true conduct disorder???

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by change, May 19, 2008.

  1. change

    change New Member

    I don't know what to think. I've read a ton about ODD, CD, Bi-Polar, etc. and my children's birth mother was bi-polar. If you look-up my previous posts, you'll see what went on with my children and see what is going on right now with my daughter. In the past couple of months alone, she has been doing some pretty extreme acting out. She steals just about every day. Her thefts are pretty bold too. She doesn't even care if people see her doing it half the time. If she WANTS IT SHE TAKES IT. She's only sneaky that adults don't catch her except of course that eventually, kids tell on her and we do catch her.
    She's also engaging in behavior that could be percieved as leading up to risky begavior in the near future. If she weren't so small for her age, she would probably be promiscuous. (Boys show no interest in her...partially because she is so bizarre and moody.) Does anyone have any advice about all of his theft? We have an ARD tomorrow. If there were not less than 2 weeks of school left, she would be sent to an alternative school for sure. As it is, she is kicked out for next year. We are trying to get her into a behavioral support class but I'm afraid they will send her to an alternative school anyway because she is out of control. Does anyone have experience with this? She's even stealing from my purse.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    This sounds like a mood disorder could be the problem- though I can't say for sure. Something is clearly going on and from what I am reading, I seriously doubt that a behavior class or school accommodations alone will solve the problem. What has been done regarding private evaluations with professionals?

    Personally, I think the stealing and other bad behavior is a symptom, not the cause of the problem.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Could she have been affected by alcohol in utero? Did her birthmother drink while pregnant? If so, I'd seriously be wondering about Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), maybe for both of the kids. She could also have a mood disorder. It's very hard to know, or to get an accurate diagnosis, with adopted kids whose birthmothers used substances while they were pregnant because THAT contributes to so many problems. Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) is almost impossible to treat other than to watch the child/adult so that he or she doesn't get into trouble. Closely monitored group home settings are good. The affected people don't understand much about cause and affect, are extremely impulsive, and only think "in the moment." You say your daughter is very small...that could be a sign of fetal alcohol syndrome. If the birthmother took care of herself while pregnant, then it's easier to figure out what the problem really is, and I'd see a neuropsychologist. IF she didn't, I'd try to find a neuropsychologist who understands how to look for signs that the child's brain has been damaged by in utero alcohol use. Believe it or not, alcohol is worse than cocaine. My son's birthmother did both. We're lucky--he is just on the autism spectrum (sigh). Good luck.
  4. change

    change New Member

    I was wondering about Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) but asked both our therapists about it and they said supposedly you can't get it from the father. We know the father drank but according to the mother herself (I asked her through a letter...I used to have anonymous contact but now she's disappeared) she was "clean throughout her pregnancies with both kids". She had them back-to-back. I read about Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) very throroughly and you're right, they fit some of the criteria but not really enough of it. Also, my daughter had a SPECT scan recently and it showed ZERO signs of drug pre-natal exposure. (Our therapist says that includes alcohol.) When I put checklists side-by-side of symptoms for differetn disorders, the one that fits the most is bi-polar or conduct disorder. If it's not conduct disorder, then she must have bi-polar. Our son is more likely to have had CD because he was doing such awful things so early. I'm no expert though. What I am an expert on is that they should have NEVER placed such "special needs" children with such ill-equipped parents like us. What a mistake for EVERYONE involved. I feel guilty, my husband feels guilty, and these children and children like them should never be placed with young couples like us (we were in our 20's!) who don't have a clue about these kinds of things to begin with. Most people have no idea the kind of guilt and shame I feel daily.

    They've both been through multiple diagnotic testings. ADHD has been the only consistent diagnosis. Others have included PTSD (him), Depression not otherwise specified (him), Bip-polar 1 (him), Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) (him), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) (her - recently), Mood Disorder not otherwise specified (her), adolescent epilepsy (him)
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi again.
    Hon, SPECT is kind of a scam. THere is NO WAY to tell if a child has been damaged by drugs/alcohol other than to have the child diagnosed by a neuropsychologist. I wouldn't trust a plain therapist to have a clue about this. But, no, you don't get Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) from the man. If you are sure the birthmother was clean then I suggest you go to a neuropsychologist. Since bipolar runs in the family, well, it is inherited. Is she on medications? Were these kids every sexually abused? Did you get them when they were older (that in itself can be a huge problem). We adopted six kids. The older adoptions did not work, none of them. I highly recommend infant adoption--those kids act and feel like I gave birth to them myself. But the older child adopted kids never seemed to really bond and one was outright dangerous. (((Hugs)))
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I know what you mean, Change, but I disagree with-this:

