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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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This is the 56 year old widow with a grown neice and 8 year

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Hello, this is the 56 year old widow with a grown neice and 8 year old granddaughter. By the way I lined up my side of the porch with flowers and bought 2 ergonomically designed Adirondack Chairs for the porch (they are comfortable)!!(Also made in U.S.A). So the granddaughter and myself have been enjoying peace and quiet while dining on the porch in our "garden". However, the granddaughter has William's Syndrome. mild mental retarded but functional, ADD without the hyperness, and disruptive behavior disorder!! Right now I am ready to pull my hair out and/or go screaming into the sunset!!! We have been working with behavioral therapists but she is still wanting what she wants when she wants it and is willing to scream, carry on, cuss, hit, cry til she gets whatever she thinks she wants.
I have finally gotten it in my head that she needs structure, through a daily schedule (I'm a free spirit and hate schedules) and that she needs to have
the same consequences for "bad" behavior. M

Hi! It's great to hear from you again!

I am glad to hear that you fixed up your side of the porch and it worked for you. I had to laugh at how you phased it. I enjoy your sense of humor immensely.

I do agree with you. Boundaries are important to any child and developmentally, boundaries help a child feel secure. Providing boundaries is one of the toughest parts of parenting (as you already know, I'm sure) and it is especially important with a child with behavioral issues, such as your granddaughter. Does it mean she will stop the behavior? Probably not. But it will help control some of the aspects of her behavior and it will give you some measure of control, which can help you feel better.

This is a problem that you could work on with the behavioral therapists. They should have tons of ideas to help you and will also have the resources to set up a schedule and behavioral boundaries for your granddaughter. Each child has their own limitations and personalties so taking advantage of what they know about her will help you get the best plan possible.

Also, try a Star chart. List good behaviors such as chores (keeping her clothes picked up, picking up her own dishes, etc) and staying quiet while Grandmom is one the phone for example. Since I assume she cannot read yet, remind her of what is on the list on a daily basis. Then when she does something on the list, give her a reward. Place a star next to the good behavior then offer her a toy out of a basket you put together or offer her time to watch a favorite program. Anything you feel would work. This helps reinforce her good behavior and takes her away from the bad behavior.

Here are some more resources to help you find other ideas: if you don't know about this site already, it may have support for you in helping her.

Achieving Best Behavior for Children with Developmental Disabilities: A Step-by-Step Workbook for Parents and Carers by Pamela Faith Lewis

Parenting Children with ADHD: 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach (APA Lifetools) by Vincent J. Monastra

Let me know if I can help you any further.

Take care,


TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

Hi! I am so sorry I missed your request on your latest question about your diet. The requests last only 10 minutes then the question is dumped into the queue for any Expert to answer. Karyn gave you a great answer so feel free to work with her. I just wanted to let you know that if you choose to request me again, put my name at the beginning of your question and other experts will know to leave the question for me. And I will answer it as soon as I see it. Or you can attach your new question onto the same thread as our last question and I will receive it as a response.


PS I am leaving this response as an information request so you do not get prompted to pay for it.