Extreme Tantrums... Bi-Polar, Sensory Processing or willfulnes

by Crystal C.
(Voorheesville, NY, USA)

Hello!


My daughter is 8. She can be the most sweet, loving, creative, energetic little girl. She is diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder and a Non-Verbal Learning Disability. I too have a diagnosis of Bi-Polar, major depressive and have been seeking care. My daughter, Casey has a psychologist, psychiatrist, pediatrician, occupational therapist, physical therapist and an intensive case manager who helps us manage it all. She takes 400 mg of seroquil and 2 mg of Intunive. Because of the medications taken prior to Seroquil she gaine an excessive amount of weight leading to body image issues. She is the size of a 12 year old, but only 4'6''. We have to alter all of her clothing.

Casey throws violent fits. She cannot ride in the backseat of the car with her brother because she will just haul off and punch him in the face or pinch him. When she is in the front seat she will grab the steering wheel or kick the gear shift. The other day she tried to jump out of the car while I was driving because I wouldn't buy her a banana split. When hearing no, or having an interrupted agenda she will go absolutely bananas. She has kicked holes into the walls, carved her name into our car, broken her canopy bed, etc. The violence extends to primarily me. She bites, hits, kicks, screams, pulls hair, punches, tries to jump off our balcony and more. The other day she began throwing logs at me after I told her she needed to come inside from playing outside because she pinched her brother, 5, and drew blood. Now the neighbors will not let her play with their children. I am at a loss. We are trying to figure out what is her bi-polar and what is the sensory processing disorder. Frequently, there are not any identifiable precursors. Some days I become so frustrated I just don't know what to do.

She is at summer camp this week and honestly, I love her, hope she is having fun, but I just don't miss her. I am enjoying my son. We are going to the library, swinging by the store for a treat and have been playing with friends. These are all things I can never do with him because of her unpredictable behavior. He is laughing more, and isn't afraid. He has a diagnosis of PTSD because of her horrible treatment of her. I feel like I am living in a war-zone everyday and so is my family.

My extended family also does not believe that she has a diagnosis, or that I do for that matter. They believe that neither of us should be on medication. That I need to grow up and she needs to be disciplined more. What do I do when time out sends her into a rage and she tears up sticker charts??? The doctors have no solutions or recommendations. I am lost. I have recently read The Sensory Processing Disorder Answer Book by Tara Delaney, MS, OTR/L and The Everything Parent's Guide to Sensory Integration Disorder by Terri Mauro. We began with the Out of Sync Child when we were first considering the diagnosis. Both of the books had me consider tantrums as part of sensory processing, something I hadn't done prior. Now, I just don't know how to parent. I cannot control absolutely everything and there are times that she will just have to hear no.

I appreciate any guidance.

Thank You!



Crystal

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I identify totally
by: Anonymous

Hello,this sounds like my daughter.Or very similar.The holes in the walls,the pinching of the sibling,the screaming and tantrums that lasted for hours.I have dealt with this for 14 years.I am not sure what in the world to do at times.My daughter has hardly any friends.We are all afraid of her unpredictable behavior.

She is taking Vistaril and I believe Adderral.She is not gaining weight.We are thinking of getting her OT.I feel for you and hope that this helps to know that someone can empathize with you.

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Get a very good behavioral psych
by: Anonymous

I would recommend trying to see a behavioral pediatric psychologist who will help you develop a behavior treatment plan. Your daughter does need structure. Get the very best help you can.

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Support group/med info
by: Anonymous

You should join a support group on The Balanced Mind Foundation. They are an online organization for parents dealing with exactly what you described. I have a son who is 18, dx bipolar, adhd and I am sure he has processing issues. I have discovered that usually it takes more than one med to calm the rages or violent behavior. I am not a doctor, but if you are not seeing improvement on seroquel then you may need to find a new cocktail. I know how hard it is with the side effects. For every med my son has been on, he has taken another to combat side effects. You have to weigh it out. For us, stability was more important than weight. Try to understand that meds can change frequently, and often do. There is no exact science to this. What works for one kid can be detrimental to another. Try to keep a journal of meds and behaviors so you can bring it to the doc. Sending you strength in your journey!

