New to Board-Please Offer Advice

Hi. I just found this board yesterday as I was searching in desperation for some help. On Tuesday my babysitter informed me that my daughter was hitting her children and other children in her home and some of her parents were threatening to pull their children if something wasn't done about my daughter. My daughter is 8 and was diagnosed with ADHD when she was 5. She was only on Ritalin during the school year as her father, my ex-husband, does not believe she has issues and of course, "she is a perfect angel at his house." He wouldn't give her medicine and claims she only acts up around me and so we (the doctor and I) only gave it to her while in school because it at least helped with her concentration. However, she is behind in school especially in reading and writing.

While the Ritalin seemed to help in school and my daughter and I weren't having knock-down/drag out fights anymore where I was going to work with bruises and bite marks, we still were fighting constantly. I, of course, chalked it to the fact that we were both stubborn and independant and stuff. However, it just keeps getting worse, her defiance and talking back and not listening and refusing to do anything she's told, at least by me and my mother. Her father went to jail in May, classy guy right, and will be in for another year and a half. After that, she started having nightmares and her defiance started escalating. Now, it is absolutely worse. She's been hitting and throwing things at people more and more, especially me, and absolutely, postitively refusing to do anything I say and last night she told me she wished every day that I wasn't her mother. I can't even begin to tell you how many times in the last few weeks that she has said she hated me and all because I told her no or wouldn't allow her to do something. :crying:

I am honestly at my wit's end. I am a single mom trying to balance two jobs and keep food on the table and I am so tired. We fight constantly and my house is a constant war zone. She's lying and fighting and throwing and doing the exact opposite of what I tell her. We put her on Concerta full time a week before school started and that seemed to make it worse, so we took her off of it and started her back on the Ritalin full time this past Monday, but nothing's changed. I get no help from her father and his wife (even when he's not in jail) and all I hear from him is that nothing's wrong with her and it's me. I get lectures from other people telling me that they would never allow that in their house and I should "take control." I have had to rearrange my work schedule so I can be home when she gets off the bus 3 days a week (starting next week) and my mom is taking her one day a week and a cousin is taking her the other day of the week since she can't seem to be around other kids. I have to look into day camp during the summer and I honestly don't know what's going to happen when her father gets out of jail.

I heard about ODD and the information I found online is obviously my daughter down to an exact "T." Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can make life a little easier for the two of us? I am so afraid of what's she's going to become as a teen if something doesn't change soon. Please help! :hammer:


Oh I'm so sorry you're going through this. Many people on this board have done it all and they will give you great advice. DON'T blame yourself. Something isn't of the hardest things we deal with is the notion from others that we just need to "crack down" and things will be fine. That is not true for a minute. We need, and have to be diligent about finding outside help. The book The Explosive Child will definitely be recommended by many, it's a good place to start. Good luck and hang on!


New Member
I often admit, I use to be the parent who thought kids like ours were products of bad parenting. I just knew that when I married my husband and took on parenting my 3 difficult children that I could "fix" them. Well, it's been more than 4 years and although our stable home has helped, they aren't "fixed". So don't take it out on yourself, because as much as we crack down on our kids, they still beat to their own drum.

Has your daughter ever been seen by a neuropsychologist? This comes highly recommended because they do very thorough testing to determine the DXs. Have you considered changing her diet? I'm not a nature nut, but we had to change my youngest sons diet last year because he was diagnosed reactive hypoglycemia. The doctor said it would also help with his ODD and ADHD. The doctor was right about that, the diet really helped. I hate the diet, just because it limits my son so much, but it really did help.

I'm sorry you had to find the board, but it is a great board to be part of. Everyone here is so supportive and so helpful. Welcome!


Active Member
welcome and I am sorry your life is so hard right now. are you and she seeing a counselor?
do you have someone to give you some time off from her? seems like you have some help but might need more.

they do have wraparound services here in PA that can give you help. do you have that thru social services?


Well-Known Member
Hi and welcome to the board.

I will echo what a another poster recommended first. Get a copy of "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene at your local library or book store. That would be number one. It can give you some really good insight into what is going on inside her and give you some suggestions for a little more peace in your home.

I see in your post that she is medicating and obviously has a doctor rxing the medications. What kind of doctor is she seeing? Without knowing the answer to that question, I am going to recommend that you call the local children's hospital or teaching university in your town and get a complete evaluation for your daughter called a multidisciplinary evaluation. Or, if that is not an option, speak to her doctor about getting a full evaluation by a pediatric neuropsychologist.

