Does anyone have any idea what could be going on

Ok so I'm going to try and keep this as short as possible because it could go on for days if I included every detail. We have an almost 3yo girl who we cannot for the life of us figure out what is wrong with. I have scoured the internet for months and she doesnt fit into any 1 disorder, she has biys and pieces of many things. I'll try to compile the best list I can:
▪︎She has the facial features of a child with fetal alcohol syndrome, except rather than a small head, her head is absolutely enormous. Like unproportional to the rest of her body and it is totally flat in the back, and her body just did start to grow in the last couple months. She was turning 2yo still wearing 9-12mo size clothes.
▪︎She started speaking/saying words and then abruptly stopped saying anything at all for about 6mo, and now she speaks and tells and talks in sentences like a normal child about half the time, and then boom, out of nowhere she either will not speak at all and just stares at you with a blank or hateful look or she will half way whisper/speak extremely soft to where her voice goes in and out and only says one word.
▪︎She has begun to tiptoe walk
▪︎she obsesses over bodily functions, any time she plays with dolls or stuffed animals she pokes around on their groin/bottom and just keeps repeating either "baby poop" "baby pee" or "ew, nasty, nasty poop, nasty baby poop" and has been caught playing in her own poop/pee before or trying to, or pulling soiled paper out of the bathroom trash and playing with it or wiping it on her face. Her bio mom has complained of her constantly taking off her diaper and throwing her poop everywhere or taking it off and pooping and peeing on things.
▪︎She knows how to use the potty, and spent an entire week completely out of diapers, in panties and accident free even over night, and has known how to use the potty for close to a year and completely regressed and refuses to use the potty at all now.
▪︎she rocks back and forth and repeats words or phrases non stop
▪︎she's very sneaky and will watch you intently if she wants to do something she isn't allowed to do and will wait till the moment you take your eyes off of her to do things she shouldn't and then runs and tries to pretend she wasnt doing it when you look at her
▪︎she hits, and lies about being hit. She will sit on the other side of the room from her sister and point at her and say "she hit me"
▪︎she walks face first into EVERYTHING and hits her head on everything. She walks face first into walls and tables and when she lays down to go to sleep she gets right up to her pillow and then flops and slams her head into the wall and then lays completely against the wall on her pillow
▪︎she behaves inappropriately with toys and her hands, we don't see any signs of abuse, we suspect maybe she has seen the actions on tv somewhere or seen someone else behaving inappropriately
▪︎shes extremely destructive
▪︎she physically can not be still if she's awake. The only time she is still is if shes asleep, she canca even sit still in your lap to read a book. She rolls and flips and gets up on the couch and then back in the floor back and forth and walks in circles, she won't sit and play in one spot either
▪︎she acts like an absolute nut any time there are new people present or in public, like, snorted a line of sugar and chugged an energy drink looking behavior. Reaches in people's plate, throws people's plates in the floor, climbs on tables, knocks stuff over, yells over people and laughs, ignores instruction, gets in people's face, hits etc
▪︎she tries to eat everything, food, fastfood, socks, toys..
▪︎she has an insatiable thirst
▪︎was hyper as she is, sometimes out of the blue she will stop what shes doing and stand/sit totally still and just stare at you, like not a normal stare either, I mean she stares like shes imagining ripping your face off. Its creepy as :censored2:. An absolutely terrifying and hateful expression on her face. I've had nightmares about it.
▪︎she has been hitting every single milestone extremely late
▪︎she is horribly clumsy/ uncoordinated, will walk straight off the end of the porch and fall without learning[she'll do it again and act surprised that she fell every time]
▪︎she hasn't established ANY object permanence yet. If she watches someone walk into another room or they simply walk behind her, she has no idea where they've gone and will ask over and over again where they are.
▪︎she has no attention span at all, the kid can't pay attention to save her life
The most concerning part of all of this is that it's inconsistent. Like, she absolutely has control over most of this behavior. She behaves very well sometimes and for certain people, and then sometimes or for some people she is absolutely horrid. So that is what stumps me the most. She exhibits so many signs of autism, adhd, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), etc. But it's intermittent. Wth is that? Theres no such thing as part time autism.
 

