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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am needing to know if my dd's SPD is really a factor in her fits of rage/violence. I guess I need some reassurance, because I am questioning my parenting. Specificially, I am questioning ap parenting <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:<br><br>
My dd is 6.5 yo, and is very intense. We have long periods of time (months) when we work very well together, but she is often butting heads with dh (they are too similar--both incredibly stubborn. I can get along well with either of them, but together they are explosive). When stressed, however, there is simply no dealing with her.<br><br>
She is very stressed right now, because we moved long-distance. Away from her house, her town, her homeschool group, her church, her friends.....so she is angry. So she is nasty to me, explodes, and then hits me. And kicks me and bites me when I try to restrain her (leaving her is not an option....she will try to bust down the door, and we are in an apt). This is not all the time, of course....but every couple of days at this point.<br><br>
Can SPD really explain this behavior? My gut is telling me that something is really wrong. Either she needs some sort of therapy, or some really intense discipline. My gut is screaming at me that, no matter how upset I became as a 6 yo, I NEVER hit my parents. I never even considered it. And I wasn't abused.....I just somehow *knew* that was a "really bad idea". That I would "get it"....although I'm not sure what "it" was. I can't help thinking that I must have failed somewhere if she is doing this to me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">: .<br><br>
I know what to do from an SPD standpoint (sensory diet, prevention, get OT when we get settled and have insurance in place). I am doing that, and it is working a bit. But I just am still so bothered by that fact that she hits me. She is 6 yo and she hits me. Is this a sign that there is much more going on here? Is this a sign that my discipline is severely lacking? Or is this just typical SPD stuff that I should roll with, and not freak out so much?
 

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Tell us more about what is provoking her rages...<br><br>
My 6yo ds has a lot of challenges with rage, too. He's got SPD and Asperger's. I think SPD <i>can</i> cause raging meltdowns. I know that some of ds' meltdowns can be related -- things like putting on socks that feel yucky, washing hair, unexpected touches can set him off. These I'm certain are SPD related.<br><br>
But, for my son, his biggest rages and aggression come from his rigidity, which I attribute to being on the spectrum. Of course, the sensory issues can contribute to rigidity issues, too.<br><br>
I'm still pretty much at a loss for how to respond to/help my son through his aggression/rage (yay for waiting lists!), but what you wrote about looking back at your own childhood really resonates for me. I know I didn't act this way as a kid. I know that I've tried to be really hardnose and firm and it blows up in my face.<br><br>
All this to say, you're not alone. I wish I had some answers, but I'll be watching watching for responses with interest. *hugs*
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mild_eep</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9050907"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">But, for my son, his biggest rages and aggression come from his rigidity, which I attribute to being on the spectrum. Of course, the sensory issues can contribute to rigidity issues, too.<br></div>
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This describes my son. He definitely has sensory issues but all of his rages tend to center around his rigidity. What I did, at first, was keep a log of his rages - what time of day, what day of the week, what was planned that day, what we were doing just prior to the rage, what he did during the rage, and what worked to bring him down. Of course for him the journal just showed no rhyme or reason as far as triggers...the only commonality was rigidity.<br><br>
I'm sorry that you are dealing with this, I know how hard it is. I, too, never struck my parents but having my featherweight 6-year old attack me breaks my heart. He's just simply out-of-control when it happens.<br><br>
We went the pharmacological route to help the situation after he attacked his swim instructor and his sister started getting the brunt of his episodes.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> mama,<br>
I'm sure you are doing the best you can. Our SN kids are such a challenge...until my dd was dx, I read every parenting book, thought I must be the world's worst mom.... It is just them - and they don't *want* to be like this, either.<br>
I finally had to accept that I can only do the best I can, and sometimes, that won't be good enough. I had to realize that AP had given her a better start than any other style of parenting, and know that I had done the right thing there.<br>
I agree with Ava's mom (not meds, we haven't done that yet, although we may) that it was much harder to see it turned on my other girls that when she took it out on me.<br>
Do you have any professionals working with her that you can talk to about it? Wish I had more advice, but just hugs, and it's not your fault!
 

