Help! What is wrong with my five year old daughter
Our five and a half year old daughter is out of control. She has been diagnosed with ADHD but, I think that she has something else wrong as well. My husband and I adopted her through the foster care system. We got her straight from the hospital when she was five weeks old. She was born 19 weeks prematurely because her biological mother was trying different things to go into labor early. Her biological mother is Paranoid schitsophrenia and bipolar. Once the adoption was final we thought that it would be best to lose all communication with her biological mother due to the mental health issues that we were experiencing from the biological mother.
Our youngest son is six months younger then her and it seemed like she was hitting her milestones about the same time that he was such as walking and talking. We just figuring that this was because she was actually supposed to of been born the same time as our youngest son but, was born 19 weeks prematurely. When she started talking it was difficult to understand her so we got a speech therapist and she overcame that. Last year she started preschool in Florida and unfortunately our daughter would not do the work and the preschool would not make her do the work. Our daughter was found wandering around in the parking lot by another parent. This really concerned us, as well as, the preschool. Do to the school not helping her we decided that we would try another school. We went to tour the school and the school principal told me that she was way to hyper for their preschool and they could not help her at that school. They actually told me get her diagnosed and on medication for what ever might be wrong with her and then she can attend our school. We tried another preschool that was only half a day. When I picked her up the teacher told me that she could not attend that school either because she was way to hyper and wandered a lot.
We decided to move back to a small town in Tennessee. We put her in the public school system preschool and she attended it for almost two weeks. We had an IEP meeting and we were informed that the classroom could not handle her and that she was out of control. They told us either we have to pull her completely out of preschool or she has to go to a special education classroom for her safety due to wandering. We decided to pull her out because the special education classroom was only two days a week. We took her to a psychiatrist and they then diagnosed her with ADHD. Once on medication we put her in a private preschool. They didn’t kick her out of this school but, the teachers complained often to us about her wandering. Now…she is in Kindergarten. She is still very hyper and wanders a lot. Other problems are she sneaks stuff such as items on the teacher’s desk or items in other children’s backpacks. She wanders so we keep the doors locked at all times near the top of the door but, recently she has started opening her bedroom window and climbing out her window. The other day we thought that she was in her bedroom watching television but, we heard a knock at the front door and it was her from where she snuck out her window. She is five and a half years old and within the last couple months started dressing herself. Sometimes (about 50% of the time) when we speak to her she will talk about something that has nothing to do with what you are talking to her about. Such as if I ask her how her day was at school. Sometimes she will tell me but, other times she will say something that happened last week or the other day at the park. Also, sometimes she does not like loud noises. Sometimes (about 50% of the time) she will cover her ears when there is a loud noise but, other times she might turn the television up as loud as it will go. Clothing seems to itch her skin and shoes seem to burn her feet. I have thought that maybe she might have a mild form of autism but, there are very long waiting lists to be tested for autism and I need answers because we fear for her safety due to not having any impulse control and her wandering to the point now that she is climbing out her bedroom window. We don’t know what to do? We know something is wrong but, don’t exactly know what?
Also, she plays with her younger brother at home but, if we go to the park or if I see her on the playground at school (I work in the school system) she will be playing by herself. She also will make major messes such as getting into cinnamon rolls and rubbing them all over the television or getting into nail polish and painting the television and walls with nail polish. At the same time she is an extremely quick learner and her father and I feel as though she is very smart.
Could some of her problems be due to prematurity? Could her biological mother been experimenting with drugs? I am thinking physical damage or a physical developmental problem. Has anyone examined her from this angle?
allmymarbles, thank you for your response to my posting! My daughter's problems that she is now experiencing I do believe is probably associated with her biological mother experimenting with drugs. Her biological mother admitted to us that she was experimenting with drugs while pregnant. What she was experimenting with we have no idea but, we do know that she was experimenting with drugs. We had her tested about a year ago for fetal alcohol syndrome and the results for that test came back ok. As for physical damage or physical developmental problems we have not had her examined at that angle. She has another appointment with Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee the end of this month so I will bring that to the psychiatrist attention and ask them to examine her in that angle. Again, thank you for your thoughts.
A very long and detailed post. It shows how much you must care for her. You mentioned she was diagnosed as ADHD and put on medication.
She also shows many symptoms of Sensory Integration Disorder or SIDS. Even the movement problems could be SIDS. In fact many times it is not unusual for a child with SIDS to be misdiagnosed with ADHD. The reason this could make a difference is that SIDS is dealt with by help from a physical therapist and medication usually is not needed or won't work.
So I am kind of curious what med she was put on and did you notice a difference in her control?
Anyway, you should definitely check out SIDS. Its mainly the loud noises and clothing issues that make me think of SIDS. If you would also post over on our SIDS forum here - http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Sensory-Integration-Disorder-SID/show/1396. ; The community leader "specialmom" has dealt with this with her own son. I would just repost your entire post. And here is a site with symptoms, etc. - http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/sensory-processing-disorder-checklist.html
And she does have a lot of ADHD behaviors too. Over on the ADHD site where I am also the CL, I recommend this book a lot - "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley. Working with ADHD kids is very difficult (especially at this age) and you will find this book very helpful.
Finally, when a psyc puts a child on meds they put them on the lowest possible dose and wait for the parent to tell them how the child is reacting. All kids are different and the medication can be kind of a trial and error thing until the right dose or med is found. I mention this because it doesn't sound like your psyc is close to you and communication is very important. Not to mention the fact that you should be getting support strategies. I hope some of this helps. Please feel free to post over on the ADHD forum if you have any questions about that - http://www.medhelp.org/forums/ADD---ADHD/show/175 Best wishes.