beebz

Member
Wow, am I correct that this is not your biological child? I cannot comment on anything but the flat head. I had a friend when I was very young, who got pregnant and could not mother at all. There was no connection between her and the baby. The baby laid on its back its whole life that I knew them. His head was flat and wide and to me it was so obvious. I was young also, but someone should have took that child from her. It was painfully obvious that the child was "not present" in its surrounding as a result of zero human interaction or motherly connection or human touch. I use to read Dr Dobson for many years and all his books; I recall a study of an "untouched" human (baby) and the results from it. I can't remember it all . I just think to myself, how could a "study" have been done? Thats abuse?! But, humans have been used from time to time for "studies".
I am not a Dr and should not be commenting on this at all. Time for a visit to the Mayo Clinic.
hugs~beebz
 

Deni D

Well-Known Member
If this were my child I would find a way to get her a full neurological and neuropsychological work up.
There were a number of things you mentioned which seem to point to absence seizures. She probably has more than that going on too though.
 
That is correct, she is my step daughter. That makes total sense and could possibly explain some of her.... awkwardness. Her mother doesn't have a single motherly instinct in her body and has never bonded with her and always did leave her strapped into her carseat all day every day despite what we had to say, never attempted to breastfeed, and always treated her as if she was a burden. She was the only parent in her life until she was 9 months old. My husband and I had to take her to court to make her allow him to be in her life and then we kept fighting until we got 50/50 custody and we are working on full. The poor girl has a serious aversion to affection too, she doesnt snuggle or cuddle at all and acts super weird if you try, like it's uncomfortable to her. She's very noticeably off and her mom isn't doing anything at all to help it, and seems to make it worse and she acts her complete worst for her mom and her moms babysitter and moms family. Bio mom treats her like she's the devil and even the pediatrician mentioned that. It's sad. I hadn't thought about all the problems coming from a lack of human contact and interaction
 
Wow, am I correct that this is not your biological child? I cannot comment on anything but the flat head. I had a friend when I was very young, who got pregnant and could not mother at all. There was no connection between her and the baby. The baby laid on its back its whole life that I knew them. His head was flat and wide and to me it was so obvious. I was young also, but someone should have took that child from her. It was painfully obvious that the child was "not present" in its surrounding as a result of zero human interaction or motherly connection or human touch. I use to read Dr Dobson for many years and all his books; I recall a study of an "untouched" human (baby) and the results from it. I can't remember it all . I just think to myself, how could a "study" have been done? Thats abuse?! But, humans have been used from time to time for "studies".
I am not a Dr and should not be commenting on this at all. Time for a visit to the Mayo Clinic.
hugs~beebz
New That is correct, she is my step daughter. That makes total sense and could possibly explain some of her.... awkwardness. Her mother doesn't have a single motherly instinct in her body and has never bonded with her and always did leave her strapped into her carseat all day every day despite what we had to say, never attempted to breastfeed, and always treated her as if she was a burden. She was the only parent in her life until she was 9 months old. My husband and I had to take her to court to make her allow him to be in her life and then we kept fighting until we got 50/50 custody and we are working on full. The poor girl has a serious aversion to affection too, she doesnt snuggle or cuddle at all and acts super weird if you try, like it's uncomfortable to her. She's very noticeably off and her mom isn't doing anything at all to help it, and seems to make it worse and she acts her complete worst for her mom and her moms babysitter and moms family. Bio mom treats her like she's the devil and even the pediatrician mentioned that. It's sad. I hadn't thought about all the problems coming from a lack of human contact and interaction
 
