The behaviour started in kindergarten, and occurred at home, at school, and on weekends. I dutifully drove her to appointments with a therapist and a psychiatrist, who characterised the behaviour as a symptom of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) combined with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), a behavioural issue some experts contend could stem from permissive parenting or a past riddled with either abuse or neglect. But I wasn’t permissive. Anna had never been abused or neglected. Like many seeking answers, I hit the books and kept a notebook about her extreme rages. When I asked Anna’s first psychiatrist about her extreme tantrums and outbursts, his warm brown eyes couldn’t mask his dismissive body language and cautious remarks that her behaviour was likely just an extreme case of ODD. He offered an antipsychotic mediation, Zyprexa, to her drug cocktail. But the medication didn’t work; the symptoms continued, and Anna’s diagnosis remained ADHD and ODD for years.
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A touching article. I can’t imagine what some parents go through. Wonder why we can’t “solve” these problems?
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