On our 5 year old....


New Member
Okay, so I finally broke down and decided it was time to have my 5 yo evaluated. This is a HUGE step for me, and I have been working up the courage forever to do it, I just keep feeling like she is TOO YOUNG to have all these problems...but I am at a point where I don't know what else to do, and I refuse to let her miss out on the happiness of being a kid simply because I don't want to admit something is wrong with her!!!! With our oldest difficult child, it was EASY because she had been under psychiatrist care for YEARS before she came to live with us, and being yanked away and forced to visit bio mother in prison added a case of PTSD as a wonderful cherry on top of a whole concoction of other disorders they say she suffers from, so as I said, that one was EASY, the decision had already been made... but my little angel, it has been tough for me to see how sad she has been and she is so depressed and cannot stop whining long enough to play, she is bored to tears anymore, and nothing no matter how exciting makes her happy. All of that on top of her defiance has led me to believe that the time has come....

I have NOT scheduled her to see a psychiatrist yet, I am starting with a therapist, I figure we could see her for a few months and see if things improve. After a few months, I will talk to therapist again and see what she thinks about the necessity of a psychiatrist and then make my decision about that then. I am hoping to have everything straight before she starts kindergarten in the fall.

Does anyone have any advice for me on things that I should point out at the initial assessment, or questions I should ask????


Active Member
OK, she doesn't sound like she's got Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) from your description, but unless someone's got a better idea maybe you could do the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire on her (it's not officially diagnostic) from http://www.childbrain.com. It may give you some things you hadn't thought about, or jog your memory down different lines.

Do the test with a sheet of paper in front of you so anything it makes you think of with her, you can write it down. Some of your concerns may be unfounded, but only by asking the questions can you get the answers.

Something to also consider - it's not usually considered - sleep apnoea? I know it sounds weird, but a young girl we know has had HUGE problems with hyperactivity, almost manic episodes followed by "I've got to sleep NOW, Mummy," and falling asleep anywhere and cannot be roused. The mother can't get her out of bed in the morning to go to school, and this has been treated as school refusal, coupled with a mother who simply isn't trying. Literally for years, this mother has been searching for answers and not getting any. When this girl is awake she's hyperactive in the extreme. She can be up in the middle of the night racing around the house, breaking things, wanting everyone else to be up with them. When she finally falls asleep she cannot be roused, not even by putting her fully clothed into a cold bath.
They took her to a big fair we have here in Sydney - the family had just arrived, they were in the building where the show bags are for sale and which is where kids most want to go to, and the little girl (who had begged to go to the show) suddenly said, "I'm tired, Mummy, I have to go to sleep," and proceeded to go to sleep on the floor.

The truant officer is a constant visitor. The mother finally told the truant officer, "YOU try and wake her."

After years of being mucked around she was finally seen by a sleep disorders clinic who diagnosed "the worst sleep apnoea we've ever seen; her chest is caved in and she could die in her sleep at any time." The mother had been told that her caved-in chest was due to chronic asthma. Now on those rare occasions when the child sleeps, the mother stays with her to try to keep her breathing. They've been told that tonsillectomy and adenoid removal should help, but it's never been suggested before because the little girl never complained about sore tonsils. She used to, but I've seen this happen - the kid gets ignored, the tonsillitis comes back, eventually they don't bother telling anyone because it never changes. easy child 2/difficult child 2 was like that.

This case is a really serious one, the kid has HUGE problems. We're not likely to see them for a couple of months, I hope when we see them again that the little girl will at last feel better. She's 8 years old and has been unable to attend more than a month or two of school, EVER. When she's awake she's manic, but she sleeps about 16 hours a day or more. Some sleep a lot less - this case IS severe.

So, just something else to think about. You never think of kids having sleep apnoea, but enlarged T & A (tonsils & adenoids) will do it. Worth a look down her throat.

Hopefully someone will have more ideas.



Well-Known Member
Why are you afraid of a diagnosis? She can't get help if you don't get one. A therapist, in my opinion, is not going to be able to diagnose. They aren't qualified. Good luck :smile:


I would be doing more than a therapist at this point. I too, put it off, didn't want him labeled, the whole deal. As angry as I get with him, as frustrated as I get with him, later when I settle down I realize that, HE does not want to feel that way. HE wants to do / be good. I can feel guilty for being angry now because I am at work and I miss him. But...emails from school non stop. I told them no more phone calls, call husband (who cannot answer the phone, only return calls on break)

If you eventually will be seeing a psychiatrist, I would consider it sooner. If there is a diagnosis, and medication is suggested it takes up to 6 weeks to work. Starting school is a big change, if medications. are involved and diagnosis's, and trialing medications that could work better...this could lead to a frustrating first year of school.

Maybe something to discuss with therapist.


New Member
I am finally accepting, and I am no longer afraid to get her a diagnosis, but I just feel that starting with a therapist will be helpful, becuase if their methods work, I see no reason to involve her with a psychiatrist...unless therapy does not work. That's why I thought I should give it a few months, but who knows, maybe after her assessment, the therapist will recommend a psychiatrist visit, in which case I will get something done asap. My fear comes in that I don't know of ANY child psychiatrist's in our area except the one our 12 year old used to see before we got her an Adolescent psychiatrist. And her Child psychiatrist I DID NOT get along with at all.....

So if nothing else, I am hoping her therapist can recommend someone.

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
Have you tried a complete medical workup yet? It could be something physical causing easy child to be acting like a difficult child. Lack of sleep, for example, can cause the lack of desire to play and the non stop whining. And when a child gets over tired they can get so wound up it's like someone plugged them in.

I'm one for checking out the physical before investigating the behavior or mental side of things.

My easy child had sleep apnea for years (3-7 yrs old) and I had no clue. I did know that her tonsils were usually swollen but it had become the norm for her. Once her tonsils and adenoids were removed my whiney grouch became a happy go lucky kid again. I swear it was like night and day.



Well-Known Member

I'm going to have a different opinion than the other posters here. My difficult child was originally diagnosis'd by our therapist. He was under her care for about a year before it became clear we needed a diagnosis in order to medicate. It really was beneficial for all of us and he was the same age as your daughter when he first saw our therapist.

To this day, he remains very, very close with the therapist and will, from time to time, actually ask to speak with her. She let him know from the very beginning that everyone needs someone to talk to. Sometimes they do just talk. Sometimes she helps him with calming techniques. She takes her que from him.

If you feel comfortable going with the therapist first, go for it. If your gut tells you to try that first, follow it. You may find in a couple months you need to do something different. I would go with what you feel comfortable with.

Good luck.