daughter with- possible ODD/Aspergers...please help

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by stressedoutmama, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. My daughter is 5 and fits the criteria for ODD. She is not ALWAYS defiant, but she displays defiant behavior at school and at home. In her mind, things sometimes have to be a certain way. If she wants to make a craft a certain way and she can't do it quite right she melts down. If she wants to do something and we tell her no then she melts down. She loses it emotionally. Sometimes this can lead to her hitting or pushing others, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it seems like she is purposely being defiant and not doing what she is told just because she is told to do it. I am using the word "sometimes" a lot because she is not consistent. There are times when she is more flexible in her thinking and more accepting of taking direction.

    My daughter also has social skill issues. She does not respects others space. She likes to be around people and other children but does not act appropriately. She wants to be in charge of everything and comes off as bossy and rude. Conversations are one-sided. She seems to lack empathy.

    She was evaluated by a developmental pediatrician. They did not evaluation my daughter very long, just talked to her for a few minutes. But the doctor talked to me and asked me tons of questions and I filled out paperwork. Results of the paperwork and discussion resulted in my daughter fitting the criteria for Aspergers, however she has not been officially diagnosed with it. She does not fit many characteristics of Aspergers. She is NOT clumsy, she does NOT have 1 area of interest that she is obsessed with, she does NOT speak in a formal tone or odd way.

    What does this all sound like to you guys? I keep reading on here about neuro pysch. Do you think we would benefit from that type of evaluation?

    She has been seeing a psychologist for play therapy and saw the devo pediatrician. and no one has ever mentioned neuro psychiatric. but I want her to be "tested" in some way. She has not been "tested" at all.

    Can a child have Aspergers and not be obsessed with a certain topic?

    I would love to hear from some parents of girls with Aspergers because there seems to be a debate about girls presenting differently than boys and since there are few girls diagnosed with Aspergers the jury is still out!

  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Mine was diagnosis'd with Asperger's, but until she's looked at more closely I'm not ruling out mine could have a non-verbal learning disability. Mine does have areas of obsession that are considered weird for a 9yro girl (dinosaurs and marine biology), but I never considered as such because I loved the same things at her age (and still do!). Mine isn't overly clumsy (key word *overly* as we're both klutzes) but she also works hard on her hand-to-eye coordination as she loves drawing. Mine is also highly explosive and inflexible, and I've started reading Ross Greene's The Explosive Child which I see recommended here time and again. So far I'm finding it very useful! During her "good days" she's also not more defiant than normal for her, but on her bad days... oh man!
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome. Things often get slow on the weekend around here so I'm responding so you won't wonder why you haven't gotten a response. I remember well the first post comes with anxiety and eagerness to have someone understand what you are living with on a daily basis. Believe me you are not alone.

    I assure you that Aspergers does not always include the behaviors you have read about. In our case, and many others on the Board, the signs are often very subtle. The lack of appropriate social interaction is almost always present. AS kids do often, however, seek adults for conversation rather than peers. As a result adult friends think you have a precocious child
    who is very friendly. It's difficult to identify in young children in my experience.

    Regarding testing the neuropsychological examination usually takes five to eight hours of various tests as well as often being interviewed by multiple experts. The results are comprehensive and usually shows a path of treatment for the child.
    I'm not sure about other places but in Florida there are centers who specialize in child and adolescent evaluation. Via the school system you can often get the evaluation done but where we live at least the school board uses a local who is not
    truly a specialist. I recommend making sure you have the money to have it done independently by an expert team.

    Well, lol, this is my version of a "short" response. Aren't you glad I had to rush? ;) You've found a wonderful group of people who will be supportive. Glad to have you. DDD
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Can a child have Aspergers and not be obsessed with a certain topic?

    Yes, of course.

    doctors don't always get a textbook description. Case reports are just that--case reports. People are individuals, regardless of diagnosis.
    Your daughter sounds a LOT like my difficult child's bio grandmother. Except she's an adult.

    One reason your daughter may be better on certain days is because she's had a better night's sleep, and she hasn't eaten anything she's allergic to. Or she's enjoying the process of something so much that a little impediment isn't that big of a deal.

    Remember, we are all individuals.

    There are lots of books out there that will give you tools to help your daughter learn to be more flexible. Sorry I'm rushing out the door--I'll be back later.
  5. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Yup they can be aspies and not obsess about one particular thing. I've got 3 aspies, 2 boys and 1 girl (my daughter is turning 9 tomorrow) and a lot of what you describe fits like a glove...how lucky for you!

