psychiatric said she was at a disadvantage because of smarts

Hello everyone!

I am a mom to 2 very trying children. difficult child 2 is the one I am posting about this evening. She is 5 yrs old and out of control! We have had a problem since right before she turned 3.

Here is a few of her problems-

dafiant, argumentative, strong willed, irritable, unappreciatative, moody, has seperation anxiety (birthday parties, church, school, everywhere) sensitive to clothing (shoes, socks, pants shirts, dresses etc) very careful and afraid to do certain things, frustrated easily-if she messes up doing something she gets so mad and will hit herself or whatever is close, always gets mad when playing with friends- she says they don't want to play with her, anxiety builds when she is nervous about something or has to leave me, strongly dislikes school- she says she hates it, perfectionist, she has a very big problem listening- we ask her to do something and its like pulling teeth to get her to do anything, we have used many different discipline techniques- taken priviledges, rewarded good behavior, charts, spankings, taken all of toys away and she earned them back, time outs, nothing works! She has said something like this once before, " I wish that car would hit me so I could die." It was only once but that once was enough!!!
Hitting is a big problem for her. If she is mad, 9 times out of 10, she will hit herself, the wall, has even hit sister, or throws whatever is in her hands. Getting dressed everyday is a problem. She gets mad about whatever she is wearing. Even when she picks it out. No matter what clothes, shoes it is, she will get mad about the clothes, she says they bother her. :thumbsdown:

Her delightful side-

very bright child, she is so smart, started tying her shoes at 4, rode her bike early, large vocabualary and speaks very well, wonderful memory, and there is more but you get the point. :thumb:

We haven't seen a dev. pediatrician yet but we seen a child psychologist. She wasn't helpful at all! She basically said that Madison was at a disadvantage because of her intelligence and her ability. She said that it would be hard to get any services because she would be able to handle whatever is thrown her way. Well to a certain point I agree, but then again if she was fine we wouldn't be going to see a psychologist/ or any other doctors.

What I am wondering...can a child with the ability to do so much get an evaluation through the school? Can a child that doesn't have any problems at school get an evaluation through the school? Will they look at me like I am nuts when I ask for an evaluation?

Her teachers have no idea we have problems because she has always been so good at school. But she hates school for everything its worth! She has everyone fooled and it makes me angry! That is me venting just a little! :grrr:

Thank you!



Active Member
Yes, but it will be difficult. Is she in public kindergarten? If so, the first thing you need to do is send the school district a letter by certified mail stating that you daughter has a disability that you believe will have a negative educational impact and request an evaluation.

Your daughter sounds a lot like my son was at that age (there is hope, he is doing better in many areas!). The school refused to consider an IEP at first but once they got the full experience of my son in a rage, he had services within a week.

You may have to wait until she explodes at school. But make sure they get that certified letter ASAP as it will grant her the protections of Special Education law.


IEPs are for qualifying children with behavioral OR academic problems. If the child is not displaying any problems at school, the school district can deny the evaluation.

You can parent refer and see what happens. All they can do is say "no."

If you do parent refer, do it in a letter and send it via Certified Mail. Send via Certified Mail to the Special Education Director at your school district. The certified mail kicks in mandated timelines within which the school district MUST evaluate or go to a Hearing Officer and explain why it's not necessary.

The Parent Report mentioned in the letter can be edited out. However, I strongly recommend that you do a report and submit it in a week or two. The reason for this is because the school district must only evaluate in areas of "suspected disability." You're going to have to help them "suspect." I also suggest that you retitle it "Parent Input."

There are other sample letters in the Sp Ed Archives.

With the anxiety, low frustration threshold, potential sensory issues, etc., I suspect that sooner or later problems which impact the school environment will present.

It does happen that kids can sometimes hold it together all day at school and fall apart when they are home. It makes it extremely difficult to get the help they actually need at school.

Many kids with average to high IQs qualify for IEPs. Being bright doesn't always equate to being able to handle anything that's thrown at them, however.



JJJ's advice is very important. By sending this letter (CERTIFIED MAIL) almost all of the protections granted to IEP eligible students kick in immediately. Otherwise, you little girl is still subject to regular discipline and can be suspended long term and even expelled when she explodes at school and hits. All this protection of law for the cost of a certified letter is one of life's great values in my opinion.

Tell them your difficult child has a disabling problem with emotional/behavioral control that will have a negative impact on her making adequate progress WITHIN the regular education classroom.

The last phrase is important because a child such as yours could continue to make educational progress if tutored 1:1. However, the "normal" place for her to be is the general ed. classroom, and she will not stay there long without services to address her explosive behavior if it continues as you describe. in my opinion a child so intensely disliking school at such a young age is a negative predictor, so act now...

My ex-difficult child was not explosive at school, but he was very ODD in a passive way. He drove everyone nuts but did "nothing" that would bring disciplinary action. (I live in a very homework lax district for young kids--he never did any, but so what, they did not care) Until 5th grade, they used the "we don't see the behavior at school, and he's not negatively impacted educationally..." due to be at to way above grade level. Then the day he set foot in middle school, everything he did at home moved to school: he developed school refusal, would not go into the cafeteria, was bullied, you name it, it happened in 6th grade. I got him qualified to protect him legally. It kept him in public school 2.5 more years (half time.) Eventually, he could not live at home and went to EGBS for 15 months, and then he went to private high schools. Public school is not for everyone, but I am glad he attended through 8th grade because it is normalizing. As you will see from my signature, he is an unusual person, and his struggles with school personnel not liking his intense interest in music was part of the problem, so it is not good to generalize too much from my experiences.

However, I do resonate to your difficulties with a bright kindergartener. It is harder to get services, but not impossible, and your child deserves to be in the LRE. I believe she will need help to have that be the gen. ed. classroom. My son was never in any "special class" showing that Special Education is a service not a place.

Best to you,

Thank you for the advice!

When they tell me that she doesn't explode at school, she does wonderful, she is best in the class, how do I respond? I said something to hte school that she went to prior to k-5 and they said her name and said she is best in the class! She is very embarrssed about her bahavior and doesn't want anyone to see her act this way, she has told us that.

Thanks again!


I do not want to sound negative, but unless she "outgrows" this, which does not happen to too many kids of the parents on these boards, eventually her behavior will spill over into school. That is why I STRONGLY suggest you send the letter now. They do not have to agree; but by sending the letter, you have put them on legal notice.

It is always better for a child to be acting out in only one, not two, places. However, when the board membership was survey almost tow years ago, MANY parents responded to the question, "what do you wish, if anything, you had done differently? with "get school services sooner; fight for my kids rights at school; get an IEP, etc. NOT one said, "I wish I had waited longer or not gotten services for my difficult child."