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Was she hitting and raging before you moved?<br><br>
Moving can be incredibly, incredibly hard on some kids. We just had a cross town move and seriously it was six months that were totally terrible and a year that was just kind of terrible. I would never underestimate the toll moving can have on a kid with sensory challenges or autism.<br><br>
I think it sounds like a really good idea to seek out help from a psychologist. To do so doesn't mean you've screwed up or that she has some bigger diagnosis than sensory processing. It just means that you've got a big set of challenges right now and getting another perspective may help. Hitting is a tricky behavior. Some kids look really angry when the underlying emotion is anxiety, but that can be hard to spot as a parent or as you said on an ongoing basis to be understanding with. My two cents is that getting help from a psychologist was one of the best moves our family has made.
 

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Our son doesn't have SPD, he's PDD-NOS...but yes, he has rages where he is so out of his mind that he lashes out at us. It's very difficult to deal with as a parent, especially if you come from a house that used physical discipline as a child. Sometimes I can't believe this is happening. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
We have been mapping his behaviors this summer, and really paying attention to what "makes" a bad day. For us, we found out a bad day happens *usually* when some of his basic needs aren't being met--a full night's sleep, feeling full, feeling warm and comfortable in his clothes. Writing down what happens each day, and if anything unusual happens in the day, and what the day is like for your child in terms of rages (#, severity, etc.) can help you find the pattern of why it's happening.<br><br>
We are nervous about school this fall, and hoping that his rages don't make him an impossible child in school. We've talked with our neurologist, and she's setting up a psych consult for us--we want to find out if there are other things we can be doing to help him. We also have her agreement to start on a very LOW dose of risperdal if and when his school or home behavior goes beyond what we feel we can handle (or if it becomes something that happens even when all his needs/comforts are met). She is an excellent pediatric neurologist, and she says she's seen consistent good results with risperdal and her spectrum patients.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I'm sure it's hard. Don't blame yourself or your parenting--this is about her special needs, her sensory overloads, etc. You'll find a way to cope, and a way to help her, but don't ever blame yourself. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I'm coming in to read and find more info. Our ds2 has just recently been to a psychologist for testing and the results from all summer long testing are not in just yet (Monday). His initial thought was SID or SPD. And my ds2 has rage issues which brought me to the psychologist for testing in the first place. I completely get the feeling that something is wrong and needing to find someone to help you figure it out.<br>
I am hoping this doc has answers for me. I would think I was the worse parent in the world, if I didn't have other children who were not like this one.
 

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<a href="http://bipolarchild.com/newsletters/0512.html" target="_blank">http://bipolarchild.com/newsletters/0512.html</a><br><br>
'The treating physician or therapist would do well to ask the youngster specifically about the nature and extent of his or her fears, and help the child understand and talk openly about the aggressive outbursts. The children may be relieved that someone is aware of their struggles and that they are not bad or hurtful people. The children's misperception that people are hurting them can be explored so that they may not need to feel that they are defending themselves out of dire necessity.<br><br>
Questions a therapist can ask: Do you usually feel fear when you are alone? What are the fears that you have at these times? What frustrates you most? What triggers the lash out? What is it like inside when you feel the anger? Do you believe you could control these impulses?<br><br>
Providing a model that helps children understand their behavior based on biology, one that takes into account the difficulty that they have in regulating fear and aggression, can go a long way toward establishing a therapeutic alliance.<br><br>
What Can Parents Do?<br><br>
If parents become more aware of the child's internal experience - that he or she may be reacting to a perceived threat - the confusion and the pressure on the parents will ease a bit. Parents can gain some sympathy for the child's bewildering and hurtful behaviors, and respond less defensively as well, thus helping matters to de-escalate.'<br><br>
trying to figure out what was going on was the most frustrating part. best of luck.
 

