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Does my child have a mental health problem?

(7 Posts)
sparkler76 Wed 17-Oct-12 02:10:05

I am new to this...hope i'm doing it right. I am at the end of my tether, pushed as far as I can go. My daughter is 4 and until she was 2.5 was fine in every way. But gradually her behaviour has changed giving us concerns that she may be autistic. We saw paediatrician 4 months ago and were told she is absolutely fine. We have 3 major concerns: 1)obsessive behaviour - won't wear socks/tights, hates putting school shoes on and when she does, she pulls the straps so tight that she marks her feet (it usally takes about 10 minutes to put school shoes on and by the end she is hysterical), wipes her bottom 10 times and says its still wet, won't wear pjyamas in bed because she says they're wet.....I could go on with many other such behaviours. 2)Flaps her hands and grimmaces - usually when she is excited or in anticipation. 3) Anger - she blows her top all the time to excessive levels, shouts and screams in the middle of the night and won't calm down. This is just a taster of how her behavour is at the moment. In some ways her behaviour doesn't fit with autism as she can make and friends and play well with others and she has good eye contact. Could it be something else? We just don't know where to turn. I feel we are becoming socially isolated, trying to pretend to the outside world that everything is ok when it clearly isn't. I am scared of going to parties or peoples houses in case she kicks off. I am also really worried about the effect on our other two children (one older, one younger). I would be really grateful if anyone could offer me advice. Thank you.x

fortyplus Wed 17-Oct-12 02:26:24

I'm no expert but it sounds like extreme attention seeking behaviour and anger management issues. If a paediatrician has already advised that it's not a mental health problem then I'd tend to believe it.

In fact my diagnosis would be 'middle child syndrome' wink

sweetiepie1979 Wed 17-Oct-12 02:32:32

Above poster could be right, but your her Mother so what do you really think it is? How is she developing otherwise?

eastendfareast Wed 17-Oct-12 03:43:46

Perhaps she has sensory issues. Have a look at sensory integration disorder and see if anything rings true. Her issues with clothes and reactions remind me of my son who has sensory issues and finds it hard to transition from one thing to the next without a big drama. He's also a pain with shoes and numerous other things. There's a great book called the out of sync child which has helped us a lot

cloudhands Wed 17-Oct-12 05:33:54

hi I would trust you instincts, if you think that something is different about her, then return to paeditrician, and ask for a referell (or whatever it is you need to do I'm not sure!)
there's also things you can do yourself, to help her.
hand in hand parenting - is a good website with advice about dealing with strong behaviours, and when children object to everyday things, they have a really wide range of free articles,

Firsttimer7259 Wed 17-Oct-12 12:38:47

I would second the sensory processing issues - esp with clothing and wet bottom feeling. This can result in screaming/tantrums as child gets overwhelmed with sensory input. Have a look at dyspraxia as well. Can be tough but there are also things you can do to help her. I'd spend some time (a week or two) observing her armed with a bit of reading on the above and logging any correlations you can spot - also logging how often she kicks off, the extent of it etc. Then go back to pead and ask them what they think about these issues possibly playing a role in her behaviour.

daytoday Wed 17-Oct-12 13:45:02

Hi there,

The socks/shoes thing is so extremely common you wouldn't believe. My daughter is exactly like this. She will also wipe bottom loads and absolutely everything has to comfortable. It is an absolute nightmare and she will not wear anything uncomfortable. I was like this as a child and to some degree, still am. My clothes have to be comfortable (and trendy of course!) MY daughter is much more sensory than my other kids. I totally respect her clothes 'rules.' Socks have to be plain, no creases. Footless tights work way better than normal tights. She won't wear trousers.

My gut feeling based on what you've said is that she has some very minor sensory issues. Can you read up on the internet about it.

How do you react when she faffs with her clothes - We just let her get on with it. We always choose clothes together before she goes to bed so she has enough time to think about it.

Be sympathetic to her. Children like can also be quite anxious, which can lead to anger.

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