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Old 01-14-2013, 11:00 PM   #1
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Need help/advice about what to do withy DD

Not sure if this belongs here, but here it is (warning: this could get long):

I'm getting very worried about my DD who is 10. She has zero self confidence and is an extreme perfectionist, and I'm beginning to worry about her future.

She has always been this way. When she was 2, she would do something (something completely ordinary and mundane like sit down on the floor) then repeatedly ask "did I do it?" and no matter what I answered she would throw a fit. We eventually took her o a therapist who diagnosed her as having a sensory processing disorder. We did OT as long as we could afford it, but had to quit after a few months.

Things did not get better. We took her to a psychiatrist who diagnosed her as having general anxiety, put her on meds and recommended another counselor. Meds helped a little, the counselor was terrible, so we tried another one who was even worse then the first! So we gave up on the counselor idea.

All the while, she was struggling with school. She would have outbursts, run out of the classroom, refuse to participate, etc. Kindergarten was nightmare. First grade wasn't much better. By second grade, she was refusing to do most work and ended up spending lunches and recesses in the principle's office in order to catch up. That is when I pulled the plug and decided to try homeschooling her.

Homeschooling has been rough. I can force her to do her work, but I have to sit next to her all day long to make sure she does it. I can't get anything else done during the day (I also have 3 other children that need looking after). She sabotages work that I know she is capable of doing and puts an absolute minimum effort into any given task. She refuses to write, and it's not physical handwriting that is the issue. She won't type or dictate to me either. If she thinks she can't do something perfectly the first time, she won't even try.

She can't brush her own teeth because she thinks she doesn't do a good enough job, she refuses to tie her own shoes, and she won't bathe herself (same reason as teeth brushing). She can't even put on her own coat most of the time! It's like having a giant toddler!

I'm at my wits end. I love her more than life itself and I keep asking myself what I did to make her this way. Has anyone else had a child like this? Do we need to keep trying therapists until we find someone she clicks with? What can I do to help her? I'm terrified she will grow up feeling worthless and incompetent and try to hurt herself (although she has never expressed any feelings like that to me).

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Old 01-15-2013, 08:33 AM   #2
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I would look for an actual psychologist as opposed to just a "therapist", or a psychiatrist (who are actual doctors trained in medication not therapy). If she was in school I would recommend an evaluation. In our district children can get services for psychological issues, and she could maybe get OT too. I hope things turn around for you!!
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:55 AM   #3
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Re: Need help/advice about what to do withy DD

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I would look for an actual psychologist as opposed to just a "therapist", or a psychiatrist (who are actual doctors trained in medication not therapy). If she was in school I would recommend an evaluation. In our district children can get services for psychological issues, and she could maybe get OT too. I hope things turn around for you!!
I should have been more specific. We took her to an OT therapist, a psychiatrist, and 2 different psychologists. She was evaluated in school and qualified for her own special education program (IEP - individual education plan), but the teacher she had wouldn't follow through with it. Either me or my MIL were going to school to help DD in her classroom 3-4 days of the week. It was ridiculous that we were sending her to school, then doing all the teaching for her there. Homeschooling just makes more sense if they refuse to follow through with her education plan at school.

I'm just so frustrated because she is so smart (in addition to her IEP she also qualified for the gifted program) but she refuses or is otherwise unable to apply herself. It seems like nothing we do helps. I was hoping someone would know something we can try that we haven't thought of.

Any book recommendations for us as parents would be much appreciated, too!
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:29 AM   #4
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Re: Need help/advice about what to do withy DD

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I should have been more specific. We took her to an OT therapist, a psychiatrist, and 2 different psychologists. She was evaluated in school and qualified for her own special education program (IEP - individual education plan), but the teacher she had wouldn't follow through with it. Either me or my MIL were going to school to help DD in her classroom 3-4 days of the week. It was ridiculous that we were sending her to school, then doing all the teaching for her there. Homeschooling just makes more sense if they refuse to follow through with her education plan at school.
Ah, I see. I definitely think looking for therapist who clicks would be good. Not trying to scare you, and not trying to make assumptions, but based on your description, has she been evaluated for Aspergers? It's a possibility, and would change your approach to an extent.

And it's obviously too late, but a teacher/school refusing to follow an IEP is violating federal law. They could be sued. An IEP is a legal document that must be adhered to. The school doesn't get a choice.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:17 PM   #5
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Re: Need help/advice about what to do withy DD

Bright not broken is a great book. It is more geared towards intelligent kids that struggle with autism but anxiety plays a part with those so I think it would be helpful
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:07 PM   #6
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Re: Need help/advice about what to do withy DD

My 11 year old DS sounds much like your DD. He is extremely anxious and rigid, he gives ups instantly if things get hard. He has zero frustration tolerance. He also has terrible sensory issues and wicked anxiety, including separation anxiety and social phobia. School has been a nightmare for us too. Once he's actually there, he's ok, but his anxiety leads to tantrums and resistance/oppositional behavior before school, and usually he'd have a meltdown upon returning home when the tiniest thing would be wrong or his schedule altered. Yet our two attempts to homeschool have not worked either. He won't "let" me teach him anything. At school he is reported as bright and gets good grades, but when I try to talk to him about anything he doesn't "get it" and seems to have zero interest in just about anything academic, even stuff that I would think he'd find fun, like games and such. If I let him take the lead, he just spends hours reading or playing Legos. Which is fine, but he can't do that all day. He needs to have some basic skills.