You deserve more peace in your home and your daughter needs to have more testing to determine what is going on inside with her. You know she is not happy.

On Tuesday, my difficult child came in the family room as I was watching Dr. Phil. There was a 10 yo boy on that was raging and his parents were afraid for the other children and themselves. difficult child came and sat down and watched without saying a word. After the film of the boy "in action" difficult child turned to me and sad "that boy is really hurting inside."

I was both suprised and pleased that, on some level, difficult child saw the pain and related in some way. Your daughter is hurting right along with you.

We understand the frustration, stress and disappointment. I'm so glad you have found us - a community that understands.



Hi and welcome. You are in the right place honey. Although we may not have all the answers, we are good listeners and geniunely care about each other. And you will find many many people here that have been there and done that and bought the t-shirt! (hehe)
My son has gone through similar phases, but I have to tell you that certain drugs he was on made him rage even more. One day I asked his doctor if the drugs could be making it worse, and the doctor casually said "oh yes, certainly". At that point we took him off medications. But, we are now trying some newer ones.
One thing that I might suggest to you is taking her to a behavioral therapist who works with children. We have been doing this for the past few years. He has worked with my son on social skills (not beating the snot out of people when he gets mad), and learning self control. Has it worked 100%? heck no, but I know that it helps some. And the school and my family recognizes that I am trying to be proactive and not just throwing up my hands and giving up (wanted to do that many times though).
Also, does your daughter have a behavior plan at school and an IEP? Before things get bad at school, I would definitely make sure she has these in place.
I want to thank all of you for you advice. It is nice to have people to talk to who have or are going through this.

She was originally diagnosed by her counselor and we went to a psychiatrist who officially diagnosed her. Last year we quit the psychiatrist because they kept changing their hours and it was difficult for me to get her there and her regular physician has been prescribing the medicine. We have stopped seeing her counselor recently because it wasn't helping and she just wouldn't open up about anything.

I have to state that I personally have been diagnosed with ADD (about 2 years ago), it explains so much about my childhood and my schooling, but because I learned how to cope with it and it wasn't as bad as my daughter's, I don't need medication. I do have depression and anxiety and am on medicine for that. However, her father has never been diagnosed, but when we were married I listened to his family and friends and my daughter is exactly like him and that scares me. He lies something awful and he beat up his new wife and he used to get angry at everything. When he was younger, he also used to put his older brother in the hospital with concussions. I so don't want that for my daughter as she gets older. She is also finding it hard to keep friends and others from picking on her because she is so bossy and highly emotional.

This multidisciplinary evaluation, who do I need to see about doing this? Just call a hospital or what? I will check into the neuropsychologist and the book. I am trying to get in touch with a new psychiatrist who specializes in ADHD and to see about this ODD.

On a different note, what does difficult child and easy child mean? I know what husband means, but not the others.

Thanks, so much, again! :bravo:


Well-Known Member
Hello Cheyenne's Momma, and welcome.

Have a look at the FAQ/Bard Help forum. It will give you definitions for all of the common abbreviations that people use on the board.

It might also help if you create a detailed signature like many of the posters use, with details about your difficult child's age, diagnosis, any medications, etc. That way you won't have to provide that info with each post.

Hope things start to settle down for you soon. You've received some good advice from others.

All the best,


Mom? What's a difficult child?
Hi and welcome!!! I am sorry you had to find us...
You can ask your pediatrician about who offers the best MDE in your area, or just call the Hospitals. I would look up the Children's Hospital online first in your area and look under Pediatric Psychiatry, you should be able to find something under that involving Multi-Disciplinary evaluations, or psychiatric evaluations in general. If you need a referral you might want to find out from your insurance. But you can call the Hospital and ask them about their program, sometimes you can talk to a coordinator and explain symptoms and explain that you are looking for a more thorough evaluation. That you think it might be more than ADHD.
With your anxiety and your husband history of issues, your daughter could have more going on... or it could be ADHD and she might just need more intensive therapies and better medication stability.
Hang in there, this is a long hard road. You can do it and need to be there for your daughter!!! Take a deep breath...
Thank you all, you have been more than helpful, you have been angels to a mom on the verge of the loony bin!!

Anyone have any ideas on keeping clothes on your child?! On top of everything, I believe my daughter is trying to join a nudist colony! For as long as I remember, she is constantly taking her clothes off. She always complains that she is hot and they "make her sick to her tummy." Underwear is the hardest to keep on her of it all.