Ok so I'm going to try and keep this as short as possible because it could go on for days if I included every detail. We have an almost 3yo girl who we cannot for the life of us figure out what is wrong with. I have scoured the internet for months and she doesnt fit into any 1 disorder, she has biys and pieces of many things. I'll try to compile the best list I can:
▪︎She has the facial features of a child with fetal alcohol syndrome, except rather than a small head, her head is absolutely enormous. Like unproportional to the rest of her body and it is totally flat in the back, and her body just did start to grow in the last couple months. She was turning 2yo still wearing 9-12mo size clothes.
▪︎She started speaking/saying words and then abruptly stopped saying anything at all for about 6mo, and now she speaks and tells and talks in sentences like a normal child about half the time, and then boom, out of nowhere she either will not speak at all and just stares at you with a blank or hateful look or she will half way whisper/speak extremely soft to where her voice goes in and out and only says one word.
▪︎She has begun to tiptoe walk
▪︎she obsesses over bodily functions, any time she plays with dolls or stuffed animals she pokes around on their groin/bottom and just keeps repeating either "baby poop" "baby pee" or "ew, nasty, nasty poop, nasty baby poop" and has been caught playing in her own poop/pee before or trying to, or pulling soiled paper out of the bathroom trash and playing with it or wiping it on her face. Her bio mom has complained of her constantly taking off her diaper and throwing her poop everywhere or taking it off and pooping and peeing on things.
▪︎She knows how to use the potty, and spent an entire week completely out of diapers, in panties and accident free even over night, and has known how to use the potty for close to a year and completely regressed and refuses to use the potty at all now.
▪︎she rocks back and forth and repeats words or phrases non stop
▪︎she's very sneaky and will watch you intently if she wants to do something she isn't allowed to do and will wait till the moment you take your eyes off of her to do things she shouldn't and then runs and tries to pretend she wasnt doing it when you look at her
▪︎she hits, and lies about being hit. She will sit on the other side of the room from her sister and point at her and say "she hit me"
▪︎she walks face first into EVERYTHING and hits her head on everything. She walks face first into walls and tables and when she lays down to go to sleep she gets right up to her pillow and then flops and slams her head into the wall and then lays completely against the wall on her pillow
▪︎she behaves inappropriately with toys and her hands, we don't see any signs of abuse, we suspect maybe she has seen the actions on tv somewhere or seen someone else behaving inappropriately
▪︎shes extremely destructive
▪︎she physically can not be still if she's awake. The only time she is still is if shes asleep, she canca even sit still in your lap to read a book. She rolls and flips and gets up on the couch and then back in the floor back and forth and walks in circles, she won't sit and play in one spot either
▪︎she acts like an absolute nut any time there are new people present or in public, like, snorted a line of sugar and chugged an energy drink looking behavior. Reaches in people's plate, throws people's plates in the floor, climbs on tables, knocks stuff over, yells over people and laughs, ignores instruction, gets in people's face, hits etc
▪︎she tries to eat everything, food, fastfood, socks, toys..
▪︎she has an insatiable thirst
▪︎was hyper as she is, sometimes out of the blue she will stop what shes doing and stand/sit totally still and just stare at you, like not a normal stare either, I mean she stares like shes imagining ripping your face off. Its creepy as :censored2:. An absolutely terrifying and hateful expression on her face. I've had nightmares about it.
▪︎she has been hitting every single milestone extremely late
▪︎she is horribly clumsy/ uncoordinated, will walk straight off the end of the porch and fall without learning[she'll do it again and act surprised that she fell every time]
▪︎she hasn't established ANY object permanence yet. If she watches someone walk into another room or they simply walk behind her, she has no idea where they've gone and will ask over and over again where they are.
▪︎she has no attention span at all, the kid can't pay attention to save her life
The most concerning part of all of this is that it's inconsistent. Like, she absolutely has control over most of this behavior. She behaves very well sometimes and for certain people, and then sometimes or for some people she is absolutely horrid. So that is what stumps me the most. She exhibits so many signs of autism, adhd, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)), etc. But it's intermittent. Wth is that? Theres no such thing as part time autism.

I would love to get a full work up and scans on her but her bio mom is withholding insurance info and medical history, against court orders, so we can't do much until we get back in front of the judge and hope they find her in contempt. Unfortunately, the judge believes her to just be a "new mom" trying to figure things out and doesn't see what damage she's causing
 
We do know that mom smoked cigarettes and drank frequently and still went to the bar throughout the pregnancy, but mom also played with ouija boards while pregnant and told us a psychic told her the baby was cursed
 

ksm

Well-Known Member
I agree that there is a lot going on with this child.

