This newbie needs HELP!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by 2thfairy, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. 2thfairy

    2thfairy Guest


    I am new to this site and I need help. My daughter K is 6 years old and has been difficult to deal with most of her life so far. We have had a psychiatric evaluation and was diagnosis ODD, possible early ADHD and anxiety. We had been seeing a counselor for 4 months, and when the she met K's alter ego we call "Suzie", she actually said "I don't know". What? The Psychologist that did her evaluation rec. a new counselor...can't get in to see him for a couple of months. So here is the problam. She is out of control. I can't get her to do anything for herself when she is in Suzie mode. She's very sassy, talks nasty and refuses to cope. If she doen't get what she wants she just melts down. Someimes she has difficulty leaving me. Had to escort her into school today, and practically run away from her. She flips out at school and other social places and I am worried she will never have friends

    We are trying to elimate artificial dye from her diet. MRI and EEG show normal brain structure and function. HELP! Although I am on anti-depressants, I am just very unhappy! I feel like we are doing everything we are supposed to do, but it just doesn't help. She shows little remorse and is not motivated by anything that can't be had right now. I could go on for hours, but I will leave it at this. I need help for what to do on a day to day basis to get her to comply.
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    It is very normal to have a much too long wait to get into a professional.

    As for the day to day activities. Try making and keeping a very structured daily schedule. Have her help you make a "chart" using pictures (cut from magazines) showing what will happen through out the day. (clothes for getting dressed, bathroom scene for brushing teeth, school building for school, ect.) In this day and age, keeping every day the same is very difficult but do your best to always do the same thing at the same time every day.

    Stay as calm as possible during her Suzie moments. Don't show any emotions, especially desperation. Kids pull their energy from their parent's emotions during those not so fun moments. Stay strong and calm.

    Watch for triggers and warning signs and work at guideing her to a different activity before she realizes she wants the "control of the moment". If you see her start to meltdown, try saying, "Time for a switch - shall we take a walk? (or color, ect)"

    Once they are in a meltdown stage, it is often times impossible to reach them. Wait until she has calmed down to approach her. Then maybe, "I bet you are tired. Should we sit on the couch together and I read a book to you?"

    Be positive in every request. Think outside the box. Instead of, "It is time to go - get your coat" (which some kids take as you yelling at them - mine does anyway), try, "It is time to go, are you able to find your coat?" or "Would you like me to help you find your coat?" or "We need to leave soon. Do you have time to get your coat on?" I usually suggest to talk to them like you would a guest in your house whenever possible. We usually don't tell our guests what to do but have figured out how to guide our guests through things. How would a guest respond if I said, "Time to go - get your coat."

    These may or may not work - just trying to brainstorm.

    Have you made that appointment that will be a few months out? If not, do so, the wait is never shorter and the one they offered will most likely be gone.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Welcome to the crowd - you'll have a lot of company on here!

    First a few questions:

    How does your daughter do with social situations? Is she comfortable with her peers? Does she have friends at school?
    Have you noticed any sensitivity to different sights, sounds, smells, tastes or textures? Did she have what I call "itchy tag syndrome" (when you have to cut or pull tags out because they drive her crazy?)? Did certain textures of clothes set her off?

    The reason I ask is that some kids have sensory integration issues that can cause them to have these outbursts. Things that we can take in stride can freak them out so much so that a meltdown is actually an escape attempt. You might want to look into an Occupational Therapy evaluation. can do this through your insurance OR ask the school to open up a case and have her evaluated. I would talk to my pediatrician about that.

    Have you considered a neuropsychological exam being done? It's a way to have her evaluated to check into a variety of issues. These are usually available in a Children's or Teaching Hospital - or you can check with your insurance.

    You may want to keep a behavior diary - this will help you find out possible triggers that are setting her off. Ross Greene's book "The Explosive Child" is an easy read that can give you some suggestions. I'm one of those people who consider ODD/ADHD more of a symptom than a diagnosis.

    Keep in touch! We're here!

  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking that maybe you should look into Aspergers. Does she have any intense, obsessive interests? Can she have a give and take conversation and make strong eye contact with strangers? Why does she not have friends? Is she "quirky?" When she was younger did she have any strange habits such as flapping her arms or smacking her lips or rocking back and forth or any repetitious or annoying behavior that perhaps was diagnosed as oppositional...but may be something else completely. Can she tolerate loud noise, all sorts of material, different texture foods, transitions? Does transitioning make her melt down? Sensory issues are also a big part of Aspergers. Did she ever have early speech issues? Did she play with toys the right way or did she just sort of take them apart or did s he ignore toys?

    I'm not a big ODD/ADHD fan. ODD is a pretty useless diagnosis. ADHD exists, but it is often the first diagnosis. a child gets and very often NOT the last one.

    Sorry for all the questions. Trying to help. Welcome to the board.
  5. 2thfairy

    2thfairy Guest

    Thanks everyone for the thoughts and questions.

    Andy, I appreciate the brain storming. While I know that these tactics can help, I often lose track of them in the moment. I should make a chart for myself! Good ideas, especially about how you talk to guests. I will try.

    Beth and Midwest mom: When K was younger she was fussy about clothes and tags. When she was in kindergarten most of her problems came during chaotic times (recess, lunch line...) so we were starting to think she may have sensativity issues. This year it is much better, she will actually wear jeans now.

    I don't think she could be Aspergers. She is very social, can look you in the eye, and has never exibited the flapping and stimming, though she is very hyper sometimes. Very hyper. She is a little quirky, has melt down's and bad behavior so I think kids look at her funny. She sometimes stalls out in areas where she is expected to perform (i.e. gymnastics, dance class). She had an eye tick for a couple of months that went away when her behavior deteriorated. I can see why ODD and ADHD seem like cop outs, but K is extremely oppositional.

    I would like to keep a diary, but sometimes I feel like I would be writing constantly. I will look into the book and a neuropsychologist. I could go to Children's hospital in Milwaukee.

    I can't thank you all enough for the support. Somedays I feel like I just want to run away from it all. But I could never do that to my husband LOL.

  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi/ D\idn't mean to come on strong. Do want to say that most of our kids are very oppositional and meet the criteria for ODD, but it is more helpful to deal with the other problems that cause the ODD. neuropsychologist evaluations tend to be the best. If you ever want to "go there", you can find them at University and Children's hospitals. Regular therapists, even regular psychologists do not do the intensive testing that NeuroPsychs do. If she really is that difficult, it would be worthwhile in my opinion to have a neuropsychologist assessment.