I'm straying quite a bit from my usual self reliance and food posts to talk a little about my daughter. EG is almost 12 & from the time she was about two I knew something was different about her. She was high strung like no other child I have ever seen. She didn't require much sleep either, among other troubling things. I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was, so I asked everyone who came in contact with her if they noticed anything. Not that I was fishing for anyone to agree, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't crazy. Most people were polite & just said it was her age and she'd grow out of it. I truly hoped she would. By the time she entered pre-school, I knew I couldn't possibly be the only person who noticed it. Finally my sister and grandmother both told me they had issues whenever they kept her. She couldn't keep still, fidgeted, jumped on furniture & talked non-stop. That part didn't bother me as much as the defiance. She was a child that wasn't going to listen no matter what.
When I asked her daycare provider (she went to our public school's pre-school program during the day), I was assured "She's just a normal kid." Well I didn't say she was abnormal, just questioned how she acted while there. I wanted to see if this was only taking place at home. Looking back, I really think they were afraid I'd pull her out. Once she reached kindergarten, things only got worse. Again, I questioned her teacher ever so delicately about her behavior & was hit in the face with "Your child doesn't have ADD." Wow, I never even assumed nor asked, just an observation over the years that my child was indeed different from most "normal" kids and again was trying to determine if she was only like this at home.
I was finally able have EG tested and she was diagnosed as ADHD, scoring high in impulsiveness & defiance (this didn't actually shock me). We started with therapy & no medication. That didn't work & it was over an hour drive to the hospital. We switched back to the pediatricians and maintained this for a few years, with her being on medication. Finally we switched to a local pediatric psychiatrist, which lasted for about a year. She went through counseling & seeing the doctor. They did NOTHING to help her our us. They thought she was bi-polar. We finally gave up & went back to the pediatrician again for maintenance medication. I have thought all along (just to clarify I do NOT have a degree in psychiatry) that she exhibits almost EVERY symptom of ODD. The last psychiatrist brushed this off.
Things are finally coming to a head again with her behavior at home and school. Kids are teasing her, bullying her & just being plain mean to her. She doesn't handle her anger well, so this is resulting in outbursts. Kids that used to be her friend are calling her annoying. Her teachers are saying she isn't turning in work & is discourteous...not at all how she was brought up. Today we meet with her pediatrician in order to gather a paperwork trail for her appointment with a new psychiatrist next month (the earliest I could get her in). That will be followed up by weekly therapy appointments, which means she will miss a great deal of school...the same school that just suggested to me mere weeks ago that I get her back into therapy, because they may or may not have time to "talk" to her during the day if she was having trouble with any anger.
I feel like I've failed because I should've pushed harder for a better diagnosis a long time ago, I should have sucked it up & taken her to the best psychiatrist I could find...instead I let the other things on my plate overshadow my child's needs and it has cost me and my family. I'm hoping we can get some results. I don't want my child to be the most popular kid in the school, but what I do want is for her to have some real friends, friends that call her up or even invite her over to play. I want teacher's to tell me how great she's doing in class instead of pointing out how much she talks or how many assignments she has failed to turn in. I want people to be proud of her and I want her to come to me & tell me what she wants to be when she gets older, instead of telling me which jobs she won't have because she can't deal with other people.
Is that too much to want as a parent?