Looking for solutions to stop my daughter from faking siezures for attention in public

Shawni - posted on 10/18/2009 ( 10 moms have responded )

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Hi, My name is Shawni. I have been a single mom for about nine years now. My daughter is almost nineteen, and feels if things are not going exactly her way. She will stage a outlandish behavior that may or not appear to be a seizure. I am beside myself with her behavior, because I am put in a position where I don't know weather to believe her or hold a position that would not encourage it.
My daughter was born with Multiple disabilities, MMR, Epilepsy, Cerebral Ataxia. I have had her seizures under control for six years, but I am still on edge for warning signs. She has been totally off her meds for approximately 2 years now and really hasn't had any signs other than the ones she stages. I know they are stagings because she is absolutely fine within minutes after, and before when they were real she would sleep, or be very disorientated. Another problem with her staging these episodes is that I am much smaller than her and I suffer from disc problems, and fibromyalgia, so trying to get her physically, to and from places, carries the risk of me hurting myself. I agonize at the thought that it may have become the time to place her in a group home, because I am the only one she has. But, at the same time, she is not comprehending the repercussions of her actions. I have tried different punishments like taking her favorite things away, and disallowing her to engage in activities, but that has only lead me to cause her to recluse herself without remorse now.

I guess my Question is: What would you do? I am wide open for suggestions right now! Please help me solve this before she puts me in to the nut house.

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Shawni - posted on 11/07/2009

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Hello ladies,

Thank You for all your great advice. I apologize for not replying sooner, but life has it's crazy ways of consuming our time. It has been a trying time for my daughter and I, but I have chosen a tougher love approach with her, as Dawn and Irena encouraged me. I have tried these before, but have become more persuasive in my efforts. I have slightly emotionally detached myself from her, only to prove that I am not going to play her games anymore. This is tough for me to do, but feel it to be necessary for my mental stability, so I will not be caught off guard again. I am meeting her basic needs, as I have informed her that it is time for her to grow up. Tiffany you are absolutely correct! I don't want to traumatize her. She has been through a lot already for a child her age. She lost two brothers to a car accident when she was 10. Her dad walked out on us three months later, and she has been dealing with the peer pressures that evolve with having disabilities. I am the only one she has left in her life and can't abandon her. Abandonment is already one of the biggest issues we are left to deal with. I do plan on her transition to be gradual if at all. i have many concerns now with the services that are going to be available to people like my daughter. Especially with the most recent budget cuts that are in the works for cutting a multitude of services. I have one last vice that seems to be my best defense with her, and that is her tv time. Any behavior that she displays that is inappropriate. She loses tv. She doesn't do her chores, she loses tv. I have met with the school and service providers and we are working on a transition plan for next year that will put her in a half day school and half day work study program that she will earn money. It will take time but I believe in the long run. It is what is best for her longevity. I am just gonna have to tough it up and see us through this trying time.

Thank You all once again!
Shawni

Tiffanny - posted on 10/29/2009

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Wow so your saying tell no show this person with an intellectual disability if you as my daughter have a behavior to get my attention then I will as your mother and primary caregiver take a bag of your clothes and drop you and the bag off to complete strangers with no idea on when I will see you again? THAT IS TRAUMATIC AND TERRIBLE!!!! I read the whole post and yes it takes work alot of times from outsiders but you have no idea what TRAUMA it causes a regular person let alone a person with a disability to just drop them like a bad habit to strangers and call it good!!! That is not a learning experience it is abandonment, neglect and abuse!!! Yes you can TRANSITION your child to a group home in a healthy way and maintain contact and receive good care for your child and you and your childs relationship but PLEASE don't just drop them off as you suggested, you have no idea how many times this has affected that person badly they have even become institutionalized many many times because they cannot cope or understand what has happened EVER!!!!! Please get help and transition and try what you can then of course work with the potential home and get your child familiar with the staff then they can move in, it is what is best!!! Please Go to Dave Hingsburgers web site every parent with a child who has a disability of any kind can purchase a booklet that will positively affect you trust me I've seen him twice in person and wow he is brilliant!!! Now reading his books!!!

Irena - posted on 10/25/2009

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Hi Shawni,
I agree with Dawn, that ignoring the behavior and not accepting it is best. If she's not getting your attention..hopefully this will end. My son shakes his head back and forth and it DRIVES ME CRAZY. He does this voluntarily to get my attention and it's really hard to ignore it-especially in public.

