O.D.D: Possible Early Warning Signs in Babies & Children


This article is based on my personal experiences with my daughter, this is not a medical opinion. If you are concerned about yours or your children’s mental health, please speak to your GP.

My 7 month old daughter Danielle & my 6 year old daughter Annaleigh. (Image: Bec Smith / 2021)

When I fell pregnant, my ex and I knew there would be a chance our daughter would inherit her fathers ADHD. It was a risk I was completely okay with because I had already fallen in love with the little growing human inside my body. From the moment she started kicking, she didn’t stop. I even made mention of it at an ultrasound after the nurse said she was having trouble getting the shots she needed because our little gymnast wouldn’t stay still. That was my first hint that she was her fathers daughter.

My ex is a very troubled person, having struggled with addiction and the law as well as not really ever getting a handle on his mental health. Our relationship was exhausting, abusive and unhealthy which is why we parted ways shortly after Annaleigh was born. The moment she arrived, I looked in my little girls eyes and nothing else mattered anymore other than keeping her safe.

As Anna grew older, I realised it was certain that Anna would eventually be diagnosed with ADHD. She had to be rocked to sleep, which could take hours. My mum and my Aunty would help me out by taking turns with me in the bedroom rocking her until she would drift off. Her favourite thing was to twist my hair with her fingers to the point of knots wrapped around her little fingers. If she couldn’t access my hair, she would start to fuss and cry. So, sometimes I would let her, so she would fall asleep.

When Anna began to walk, she didn’t stop. I mean, she really didn’t stop. She still runs from room to room, at age 6. The sweetest, smartest little girl zipping around the house like an energiser bunny. I couldn’t keep up! I knew that being a mum was going to be exhausting but I didn’t expect this.

It wasn’t Anna’s energy that became difficult, though. It was her defiant attitude and how she needed to have attention from myself or whoever was around at the moment, all the time. She wasn’t entertained playing with her toys or watching TV. I always assumed she would grow into those things but that day never came and still at the age of 6, Anna really struggles to entertain herself. If she’s quiet, she’s usually up to something she shouldn’t be or on her iPad which I hate but until we see a paediatrician at the end of the month, I am just trying to keep her at bay.

My moody girl. (Image: Bec Smith/2021)

Possible Early Signs of O.D.D:

Below, I have listed a few constant behaviours that I personally believe were early signs that Anna had O.D.D.

1. Won’t fall asleep on their own, fusses, has to be rocked or fed to sleep.

2. Not content even when fed, changed, and under all circumstances, should be content.

3. Hyperactive from the moment they were born or very early on.

4. Strong defiance, tantrums and won’t comply. By age 6, completely not compliant on most days.

5. Takes things too far, doesn’t know when to stop.

6. Thinks nothing is “fair”, blaming others for her mistakes or behaviour.

7. Very hormonal from a young age.

8. Runs instead of walks most times.

9. Sugar is a major trigger.

10. By age 6, lying and manipulation are common behaviours.

These are my personal opinions and come from my personal experiences. I am not a doctor and in no way is this basis for a diagnosis. If you or someone you know is struggling, please seek professional help.

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