it. But naturally she is defiant and naturally she is wilful, negative and angry. I often find myself shocked, upset and scared at the way she thinks.

    She is so tiny and harmless but I have to say if she does the things she is doing now, as a 10 year old or more - it will be dangerous and scary.

    She hits me many times a day, even though her other siblings are not like that at all. She says she hates me (or hates whoever has told her no, or told her what to do), again, her siblings dont behave like that. She even hits her grandparents, siblings and aunty (it is the first time I have seem such behaviour within my family at all).

    She says very strange things like this morning, when she was getting a cuddle from me because her eldest sister was 'annoying' her. I said 'oh your sister is just being grumpy' and with a straight face my tiny daughter said 'yea, lets kill her' :surprise: :anxious: .

    Prior to my situation I probably would have thought that kind of thing can only be learned behaviour and reflect the home environment. And maybe it does and I just can not see it??? But my other two kids are exposed to exactly the same environment and would never say and do the things my tiny one does. My older kids have their individual issues but they the have a general respect for authority and a general desire to do well. And generally, they understand socially acceptable speech and behaviour.

    Occasionally my youngest isnt I said at the beginning... she can be loving and caring and agreeable, but its like being nice and cuddly is a game to her, not natural.

    Her natural state is to say no, to rebel against any direction, to get angry at the drop of a hat, and hit whoever is closest to her when anger comes.

    She also swears like a trooper and while she is not 100% protected from swearing, her experience is not abnormal and certainly no different to her siblings who would never swear or want to be caught swearing! But my tiny little girl seems to be a magnet for anything negative. She hears 'I hate you' somewhere and picks up that it is an angry reaction and suddenly she uses it all the time and in context. She hears a swearword and she senses the negative reaction it got, or negative tone it was said in, and she instantly adds it to her repotoire.

    I am not sure what to do. The behavioural psychiatric gave me things to do, and I do them, but its not much and I don't think it is making any difference. For eg the psychiatric said that until daughter will follow instructions, catch her as she is doing acceptable things and immediately instruct her to do what she is doing... like this

    daughter is about to sit down on a chair
    i wait until she is doing it, then say 'sit down'.

    If I instructed her to sit down out of the blue, chances are she would attempt to stand for the rest of her life, so I think the idea is to add requests to decisions she has already made, to get her used to 'doing what she is told' :faint:

    Anyway I guess this is more a vent than anything else. I am going to go for support for her behaviour. I would just love to hear from anyone whose child behaved anything like mine at such a young age or the opinions of anyone here really. xxx
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi. Sorry you're having so much trouble. It could be a form of autism too. Seems like all of your kids are "fuzzy" in their diagnosis.

    I take it you're not from the US. If you state where you're from maybe somebody from your country can give you advice on how to proceed. It's different here than, say, in the UK--normally I would advise taking all three kids to a neuropsychologist for evaluations in order to clear things up. I would say a behavioral therapist is not the best to diagnose, but, again, in some places you have no choice. In the US, it is doubtful anyone would mention CD about a three year old. And many on this board feel that ODD is kind of a throwaway diagnosis. I'm one of them. As you can see, our kids usually don't respond to logical consequences and behavioral theories. There is usually a bigger diagnosis. behind the ODD, and that's what drives the behavior. In the US, she may get a diagnosis. of a possible impending mood disorder but, again, I'm finding that all countries are different.

    It's not your fault. Are there any psychiatric or neurological issues on your child's family tree, including her biological father? Any substance abuse? Problems tend to be inherited.
  3. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member


