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So confused and desperate

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My dd just turned 4 and it feels like we have had so many issues and no answers. I don't know who to turn to anymore and this is getting so overwhelming for me! She just has all these odd behaviors that no one else's kids seem to be doing.

Since she was a baby she has done this thing, we call her belly thing, where she lays down and crosses her legs and pushes something into her stomach. She has to have her stomach tensed up really tight. She has had digestive problems all her life, so we thought it had to do with that. She does it now a days in response to excitement. Her eyes also dilate really huge while she is doing it. Her ped says it is normal and that she is basically masturbating. She could very well be, but it doesn't seem to me like she wants to do it, more like she has to do it. Sometimes when she is really excited to tell somebody something she will cross her legs really tight, while standing, only while she says what she wants to say.

She also has these huge meltdowns where she loses all control frequently. She has done this since she was 1 and continues to have them on a regular basis. Again her ped says normal and to just put her in her room until she is calm and ignore it. I feel like she would never calm down if I did this. I see in her eyes that she is scared when it is happening and feel like she really needs help to calm down. It really does not seem to me that she is seeking attention. She shakes and just makes these gutterall (sp-or is that even a word lol) noises. She looks terrified. She also has mood swings that go from one end of the spectrum to the other. She can almost be too loving and nice to us, only to end up in an angry rage later.

Other things that bug me is she does not understand personal space. She gets right in our faces to talk all the time. She can also be so hyper to where she just runs in circles, talks really loudly, and fake laughs at inappropriate times. She will also lick us and other people. She used to lick things a lot more when she was younger. I can remember trying to have a serious talk with her after she ran off from me in the store and she just smiled and licked my face.

Sorry this got so long and thanks if you made it this far. I am just desperate for any advice I can get at this point. I am curious if anyone thinks this warrants more evaluation or if she is just a strong willed girl. We saw a Neuro once for what appeared to be a seizure that she had, and he said the mood swings were normal and the seizure was likely just an isolated event. Our pediatrician thinks everything checks out fine. I am starting to think I am crazy.
post #2 of 14
Have you taken her to see a developmental pediatrician? That would be a good place to start. The stomach and leg thing, while could be a pleasure response, could also be a sensory response as well. Stimming gives a child relief. Some kids flap, some spin and some actually masturbate.

Her lack of personal space could be a maturity thing. My son did that for a while where he was in my face all the time. After a lot of reminders of "personal space" he now gets it.
post #3 of 14
Some of the things you point out could also be said about my DS, just turned 4. I think he is very typical. The licking, for example, is about to drive us bonkers, but I know he does it exactly for that reason. He'll walk up to me and say he has a secret, then give me a big lick and run away laughing. He's done this to strangers too He also has tons of energy, but it's never destructive, and he knows that we mean business when we tell him to stop (otherwise, he's allowed to jump/run/bounce on anything in the house) so he does stop. I think perhaps that's why this has never concerned me, because he can and will stop and calm down or refrain from acting out if asked to. We had crazy bad tantrums too, but he hasn't had one in over 6 months, and I think they were tied in to the new baby. I don't know about the stomach thing, but DS does grind his teeth when he gets excited. He says he can't help that. Good luck mama!
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamandedeux View Post
Some of the things you point out could also be said about my DS, just turned 4. I think he is very typical. The licking, for example, is about to drive us bonkers, but I know he does it exactly for that reason.
Oh good, my son's not the only one who does that!
post #5 of 14
My ds, 6, has SPD, which we just recently got dx'd (through at OT, not a neuropsych). It explains a whole host of issues with him - getting too wound up/out of control, meltdowns still, mouthing/chewing on things, and holding his need to urinate so long he's about to burst and rolling/rubbing himself on things at this point (sounds a lot like your dd's stomach thing).
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpottedFoxx View Post
Oh good, my son's not the only one who does that!
"Please keep your saliva in your mouth" gets said a lot around here. My dd's OT (for sensory issues) suggested getting a chew toy and redirecting her to chew that when she's chewing/licking something inappropriate. I'm not sure it helps that much, but we haven't been very good at keeping the chew toy handy.
post #7 of 14
Since you asked, yes, I think it warrants evaluation.

I don't have any opinion about what is happening with your DD. I have the opinion that I do because my DH and his ex avoided getting an evaluation (basically they weren't ready to face his issues) and it meant years of missed treatment.

I also think that parents have a sense and it is worth following through on.

I would see a neuro-psychologist.
post #8 of 14
I think further evaluation is warranted, absolutely. Yes, any of these things on its own wouldn't be cause for alarm, but all together it sounds like something's up--a developmental pediatrician would be a good place to start.
post #9 of 14
I would make an appointment with a developmental pediatrician and a psychologist.

Yes, my 4yo occasionally does some of those things, but my ds did them ALL THE TIME--generally, "normal" behavior (tantrums, hyper, invading personal space) on steroids.

We knew something was off with ds by the time he was 2yo, but everyone told us he was just being a boy and people were too quick to label .

Sensory Processing Disorder Checklist
post #10 of 14
Yep, I think you should investigate further. A lot of the behaviors you describes, running around in circles, tantrums, lack of personal space, fake laughing, etc. sound like my dd (ASD, ADHD, Anxiety Disorder NOS)
Our search for an answer is written on these forums over the past years. A search for some of those behaviors listed would probably pull the posts up.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for responding. I get to these points where I am just so overwhelmed with her. I am really frustrated that the ped doesn't take me seriously. I just want so much for dd to be able to get some help, and really for me to get some help! Many, many nights I have cried after dd goes to bed because parenting her is just so hard. Dh and I start to feel clueless because nothing seems to work with her. I hope a developmental ped or someone will see us without a referral, since her ped has been no help. I feel like there is nothing to lose by getting her evaluated, it is just a matter now of finding someone who takes our insurance and will see her without a referral.
post #12 of 14
I second what everyone else said. Good luck
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahr View Post
"Please keep your saliva in your mouth" gets said a lot around here. My dd's OT (for sensory issues) suggested getting a chew toy and redirecting her to chew that when she's chewing/licking something inappropriate. I'm not sure it helps that much, but we haven't been very good at keeping the chew toy handy.
We got my son a piece of chewlry - he loves it. Keeps it in his backpack at school and when he wants/needs it - he just takes it out and chews on it.
post #14 of 14
You've gotten other responses, but if it helps, you should hear that sensory processing problems in children is pretty common. As for the personal space issue, my son had a hard time with it too, part of it had to do with wanting more sensory input than he was getting so he would hug other kid too hard or squeeze up against them. He loved to get into small spaces in which he was really squished and he always wanted his pants very tight. In kindergarten and the second year of nursery school we got him a Bear Hug vest (you can buy them through companies that specialize in equipment for therapists) that hugged him tight so that he was able to be calmer and focus. Is there early intervention where you live? Can you get an evaluation for her? You would be amazed at what occupational therapy can accomplish in regard to sensory processing stuff. Also, pediatricians often are dismissive because they just don't know that much about special needs. (Shocking, in my opinion.) Can you get a prescription from this doctor to get an evaluation done or to see a developmental specialist or neurologist?
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