9 Year Old Son just diagnosed with Odd

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by jennifer615, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. jennifer615

    jennifer615 New Member

    Hi, I'm Jennifer from Australia. My son, Joshua, has just been diagnosed with ODD, although I have suspected it for years.

    From when he was a baby, before 2, I knew there was something different about him and knew he had ADHD. He couldn't get diagnosed until he was 5, despite tearing the paediatrist's posters off the wall. When he was 5 he was diagnosed with ADHD (which I knew all along he had), and was first put on Ritalin. It worked well during the day, but he went crazy at night when it wore off, much worse than normal, so we then put him on dexamphedamine. That worked quite well, but he wasn't eating, so he was but on Strattera, which he has been on for a few years. It works a bit but n Occupational Therapist (OT) too well.

    In December last year I split up with my husband, but he is still in regular contact with our 2 boys (the youngest is 5, and an absolute angel). He has been so naughty lately. The main problems I have with him, is that he is always teasing, criticizing and winding up his little brother and hits and slaps him often. I always seem to be jumping between them and trying to disipline Joshua. He also often treats me with complete disrespect and is very manipulative. He is a prolific liar, and has stolen before from me, and from shops.

    The funny thing is that he is very very intelligent, and is way advanced for his age. He was surfing the net at 5 and knows so much about space and planets (which is one of his interests). He can also be adorable when it is just me and him. He will hug me and tell me that he loves me. I always let him know how happy it makes me when he is good, and give me rewards and things to work towards, but he always reverts back to his old self.

    I have been feeling at the end of myself. I am just always disiplining him. I have been in tears so many times due to his behaviour. My younger son runs to me to comfort me, but Joshua just sits there with a narky expression on his face. His father is not much support. He seems more interested in making me out to be a bad parent. I suggested that Joshua live with him for a while, which he said might be a possibility, but when the boys visited him, he told them that if Joshua lives with him, he will take the younger one too, and the courts will be on his side.

    He is usually not as bad at school, but he got suspended for 2 days last week. He has been swearing, and when he got into trouble, he tried to be smart by saying things like "****zhu" and "firetruck" instead of the actual words, and had to see the principal. He got onto an inappropriate website and was sent to the principal for that. Within 5 minutes of going back to the classroom, they were having a slide presentation and there was a photo of a gymnist in mid air, and he put his head between her legs, which lead to his suspension.

    I have suspected for a while that he has ODD as well as ADHD. He has been seeing a paediatrist and a child psychologist, but nothing seems to be working. The child psychologist believed he had ODD, and the paediatrist confirmed it.

    In one way this diagnosis has explained alot of things and in another way, I'm very worried about his prognosis. He is destined to be a criminal and end up in jail? Will he end up hating me? Is there nothing but heartache in the future, until he eventually leaves? Will he eventually commit suicide? I know this sounds terrible, but I love him so much, and I am so upset about this. I worry about my younger son, who is always hit, slap, teased and criticized, but the child psychologist doesn't seem to be that concerned and said that he will eventually realise that his brother is different.

    Anyway, thanks for reading this, and if you have any advice etc, I would appreciate it. Thanks. Jennifer
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Jennifer. Just a quick paragraph to say "glad you found us...sorry you had to". You are no longer alone. I know that a cyber family is not the same as in person support but believe me you'll never find a greater group of understanding and diverse parents.

    I only have a minute but I'm wondering has he had a full neuro/psychiatric examination. His behaviors combined with his intelligence and particular level of skill makes me wonder if he is not on the autism spectrum..perhaps Aspergers.
    Others will be along soon. Glad to have you join us. DDD
  3. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    More will reply with additional advice, but I wanted to welcome you on board although I am sorry you have to. Below are some quick ideas that I have.

    - Edit your post and remove the names. This should be a place you can talk about things with privacy, and internet searchers should not be able to bring it up.

    - ODD is a general diagnoses and does not specifically mean anything. Something else is probably going on.

