Dancing Queen suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury in Oct. We got her in Dec. In between that time she was in the hospital recovering and going through intensive in-patient rehab. We assumed, based on her behaviors and lack of asking for mom or dad or any family, that her memory was basically gone, at that time. From the time she came home, she has had issues with respecting a person's personal space. She wants to be on someone/in someone's lap all the time. She is constantly in a person's face...she asks for hugs all the time, and when you try to disengage the hug, will say "But I love you..." She used to try to kiss on the mouth, and we've overcome that. She cannot sit on a couch, chair, floor, etc without touching whomever she is sitting by. She has no fear of strangers and will cry when a perfect stranger walks away after talking to her briefly in the store. We figure she has some form of disinhibited attachment disorder, possibly from having her memory basically erased and then spending three months in the hospital surrounded by lots of different nurses, and such.
As time has gone on, she seems to be getting her memory back, but the above personal space issues persist and have gotten worse, in a lot of areas. She also puts her hands down her pants. We didn't really worry about that part, as exploration, as far as we knew, is a normal part of being 3 years old.
Recently, she went on a 2.5 week visit to her maternal grandparents, whom she is supposed to be going to live with. When she returned, she had some behaviors, of course, as transition is hard on kids. However, the behaviors are concerning to her CASA, and now I'm wondering. Her most recent behaviors include peeing on our couch twice (She has been potty trained since the 2nd month she was here, and only peed in her bed once over night when she was really sick). And she fondled herself while sitting on the couch next to her CASA which really freaked him out. She has not fondled herself anything other time to that degree. She does still stick her hands down her pants, but usually we just tell her to stop and she does and doesn't do it again for a few days. The peeing occurred the first weekday after she came home (she came back on a weekend). It happened two mornings in a row, and that was it. When I asked her why she did it, she said "Baby", and I asked her if it was because I was taking care of the baby at the time, and she said yes.
Now, the paternal grandparents (who also want her but CPS has serious concerns) are saying DQ's mom, who is now deceased (murdered by DQ's dad), revealed to them when she was alive that DQ's maternal grandpa molested her as a child. NOthing was said before this visit.
So, after that long background here are my questions:
1. Does her lack of personal boundaries indicate she may have been sexual abused or molested (possibly by dad?) before she suffered her brain injury?
2. Do her recent behaviors indicate she may have been molested by her grandpa at the most recent visit?
Thank you.
Wow, loaded questions! I would say that yes to both, but then again, could also be no. I have a dear niece, never SA, who did the self exploration a lot at that age. She finally understood after several months that she could only do that in private, and ten eventually stopped. Likewise, attachment issues could lend to the boundary issues.
The only thing that really on concerns me in what you report is the "but I love you" piece. That is a very odd thing for a 3yo to just start saying, especially in context with the rest. I think the CASA needs to request play therapy with a very well trained therapist.
Document every example of troubling behavior you see to the caseworker and the CASA. Email the information, print it and keep it in a separate binder. You need to protect yourself in this situation.
Please ask to have the child evaluated. Take the child to a doctor if you suspect any unseemly behavior after a visit to grandma's house.
From all my training this kind of behavior is very suspicous.
It is possible, but I wouldn't jump to any conclusions. I agree that you should document anything that concerns you and ask to have her evaluated. The only thing that would be a major red flag to me are the bathroom issues, but that could also happen if the grandparents were 'babying' her during the visit. With her touching herself in front of others, she may just need to be redirected that she can do that but only in private such as in her bedroom. The problem would be if she wanted to touch others that way or asked someone if they wanted to touch her. As far as the personal space issue with always wanting to be cuddled or right in your face,that could just be her way of getting attention... Our BS is that way and has been since day one he has a hard time understanding personal space- but I love the cuddles too, lol.
The behavior seems odd to me too. My fd is 2.5 and she also is very, very clingy with me and is always asking for hugs/kisses-not just to me but to complete strangers. Is this something that is considered behaviors with attachment disorders? Its getting more and more bothersome. Not only is it exhausting to have someone be that clingy with me, but its embarassing when she asks complete strangers for a hug or a kiss (or someone she barely knows), and she even sometimes says I love you to strangers out of nowhere. I figured its probably because since her parents as well as grandparents (or any other bio family member) don't seem to want to have anything to do with her, and she's desperate to feel like she belongs with someone. Its so sad. None of the sexual stuff though-that I have noticed. I would definitely document everything!!
I would guess that the two behaviors are related. You said that she was kissing on the lips until you broke her of it. She constantly needs physical attention. To me, that means that she very likely could have been molested by biodad and thought that the inappropriate touching was a normal way of showing affections. Since you don't show any type of inappropriate affection, she goes to you for other types of physical attention, ie. hugging all the time, sitting on lap, etc.
To cover your rear, you should request the SW set you up with a therapist or counselor or even a doctor to hopefully address the issue.
Poor girl must be totally confused.
it could certainly be something from the TBI or from SA. and while this is not a terribly popular thing to say on here, you might also want to ask about attachment issues.
poor boundaries, indiscriminately seeking affection, not missing parents, peeing in inappropriate places are all issues that may show up with attachment issues.
my son has mild RAD and did all of those things and more.
these things don't necessarily mean she has RAD or other attachment related issues, but they are certainly worth discussing with a person who is qualified to diagnose the issue.