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I can't cope with DD anymore

(87 Posts)
DepthsUnknown Fri 06-Jan-17 12:16:00

I don't even know where to start because my life feels like a giant mess but one of my biggest issues is my 8yo DD.

These are the problems:
- she is angry, what feels like all the time. Once she is in the throws of a tantrum, it is very hard to calm her down. We usually put her in her room and it will take upto half an hour for her to calm down but often she will lose it again quite quickly and this can go on all day
- she is violent and will hit, kick and throw things in the house (this is everyday). She's broken so many things. Often the violence starts when she gets frustrated at herself or when she can't have something she wants immediately or if she can't do something she wants to do (either if I say no or she finds it difficult or it doesn't go how she wants it to - failing at computer games and her drawings 'going wrong')
- she is constantly screaming, shouting and swearing at me. Every other word is 'fuck'
- she is incredibly unkind and nasty to her younger DSis. She seems to get pleasure from upsetting people and will smile or laugh if we tell her she is being unkind. She is often rude to my friends and their DC.
- she is anxious a lot, worries about things
- she is generally unhappy and when I talk to her about it she will say that nobody loves or likes her and she is rubbish at everything. She often complains that she has no friends but her school say this isn't the case? Other times she will tell me everybody is her friend. She goes through phases where she threatens suicide and I once found her in her room with a belt around her neck
- she is constantly complaining about being in pain, her foot hurts, her legs hurt, her back hurts. Even paper cuts seem to cause a lot of distress
- she's very particular about clothes and the way they feel. Socks annoy her and her trousers have to be tight fitting but her tops have to be loose
- she is overweight and no longer fits most of her school uniform. She may even be obese at this point (I haven't weighed her)
- she's an incredibly fussy eater and is gradually eliminating entire food groups. She has refused to eat potatoes or potato products for years but now will no longer eat rice or pasta. She only seems to like bread.
- she's decided she doesn't like certain people. Refuses to see her dad (although I think some of her reasons are genuine), no longer likes my DP, now she tells me she hates me
- she is incredibly black and white about things, refuses to compromise, see things from another perspective or humour in things (she's quite literal). Her version of events is often very different from reality but you can't persuade her that things aren't quite the way she thinks of them

I have asked for help on a few occasions. We've had two CAHMS referrals from my GP but both times I was told her issues are behavioural and I should read a parenting book (specific one suggested) or get a family support worker. After that we paid for private counselling but I can't afford it abd she hated going. Only once has she lost it at school and she's doing quite well academically so they don't have concerns. After the incident at school (which included her throwing rocks at classmates) we were referred to a play therapy place for one term. I was self employed at the time so was able to take her (during school hours) but my employment has changed now. It was helpful in that it seemed to improve her self esteem but her behaviour was still poor. I believe we can ask for her to be sent for one more term but then that's it.

I don't know what to do. I'm ill and struggling anyway and I'm totally out of my depth. I often resort to just screaming at her because I can't cope with her behaviour but I know this is wrong and isn't helping. What can I do? Nobody wants to help me. I sometimes feel like telling her dad to have her full time but she hates him and I doubt he would be any better at helping her.

Can someone please suggest something? I'm at the end of my limited resources.

user1471537877 Fri 06-Jan-17 12:24:31

Hi op

Please come over to the special needs board for some support, were a friendly bunch and many of us have explosive children like yours

I'm not into diagnosing on the internet but you have quite a few red flags pointing towards ASD and sensory processing issues

It can take a long time to get girls recognised, in my case think 5+ years and multiple CAMHS referrals

Take care of yourself in all of this as you will be the lynch pin in it all, we will try to support you when you need it flowers

fallenempires Fri 06-Jan-17 12:26:21

Typical response from CAMHS!!
Have you sought any help from school?
What about your own health and that of DP?

BarbarianMum Fri 06-Jan-17 12:26:31

Has she had a full and thorough assessment for Autistic Spectrum Disorder from someone competent to perform one? If not I suggest you google ASD in girls, also Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) and see if anything rings any bells. If it does, lit the behaviours that seem to match and go back to your GP and ask demand to be referred for an assessment.

If you feel ASD/PDA may be a possibility then their is no harm in reading up and applying the behavioural management techniques recommended for these conditions. It won't hurt a nt child to be parented this way and what you are doing now isn't working anyway.

If you are a reasonable parent, and she hasn't been exposed to great trauma in her life (adoption, neglect, domestic abuse, sexual abuse) then I very much doubt this is "just" about behaviour, or that she is choosing to behave in this way.

Thattimeofyearagain Fri 06-Jan-17 12:27:15

I was also thinking possible ASD.

Parietal Fri 06-Jan-17 12:27:51

I'm sorry it is all going wrong, it sounds like she is very unhappy and so are you.

if she can behave at school but is impossible at home and has not got any diagnosis from CAHMS (and you agree with this), then I think it has to be about addressing behaviour at home.

