New Member
Hi everyone

Myself and my wife have a 7 year old daughter who we believe has Conduct Disorder and/or ADHD and/or ODD. Most days she will be defiant no matter what she is asked to told to do. She will deliberately sometimes do something that she has been told not to do. She doesn't respond to punishments all that much, especially in a school environment. She lies majority of the time. She is highly disruptive in class and can't sit still for more than a minute. She takes other childrens food if she see's something that she wants even though she has her own. School has now started internally excluding her because she can be some disruptive but on some days she can be very good.

However sometimes, in other environments, she can be a little angel.. very helpful, nice and calm.

The School have now put a referral through to the educational psychologists but in the mean time I could really do with any helpful advice or tips as to what we can do to try to deal with this kind of behavior until it all comes through. Any help would be very much appreciated!


Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Welcome Simon,
I'm glad you found us but sorry you needed to.

First a couple of questions: Have you had her evaluated by a child psychologist, child psychiatrist, or a Neuro-psychologist? These three done together can be very helpful in getting an actual diagnosis. Most schools will not be complete enough.

Conduct disorders is usually not diagnosed in children.

How is the school excluding her? They really shouldn't be but should be putting supports in place that help her to be in the classroom as much as possible. Have they started the IEP process?

As for what you can do in the meantime, one thing I would do is read The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It is very helpful when dealing with kiddos like ours.

Again, welcome and know that you will find much support here.


Well-Known Member
Can you give us a history of your daughter from infancy to now? Did she have a disordered life? Ever been seen privately? in my opinion private neuropsychs in particular are the way to do. I don't trust the ones that work at schools. Are you in the US?


Well-Known Member
I second Wiped Out's reply. The Explosive Child is a great read and good first place to explore the different thinking of our challenging kids. Additionally, a referral from school is also great place to start -- but it is just the beginning.

If you are in the US, the whole school process can take up to 90 days to carryout before things begin to change. There is the initial evaluation process, then you would have a meeting to discuss the results and to determine eligibility for services. At that meeting, you will usually discuss beginning the IEP process, then the IEP has to be written, then signed off and implemented. It can take 3 or 4 months to get things moving along. A suggestion would be to accept and request ALL the tests the school can do, social, educational, psychological....You need to see if there are any learning issues that might contribute to her behavior as well (that was definitely the case when my difficult child was 8).

It sounds as if you have not had your daughter formally seen by anyone other than her pediatrician. You may want to begin by speaking with her doctor for a referral to a child psychologist or psychiatrist or neuro psychiatrist. Let her pediatrician know what is going on.

Were your daughter to be diagnosed with ADHD from an outside source before the school evaluation is complete, it might be enough to get her on a 504 plan before a formal IEP can be written. That's what we did with my son and it definitely helped to have some accommodations in place at the beginning because it lessened everyone's stress level. School Special Education departments/administrators vary in their desire and ability to work with our gigs. In theory, our children are guaranteed the right to the same education as undiagnosed typical students. In reality, it doesn't always work smoothly.

Arm yourself with knowledge. If you are in the US, go to the wrights law website and read up on your family's rights when it comes to education. Being forearmed is the best!

Meanwhile, read the book and begin to implement some of the trade off "discipline" techniques (basket issues). Be consistent with your behavior expectations and let your daughter know ahead of time what you expect and follow through - no idle threats made in moments of exasperation, i.e., "We are going to the grocer. I expect you to listen and behave. If you talk back, whine, or misbehave, you will loose TV privileges (or whatever) tonight. Do you understand?" It is best to speak to them on eye level, calmly and make sure she understands the directions. If, when you are out, she does what you told her not to do, don't get upset or frustrated. Everyone has seen kids melt down before. Yours won't be the first. Stay calm and carry on. When you get in the car or back to the house let her know, "Before we left I told you what I needed you to do and you misbehaved. There will be no tv tonight." Don't engage in her tantrums. Go on about your business and she will eventually see that you do mean business.

I think the most important thing to realize is that very often our children, especially when they are young, cannot process their emotions, frustrations, or disorders so they manifest with difficult behaviors. As they begin to mature, things can often change for the best. But when they are very young, it's challenging. Staying calm and not engaging in their drama is the best advise I can give. Many of our children also physically manifest when they are building to those moments. I was always able to "see it coming". Most often I could ward off the raging with my son by deflection, distraction, or telling him we needed a little space and he and I would both go somewhere quiet. It gave him the chance to calm without distraction. When our kids are in school, it's almost impossible for teachers, who are dealing with 20some other kids, to see it building before it bursts free!

Good luck.



Something you can do while waiting is to get a complete physical from her Pediatrician so you can determine if there is a physical reason for her behavior.

In addition, get a hearing test and vision test done.... and no, not a "screening" by your Pediatrician, but a test by an ophthalmologist and an audiologist. Why you ask, there are disorders that can "look" like ADHD; one example is Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) (auditory processing disorder). So you want to rule out any hearing/listening and/or vision issues your child may have that could be contributing to her behavior.

Since there is no "medical" test for ADHD, there is often a process of elimination when trying to get a diagnosis. Therefore, getting these tests completed will help when moving on in the diagnosis phase so you, the school and/or other medical professionals can "cross off the list" any physical, hearing or vision reasons for her behavior.