Tired of trying to explain difficult child


New Member
I haven't been on this website for almost three years. At that time I had just been introduced to ODD by a school principal to my then preschooler. When I took difficult child to a psychologist at 4 yrs I was told that she was too young to diagnose and wasn't really offered any help or plan. difficult child went to preschool and it was obvious she had problems. The teachers were wonderful and worked their best with her. The problem is that other kids don't seem to like her much if at all. It's that whole impulsivity thing. difficult child then went to kindergarten last year and I didn't mention anything to her teacher till the first conference. I wanted her honest opinion of how things were without biasing her. I was not surprised at how the conference went. It made me cry. difficult child's teacher had the attitude of it was her way or no way so she wasn't much help to me. However, the school counselor and principal were. Now that it is summertime it is harder than ever for me as a stay at home mom. She is my only and some days she makes me feel like I would if I had six kids. She just wears me down. I started to see a counselor 6 months ago to help me and get support. Counselor finally saw difficult child today and opened her eyes wide and said, "she's got ADD written all over her". So, now we've got the other half to the ODD. I've read The Explosive Child and it hit the nail right on the head. I'm in the process of re-reading it for a refresher. I'm not sure what I need from this site other than maybe to vent to people who REALLY understand. Most of the time when I discuss it with other people I feel like they're looking at me like I have eight heads. I just get to the point where I don't talk about it. But that's hard on me because I really need to discuss it... hence the counselor. husband is anti medications without even fully understanding everything. Any advice? Words of Wisdom? Recipe for some hot mama juice? :smile:


Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful

Welcome Back :grin:

We vent, we ask advice, we toss stuff off each other, we support each other.

Has difficult child had any true evaluations yet? You might want to have a multidiciplinary evaluation done, and or a neuropsychologist evaluation done. Alot of people get the cost covered by the schools. Although I always did mine privately.

There was a time when I didn't like the thought of medications either. It made me uncomfortable to medicate young children. But once it became necessary with my daughter Nichole, I saw the huge difference they can make. If a child needs them, they need them. This doesn't mean your child will, necessarily. Depends on what her diagnosis turns out to be.



New Member
I know where you are coming from...my son has the same issues. He was diagnosed ADHD and ODD beginning at age 5 1/2. Because of anger and aggression issues, he recently was diagnosed Bipolar as well.

I would recommend a Neuro-psychiatric evaluation like Lisa said. When my son had the Neuro-psychiatric it confirmed the mood disorder diagnosis.

Please know you are not alone. I am a teacher, therefore a full-time stay at home mom during the summer. You are right, it is exhausting!


New Member
difficult child has not had an official evaluation. When she was four I contacted a local hospital about it and they were scheduling about six months out. For some reason I never scheduled. I don't know if I was in denial or what. I think since the psychologist said she couldn't be diagnosed so young, I figured it might be a waste of time at that point. Now I need to get her to a child psychiatrist as a first step. I'll get advice on an evaluation and go from there.

About the medications, I really need to get more educated about them. I'm not anti medications but just want to be informed. I don't even want to tell my husband that the counselor thought difficult child is ADD. The problem is that he does not educate himself about it. Last year I encouraged him to read The Explosive Child and he pretty much refused. He's a smart man. I can't figure it out. He blames it on not being a book reader. I think it's just lazy. So my support system is lacking. He's away a lot with work and when he comes home he's the good daddy while I'm home all the time and the evil mommy. I feel like anything I attempt is completely undone when he gets home. Some days I just think, is this ever going to stop??? Are we ever going to have some sense of normalcy in our lives? I am, in general, so overwhelmed all of the time. I can't seem to get past it.


New Member
Hi Lori,

Maybe the reason husband "isn't a book reader" is because he might have ADD too? Just a thought. Family hx is vital to putting the pieces of the puzzle together, at least it was in my family.

It sounds like husband may be in denial too. It's hard for a lot of people to accept that their child may have some issues. But at least you are doing what you need to get your child the help she needs.

Welcome back
PS- they all want to be the good daddy.


Another evil mommy :devil:

A great book about kids medications is called "Straight Talk about Psychiatric Medications for Kids," by Dr. Timothy Wilens. Very informative and clear.


New Member
Thanks Mattsmum,
Summertime is exhausting. I can't wait for school to get back in session! Does your difficult child have trouble making friends? Mine really does. I think it makes it hard this summer because noone really wants to play with her. So I am her #1 playmate. Sometimes I don't even want to be around her because of her unpredictable mood swings then add the incessant chatter and questions. She worries a lot too. Today we had the endless conversation about what happens if the cut (healed) on her finger gets infected. Will she have to have it cut off? And then question upon question about it and then says, "how would you know????" Today is just one of those days and it's not even what I would consider a bad one. I think the appointment today just brought everything to the surface again.

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Just wanted to say welcome back. I'm sorry difficult child is struggling-we do understand and you are not alone. Hugs.


