With her blue eyes and blonde hair, she looks like butter wouldn’t melt … but shockingly little Elise Clare was a child who at the age of three used to self harm.
When little Elise was expelled from her nursery at only 14 months old for continually pushing, biting and hurting other children, mum Jenna knew something was wasn’t right. She took Elise to several doctors to find out what was wrong and at two years old Elise was diagnosed with attachment and oppositional defiant disorder.
But the medication still didn’t help as Elise then began to self-harm by inflicting deep scratches into her own face, pulling out clumps of her own hair and biting her own arms so badly they bled and left large bruises. Now, at nearly 7 years old, Elise has been diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and the medication for all three conditions is beginning to make a difference.
It’s been a struggle but finally Elise’s parents feel they have their little angel back.
Although giving children drugs to control ADHD is controversial, the Clare family decided to go ahead: “The change has been dramatic,” says Jenna, “I was worried the drugs might change Elise’s quirky personality or make her zombie-like – but instead, it has given me back the happy little girl I had as a baby.”
Via Featureworld, Elise and mum Jenna took part in filming for ITV’s This Morning to raise awareness of this condition. It explored the pros and cons of giving drugs to children and showed another little girl whose parents are using diet to control symptoms.
The programme showed how far Elise has come – she was shown horse riding, roller skating and baking with mum – things that simply would not have been possible before the family tried drugs.
The Clare family’s story has now been placed with a national newspaper.
Jenna says: “I really wanted to get this story out there to give hope to other families suffering from the same condition. Elise might have to take the drugs for life but it’s great to have my daughter back.”