Here are some examples of challenges and quirks
Incredibly single-minded. I have never met a child with persistence like her. She can tantrum for over an hour and not give up. Once when she was little (1.5-2) we took her to an open house and she saw a toy that she liked and wanted to take it home we said no and explained why and left. On the way home she fell asleep in the car, she slept for an hour and a half and when she woke up she immediately asked to go back to the house and resumed tantruming like the nap had not even occurred. You can not ever redirect her when as a form of discipline because she is much too focused on her desire.
Seems to have control issues. Everything has to be her way. She has to choose which car seat she sits in, and she has to be the first one out of the car (before her brother) or she completely melts down. Very oppositional. Never complies with a request on the first request. Often outright refusal. She wants to do things herself, but you give her the chance and she refuses, so you start to do it for her and she screams and says she'll do it herself, so you give her another chance and then she refuses again.
I feel like she tries to make everything difficult. She hops in the car and then immediately tries to lock the car door so I can't buckle her in. When her brother was still in a bucket seat she would climb into his seat and refuse to move into her own seat (of course I would be holding her brother and couldn't easily move her into her seat)
We have lots of tantrums daily. She gets upset very easily
Seems to have sensory seeking behavior. Would happily be pushed in a swing for hours. Lacks personal boundaries, always in other peoples space. Needs to have clothes and shoes very very tight. Also if her hair is in a ponytail she needs me to tighten it every 5 seconds practically
Often hyper. Lacks impulse control. I can not get her to leave her brother alone. She touches him, lays on him, squeezes him, headlocks him constantly. She runs around in circles, climbs on everything, jumps on the couch. I try to hold her on my lap to calm her and she screams and squirms to get away. Cries if she has to wait in line.
Had difficulty at her previous preschool with behavior and her father and I were called in for a conference. She was having difficulty with following directions. Also she would frequently get sent to the office because she was having tantrums.
I was contacted by her ballet teacher also because they felt she was disruptive in class. Refusal to follow directions, talking out of turn, constantly needing to take a break from the group and "rest"
Lots of clothing issues and "rules" about dressing. No hoods, no pockets, dresses only, the have to be long etc. Also when she's stressed it seems to manifest itself in clothing issues. Often if she tries to change her clothes multiple times a day it's a sign that she's feeling really stressed out.
In the six months before potty-training she had major issues with BM. She wasn't truly constipated, though her poops were somewhat firm. Basically she couldn't stand the sensation of pooping and she would scream and cry and try to hold it in. I think it made her feel out of control. For six months we had to deal with crying about poop almost everyday.
She has a lot of fixations. The letter P, the color pink, the number 3. She has a weird compulsion with checking people's fingers and toes for "mud". She was doing it a lot for awhile then stopped and now its back.
An aversion to water. As a baby the only way she'd go in the pool or bath is if I nursed her in the water. She hates to have her hair washed. As a baby and toddler she'd scream if I took a shower, it's like she was upset at the thought of water falling on my head. She hates washing her hands, she'll go out of her way not to touch anything in a public restroom so that I won't make her wash her hands. Refuses to walk on ground that is wet. Not just refusing to walk through puddles but wet ground all together because she doesn't want the bottom of her shoes wet (not that she could feel it but that she would know that they were wet)
Hates loud noises. Had a total meltdown during the fireworks show at the county fair. Hates the sound of toilets flushing (particularly automatic flushing toilets because then she doesn't have any control) and loud hand dryers really freak her out. She badly wanted to play with some kids at the park but she was bothered by how loud she felt they were, so she asked them if they would play quieter so she could play with them too.
Has had lots of sleep issues and eating issues. Slow to take to solids. Difficulty falling asleep and difficulty staying asleep. Her doctor had us give her melatonin for a long time. Sleeping is improving but her eating seems to get pickier.
She just exhausts me. I use tv as a babysitter so I can get a break. I'm overwhelmed because it feels like everything is a battle. The second she starts getting upset about her shirt coming untucked or her ponytails needing to be tightened or she won't walk through a wet patch on the ground, I start getting upset and angry because I'm so tired of fighting these battles constantly.
So the things I'm concerned about are ADHD (I have it so it's on my radar), SPD, or some kind of anxiety (especially because a lot of these things like the control issues and fixations seem to get worse when she's stressed). What do you all think? Is this just normal "spirited" child behavior or could there be something else going on? How do I figure it out and find help for her and all of us? I just want life to be a bit easier and a bit more peaceful.