We've had similar experience with DD6 as Shari has had with her son. Years 2-4 were awful (we carried her out of stores kicking and screaming more than once), but within the past few months we have actually seen her trying hard to control herself before a complete breakdown. She says it gets too hard sometimes not to "lose it", but she is trying.
After reading about OEs we have learned some great coping techniques which really rely on letting her know that we understand her frustration/anger/sadness/etc, but that we can't help her unless she calms down and talks to us. It is pretty tough for DH and I to keep calm as we say this, but if there is even a hint of exasperation in our voices, or if we give her a look, or give one to each other, she takes the breakdown to the next level! It is all about continually reaffirming that their feelings are ok, and "normal" for them to have, but that we all need to work on better ways to deal with them.
Our lives have been so much more peaceful since we discovered that she wasn't a crazy kid, or that we weren't bad parents, but that she has OEs. It has also helped that we explained this to her teachers, they now look out for signs of a meltdown. (she usually bottles up her school frustrations and lets them all explode at home.)
Last edited by Kerry; 04/13/09 12:03 PM. Reason: spelling