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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-19-2006
New to Message Boards :)
Wed, 07-19-2006 - 3:03pm
I am a mother of 8 children,one by birth and 7 by choice. Our 10 year old daughter Sofia has just been diagnosed with PDD/NOs, probably Aspergers. She has always had a bad temper that has just gotten worse over the years. She has become so violent we had tried everything, meds, therapy, tough love, nothing works. This led us to a psych. evaluation and the diagnosis.
I still have her 4 siblings at home and this behavior affects them greatly, it puts me in the position of having to protect them, so she of course says I love them more than her. I am having a hard time dealing with this on a personal level, I feel I am expected to walk on egg shells to keep Sofia happy so she won't have a violent episode. I don't feel able to do this for very long, there must be another answer.
Her other siblings all have some issues also, 4 have ADHD, 1 has OCD, another is a thief. So it's not like I haven't dealt with problems in the past. but I am Sofia'a target when she is angry. I am the one who takes the brunt of her beatings, I am tired of being bruised.
We have a strong adult group in the house our oldest daughter lives at home, so there are 3 adults, in the past this has been a huge help. Our kids are very active in baseball, softball and church group. I should mention so far there has only been 1 incident outside the family, where Sofia let loose the anger at school. So I guess that makes it even harder for me to take her abuse, when I know most of the time she can control it if she chooses to.
Anyone with any suggestions on how to deal with this behavior?
A Troubled Mom
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 07-19-2006 - 4:11pm

Hi and Welcome Ginny! WOW - 8 children - God bless you. I am fairly new here myself - so I don't have tons of great advise like some of the moms here will give you.....I just wanted to say hello and welcome. How old is Sofia? My aspie is Vaughn and he is 8.

You mentioned that there has only been 1 episode that has happened outside of your house......unfortunately that happens to many families of is not by your child's choice......she is being bombarded by stress, anxiety and stimuli all day long in school and she is trying to hold it together and then when she comes home, she feels safe and lets loose......unfortunately, the ones she loves and trust the most happen to become the object/targets of her rage/ is how they let off steam. My child started to have his meltdowns in took my son getting so angry/frustrated that he put his head through a glass window (by some miracle he did not get hurt - nor did anyone else) for the school to finally take my pleas for an evaluation seriously. He was evaluated within two weeks of that incident and he was put on an IEP and modifications/accommodations were put in place immediately and his stress and anxiety started to lessen and he started to have better days. My son is currently involved in several different therapies/groups trying to help him with his social/communication difficulties and with helping him manage his stress/anxiety is still a long battle ahead of us.....

There is hope......I'm sure there will be more specific advice for you and your child. Again, welcome and I hope to learn more about you and your family.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Wed, 07-19-2006 - 5:05pm

Hi Ginny,

Wow, you have a LOT on your plate! Sending you lots of cyber hugs and good wishes...

I just wanted to recommend a book to you: It's called "The Explosive Child" by Ross W. Greene (available on Amazon and major bookstores). It deals specifically with children who have that "explosive" temperament you describe. My daughter (PDD-NOS) is only 4.5, but this book completely revoluationized the way I disciplined her and dealt with her outbursts. It's very encouraging.

I also wanted to tell you that progress takes a LONG time with our kids, but it does happen! Does your daughter have an IEP? Is she receiving any services or therapy? I feel like my daughter is the most out of control when she's feeling out of control of her environment, and the therapy she's receiving (speech, OT, PT, and spec ed) has really helped her feel more in control. We still have days when she's "explosive" -- usually when she's tired, hungry, or has eaten a lot of sugar -- but for the most part she's MUCH more calm now -- I don't worry about her so much, and there isn't quite as much walking on eggshells, like you said.

HUGS!!! I know it's so hard, especially when other siblings are in the house... I only have two children, and it's STILL hard to deal with Sylvia's outbursts, so I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it is for you!

Keep us posted on how things are going...


