When did you know your difficult child was a difficult child?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MidwestMom, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have two.

    My daughter who used drugs did not REALLY show gfgism that early, except that she was overly sensitive and would cry if you hurt her feelings (which was often). At about age ten she told her peers a very strange lie. To get kids to like her, this shy child told everyone her father owned a candy factory and that she could get anyone any candy they liked. Then she'd beg me for money. WHen I said "um, no" she started shoplifting candy.
    After we moved to Wisconsin, when she was in seventh grade, she was lost and lonely. I kick myself for having moved her at such a sensitive age--her being so shy. She sat at lunch by herself for months until suddenly the "bad" kids befriended her. At twelve years old she was one of the most popular kids at school after that--and she became a full-blown difficult child.

    My autistic son was much more direct. We adopted him at age two. When he started banging his head against the wall, echoing words, tantrumming every time we needed him to move from one activity to another, never sleeping, babbling rather than speaking words etc. we knew something was up. And we knew it wasn't his fault. The long journey to an obvious diagnosis started almost as soon as we made him our son...
  2. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    I knew that difficult child 1 was a difficult child right around the age of 2. Sensory issues, rages, obsessive, it was all there.

    After that, I knew there was a problem. with difficult child 2 at 14 mos. when he still wasn't walking and his speech was way, way behind.

    difficult child 3 was tough because technically, she's not a difficult child. She has anxiety DIRECTLY related to difficult child 1's rages. If he has a bad day/night, she's having a worse day the next.

    Gotta love it! God has a plan, he just forgets to update ME!
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    thank you was about 2 when the first flags went up but I didn't really clue in to how significant the problem was until he was 5.

    At 2, positive reinforcement provoked *awful* behaviors and he had absolutely no desire to please adults, which was really different from my experience with kids. Spanking (which I was raised with) had absolutely no effect. Consequences had no effect. He was in your face defiant, aggressive, and beyond impulsive. Toilet training was not so much training as it was a battle of wills that went well into 1st grade.

    I haven't looked back on those days for a long time, but he was just such an enigma even then and I was utterly at a loss.
  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    About 3 weeks after she moved into my house. The first 3 weeks was a nice honeymoon period -- good thing cause I'm not sure I would have survived the next 18 years if she hadn't totally stolen my heart in those 3 weeks.

    I will admit she had impeccable logic in showing me her not-so-good side. I told her to quit playing with some of my grandmother's things. She did quit .... by throwing them on tiles and watching them break. Don't eat on the Persian rug -- no problem, I'll cut it up (hid the kitchen shears after that). And it's been that way ever since. She'll follow the rules on HER terms and, if possible, destroy the temptation.
  5. DramaQueenLucy

    DramaQueenLucy New Member

    When difficult child ds16, was only 4 years old we had gone to the store. He had asked if he could get 2 things I said only 1...so he stole the 2nd item. I found it once we got home and then asked him about it ...he lied and lied until I told him that the store had security camera's. Then I pretended to call the store, after that he told the truth...but it took over an hour to get it out of him and after that he showed no remorse. He did however have a melt down when he found out that I was taking both toys back to the store and that he was going to have to give them back and apologize for taking it.

    With DS10, it was harder a lot of his problems are directly related to DS16's abuse of him, his meltdowns started in first grade, those I believe are related to his ADHD, the problems got much worse a few years ago when his brother started to bully him.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I knew my younger two had issues right around 15 to 18 months. Thats when they got beyond active. Jamie just stayed hyper but Cory also added in this interesting mix of defiance.

    I can vividly remember Cory throwing these fits because he couldnt physically do something the older boys could do. He was about 18 months old and would get so mad because he couldnt cross rings on the monkey bars. He was born without a shoulder blade. He would grab one ring with his good arm, try to sling the bad arm, miss...fall, scream, go back and do it again. Over and over again. He wouldnt let me carry him across. He wanted to do it the way the others did and he simply couldnt and it made him so mad. A forewarning of things to come.
  7. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    DQLucy -- You might be surprised to know that the behavior you describe can be developmentally normal for a four year old. At that age children don't necessarily understand the concept of a lie and will tell one with the idea that saying it makes it so. And they are still at the age where they may not understand that they simply can't take everything they want....or that once they have doesn't mean they get to keep it. Remorse isn't something four year olds can have. At best, they are sorry they got in trouble but often don't understand why what they did got them in trouble.
  8. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I identified my son's "tantrums" as some sort of "seizure-like" incidents when he was less than two months old. Between those infrequent seizures and his being a highly intelligent, high energy kid, he wasn't an easy but I wouldn't have called him a difficult child by this site's standards until he was put on antidepressants when he was 14.
  9. DramaQueenLucy

