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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1379
Experience:  Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
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My daughter is nearly 5 years old and recently over the past

Customer Question

My daughter is nearly 5 years old and recently over the past 2-3 weeks has become aggressive to the point where she was kicked out of school for 2 &1/2 days! At home she doesn't get aggressive but she has been talking back to me, at home she only whines
a lot if she can't get her own way or you ask her to stop something. The school has informed me that if this carries on she will be permanently excluded and I don't know what to do. I have spoken to her and she says that she doesn't find school fun and also
sometimes anger whispers in her ear then goes into her head and she can't get rid of it, to me that's quite a good answer from a 4 year old but I don't want her missing out at school!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She has already been diagnosed with adhd
Expert:  Dr. Charogat replied 2 years ago.

Hi, and I'm sorry to hear of the troubles you are having with her.

Can you tell me a bit more about her?

Is she a smart (or overly smart) child?

Has she been evaluated for autism?

Does she have any medical problems?

Does she take any medications, and if yes then which ones?

Is she an only child, if not then where does she stand in the family?

Is there any chance she is being bullied?

Was this change very sudden, or has it been slowly developing?

I'll be on and off the computer today and then will get back on this Sunday. I will try and check in to see if you have answers to my questions while I think about your question some more.

G-d Bless

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She's a very bright girl and I encourage learning lots and help her, she did move school a couple of months ago as I stopped driving and I thought that could have been the problem but it did come on suddenly and severely, the 14th April was the first severe incident! She has a baby brother who is 18 months old and she loves him dearly but does not see him that much due to school and homework! She does get a persistent cough every now and then and was put on inhalers from 6 months old however they are now trying montelukast instead as her chest is clear! I only give that to her when her cough gets really bad and keeps her up at night! When filling in the autism spectrum form she fell into the category of adhd however she has changed significantly since that and I have suggested to my father that I feel there is something more as sometimes I feel her emotions are not correct for the situation (eg she laughs at something that is not funny, whines if you ask her to stop something nicely) me and my partner have been very laid back as we thought our stern approach was making it worse but it is just escalating! I'm really at the end of my tether and nearly to the point of pulling my hair out! I love her to pieces but I'm so stressed with constant calls and letters from the school!
Expert:  Dr. Charogat replied 2 years ago.

I really do completely understand you. I would like to think more about all you have said. I also want to know when she was tested for autism. Can you tell me what state you are in or area (just in case I know a doctor I really trust near you).

Something that helped me -even before an autism diagnosis. I read an ecard on facebook (yes, the internet is a lousy source for many things - but I really took this saying to heart) which said "I can spank the autism out of my child like I can slap the stupid out of you". Basically it made me look at things somewhat differently. When my child is trying to grab everything in the supermarket so things are falling down all over so that he can hold it close to see (you know, that time when people start looking at you like you have a brat for a kid) I have realized that his ADHD simply is out of his control. I can try to find things that will help him control himself better in the moment, but as stern as I am that will not be the answer.

I am not finished answering your question yet. I would like to think about it some more and I'll try to answer tomorrow night or Monday.

G-d Bless (and good luck. You're going through something rougher than most people understand)

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She was tested and diagnosed with ADHD about the end of last year! And we're in England 😒 I just feel like one week of it feels like a month! Anything she tlells me I tell the school as I just want her to enjoy it!
Expert:  Dr. Charogat replied 2 years ago.

I've been thinking about this and reading it many times.

First, can you tell me if she is above average smart?

Next, is there any chance she is being bullied?

Third, I hate to ask this, but is there any chance AT ALL that she has been touched inappropriately or molested in any way?

G-d Bless

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
she is very intelligent it is like having a conversation with an adult and many people agree, we live in the UK! I wouldn't have thought she was being bullied and she hasn't said anything like that, if anything she could be the bully! If she doesn't get her way she will kick off! And no as far as I am aware she has never been touched in any way, I only give her a quick wash with a sponge then let her wash herself! I have been reading up and I think she may have this conduct disorder! My partners mum works with autistic children and mentioned defiancy disorder but when I read that it lead me to conduct disorder!
Expert:  Dr. Charogat replied 2 years ago.

It is possible that she has conduct disorder, but before labeling her (a label that may follow her into adulthood and cause problems throughout her school years) let's see if we can't figure out something else.

This is a site that you might be interested in looking at, though I'm not sure it would really apply to her.

Have you spoken with a behaviorist yet?

One of the things that is super important with these kids is consistency.

You can make a chart (though I would suggest leaving off times) that things will be done. For example, Wake up, bathroom/brush teeth, get dressed, breakfast, school. There should be tons of positive reinforcement for each good thing (make a large envelope and every time she does something good you can write it on a paper and stick in in the envelope and at the end of the day or week etc. you can read all the notes with her. (They can be the silliest things -- "daughter woke up nicely this morning" etc).
For dangerous behaviors the consequences should be much more dramatic than for smaller infractions. For example, if she hits or throws you can identify in as few words as possible what she did "you hit x" and then tell her you can't talk to her / be with her or x can't be with her etc until she is ready to keep them safe around her. (This shouldn't be more than five minutes or so). It will take some time, but even by the end of the week you should be seeing some differences.

I will continue reading and thinking about other strategies.

One more - likely MOST important thing - is that you should set her up for success. Give her tasks that she likes to do. Make demands on her minimal (and boy is this hard to do when you have a kid who is acting out so much) and praise even the smallest thing.

Also, always try to give her choices between two things instead of leaving things open ended. "which dress would you like to wear today, the blue or the red" when she chooses one you can praise her on what a great choice she made.

I know there is a lot of information here, and you might need to run through it more than once.

I'll continue thinking and meanwhile please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
she has a fantastic routine and we are very consistent with everything like waking up at the same time, bed at the same time, dinner at the same time and she gets prior warning if we do something outside the routine which seems to work well, I always give her the choice to choose what she wants to wear outside school, that gives her the feeling of independence! I've been giving her more puzzles and maths to do as this keeps her busy and she finds it fun. She mainly lashes out at her teachers and figures of authority, she rarely hurts a child of her own age! She can be very manipulative at times aswell and everything must revolve around her which I have to keep explaining that there are 30 other children that the teacher has to teach and not just her! They have even put a tent up for her at school so if she gets angry she can go in there and calm down! She's being given lots of allowances but she won't get this when she goes to the bigger school and I need her to realise she can't behave like that but I feel like I am wasting my breath as she still does it!