A new ODD diagnosis!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by CarCar, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. CarCar

    CarCar New Member

    My son has been diagnosed a month ago with ODD and is now going to counseling. He's 14 and looking back it seems we've always had problems with him. There hasn't been a week that's gone by in the last few months where there hasn't been something bad happening, either getting in trouble at school, getting suspended from basketball games, getting kicked off the basketball team, etc. We've learned to try to stay calm around him and that's helped but we don't know what to do with other parents. He does stuff at school or in sports and then the parents call and are telling us what a terrible kid we have and what terrible parents we are because we don't "make" him be better. We've told the school about the diagnosis but we just don't know how to interact with the other parents, and the other kids for that matter. Does anyone have any ideas?
  2. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Welcome to the board

    who diagnosed him, what kind of professional? Usually ODD does not stand alone, so there may be something else going on. Is he on any medications?
  3. CarCar

    CarCar New Member

    He's on no medications. We brought him to a counselor through my health plan. They didn't think he had any other connected problems right now. He's almost straight A's in school, although we've had several stressful run-ins with authoritative teachers. He's great at sports, although he was just recently kicked of the team because of run-ins with a very authoritative coach. And now he's starting to bully a kid at school and we've got the parents calling us and yelling at us and we just don't know what to tell them.
  4. oceans

    oceans New Member

    It is possible that the ODD might be part of another diagnoses. Sometimes if the problem is helped with the correct medications, then the ODD symptoms go away. That happened to us after many horrible years.

    If he does not have an IEP, it would help to try and get him one. You could request an evaluation from the school in writing and start the process.

    We needed to go to many people for evaluations, and even do a hospital stay before we had accurate information on what symptoms he displayed that needed to be treated.
  5. oceans

    oceans New Member

    It might be helpful to bring him to a child psychiatrist for a full evaluation....
  6. CarCar

    CarCar New Member

    Well, I think we'll try the counseling first. He goes to his 3rd session tomorrow. The emphasis is on him developing coping strategies. I'll ask the therapist if she thinks he has anything else going on but she initially didn't think so. My biggest immediate concern is how am I suppose to respond to these angry parents. If I tell them he has ODD, they'll probably tell their kids and then the kids will probably tease him and things are going to get real ugly.
  7. CarCar

    CarCar New Member

    What type of ODD medication is usually prescribed?
  8. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    CarCar, there are no medications specifically for ODD. Think of ODD as a symptom, not a diagnosis unto itself. ODD simply describes behaviors that are generally part of an underlying disorder. When the underlying disorder is diagnosed and treated, the ODD behaviors typically subside. That's why we recommend a thorough evaluation -- usually multidiscliplinary or neuropsychological -- at a university or children's hospital. We also recommend an evaluation with a board-certified child/adolescent psychiatrist if mood issues (anxiety, depression, mood disorder) are suspected. Counselors are not qualified to diagnose complicated childhood disorders.

    Did the behaviors you're seeing develop suddenly? Is there any chance substance abuse is involved? Are there any neurological or psychiatric disorders in the family tree?
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I completely agree with smallmom on this. ODD rarely stands alone, and I'd want him evaluated by a Child Psychiatrist (with the MD). He's already 14--you may want to consider than in four years you won't be able to help him at all legally. If he has a psychiatric disorder that requires medications, it's a good idea for him to learn that he needs them earlier rather than later. You'll get a good clue if it's more than ODD if the therapy doesn't do any good. Also, check your family background for clues. Do mood disorders or substance abuse run in the family? Any autism on either side? I have bipolar II and my son has Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified. Our massive experience with therapists was not good--they did not diagnose either of us right. I'd take it to the psychiatrist with the medical degree or a neuropsychologist (they do extensive testing). I'd put what other parents think on the bottom of list of concerns (who cares anyways?) and maybe get another evaluation for him. Counselors, with all due respect, don't have the background to spot serious psychiatric or neurological disorders and your son could have a variety of problems that could be greatly helped by someone who knows how to do it. Good luck.
  10. CarCar

    CarCar New Member

    No, the behavior has not recently appeared, it only feels like it because they seem to be worse situations. I don't believe there is any substance abuse. We try to monitor what we have in our home. There is no neurological or psychiatric disorder in either of our family trees--of course, that we know of.

    Today, he pushed a kid! When I asked him to please just stay away from him his response was "I'll do what ever it takes to keep him away from me". I worry for him to go to school because I don't know what he'll do. He seems to have lots of friends but I'm beginning to think he may be the bully. This is extremely sad to me. It's like he has no feels or has any remorse for anything.
  11. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    My son recently pushed another kid, but it turned out the other kid was the bully -- taunting, kicking and punching my son. My son acted out in self-defense. Things aren't always as they appear.

    Having read the posts here and from my experiences with my own kids, my gut tells me there's something going on that's fueling this ODD behavior. Your job is to find the right professionals to accurately diagnose your son. Only with the right diagnosis will you be able to put the proper interventions into place to help your son.
  12. neednewtechnique

    neednewtechnique New Member

    Try this website. There is a whole BOATLOAD of information on ODD, the section I have linked to is specially regarding the information on Medication, but scroll back up to the top, and you will find an entire index of information. I know it is a lot of information to take in all at once, but reading through it all has helped me to understand the disorder better, and also helped me be prepared to respond to the questions that we get about her behavior. Give it a shot, hopefully it helps.