    - Traditional behavior techniques (punishment/reward systems) frequently don't work well with our kids. One book many of us found helpful is The Explosive Child by Dr. Greene.

    - We had the most luck when we separated the kids. See if your Ex could swap kids with you. That way both of you get quality time with both kids, and the younger one will not be a tormented.

    You asked some questions.

    No not at all, but does have a higher chance. My sons Dr. stated that 2/3 of ODD kids grow out of it and 1/3 don't. The 1/3 have a very high chance of ending up in jail for at least some time. I found this very scarey. My Dr also stated that it was a good sign that he could keep it together at school. Mine mostly saved it for home.

    Well Yes of course! But he will also love you. It will depend on his mood, and what he wants. It will not depend on your actions or how much you love him, and you don't want to let him use the threat of love/hate to manipulate you. Let your actions be driven by your love for him, not his for you.

    No there are some good times, but their will be lots of frustration and these kids can really run us through the ringer. You will need to develop the ability to separate yourself, and find little breaks in small thing. (five minutes alone in the bathroom sometimes makes a world of difference.) You will also need to learn how to grow a thick skin.

    Not likely, but if you are concerned talk to a therapist and find out what signs to look out for.
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi Jennifer! So glad you found us. Many of us....well most of us...can relate at least in some way to what you are going through. I can relate to MUCH of it. I knew of physical/neurological issues that contributed to my son's behaviors but the results and life issues are very similar. And psychologists and psychiatrists often are not very educated on the neuro parts so add ODD and other diagnosis that for us are descriptive but not helpful.

    We have some great members here from Australia who I hope see your post for guidance on evaluations and ideas for the Australian system. But coping is the same all over the world. The book that was mentioned is an excellent start. Hard to believe a book could really be a big deal but for many of us it helped so much. The other one many like is What Your Explosive Child is Trying To Tell You by Dr. Doug Riley. These are available on many web sites...not advertising for any but I got another copy of Ross Greene's book on Amazon for only a few dollars used and it was in great condition! We often talk about our kids as being differently wired. Typical parenting methods just do not work much of the time. Trying to continue on that path for me ended up pulling my son and myself further apart. The best thing about the methods in those books is it gave me a legitimacy I needed to do what I was doing....really prioritizing behaviors and working on them systematically and in a different way. There are websites connected with the books too that are helpful. If you search those authors here you will find out other parent's experiences.

    Now about the specifics of your son's issues...I can relate. I have said I should have given my son the middle name "oppositional". In fact I posted a while ago about a medication battle (that is rare for him happily) and I finally said...Well, then you can't take them. I'm done. Good bye...and he said...Too LATE, I already took them! (good grief)

    So, I have been doing this a while, he is 15.5 now. He swears, calls me awful names, has rages and I can't imagine the issues of having to negotiate a sibling! Just times with his cousins can be exhausting.

    I completely agree with DDD that if you can find a neuropsychologist to do a complete evaluation that would be helpful for you. These are psychologists with additional training in how the brain is connected to behavior and mood. They do a much more in depth evaluation. I imagine that from the little you have said so far many of us can relate to the diagnosis our kids have. Often there is a bigger "umbrella" diagnosis and that can be helpful in terms of getting in a program where they really know how to work with the individual symptoms in a way that matches how people with the umbrella diagnosis think and behave in general. Examples could be high functioning autism/Aspergers, bipolar disorder, being gifted, a neurological disability that has not been diagnosed, learning disabilities, etc. Not sure how it is in Australia, but an example of what happens here (you have not described anything that makes me think this yet for your son but certainly you can share more if you like)...in the US, many kids on the autism spectrum start out getting the diagnosis of adhd plus anxiety disorder or ODD +. Those symptoms actually all fall under the spectrum diagnosis and in my son's case when he is in a program where the adults are geared to treat and respond in ways that work with people who have autism...he is exponentially more successful.