We just re-enrolled him in school after homeschooling since Sept. He was doing ok but on the 4th day he woke late and he thought it was Friday, a short day, and when I corrected him that it was Thursday and "remember, they don't do short days here" he WIGGED OUT and refused to go. Over the past two days he will barely eat. He just wants to read or watch movies. I honestly don't know what to do anymore.

We tried meds too for him but they either don't work or have terrible side effects. Anti-anxiety meds made him appear in a stupor, even the lowest dose. SSRI med helped a bit with his "scary thoughts" but didn't touch his overall anxiety. We even tried ADHD meds and that provoked such agitation that he became self-injurious (another issue he has when he tantrums)

He was tested for autism at age 9 and again at age 11. The results are mixed. Though his first evaluator said he was likely on the spectrum, his ADOS at age 11 did not qualify him for a diagnosis, though he was close. The school therapist said that extreme anxiety can sometimes mimic autism. There are times I feel he definitely has ASD, and other times, I don't know. His two older brothers are on the spectrum (Aspergers) so you'd think its a no-brainer, but so far we have not had a definitive diagnosis. We too have found that counseling doesn't do much to help. My family pressures me to take him to more doctors, more therapists, and I admit, I am at my wits end...but I don't think anyone really can help me. We went thru the ringer with the oldest and all we got was more labels, more meds, and more bills. Still the same kid with the same behaviors. If they did go away, it was always temporary and then he'd circle around again and it would all start over.

There are no easy answers, and some of these kids just don't fit into a neat diagnosis/treatment. People who don't live with it just don't understand. My heart goes out to you. You aren't alone.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver)O(Moon
My 11 year old DS sounds much like your DD. He is extremely anxious and rigid, he gives ups instantly if things get hard. He has zero frustration tolerance. He also has terrible sensory issues and wicked anxiety, including separation anxiety and social phobia. School has been a nightmare for us too. Once he's actually there, he's ok, but his anxiety leads to tantrums and resistance/oppositional behavior before school, and usually he'd have a meltdown upon returning home when the tiniest thing would be wrong or his schedule altered. Yet our two attempts to homeschool have not worked either. He won't "let" me teach him anything. At school he is reported as bright and gets good grades, but when I try to talk to him about anything he doesn't "get it" and seems to have zero interest in just about anything academic, even stuff that I would think he'd find fun, like games and such. If I let him take the lead, he just spends hours reading or playing Legos. Which is fine, but he can't do that all day. He needs to have some basic skills.

We just re-enrolled him in school after homeschooling since Sept. He was doing ok but on the 4th day he woke late and he thought it was Friday, a short day, and when I corrected him that it was Thursday and "remember, they don't do short days here" he WIGGED OUT and refused to go. Over the past two days he will barely eat. He just wants to read or watch movies. I honestly don't know what to do anymore.

We tried meds too for him but they either don't work or have terrible side effects. Anti-anxiety meds made him appear in a stupor, even the lowest dose. SSRI med helped a bit with his "scary thoughts" but didn't touch his overall anxiety. We even tried ADHD meds and that provoked such agitation that he became self-injurious (another issue he has when he tantrums)

He was tested for autism at age 9 and again at age 11. The results are mixed. Though his first evaluator said he was likely on the spectrum, his ADOS at age 11 did not qualify him for a diagnosis, though he was close. The school therapist said that extreme anxiety can sometimes mimic autism. There are times I feel he definitely has ASD, and other times, I don't know. His two older brothers are on the spectrum (Aspergers) so you'd think its a no-brainer, but so far we have not had a definitive diagnosis. We too have found that counseling doesn't do much to help. My family pressures me to take him to more doctors, more therapists, and I admit, I am at my wits end...but I don't think anyone really can help me. We went thru the ringer with the oldest and all we got was more labels, more meds, and more bills. Still the same kid with the same behaviors. If they did go away, it was always temporary and then he'd circle around again and it would all start over.

There are no easy answers, and some of these kids just don't fit into a neat diagnosis/treatment. People who don't live with it just don't understand. My heart goes out to you. You aren't alone.


You have no idea how much your post means to me! I have felt so alone in dealing with this, but I knew someone out there had to be going through the same thing. I wish we were close so we could get together and commiserate! Thank you THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:13 PM   #8
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Re: Need help/advice about what to do withy DD

You are so very welcome. I am glad it helped, I didn't want to go into a long sob story...but I know that for me reading other people's experiences always helps me feel better. Feeling alone is one of the worse feelings. Unfortunately, too many of us are dealing with this nowadays. I think we often suffer silently.

You asked for some advice, so I have been thinking about that since my last post. I would probably do the ADOS with her just to clarify her diagnosis. If she is on the spectrum, you could read up on it and though it doesn't change anything, it can help you understand and not take it personally when she has an off day. I too just pour over everything detail trying to figure out what went wrong and where. Was it all those antibiotics as a child? Is it dairy? Too much TV? Pollution? Our modern lifestyle? On my worst days, I totally blame myself. On my better days, I try to move past that to radical acceptance of my child, exactly as he is. Not easy. But we usually do better on those days.
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DS(18)DS(15) DS(13) DS(5) DS(2) and Baby DS
who are the love of my life and the bane of my existence all wrapped up in one wonderful wacky package.
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