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Old 06-08-2009, 07:42 AM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,434 posts, read 41,620,437 times
Reputation: 46994


My first post here...Mary Grace was adopted from Vietnam at 7 months so she spent her first precious months in an institution with very little interaction. She had delayed speach and some sensitivity integration issues but has just been released from IEC for next year. She is a bit slow and doesn't like homework and will be in summer school.
She has a sister, madelyn, also adopted from Vietnam who is 4 months older. They are like night and day. Madelyn is uber smart, advanced in everything and very helpful around the house and in many ways helps me with Mary Grace-tells me what she is doing wrong, helps with her toothbrush, reads to her, etc.
Lately we have discovered MG is biting her upper arm to the degree it leaves a nasty red mark. We've noticed it before. We just moved -in march- to a new house and state and things have been in flux but MG was doing this before the move. I must add I've had serious health concerns and our move was almost 2 years in the making with alot of financial streess and worry.
Should I be concerned to get help for MG? Will she outgrow this. the first thing to come to mind was the natural progression to cutting herself. Generally she is a healthy happy kid with many friends in school and the nieghborhood. She is loving and kind and very sweet. We love her dearly.
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:55 AM
199 posts, read 569,445 times
Reputation: 108
Your situation is very unique adn I think you should talk to yoru pediatrician about it. They are pretty good with fig out how you should react or refering you to someone who knows. I think Prfessional help will help because something is causing the little girl to hurt herself.

I hope you will be able to figure out the best course of action..and I hope I have not come across as being rude either...
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:41 AM
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 33,329,150 times
Reputation: 7038
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
She has a sister, madelyn, also adopted from Vietnam who is 4 months older.

I assume you mean that she is her sister by way of their common adoptive parents?
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:40 AM
2,893 posts, read 5,165,880 times
Reputation: 1973
My kids tried that once. My response:

"That looks like it hurts."

They don't do it anymore because it never got a good reaction from me.
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:56 AM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,434 posts, read 41,620,437 times
Reputation: 46994
yes they are sister by adoption. no you weren't rude. I want suggestions. I don't think adoption has too much to do with itr but thought the background would be helpful.
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Old 06-08-2009, 02:04 PM
Location: Rocket City, U.S.A.
1,806 posts, read 4,993,535 times
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Kudzu - have you asked her about it?

Is your Pediatrician well-versed in I.A.? I'm not suggesting you look for a problem where there isn't one, but if daughter already had post-institutional issues, it may manifest itself differently as time goes on. It may not be noticeable until it takes on a new form.

Then again, stress is contagious. Fear will feed in to this. Your health, finances and shared worries of may be the source.

Talk to your Pediatrician and a qualified therapist if it does not stop...but make sure they have some experience with attachment and disorder...also reach out to your local adoption support groups, as someone may have experienced the same thing or have spot-on advice.

My daughter hurt herself almost continuously for the first two years together, liked to cause injury...would toss herself against objects and jump from chairs without bracing her fall...slam her head against the wall. But the only one she bit was me. Yet, from the outside, everything looked fine...

(Patience. Much patience. And a healthy dose of research and attachment parenting.)

Last edited by 33458; 06-08-2009 at 02:17 PM..
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Old 06-08-2009, 06:37 PM
Location: Middle America
35,817 posts, read 39,346,783 times
Reputation: 48613
Compulsive self-injurious behavior is a trait in various developmental disabilities and syndromes. It can't hurt to talk to a professional about it, and learn strategies to deal with it.
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Old 06-08-2009, 06:48 PM
Location: Dunwoody,GA
1,861 posts, read 4,554,426 times
Reputation: 1932
I agree with the other posters. I would consider seeing a therapist who has experience in international adoptions and developmental disabilities. I probably would also want to have her tested by a psychologist to see exactly where she falls intellectually and whether she has any undiagnosed learning disabilities.

Some of this could be a reaction to stress and a change of routine with your recent move and your own health issues. She may need some help from a behaviorally-oriented therapist to help her with more appropriate coping strategies and to help you know how to manage the behavior when it does happen.

If worse comes to worse, consider consulting with a child psychiatrist to discuss possible medication options. Unless it's chronic and severe, that may not be necessary though.
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