Hello folks, long time no see. I’m back for round 2 with my now newly emerging 2nd difficult child. (I forgot all the slang, have to come back up to speed) Brief recap, son was an absolute nightmare from 11 through to now, aged 22. Essentially, an undiagnosed bi-polar. I am now seeing some familiar patterns with my 7 y.o. I thought my son was mostly a product of my ex and my issues, combined with his learning delays was a recipe for disaster. So, here I am with the same learning and emotional control issues with his half-sister. Clearly it is a genetic “gift” from me. I have a supportive school and insurance so the basics are covered. The problem is finding where to start. I was hoping parents with similar difficulties could shed some light on what may be the underlying issue. Without a direction it is very hard to get the help. It seems as if finding the cause is the biggest part of the battle because so many of these situations are not textbook cases and most professionals are familiar with ADHD and not much else. I’m not asking for a diagnosis, just a clue to help approach the right experts. Most important part, I do not want to medicate my child unless absolutely necessary after all other solutions have been exhausted. Behaviors/history: *Emotional stuff: First two years of life exposed to first difficult child’s outbursts. Did witness a particularly bad physically violent incident at a yr old, police came. (alternate living arrangements were made at that point for oldest child) Had night terrors and sleep issues until the youngest shared a room with her. Also, has had to live with a mostly depressed Mom while oldest is in and out of our lives. She is an emotional kid and always sort of moody and negative. Just hard to please I suppose. *Learning stuff: Perfect copy of oldest child. Speech delay from early on. Had early intervention services for speech. Still has a speech delay after first grade but most people can understand the majority of what she says. Is still getting some speech help at school. Unfortunately the speech delay is now associated with her emerging reading/writing problems. She is noticeably at the bottom of her class and we are doing our best to nurture her along. She shouldn’t be going to 2nd grade but since she is in a very small parochial school we have some leeway. (13 kids in her class with occasional volunteer tutors) Everyone is concerned about her self-esteem and not wanting to make things worse. Behavior stuff: meltdowns associated with school work which we have to do over summer to prepare for 2nd grade. Just like the oldest, she starts homework and very quickly gets frustrated, hits a wall and gives up. We spend the next hour or more with her having a meltdown and like clockwork, exactly like her brother the “blister pops”, she calms down, finishes her work and his happy/excited at her accomplishment. Our biggest obstacle is the inevitable meltdown before she can function, even though she knows the work because she ends up doing it after all. It is somewhat challenging for her but not beyond her skill level, with effort. Her ability to focus is minimal. I use funny voices or colored pencils which she enjoys but it only delays the inevitable meltdown. Some of it may be actual laziness too. She just gets so frustrated so quickly. We never were able to get the oldest on track and we fought like heck the whole way. It was soul crushing and life sucking. I’m hoping to finally sort out whatever this is. My Mom had a slight speech delay as a child but outgrew it and needed no other help. There is a family link, I think. So, so sorry for the long post. I wanted to give a clear picture of the situation. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.