New Member
Okay, so I finally broke down and decided it was time to have my 5 yo evaluated. This is a HUGE step for me, and I have been working up the courage forever to do it, I just keep feeling like she is TOO YOUNG to have all these problems...but I am at a point where I don't know what else to do, and I refuse to let her miss out on the happiness of being a kid simply because I don't want to admit something is wrong with her!!!! With our oldest difficult child, it was EASY because she had been under psychiatrist care for YEARS before she came to live with us, and being yanked away and forced to visit bio mother in prison added a case of PTSD as a wonderful cherry on top of a whole concoction of other disorders they say she suffers from, so as I said, that one was EASY, the decision had already been made... but my little angel, it has been tough for me to see how sad she has been and she is so depressed and cannot stop whining long enough to play, she is bored to tears anymore, and nothing no matter how exciting makes her happy. All of that on top of her defiance has led me to believe that the time has come....

I have NOT scheduled her to see a psychiatrist yet, I am starting with a therapist, I figure we could see her for a few months and see if things improve. After a few months, I will talk to therapist again and see what she thinks about the necessity of a psychiatrist and then make my decision about that then. I am hoping to have everything straight before she starts kindergarten in the fall.


Poor baby. I hope you're able to find some answers soon. I always start with a therapist. You only get an hour with psychiatrist (around here anyway) and that's just not enough time to make a definitive diagnosis. The appts after that are only 15 minutes for medication checks. When you start with a therapist, they will send info to the psychiatrist based on their observations for the psychiatrist to use when evaluating your child. Psychologists can diagnosis, by the way. MSW's cannot legally diagnosis (at least that's how it is in Ohio), however my difficult child's therapist is a MSW and she was the first person after 6 years of therapy (some with psychologists) to pick up on the sensory issues and executive function issues and refer us to a neuropscyh.

Good luck. Keeping my fingers crossed. Keep us posted.


Active Member
For young children such as this, if there is a complex family history, developmental concerns, or behavioral issues that are leading you to seek help, I always recommend using a developmental pediatrician or pediatric neuropsychologist if you can't get a reasonable appointment. While therapists and psychiatrists certainly have their place in the treatment realm, very few do the thorough assessments that are needed to accurately diagnose and develop treatment plans.

Anyway, good for you for taking steps to get her some help. It's so hard seeing the little ones struggle.


Well-Known Member
I agree with SRL. Therapists are neither trained nor educated to diagnose. Even if they spend a lot of time with your child, they probably won't get to the root cause of the problem. They may call it something like "ODD" (common for therapists), but ODD doesn't normally stand alone, and in my opinion is not a very useful diagnosis. The CAUSE of the ODD is the way you can get your child help. in my opinion delaying it because it scares YOU is kind of...well, ya have to swallow that fear and get the child help. THe earlier there is help, the better the overall prognosis. You know something's wrong. It's best to tackle it early and forcefully. The waiting game often slows your child down from getting the right kind of help. I'd see the neuropsychologist or Developmental pediatrician first. You can then be referred to a therapist if the professional feels it will help. I wouldn't do it the other way around.