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Long read, but please help! Im going crazy.

Posted by on Nov. 11, 2016 at 10:34 AM
  • 18 Replies
When DH and I got together, I had one son. He has 3 daughters we got on weekends, when BM was sick etc. We planned on getting full custody of them when we were ready (I had a 2 br apt when we met, we needed a house with enough rooms and some other things to be straightened out as well) well this January we rented a 5 br house. I became pregnant in October 2015 :). Low and behold in march BM overdosed on heroin with SD Daphni (4 at the time) home. The dealer came by, Daphni was jiggling the handle trying to get out and get help (she can't open door handles, no particular reason why...) we knew BM was abusing her prescriptions from time to time, but we didnt know she had gone that far! Well the dealer called 911 from the conveinent store across the street and the police revived her with Narcan. The police filed NO charges (wtf? Child endangerment, anyone?) But CPS showed up and took the kids. My DH's mom got temporary placement, then we got temp custody, then after BM made NO attempt to get clean, come to visits, call, was dropping dirty for Methamphetamines, Heroin and other opiates, we got full custody. We got full custody June 1st. I gave birth to our daughter June 2nd. I went into the hospital with one child living at home, and came out with 5. The older two of his daughters are doing well surprisingly. We have them in counceling. The younger one though...(also in counceling) her behavious is NUTS. She doesn't express being upset and she just thinks her mom is sick. She is exhibiting outrageous behaviour though. I know even though she isn't directly upset with what happened, she has gone through a lot of changes and she has to miss her mom, even if she doesnt say it. I mean shes 5. She goes and goes and goes, she never calms down. In the car, she like rocks and bangs her head on her car seat. She moves her hands and arms constantly. Its like having an octopus in the car with you. She screams, cries and throws fits. Horrible, horrible fits. Over things like not being able to put on a t shirt. A normal, uncomplicated t shirt. She screams when she cant button her pants (i bought her a ton of leggings) and when she can't tie her shoes. (So i bought her slip ons). She is destructive. I actually JUST caught her standing and spinning on the babies walker. She ruins everything I buy her. She lies. She doesn't speak when spoken to. I recently tried charting with one behaviour goal (to not overwhelm her) and one chore a day. It helped for two days. She never uses her inside voice. I have to remind her x1000 times a day. She uses a baby voice instead of her big girl voice. She wakes the baby up on purpose. Ill remind her of a rule, she will say "okay mommy!" Then continue her actions. If she even responds to my request. I have tried getting on her level and explaining why we can't do this or that, loss of privileges, time outs, early bed time, and even smacking her hands. In which case she responds by crying untill she pukes (i barely tapped her. Only enough to get her attention) nothing works. Im at my wits end. Anything dad says to her doesn't work either. She also runs her mouth and says things that make no sense constantly. Like "mommy said we can't go outside right now because it will be christmas yesterday". She bullies her siblings. I started thinking maybe she has Autism or something? Or is she more traumatized than she is letting on? Her councelor just diagnosed her with adjustment disorder. She said she shows signs of adhd, but she thinks it is all related to adjustment disorder. I am trying so hard to bond with her, I have bonded with her sisters decently well. I try positive reinforcement and giving her compliments when she does good, or just in general. I am going to lose my shit though. I just don't know what to do. If youre still reading this book, tell me what you would do???? Please?
by on Nov. 11, 2016 at 10:34 AM
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Replies (1-10):
luckyinlife
by on Nov. 11, 2016 at 11:02 AM
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What is Dad doing? How is Dad bonding with his daughter? How is Dad handling the behavior issues? This little girl needs her Daddy to be the main person in her life right now, so what is he doing for his daughter?
fantasticfour
by Bronze Member on Nov. 11, 2016 at 11:12 AM
1 mom liked this

My ss acted like that when he lived with both parents. People said he was autistic.  I had him evaluated by everyone, turned out he had PTSD.  So keep her in counseling, ask the counselor what to do, get some help from them.

WickedPissah
by 2Sexy4MyStoma on Nov. 11, 2016 at 11:14 AM
Most of it sounds like reactions to trauma. Trauma can be anything, she was taken out of her home, that's trauma.

You need to get her a new therapist, that specializes or has experience with Kids like that. Contact social services for help.

I agree with lucky, she needs her dad.
oranguglad
by Silver Member on Nov. 11, 2016 at 11:16 AM
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What type of counselor is working with her? Has she gotten a full fledged developmental eval?

It sounds like there is probably more than adjustment disorder going on. Whatever it is though will take a lot of patience and perseverance on your and your dh's part. 

The behavior chart was a goodd start, but two days is not enough. Keep it up for a month- with one behavior goal and one chore. Pick simple things that she is likely to succeed at to start and then next month add something new. You have to be consistent with the reawrd/consequence that goes along with it and neutral with your emotional reactions to be sure that she isn't getting reinforcement from the reactions her behaviors cause.

I would say what she needs is behavioral intervention, not counseling. Depending on your state, you might be able to get someone in the home at least a few hours a week to work with her and with you and dh to develop effective behavioral interventions. 

Good luck!!

oranguglad
by Silver Member on Nov. 11, 2016 at 11:20 AM
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I want to disagree a little with the others here. While typically I think it is best for stepparents to back off and let the bioparent in the home be in charge of discipline, etc. In cases like this the child needs someone, anyone, whoever is going to be with them the most and anyone who spends significant time with the- to invest time and energy in helping her. It doesn't matter if it is a stepparent, grandparent, foster parent, whoever.

Because issues like this often require a lot of time and energy.