    DramaQueenLucy New Member

    That is food for thought. DS16 had begun having episodes (ie. on the floor crying, big melt down, etc) at the age of 8. This is the year that he got PTS from his finding my exh when he committed suicide. It was right before this that his therapist had told me that he was ODD...because I had been having behavioral issues with him.
  10. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    Since the day we brought difficult child home from the hospital he had awful, hysterical crying fits. Nothing calmed him down except us walking with him constantly, for hours at a time. We could not sit down, we could never put him in a swing or bouncy seat. At other times he was perfectly calm and quiet. It always seemed to be extremes with him. As he got older his temper tantrums were longer and more extreme. He wouldn't do what he was told and time outs were impossible. When he was 3 yrs old he was diagnosed with ODD and started seeing a behavior therapist. At 4 he was kicked out of daycare for kicking the teacher and spitting into another kids' lunch, and the counselor told us we needed more help than she could give.
  11. ML

    ML Guest

    I suspected something wasn't right right off. He would have crying fits, unconsolable. I believe it all started with the sensory stuff. He is a highly sensitive child. He experiences life in extremes. His system is also oversensitive in terms of allergies. It's like he has an allergy to life. So from day 1 I knew. I will say that I have been successful with distracting him. I could always make him laugh; which now he hates. He'll get madder if I try to make him laugh when he's mad.

    This experience has aged me so much. I still haven't learned the art of detachment. I worry all the time. Of course he's still pretty young for too much detachment but I'd like to learn how to worry just a little less.
  12. We really knew that something wasn't right within a few weeks of his birth. He hated being held- he would arch his back and scream. He had intense reflux and was generally very unhappy. We thought that he might have a hearing impairment and had his hearing tested very early on - but his hearing was found to normal. His tantrums were simply unbelievable and we could never really calm him. Only time and maturity seemed to solve that problem.

    His pediatrician kept reassuring us that all was well, as did the first few psychologists who evaluated him and treated him ....We didn't get an official diagnosis until he was 16, but we always knew that something was unusual about difficult child... I'm so glad that kids are being diagnosed at a much younger age these days.
  13. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    My difficult child spent his first 10 1/2 years as a easy child. He very seldom fussed as a baby - in fact, that is how I would know when he had an ear infection - Nurses would say, "But all babies fuss" "Not mine". His older sister was 6 years old when I had him (1st day of her 1st Grade 5:41 am and she was at the hospital in the waiting room). Even though she did very well as a big sister, she really resented having a sibling to share attention with. She started being mean as he got older (name calling, hitting as she went past him ect.) which I think is the main reason of his problems today. I am learning that this behavior happened more than I thought it did (she was always disciplined when I knew about it).

    Anyway, difficult child was very easy going - not much fazed him. The only issue we really had was getting him to join his class in front of church for singing which I excused him from. I really don't think kids need to be pushed into that. I found that the reason was that he didn't know the songs. If he knew and liked a song, then he would participate. He would also not join in with group games unless he knew the people and all the rules. Again I thought, fine, not everyone in a joiner and he was happy watching and learning from the side lines.

    Last Summer was very boring for him - he started to loose his energy. He then had an unpleasent dental procedure that threw him further into the hole he was in. He had a panic attack a few days later and started having self harm feelings. I took him to his pediatrian who said, "I don't know what this is. I am going to treat the symptoms. I think it is anxiety. Here is Zoloft." I refused to give him Zoloft based on "I don't know, I think" so finally received a referral to a specialist. The referral was received as referring for ADD. I told the doctor, "No, I am not bringing him for ADD - I am bringing him because we don't know." He reveiwed some history and said, "This kid does not have ADD". He then referred us to a psychologist and ordered another series of lab work to rule stuff out.

    In the mean time, difficult child was unable to go to school without me and even then could not last the entire day. I called work to say I didn't know what was going on or when I would be able to return and found I had a new supervisor not from our facility so I was stressed, new boss and me not going to work, how is that going to go over?

    difficult child lost so much energy - couldn't even go across town on a trip to buy a lego set. This was getting scary for both of us - I had no idea what was going on with him.

    Before the psychologist appointment., we had gone to the Mall of America. It had been a very stressful weekend and difficult child fell apart on the 3rd floor begging me to get him out of there. I took him downstairs and outside where he started throwing up. He was terrified. His body was telling him to jump from the 3rd floor balcony and he did not want to. I called the psychiatric's office and begged to get in sooner. Within a week, we were there. On the way out of that first visit, difficult child cried and said he could no longer handle fighting with his thoughts that he needed more help. So, we went down the road to a psychiatric hospital and admitted him.

    Then I had to go home and tell husband and all family and friends that difficult child was admitted as an acute admit to a psychiatric hospital. It was so unplanned - no one really knew what was going on with him and I had no idea how people would react. I know it bothered husband though all he asked was, "Did difficult child want this?" "Yes, he was the one who asked for the admission."

    So, difficult child pretty much shut down and now as he is climbing out of the hole, he is picking up a vaiety of unwanted behavior (lieing, name calling, disrepecting authority, misdirected anger, ect.) Sometimes his behavior seems so phony as if he is imitating what he may have seen at the psychiatric hospital.

