i have a beautiful 4 year old daughter. she's everything a little girl should be. however for the last year (or more) she has been SO extreme with her moods and behaviors. i am a typical mother, and i have a wonderful husband. her father and i try to stay as consistent as possible (since she is going back and forth). recently, (last yr or so) she has been almost un-bearable. she is completely defiant, she looses it over the most simple tasks. i have tried time outs, i have tried EVERYTHING short of making her sleep outside!!!!!! i try soo hard to keep my cool. i have been doing some on-line research and found ODD.. i had no idea about this, here i thought it's autism, ADHD, or maybe i am just crap mom... and so on. this is very fresh and i haven't gotten a diagnosis. everything i am reading is exactly how my child behavior!!! I'M NOT ALONE!!! I AM NOT A CRAPPY MOM!!!! so here's where i need help...... what should i do? do i go to her ped? or do i go to a psyc consult? i am terrified that they will think i am crazy because she's an angel outside of home or grandma's house.. i am at a loss and so frazzled. i must say, i am a little relived to know that maybe i haven't failed as a mother.. any advice would be AWESOME!!!! thanks bunches!
First off, hugs as you work on these challenges and welcome! I would probably call the ped and ask for a referral to a developmental pediatrician. The dev ped can assess her and give a diagnosis. It is often hard at 4 to get an accurate dx however. Things like ADHD and Asperger's have a criteria included of being 7 years of age with problems evident from an early age. Sometimes you might get a dx of developmental delay so that you can at least work to get services like OT that might be helpful for dd. I would also ask for a referral to a child psychologist. They probably won't meet directly with dd, but can talk to you and dh about parenting skills that may be more effective.
I think a developmental pediatrician would be first choice to do the evaluations you need. The bad news is that the waiting lists to get in are often l-o-n-g. I just heard only 19 new dev. peds. are graduating this year! Nationwide! So get on the list, but take action in the meantime.
I would recommend reading and trying anything that seems to fit. A couple starting places:
The Out-of-Sych Child. This book is about Sensory Processing Disorders, but you don't need a diagnosis to try. Much behavioral stuff starts with an underlying stress level, due to sensory issues.
The Explosive Child. I really love the philosophic attitude of this book (although the scripted parenting advice seems pretty stiff to me). Their basic point is that all kids do well if they can. If they aren't, it is due to lagging skills, not defiance, manipulation, or whatever the behavior looks like.
Another possible early step is to look into occupational therapy - OTs can work with you without a specific diagnosis.
I need to run - will check back later and add more if you want.
I'm sorry for what you and your child are going through right now.
I don't know anything about ODD. I did a quick search on old posts and found a thread I thought you might find helpful. It also has outside links that look very informative. http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1329365/odd
My only experience that is relevant is that when we were getting ready for an eval, I started working on summarizing and categorizing the major issues with my DD. I tried to get it down to a page -- subheadings and bullet points. I wanted to communicate clearly about what I saw as the major issues, not forget things once we got there. My DD's oddest behaviors she always saved for home.
I researched ODD a couple of years ago and felt sure my oldest son (8 in Nov) had it and still think he does. I didn't take him to the doctor for it though since everything says to "try this and that" and I refuse to medicate him. I've tried everything that was listed, including changing his diet, and nothing worked, sometimes I feel as if he is only getting worse. He is the most defiant child ever at home, but the MODEL student at school. After talking to his teachers every year, I always think we have to be talking about two different children. I don't have any advice other than to keep trying to keep your cool. If you do take her to a dr/specialist, please update on how it works out. Good luck with everything!