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Anyone know much about children's mental health?

Posted by on Oct. 8, 2015 at 2:33 PM
  • 54 Replies

Hello ladies!!  Say, I have some questions about my step daughter's mental health.  Sorry, I know this will be lengthy.

At age 2 sd told us a monster touched her "pee-pee".  At that time she was primarily living with her mother and moms boyfriend.  mom said, "she lies all the time".  We were upset with mom for saying that, but did notice sd could make up some pretty elaborate stories for such a young age.  

age 3 she told us moms bf molests her.  she had a forensic interview that was inconclusive.  She told them she was molested but they couldnt determine if she was telling the truth or imagined it.  the boyfriend dumped mom and moved away.  we assumed he was guilty.  by this age we now had sd approx 50% of the time and were co-parenting.  we also found out bm was back on drugs.  she had a long history but oblivious dh thinks she was clean while they were together......????  who knows.. anyway, we noticed more story telling, the concerning part was that she would specifically try to get people in trouble.  She seemed very......vindictive for such a young age.  We atributed it to such a crappy on again off again mom.  She also seemed overly clumsy for her age.  On the other hand she was very smart for her age, easy to teach colors, letters, numbers, ect.  potty trained since age 2.  

Age 4 we now had sd a majority of the time.  bm actually rarely seen sd and when she did it would be for an overnight visit.  we began feeling more and more concerned about sd's behaviors.  she was still very clumsy for her age.  one day she would  recognize colors and shapes, the next she didn't know these things.  she would go through phases where she would have lots of accidents, then it would get better.  she was chewing her hands until they bleed.  she continued to get better and better at her lying and manipulation.  she would go between my husband and i or the other kids and us telling stories to the point that my husband and i discussed divorce on more than one occasion.  she would tell him that I lock her outside or hit her.  she would tell me that dad hit or spanked her.  she claimed she had bruises from her mom, who she hadn't seen in months, ect.  she would even try to taddle on her sister (bms other daughter) who doesn't even live with us.  we also had concerns that she had no interest in acting her age.  wanted to be carried everywhere still, no desire to dress herself and would actually cry and have tantrums when we expected her to dress herself.  Feeding herself was also an issue.  She was very very slow, very messy, appeared to struggle using her utensils.  we also noticed sleep was an issue.  trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.  we put her in counseling.  while in play therapy she tried to stick a doll in the electrical outlet.  the therapist agreed she does not act her age.  we also discussed how we try to use praise to get our children to make appropriate decisions and time outs to discourage inappropriate.  We explained this doesnt work for us with sd, but she becomes instantly attached to strangers.  the therapist showed us something during the second visit, she would just have to smile at sd and sd would begin giggling uncontrollably...she was just thrilled with this affection from...technically..a stranger.

At age 5 we switched counselors for two reasons.  the last one repeatedly admitted "i have NEVER seen a kid like this" and the counselor was so over booked it was immposible to get in to see her.  At this time we had an anxiety diagnosis with possibility of Reactive Attachement Disorder.  The new therapist attributed everything to her life experiences.  understandable.  but as the year progressed, i just don't believe it anymore.  yeah i think thats a huge factor, but this kid just keeps getting worse.  she has had the stability of living in our home for almost two years at this point.  same school, daycare, routine, bed, ect.  

Her behaviors just kept getting more extreme.  falls on a regular basis.  continues to struggle with eating.  can not follow direction.  lies to get others in trouble.  ive overheard her tell the other kids, "im going to go say you hit me and they are going to believe me.  youre in so much trouble."  tells stories for sympathy.  told grandma that i bought the other kids new hair and tooth brushes, but wouldnt buy her anything.  luckily my mom said, "oh, thats not true, she told me she bought you stuff too."  sds response, "oh, yeah" and walked away.  she continues to claim we abuse her.  she glares at me as if im the most horrible person on earth, yet if the other kids try to talk to me or hug me she is interrupting or clinging to me.  she does this with the baby and the dog too.  doesnt want anything to do with them unless someone else is playing with them.  she gets angry if my husband and i try to sit together, hold hands or have a conversation.  she grabs our 3 month olds arm and jerks real hard, then claims "i was just playing with him"  she is very awkward when offered affection.  friends and family have commented how she seems like she doesnt know how to hug.  i have been with dh since sd was 18 mos, i know she has received lots of affection.  

even more concerning, she talks to herself.  not just the normal at home make believe, which she does and its normal..  we will be grocery shopping and she is carrying on conversations with herself, talking with her hands and all, completely oblivious to the world around her.  

