Where do I start?


At my wit's end
I have a 5 year old daughter. She is an angel at school. No trouble at dance. Great for the grandparents and babysitters. But with her dad & I at home, she loses it when the word NO comes out. Screaming matches for hours. Throwing anything she can get her hands on. Crying and screaming til she coughs and pukes everywhere. This has been going on for months. Several a week, especially on the weekends. There has not been one good weekend without a bad tantrum. I just don't know what to do. Where do I start to attempt to get her some help? My pediatrician thinks she will grow out of it, but she is not the mom crying herself to sleep everynight wondering where we went wrong.... My husband used to give in to her just to stop the screaming, but he has really stepped up and now that she sees he is not as compliant to whatever her demands are that time, it gets even uglier. I am worried our marriage can't survive this. Any advice would be appreciated. We are in NC and I don't know anyone that can recommend any therapists or doctors.


New Member
I'm in NC, too, and have called all around for therapists throughout the state. If you are close to Greensboro or Charlotte, PM me since I've found two different options. I also just received referrals in the Triangle area.

Both of my kids started this way. You're smart to not wait for "let's see if she grows out of it" although at her age it is hard to identify learning issues like dyslexia or ADHD.


Well-Known Member
Sounds like you are on the right track with trying to identify local support. I would suggest starting with a psychiatric evaluation. The fact that she behaves properly in some settings and not others suggests that she has some level of control over herself. However, proper evaluations are a must to figuring out what is going on with her. Best of luck and keep us posted!


Roll With It
I agree she needs evaluations, completely. It is very hard to get a thorough evaluation of a 5yo though. Her symptoms will change as she gets older, so the diagnosis will change. She probably isn't able to manifest all of the symptoms at this age. I would look for a developmental pediatrician and/or a neuropsychologist. Something is going on.

I do think that she may be doing too much. If she only falls apart for Mom and Dad, then it may be that she keeps it together for everyone else but she comes home and falls apart because she is overly stressed. I know my boys did this. Neither one could handle more than one after school activity and sometimes even that was too much.

The other thing that comes to mind is the opposite of that. How structured is your time at home? Could your little girl really need the structure and routine that comes at school and her other activities? Is the unstructured time at home the deep seated problem? Chances are that to change things would be a big battle, so it would NOT be an easy fix, of course. It can't ever be easy for us parents, can it? But maybe having a written schedule of what you do when, and sticking to it, is something that she needs. If this is the case, it could be a sign that her problems lie on the autistic spectrum. Not a certainty that they do, but a sign. People with autism often need the rigidity of a schedule or they are uncomfortable, especially children. Or so I have been told. My autistic children only ran on THEIR schedule, not mine.

The other thing about having a child on the autistic spectrum is that often there is a reason behind what they want and what they are battling for. It takes really getting into the child's head to find the logic there, but there IS logic there. It may not be an adult's logic, but it is there. Once you find it, you often can work with it.

I STRONGLY recommend that you read The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It is truly excellent and very helpful when dealing with a child that just doesn't work the same way that other kids do. I do know how hard it is when your child acts like this, and I am sorry you have to cope with it. Be sure that you and your husband take the time to do nice things for each other, for yourselves, and to nurture your marriage. Those things are all very important, too.