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seroquil
by: Anon

My husband has BP1 and isn't medication compliant. It's so difficult, and our marriage is hanging by a thread because of it.

I just wondered if you knew the dangers of seroquil? My best friend was on it for a while and then one day it stopped her heart out of nowhere. It's very dangerous. She had no other health problems aside from depression. She took her medication one night and it killed her. Having a husband with BP, I understand the need for medication, but that one is just not worth the risk. Since she died, I did some research and found that it's killed a lot of people. Doctors will tell you that there's a small risk, but that's not true. It's a HUGE risk. Even if it seems to work (it did for my friend), it still isn't worth it.

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tantrums
by: Michelle

Crystal I feel for you. My son is 3 and he is also very abusive towards me and his sister. He doesnt like a change in routine or to be told NO. Anytime this has to happen I get myself ready for a meltdown. I try not to go anywhere with him because Im afraid of what he might do. He has had major meltdowns in the grocery store and the mall. People just give you these dirty looks and make rude comments. He looks normal as Im sure daughter does and people just think they are total brats. I am trying different things with him and I had an OT give us a sensory diet specified to him with snacks in between. I am trying to keep this as routine as possible so that he can learn to "roll with the punches". Hope you find an answer and know that you are not alone.

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utah
by: Anonymous

wow! you are a mother warrior! parenthood is not an easy job and when you have a child with special needs, who demands extra attention & effort, with other children in the mix, it can be so overwhelming and exhausting. good for you for seeking help.

i have a child with mild spd, he also has some other issues we are addressing with an occupational therapist and a naturopath.

your post begs many questions: how long has your daughter been medicated? how often is she evaluated for correct dosages? how long have these behaviors been happening? is it possible that if the sensory issues were in check and she was learning tool to effectively cope and self regulate, the behaviors would improve? (this is what i found to be the case with my son-what looked like behavior issues and lack of discipline to come, was actually his way of dealing with the sensory overload every day.)

isn't seroquel for depressive tendencies and intuniv for adhd? i'm not a doctor but i have done a lot of reading and have had family members on/off different medications similar to these for different health issues. i'm not against medication (i think there is appropriate usage and placement for them), but i think many are medicated without really addressing the root of the issue, first. i also think many children these days are over medicated.

some of these drugs are so powerful and they alter brain chemistry. do you think the medication she's on is helping? or hindering? sounds like she's fighting to be inside her own head/body. like she doesn't have the skills/abilities to cope from day to day with her environment or the people in it. do you feel that occupational therapy is helping? perhaps it would be worth it to you to seek out alternative types of things to try with her. i've had my son on 'brainlink' and other natural supplements which don't have such side effects and have noticed big improvements with him. not telling you what to do, only suggestions. :)

good luck in your efforts. these kids are gifted and special in so many ways. they are ours because we know how to help them best-and if we don't we are to advocate for them and help them find the tools they need to be successful and happy in life. bless you.


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thank you
by: crystal c

Debbie,

I appreciate your prayers. We have done four inpatient hospitalizations and countless med changes. We are really to the point where the bi-polar component is fairly well managed but we are left with the SPD that is out of control despite her sensory diet. Often something sensory will spill over into something mental health. ugh.

Crystal

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disciplline
by: Debbie

Wow!! Crystal, I just want to say I will be praying for you and your child. I have a 15 month grandson with SPD and other genetic problems. He already has temper fits and the developmental pediatrician has recommended ABA(behavioral) therapy. I can see why it is important to start early. What you do with a 12 year old child the size she is, is beyond me. Can she control herself with other people? Does she need a medication change or does she actually need some inpatient treatment?? She is very abusive in her behavior to you and your son. I am sure I will get some disagreement on this but this is just my first reaction.It is a terrible position to be in.

Debbie

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