New Member
Thanks for the book info on psychiatric medications. I just requested it from my library!

I've never thought of my husband as ADD. His family does have a history of psychiatric disorders though - mostly bipolar. I fight depression that came on since having my daughter. I think I'll just have to "encourage" him to read the book again. If I have to shove it in his laptop case I will. That's encouraging, right?? :smile:

Thanks to all of you for replying so quickly and warmly and being so understanding and supportive. It's nice to know this site is here.



Lori, welcome back.

Sorry for all the questions, but I just want to help point you in the right direction:
You mention anxiety and mood swings plus a family history of depression and bipolar disorder. What symptoms lead you to believe your difficult child has ADD (besides the counselor mentioning it)? What do you think made the counselor say today that difficult child has ADD?
You mention difficulty making friends. Does your difficult child have any friends? How does she do in school, both academically and with peers?
Any sensory issues (sensitivity to clothing tags, food textures, loud noises, for example)?
Any speech or developmental delays?
When she went to preschool, what behaviors were you seeing that made it obvious she was having problems?
What are some of her impulsive behaviors?

As you can see, you will find a lot of support here.


New Member
Well Lori,

Time to shake out the family tree on both sides I would say to create a parent report on your difficult child. http://www.conductdisorders.com/community/threads/parent-input-multi-disciplinary-evaluation.10/

In my family, husband's fam has lots of BiPolar (BP), anxiety and depression, and sub abuse and alcohol issues. My side, certifiable, best guess would be aspie, adhd, BiPolar (BP), depression, a little schiz, sub abuse, with a gallon of alcohol on the side.

Everything I've read of recent times talks about there being a spectrum that runs from aspie to BiPolar (BP) with everything in between and various shades and overlaps. If both your husband and you have depression and BiPolar (BP) in your family, in addition to adhd, take a good look at pediatric BiPolar (BP), which can in some respects look like adhd but adhd on steroids...mean steroids lol.

We believe our difficult child is BiPolar (BP), and she definitely had adhd sx also. Sometimes they can be co-morbid.

Hope you like the book, I really liked his approach, easily readable and a fast read.


New Member
I feel your struggle. I understand the lack of support. I went (and kind of still am) through that. DEX is fun dad and Im evil mom ALL the time. Very frustrating. I have learned through the years that there HAS HAS HAS to be a constant acceptance on how the child is raised. If husband shows he is against something evil mommy is doing, then it blows everything away. If you tell him that not being completely in agreement on medications, or information, then your child will grow up confused and will act out more so than if you come from a united front. How to get your husband there is beyond me. I am just now finally getting DEX to understand that what he is doing and have been doing has not helped difficult child at all. But of course it took his girlfriend to "show him the light" even though what she told him is what Ive been telling him for years.


New Member
Smallworld -

My counselor and I have been discussing her behaviors for months. A couple of months ago she gave me a packet describing 5 different types of ADD. Here are what I'd say describes difficult child best:

Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork

Difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities

Doesn't seem to listen when spoken to directly

Talks excessively

Often blurts out answers before questions have been completed

Often has difficulty awaiting turn

Often interrupts or intrudes on others

Excessive or senseless worrying



Strong tendency to get locked into negative thoughts, having repetetive thoughts

Trouble shifting attention from subject to subject

Difficulty seeing options in situations

Tendency to hold onto own opinion and not listen to others

Today the counselor could see her bouncing all over the place in her topics of conversation. She would come to me and lean all over me, try to lie on me and impulively pinch me for no reason. She wanted to know all about every little item on the counselors desk. Who gave it to her? Why did they give it to her? How long have you had it? We talked to difficult child about how last school year went and things that happened in the year. She talks a lot so she gives up information very easily.

difficult child has some neighborhood friends that I would consider more of acquaintances. They don't call her or ask her to come over or do anything with them. She sees them when we go out on our walks. Two nights ago we were walking past a house and the two girls saw difficult child and ran in their house and locked the door. difficult child was running towards their house when this happened and couldn't understand why they wouldn't answer the door when she rang the bell. She just wanted to say hi. Made me sad but she really didn't understand what was happening. It's because she's so impulsive and doesnt' want to listen to their requests when they ask her to not do something. I used to volunteer in her classroom this past school year and the teacher had to ask me to not come in anymore. It was too disruptive because difficult child would get so worked up when she saw me and when I left she would hang on me and cry. Her classmates would always tell me how bad difficult child was in school. She has one neighborhood friend who is 17 and Special Education and ADHD. She is a sweet kid and they are pretty much on the same level except she's more mature than difficult child.

Academically difficult child does well. I hope it continues.

No sensory issues. No speech or developmental delays. In fact, her speech has always been well advanced from her peers. Always a clear speaker. Very good vocabulary.