we have retaught her to wipe for years, she still wont.  she comes home from school so smelly because her underware are full of urine and stool.  then tries to lie about it.  she still has accidents, but tries to blame others for them; like telling me it was her teachers fault despite not being in trouble for it.  she also tells us if we dont let her get her way she will pee or poop her pants.  she hides her clothes, then claims she doesnt have any.  she told my dd that she puts her "ugly clothes" is dds dresser and takes dds clothes that she wants.  i have caught her doing it.  she still tries to bite, hit, pinch, trip, ect.  

weve tried to teach her about feelings, but she just doesnt seem to get it....nor does she seem to have any.  we have done time outs, taking toys, losing priveledges, sitting out at the park, ect.  she just sits there and smiles.

she still talks baby talk, but just at home.  if we are in public she is talking to strangers.  she "flirts" with adults.  tells anyone and everyone, "i like your hair"  "i like your shoes"  "you are very good looking".  at school she gets good grades.  one concern was one day she knows her shapes, the next she only knows some of them, ect..  but they think she just does it so she can get one on one attention.  she does get in trouble for hugging and hanging on other kids and teachers.  she also got in trouble for throwing rocks and fighting with boys..as in all out wrestling them.  but her teacher said most days she is a perfect angel.  

does anyone have similar situations?!

by on Oct. 8, 2015 at 2:33 PM
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Replies (1-10):
stashia
by Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 2:35 PM

forgot to say she will be 6 in 2 weeks..no change.  also, her current therapist thinks she was never molested

PinkButterfly66
by Silver Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 2:44 PM

I would find another psychiatrist.  I am not a professional, but what you've described sounds like a profoundly disturbed little girl.  It very well could be reactive attachment disorder as well as stemming from abuse from her mother's boyfriend.   

The falling is concerning too.  She may have some neurological issues going on as well.  Has she seen a neurologist? 

stashia
by Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 3:10 PM

thank you :)    No, this is why I am so frustrated.  We have seen 3 peditricians and 2 therapists, no one willing to give us a referral.  They all start talking about how this sounds concerning and we should consider she may have something more wrong, then they find out about her mom and blame it all on that, next thing you know we are back at square one.  last night she scratched herself until it made her bleed, then continued to dig in it so it would get worse.  when my husband insisted she stop, she started ripping her eyelashes out.  she chews her lips, picks are her face, chews her hands, ect.  we've tried all suggestions from counselors:  time ins, time outs, explaining to her that we dont keep her from her mom, explaining we love her and are providing her with a safe home.  we give all the kids set aside one on one attention time.  i dont know what else to do.  i am scared of her.  i wish i could explain the way she glares at me.  its truly disturbing.  both my mom and my best friend have seen her behaviors and the way she looks at me and the other children.  both have voiced a concern that she will try to hurt or kill us one day.  as silly as it sounds, i think they may be right.  she tried to push her 3 year old brother down the stairs the other day.  

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

I would find another psychiatrist.  I am not a professional, but what you've described sounds like a profoundly disturbed little girl.  It very well could be reactive attachment disorder as well as stemming from abuse from her mother's boyfriend.   

The falling is concerning too.  She may have some neurological issues going on as well.  Has she seen a neurologist? 


PinkButterfly66
by Silver Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 3:22 PM
2 moms liked this

Get as much of this on film as you possibly can.   This little girl sounds deeply disturbed and needs more help than what the current therapist is giving her.  

Maybe start calling places like this for some advice?

http://www.obhhospital.com/disorders/reactive-attachment

Quoting stashia:

thank you :)    No, this is why I am so frustrated.  We have seen 3 peditricians and 2 therapists, no one willing to give us a referral.  They all start talking about how this sounds concerning and we should consider she may have something more wrong, then they find out about her mom and blame it all on that, next thing you know we are back at square one.  last night she scratched herself until it made her bleed, then continued to dig in it so it would get worse.  when my husband insisted she stop, she started ripping her eyelashes out.  she chews her lips, picks are her face, chews her hands, ect.  we've tried all suggestions from counselors:  time ins, time outs, explaining to her that we dont keep her from her mom, explaining we love her and are providing her with a safe home.  we give all the kids set aside one on one attention time.  i dont know what else to do.  i am scared of her.  i wish i could explain the way she glares at me.  its truly disturbing.  both my mom and my best friend have seen her behaviors and the way she looks at me and the other children.  both have voiced a concern that she will try to hurt or kill us one day.  as silly as it sounds, i think they may be right.  she tried to push her 3 year old brother down the stairs the other day.  

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

I would find another psychiatrist.  I am not a professional, but what you've described sounds like a profoundly disturbed little girl.  It very well could be reactive attachment disorder as well as stemming from abuse from her mother's boyfriend.   

