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Daughter bullying me?(76 Posts)
Daughter aged nearly 17 Since aged 3 been very difficult, rigid in what she wanted to happen around her, screaming tantrums if anything changed from what she expected or if things changed unexpectedly
Been through CAMHS several times since age five, no diagnosis although she was provided with a support worker once a week at primary school. Transitioned to secondary school, tantrums continued just like terrible threes, even though it has never got her what she demanded. As parents we've been on every parenting course suggested and done everything camhs and courses asked. Made no difference to her behaviour.
She's now nearly 17, bigger than me,stronger than me,violent to both of us on occasions, verbally very abusive hourly to me and lesser to her father, expresses disgust at me regularly and uses really vile language to us both
We regularly have to lock ourself away to protect ourself, she continues to kick the door and scream abuse at me/us even though locked away. We called the police once a few months ago but backed off from pressing charges because it would have resulted in her being taken away in a po!ice car. What parent wants to give their child a police record at aged 16?
We've done nothing (as far as we know) to cause any of this, tried to be firm but fair, given warnings then consequences but nothing seems to make her change her behaviour? She just gets furious at whatever the consequence was. ( usually loss of wifi) as advised by support workers as age appropriate consequence. She also steals stuff from us, breaking into locked private cupboards, locked because of her previous poor behaviour.
Tbh at wits end. We face another two years now she's in sixth form and in not sure how much more of this we can take. We dread coming home to the house with her in it, or school home time because its so tense around her. If this were my husband I was talking about I suspect I'd be advised to go to WA and the police. But what can I do?
To avoid drip feeds, we personally, after much reading and research, suspect she's on the autistic spectrum, innatentive adhd or PDA. Various online questionnaires we have done suggest this as well.. But can't get her to see anyone now for a diagnosis , and tbh a diagnosis won't change her behaviour. And no this is NOT normal teenage stuff, it's still the sort of meltdown tantrums she had at three, except she is now much bigger and stronger and can really hurt us (and has done).
She got through GCSEs, passed them all (to her credit)as it was hard for her. Didn't do as well in the academic exam only subjects as expected but is now into sixth form. But living with her is daily living on eggshells around a violent abusive bully. Who is our much loved daughter, despite everything that has happened. So what do we do? She's (mostly, but struggles with social interaction) OK outside of home and is fine at school along as she has her small group of friends to help her.
I'm so sorry you are going through this. It has taken me decades to realise what's going on with my own daughter who has given me and my husband a hard time over the years.
My daughter then aged 12 assaulted me in the supermarket. It was as though she was my husband's proxy. When we arrived home he behaved as though she had been his proxy. Now the police are involved and WA and SS.
My daughter has been waving flags since she was about 3 or 4. I have thought our relationship was ok. It isn't. It's criminally abusive. Now I am picking up the pieces and hoping to get a divorce. It's not easy.
Im so sorry about what you are going through My DH is not like yours! Yours sounds terrible! We've asked for and got SS involvement. But, once we went on yet another parenting course and DD attended a counseling set number of sessions they discharged us. We now have a family support worker, who seems after our first visit more helpful and with it tbh. Hugs for your situation xx
Hi chicken the thing that stands out for me to ask is does she behave like this with anyone else? Does she hit her friends or teachers - does she show any bullying behaviour to them? You've said it yourself "violent abusive bully" - is she sorry for her behaviour? Does she show any remorse or take responsibility? You really should not be living under such terror - you seem like you have both been very supportive to her and have done your best. I think the diagnosis doesn't matter - it's interesting she does it to you more - she's in control - I would be calling the police no matter how hard this is - this may get her the help she needs (if she does need it). Imagine when your older and more frail - it really isn't on. If someone hit you in the street what would you do? You need to make a hard decision. Don't put up with this. Best wishes
As hard and difficult as it would be I'd call the police. If she is able to control her behaviour elsewhere then with help she needs to do that at home too ... maybe sitting in a cell and being interviewed will shock her.
So sorry you are struggling so much
You suspect ASD. I read that and I thought ASD too because it sounds exactly like my DD who is younger (11 on Friday).
My daughter just got a diagnosis over the holidays.
I have had similar problems with CAMHS. They discharged her twice and I since found out they have been writing in her notes the reason for discharge was 'mum doesn't feel it is appropriate for us to be involved'!!!!
My DD has 10 years of unmet needs and this is what is causing the angry aggressive behaviour. She has developed complex comorbid mental health conditions as a result.