Mumsnet may disapprove, but I think a Supernanny approach could be really good. So that means -
- you and she talk about how you are both unhappy (maybe both write down 3 things that make you happy and 3 that make you unhappy), and agree to work on having more of the happy things.
- you and she agree a short set of house rules (e.g. no shouting, no hurting siblings etc) with clear punishments for disobeying (timeout in a quiet room). At the same time, you need to ramp up the praise for good behaviour, and the cuddles, and spend as much time with her one-to-one as you can doing nice things - reading a book or colouring together etc. Social rewards (a cuddle / praise / a thank you) are just as important as physical rewards (sticker charts / pocket money).

It is hard to implement this and you will need an iron will to stick to it consistently and not shout at her, but if you do then I think it can work. you might want to also look at this book - the author has a lot of experience working with children who rebel.

BarbarianMum Fri 06-Jan-17 12:32:10

<<if she can behave at school but is impossible at home and has not got any diagnosis from CAHMS (and you agree with this), then I think it has to be about addressing behaviour at home. >>

Patrietal this ^^ premise is total nonsense. It is very, very common indeed for children with certain conditions to behave well at school but then decompress massively at home to release the stress of doing so.

DepthsUnknown Fri 06-Jan-17 12:41:31

Thank you for the replies everyone.

The two times I was referred to CAHMS, somebody called me and asked around 15-20 questions taking around five minutes before telling me that her issues are behavioural. Nobody has seen her or assessed her.

School were good when they referred her to the play scheme but I have other issues with them (I am a thorn in the heads side because we're always late for school) and so I haven't really discussed these issues with them.

I have a couple of friends who have experience with DC with ASD and they've both told me they think she is on the spectrum but then here not experts, just speaking from personal experience.

It's so hard to know what's going on. This all started to manifest a little while after I separated from her dad but it has escalated very quickly. We have some issues with her dad, he is low level neglectful, flakey and doesn't pay child support. DD's main issue with him is that he makes promises that he doesn't keep and she is very sensitive to things like that. XH was abusive to me (mainly emotional and very occasionally physical) and she obviously witnessed this. He is still controlling abd abusive now. I also had s traumatic pregnancy because he was having an affair with a 16yo girl, although I didn't out until DD was a few days old. I've read that traumatic pregnancy can sometimes cause issues?

I've read some websites about sensory processing disorder but can only tick some of the boxes so I'm not sure. Would it be ok to ask this to be moved to the special needs board?

I'm quite ill at the moment with poorly controlled hypothyroidism and life is stressful for one reason or another. Most of the time I am numb to my life and function on autopilot. I'm scared about what happens when I reach breaking point.

I love DD (and my other two DC) so much. I just desperately want her to be happy and I know I'm failing her right now.

Parietal Fri 06-Jan-17 12:41:55

Barbarian I know that can happen, but equally I don't think we should jump to a diagnosis or a long hunt for a diagnosis straight away.

Addressing behaviour at home with consistent rules and lots of love & attention can help a child regardless of whether they have autism or PDA or anything else.

fallenempires Fri 06-Jan-17 12:45:45

Were CAMHS made aware about the incident with the belt?

BarbarianMum Fri 06-Jan-17 12:47:35

A supernanny approach used on a child with PDA is likely to make things much, much worse. With autism it's more variable but you run the risk of punishing a child for their disability which is quite cruel and often unhelpful.

DepthsUnknown Fri 06-Jan-17 12:50:42

Yes fallen. That was the second referral. The CAHMS man I spoke to on that occasion told me that suicide risk is low, although not impossible but there was more chance of her dying in a car accident and I put her in the car everyday. I guess that was his attempt to put the risk of 'successful' suicide (his words) into perspective for me. Shortly after he hung up, he called back talking about an overdose before realising he had the wrong parent and breached data protection by naming the child he was talking about. Both times they made me feel like I was wasting their time.

BarbarianMum Fri 06-Jan-17 12:51:32

<<I have a couple of friends who have experience with DC with ASD and they've both told me they think she is on the spectrum>>

People with autistic children rarely say this sort of thing lightly. Please read up about it and ask your GP for a referral for assessment if you think it a possibility. And please try posting on the SN boards here - lots of good, friendly advice and expertise to be had - no diagnosis necessary.

fallenempires Fri 06-Jan-17 13:00:32

Sounds like our experience of them,they really are truly useless.I struggle to see how they can fail to support children like ours when they do have the urgent need to access the help.I don't know about you but in my case because the problem is my child I have been told by the local MH team that I don't fit the criteria to access the proper support that I need either.
It just feels as though you are taking one step forward then several back.

Pingles Fri 06-Jan-17 13:01:36

Has she always been like this? Or is it a new thing? When did it start?

Regadung the weight, is she only eating bread now? Is she eating excessively? With being overweight, are the other children bullying her at all?