Kristy - posted on 10/25/2009

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Well tiffany if you would have read the entire post she's already said that she's taken away her favorite things to do and so forth,so you giving her that advice she's already done. This type of behavior is just not right. IF she has to give her child tough love which is what most parents are having to do now a days, than do so. Pack some clothes in a bag for her and hide it in your closet, find a place where you would most likely take her for a place to stay for behavior issues, such as a group home. Next time she has a fake episode,take the bag into the car, slam the door, and snatch her up and put her into the car, and drive to the place. I bet that will make her stop. To let her know you are not joking anymore. We havent seen you reply back to this post, so please do so, Im curious on the outcome

Dawn - posted on 10/21/2009

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Hi Shawni, I am a mom to a son with Downsyndrome and Epilepsy, Synkopee and also has a brain anurism but he is also a stuborn smart mouthed 27 year old that is smarter then almost anyone I know. He also fakes seizures. At first I thought he could not controll them but have learned over the last year that he sure as hell can (sorry excuse the language). I have also tried taking things away to even include his color books lol but I have also found that if I just tell him to knock it off that I know he is faking it he then will just stop and go on to something else. It works for me especially if I just ignore them and walk away because as you know you do know when they are real and when they are fake. After a while your daughter will realize that continuing to do this just upsets you and also gets her nothing that she really wants as long as you dont give into what she is doing. Good Luck Dawn

Tiffanny - posted on 10/21/2009

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I have worked with a variety of different developmental disabled adults for 12 years. I do this work because I love the clients I work with!!! You could ask your regional center for a behavior consultant absolutely. If I were you first you know she's faking the seizure so back off, don't physically do anything its easier on you and she won't likely hurt herself as this behavior is for your attention. I know your embarassed as I have been there myself but always remember it is not you that is doing this it is your child who has a disability and in my opinion there is no shame in that for you or her it is what god has blessed you with and people will either understand or not!!!! I would ignore her but explain to those who come up to help not to give her attention. Before you take her somewhere I would tell her O.K. I want to take you here and do this with you doesn't that sound like fun? O.K. if you decide to pretend to have a seizure then I have to stop the fun no toys no fast food whatever it is she's receiving from the trip out so I can make sure your O.K. Give her behavior back to her!!! Your ok your healthy we finish the trip. You fake a seizure then instead of food and shopping I must take care of you because you are more important to me you get the picture. It's you manipulating her for the best outcome :) However I also would like to say that she is a grown up and her being in a group home is absolutely going to be great for her to continue growing and you to move on to the next stage in your life. I love the parent that is still active but not overbearing and unwilling to here that their child with a disability is growing up, yes it happens even with those with disabilities. You would be surprised at how many didn't know that.

Irena - posted on 10/21/2009

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First thing, I would rule out seizure activity completely. Are you positively sure that she is faking this? This reassurance would put you at ease and eliminate the power struggle if she knows that YOU know they aren't real. I would tell her that this is concerning to you and that the next time she has an "episode" you'll have to schedule her for an EEG. Then, really do it. This may deter her behavior if this is all for show.
The EEG will shed some light on the seizure activity and can put this act to rest.
I know there are some types of seizures that can dissipate quickly, happen without drowsiness, and some you may not realize are even happening if you are used to one kind of response. I have taught children with Grammal seizures, and sometimes it seems they are "aware" of what is going on..Better safe than sorry I guess.

Faith - posted on 10/19/2009

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From what I have read Psudo Seizures are real seizures, just without the brain firing off abnormal elecrical activity. 99% of patients with Psudo Sezures don't know they are doing this, so to punish them would do no good.



Seeing a phycologist is a good idea. I would say because she does have a history of REAL epileptic seizures, to watch for those as well because they can return later in life.



I have Left Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and my so has seizures as well He is on Keppra and while I have not had to deal with this issue a friend of mine has.



Her Daughter was dx at age 9 month's is now 11, still on medicine for REAL seizures, however I have seen her with my own eyes do this very same thing because she was not getting her way. It's like she can trigger them. It must be a built in thing kids have (like a tempure tantrum).



Her mom would say "Time for school" and the child would act funny an flutter her eyes and studder (but could answer every question and when was told to stop she would say " I am"). Then the mom would say if you don't stop you cant (fill in the blank with whatever fun thing was to happen the following weekend)...Once that happened, she would get dressed and act as if she was back to normal. It was very frustrating.



Now I know your child is much, much older and teens are very different.



I hope things work out for you and your daughter.

Kristy - posted on 10/18/2009

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I would seek a physcologist to be honest with you. Obviously there is something that has triggered this type of attention inside of her brain, letting her know that its ok to do these types of things. Im sure she is already on medication for these types of seizures, however I would check to see if there is a bi polar issue going on, try to find some medications that will not conflict. Also if you have already thought about sending her off somewhere, maybe you should not threaten it any longer, just go ahead and do it. let her know that this type of disorder is not something to play with. Possibly try getting her into a counseling place where people have the same disorder as she does.

Kristy - posted on 10/18/2009

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I would seek a physcologist to be honest with you. Obviously there is something that has triggered this type of attention inside of her brain, letting her know that its ok to do these types of things. Im sure she is already on medication for these types of seizures, however I would check to see if there is a bi polar issue going on, try to find some medications that will not conflict. Also if you have already thought about sending her off somewhere, maybe you should not threaten it any longer, just go ahead and do it. let her know that this type of disorder is not something to play with. Possibly try getting her into a counseling place where people have the same disorder as she does.

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