Because of her history, attachment disorders and post-traumatic stress disorders should be ruled out. They may present with similar symptoms as ADHD and autism spectrum disorders. Also worth checking out if she may have inherit bipolar disorder.
sandman2, thank you for your response! Our daughter is actually on a blood pressure medication because ADHD medications reduces appetite and she barely eats now and is below the average weight for her age. We noticed a minor difference in her behavior once she was put on the medication but, the teacher told us that she still did alot of wandering and not able to follow or comprehend directions. I will definately look into purchasing that book, thank you for recommending it. Just recently we had a parent teacher conference and was looking at the art work on the walls. One artwork was a coloring picture of a person. All 17 of the children in the class drew a face on the person and gave the person hair and clothing but, our daughter scribbled all over the page. Another artwork was an apple and all 17 of the students did what they were supposed to do and made large and small "A,a" but, our daughter scribbled on the page and wrote a number 4. The teacher told us that she reads the instructions before each assignment or test and everyone in the class follows her instructions but, our daughter is way off almost like she did not understand the directions at all. This is really concerning to us so we are actually going to bring this new information to our psychiatrist attention the end of this month at our next appointment.
IChris, I completely agree with you! I don't think my daughter has attachment and PTSD issues because she has always lived with us. I asked about the bipolar disorder and we were told that bipolar disorder has highs and lows and our daughter never has a low she is always extremely hyper
Just keep in mind that there is a huge difference between understanding directions and not paying attention to directions. The teacher needs to be doing much more then just reading directions to the class before assignments. And she should have been checking up on her during the assignment to see is she had been paying attention. Well, it is somewhat early in the school year and maybe the teacher didn't know enough about her to help. Hopefully, the teacher is more involved now. I would start asking about a 504 plan for your daughter so that she can get the extra help or attention that she needs in the classroom.
A lot of kids do have appetite problems on meds. Ashleys book on page 157 does talk about how to deal with this. Its a common problem.
Finally, have you looked into SIDS? If she does have SIDS instead of ADHD, the meds could make it worse. It is pretty common to mistake SIDS for ADHD so make sure and talk with your psyc about this. But she does have a lot of sensory issues, which really makes me wonder about the SIDS.
Hope this helps.
Glad to see that you posted to the SIDs forum. I am sure that specialmom will be getting back to you with more info on that aspect.
I meant to ask earlier if you don't mind sharing - what med or meds did your doctor put her on and what kind of a doctor are you seeing?
sandman, thank you for your response.. To answer you question she is on a medication that I cannot spell or pronounce :0) It starts with Guanific. It is a blood pressure medication but, can help with ADHD. Since our daughter was born so premature she has always been well below average on weight. She barely eats so I was concerned about ADHD medication since ADHD medication reduces appetite. She take half a miligram in the morning and a quarter of a miligram in the evening. We are seeing a student doctor at Vanderbilt in Nashville Tennessee. She works with her instructor and the instructor closely monitors everything. We are very pleased with Vanderbilt so far but, I tried to make an appointment for my daughter to be tested for autism at Vanderbilt but, the waiting list is over a year long. My understanding is the test for Sensory Integration Disorder is the autism test since it is considered a mild form of autism. My daughter needs to be tested and I hate waiting over a year for the test to take place because we fear for her safety since she is opening the window at home and climbing out it and trying to exit the elementary school by herself. Do you have any ideas on how we might be able to get her tested sooner. We have an appointment at Vanderbilt for her ADHD in one week so I am going to talk to her doctor there and see if she can speed things up with the testing.
I think that talking with your doc at Vanderbilt about speeding things up is a good idea. I would also mention SIDS to the doc. Here is a site that lists just about all the symptoms possible. I would print it out and check out the ones that she matches and take it to her doctor and get the docs opinion. Also, as far as I know an Occupational Therapist does the testing and it has very little to do with the autism testing. That also is covered in the site below.
Medication wise - she probably is on Tenex or (guanfacine). Since that is a non stimulant - probably not a bad choice. It won't help with Attention problems too much, but if she does have SIDS and not ADHD, that makes it an even better medication to be using. By the way doctors always start out patients on the lowest possible medication and wait for parent response for how the med is working. If you haven't noticed that much of a difference, don't be afraid to mention that to the doctor.
Hope this helps.
Hi, a sensory evaluation is actually different than an autism evaluation-- at least the two we had at two seperate centers were. It was specific to sensory related issues.
An evaluation for sensory usually takes up to three visits to complete---- questionaires with mom/dad, working with an occupational therapist to do specific things and see how they do and observation of the child.
My son was observed by an ot in his classroom for three days as well.
Kids with autism do have sensory integration issues overlapping quite often but sensory can be all on its own. Most professionals are starting to recognize sensory more than before.
"The Out of Sync Child" is a famous book on sensory integration disorder and you might like "The Everything Sensory Book". Sensory Processing Disorder is an excellent web site as well to give clear information on the disorder. I'd arm yourself with information on it.
I'm on the sensory forum whenever you need me. peace
Attachment difficulties may present even if the only trauma was the result of a difficult birth (like premature birth), or not being met by a loving mother the first day after births; even not having a loving mother when a fetus may attribute to attachment difficulties. Of that reason attachment disorder should be ruled out.
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