TheFormidableMrsC Fri 06-Jan-17 13:04:01

As the parent of a (younger) ASD child, Aspergers in fact, I can identify with a large part of your opening post. Hopefully this will be moved to the SN boards. First port of call, if I were you, would be to ask your GP for a referral to your local Child Development Centre (or equivalent) for assessment. I really feel for you, good luck OP flowers

Strongmummy Fri 06-Jan-17 13:07:56

I have no experience with ASD, however my son is adopted and so I do have understanding and knowledge of what that can bring to the table. Knowing the back story it may be that the violence and stress she witnessed growing up and her father's neglectful behaviour now have affected her profoundly (not just from an obvious psychological perspective, but perhaps a neurological perspective.) You will have learned from your parenting book about the need for even the tiniest of babies to have a stable base and how without this it can hinder their development. I'm not suggesting for one moment you have been a bad parent, but it sounds as though you were in an horrible situation and her father is useless. Therefore, as well as seeking support in relation to possible ASD, I would really urge you to go back to either play therapy or one to one child psychotherapy as this may be the issue. I wish you and your dd all the best

Seeingadistance Fri 06-Jan-17 13:10:30

I'd echo the others who are suggesting this sounds like ASD and sensory processing problems. I say this as the mother of a son with both, and as having friends with daughters with the same issues. It does seem that girls tend to be diagnosed later, and maybe it's because of that that their behaviour can be more extreme.

My suggestion would be to keep pushing the school, and CAMHS for real support and a full assessment. NAS, the National Autistic Society, should be able to offer you advice on how to proceed, and where you can find support for yourself as well as for your daughter. Where I am, NAS have a One Stop Shop, where you can go in for a confidential chat with people who understand what you're going through, make suggestions and offer ways of getting support. They also have regular meet-ups, evening and day-time for parents of children on the spectrum. You wouldn't need for your daughter to have a diagnosis to get support from them.

You are having an incredible difficult time, and it must be very draining and emotionally painful. Take care of yourself, and be kind to yourself.


goodapple Fri 06-Jan-17 13:18:04

Sounds tough. IN our experience CAMHS were useless at recognising ASD in girls. I have said this on another recent thread, that reading what Tony Attwood has written about girls with Aspergers changed everything for us.

We then wrote down everything, rather than relying on anecdotes when trying to convince GP and others that we needed help. This helped to identify where behaviour was not typical for our DDs age and what was triggering meltdowns etc. CAMHS dismissed her twice and said she'd grow out of it but eventually ADOS test performed by others showed clear ASD.

Good luck

jellyrolly Fri 06-Jan-17 13:19:55

I would go back to your GP and ask to be referred for another asd assessment. Broadly speaking she is at an age where behaviours considered normal in a yournger child - tantrums, lashing out etc. - would start to reduce as her executive function matures. If you have time, have a look at this guide and make some clear notes with examples to take with you. In my experience, the more specific information you can give, the further you will get in terms of help. Even if you don't take it further, this is a good guide for development and behaviour and might give you a feeling of understanding and being back in control. Good luck, it sounds really tough.

randomeragain Fri 06-Jan-17 13:22:07

Nobody wants to help me....that sounds awful. Can you take a bit of step back from this in order to gain some clarity?
Is it possible for friends or family to step in for a day or two so can effectively plan?
Is there anybody....GP, somebody at school who has shown any real understanding and support? If so is it possible to spend a little more time exploring this route.

stopthecavalry Fri 06-Jan-17 13:22:18

Agree with going back to GP and asking for ASD assessment. See if they can refer you to a paediatrician. That is the route we went down for diagnosis.

user1483226045 Fri 06-Jan-17 13:22:41

So much of this reminds me of my daughter. CAMHS were a complete waste of time. Under funded. They didn't want to know. Sounds like anxiety, Aspergers, all together a very unpleasant situation for you all. And at her age you know it's only going to get worse unless you get professional help. I don't know if you can afford but we had to go private in the end. Definitely go to your GP and see you at the end of your tether and need help now.

Paperkins Fri 06-Jan-17 13:30:34

I would also second going to GP to push diagnosis process for ASD. Sounds familiar to me too.

incogKNEEto Fri 06-Jan-17 13:37:17

Your dd sounds very like my dd, who is 9 and is now diagnosed with ADHD. We went via CAMHS first as her behaviour was very bad at home and she was a different child in school, so it was assumed to be behavioural problems/parenting issues. We had to push hard to get a referral to community paediatric team where she was assessed and then diagnosed with ADHD.

She was behaving so well at school as she was masking all day and then she would come out of school like a coiled spring and WWlll would erupt! She is now taking medication and at a much more supportive school and her behaviour is still challenging at times but it is much better.

If l was you l would go into school and speak to the SENCO and ask if they have noted any more behavioural differences or issues and go to your GP and ask for a referral to the community paediatricians for assessment. Also, have a look on Facebook for any local support groups for parents as they can be a lifeline, someone to talk to who gets it and who has been where you are now. Good luck.

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