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My almost 5 year old DD with SPD also has violent rages. She is not on the autism spectrum and much of the time is a well-behaved, well-mannered child. It is heartbreaking. I wish I had some great advice. We just try to be firm but loving when it happens. Easier said than done.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
 

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((((HUGS)))) It's hard. My dd is 6.5 with sensory issues, Asperger's, and lots and lots of anger. We do use medication to keep our family safe and her life happier, but that hasn't been the magic cure either. We do body brushing every 1.5 hours right now and that has helped. Do you do that? I can tell you it has nothing to do with your discipline. Hitting her would probably make everything worse and at least with my dd, the times I did spank her out of desperation (despite the fact I never wanted to) thinking it might get through to her, well, it only ended up with her angrier at me and devastated that I would do that. It never ever occured to her that I hit her to stop her from doing something...the connection was never there. I've had to stop myself from engaging at all or I get so heated that I want to hit her when she throws things at me or tries to hit me or screams things at me. I now simply give a consequence, calmly, without engaging. For my dd, it's outside time. I don't want to take her outside where there is more stimulation when she screams at me, hits anyone, or slams doors or throws. I simply say that's another hour of no outside time, if you continue I will take another hour away. Now that she is 6.5 she gets it and it makes sense and she has got to know that throwing lamps that are ON is JUST not safe!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> We've been inside for 2 days now, but that is okay with me, she's starting to get that mama means what she says and isn't giving in b/c she throws a fit. I think here we would say things and then change them trying to keep peace but that has not been helpful at all and I need to stop that. We're also starting Concerta this weekend, so we'll see if that helps. (((HUGS))))
 

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well, keep an eye on the speed, it can cause (or exacerbate) psychosis (we gave focalin a two day trial before 'the devil started telling him things' <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bigeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bigeyes">).<br><br>
finding out about how bipolar likely presents in very young children was actually a pretty big relief (we have had two days of peace & normalcy, this is huge around here <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">).<br><br>
whatever the dx, for impulse control and rages, the mood stabilizers are helping out (there is a school of thought that the rages, etc are a form of seizure in the part of the brain that controls emotion, which is why anti-seizure meds are helpful. it was easier to be more patient & nonjudgmental, & incidentally not have to keep blaming ap or myself. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">)<br><br>
what a journey we are on!
 

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I have a friend with a child with SPD and severe ADHD who rages like this as well. As with the autism spectrum, the issues come when he's asked to shift focus (i.e. transition), which is very, very stressful for him. Actually, he's much better now, but he's been in therapy (multiple) for several years, and they are homeschooling him because regular school is too stressful.<br><br>
One book they found very helpful was "The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children" (I love the subtitle!) by Ross Greene. (Apparently, there's also a DVD called "Parenting the Explosive Child".)<br><br>
Remember that your connection created through AP have given you a foundation to work from. I think having a child with special needs does require adjusting parenting somewhat, as things that work 'naturally' with some kids don't for all kids. But AP didn't cause her to be violent - it's allowing her to express her emotions fully, and you're bearing the brunt of it. It's OK to work on this, and some people find play therapy or regular therapy with a psychologist really helps get them some different strategies. It's not defeat to call in the 'experts' <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you for all the input. I've been reading all day, and thinking, but my parents are visiting so I don't have time to post much.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Roar</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9051301"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Some kids look really angry when the underlying emotion is anxiety,</div>
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I think this really hits the nail on the head for dd. I will elaborate more when I can, but I've known for a long time that she has a lot of anxiety. I think this may be the common thread in the rage.....<br><br>
:::::: deep breath:::::::<br><br>
this board is so wonderful. I've been feeling so lost and desperate, and now I feel like I at least have direction. I think we need to look into a psychologist. Any advice for finding a good one? We just moved to the research triangle of NC, so I am hoping for some really good options.<br><br>
Thank you so much for the hugs and support!
 