    I have another suggestion, but it is not one that I can take credit for. There is a book that you will hear several parents on this site talk about very frequently. "The Explosive Child" by Dr. Ross Greene. I have not had an opportunity to read it yet, I went to check it out from the Library and someone already had it out, so I have to wait until it comes back in. But several of the parents here have given the book GLOWING reviews and VERY HIGH recommendations. One of them that's read it already could probably give you better information about it....

    Best of luck to you, and I feel for you because I know how difficult it is to live with an "easily frustrated, chronically inflexible" child.

    Please keep us updated, and if you have any other questions, dont be afraid to ask!!! Surely there is nothing your child could come up with that at least one of us hasn't heard before!!!!
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I agree again with smallmom. I don't think it's just ODD. My attitude with my son was to keep on looking for help until he got better. If one professional didn't help him, I moved on after six months. I'm a bit biased because of bad experiences, but I've never personally known therapy only to help that much for behavior that is over-the-top. In fact, until a child or adult is stable, it is hard to comply. What may look like willful disobedience can be inner chaos due to many, many disorders combined with ODD (I think every child here, no matter what is wrong, at one point had ODD symptoms). Again, I wish you luck.
  14. oceans

    oceans New Member

    It took us 6 yrs, many psychiatrists and tdocs, many medication trials, and a hopsitalization before the right medication was found to help my son. Along the way he had some wrong diagnoses. When medications finally lifted his depression, all the ODD behaviors stopped.

    Now he is able to tell people what other symptoms he has, and we are trying to find out what else is wrong. Mine is 15 now.
    Yours is already 14. There is not much time to waste in getting diagnostic information and figuring out what else might be wrong.

    Good luck!
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, this is so sad. I agree with-the others here... wish I could add more. For now, just support and fortitude for the days, and diagnoses, ahead.
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    CarCar, you're getting a lot of people saying to keep looking, you probably haven't got all the answers yet and without them, you may be seeing it from an incorrect point of view. The kid he pushed to get him to stay away - your son sounds impulsive and frustrated. Why did he want that kid to stay away? Is it possible that your son was being pestered by this kid in some way? Because by crikey, it happens a lot.

    But your main question is - what do you tell the other parents when they ring up to nag you about your son?

    I agree with you about not telling them he has ODD. Frankly, that is none of their business. However, you're feeling defensive and put upon with them (understandable - our kids make us feel so embarrassed sometimes) and you feel pressured to give them some sort of explanation. So try this on for size, for starters -

    "We're in the process of getting some sort of understanding of what is going on with him. We still haven't got definitive answers but we're doing the best we can."

    In the meantime, keep records of what he's accused of doing, and any other information you can glean about these incidents. You say he has friends - ask them what they think happened. But ask them when they're not with anyone else, so they can't get stories straight. You want the truth, not a doctored story. Then write it down. It mightn't make sense now but further down the track it will and you will be glad you took notes.

    You say the problems have been particularly bad over the last few months - can you think of any possible connection? A change in teacher? New kids at the school? Kids leaving? Anything else?

    But people who ring you - you're not obliged to divulge anything. Give them an answer that tells them you know about it, you're taking steps to identify the problem in detail and you've already ruled out a lot of possibilities. You are caring parents who are good people, trying to do your best. You can't do more than your best. You welcome information but can't tell them anything that you don't yet know yourself, because this is a process that takes time.

    Good luck. And do get a second opinion, from someone with a relevant medical degree. Maybe check out http://www.childbrain.com and see how he scores on their informal Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire. If he scores anything relevant, print it out and take it to a doctor of your choice. It might speed things up. Even if he scores positive for Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and later on someone says it's not, the sheet can still point to areas where you're concerned, and help a doctor get a feel for the problem.

  17. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome CarCar!

    Could your difficult child be depressed or have anxiety issues? These can come along with ODD as well.
  18. Tezzie

    Tezzie Member

    I would throw in my 2 cents & suggest perhaps there are some impulse control issues here as well. I completely support getting a complete evaluation done by a neuropsychologist. Good grades are one thing but surviving successfully in this world requires good social skills & it sounds like his are shaky.

    There are medications that help with these issues but what works for 1 kid may not work for another.

    Ignore the other parents, focus on your kid & getting his needs correctly identified.

    been there done that & still working at it.

    hang in there.

  19. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    There is a big difference between ODD as a diagnosis and ODD symptoms which many children exhibit either with or without other disorders.

    Perhaps yor son has an anger management problem or he is easily frustrated or has a short fuse. There may be somethng biological behind it but it may also just be his makeup.

    It is good that he is going to counseling to learn coping skills.

    If he is doing well in school and the only behvaior is his aggressiveness it does not sound like ODD to me. I would not discuss his diagnosis with other parents. If it were me I would apologize for his behavior and tell them that you are working with him to help him find other ways to deal with his frustrations, or something similar to that. Don't let him use ODD as an excuse for his behavior, he still has to own it and change it.

    Has depression been ruled out? Often children act out angry when they are depressed. Also has substance abuse been ruled out?

  20. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Welcome CarCar. You may have to look further for help for your difficult child. There was mention of a complete evaluation - good idea.

    You cannot treat if you don't know what you're dealing with; many times (not all) ODD is a symptom of another disorder.

    Keep up the good work - I hope we can help you through your journey for help for your difficult child.