The falling is concerning too.  She may have some neurological issues going on as well.  Has she seen a neurologist? 



stashia
by Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 3:26 PM
1 mom liked this

Thank you!!

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

Get as much of this on film as you possibly can.   This little girl sounds deeply disturbed and needs more help than what the current therapist is giving her.  

Maybe start calling places like this for some advice?

http://www.obhhospital.com/disorders/reactive-attachment

Quoting stashia:

thank you :)    No, this is why I am so frustrated.  We have seen 3 peditricians and 2 therapists, no one willing to give us a referral.  They all start talking about how this sounds concerning and we should consider she may have something more wrong, then they find out about her mom and blame it all on that, next thing you know we are back at square one.  last night she scratched herself until it made her bleed, then continued to dig in it so it would get worse.  when my husband insisted she stop, she started ripping her eyelashes out.  she chews her lips, picks are her face, chews her hands, ect.  we've tried all suggestions from counselors:  time ins, time outs, explaining to her that we dont keep her from her mom, explaining we love her and are providing her with a safe home.  we give all the kids set aside one on one attention time.  i dont know what else to do.  i am scared of her.  i wish i could explain the way she glares at me.  its truly disturbing.  both my mom and my best friend have seen her behaviors and the way she looks at me and the other children.  both have voiced a concern that she will try to hurt or kill us one day.  as silly as it sounds, i think they may be right.  she tried to push her 3 year old brother down the stairs the other day.  

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

I would find another psychiatrist.  I am not a professional, but what you've described sounds like a profoundly disturbed little girl.  It very well could be reactive attachment disorder as well as stemming from abuse from her mother's boyfriend.   

The falling is concerning too.  She may have some neurological issues going on as well.  Has she seen a neurologist? 



Linda_Runs
by Silver Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 3:55 PM
1 mom liked this

I clicked on this topic to see if I could offer some advice.  This is so totally out of my parenting league.  BUT, this advice below is awesome.

PinkButterfly66, thank you very much for taking the time to offer this advice with a link to stashia.  Great to see one mom helping another with so much thought.

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

Get as much of this on film as you possibly can.   This little girl sounds deeply disturbed and needs more help than what the current therapist is giving her.  

Maybe start calling places like this for some advice?

http://www.obhhospital.com/disorders/reactive-attachment

Quoting stashia:

thank you :)    No, this is why I am so frustrated.  We have seen 3 peditricians and 2 therapists, no one willing to give us a referral.  They all start talking about how this sounds concerning and we should consider she may have something more wrong, then they find out about her mom and blame it all on that, next thing you know we are back at square one.  last night she scratched herself until it made her bleed, then continued to dig in it so it would get worse.  when my husband insisted she stop, she started ripping her eyelashes out.  she chews her lips, picks are her face, chews her hands, ect.  we've tried all suggestions from counselors:  time ins, time outs, explaining to her that we dont keep her from her mom, explaining we love her and are providing her with a safe home.  we give all the kids set aside one on one attention time.  i dont know what else to do.  i am scared of her.  i wish i could explain the way she glares at me.  its truly disturbing.  both my mom and my best friend have seen her behaviors and the way she looks at me and the other children.  both have voiced a concern that she will try to hurt or kill us one day.  as silly as it sounds, i think they may be right.  she tried to push her 3 year old brother down the stairs the other day.  

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

I would find another psychiatrist.  I am not a professional, but what you've described sounds like a profoundly disturbed little girl.  It very well could be reactive attachment disorder as well as stemming from abuse from her mother's boyfriend.   

The falling is concerning too.  She may have some neurological issues going on as well.  Has she seen a neurologist? 



stashia
by Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 5:13 PM

Yes, I appreciate any input and this was an excellent website.  Ive been reading it, at the least I don't feel so alone.  THANK YOU

Quoting Linda_Runs:

I clicked on this topic to see if I could offer some advice.  This is so totally out of my parenting league.  BUT, this advice below is awesome.

PinkButterfly66, thank you very much for taking the time to offer this advice with a link to stashia.  Great to see one mom helping another with so much thought.

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

Get as much of this on film as you possibly can.   This little girl sounds deeply disturbed and needs more help than what the current therapist is giving her.  