    There are others who have underlying less known disabilities or disorders that mimic the bigger umbrella diagnoses and there are great members here who can share how that has played out for the. Examples of things to check that go well with the neuropsychologist evaluation (but for sure do the neuropsychology one if you can find someone like that...) is to have a speech/language evaluation (some kids have early great language development but that is actually a common trait in high functioning autism, they can be called little professors and they can have a really high ability in reading, or certain topics, or numbers, etc.). Speech/Language Pathologists also evaluate social language use and how a child processes language so even if they seem ahead there could be areas that help give you clues to why your son does not or probably is not able to really relate to how what he does affects others in a way that goes beyond just labeling it. If he is suspected at all as having processing problems (that is where he can hear the language fine, but his brain is not able to interpret it for some reason) a highly trained audiologist who specializes in Auditory Processing Disorders would be a good thing to check into. They do a typical hearing test, check to hear if he can tell the difference between speech sounds etc. But they do very specialized tests that other audiologists do not do which give great insight into how the brain processes what comes in. My son for example was found to have markedly low accuracy for speech and language recognition when it is introduced into one ear versus the other....due to his brain injury the message gets mixed up/lost and does not transfer to the language centers well. There were many other findings and all of them added up to ideas for treatment.

    Other evaluations that some of us like to have done before the neuropsychologist evaualuation (so that we can bring the results there and add them to the neuropsychologist's testing....they can do some testing in these areas but can not do the indepth testing that an occupational therapist and speech lang. pathologist (Occupational Therapist (OT) and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)) can do but they do understand the results so it can be very valuable in that big picture idea! An Occupational Therapist (OT) looks at fine motor and motor planning and sensory integration. If your son has issues with loud noises, or is sensitive to touches like hates socks a certain way, or only will hug on his terms or if he seems hyper (that can be "sensory seeking" and looks very much like adhd) there are great therapies to help.

    My son is a child who spends large portions of his school day especially being corrected, consequenced and he has had to earn every single thing he gets to do. While the methods can work to a degree, can you imagine your whole life working so hard all the time. He even said when he was much younger...Mom, can you tell them this is the way God made me and I am doing the best I can? I about lost my heart. I am the same, have to correct him and always be on guard and boy have I had to work hard to make sure that his world is set up for far less conflict so he can be successful. Much of what I do is to have to think ahead and not put him in situations where I know it is too hard for him. Even if he LOVES to do something....I make lots of decisions not to do things. Identifying triggers and avoiding them (and in some cases then working to expose and deal with them in a systematic way...an example for my son is loud places, I always have ear plugs with me in case but some situations we just simply do not do) reduce our overall stress as a family and when stress is lower, the behaviors are lower and the cycle goes down instead of up into more stress/behaviors. Of course this goes up and down and I say my motto is "monitor and adjust" because he grows and changes, situations change, etc....and I lose my focus even at times and have to really work hard to get on top of how I talk to him and being consistent with our schedule and the methods I use (like giving him a daily written schedule and not changing unless I do it on paper and monitor his reaction). Maybe you can share more about his early development and current issues and parents who can relate can be more specific about chiming in.

    Examples: birth history (any trauma/emergency?), any illness? how early did he start to talk, how does he play when alone? Does he use imaginative play well? Is he able to do back and forth idea exchange in play with other kids? Is he sensitive to touch, foods, sounds, sights? Does his mood suddenly change? Does he have any high interest areas? Does he have anxieties/fears? How does he do when he is not with you...like at school or daycare? What things DO work for you? Anything?

    Ok, I'll shut up now, smile. Just welcome and so sorry you are going through this. I still worry about what will happen but we really need to work on things a day or a section of life at a time.