I refused to do the parenting courses because after consulting with the course providers it was clear they were trying to teach approaches that I had already always done and which didn't work.
They is an autism specific one called HALO but I can't do that at the moment because DD has not been in school for a year.
It feels a little like we have broken the back of it now (though she is still difficult she is so much better) the main things;
- insisting, making constant complaints about CAMHS, that she be seen by a psychiatrist in our home as she doesn't cope with clinical settings (too unwell).
- asking the police to detain her under s136 for MH assessment when she has lost it (they only can if she is in a public place at the time).
- a wellbeing worker that the school has paid for (I insisted).
- changing my parenting to meet her needs. Recognising where she has deficits, channelling aggressive behaviours into less destructive things, becoming small, making her safe and letting meltdowns burn out, teaching her using positive reinforcement and natural consequences only, allowing her to choose and be involved in things that concern her but expecting her to then accept that choices will be limited to what is appropriate (but tackling only one thing at a time), a sensory diet (lighting, blackout curtains, things to feed her sensory needs or protect her from overloads), encouraging her to do art or listen to music to express feelings (she has also started writing poems recently), secret signals she can give me if she is overloading etc.
She may not understand being arrested if she is ASD. She may pick up on the feeling but interpret it as 'everyone hates me' because she struggles with understanding cause and effect and isn't actually in control of her behaviour in a meltdown.
And it's not really a thing of being in control at school either with ASD. It's more like keeping it together at school and then needing to release it when she gets home. If her needs start being met at school this will reduce the need to explode at home.
The rewards have been the most effective. I also got her to do the love languages quiz which helped me know how to properly target my attempts to boost her self esteem. She came out equally physical touch, quality time and gifts. So those are the aspects I have focused on.
Bookmarking - I have issues with both my kids expressing extreme anger - my DD has slapped me - my DS frequently verbally abuses me - I know they have "copied" my behaviour after going through an extremely acrimonious divorce - I didn't realise my x was abusive until he left - I have had to pick myself up of the floor many a time as a result of his actions - I'm doing work on myself to rebuild self esteem. I know their low self esteem is probably reflective of a toxic environment for 14 years of their life - the financial abuse still continues know. MY DS has always had behavioural problems was referred to pcamhs but wouldn't attend - I need to help them get on the right track but without support and knowing where to go it's bloody hard. I fear for their future relationships and happiness
My DD has been similar although improved since we moved schools. What are her friendships like and school?
DD doesn't hold it together anywhere so it's not just at home, in fact is probably a bit worse at school. She attends a specialist provision and her behaviour has improved since she's been receiving the support there.
There is no doubt that you have been through the mill and sacrificed so much OP.
I hope you find some of the advice on here helpful. What are your plans once your DD comes of age legally. Obviously if she is not living at home this will help you, but do you think she will manage by herself?
It is worth remembering is that you have a right to share some of the joys of life as well - everyone in a home deserves a piece of the pie.
It does sound like ASD masking. My DS2 is similar. He is violent at school and home though. He is only 8 at the moment and I am dreading him getting bigger than me.
Hi, op is there another family member who can have your daughter for a little while to give you respite? It sounds like you're in a really scary situation at the moment. Just to say that I think your daughter may need a bit of a wake up call about her behaviour to you and your husband. I would call the police actually the next time she's physically abusive or threatening because I don't think she has the tiniest bit of respect for either of you. Regardless of whether she is on the spectrum or not she needs some real consequences for her actions.
Hello everyone. Thank you much for your help and supportful comments
DD is well behaved at school.
Has a very small group of friends who she sees at school but very rarely mixes with them outside, her choice, we do try to offer transport/ facilitate this but it is rejected as she says she can see them at school.
She tends to stay in her room watching the same TV shows over and over as entertainment.
She has displayed the challenging behaviour to a couple of close friends of the family as well as us, at their homes and outside.
She has had meltdowns when out with us eg supermarkets, clothes shopping for stuff she has to make any decisions about or where the environment is overwhelming (sound, light, smells etc)
She is very immature in her outlook about money, relationships, friendships, how to use public transport etc, all this creates huge anxiety for her and causes huge meltdowns which we bear the effects of.
She can be nice to us but it's very much on her terms, under her control and can flip in an instant to full blown appalling behaviour to us, so even the nicer times are fraught for us as we are on eggshells around her.
