meveronica21 asks:

5 yr old extreme behavior, possible disorders?

My son just turned 5 very smart for his age. I have noticed a lot of behaviors that I am concerned with. He has fits that last a few hours at a time-stubbern. I noticed that when there are changes in his life he has more frequent melt downs. When he has something go wrong he spirals out of control faster then I can blink my eye. He has a hard time with needing to write his letters the correct way. He knows what time everything is going to happen, if I get off schedule, fit comes. Anticipation for future events cause more frequent melt downs. In a melt down he speaks regularly of wanting me dead and actually hurts my body. I don't show that it bothers me. I had to go to the extent of locking him in his room for safety measures. I am very consistent with the punishments. I try to praise and reward regularly. I feel it is more than just normal preschool age behavior. Can anyone think of maybe a disorder that I can check out. Thanks
In Topics: Special needs
> 60 days ago



Feb 8, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk!

First and foremost, know that you are to be commended for asking for assistance with a difficult and trying situation.  Although we cannot give direct help, I will try and outline some avenues of assistance for you, as suggestions.

1. Talk with your child's physician.  Anytime a child has a radical change of behavior this is worthy of attention by a doctor. Be honest with your physician including your sons hurting of you.  He may refer you to social workers in your area for counseling or other professionals who are equipped to help.  

2. Consult with the school district and ask for a meeting with the special education team to help determine if there are any learning or psychological problems that impact on his ability to learn and behave within school and home.  Since he is only five, he may qualify for a pre-kindergarten assessment or help from an early intervention team. School Psychologists are often experts with behavior management and assisting families in crisis.

3. Try to write down what you believe may happen before his "fits".  Is it a specific change such as with weather, parent leaving the home, or before he is to eat a meal?  Keep a log of behaviors to share with professionals.

There are many excellent parenting resources which I will list below.  However, please consider having people in your area assist you as a first step to getting help.


Michele Borba- renowned parenting expert

Kidlutions, Wendy Young, MSW

ProActive Parenting by Sharon Silver

NASP- National Association for School Psychologists:

Good luck!

Louise Sattler, NCSP
Nationally Certified School Psychologist

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