    HUGs to you! Dee (buddy)
  5. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I'm with DDD based on personal experience. It "might" be ADHD and ODD but I really suspect it might not be. My son was diagnosed at age 3 with ADHD and put on a stimulant (NOT a pretty picture). At age 5 he was put on Strattera and he's been on it since since it really helps his hyperactivity. In 3rd grade they added ODD. At school, he was treated with a very heavy hand and NO behaviors were tolerated. At home, we tried every reward/punishment you can think of and NONE of them worked. In 7th grade his behavior got worse when I found this site and these wonderful folks told me to read the book The Explosive Child which I did immediately because I was so desparate for answers. I utilized the methods in the book and came to realize that my interpretations and assumptions of difficult child 1's behaviors were WAY off. Talking to difficult child 1 about WHY he was behaving the way he was during every incident made me realize he thinks sooooooo differently than I could ever have imagined. It made me start thinking differently and trying to see things from his perspective. I took difficult child 1 to a DIFFERENT psychiatrist and his ODD diagnosis was changed to Asperger's. Doing a lot of research about that made everything else pretty much fall into place. It all made so much sense.

    I am IN NO WAY diagnosing your son. I am only a parent. I am only sharing my story to show you that there are OTHER possibilities. I thought difficult child 1 had ODD too because when I did an internet search, that's what I found that matched his behaviors and then I stopped looking. It wasn't until someone here pointed out that he sounded Aspie that I started looking again and those criteria matched his behaviors even more. I had accepted what the first psychiatrist told me without question even though nothing worked. Our lives are so much better now that I have the REAL, ACCURATE diagnosis and services/accommodations.

    Welcome to our little corner of the world. You will find awesome support here. I hope you stick around.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Personal opinion of ODD diagnosis is... it doesn't tell you much other than that there is something wrong. Most of the time, that "something" is something else... not ODD. Depression. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)/Aspergers. Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). LDs. All sorts of combinations. Sounds like maybe there is more at work, but you don't know what that is. been there done that - we went through 10 years of figuring it out.

    ADHD medications... just a Canadian perspective, but the psychiatrists here do not use Straterra alone. It is used to provide a "baseline" dose that is effective 24/7. And then they use a stimulant for a day-time boost. Given that stims worked for your son but rebound-effect was a huge problem... the combination might work.
  7. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Welcome to our corner of the internet. Like you, my son was diagnosed with ODD along with general anxiety disorder. While in the beginning I pushed for an ODD diagnosis, I have come to believe what the others here believe: that it's a diagnosis that they give to children when they don't know what else to call it. When we started medications our team (psychiatrist, therapist, husband, and me) all thought that if we could get his anxiety under control we would be able to manage the ODD symptoms. In our case, that didn't work well. difficult child did not react well to the SSRI class of medications and they made his far worse in terms of behavior than he was off of them. We went to risperdal (a mood stabilizer) and that worked well for him, but we were still dealing with the ODD behaviors.

    What I think is that there are other things going on. If you can figure out what the undelying causes of the ODD behaviors are, you will go a very long way into dealing with them and making them better. For difficult child, it was feelings of being unloved and not wanted. Once we were able to address those issues and make him realize that he is indeed loved and wanted, the ODD behaviors started to lessen. They have not completely gone, and I don't think that they ever will be (unfortunately), but it's better, easier to deal with him.

    Your son is young still. Another thing that I think (or maybe, hope) has helped our son is maturity. They are able to see things more clearly as they get older. At least my difficult child seems to.

    Keep us posted as to how he is doing. You have found a great network of support here.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Did you son have any delays at any time, even if he doesn't have them now? I don't like ODD as a diagnosis. either. I think it means, "I don't know what it is, so we'll just say he's defiant." Duh! I think there is more going on.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Jennifer, so glad you found us!

    As pointed out, others here from Australia can help you navigate the system, both the medical system and educational system.

    I don't have much to add to these very thorough responses, except that believe me, I know how hard it is! Do not be surprised if you end up going on an antidepressant or antianxiety medication just to cope with-your son. It does not mean you are a failure. It means you just want to make it through the day!