    Things are going much better and if any difficult child can turn it around to be a easy child, he has a great chance in doing so. Though some days he does scare me with his behavior and I wounder if he will end up in juvie or jail when he is older? He can go either way and of course we are working as hard as we can to get him to want to find the life that will bring him happiness.

    We are also working with a neurologist to watch for partial seizures - right now we are certain he has a migrane varient but now that he is almost off the medication that also controls seizure, we will watch for increase in the auroas and headaches activities. If these symptoms return, we may do a 48 hr EEG to try to catch a partial seizure.

    His diagnosis is very deep anxiety.
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Pretty much from birth. He has always been overly loud, has always been a screamer, had reflux and many ear infections.
    He hated to be put down, and when I put him in a front-pack baby carrier to free my arms, he even hated that because it wasn't a tight hug. Everything had to be tight, tight, tight, with-lots of pressure.
    He was excessively frustrated if he couldn't do things his older sister could do, and very destructive.
    He's always been very bad at transitioning and is sometimes anxious and shows it in odd ways.
  15. Diabolique

    Diabolique New Member

    Maybe I should have known he would be a difficult child *while I was pregnant*! I had such a miserable pregnancy with scads of complications, ending in an emergency c-section. Oy!

    In all seriousness, my son was difficult from day 1. The colic was almost neverending, sleep problems, couldn't / wouldn't breast feed, the list goes on and on. But, I think I really realized that something just wasn't quite right when my son was about 18 months old. I remember one incident in particular at that age that I can't even recount because it still brings tears to my eyes. I just knew something wasn't right, he was TOO hyper, TOO defiant...if this kind of behavior were normal, the human race would have ceased to exist.

    difficult child is now about 3.5 years old. Things really started to escalate around November of last year and it's been a vortex of misery ever since. I wake up every morning and pray that today will be a better day than yesterday; usually it ends up being worse no matter what I do.
  16. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    By the age of 3 weeks.
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    At about age 20-24 months I started seeing a "black cloud" come over Wizard. He would become so defiant, upset, mean and so much more - ALL contrary to his general personality. You could almost see it come, and then pass. It took several years for husband to see it, and more for any professional to see it. We had LOTS of counselling, with very little results. NO parenting change made much difference. By the time Jessie could move around (crawl) he started destroying her things, then trying to hurt her. He had been a very devoted brother before that. We have searched and searched our memories to find what caused the change, and have not found anything. By devoted I mean he would stop into the baby room at daycare to say Hi to her every time they went to the potty, outside, to get drinks, etc... If they went past her room he would go say Hi, then he stopped, and did things like cut a hole in her bed rail when she was 1 year. She was in a toddler bed on the floor because she could flip herself out of the crib (heart-stopper for mommy!) by 9 months. He cut the hole in the mesh bed rail so she would "hang herself and die". It was a pretty severe change in his behavior, but we still don't know why.

    We knew early on that thank you has issues, reflux, allergies, food allergies, and sensory issues. I would say by 4 months or so I knew about all but the food allergies. He couldn't sleep alone, no matter WHAT we tried until he was 9 months or so. Then he couldn't stand to be touched while he slept. Some textures drove him nuts, while he couldn't get enough of others. I wouldn't have seen any of it except for all the learning I did for Wizard's problems.

    Jessie has PTSD because Wizard. It didn't show up for a number of years, except for coming into our bed every night. And then, when Wizard got even more abusive, she moved back into our room. We let her, because then we and she knew she was safe at night. Sad that it was such a huge concern, but it was. Now, she is a happy little social butterfly most of the time - though we ARE looking for another therapist for her.
  18. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Looking back maybe from the time he was an infant and didn't sleep much at all. At the time though we just thought that was unusual after having easy child who slept so much but didn't think anything serious. difficult child's birth mom had used crack and was a preemie (3 months early) but he met all the developmental milestones.

    When he went to an in-home daycare the lady there was impressed at how advanced his language skills were for his age. He spoke in sentences at a very early age. The daycare mom had a son who had speech problems so she really knew developmentally where kids should be and she said he was very advanced. She also said he was the most active child she ever had watched. Still, we didn't think much of it at the time.

    Then when he was three, he went to a preschool. Again, we were told he was the most active child they had ever seen. He still didn't like to sleep much. He started getting violent at preschool with other kids and teachers and then we knew for sure that he was a difficult child.
  19. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I knew something was wrong from Day 1, but didn't realize she probably wouldn't grow or mature out of her problems by 9 months. Things never got better, just different.
  20. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Miss KT was born 11 days late, and was almost 10 pounds at birth. She was about a week old when colic set in and I had to carry her around all the time. I felt like a Mama Kangaroo. She was always intense, always determined...was crawling at 3 months, standing at 5 months, walking at 8 months...and just never stopped. Everything with her was so over the top...but I'd never had kids before, so what did I know?

    Looking back, I think there was some difference there from the beginning. It just took me about 7 years to get a diagnosis.