Her early problems started with impulsivity problems such as pushing, hitting, pinching. She then started showing serious signs of ODD. Pushing a teacher at the age of 4. Spitting at a teacher. Defying a principal. And not to mention all of the problems I had with her defying me and her dad. She has always had a sense of entitlement. She has separation issues. Oh, she told the counselor today that she got into trouble this past school year because she told a classmate that she was a genius.



New Member
Oh, husband does not suffer from depression. His mother is an alcoholic. Her father was an alcoholic. His sister is bipolar. His great aunt was bipolar. His niece is bipolar. Who knows what else. His family doesn't talk about this subject very openly. Still taboo.

My sister takes anti-depressants to "take the edge off" as she puts it. I've had the majority of my problems since my thyroid was removed and had my daughter. This past winter was a rough one for me. I took lexapro for 9 months and it didn't work. It made me have sugar cravings and I gained 45 pounds. I started on Wellbutrin SR and started feeling better. Then went to Wellbutrin XL and became me again. Plus, I've lost 20 pounds.


Lori, ODD rarely stands alone. It is frequently a set of behaviors with an underlying cause. When the underlying cause is identified and treated, the ODD behaviors generally subside.

The hallmark symtoms of ADHD -- inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity -- can be part of other disorders (including mood issues and Autistic Spectrum Disorder) so it's wise to rule out those other disorders before you (or the counselor) automatically assume it's ADHD. Some of the behaviors you're describing may very well go beyond ADHD. It sounds as if your difficult child has a lot of anxiety. Excessive or senseless worrying, talking excessively, problems with separation and a strong tendency to get locked into negative thoughts or having repetative thoughts are all consistent with various forms of anxiety. And anxiety can be part of many disorders, including but not limited to Depression, Bipolar Disorder and Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Anxiety can be co-morbid with ADHD, but it is not generally a hallmark symptom the way it is with the other disorders I mentioned.

I would strongly recommend a thorough evaluation with a neuropsychologist or a multidisciplinary team at a children's or university teaching hospital. This type of evaluation will yield the best chance at an accurate diagnosis. Only with an accurate diagnosis will you be able to put the proper interventions into place to help your difficult child.

Good luck.


New Member
{{{{{Hugs}}}} I know what you are going through. (read my post its called "a long vent from a sort of a newbie" or something like that.)

My difficult child also doesnt have very many kids who like her either. We have a girl across the street who wanted to come over all of the time but lately she hasnt been over. Most likely because difficult child tried her best in the beginning to act 'normal' but after awhile that gets exhausting and she goes back to not listening, pushing for her way and her way only and her acting a lot more immature than her age. I feel so bad for her.

Only thing I can tell you is to keep trying to get her to meet new friends and work on teaching her the right way to interreact with them. Talk about senerios that may happen. It worked for my difficult child for a little while but her ODD is on the rampage and our lessons are going no where so now she has no friends.


Certainly been there. We were told about ODD at 2.5 years old. nobody ever heard of it. We tried to ignore it, just act as if he was fine. Well, he wasn't. Our very first conference in first grade...he got all A's, but the conference lasted 45 minutes and all we were told was how awful he was. It was that conference 6 years ago that the school counselor was in on. She has become one of difficult child's closest friend. Not really friend, but to this day, (middle school going into grade 8)he will call her if he is feeling out of control. She keeps in touch. She was his guardian angel through the elementary years. Told us things we didn't / couldn't understand. Never heard of. Guess what. All of those things have happened. We should of listened so many years ago we could of gotten him help then. Maybe he would not have such a difficult time now. We were just in denial. Instead of getting him the help he needed we fought it. I have put a lot of energy into learning about ODD and other diagnosis's the past two years. Wish I would of done this 8 years ago. I too came here 8 years ago. husband made me stop. Said there was nothing wrong with difficult child. (I was difficult child's target, not husband)

Welcome back. Wish I would of never left.


New Member
I thought it was interesting that you wrote at the end of your reply "I was difficult children target, not husband" That is true in our household too. Realistically, husband is not around on a regular basis to see it/get it. When he is around for a few days at a time or on vacation for a week, he will see it and be ready to go back to work. Then I guess he just ignores it and wants to believe there is no real problem.


Mom's are often the target for our kiddos. in my humble opinion, it's because they know we love them unconditionally.


New Member
I kind of lost it on the phone with a friend today. I haven't talked to her in months. I was in the middle of doing research online about ADD and doctors and making phone calls and I think I was just a bit frustrated. When we got to talking and I told her what I was working on and that difficult child was not any better and I'm trying to get help, she said, "oh, I know how it is, I have two kids." I said to her, "No... you don't know how it is here. You don't live here and you're not around difficult child 24/7" She kind of backed off. I did apologize for being short, but not for what I said. It goes back to the topic of my post. I'm tired of explaining difficult child. Sigh. I need a drink. I actually get to have a grown up night out with two friends. difficult child will be staying at mother in law/father in law's house. I don't even want to think about it because difficult child always has a fit at just the THOUGHT of staying the night let alone doing it. I am definitely planning to indulge in some adult beverages tonight.