To top off everything else this week, my mom called and told me that the cops showed up at her house last night because on Tues when they were watching her, my Stepdad took her to the park & apparently she didn't have any underwear on underneath her dress (none of the rest of us realized it) and someone saw and that it was inappropriate that a grown man was with- a little girl with- no panties on & wrote down his license and called the cops! Thankfully the cops took it in stride, but even that didn't phase my difficult child in understanding that clothes and underwear have to be worn.

I have tried all that I can think of, but she just won't listen and she has no problems stripping in front of other people. Is this common with- ADHD? Any suggestions? HELP!


Mom? What's a difficult child?
That sounds like my daughter K... she had a breakdown at a pond the other day because she didn't understand why she couldn't take her clothes off and just pee in the pond!!!

Underpants... always off, for K it is a sensory thing she hates the way they feel... part of her Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) and BiPolar (BP)

I understand...


New Member
Thats a common trait on the autism spectrum as well as some other DXs. Some kids are very picky about how clothes feel on their body. Have you ever tried different types of fabrics? Is there a specific shirt she really likes because of how it feels? Some kids have serious issues with seems (sp?) as well. Makes it very difficult to keep clothes on them because the slightest thing can send shivers through them. It's just not comfortable. Imagine listening to someone scratch their nails on chalkboard, then imagine thats how her clothes are making her feel. Take her to the store with you and have her feel different panty fabric and see if she likes a certain feel. Be careful that there are not any tags in her clothes. See if you can get her to tell you what clothes feel best and then buy one outfit in every color. If you can't get her to wear any panties, see if she will wear leggings or work out shorts that are tightly fitted. This way she is still covered and you may have more options as far as fabric. Spandex usually only have seems in the middle and no where else. Try a few different things until you figure out what is most comfortable and buy it in every color.
Hiya other Cheyenne's mama :wink:

remember in the PM I sent you when I mentioned that my difficult child (that stands for Gift from God, that is what we call our little darlings) has sensory integration dysfunction? That is having the sensory issues, without bing on the autism spectrum. Any and/or all senses can be affected. In Tink's case, touch, smell, and sound are her bad ones. She will walk in the door, stand in the doorway (even if I am behind her, carrying 20 bags of groceries, trying to get in), and yank her shoes and socks off. Can't stand to have anything on her feet. If we go under a viaduct while the train is going by overhead, she screams at the top of her lungs because the sound (the pitch and timbre) affects her so. And if I dare cook garlic, she won't come in the house for hours. She can't handle the smell. Anyways. Sounds like your baby doll might have some sensory issues as well.

Keep us updated~~
Thanks for the info. She doesn't seem to have one set of clothes that don't bother her, but she doesn't like the tags like AllStressedOut said. I am constantly taking those out. I have that sensory thing with- velvet and courdoroy (sp?), can't wear it, can't touch it, sometimes can't even bear to hear it. At least I know the reasons now. She likes velvet and stuff like that. Her biggest love is dresses & skirts, but that could be the girl in her (she doesn't get that from me, I've been a strictly jeans & boots girl my whole life!). I wish I could narrow it down to certain clothes, but it doesn't seem to matter what kind of clothes she is wearing, they all come off eventually!

Is it normal for them to regress? These moods & mouthing off are more consistant with- the way she was when she was 5, though it has never been this bad. I have become afraid to say anything to her because it sets her off. Almost everything out of her mouth lately is nasty. If I didn't know better, I'd think she was just a hateful child, but she isn't, but this girl she has become is awful. There seems to be no sweetness left and I don't know how to get it back. I am going to look for the MDE & NP next week. I've also got an email in to a Psychiatrist who specializes in ADHD, hopefully she will get back to me soon.


Active Member
Hi, welcome. I saw your thread from afar, saw that other people had replied and waited, I've been limited in time.

But I'm here. Reaping the benefit of others who got in ahead of me.

The ODD - don't expect a label like this to be a door-opener in terms of leading to a fix. my own view is that ODD is what happens when our parenting method, no matter how much it fits with recommendations, simply fails to fit a child's individual variations. You might use the same, good parenting technique on a series of kids who all turn out fine, then you get one kid where this parenting technique not only doesn't work, it makes them worse. That book - it can show you why and turn it around. Be prepared to change your parenting style even though you feel you've been doing it right - it's just not right FOR HER. because she's not an average child.

The Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) issues - yup, sounds very familiar. Both my girls took their undies off in public. easy child did it, it turns out, because she was being molested by an older boy in school. Took us two years to find out, damage was done, the boy was beyond reach. I've since heard of other cases, different schools - I think it happens far more than we know.
easy child 2/difficult child 2 did it for reasons which I think are the same as your daughter - she liked being naked, she liked the feeling of freedom and she is very fussy about textures and sensation.
Interestingly, she & I were talking yesterday about an incident where she took her skirt and undies off at after-care at school and was happily running around, lower half naked. A 'teacher' (male, not really relevant I guess) came out and told her to get her clothes back on. By this stage another kid had run off with easy child 2/difficult child 2's knickers and thrown them into a tree. The teacher held out hr skirt but she wouldn't put it on because in her mind, knickers go on first. But he had spoken, he would be obeyed, so after tantrums she put on her skirt so he would then fetch her knickers. Once he handed them to her, she took off her skirt, put on her knickers and then put on her skirt. Partly to make a point, and partly because in her mind, there is a natural order to things.

She is old enough to be told, "It is not polite to go without clothing in public. it is not polite to go without undies in public. People will think you are not being looked after properly."
She likes dresses and skirts (boy, does she sound like easy child 2/difficult child 2!) so I would say to her, "If you want to wear a pretty dress or skirt, you MUST wear your underwear. No underwear, you wear trousers or shorts.

The Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) thing is a serious problem. You may need to learn to sew. Sewing stretch-knit underwear looks tricky but actually is cheap and easy, once you've got the instructions. No special sewing machine needed - just ordinary straight stitch. That way you can get her to help choose the fabrics and the trim that she can cope with the feel of.
T-shirts can be made into t-shirt dresses or you can make your own. If she's really sensitive to seams, do French seams or sew with the seams on the outside. Kids with epidermolysis bullosa have to have their clothes specially made and wear them with seams outside, because in their case the friction will actually run skin off entirely. These Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) kids only feel like that is happening.

Shop with her, get her to feel the texture of the fabrics next to her skin. You're already doing the right thing in removing tags. But some fabrics are still a disaster - a lot of the shiny polyesters are actually prickly on the seam and are uncomfortable. Don't push her into buying something, or you could be wasting your money. And for her, colour is also going to be equally important. She could be at an age where she wants to wear pink - if that stops, go with it and stop buying pink things.
Fabrics that should work for her - stretch knit, soft jersey cotton, polar fleece, stretch velvet. For lighter fabrics - voile, muslin, broderie anglaise (maybe). Avoid lace unless it's very soft. Lacy elastic could be a problem although there are some lovely wide forms which you can use to make underwear out of, without anything else. You may find, though, that all elastic needs to be without trim and inside a casing.

I remember making easy child a summer dress out of sheeting. It was pure cotton, bought as a fragment at a warehouse. Cheap, but very pretty. It had a pattern which was banded - bands of blue flowers, a band of printed lace, another band of flowers - so I used the pattern to make a four-part gored skirt attached to a bodice where I used the printed-on lace panel as a centre feature. Two pattern pieces for the bodice; four identical pieces for the skirt. The sleeves were made from the offcuts from the skirt. I didn't round the skirt, just left the four points hanging and used the selvedge edge, so there was no hem. I stitched some lace as a trim to the outside of the bodice but nowhere did the lace touch her skin so it was OK. I sewed in a sash so she could have a bow at the back which would adjust as she grew. It sounds complicated but it was very simple. I didn't even have a pattern for anything other than the bodice. The sleeves were just flaps of fabric stitched to the armhole. She could wear that dress climbing trees or rolling down a hill.

easy child 2/difficult child 2 is the worst about textures. We learned to let her have her way. Now she buys her own clothes and also does some of her own sewing.

Good luck. And I would be considering Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in some form here, it often looks like ADD at first.



New Member
Welcome, and as others have said, sorry you had to find us, but very glad you did!! One thing that I was told when we were fighting these EXACT same issues with our difficult child is that, if they are ODD or have other mood disorders that co-exist with ADHD, the STIMULANT medication will make things WORSE!!! They suggested the new non-stimulant Straterra to treat the ADHD, as it does not have the horrifying side-effects that the stimulants do and does not cause mood disordered children with ADHD to become violent and mean. You might discuss this with her doctor and see if he will consent to trying it for a month or two in addition to a mood stabilizer and see if that helps. It seemed to be what fixed the whole world for our difficult child. Now she doesn't even have to HAVE adhd medicaiton, because we found that getting the right mood stabilizer helped with her adhd symptoms too, and she is a WHOLE lot better off and not taking hardly ANY medications except one pill a day!!!

Good luck and I am looking forward to getting to know you!


Well-Known Member
Hi, and welcome. I don't know that I can offer anything except support, and to ditto everything everyone else has said.
Good luck.