Do you know if her vision is good? That might explain her walking in to things, not noticing where people went to, and falling off the porch...

I would assume there are some attachment issues. If you have 50 50 custody, can you take the child to the regular pediatrician and mention your concerns? I wouldn't bad mouth the mom... They should have the ins on file. Does the child have state insurance? Does the mom work?

Do you have Head Start type programs?

Ksm
 

AppleCori

Well-Known Member
Hi and welcome!

Can you put her on dad’s insurance now that you have 50/50 custody?

Have you taken videos of her concerning behaviors to show the pediatrician, the judge, social services, whoever you can meet with?

I would take her to the pediatrician, even without an insurance card. She needs to be assessed and given interventions.
 

Nandina

Member
Many of those behaviors my adoptive son, who is on the autism spectrum had. (He’s now almost 19) His mother also drank and abused drugs during pregnancy and particularly during the first trimester when his brain was developing. She was incarcerated during the rest of her pregnancy so he was not born addicted.

The flat head is most likely from being left on her back. Even children who don’t have issues or neglect can have flat heads in back because mothers have been told that it’s unsafe for them to sleep on their stomachs. (contrary to when I had kids— they recommended stomach sleeping!) If the babies don’t get some “tummy time,” that’s how the head will grow.

Many of the behaviors you describe can be attributed to fetal alcohol syndrome as well as neglect. I think they’re all related. The good thing is you are trying to address it early on. In my county there is a service for young children prior to entering school that can evaluate and start early interventions such as speech therapy that is part of the school system at no charge. Perhaps you have something similar in your area.

From my own experience having a child with awkwardness, clumsiness, etc. I would recommend having a pediatric occupational therapist evaluate the child. They work on issues such as balance and coordination, fine and gross motor skills, right and left brain synergy, and they do great work with children of that age. And they make it fun! That is one of the best things we ever did for our son and his coordination improved tremendously. As well as reading, and communicating in general. Since they work with aspects of the brain, through various exercises and play therapies, you may find some of the disturbing behaviors lessen as her brain becomes more balanced, so to speak.

Sometimes it is hard to diagnose a child that young and I don’t know that it is really necessary at this point unless you are trying to get school services. It is obvious she has what I would consider some brain issues that need therapy and I would stress that to my step-daughter and explain that the sooner she addresses them, or lets you...the easier it will be when this child enters school or pre-school. Believe me, if this child doesn’t get interventions soon the school experience will be a nightmare. I don't mean to scare you—It’s just that I’ve lived through it.

I wish you the very best in caring for this precious child and hope you’ll check back and let us know how things are going.
 

BusynMember

Well-Known Member
Sounds like a weird combo of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, reactive attachment disorder, autism and maybe other unknowns. I would get her on husband's insurance and take her to both a neuropsychologist AND a pediatric neurologist for a total workup, physical and otherwise. I wish I had done this.

Do you have any children younger than her? How does she treat animals?

My heart goes out to you. This obviously happened a lot during pregnancy and from lack of attention from her primary caregiver. This used to be called failure to thrive. Now it is called reactive attachment disorder.

Alcohol is poisen to a developing fetus, but you can help her to reach her potential! I am sure you will.

Prayers for all of you. Hoping for a better future for this child. I am sure that your care and kindness will make a big difference.
 

susiestar

Roll With It
You need to get a complete workup on her. Neurological, neuropsychologist, autism screening, fetal alcohol (this needs to be done by a specialist), and especially sensory integration workup by an occupational therapist. It really sounds most like a combo of fetal alcohol and reactive attachment. Recent research shows that neglect is at least as harmful as outright abuse, if not more. The time she spends with her mother MUST be very confusing to her. I would bet some of her "nasty baby poo" type play is because that is what her mother does to her. It can also be a sign of sexual abuse. I would ask a local domestic violence agency how they evaluate very young children for sexual abuse, and then go through that. Hopefully it hasn't happened, but it can and does happen even before the age of 3. This little is so damaged it breaks my heart. It is going to be extremely hard to raise her. It may not ever be safe to have other kids or even animals in the same house with her.