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-19-2006
Thu, 07-20-2006 - 11:13am

Thanks so much for your thoughts and support, I know God never gives me more than I can handle, but some days are really close.
I already have ordered the book you suggested I researched some books online and it really struck me, as being what we needed.
Sofia does have IEP's but she only recieves assistance in her reading and a little in spelling, as she tests to high for any other services. She tested out of speech therapy in the school system last year. We are going for a speech eval as part of her testing for a final diagnois. Maybe that will help me help the school, our school has always been very coperative with me.
Like your daughter Sofia is most out of control, when she can't have control of a social situation. She is fast learning to play my oldest daughter and I against each other, as she will calm down and behave for Libby but not me. I also get to hear "I wish Libby was my mom, not you". So it is a hard thing to deal with. I frequently tell Sofia I love her just not some of the things she does. It is just hard for me to see what it does to her younger siblings, when is anger she says really hatefull stuff to them.
Thanks again for you support, I will work hard to learn as much as possilbe about this syndrome to help all of us deal with it, not just Sofia.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
Thu, 07-20-2006 - 11:41am


I too, have a child who is often one person at school and a completely different one at home (made it really hard to get services for him).


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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-19-2006
Sun, 07-23-2006 - 6:37pm

Hi Paula,
Thanks for your welcome. I am very new to message board all together so I hope I am doing this correctly.
I have had very good luck with my school system, working to give Sofia what she needs, so far. They pretty much allow me to choose which teacher I feel is best, as I have had numerous children through our school, it is a big help. I know which teacher will work with me on a 1 on 1 basis. The only issue I have is she doesn't quailfy, so far, for all services. She test to high for most help except for reading. I am in hope this new diagnois will help with that.
Thanks again for your welcome, Sofia is 10, will be 11 at the end of October and is going into the 5th grade.


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-19-2006
Sun, 07-23-2006 - 6:52pm
Hi Christie,
I am very new to message boards so if I screw up I apologize. My Sofia is 10 years old she will be 11 in October. She came to us through the foster care system, she was 6 mos old the first time we cared for her and she left us at 2 years, then returned at 6 years for good. She and her 2 brothers and 2 sisters that is, we just always felt these were our kids even when they did not live with us. In our house adoption means "you to get to keep me forever".
Sofia quailifies for limited services through her IEP's, she test to high for most things except for reading. I am in hopes this new diagnosis will change that. Our school system is small and has been very good about working with me on all my kids.
Thanks for your welcome and support
Avatar for betz67
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 07-26-2006 - 8:56am

(((HUGS)))) to you Ginny!

You are certainly a blessed woman to have and care for so many children! I have 5 and think I'm crazy most days!

As for the IEP. Our DS, Weston, 9 will be 10 in Aug and entering the 5th grade, has been diagnosed w/ autism. He has an IEP and recieves speech therapy, but will probably 'graduate' this year. He too tests way to high to get any academic assistance (tho through his IEP he also gets advanced/gifted math). But he does get resource 4x a week to work on social skills (this has been WONDEFUL), 2x a week it's one on one w/ the resource teacher, 2x a week it's in a group situation to practice what he's learning and to see if any other situations arrise that need to be discussed. He also gets OT, occupational therapy. This is the "tool" he uses to keep himself functioning w/o losing his cool. If he's acting more agitated or aggressive at home, I can call and talk to the OT and she'll pull Weston out of class and bring him in to talk about what stresses he's having in the classroom or at recess or where ever. Then they work on what they can do to help (he is allowed to leave the classroom and go to his "safe, quiet spot" whenever he needs to (he has a red card to show the teacher as he leaves). He also can use his 'feely' strips under his desk to help him when his skin is feeling "crawly" or if the noise in the classroom is too much. He has other things he can do to keep him from breaking all his crayons and pencils, etc. He has a behavior plan in place as well. This way the teachers know exactly what they should do if he gets out of control. Weston also knows what he can do if he gets out of control. They know at what point to take him to the assistant principal and the AP knows what kinds of things to say to help Weston gain control. They also know at what point to give me a call to come "hug" him so he feels protected from himself and them.

Our other kids have various Dx as well--ADD, ADHD, SID. I often feel I have to play referee and try to be as just and fair as I can be-- and often I have more than one child who thinks I'm playing favorites.

does she have hormones kicking in as well? that's a double whammie!