Hello everyone! Im so glad I happened upon this forum. As I read a lot of your stories, I thought, wow, I could have written that exact same thing. What a blessing to find some people that really get what is going on, without judgement. Its exhausting to feel judged every day, on top of dealing with a challenging kid. Today was a rough one, as he finally had a pretty bad outburst at school, resulting in my crying once again and feeling a bit despondent. Speaking of the challenging kiddo, mine is 4, turning 5 end of January. He is currently in Occupational Therapist (OT), with sensory and emotional regulation issues. We are new to it, having been in it for only 2 months. We are planning to meet with her just after the holidays for a long feedback session. I dont have an official diagnosis from her yet. She has been in contact with his preschool teachers. The teachers and school have been really great and open. Theyve talked directly with his Occupational Therapist (OT) therapist to get ideas and feedback, and are very communicative with me, giving me a daily update. Here are my basic observations: He is emotionally inconsistent, oppositional and defiant. When he gets angry, he currently calls anyone and anything stupid, and kicks and hits when hes gone over the top. Hes been doing that for well over a year. He seems to go through phases of what he does. For a while, it was just a lot of hitting and headbutting. Then major spitting. If hes put in his room, he will pound on the door hard a few times. (He has kicked a hole in the door before.) Now its mostly saying stupid with intermittent spitting and kicking. He does the worst when out of his routine or if hes tired or hungry (like most kids), but of course his reactions are out of the norm. He also flees when upset, or when hes caught out doing something unacceptable or is embarrassed. Today in class was his worst ever, as at various points, he knocked over some chairs, kicked a boy, instigated an issue with another child (chasing him around even though he didnt want to be chased. Ironic, as he gets upset when others chase him and he doesnt want them to), ran out of the classroom, and called his teacher stupid. UGH. He is having perfectionist tendencies (gets extremely frustrated/angry if he cant get something right away, or colors out of the lines,). He does not like it when he doesnt get his way. He becomes very easily emotionally overwhelmed when faced with disappointment, anxiety, transitions or a difficult peer situation or misunderstanding. If a child says no, you cant play that with me, he has a very dramatic reaction, crying and running off. He has a major flight issue, and tends to run away when upset. In the house, its fine. Today at school, he ran out of the class and the teacher had to physically bring him back in, which isnt ok obviously. He is uber fast, which doesnt help things. He has recently started up something new, hitting himself (not terribly hard, but still horrifying) and calling himself stupid after he has a major incident/meltdown. Completely heartbreaking. He is a smart kid, with just a few fine motor issues that arent too bad. He loves to be a big help and we give him jobs like helping with laundry, dishwasher, etc. He is completely loving and affectionate, and so sweet. Kisses and hugs can really calm him down and he will sometimes think to even ask for them when distressed. He loves to be praised and encouraged and he does respond to our token/reward system. Routine and repetition are great for him and he works well with visual scheduling (at school and we also do this at home daily). He loves to laugh and be tickled and that usually can pull him out of a tantrum. His tantrums usually dont last too long, and he can go from crazy meltdown to completely happy just like *that.* He responds well and listens intently to the many, many books we have bought for him that deal with anger, relaxation, anxiety, being a friend, working through frustration, etc., etc. As far as discipline, we try to be calm, and he has consequences such as losing a favorite toy for a day or week. Of course, the frustration on our end can wear through, and we lose our own tempers once in a while. Hes definitely behind socially and has trouble negotiating play with kids. His meltdowns and drama only multiply the issues. He is an only child, and lives in a pretty quiet house, which I imagine only makes it worse for him at preschool or in other overwhelming atmospheres (loud restaurants, malls, parties). He wants so badly to have friends and do play dates, and it breaks my heart, but I can already see that some of the kids are not wanting to play with him because it means crying and drama. I think he realizes this, but he cant help it. There is inevitably a meltdown of some sort. Everyone suggests more play dates to give him experience, but I live in fear of what might happen, so it just doesnt happen very much. One other component is that he is very tall for his age. People think he's at least in kindgergarten, some even first grade. So you can imagine how much patience they have for my tantrum-ing kid in public. We are planning to move next spring/summer, and that is a little scary, to think of such a major transition, finding new doctors, etc. On the plus side, we will be right by family and a great support system. Overall, were glad to at least have started with Occupational Therapist (OT), and it seems like perhaps we should look into the neuropych to help us determine whats going on. I've just started a behavior journal. husband and I are just so tired and frustrated and tired. Did I mention tired? Thanks for being here and letting me introduce myself and vent all that out. Any thoughts, tips, recommendations are welcome of course!