    ODD is pretty much an adjective, and I agree with-the others here, that your son needs a more thorough evaluation.
    Just noting that he was different as a baby says that he's got something neurological or chemical (or both) going on and he really can't help it. The normal part of the brain the slows us down and keeps us from doing weird stuff doesn't work on him. He is very impulsive and then lives to regret it.
    Imagine what would happen if you acted out every little thing that popped into your head ... Instead of just saying "Thank you," you'd hug and kiss the handyman who fixes something that has been broken for 5 yrs; you'd tell the furniture store manager that his chairs look like Martian habitats, and then you'd throw all the chairs around the store. But you don't. You just walk by and think, "Not to my taste." :)

    Let us know how it's going, and be sure to take care of yourself. That means extra sleep, a special book to read (even a page a day is wonderful) or a wonderfully scented, foamy bath.
  10. jennifer615

    jennifer615 New Member

    Hi Everyone, thank you so much for our responses. I have skimmed through them and will read them more at depth later.

    I also suspected aspergers, but the paediatrist doesn't think so at all. I will definately enquire about seeing a neuropsychologist.

    I have been told that I need to keep him in a routine etc. The problem is that I have ADD myself. I was only diagnosed a couple of years ago, through seeking help with my son. I am on Ritalin and Zoloft. I was never hyperactive, but at school I was a daydreamer, and was always in trouble for not concentrating and not trying hard enough. This diagnosis have been a great relief for me, as it explained alot of things about why I find it hard to concentrate, and can't keep a tidy house, and have a mind that is constantly ticking. It is hard to keep to a routine when you find it hard enough managing yourself!

    My children go to a Christian school, and they are very caring. They are aware of his diagnosis and are doing as much as they can to help him. At the same time, if he continues to swear and do inappropriate things, he may be expelled, as it is not good for the other children, and their parents pay extra to get their children a Christian education.

    I also have a 16 year old daughter from my first marriage, who is in her final year at school. She is a very good girl, and often jumps in and disiplines her brother. She is hoping to study English teaching next year at university. She would like to stay at home while she studies, but says that the constant drama and fights at home make it hard for her to study, so she might be moving out. I dont' have a problem with her leaving the nest if that is really what she wants to do for a few years, but it is upsetting that the only reason she will be doing this is because of her brother. It's funny, my two other children are so good, and no trouble at all, but my middle son has so many problems.

    When I think about it, my son has been defiant from a very early age. I couldn't go out with him without putting reigns on him, or he would run away. I never had to use reigns on the other 2 children. He would find a candy and if me or my ex would say no to him, he would shove it in his mouth so we couldn't take it away from him. The other 2 would reluctantly give it up. He was always challenging us, and would fight to the end to get what he wanted. The other 2 would reluctantly give up.

    Earlier this year I took the family on a holiday and his behaviour spoilt the whole holiday. We are going on another holiday where there are theme parks, and I often tell him that if his behaviour doesn't improve, then he can't go, and will have to stay with his father. I would hate to do that, but he spoils it for everyone. I just don't know what do to.

    Anyway, thanks again everyone. Jennifer.
  11. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Am I correct in assuming that a paediatrist is similar to an American pediatrician? A medical doctor that specializes in kids? If that is the case, you REALLY need to find a neuropsychologist or at the very least a child psychiatrist. A pediatrician is great for medical issues but there is no way they should be diagnosing much less treating mental health issues.

    Please get the book The Explosive Child by Ross Greene and try using his methods. You might be thoroughly amazed at what you learn. For me it was an eye opener. My "assumptions" about the reasons for difficult child 1's behaviors were 100% INCORRECT and my assumptions caused many of the problems we experienced. Please keep an open mind that maybe, just maybe he's not being defiant intentionally. That assumption could do more harm than good. Been there done that and difficult child 1 suffered dearly.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Jennifer... I'm an ADD parent, too. Also on medications. Kinda know what you mean. But my kids are now in HS, so... a bit more water under the bridge.

