Hello, all. I have been lurking for a little over a month, I guess, since I began to suspect that my 4yo boy might have ODD. I've been researching and thinking and reading and now think he has some of the symptoms, but I'm not sure he would get a diagnosis. For example, he is not wantonly cruel or violent. He is volatile, however, and "time-outs" or trips to his room usually escalated into 2 hour battles including his kicking or thrashing out aimlessly. His behavior worsens when he is consumes red or yellow dye, we learned last fall. He is at his worst during transition periods. It took about a month to get him acclimated to preschool last Sept. He is reading at a second grade level, maybe third? He can spell some words phonetically and has other spellings memorized. He can write letters or emails to people fairly easily. He is not ADD or ADHD, that I can tell. I definitely don't think he's Aspergers or autistic, but he has some social anxiety. It takes him a half hour or so to warm up at a party or gathering in a new place, even when he knows everyone there. But isn't that normal? It is hard for me to know what is normal for a smart four-year-old, I guess, and what is a behavior that he might need help with. I'd like him to be in the gifted kindergarten in our district next fall. But if he is emotionally not ready, then he will mentally stagnate in another year of pre-K, I fear. My 2yo girl is really a trial, but again, I'm not sure if it's just normal "being two." She, too, is a smartie. She can write her name, and can in fact write lots of letters of the alphabet. Occasionally A has sounded out a simple three-letter word without our prompting, which is about when N started, I guess. She is PAINFULLY shy. She always has been, but it has gotten worse since Christmas, when we did lots of traveling and met lots of new people. She kind of withdrew then and hasn't quite stuck her neck back out of her shell yet. She is open and talkative at home, but is mute with certain strangers (men and boys, mostly) and even mute with some adults and children she knows. I worry about this trait in her, scared it will prevent her from getting help at "preschool" (she goes to a 2yo class for 2 hours two mornings a week). One day she was going to the potty by herself and no one could find her because she wouldn't answer their calls for her. Another day when we were at a museum, my friend (who A has known all her life) was watching A while I was in the bathroom, and A got pinned in the fence of an exhibit and couldn't get out, but didn't utter a PEEP until I came back. She would probably not tell anyone if her hand was caught in a meat grinder unless I was around. She has another side, though, and is also oppositional, but again, is it in a neuro-typical way? She insists on the opposite of whatever I ask her to do, or whatever I offer her. Usually, she comes around, but we are often late because of both her and her brother sitting in the floor of the backseat, refusing to get in their seats. Joy. The problem is that she is learning defiant behaviors and "comebacks" from her big brother. Would she be enacting these if she were terribly different in temperament from him? I'm worried that we'll see double trouble pretty soon. I have gone on too long. Regardless, I am finding this forum helpful so thought I should officially join in. Maybe if anyone has similar kids or struggles you could share? Feel free to ask any questions or give me any ideas. I'm reading 10 Days to a Less Defiant Child, and it is already helping me adjust my attitude and behaviors. I've also checked out The Explosive Child and Your Defiant Child from the library. If you got this far, thanks for listening.