A light bulb moment


New Member
I just read about ODD and things are finally making sense.My daughter is 13 and has been very defiant since she was a toddler. In fact, she displays every single one of the behaviours listed in diagnosing ODD. Before this i thought she was just a difficult child. Now that she is older and her hormones are raging things are getting worse...much worse.I am taking her to see our family doctor today if i can get an appointment and i hope he can refer us to someone who can help. I just hope i havent left it too late.
Kaitlin was premature...not very, just 4 weeks early but she has breathing difficulties and was quite sick for a while. I have always felt this impacted on her. She has never really seemed to like being hugged. Its ok if she initiates it, but usually is very stiff and uncomfortable with it. When she was in pre-school she had a period of time where she would not speak while at school. her teacher approached me and let me know that no matter what they tried she refused to speak to them...not a word. They said at first they thought she couldnt speak but then heard her speaking to me in the carpark as we were leaving and were really shocked to actually hear her speak! lol
Things have really reached a head now. She argues constantly, everything is "stupid" in her opinion.She will call her dad an i idiots. Yesterday she told us that if we didnt ask her to do chores around the house then she wouldnt have to argue with us.She was recently suspended from school for starting a small fire (she lit a pile of toilet tissue, outside near the classroom.)She couldnt see why that was a problem. It was that day too that i noticed abig burn hole in her school uniform....her freind had sprayed deodorant on her uniform and Kaitlin set light to it. She couldnt see why i was upset about this either. In her opinion it was her uniform so why did it matter to me, and anyway in her opinion it was her freinds fault for spraying deodorant on her. I took her to the school counsellor but kaitlin wouldnt, or couldnt talk to her. Just a lot of "i dont knows"The cousellor told me she feels Kaitlin just doesnt "get it" on an emotional level. Like she cant see how her own behavior impacts on situations and people....
Kaitlin seems to quite like seeing me upset and angry with her...she will laugh in my face.She doesnt care about consequences.
Sorry for the long post but i have really needed to get all this out. things are just really bad right now. Before her period she is really unbearable to be around.It like we dont have enough problems with her usual attitude...throw in PMT on top of it!

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful

Welcome to the board.

I would suggest a neuropsychologist evaluate your daughter as from what your post said it sound like she might have several issues going on. Plus with the prematurity and problems there they may be able to pick up on a broader range of things.

Has your daughter ever been evaled by anyone in the past, such as a neurologist or psychiatrist or therapist? How was her development? Did she meet her milestones on target? How does she do with her peers and such?

This kind of background info helps us to offer better input and adivce.

I'm glad you found us, sorry you needed to. But you've found a great place for information and support.



New Member
Thanks for the welcome.
She has never been evaluated by anyone. This is because we never really thought her issues were anymore than her just being a difficult child. She met most of her milestones on time except for never learning to crawl (she scooted around on her bottom)and she didnt get her first tooth til she was over a year old. She has people at school she eats lunch with but doesnt seem to have any close friends. She generally seems more comfortable with younger children.She had one group of friends at one stage and they threw her out of the group saying that she was too quiet and didnt fit in.
She has this really irritating habit of when she doesnt want to hear something she will talk loudly over the top of whoever is speaking , to drown them out i suppose.She talks quite loudly all the time really(her hearing is normal) and can act very silly and immature for her age. She will often show off and act silly in front of people.
Kaitlin also struggles with her school work and barely passes any subject. Her teachers say she can be disruptive and easily distracted.
Kaitlin is my fourth child....I have 6 children...5 girls and 1 boy.My second eldest, a girl, has dyslexia and anxiety issues, if that is relevant.


Dawn, welcome! I'm glad you found us.

I agree with Lisa that you need to have your daughter evaluated. A neuropsychologist, found at children's or university hospitals, is a good place to start. For what it's worth, ODD is rarely a stand-alone diagnosis, but rather a symptom of an underlying disorder. Once the underlying disorder is identified and treated, the ODD behaviors generally subside.