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I'm glad to hear you are going to look for a psychologist. I agree in your area it should be pretty easy to find one. My best advice would be to be willing to ask many questions up front.<br>
Such as:<br>
What is your theoretical orientation (cognitive behavioral is really good for anxiety)?<br>
What role to parents play in treatment? How do you communicate with parents?<br>
Give a brief description of your child's problem and ask how often they've treated kids who sound similar and what kinds of approaches have they used.<br>
Do you have experience working with kids with sensory processing problems?
 

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I am amazed to see that you just moved to the triangle area! Welcome.<br><br>
My six year old son also has SPD. I've thought for a long time that there was more to his rages and violence than just that. He has just been dx with ODD recently, and he is doing a bunch of psych testing so there may be more to come. He is now seeing a psychotherapist who we really like. Check out my ODD thread a few pages down to see what we're working on.<br><br>
Two thoughts for you: Chapel Hill Psychology has a stellar reputation. And, there's a program in childhood affective disorders at Duke, google PCAAD on the Duke site, that is also very good. Both have some really wonderful therapists on staff. PM me if you want more info!<br><br>
Fiona
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>addax</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9057556"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Two thoughts for you: Chapel Hill Psychology has a stellar reputation. And, there's a program in childhood affective disorders at Duke, google PCAAD on the Duke site, that is also very good. Both have some really wonderful therapists on staff. PM me if you want more info!<br><br>
Fiona</div>
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Wow, this is great! And Roar's list, too. This will all be very helpful.<br><br>
This area (the triangle) seems right for us for many, many reasons. Dd's issues were never a reason we considered moving, but now I am wondering if it was yet another reason the universe led us here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Coming back to follow up on a few comments, in case anyone has any more thoughts/ideas:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mild_eep</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9050907"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I know that I've tried to be really hardnose and firm and it blows up in my face.</div>
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Yes, definitely. I know, when I think about it, that a more authoritative discipline style would be disasterous.<br><br>
In fact, this is part of what is causing the rages--me being exasperated with her in general and getting "tough" (saying no, because I said so, that sort of thing). We raised her to ask questions, to use reason, and to think for herself.....so now she can not handle it *at all* if I pull rank sometimes and just say "no". This is esp an issue with the baby. Sometime she is doing something dangerous and we just say "Stop!" and she won't stop. She wants us to give a good reason to stop, and thinks she has the option to continue until we give her a reason she deems good enough to stop <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: So we've talked about how she needs to stop first, and then ask why/question/discuss when it comes to the baby. But stop first, because we are the parents and it is our responsibility to protect both of them.<br><br>
I need to work on my patience and my phrasing, definitely. Things have been stressful <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/crap.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crap">:<br><br>
But still, hitting me just seems beyond the beyond, ya know? I just think it is way over the top and this age.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

gingerstar;9051216I finally had to accept that I can only do the best I can said:
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Yes, you are right. We do always have our deep attachment, even when things are rough. By night, we cuddle up to sleep together, and that helps us stay close when we are battling by day <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Roar</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9051301"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Was she hitting and raging before you moved?</div>
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Shortly before the move, yes. And also before and after the birth of our son, 8 months ago.<br><br><br>
That is one reason I think it is anxiety related (everything is related anxiety....even being uncooperative. I think anxiety makes her oppositional). These behaviors usually present *before* a "stressful" event. In advance of the event, which often doesn't turn out to be as stressful as she thought it might (not including the move, which is in fact stressful. But for instance the baby--she was a much bigger mess before the baby came than after: anxiety. And also this weekend--my parents came, and she was a mess for the preceding 2 days: anxiety).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ok, I have lots more thoughts, but little time to post. Have guests, and the baby only takes very short naps, lol. This thread has been extemely helpful to me, both in support and brainstorming the issues with dd.<br><br>
Thank you!
 
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