Other members have seen similarly disturbed children who grow up to physically and sexually harm younger siblings (or older handicapped ones), and to have them terrorize pets. I would wait to see what the evaluations say before making any plans for too far into the future. I am NOT saying that right now she is a danger. Only you can judge that. But you are dealing with a child who seems horrifically damaged by her mother, by alcohol and severe neglect and probably other things.

You may be able to get the occupational therapy assessment sooner than the other things. There is a lovely thing about some Occupational Therapist (OT) treatments. They can help change how the brain works without usuing medications. This would be for sensory integration disorders, but it can make a big difference. It also can give you a level to meet her on - the things kids are drawn to in play are usually the things that will help them as far as sensory issues. I have sensory issues and it often feels like the world is attacking me. In so many ways - textures, lights, colors, sounds, movements. Even at 5 decades into my journey, I find sensory issues to be a challenge. Not everyone is as impacted, but I think some sensory work would help, esp with the rocking, repeating, flapping. Those are self stimulating behaviors. They create the sensory input that she needs in that moment. A sensory diet would also be an amazing thing for her. That is a range of different types of sensory input that she can experience (usually on her terms/schedule). As I said, kids usually LOVE the sensory diet and the activities that give them the sensory input they need. I had a friend who's son needed movement like he was in a swing. They outfitted their basement with swings, padding, helmets, etc... because he just needed it SO MUCH. It really helped that he could jsut go swing for 10 min. Or if he was out of hand, he could be sent to the swings for however long.

If you want to learn more about Sensory Integration Disorder, read The Out of Sych Child. Also get her book The Out of Synch Child Has Fun. The first of these is more about the disorder and what it is, how it is treated, etc... The Has Fun book is full of activities to give different types of sensory input. I went through multiple copies of this book because we wore them out. They fell apart because they were so dang much fun. If I did an outside activity, I had every kid in the neighborhood in my yard (from little ones to teens), and more than a few of their parents.

The other thing I suggest is to start a Parent Report. There is an outline in the threads at the top of the forum and in my signature. It is an outline that helps you write down everything about your child, good and not so good. It is super helpful at appointments, evaluations and it can help organize things for court.
 
Just wanted to come back and post an update! She is going on 4yo now, just learned how to say her name and answer the "what's your name" question, can just now count to 5, doesn't know any of her colors, doesn't know any of her ABC's, I tried to teach her sign language (have been trying for 3 years) and she can't do a single sign, she knows how to say words but has no idea what they mean and you can't explain it to her(we try and try and she just doesn't understand) she just repeats words and phrases all day, she still plays in her poop, she hurts animals on purpose now, she tried to kill a cat a few weeks ago and her bio mom thought it was funny, my husband and I had a baby (he's 1yo now) and she has tried to hurt him since he was a couple weeks old every time you take your eyes off of her, she is mean to my daughter, she intentionally destroys everything she touches ESPECIALLY if it isn't hers, she is manipulative and sneaky and lies (which blows my mind that she has the capacity to do so when she doesn't seem to have the capacity to learn), she definitely has some sensory issues as she stims constantly in multiple ways, she's not much bigger than our 1yo so shes still not growing but she's heavier than my 6yo, she still looks and acts like a baby, her hair doesn't grow and is falling out, she has constant yeast infections and smells like rotten fish all the time and her pediatrician doesn't find it concerning, she doesn't sense pain?! I watched her stand up and fall out of a wagon and land on her head on pavement unphased, she sliced her foot open and crammed tiny rocks into it and never flinched when I dug them out and cleaned it up, she still bangs her head on things, she can be standing still and just fall (and I mean fall hard, I've never seen anything like it, she wipes out), she has got to be the clumsiest kid I've ever seen, she still eats everything in sight whether it's food or not(socks for example 🤦🏼‍♀️) and is thirsty non stop, we pulled her medical records and discovered that her mother and pediatrician have had her on antibiotics since she was 2 weeks old(so consistently on different antibiotics for over 3 years straight), the mother absolutely has zero control over her and feeds her a diet of literally nothing but pop tarts and pb&j and zip ties her into her carseat when she drives her anywhere as and locks her in her room with a key when they're home, we've reported her to CPS and they closed the case without even investigating and the mother and pediatrician both say she's totally normal and just hyper and they'll just put her on ADHD medication when she starts school. I can't take her to a new doctor or therapist for a first visit because I'm the step mother and one of them has to take her first and then authorize me and my husband just says he doesn't have time and if the mom doesn't want to do it "then it's on her if she wants to have a f-ed up kid". It's about to be the cause of our divorce, I don't know what else to do for this kid and if the parents aren't going to help her then it isn't my responsibility. I'm at a complete loss
 

