Monica-Welcome & Intro


Active Member
Monica, I've copied your post into a new thread because you'll get more reponses and it will be easier to sort out from the others.

Wow - it is so refreshing and therapeutic to connect to other parents who are in similar situations... I totally can relate to you and what you have gone through with your preschool-age youngster. I just joined the forum tonight after finding it through a search engine when I was searching for info about Oppositional Defiant Disorder, which I am pretty certain my daughter has. Becky (my daughter) just turned 4 a couple weeks ago, and is in a special needs preschool. She has an IEP plan for what was originally a speech delay (apraxia), but has since changed to significant behavioral issues - temper tantrums, defiant behavior, the like. Everything seems to be a battle with her - getting her to sit down and eat, getting her to get dressed, getting her to put on her coat to go somewhere, getting her to get in the car without having to chase her all over the yard first. Tonight I almost had a mental and emotional breakdown after she finished a tumbling class and had an absolute meltdown when I tried to put her shoes on. I ultimately ended up carrying her out to the car barefoot (in late February nonetheless) because I simply could not put her shoes on her feet. She made me so angry I was in tears. After having taught 115 high school students my patience stores are already somewhat depleted when I get her in the afternoon (my husband works 2nd shift), and that is when her episodes seem to be worse. She has had psychological testing and the doctors have indicated that they believe she has ODD, and, although it is too early to diagnose definitively, she also showed some characteristics of ADHD.

Anyway, it is nice to read about other people's similar experiences - it helps me because sometimes I find that I doubt myself - I wonder if Becky acts the way she does because of something I'm doing wrong or because I'm not doing something I should be doing. I'm sure that there are some things that I could be doing better, but I am also starting to recognize that ODD is not something that parents necessarily have control over, as it can also be genetic and medically-based.

I guess all we can do is to take it one day at a time and to take time for ourselves - all important! I think that is why I feel so frayed because I simply have not had much time to myself. I am also expecting, so at times I am an emotional rollercoaster. I am hoping and praying that this baby will be normal (or relatively normal), and I look forward to Becky having a sibling to play with. Hopefully having a sibling will help with her behavioral issues (of course, it could just make me even more crazy!!).


Active Member
I'm glad you found us!

Those of us here firmly believe that ODD is a symptom and not a disorder. Especially when children are displaying other developmental issues it's important to dig deeper to find underlying neurological causes because very often they are there.
You don't want to stop at ODD-use it as a confirmation to keep looking.

The scene you described about every day things becoming a battle was the story of my life from the time my son was around 3. We played out scenes like the shoes over and over with me running on the assumption he was just very strong willed because there were no apparent developmental delays. In fact it was just the opposite: he was extremely bright and advanced in the academic type stuff. It was exhausting and time consuming and I had too many times when I was just furious like you were tonight. When my son was five we had him assessed and learned that he had very good reasons for most of the battles he was waging, including the food and clothing wars. I felt sick over all the things I was trying to "force"--hopefully we can spare you 3 years of battles and the same mistakes I made.

I am going to recommend that you do some research into two areas. The first is called Sensory Integration Disorder or Sensory Processing Disorder. Children with Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) has sensory systems that are off kilter from the typical child-they perceive it differently in that noises, light, tastes, odors, touch, etc. are often higher or lower on their perception scale. Imagine going through a day in a way too tight pair of pants with an itchy sweater over a heat rash, feeling like you were going to heave like a odor and stomach sensitive pregnant woman every time you sat down to the food your parents put in front of you and all the sound coming in from home, the classroom, and the grocery store felt like it does on the day you have a migraine. *That's* what going through normal sensory experiences can feel like to a child with Sensory Integration Disorder (SID)--it's no wonder they wage war on us.

Here are two links on that:

Whenever parents visit here with a child who has speech delay and behavioral issues, we always urge them to research the Autistic Spectrum Disorders. It's almost always the last thing on their minds but we do this because doctors and often others like psychologists are notoriously bad at recognizing it. This is especially true in kids that are borderline in their symptoms and those kids often go through a good chunk of childhood misdiagnosed and misunderstood. I'm not saying your child falls into this category because we don't diagnose here but you will want to check it out thoroughly, especially if there's a family history of anxiety, obsessive compulsive tendencies or disorders, or extremely gifted scholarly type people.

Lastly, you will want to get a copy of the book "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene and read the thread at the top of the board about it. It's a parenting strategy that often works with these children but it's going to require some changes on your part. Today you decided to wage war in public over getting her into shoes after a long day when you both were tired. Once you've been accustomed to this management style, you'll know that isn't worth a battle except in dangerously cold weather or at times when you truly couldn't carry her, and adapt. Until you're up to speed, if shoes are becoming a problem find a pair of slippers that are comfy to her that aren't soft bottomed and toss them into the dance bag for next week.


Well-Known Member
I agree 100% with SRL. ODD exists in every child who has a childhood disorder, but it is the disorder that causes the ODD behavior. It rarely stands alone. The cause of the defiance needs to be addressed. A speech delay, even if resolved, is a red flag for a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). My son had that symptom and it went away, but he is still on the spectrum, although, due to very early intervention, doing quite well now. No more tantrums either!!!
I recommend taking this online test for Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). If you are honest in your answers, it can be very accurate. It was for my son. I also STRONGLY recommend she see a developmental pediatrician.


Mom? What's a difficult child?
Welcome Monica-
Yes we have been there... you have some great advice from the other's. I agree with the ODD thinking, all of our children have it to some degree... but there is always something else once you get an accurate diagnosis. Sometimes it takes awhile to fully understand what is going on with your child, just remember to take it slow and go easy on yourself... you are doing the best you can. And whatever the diagnosis ends up being, don't let it scare you too much, there is hope for all of our children and their disorders can be worked on. Especially with early intervention....

welcome this is a great group


Well-Known Member
Hi Monica,
Welcome to our little corner of the cyber world, sorry you have to be here. One thing all of the various doctors who've seen my daughter have found helpful is my parent report on her:

In addition, creating a signature will help us keep your kiddo straight from the others:

All of our kids have differing issues, but the common factor is oppositionality and a resistance to parenting. We've all had to throw so-called traditional parenting methods out the window in order to raise our children. We've all discovered there's no magic bullet that makes everything better. But we share our experiences and insights and we give support to those that need it. Take what you can use and leave the rest.