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Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience:  PsyD, LPC, CHt
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Should I take my nine year old stepdaughter to a specialist?I have been dealing with some

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Should I take my nine year old stepdaughter to a specialist?I have been dealing with some odd behaviors for the past four years. When she was six she started smearing feces all over the bathroom and house and even defecated in her own back pack and hid it for three weeks moving it everytime I tried to figure out where the smell was coming from. She shut her baby brothers head in the closet door by kicking it shut, and bashed his arm repeatedly against the side of the bath tub even though I was just a couple of feet away. During this time she had a blank expression on her face and said she never did it when I asked her why she was doing thatthis was when she was seven. At eight she tried to suffocate him with a pillow to keep him quiet, and she is fully aware of the consequences of her actions. I have caught her fondling my son innappropriately on several occasions and have told her it is not appropriate. Recently I had another child, she has started to do act out violently.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 5 years ago.

"Should I take my nine year old stepdaughter to a specialist?"


Yes - absolutely. During the last four years, it seems that her behavior had progressively gotten worse.

There are different reasons as to why she may be acting out ex: attention seeking, feeling inadequate, punishing the adults in her life, power struggle- seeking control.

Her behaviors are unsafe for her siblings and this acting out has to be addressed by a clinician. She may be suffering from a mood disorder or other conditions ex: Oppositional Defiant Disorder and it would be helpful to evaluate what is going on with her through a face to face meeting. That way, you'd have a better idea about what you're dealing with and she'd be offered the appropriate treatment.


You can still discipline her at home and encourage appropriate behaviors. These can be rewarded while the negative ones consequented. You've already tried for the last four years and getting some objective feedback and professional assistance is a good idea at this time, especially with the new sibling at home.


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