Maybe start calling places like this for some advice?

http://www.obhhospital.com/disorders/reactive-attachment

Quoting stashia:

thank you :)    No, this is why I am so frustrated.  We have seen 3 peditricians and 2 therapists, no one willing to give us a referral.  They all start talking about how this sounds concerning and we should consider she may have something more wrong, then they find out about her mom and blame it all on that, next thing you know we are back at square one.  last night she scratched herself until it made her bleed, then continued to dig in it so it would get worse.  when my husband insisted she stop, she started ripping her eyelashes out.  she chews her lips, picks are her face, chews her hands, ect.  we've tried all suggestions from counselors:  time ins, time outs, explaining to her that we dont keep her from her mom, explaining we love her and are providing her with a safe home.  we give all the kids set aside one on one attention time.  i dont know what else to do.  i am scared of her.  i wish i could explain the way she glares at me.  its truly disturbing.  both my mom and my best friend have seen her behaviors and the way she looks at me and the other children.  both have voiced a concern that she will try to hurt or kill us one day.  as silly as it sounds, i think they may be right.  she tried to push her 3 year old brother down the stairs the other day.  

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

I would find another psychiatrist.  I am not a professional, but what you've described sounds like a profoundly disturbed little girl.  It very well could be reactive attachment disorder as well as stemming from abuse from her mother's boyfriend.   

The falling is concerning too.  She may have some neurological issues going on as well.  Has she seen a neurologist? 



emarin77
by Silver Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 6:23 PM

I agree with this mom.   How is she socially with adults and other children?

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

I would find another psychiatrist.  I am not a professional, but what you've described sounds like a profoundly disturbed little girl.  It very well could be reactive attachment disorder as well as stemming from abuse from her mother's boyfriend.   

The falling is concerning too.  She may have some neurological issues going on as well.  Has she seen a neurologist? 


stashia
by Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 8:18 PM

with strangers, she is clingy.  i had to bring her with to my chiropractor one day..she asked him if she could sit on his lap.  she hugs and hangs on other adults.  she has to be in the middle of every conversation.  an elderly lady that we didnt know just said, "its a beautiful afternoon" I replied, "Yes, its a great day for a walk" and planned to keep walking.  sd interrupted and started talking away.  cant talk to a cashier at the store or even the doctor at the clinic, she interrupts.  she tells people they are pretty, compliments their shoes, clothes ect.  she LOVES other adults.  she almost acts like she is one.  other kids, she used to be the kid at the birthday party sitting with the adults refusing to play.  now we always tell her she needs to go play.  also, shes getting better now that she is in school.  this summer there were a few times she was mean to kids at the park because she wanted to go down the slide or have the swing.  She has complete meltdowns even when you just try to talk to her about why she was in the wrong.  complete screaming, bawling meltdowns.  

Quoting emarin77:

I agree with this mom.   How is she socially with adults and other children?

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

I would find another psychiatrist.  I am not a professional, but what you've described sounds like a profoundly disturbed little girl.  It very well could be reactive attachment disorder as well as stemming from abuse from her mother's boyfriend.   

The falling is concerning too.  She may have some neurological issues going on as well.  Has she seen a neurologist? 



emarin77
by Silver Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 8:52 PM

It sounds like Autism, because of not being social with kids her age and her difficulties with language expression.  My son is 7 and had the same difficulties at age 3 and was diagnosed with mild Autism at age 3.  At 6 was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism/ADHD at 6.  My son also talks a lot with adults.  At 3 he didn't care to play with kids his age.  With public preschool and on his social skills got better.  My son was not a screamer or cryer but was very angry when he was 3.  He used to hit me and my husband.  With time outs and teaching him how to use his words, "I'm angry," he started using his words within 2 months and by age 4 was using his words most of the time.  Now at 7 he continues using his words.

Quoting stashia:

with strangers, she is clingy.  i had to bring her with to my chiropractor one day..she asked him if she could sit on his lap.  she hugs and hangs on other adults.  she has to be in the middle of every conversation.  an elderly lady that we didnt know just said, "its a beautiful afternoon" I replied, "Yes, its a great day for a walk" and planned to keep walking.  sd interrupted and started talking away.  cant talk to a cashier at the store or even the doctor at the clinic, she interrupts.  she tells people they are pretty, compliments their shoes, clothes ect.  she LOVES other adults.  she almost acts like she is one.  other kids, she used to be the kid at the birthday party sitting with the adults refusing to play.  now we always tell her she needs to go play.  also, shes getting better now that she is in school.  this summer there were a few times she was mean to kids at the park because she wanted to go down the slide or have the swing.  She has complete meltdowns even when you just try to talk to her about why she was in the wrong.  complete screaming, bawling meltdowns.  

Quoting emarin77:

I agree with this mom.   How is she socially with adults and other children?

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

I would find another psychiatrist.  I am not a professional, but what you've described sounds like a profoundly disturbed little girl.  It very well could be reactive attachment disorder as well as stemming from abuse from her mother's boyfriend.   

The falling is concerning too.  She may have some neurological issues going on as well.  Has she seen a neurologist? 




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