It's so nice to find a group like this. Parents who actually understand. I'm a 27 year old stay at home mom of two daughters. My 4 year old difficult child and my 2 year old easy child. difficult child... I love that abbreviation. She is certainly a gift. Sometimes I just wish she would have come with a warranty or an instruction manual... something! When I was pregnant with her. I would pray for a healthy beautiful baby, I never thought to add "well behaved" to it. She has recently been diagnosed with mood and anxiety disorder, but I have a feeling it goes much deeper. She displays quite a few of the same symptoms of Aspergers, ADHD, and ODD. I've gone through early intervention, and they recommended a play therapist. So I recently started her with a therapist. She attends preschool as well. My biggest issues with her are severe rages. I don't call them tantrums anymore. Since I had my easy child, I have learned what a "normal" temper tantrum is. My difficult child has full out, uncontrolled rages. Mostly they are triggered by discipline, or not getting her way, but sometimes it's over the smallest things... like cutting her sandwich the "wrong" way. She also has serious problems with complying to rules and doing what she is told. She is extremely defiant, back talks, and generally does not seem to care about other people's feelings. Plus, she's so angry! I've never seen a child so full and anger, and so easy to lash out at her family. She never really learned how to self soothe. And is very controlling, bossy, and manipulative. She doesn't understand the concept of personal space, and is constantly crowding people and getting to close to them. It seems like the older she gets, the more this is effecting her. There is a sweet, smart, charming girl in there. She's just getting more and more clouded by these symptoms. She doesn't seem to get the social clues, and does have a difficult time making friends. The friends she does have at school and in the neighborhood... it seems to me that it's simply kids that can tolerate her, they are the more outgoing and more patient kids who will befriend everyone. I am very happy that she is making friends... it's just that I can feel that it's not a true connection. I don't feel that true connection from her either. It's really hard to explain. It's just a lack of that connection, that spark, that you get when you look someone in the eye. She has a hard time making eye contact in general. She tells me she loves me constantly, and gives me more than enough hugs... yet I don't feel that energy from her like I do with my easy child. I'm sure it's there, she just cannot express it properly for whatever reason. I am just starting this journey, and I am sure I have a lot to learn. Things are tough now, but I have always been a "glass half full" kind of person, so I do have hope. Right now, it's just all too overwhelming. Having children this young was not a plan of mine, especially one so challenging. I like a quote I read on here somewhere, something like "you can't change the cards you were dealt, you just have to play the best hand you're given". That's what I'm working on. It's great to be able to vent... thanks for reading.