    When she was small (3 and 4) my big joke was that she had "3MS" (rather than PMS) and "menofours" (as opposed to menopause). Having made friends with a woman who's daughter also had been diagnosis'd with aspergers, we often discussed how it seemed like they were "hormonal and moody" unlike the typical males that were diagnosis'd.

    Non Verbal Learning Disorder is also something to look into. Self-esteem for kids diagnosis'd with aspergers and NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) is a huge issue because they tend to be their own worst critic. Nothing is how they thought it would come out and perfection or any deviation from what they pictured in their mind is tantamount to failure. Everyone is always commenting on how "smart" they are, yet they have problems in school and outside situations. They're often more comfortable speaking to adults rather than their peers and often times have a really bossy side.

    Keep coming back, ask a lot of questions and post away! It's a great group here with a ton of knowledge and experience!

  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    This morning I realized I forgot to recomment The Explosive Child. Probably it is available at your library. This book has helped many, many parents get the right perspective on dealing with a difficult child. DDD
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sounds like Aspergers to me. Things HAVE to be a certain way. It's not their faults...it's how t heir brains are wired. They need interventions in school to help them cope with the world. Usually regular parenting styles don't work for autistic spectrum kids.
    Also a Non-Verbal learning disability and Aspergers are soooooooooooo close that there is controrversy among the medical community over that. Some believe that if you have a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) you are on the spectrum.
    ODD is not a very helpful diagnosis. It pretty much means "defiant child" but it doesn't explain WHY t he child is defiant and rarely stands alone. Even Dr. Chandler, of the Chandler papers about ODD, says that ODD rarely stands alone. Finding out the other problem is more helpful and far more treatable.
  8. Thank you so much for the replies! I have read "The Explosive Child." I thought it was a great book and made us realize we need to choose our battles. We just don't how exactly 1. manage the defiance 2. manage the "meltdown" over so many things!

    We need a plan of action and we don't have one. We praise and reward positive behavior and we have consequences for innapropriate behavior and things are not getting better. We are very consistent.

    HOW do you teach a child who has social skills deficits to act appropriately? How do you teach a child to get stop getting "stuck" on having to do something a certain way???

    And why is it that sometimes our daughter does act appropriate and plays nicely with peers? How come she seems to be able to keep it together at times and at other times lose it over the same things?

    And what is with all the crying? Some days she doesn't do this but other days (like this morning) she cried over EVERYTHING. I don't think she cries at school.

    I just want to know what to do. Thanks for listening :)
  9. Circetay

    Circetay Guest

    Hi Stressedoutmama, I'm new here myself and wish I had some advice for you but I don't. All I can say is that my daughter (who is also 5) sounds very much like yours. Everything you have written describes her. Except that she is a follower with friends, but bossy with her sister. How is your daughter doing in school? I have not heard anything bad from mine's school, in fact her teacher says she is a very pleasant child who is always willing to help. I think in kindergarten a need to always go first and to be involved in everything is seen as eagerness and not a matter of concern.

    I too am reading The Explosive Child but I am not sure how to relate it to our situation. My daughter often says she doesn't know why she acts they way she does or gives me an answer that I KNOW cannot be true. We have explosions on average of twice a day but in between she is a great child. Loving, affectionate and helpful. I just can't seem to get a handle on what sets her off or how to get through to her while she's exploding.

    If you ever figure out what to do, please let me know! And i'll do the same!
    Just wanted you to know that you are not alone.
  10. Thanks Circetay. It's nice not be alone, although I don't wish this on anyone.

    I have so many questions! HOW do you teach a child who has social skills deficits to act appropriately? How do you teach a child to get stop getting "stuck" on having to do something a certain way??? And WHO (what professional) is best at helping?

    I wonder if there is an aspergers GIRL support group?
  11. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    If there is such a group, I want in. I can tell when mine is in "vapor lock" but now I'm paying more attention to the little signs that come before it that say she's heading for it. If I ask her directly if she needs a little "room/time to think" and she's still coherent enough to answer me, I give her that space and she'll ask her own questions when she's thinking straight again. I know mine is a few years older than yours, and every kid responds differently, but they all have those give-away signals before a meltdown, it's just a matter of watching and figuring them out. I'd like to be able to head mine off before she hits the "I hate you" stage.
  12. Circetay

    Circetay Guest

    Could someone please explain vapor lock to me?
  13. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    It's how Green describes when a kid gets stuck on one thought and pretty much starts to lose coherent thought due to frustration. Kind of like an engine that won't shift to the gear you want and revving it or grinding it doesn't do anything but make it worse.