Crunchymom516
by New Member on Nov. 11, 2016 at 11:23 AM
1 mom liked this
Dad works 14 hours a day 6- 7 days a week to support us. I was woeking 50+ hours a week before I went into early labor twice and was put on bedrest. I need to stay home due to the cost of childcare, and the kids needing my help and attention a lot.
Crunchymom516
by New Member on Nov. 11, 2016 at 11:31 AM
Ahe has received a trauma assessment my north east ohio behavioral health. They recommended therapy at the place she is going weekly. The therapist specializes in trauma. She said she doesn't see ptsd because Daphni does not "relive" or even talk about the events that happened. That is why she diagnosed her with adjustment disorder. All of the moving and changes have caused stress for her.

I set up the "chores and responsibilities" chart, focusing on the same behaviour goal and with very simple chores to do such as "wipe the table after dinner". It only really "stuck" with her for two days behaviour wise. I keek reminding her that to get her reward at the end of the week we need to try hard! (all of the other siblings are doing great with it, heck i even put my chores up there to show it is a team effort) and everyone has a behaviour goal so she doesnt feel singled out.
oranguglad
by Silver Member on Nov. 11, 2016 at 12:24 PM
2 moms liked this

rewards will work, but like I said you have to be consistent and it will take time. She is getting some kind of internal reward from her behaviors- whether it is getting out of doing things she doesn't want to do, attention, whatever. And those rewards can be very strong. You need to find something she REALLY loves that will be more rewarding than that.

I would also suggest that for a 5 yo, working towards a reward at the end of the week is almost useless. I would have a reward that she earns (or privilege that she would lose) daily. And she can't have access to the reward or something similar or just as rewarding otherwise. 

So- for instance, her chore is wiping the table after meals. After each opportunity, if she does it, give her a sticker or whatever. If she doesn't, ignore it. But what does she love? tv, iphone, i pad, etc are common now but it could be something else (I worked with a kid who would do anything for a pickle). The only way she can earn that reward is to earn her stickers for that day.

If a behavior chart isn't working, it is almost always because the reward isn't motivating enough or is not otherwise being restricted. If the reward is ice cream at the end of the week, for instance, but she doesn't LOVE ice cream and has access to other sweets, it will not be a big deal. OR the reward/consequences are too far away from the act so the child doesn't really connect the two (they might be able to explain it, but they don't feel it, if that makes sense.)

Quoting Crunchymom516: Ahe has received a trauma assessment my north east ohio behavioral health. They recommended therapy at the place she is going weekly. The therapist specializes in trauma. She said she doesn't see ptsd because Daphni does not "relive" or even talk about the events that happened. That is why she diagnosed her with adjustment disorder. All of the moving and changes have caused stress for her. I set up the "chores and responsibilities" chart, focusing on the same behaviour goal and with very simple chores to do such as "wipe the table after dinner". It only really "stuck" with her for two days behaviour wise. I keek reminding her that to get her reward at the end of the week we need to try hard! (all of the other siblings are doing great with it, heck i even put my chores up there to show it is a team effort) and everyone has a behaviour goal so she doesnt feel singled out.


jules2boys
by Platinum Member on Nov. 11, 2016 at 1:11 PM
3 moms liked this

Honestly, if this was my life, I'd be seeking advice from her counselor, and making sure DH and I sought family counseling as well, to learn how best to deal with this, and anything else that may arise from what this poor child has faced in her short life.  I'd not be on CM, I'd be in the counselors office asking these questions.  Has the child been seen by a medical doctor as well?  Could there have been other forms of abuse while she was with BM that she isn't reliving, may not have the words for, but is suffering from the affects nonetheless?  Could the child have ingested (accidently or on purpose) any of the drugs BM had around? 

What are the counselors recommendations, now that there is a diagnosis? 

I can't imagine being as overwhelmed as you are.  In just 5 months you went from being the parent to one child to having a newborn and 3 other children full time as well.  You went from working outside the home to being home full time, with 3 children who aren't yours, 2 that are, one that is completely helpless (the infant), and trying to cope/deal/help the 5yo as well.  All 4 of the older children have had their lives turned upsidedown.  I'm sure your own son is having issues of his own, going from being an only child to having not one new sibling, but sharing a new home with 4 kids new to him, full time.  That is a LOT of change in one home in under 6 months. 

I'd stop stressing or being angry about the things that happened (or didn't happen) to BM previously.  You have no control over what did/didn't happen then, and you can't change whether charges were filed or not, can't change that BM didn't stop using, can't change any of it.  Let that part go. 

I would, however, keep working with Northeast Ohio Behavior Health and her current counselor, and perhaps even request an evaluation for another counselor as well for her, or for all of you.  She's screaming out for help but doesn't have the words.  With that background, she will not have likely learned some of the basics your son and even perhaps her older siblings learned as a young child (infant/toddler/preschooler) so she won't have coping skills for certain things (or many things) now will she understand why she can't do what 'everyone else' can.  You could have an infant in a 5 (nearly 6) year olds body. 

I wish you luck, and welcome to the group. 

WickedPissah
by 2Sexy4MyStoma on Nov. 11, 2016 at 1:22 PM
2 moms liked this
No one is telling step mom to back off, we're saying the kid needs her dad, too.

Quoting oranguglad:

I want to disagree a little with the others here. While typically I think it is best for stepparents to back off and let the bioparent in the home be in charge of discipline, etc. In cases like this the child needs someone, anyone, whoever is going to be with them the most and anyone who spends significant time with the- to invest time and energy in helping her. It doesn't matter if it is a stepparent, grandparent, foster parent, whoever.

Because issues like this often require a lot of time and energy.

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