    Your biggest tool to help with routine? Make things a HABIT. Take as many little tiny things as you can, and make them totally consistent. Laundry. Washroom cleaning. Dishes. Bedtime routine. The order in which you go through the grocery store aisles. The timing for appointments (we always take first a.m. or first p.m. appointment - then I don't have to remember if it's 9:30 or 10:30... just "a.m." or "p.m.").

    When it comes to a difficult child, the most important "routine" items will be bedtime routine and timing, getting up in the morning, and FOOD. Make those the top priority. Then start building.

    Have you seen the book "Driven to Distraction" (Halloway, I think)? It's for ADDers and ADHDers... with some really good insight and advice.
  13. jennifer615

    jennifer615 New Member

    Well, I've just gone online and purchased "the explosive child". Should be getting it in a couple of days. I live in a small city of 120,000 and we don't have any neurophychologists here. The closest is in Sydney, which is 3000 kilometres away. The pediatrician I have been seeing specialises in children's behaviour problems, and I'm quite confident with her. She has put him in dexamphetamine as well as the Strattera, so he take his strattera in the morning, 1 dexamphetamine, and another dexamphetamine at lunch. He just started that today, so we will see how he goes.

    He spends alot of time on the computer and on his 3DS. He doesn't make friends very easily, but doesn't seem to be motivated to do so. He has got about 2 good friends at school, and his other classmates seem to like him. The headmaster said that he thinks that he is probably the brightest child in year 4. He is particularly good at science and maths and also very good at all his other subjects, but not really into sport. I noticed he is more compliant with tough teachers, specially male teachers. His new teacher is very good, but she is young and kind and gentle, and I think he tries to manipulate her.

    Thanks again everyone for your advice. It has been very very helpful. It's good to know I'm not alone. Sometimes I feel like the worse mother in the world, but its good to know that others relate to me. I've heard so many "can't you just ........", but if it was that simple, he would be under control now. Jennifer

  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Jennifer, I know what you mean and how sad you are that your 16-yr-old only wants to move out because of her brother. I've gone through that. My daughter is now 21. She HATES coming home from school break.
    But it is for the best. These kids need to function. Even if it costs more money for an apartment. No one ever said that life was fair, but there is no reason to have your daughter fail or even make Bs when she could be getting As, because of her brother.
    Many hugs. I understand.
  15. jennifer615

    jennifer615 New Member

    Well, the book "The Explosive Child" arrived yesterday and I'm starting to read it. So much I can relate to. The pediatrician changed his dose a bit, and now he is prescribed strattera and dexamphetamine. It seems toa be working somewhat. He is not as hypo as usual. I give him his usual dose 36mg strattera in the morning and 1 dexamphetamine, then 1/2 a dexamphetamine when he comes home from school. I find that if I give him 1 dexo when he comes home, he can't sleep.

    I had a heart to heart with my daughter tonight. She seems to think that I push my youngest away alot. Right now I feel heartbroken. I love my youngewst with all my heart, he is so loving and has such a beautiful nature. I can see where this is true. I am so stressed with difficult child that I just don't give my youngest the attention he deserves. I MUST stop being impatient with his constant talking and spend more time with him. I suppose I'm so stressed out with difficult child that I sometimes neglect my beautiful 5 year old boy, who is so loving and deserves so much more. Right now I feel like a failure as a mother. It's so hard when I have ADD myself, and my mind is all over the place.

    Anyway, I'll see how the new medication is going and do the best to be the best mother I can be. My children are the loves of my life, and I just want to be a good mother. Thanks for listening.

    Jennifer x
  16. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I hear you with the pushing the other one away. I get very impatient with difficult child 2 when I've spent most of my energy just dealing with difficult child 1. But we can only do what we CAN do with what we have. Nothing is going to change that.

    As for the medications, difficult child 1 always took a "booster" of his ADHD medication in the early afternoon at school. The school nurse gave it to him. It helped him hold together through after school activities and homework but wore off at bedtime. I used a summer break to monkey around with the timing of that second dose and monitor (on paper) the maximum amount of time we could hold off on that second dose without it causing sleep issues OR wearing off too soon. I found that we can't wait any more that 6 hours to give that second dose. It's still working beautifully.
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Just some ramblings...