She's very respectful to total strangers and over conscious , we feel, of how they view her. But not towards us
We have no family support. None. It's just us.
I also think this sounds like ASD/PDA. The only thing I can suggest is get on the special needs boards and read up on parenting autistic kids. A book called "The explosive child" has helped a lot of parents of kids who have similar issues. Try applying some of the techniques. It may also be worth seeing if you can get a diagnosis by pushing through a different channel. Maybe talk to the current support worker about it? You need someone in your corner who will fight for that with you because the system is broken.
Sorry you are having such a terrible time I have 2 ASD/PDA dcs and am dreading the teen years. Much of your dds behaviour sounds very similar to my dcs behaviour (they are not physically violent towards me yet, but I suspect this may happen when they become teens) and they have sensory issues, poor sleep, rigid behaviours hate transitions etc. Because your dd is masking at school she is letting loose at home, by the sounds of it. Try looking at/joining The National Autistic Society and the PDA society to see if any of the interventions/strategies may help. Also look on the sn boards, loads of great advice on them, plus support and understanding of the challenges we face.
From your update is does sound like she may have asd. Would she go to the doctor to address her anxiety issues and to start the process of getting a asd diagnosis? I don't know if beta blockers are ok for a almost 17 year old but if so they might really help her cope with some of the light and sound issues. It also sounds like she has a lot of pent up anger, maybe a martial arts class could help? Obviously she has to want to get help though. Can you and your husband get out of the house some evenings just so you can get a break? Try asking for help from the National Autistic Society. They might be able to suggest support groups in your local area.
We have been members of NAS and PDA society, have owned The Explosive Child for years, we implement the strategies, and have done for years. It doesn't seem to work with her tbh. Nor do any consequences, however natural they are. They just make her more angry with us.
If she feels like being kind to us and sunny, we have a good period. But it can flip for no apparent reason we can see. It's very hard.
Thank you all so much for your comments, they really do help, we feel less alone knowing people are trying to help. We've been keeping this quiet because she gets very angry if we say anything to anyone about her behaviours and it just makes our lives worse. But we have got to the point where we have to ask for help, as we are not coping.
I've asked for this to be moved to the appropriate SN place. Thanks for all the comments xxx
See I think TBH you won't be able to really change much unless school is adjusted as well as home in order to take account of her needs. Until that happens she will continue masking then exploding at home. Even if you were doing everything you could at home if no-one is meeting her needs at school the problems at home will continue.
But at school she is fine they say. A bit needy, often in student office about stuff, complains about low level "people looking at me funny" or other trivial stuff etc but nothing they will actually recognise as happening that might help us get somewhere. She's in mainstream school btw.
And it always annoys me when people say 'they just need consequences' re ASD kids. Many (mine included) find consequences confusing and whilst they register the feeling that something not nice is happening they don't necessarily have the skills to understand 'I have done x and so y has happened'. EVERYONE used to tell me 'take her laptop away' etc 'she just needs consequences' as though the problem was that I wasn't giving consequences when the problem was actually what she learned from consequences was 'I'm not a nice person because bad things keep happening' or 'you are being horrible to me for no reason' she actually was not capable of understanding consequences in a cause and effect way e.g. I could explain to her till I was blue in the face that if she didn't wear gloves to cycle to school in February her hands would be cold and she'd be upset but all she could think about was 'but I don't want to put gloves on' and she'd insist that I wasn't even allowed to bring the gloves with me and then 5 mins into the journey be screaming with rage about how her hands were frozen and red raw and she wanted her gloves and her not having gloves was my fault.
What use are imposed punishments when a child can't even get to grips with natural consequences?!?!
She needed to learn skills for understanding consequences before she could learn from them.
She's much better now. I've found a lot of the time we can teach things in terms of rules and also involving her in discipline issues to give her a bit of control makes things a lot easier.
E.g. Today I had a meeting I had helped organise and she wanted to go, so I said she hadn't three choices; 1. Come but she would likely be bored and because I had helped organise it would make things very difficult if she started messing around. Her response was 'well it would be your fault for having children'(!) I said 'no, I will not accept messing around in the meeting so if you are going to come you need to be sure that you will not mess around when you get bored', 2. The little ones can go to granny's and you can stay at home by yourself or 3. Granny can look after you all here. She chose number 3 and there were no problems.
What she really hates is if she doesn't get a choice or things are (to her) unexpected.