    Welcome. I just want to add that you're wise to address your 3-year-old's issues early on. My difficult child started having meltdowns at age 3 or 4, but we were told, "Oh, that's just negative behavior. He'll outgrow it." Well, he didn't, and it's been a long, hard journey. I always have wondered if things might have been different had we gotten an earlier start on dealing with the behavioral issues.
  4. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    When my son was about 4 (so a little older than you're baby) I spent months with bruises. He would hit, kick, bite, throw things, scream, "hated" me, etc. I got him into play therapy and he was able to get some of it out, but it was more me proving to him that I would keep him sage no matter what he did to me to make these behaviors stop. He was about 6 when I ran into his preschool teacher and she asked me how I was doing. I told her that I wasn't bruised anymore and that was just it. You see my son was, is and always will be a handfull, but he knows I'm here and he can't get rid of me. So I guess my advice would be to keep doing what you're doing and I would get her into some sort of therapy. Others will be along to give you more advice, but your story just rang a bell and I had to respond.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    It sounds like you started searching for help for your 3yo. That really is crucial to her development. The more therapy you can get her the better. Speech, occupational, play, etc... will be able to help her learn ad grow more appropriately.

    As for the diagnosis (diagnosis) that they gave her when she was 2, the doctor is a quack. He hides his webbed feet in his shoes. And pretends to need a down pillow so if his feathers start to fall out at work he can say they are from his pillow.

    ODD tells you your child has a set of behaviors. Period. It gives NO idea what causes the behaviors or what therapies will be effective in treating the ODD. MANY times if the cause of the behaviors is stopped the child will eventually lose all of teh ODD traits.

    ODD is NOT a predictor for conduct disorder. Until just a couple of years ago the guidelines for diagnosis'ing conduct disorder included the patient being 18 yo or older! 2 year olds are growing and learning so much every day, it is just plain wrong to tell parents their 2yo has conduct disorder!

    Your daughter's behavior really makes me think she could be autistic. Not the classic form shown in movies. Who diagnosis'd her with the developmental disorders? You might want to read up on Aspergers Syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder, and high fuctionig autism.

    You also might read "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene along with "What your Explosive child is trying to tell you " by Douglas A Riley. These will help you lear a different style of parenting where you and the child work together to handle things.
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello Merz--

    I have not read all the replies, but I have to tell you that your post gave me chills--not because your daughter is so terrible--but because I could have written the EXACT post about my own daughter when she was a toddler. She began threatening to kill me when she was only two. TWO!!! At the time, I thought that there was no way she could have had any concept of what she was saying and must simply have been mimicking something she heard from somebody else....except that she DID seem to understand that "killing" was a way to permanently get rid of someone....because she would talk about how it would be nice if they were gone.

    I am so sorry that you are dealing with this. I understand how scary it feels...

    Please know that you are not alone.

  7. GoodNightMoon

    GoodNightMoon New Member

    I'm new to this board as well - because I'm going through something similar with my 3 year old son. He is preoccupied with monsters, fires, dragons, bad guys, etc. He's also a biter and hitter of who ever is in reaching distance when he is upset. He swears. His bitter rage seems so out of proportion to his age and upbringing.

    His 5 yo brother is high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

    Nice to know that there is another parent who is going through the same journey.
  8. Crysci

    Crysci New Member

    Hi, I'm new here too, and this was the first post I read because while my daughter is almost 14 now, we started to get help for her when she was 2 1/2.
    Yes, we had the same difficulties, although she didn't swear, she said a lot of other mean stuff! Tried to smother her newborn niece when she was 7mo. old (trust me, she meant to sit on her face) and I caught her about to whack her 9yr old brother over the head with a wooden doll highchair while he was sitting peacefully watching tv. (she was 5 and he never found out about it)

    She was diagnosed bipolar not otherwise specified when she was 4, been on many medications with no good results and we are currently looking at Borderline Personality Disorder and some of the sub-disorders in that category. Her dad is a perfect description of Antisocial personality disorder.
    I am dumbfounded that all these years we may have wasted on the wrong diagnosis and treatment, however, I do believe you are wise to seek help so soon. I can't imagine all the other problems she would have had if we didn't, more than she already has. At the time she was diagnosed 10 years ago, bipolar disorder was just being accepted as an illness in small children, and seems we are on that same time frame for Borderline.
    I'm so very tired and want to see some answers and good results for her. I have 2 sons who do not have these problems either and are very loving and caring. She is not, but to small children who give her attention and cute animals till they make her mad.

    Good luck to you! I'm off to find a forum for our specific needs now.

    Krissy in Texas