    - take care of yourself. Even if it's just a bubble-bath after the kids are sleeping, you do need something relaxing and special for yourself.

    - Is there anyone who can take over difficult child for an hour a day, or several hours on a weekend, and leave you with just the younger boy? That way, there is a scheduled time that is dedicated to him, and he has something to look forward to. Our almost-easy child found this worked for her... she understood that difficult child needed most of my resources, but needed to know that I was still there for her - even if it was "scheduled" rather than whenever she wanted, she still got the support she needed.

    - are you on ADD medications yourself? If not, can you? It made a huge difference for me.
  18. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    I can relate to lots of what you said. I have two (now adult) difficult children, both are Aspies and one is also bipolar. I'm not saying I think your difficult child is an Aspie or bipolar, just that many of the behaviors you talk about are very familiar to me too.

    I found that some of the best advice I was given was advice others mentioned here. For my family to run as smoothly as possible, we had to stick to strict daily routines. If my difficult children's routines were going to have to change because of an unavoidable situation, I let them know as soon as possible and would try to give them a temporary schedule. Even a minor change in schedule could cause a major "meltdown."

    Another great piece of advice already mentioned here is to make sure you find time to take care of yourself! I know, this is much easier said then done, but, please, no matter how difficult it is to find the time, find it!! As I learned from this site, "if Mom isn't happy, no one is." I thought I could be like superwoman, do it all, without (much) help, and still function. I was able to function but did so at the expense of losing myself in the process, resenting my difficult children during the worst times, afraid, sad, embarrassed, because I thought I didn't love them (just read some of my earliest posts!), feeling guilty and ashamed because of these feelings, plowing ahead as though I was on autopilot.

    As of right now, I'm happy to say that my difficult children are doing well. I have wonderful relationships with each of them that I thought at one time would never be possible, and my husband and I are reconnecting and are closer than we've been in years. I'm not the same person I was before starting this journey and I'm still in the process of discovering who I am now. I can honestly say for the first time in many, many years that I'm happy. Raising difficult children is a draining experience. Let your family/friends support you in any way they can.

    Just want you to know I'm thinking of you this morning. You are not alone! Hugs... SFR
  19. Justfour

    Justfour New Member

    Hi again Jen. Once again the parallel lives thing! Reading your last post, I'm just the same with my youngest. She is so sweet natured and loving but with what I think is aspergers (waiting for assessment) she too can be quite hard work at times so when they are both quiet or if she says can we play...? I say no usually as I'm so exhausted emotionally I haven't got the energy. It makes me feel so bad for her and leaves me feeling guilty. Sometimes I do make the effort and she does appreciate it but what I say to myself is I'm a single mum, since I split up with their father when I was pregnant with youngest I have been on my own, I'm doing the best I can with the hand I've been dealt. I know a lot of my friends wouldn't have coped with my life the way it is and I'm proud to say I do it all sober!! Lol
    so chin up and know your doing your best and giving everything you can. These kids are so challenging and emotionally draining it's a wonder were sane! I think that's pretty great!
    glad your getting dr. Greenes book. I've started reading it, one problem I see is he says to know the triggers and avoid them, unfortunately my youngest is a trigger to her sister. I hope that's covered in later chapters! :)
  20. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    SBM (above snipped by me). I just wanted to say I can sooooooo relate to what you said above. My difficult child son is 10 and diagnosis'd with ADHD and ODD also. My easy child son is 5. I don't really have a lot of advice but we are looking at Aspergers now as well. Take time for yourself as well as make special time for just you and your younger child. My younger son is so kind and so good hearted. He really takes a lot of abuse from difficult child but is so caring and loyal to him despite how he is treated. It's such a difficult situation. Hang in there. You are definitely not alone. (Hugs)