    What I am an expert on is that they should have NEVER placed such "special needs" children with such ill-equipped parents like us. What a mistake for EVERYONE involved. I feel guilty, my husband feels guilty, and these children and children like them should never be placed with young couples like us (we were in our 20's!) who don't have a clue about these kinds of things to begin with. Most people have no idea the kind of guilt and shame I feel daily.

    because immediately after, you followed it with-all the testing you've had done. And of course, you're here on this bb.
    There is really no one perfect expert for kids like this. Yes, you may have been ill-equipped, as were we all, but you cannot blame yourself, nor should you feel guilty.
    You have become wise beyond your years, and have surely helped these kids more than had they been left to their own devices under foster care.
    Don't be so hard on yourself.
    Take care.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    We got kids that were extremely damaged and we were in our 40's. We did no better than you. Worse. The two most damaged kids are gone. One was adopted, but we gave up our rights. The other was dangerous. There is nothing more you could have done. But you're right--they don't prepare adoptive parents for the incredible obstacles of older child adoption. And we all believe that if we love them and give them a stable home, they'll be ok. It's not your fault at all. It's the system. Don't blame yourself one bit.
  8. Loving Abbey 2

    Loving Abbey 2 Not really a Newbie

    So forgive me if I remember this wrong. But didn't your son attack your daughter? But she has PTSD from it right? If I am remembering this right than that does account for her behaviors, between the inherited mood disorder, bipolar or otherwise, and the attack, PTSD, and adoption. Frequently adopted kids act out most during thier teen years. Did either of them have any brain bleed or injury? That often accounts for some really bizarre or extreme behaviors, and that coupled with trauma can lead to a lack of remorse.

    Also, kids who look CD or even ODD, sometiems have budding personality disorders, which are very difficult to treat. For you daughter, have you tried Dialectic Behavioral Therapy in conjunction with medication's? It's usually most effective for girls. I don't know if that helps any.

    Good luck to you!
  9. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    There really is no "right" age to adopt kids with the problems and issues yours have. To blame yourself and feel you are failing as a parent is not true. It really is possible that your little ones are so damaged you may not be able to parent them. You may have to do as timer-lady does and have a family of different households. You may have to do as MWM did and disrupt an adoption.

    To me, the fault lies not in the people who adopt, it lies with the system that isn't honest to adoptive parents about what is actually happening and what happened to our children pre-adoption. It lies with a system that doesn't give parents the needed support to raise these children. It lies with schools, social workers and therapists who try to lay the blame on the parents rather than trying to help the parents raise these children. Kids like yours, timer's, MWM's, mine need so much more than just love.

    Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) is still possible even though the biomom claims she stayed clean. It is very rare for the biomoms to be honest about what they did that harmed their children.

    Fight for a neuropsychologist exam. It may give you some real answers.

    Also, be prepared to fight for Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for both of your kids. I truly believe that Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is the only thing that saved my daughter. At 13, she was behaving a lot like yours (and I was in my 40s when I adopted). I even told her therapist and social worker that it would be a small miracle if she wasn't in juvie before she was 15 and pregnant at 16. Neither prediction came to fruition. Today, she is doing well all things considered. She's working fulltime, living in an apartment, has a boyfriend who's a pretty good kid. She has great empathy for others. She is a slacker and a high school dropout. She does smoke cigarettes. She is a total slob. She's quit stealing. Every word out of her mouth is no longer a lie. There is hope.
  10. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I agree with meowbunny. The system isn't honest ~ adoptive parents aren't given the chance to make an educated informed decision about these children; sets families up to fail.

    I also agree that now may be the time to look into Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placement. My son, wm, had 2 Residential Treatment Center (RTC) stays totaling almost 2 years. kt had a 10 month Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placement.

    For kt, it was one of the best things to happen to her. She really learned many of the basic life skills that we didn't have the time to teach her ~ the skills she missed earlier, that she should have learned in bio home when she was a toddler. kt has since blossomed (with a few crisis's in between).

    by the way, I've seen the same behaviors & acting out from my ktbug. She was hurt by her twin & while the actions seemed to be bipolar or some other disorder, after all the testing & such was done we had complex PTSD & severe attachment disorder. It was all emotionally based & has taken a great deal of therapy. We're not close to being half done.

