Everyday Challenges in Dealing With Special Needs Children

We watched Cinderella last night as a family. The kids were laughing and have a great time. But, then it was like someone flipped a switch and my sweet, happy eleven year old became a terror. She was saying things that she knew would hurt us, disobeying us, and playing parent against parent. Jaina is behind academically and socially but when it comes to being clever, cocky, hormonal, and all other matters, she acts the age. I have been at my wits end lately, we all have. She has been pushing buttons, going past boundaries, being disrespectful to everyone, including strangers, and it is only getting worse. She has been through a traumatic ordeal with her mother and step-father (I am her step-mother, and she has been living with us for a few months), and everyone has "babied" her from the beginning, which caused more harm than good. It has crippled her. But, as she gets older, her attitude and the "do as I please" gets even more out of control. She sees a counselor once a month, and will be having another counselor (one who has dealt with children with Down Syndrome before--she is more like a helper. She is from Family Preservation). This woman will be seeing Jaina three times a week in our home to help her and help us help her grow and learn and become more independent. Jaina has come along way in the past two months, academic wise and is even on the honor roll, and has multiplied her reading of words by 5 times! We work with her on her homework, and she gets one on one help at school--an added bonus, But, her behavior is becoming worse. We eliminated spanking in our home. I don't agree with it, but even the therapist said a child who has been through a traumatic ordeal does not need to be spanked. But, taking privileges away and doing a "time in" has not been helping. I appreciate therapist but too many believe that if you do this and this it will all magically go away. They see the child for 30-60 minutes. Jaina puts on a show and the woman says everything is fine. Well, it's not. So, in a desperate attempt, I went searching the internet. I came across this article:


So, mood swings are typical in kids with DS. But, we have been doing everything right. I am going to try a different approach tonight though and will see how that goes. All of Jaina's life, people have babied her. This article says not to and to encourage independence. She can wash her own hair, wipe herself, and bath herself. It took me two weeks to teach her that. But, her behavior is tiresome. She is worse when she talks to her mother and sees her, but we cannot eliminate that. And, she is starting to become aggressive. Have any of you been through this as well?

Melissa MiddletonPennington Gap, Virginia
    Comment deleted
    Melissa Middleton
    Thank you, Laura. The family preservation lady said some of it is because she is hitting preteens, which makes me fear the teen years. I hope she does not get out of control. That is my worst fear.
      I can't imagine what your going through, but I hope that the new counselor will be a good help in the right direction. Stay strong, keep trying!
        I'm sorry shes having a hard time, and giving you a hard time from it. I hope you find something helpful to help her and you. I know it must make her feel bad to flip back and forth like that.
        About Melissa Middleton
        Current: Pennington Gap, Virginia
        Birth: April 13
        On Moms.com since: Mar 21, 2014
        Mother of an active son, a precious baby girl, & a diva step-daughter (who lives with us). I am an artist, baker, organic gardener, frugal liver, & a Christian--happily married to my best-friend. Blogger at www.chasingwildhorses.com