Not diagnosed but here's what I think and would love your thoughts


New Member
My 13.75 year-old kiddo is "a great kid" . She loves animals, music, sleeping, and joking around. She comes off as generally pleasant although socially awkward. Here is the problem: There is constant stress and arguing in the house. She has never done well in school; the school insists she is fine. She doesn't turn in her homework. She will think things are done that are not done. She will claim things don't need to be done that do need to be done.

She has to constantly be told what the appropriate behavior is for situations with which she is familiar, like sharing, using manners, and anything that involves being half-way responsible. She doesn't understand concepts like "use good judgment or common sense" or "do the right thing and show you are responsible" instead, you have to spell out exactly what you want. Even then she still will usually fail to meet the expectation appropriate for her age.

No matter how many times she is held accountable and has to take the time and make the effort to correct a situation due to a poor decision, she will make the same mistake again. She doesn't seem to be able to anticipate an outcome and try to avoid it. She can't maintain friendships and people seem to be okay with her, but they don't reach out to her and she doesn't reach out to them. She has had lessons, but never practiced. She wants to be an artist but she doesn't practice draw.

When she creates something the lack of effort shows and yet she seems to think she did a good job. She can't follow simple instructions and always has to be told again. She gets tired and/or overheated easily but her blood work and thyroid seem to be all normal. She lets kids that are younger than her always take the lead, and she will follow even if they are doing the wrong thing. She doesn't like to take time to think. She seems overly concerned with her outward appearance compared to her friends. She is very critical of other's appearance.

She has no girlfriends but insists on having a boyfriend and will lie to anyone in order to get to see him and is not good at covering her tracks. She will use her phone to call him even though she knows I can see the call log and that she will lose her phone privilege. When she gets caught she doesn't seem to be able to figure out how you know, and will not confess unless you prove that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt. When she gets grounded from something she doesn't look forward the day she gets it back. If it is something she can't live without, she will try to sneak it at school (makeup).
She doesn't ask for her allowance or try to save money to buy things. She never asks how much she has or if she can go buy something.

As you can imagine, all of these characteristics cause me to constantly be correcting, and she has started to argue a lot more and everything we try to get done just takes twice as long because I have to explain everything over again and if she refuses I have to threaten to punish her. I have asked her dozens of times to please cooperate earlier so that she can be rewarded instead of threatened with a consequence but that doesn't work. I have told her what the consequences are ahead of time and that I will give her a consequence just for not cooperating. She will still insist something doesn't need to be done and then won't do it until after she is in trouble. Sigh.

Any thoughts? I think she is inattentive ADD and her counselor is seeing also maybe some oppositional defiance. She doesn't seem to be intentionally trying to hurt anyone. Could she be? It's been like this for years but has only escalated as far as my own anger and panic because now as a teen she is dealing with much more severe consequences if she doesn't get her act together.


New Member
PS: If I make her a list of chores she will do them but if I give her a daily list she will only do half of them because she thinks some of them don't need done (like she will think the dog already has water). I told her, don't think things are done, VERIFY. But she doesn't. So I have to write out: Go over to the kennel and look in the bowl to see if there is water.


Well-Known Member
Hi, and welcome.

I'm just another parent, but... I really doubt this is just "inattentive ADD". And "ODD" is a really fuzzy diagnosis that doesn't lead to any interventions (medications, therapy or anything else). It does sort of flag the fact that there is a problem.

Has she ever had a comprehensive evaluation? I know - school says it's not that serious. We had no support in seeking a diagnosis, for years. You are the parent. You know your child better than anyone else.

Comprehensive evaluations are done by individuals specializing in testing - such as neuro-psychologists, or doctoral psychologists with a specialty in testing - or by a team out of a children's or teaching hospital. It usually takes 8-10 hours, done over several days, and involves feedback from parents and teachers as well. A couple of one-hour meetings doesn't do it.


New Member
Hi thank you for responding! She is almost through with a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation. I did decide to go that route after being told I could just go get an ADD diagnosis at the pediatrician. That really seemed like I would be selling her short and my gut says there is something probably more to it. So far we have spent 4 hours in testing with about 1 more hour to go. It is with a doctoral psychologist although after reading some things I wish I would have picked a neuro-psychologist but I had not heard of it before. So, we should know more next week, but in the meantime, I was hoping to connect with others who have maybe had a similar experience? Where the kiddo just doesn't really seem that bad, but yet life is SO much more difficult than it should be, and their future looks vacant if not troubled? Just wonder what others think because when I just tell someone about something that happened, they seem to think "oh that's just teenagers" but taken all together, and being so constant for so long, AND it's not in keeping with her peers that I have observed, and then on top of it the lying at all costs which has developed in the last year or so, I know something has to be done. What do you think?


Well-Known Member
I know something has to be done. What do you think?
I think you have acted correctly, seeking more information to act proactively.

I think a neuropsychologist is a good idea, too. Perhaps with a referral from your pediatrician insurance will pay.
their future looks vacant if not troubled
I think that how their futures will look is unknowable from the age of your daughter. I think there is as much risk that may come from worrying too much at this point, and with that behaving differently towards our children so as to cue them that we are overly concerned. This may give them power over us or in the family that they can misuse, or make them feel as if they are damaged or different.

There is a wide variation in adolescents and in people. Development is not standard nor is it even. Our children are individuals and unique. That does not mean that something is necessarily wrong with them that time and their own efforts will not straighten out.

With the evaluations you will identify what needs to be addressed, if anything, and do so.

We had a psychotherapist for my son since 6th grade. I found that I was the one who needed the support and to learn how to normalize what was happening.

On this forum I have learned that so much of my pain and worry had to do with my own childhood.

You sound like a loving and caring parent. Keep posting.



Well-Known Member
Can you tell us more about her when she was younger? Easy baby? toddler-hood, starting school... The whole picture adds up to more than the current scene.


New Member
She was a very easy baby. Only child. She did not express any fear or sadness when I took her to a drop in daycare when she was a toddler yet she has always been timid around others and had a hard time talking or initiating contact with others. Always since day one people said she was shy. This made making and keeping friends challenging but not impossible. Dad is not in home but he's around. He is an artist and eccentric/unique and she seems annoyed by him and will barely return his calls. She has not ever had a confident role model. I've dated one person for 4 yrs but that ended two yrs ago and they spent very little time together. So that's her backround. I guess my big question is whether her behavior, could be some passive aggressive form of ODD? Because her counselor keeps mentioning it and I dont really think the behaviour meets the criteria. ?? To me, it seems cognitive. Unfortunately I have yelled at her when frustrated having to explain and correct and repeat myself for years. She still does not startle and stop when I ask her to stop doing something. I have to repeat louder and louder until she complies. Her hearing is fine though. Most of the time it seems like she wants to do the right thing but the effort is always half what it would take to acheive a good result.


Well-Known Member
I'd go tto a neuropsychologist. High functioning autism maybe? doesn't sound like she is willfully defiant, but is maybe wired differently. Please get her tested. Intensively.

A dad

Active Member
I do not know about the ignoring part I think most teenagers know how to zoom us out when they do something both my children did that I even did a bet with my wife sometimes that they will not remember what we told them in 1 hours and quite a lot of times I was right.
I liked when they hide their report card in their backpack or the tests they failed in some notebook they had or a book. Lets say they where not the best in lying and I liked that.
Now both of them are on on their own 2 feet they do not have a bleak future maybe their not exactly mainstream but their good.
I will also add that none of them had many friends but they did have each other so there is that. Maybe she just matures slower then other children but even neurotypical people do that.