    We've had to work on kt's ptsd; reassure her that she is safe & that she can trust us (mom & dad) to protect her. There are days she believes it, days she doesn't. It's going to be a long journey to healing in my baby girl. I expect the same will hold true for your difficult child.

    kt is angry, so very angry at her twin; that he would hurt her. She is missing her twin brother. She loves & hates him. I would guess that your difficult child feels the same mixed emotions toward her brother. She needs a safe calm objective place in which to share those feelings. It's too ugly, as the parent of that young man, to listen to the venom come out of your daughter's mouth ~ however justified.

    I'm not saying you shouldn't have all the testing done. I did. I believed that if we could find that one disorder that could be addressed with medications, we wouldn't be labeled bad parents because kt has attachment issues & we didn't keep her safe from her brother. Who knew? No one told us that wm perpetrated toward his twin sister.

    You are in many ways in the same boat we are in....I hope that you find answers soonest. Whatever the outcome your difficult child is getting of the age that this needs to be addressed.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry. The system really scr3ws with families, esp those that adopt older kids.

    I don't think that you should trust bio-mom's word about whether she was clean or not. People who are addicted to drugs/alcohol LIE like rugs. It is sad, but true.

    I know our neurologist treats many children with Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE). He says that a good child neuro is the way to go to get a definitive diagnosis. He also says that the SPECT scan is NOT reliable and is a waste of time and money.

    Please do not beat yourself up. Timer Lady has a LOT of experience with this, I would consider her advice seriously. No matter what, YOU and husband did NOT create this problem. You are doing the best you can with what you have. That is all anyone can do.

    Lots of support, no matter what you do!

  12. change

    change New Member

    Thank you everyone. I was feeling so angry and down before I read all of your replies. We had court this morning. Yes, he attacked her. Yes, our sory sounds a lot like "the tweedles". Sadly. Our daughter is twelve and he will be 14 in another month. We heard this morning that he is in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC), acting out horribly, and still preying on others aggressively AND sexually. I was horrified. Our daughter was suspended yesterday AGAIN for 3 days for disrespecting 2 PE teachers. She also had an appointment. with her psychiatrist who gave us a referral for yet another therapist. This time it's a behavioral therapist. (She's afraid she's headed towards the CD path.) I knew it. I'm so sad. I'm not going to give up on her though. She had a lot wrong with her all of these years but I just can't give up on her. I'm SO ANGRY at the adoption agency though. What's wrong with them??? I clearly remember lots of warning flags but of course, again, I was naive, in my 20's, and all I cared about was becoming a mother. Yes...these kids were older (3 & 5) and I was in a rush to adopt so I said we didn't want a baby. Since we're not infertile, I didn't feel a need to get a baby. Now here we sit never having had a birth child because we've been too scared to bring a birth child into our home with these two. Also, I really don't think I'd know how to parent a normal child after all of this. I really don't. My husband still wants one so of course it's just more guilt I pile on myself:sad-very:. He's wonderful though and doesn't push. I really feel bad about it.

    As far as the nueropsych goes, I don't know that we haven't already had that done. I'm pretty sure my son's had it done after he was arrested. His attorney ordered one. (They kept calling me for medical information.)
  13. GrandmaTerimarie

    GrandmaTerimarie Michelle's grandma

    I felt the same way nine years ago when my grandaughter came to live with us.
    She was so very much mix up and did not know which way was up or dowm\n.
    but with all the theray and doctor's she seem to be cameing arond.I would of throw in the towle a long time ago if it would not of been for a other with whom help thur the good and bad times.Shellie was mood swings a nd BiPolar (BP) and adhd along with a inflame thyroid and asthma and a bleed disorder.She been a hand full and still is at tmesafter being with her mom.But she has gone thur hell in 12 years.She was sexly abuse three time's and abuse in all the other you can think of..She a smart and bright child.I have her in a specail school for childern with learning disables and disorders like she has.I pray that God will help you with your daughter and son that their can get life together and that you will find the anwers you seek.
    love a friend,
    Grandma Terimarie
  14. change

    change New Member

    Thank you for sharing Grandma Terimarie...especially for your prayers. We need all we can get.

    By the way, I'm Catholic and pray often and have been praying the Rosary a lot these past few years. I will include all of you on "my prayer list" from now on.

    Have a good Thursday tomorrow everyone. At least I know we don't go to court again until the end of the summer. I have a lot of research and records gathering to do until then though.