confused and desperate for answers

by Alyn Walters

My daughter is 6 and has been the challenge in our family since she was born. As an infant she ruled by the amount of sleep the she got. If she was tired, no one could enjoy her or the area around her because she cried, screamed and often times until she passed out from exhaustion.

Now, we are not sure what will provoke the tantrums and bad behavior episodes. Often she has something that, in her mind, she was going to do, such as wash her hair with conditioner and for some reason the plan changed. In this case because the shower was filling the bathtub too much so I had her turn off the shower. Instead of telling me what she wanted to do, she went into hysterics and has been in her room screaming at us all morning. She refuses to say she is sorry even when she knows that is all it takes to return life back to normal.

As for the sensory disorder, she is in constant motion and loves activities and fast rides. I have often wondered if she is hyper active, but the symptoms are not present everyday.

In regards to emotional dysfunction, a change in routine throws her for a loop, yet she is very social. When she plays in groups, though she has trouble playing what others want to play. She wants to control the activities and when she cannot, she would rather play alone.

I feel like our family is held hostage by her needs. I don't know what this is, but I need to find out.

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Dec 18, 2009
They called it SPD
by: Anonymous

My son couldn't say moma until he was 3 1/2. He can now say "moma wawa". We put him into speech therapy, which has helped him to comprehend more words and names of animals and such things. Now my son is 4. He still can't hold onto words. They are abstract to him. He forgets what the T.V. is called. He forgets basic words and can not express almost anything verbally. He has held on to the word "wa wa". Sometimes, afterschool he has said to me occasionally the word "hungry". Like the other children mentioned on this sight, I noticed he has difficulty with routine changes... and is also very tactile. Right now, I'm still trying to potty train him, I hope that maybe we'll make a breakthrough over Christmas vacation.

Thanks for letting me write down some of my thoughts. I guess I'd sort of wish to know if he can grow up and have a normal life or not. Can he over-come SPD? In anycase we will always love him. I will always be there for our son.

Nov 23, 2008
may be finding answers...
by: Anonymous

I posted a comment about my five-year old daughter a few weeks ago. Since then, her kindergarten teacher has met with me a few times regarding her concerns... after some research, I think it may be Asperger's Syndrome. I now have the school psychologist involved and am still searching for answers, but you may research Asperger's and see if the symptoms fit your child as they seem to fit mine who has similar issues...

Nov 20, 2008
confused and desparate for answers
by: Anonymous

I can't believe how much your daughter sounds like my daughter! My daughter is 7 years old and she rules our family. She will go into hysterics over the slightest change in plans. The conditioner example you describe would cause a 1-2 hour long outburst. She could be happy one minute and the next minute my son will say or do something totally innocent and she will take offense and begin screaming and yelling. She does not like to be told no. The word no can put her into a rage. She will throw a fit over "a bump" in her sock or a tag in her shirt. She likes to run around in her underwear and she is rarely cold and often refuses to wear a coat. When we ask her why she throws tantrums she will say that she can't help it and that she does not want to throw a tantrum but she cannot stop. She also is very attached to me and wants to manipulate me whenever she can.

On the other hand she can be the most lovable, sensitive, funny, little girl, She loves school and is a perfectionist, We thought that she may have ADHD but she maintains attention at school and works very hard on her homework. She also gets along with other kids and has lots of friends.

We are at our wits end!!!

Oct 12, 2008
We have one each of a twin
by: Tracey

My 5 year old is the same, we are currently waiting for the sensory pathway team to do an assessment.... shes constantly anxious, very tactile... and like you its been present since birth, the not sleeping through, the screaming suddenly for no apparent reason. The constant "whats that noise" and the slightest bit of emotion sends her soaring. Almost seems to be "allergic" to her own adrenalin. I hope you get some answers soon, I hope we all do, like you I feel very trapped at times.

Take good care
Tracey xx

Oct 10, 2008
by: Anonymous

My 5 year-old daughter sounds very similar to what you've described. She is a bear when she's tired and takes a long time to wake up and get going in the morning. If something in her plan changes, she FREAKS out. She also is very social, loves playing with other kids...unless they don't do what she wants. She also struggles a lot with her fine motor skills, which is what brought me to this website. She is very smart but the social cues that she should understand are lacking...

I wish I knew what this meant!!!

Sep 22, 2008
Hang in there
by: Jessi

My son also shows some of the symptoms of your daughter, though not as severe. My son is 4 and has been in speech and occupational therapy for about a year now. This has vastly improved the quality of his life (and mine!). He does tend to have trouble with transitions - this was severe when he was pre-verbal which was really up to about 3 1/2. I have trained myself to do almost nothing without lots and lots of verbal warning. For instance, with the shower thing - before you even thing about turning the shower off, tell her 'I'm going to turn the shower off in __minutes'. Then repeat every minute before you turn it off. I'll even get down to seconds sometimes.

Other than that, I'd say your daughter needs to be evaluated by an OT and possibly a developmental pediatrician (or something of that sort) to get your daughter started in some type of therapy to help her sensory problems.

Good Luck!

Sep 20, 2008
Don't Give Up
by: Marcie Walters-Turcotte


You are describing my son to a "T". Now when he was younger he slept so I didn't have that issue to deal with but I feel your frustration when it comes to the recent issues. My son has also been diagnoses with ADHD - combined type. Meaning that he has all three components of the disorder. He is hyper active, inattentive and is impulsive. I have looked on one of my son's evaluation reports and the one document I found was called the Connors Rating Scale - Long Version. I believe the others were called Behaviour Assessment System for Children - 2nd Edition (BAS2)and the Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) there are 2 different forms. One that the parents fill out and one that the teachers fill out.

My son, who is also 6, will loose it for no reason as well. I believe that it is because of a few different things. He has no impulse control and therefore acts on his first feeling, that of frustration, and he does not have the verbal skills to explain what he is feeling. We have really worked on learning to express our feelings and also for me to learn how to validate his feelings.

My son also hates change and/or transition. The timer on the stove and a numbered clock have worked well for that. If I give him warnings that things will be changing it helps, it isn't am answer but I find that the tantrums aren't as bad and they don't last as long. The buzz of an alarm works well for my son. Even at school they give him cues that things will be changing.

My son is also VERY social - he is a sensory seeker and loves to be close to people. To close actually. He has no concept of personal space what so ever. He loves to be the leader and if they aren't listening to him he will have a "freak out". Again we are trying to work on his communication skills.

I came to understand that my child has behaviours that fit under both SPD and ADHD.
I hope some of this has helped. There is a lot of info on the web about both SPD and ADHD. I have also found that sites like this one and chat groups have helped as well.

All the best to you and your family. Stay strong. I am sure that you are doing the best for you daughter that you know how.


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