susiestar

Roll With It
The antibiotics are the cause of the yeast infections. The pediatrician probably has not heard of any of her problems because the mom doesn't tell him anything. I would keep calling CPS on her mother. Or, I might not if I decided it was best for the child to not be at my house due to the risk to my other child.

I would sit down and be honest with my husband. If his child isn't going to be properly cared for, you don't want her there when her father isn't there to parent her. I would NOT take responsibility for her EVER if I was the only one with her and another child. I had a son who constantly hurt his little sister. Never his little brother, just his sister. It went on for over a decade. When they were little, I had to take my daughter with me every single time I went to the bathroom for YEARS. If I didn't, she was bruised and/or bloody when I came out. My husband took our son into the bathroom if he was alone with the kids. We made the kid stand behind the shower curtain, and it helped keep everyone marginally safe. So I understand the problem more than you think.

I would insist on some further evaluation if it was my child. If my spouse would not make his child a priority, he could see the child elsewhere. It honestly sounds like some sort of fetal alcohol to me. Either full on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or the worse and harder to diagnose fetal alcohol effects. One thing with either of these is that the brain does not develop properly. It has literal holes in it from the impact of the alcohol on the fetus. It can be super hard to properly diagnose and usually pediatricians are bad at diagnosing this type of problem. If you decide to go ahead with testing, look for a neuropsychologist. Children's hospitals usually have them. It can take months to get an appointment, so be prepared for a lengthy wait - 6 months or more is pretty typical.

This child's actual parents need to do more for her. You do not. In fact, you need to actively work to protect your other child from her. If that means she doesn't come to your house any longer, that is what is needed. It sounds harsh, but allowing her to hurt your other child is not okay. And you should not be doing more than her parents are.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
I had a baby (he's 1yo now) and she has tried to hurt him since he was a couple weeks old every time you take your eyes off of her, she is mean to my daughter,
I agree with Susie.

But more than this, I think you're on the right track. You have an escalating situation. You have responsibility but no control or authority. Your children are in danger. I think it's not out of the question to have an exit plan.
"then it's on her if she wants to have a f-ed up kid". It's about to be the cause of our divorce, I don't know what else to do for this kid and if the parents aren't going to help her then it isn't my responsibility.
I agree. Your husband can get the judge to order a neuropsychological exam. (I suggest at the Child Development Center at A Regional Children's Hospital. After the neuropsychologist exam which lasts several days, a team will evaluate the child and make specific recommendations. If your husband is not doing what needs to happen, to get a good diagnosis, necessary services, and support for you, the family, and his children, this seems to not be a workable situation.

There could be a potential legal danger, too. This child has been grossly impaired for a long while. She depends on her parents to help her access help. She can't do it herself.

And there's a greater potential risk. She could seriously hurt your daughter, your baby, or other children. CPS could become involved. The other kids could be yanked. I have heard of this.

She could start a fire. She could hurt a neighbor's child. There would then be a liability to the parents for all of this. If I am understanding this correctly, this is a potentially loaded situation. If the parents won't act, and it seems they're not, I think you have to by protecting your children.
 
Top