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Feel like an awful mum and need help with DD

(17 Posts)
SevenSpot Tue 15-Nov-16 12:08:32

I've been here for years and namechange regularly, I've just changed again for this thread as it could be identifying, but I'm an old hand.

I've recently separated from H and have two DC aged 6 and 10. 10yo seems to be doing OK at the moment (though I'm aware it's hard for them too) but 6yo DD is struggling. She's very upset about the fact that we've moved (though stayed local and near to ex) and very, very needy and emotional, which I totally understand. I'm trying to prioritise the DC, listen, be caring and affectionate and reassuring etc.

90% of the time DD is lovely - she's kind, funny, affectionate, creative, full of beans. But she's always been highly strung and easily upset. When she kicks off, it's a massive full-on strop - screaming, hurling insults (I hate you, you're stupid, I don't care about you etc) and in the past kicking and hitting though we have tried really hard with this and I sought help from HV who gave me some advice about helping her get her anger out other ways, and DD has done really well to stop this. It's usually about something tiny or mundane, classic things are refusing to wear a certain item of clothing, wanting something in a shop and me saying no, etc.

Well since the move she has got worse and had some real humdingers but I've tried to manage it - I'm usually able to stay pretty calm, and she usually calms down after maybe 10mins - half an hour. We also talk about her feelings a lot and how to handle feeling angry etc.

Recently were were out and a huge tantrum happened because I wouldn't buy chocolate at a checkout . She was screaming to I got her out of the shop, but we were at a big mall place and in a carpark, and she was struggling and screaming and trying to run away. So I had to hold her, while trying to talk to her. She bit my hand and I instinctively pulled back, but stayed calm. Within 10 mins she calmed down and recovered and we were able to get things we needed and go home, in fact apart from those few minutes, we had a nice day.

But the next morning she said she had a sore arm from where I'd been holding her and "hurting her". There was no bruising but she said it hurt to bend it. I apologised and explained I was scared she'd run in front of a car and I had to hold onto her. She insisted she wouldn't have - but when she's mid-screaming, she doesn't care about anything and I couldn't risk it.

It's now fine (2 days later) but I hurt her and I feel terrible. I need a better way of managing this and I need to help her. I don't know what to do. I could go to GP but I'm holding back as a) she's really scared of doctors after emergency hospital treatment years ago and b) her older sibling had help from CAHMS for anxiety and while it was great and very effective, I'm worried that there's something wrong with me, I'm a shit parent and they'll suspect I'm bad for the DC and we'll have SS etc.

Selfishly I'm also scared the screaming, or if she mentioned her sore arm at school, or something else will result in someone calling SS.

So as not to drip feed, there is ASD in my family and ex's family and I suspect we might have some traits too, I would not be surprised if either child is on the spectrum but I'm not sure going down that route will help DD right now, as she's so unhappy about medical stuff. When she's not losing her temper she manages really well, has friends, copes well at school etc.

Has anyone had this kind of behaviour and how have you managed?

Heirhelp Tue 15-Nov-16 16:06:46

Go to the GP and see if they will refer you to CAHMS. They won't see you as a shit patent they will see a child who needs support.

SevenSpot Tue 15-Nov-16 17:57:34

Thanks heir. I'm a worrier myself which isn't helping.

Wonderingwoe Fri 25-Nov-16 01:35:03

How are you now OP

Atenco Fri 25-Nov-16 04:28:39

Oh OP, you were protecting her from herself, you are not to blame for hurting her arm in any way.

I have no knowledge of ASD, but I would explain that those are the consequences of her losing it as she did and nobody else's fault but her own.

mnistooaddictive Fri 25-Nov-16 04:45:18

I know this seems a strange suggestion but have you tried removing food additives? My dd was always full of wild tantrums and attacking me when she didn't get her own way. Since we changed her diet it has completely stopped. It sounds hugely difficult but it isn't as bad as you think and so worth it. Read the blog our family eats. Or this article here www.fedup.com.au/stories/2016/1413-autism-spectrum-disorder-asd-diet-success-for-my-child-which-also-saved-my-life-november-2016
You only have to try it for a week to see if it works. After 3 days I knew I would never go back.

Konyaa Fri 25-Nov-16 05:39:14

Oh FFS. Food additives.

mnistooaddictive Fri 25-Nov-16 06:14:26

Konyaa have you tried it? It has completely changed my life. Yes dd still has ASD but is no longer aggressive and violent. Dont be so rude and dismissive of my experience. I am genuinely trying to help someone. What help have you offered?

