Extreme Tantrums... Bi-Polar, Sensory Processing or willfulnes
by Crystal C.
(Voorheesville, NY, USA)
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.