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25 Jul 2005

To Joanne E - childhood BP - long

You asked for the symptoms that my child displayed that lead to her diagnoses of EOBP. I have to stress that the diagnoses is tentative - it is not possible or wise to diagnose a child this young with anything definite - the symptoms looked a lot like BP and there is a strong family history. The treatment made a major difference in her life and her behaviour so whatever anyone wants to call it - I don't care, as long as she gets help.

Anyway, my daughter has always been very sensitive and like yours, she has an extremely vivid imagination. She pretens to be animals - will live herself totally into her role and I actually think that she would do quite well in an acting career - ha ha. She has always been extremely demanding - attention and otherwise. She could not stand to share anything with anyone. She was very violent, self harming as well as to others. She would go into "rages" - so much more than tantrums that would last for up to 4 hours at a time. During these times it was impossible to approach her since she would bite and scratch, tear her clothes off, break all her favourite things in her bedroom and if we were in a public place it took two of us to even try to restrain her and get her home. She never used to sleep much - a couple of hours per night, and only after hours of battling to get her to sleep. She would wake up screaming - she had night terrors and nightmares nearly every night. Was fascinated with death and blood and gore - totally anitsocial - did not know how to interact with children her own age and would only associate with grown ups. She had (and still has) hight anxiety levels, stresses over the strangest things. She would self harm - tear her mouth corners open and scratch her throat till she bled. Totally resistant to change - holidays were a nightmare since she cried nearly all the time. She has periods of ceaseless crying and then again periods of overly silly behaviour - talks non-stop and giggles over everything. She has expressed a desire to die a few times, told me last year to take her to the hospital so that they could kill her - that life is unfair. She would start crying about things like there are no pink flowers on the road to school and that is not fair!

She had no apetite - had to be coerced to eat but would drink fluids constantly. Overly attached to objects such as specific toys and specifically a silk cushion. She has oversensitivity to touch, light and sound - which the occupational therapy has helped a lot for. She won't wear anything that fits thightly or like denim material that is not soft on her skin and socks and shoes are a nightmare for her.

There are so many other things - the little rituals that she follows when brushing teeth, eating or playing - she likes things ordered, makes her feel safer I guess. Since being on Risperdal and getting therapy of all kinds much of these symptoms are not either gone or lessened. She is still oversensitive and imaginative - she is extremely arty and creative - a plus side to the dramatic nature of her personality. She draws beautifully and does pottery at school (she is in grade 1) She loves stories and reading. Problem is that she "becomes" the characters in a story and gets so hooked that it becomes a bit of a problem. She is very smart and learns so easily - her emotional IQ is more of a problem. She has problems reading others and responding appropriately, role play has helped quite a bit with this.

I try to encourage her to be more "grown up". I printed some reward charts etc off the internet on Friday and started a program where she gets to colour in spots etc for certain tasks like brushing her own teeth and bathing herself - will work on a couple of skills at a time. She is very excited about this and since Saturday she has been trying her best to do these things herself. She even helped me in the kitchen yesterday! She gets merit cards for these tasks and eventually she will get rewards. I just sometimes get tired of having to keep this up and just wish that she could be a happy go lucky kid - but then I am not so what do I expect?

There is a history on both my side and my husband's side of the family of mental illness - I have learnt to accept people with all their quirks - none of us are perfect. I believe that the more positive "help" my child receives now, the more functional she will be as a grown up - and the more understanding of other's faults. I am starting to feel that I may also need to be evaluated - I tend to depression quite a lot with very high anxiety levels. Oh well.

My daughter is in a small private school that work with children with special needs - it is working very well for her at this stage - they are responsible for so much of the positive changes in my child. They do encourage her creativity and value her abilities. She gets a lot of individual attention and they are understanding of her moods. The teacher commented that she is just seeing a lot of instability in my daughter at the moment. I have a parents evening later this week and will know more of what they are facing then.

It may be worth it to take your child to a developmental pediatrician that could tell you if and what is "wrong" with your child. It may be nothing - he may just be a sensitive, imaginitive child - if there is something wrong though - better to attent to it while he is young enough to make a difference.

Good luck

Answer 386 views

01 Jan 0001

Bobbie is so right about the need to be really cautious when applying such diagnoses to children.
Amd Joane, reward charts may seem tacky, but can be remarkably effecive. Maybe if they work well with the child, indeed try them with your husband !
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