Konyaa Sat 26-Nov-16 17:47:28

No. you are coming on here with your conspiracy theories establishing connections between A and B that would be so fantastically hard to establish that - wait - medical science has not established these links. You are conflating correlation and causation and this is precisely how rumours and panics spread in society. No different from "research" showing coconuts cause cancer or vaccines cause autism. You have not helped. You've been confused, you've believed something to be highly accredited peer reviewed research when it isn't and you're spreading it around.

Konyaa Sat 26-Nov-16 17:48:09

When fedup is your source for heavens sake.

marthastew Sat 26-Nov-16 21:01:06

I agree that seeing the GP would be a good thing to do. You could also talk to the SENCO at her school.

I have a child with ASD and I'm afraid that in the midst of a meltdown in a potentially dangerous place you do sometimes need to take action to protect your child.

However, this is not at all to say that she has ASD. She has been through an awful lot (as have you) and she is very little. I hope things improve soon.

mnistooaddictive Sun 27-Nov-16 20:34:12

Konyaa I refuse to derail the thread of a parent in need but all I will say is that there is huge medical evidence. Why else do jelly belly sweets say on the back "some ingredients have been shown to affect behaviour in children". Also loads of references to proper scientific study here www.hacsg.org.uk/about-the-hacsg
I am talking about my personal experience, you can't discredit that. There is no conspiracy theory just something that the OP can try, that many families have found works. I had a child who honestly was ferral. Nothing worked. I was past the end of my tether. I was desperate. I tried something that has completely changed life for my whole family. Dds mental health is do much better now that she does not have 4 two hour meltdowns every week. If you had experienced something that changed your life that profoundly, wouldn't you share it with others? What is your problem? Why so negative?
OP- believe me when I say I was desperate and my life and that of my DD had been changed completely.

SevenSpot Tue 29-Nov-16 15:54:54

Hi everyone - sorry I disappeared, the thread fell off my "threads I'm on" and I've just remembered to look for it.

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions - I'm a skeptical and sciency person but I wouldn't rule out food ingredients. though it's hard to do practically speaking as DD is a very fussy eater. But I will look into it and start a food diary. Have also seen GP and been referred, and talked to school everyone has been lovely which helps a lot.

DD has has a good spell for a few days, followed by a worse few days. When it happens it's just so exhausting and stressful, I wish it didn't affect me so much.

SevenSpot Tue 29-Nov-16 15:59:44

Also grateful for the support and understanding. I find it v hard when we're out and she goes off on one and I have to grab her or carry her and people stare, as she's obviously older than typical tantrumming age. It helps to feel it's not just us.

steppemum Tue 29-Nov-16 16:30:21

if she is high functioning ASD (and I am not saying she is) then the added stress of the last few months may be enough that she can no longerhold together the socially acceptable face.
Even if she isn't ASD, her meltdowns maybe less temper than just the last straw for a child already overwhelmed by whatever else has gone on that day.

We recognise in toddlers that when they are tired/over stimulated etc they are more likely to melt down, but we see that less easiely in older children.

I think it matters because when my dd is being croos I use one set of strategies (clear boundary setting and consequences) She usually responds to those. But sometimes she doesn't and then I realise she doesn't need a boundary, she needs calm, reassurance, maybe a hug, maybe time out/space etc. In other words the strategies you chose may depend on the cause.

Girls do present very, very differently to boys with ASD, Have a look at some of the threads about girls with ASD. I find the SEN boards very helpful with strategies, as they are often thinking outside the box. Finding something that works is the goal, not whether or not she has ASD.

If she gets hurt when you are keeping her safe, please don't worry. It is important she understands why her arm hurts, it is part of her learning how her behaviour effetcs others, but don't dwell on it.

TwitterQueen1 Tue 29-Nov-16 16:45:12

Konyaa why so aggressive and so rude?

FWIW I have never given any of my DCs any juice other than Robinson's after we discovered very early on in their lives that anything else had them bouncing off the ceiling. And to this day, I know instantly if my DS has had coke / pepsi. She is not the same person.

Of course additives - or the lack of them - don't impact on ASD, but no-one can deny that they can have a significant effect on mood and behaviour.

steppemum Wed 30-Nov-16 08:39:12

I think that Konyaa is expressing the frustration felt by many parents when people suggest your child's medically diagnosed condition could be 'fixed' by a change in diet or different parenting techniques.
And the Fedup website exists to promote its own propaganda about lifestyle and additives, so referencing to it is like asking a tabacco company of smoking is good for you.

On the other hand, as you point out twitter, we do know that some additives and lots of sugar can effect some children adversely and it is always worth ruling it out.

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