Like Kaitlin, my younger daughter M also did not speak to her preschool teachers. She was diagnosed with selective mutism, which is a form of social anxiety. M has always been an anxious child, and her anxiety has taken a variety of forms over the years -- twirling her hair until she had a bald patch as a toddler, separation anxiety as a toddler and preschooler and difficulty sleeping in her own room until age 5. Last summer she developed a choking phobia that led to food refusal, hospitalization and feeding through an NG tube for a month. Although we can't diagnosis over the internet, I'm guessing anxiety is a part of what's going on with Kaitlin given her history.

Please ask your family doctor for a referral to a neuropsychologist. The sooner you identify what's going on with Kaitlin, the sooner you can put into place the appropriate interventions to help her.

Again, welcome and good luck.


Well-Known Member

welcome and I'm glad you found us.

Lisa and smallworld have given you some great advice. Since you are taking her to the doctor today, ask for a referral to a neuropsychologist. Her regular pediatrician or family doctor is not trained to diagnosis what is going on with your daughter.

You are doing the right thing by trying to find some answers. Hang in there.

When you have a chance, please put together a signature profile that will show up at the bottom of your future posts (click on "my stuff" at the top of the page to walk you through it). It's really helpful for us to understand some family information and helps to "remember" a poster's story.

Hope your Monday is a good one.



Well-Known Member
Welcome!! Glad you found us.

I am glad you are taking your daughter to the docs. Fire starting is not anything to mess with. You now have to worry about the safety of your entire family. I recommend an evaluation with a neuropsychologist. They will look at the actual medical issues that could be possible and also the mental health issues.

Be sure to do a profile. It really will help us to support you.


New Member
Welcome, Dawn! I'm so sorry for the reason that brought you to us, but I'm glad you found us. It truly is a "soft place to land."

Everyone has offered wonderful advice to get you started and I certainly agree that you may have more than just ODD going on and a full evaluation by the right, qualified individual is the way to go!

If you have some time, a great book to pick up is "The Explosive Child" by Dr. Ross Greene. Take what you can from it. It's great to give you a window into how your daughters mind may be working and also let you know there are more of us like you out there that can relate to what you're going through.

Good luck on the start of this new leg of your journey! We'll be there with you every step of the way! :::hugs:::


Active Member
Welcome, Dawn.

There are a number of concerns. The not crawling - that probably ISN'T an issue, a lot of kids do this. A couple of my nephews (brothers) both never really crawled properly, they sort of shuffled with one leg caught up in front. They both walked at 13 months and only crawled afterwards, sometimes, to get a toy on the floor. Both are fairly normal.

But your daughter did show selective mutism at pre-school, and there are other issues. Definitely something amiss and I don't think ODD is the main problem - it's simply a surface thing, like the tip of the iceberg. Finding the rest of the iceberg so you can work on it makes it easier to resolve the bit that is sticking up out of the water.

Keep reading here, posting here and do a profile when you can, so we can get a clearer picture each time. There is a lot of help and support here.



New Member
Thankyou for your replies, its nice to know people understand. I will certainly do the profile asap.
What i would really like to know is how others cope day to day. My nerves are so frayed that i feel close to a breakdown. I am really not coping. Kaitlin says she hates us and doesnt want to live with us, she wants me to have her put in foster care. One minute she is being quiet and the nice girl i know and love and then the next she is just horrible.
The doctor has given us a referral to a child psychologist. I asked about a neuro but he said that was pretty heavy stuff and that this psychiatric was one of the best and would refer me on to a neuro if necessary. I guess at least it is a start. I hope the wating list isnt too long for an appointment because im not sure i will last that long.

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Welcome! You will find much support here. I certainly understand the day to day frustration. One way that I cope is by working out. Seriously if I don't get in my workouts I find it much harder to put up with day to day stuff. Another thing is be sure to find some "me" time which I know isn't easy. Even if it's unwinding with a book or a bubble bath after difficult child is in bed. Of course, it's important to find some couple time as well. And, sometimes I just sit down and have a good cry.

Another thing, having a difficult child is very wearing and down right hard. Sometime we need to seek outside help for ourselves. I know I am going to start some therapy soon for help with this. Hugs.