At Wits End

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by dmcaly, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. dmcaly

    dmcaly New Member

    Just found this site, and seems, after a little reading I may get some great suggetions here....ok some background....I am 30 yrs old with 1 biological son and two stepsons, the ages 5 (stepson), 8 (biological), and 12 (stepson). My stepsons mother abandoned them about 3 yrs ago, my ex and i have a good relationship and he goes to see his dad every other weekend. Well the oldest was recently diagnosed with severe ODD (he is on medications for ADD), and we just dont know what else to do! He has his good days and bad days, bless his heart, he is such an awesome kid, but I dont know what to do! We have gone thru counseling, together and separate, but nothing seems to help! He is cruel and physically menacing/hurtful to the two younger boys then turns around and wants a hug. We get calls from school almost every day about a fight, but the last one was escalated....a kid shoved him, he didnt hit him back, bided his time and jumped him two days later, then when I asked him about it he flat out denied anything happened, then completely refused to do his homework, so he was told to go to his room and flat out refused to go. I am a small woman (100 lbs, though i am trained in akido and juvenile restraint, worked in a youth facility for awhile), he weighs almost the same as i do, and though i would never get physical with any kid, how in the world do i make him understand that when i tell him things like that that it is not a suggestion, i am not asking, he does not have a choice......there are so many issues here, i dont want to sound like an idiot, his psychiatrist suggested a group home, i hate to think it will come to that, i feel like we are giving up, but i truly dont know what else to do, we have tried all of the regimens, read all of the books, and it seems things are only getting worse, especially now that he refuses to take his medications............

    ok needed to vent, it seems so unfair, he manages to make everything revolve around him in one way or the other, and there are two other kids here that need attention and love too, i hate for them to feel like they are being punished because he tries to create havoc

    what do we do?
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    First I would like to welcome you to the board. I'm glad you've found us!

    I think there are two issues here. First, the safety of everyone in the family and second, insuring that your son has the correct diagnosis.

    It's early here yet, I'm sure our members who have had to place their children in a group home will be along with some advice, suggestions, and support.

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. The very first thing I would do is get him a brand new neuropsychologist evaluation. Obviously something is not right in the diagnosis--ODD rarely stands alone and the ADD medications aren't helping. In fact, with some disorders ADHD medications can just make kids even act out more. You may want to do a signature like I did below. I have a few questions that can help us help you. I am guessing he behaves like he does because he has a disorder and doesn't quit think or understand the way the rest of us do. Like you said, you read all those behavior management books and it hasn't worked. My guess is it's because he CAN'T behave right now--and conventional behavioral therapy is just not enough. I am wondering about (and this is just a layman's opinion) early onset bipolar disorder.

    He CAN get help, but you need to know more about what is going on other than ODD. All our kids have ODD behaviors, but ODD behaviors are caused by other, bigger disorders. I would dump any psychiatrist that suggested a group home at his age--are you in the US?

    1/Do you have any psychiatric problems or substance abuse issues on either side of the family tree?

    2/How was his early development in these areas: speech, eye contact with you and strangers, imaginative play, appropriate play with toys, any quirky behaviors, can he socialize appropriately with his peers, any academic problems? Does he act "clueless" like he doesn't "get it?" Is it often in his own world and then, just like that, does he seem very "with it?" Can he transition from one activity to another?

    Others will come along.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2008
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi and Welcome!

    I am with MWM - you need more evaluations, esp if all the doctor comes up with is ODD/ADHD. I think MOST of us here started with ADHD, and MOST of us found that other things were going on. And ODD is about the most useless diagnosis you can get. It says your kid is behaving badly. Not how to help, how to medicate, how to do ANYTHING.

    Neuropsychologists can be a good choice for a new evaluation. SOme people get 8-12 hours of testing, but some only end up iwth 1-4 hours. It ALL depends on the neuropsychologist. We had an EXCELLENT diagnostic procedure with the developmental pedicatrician we took our difficult child to - the neuropsychologist was included, but just part of the 12 hours or so of testing we went through. (It is broken up into chunks). Many here have good results with a multidisciplinary evaluation. Neuropsychs and multidisc evaluations can be found at children's hospital or major university hospitals.

    Most of us here have had EXCELLENT results with a book called The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. I also like the Love and Logic books ( to get an idea of the different books they have). Explosive Child will help you understand your child and how to handle him.

    It may be that in time he is such a threat to the family that he must live at a different address. Is he menacing to his siblings? To you at any time? How is he refusing his medications? Just saying no, cheeking them, ?? What do you do when he refuses? What is his dad's reaction? Many of us have made absolutely EVERYTHING in the child's world STOP until the medications are taken. psychiatric medications often make things worse when not taken every day, so it really is important to have the parents on the same page about medications and the doctor aware of what is going on.

    Well, welcome again, hope to see you here often!

  5. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    Hi and welcome. Susie & MWM have pretty much suggested and asked what I was thinking so won't need to repeat really. ODD was the only diagnosis that was suggested to us and I agree with Susie that it was pretty much useless, other than it led me to this site looking for ODD info, which was some of the best help we got. Yeah he was oppositional and defiant -- so what now? :hammer: Nothing we were doing was helping until we got a re-evaluation and what I'm sure now is the correct diagnosis, got him the right therapy, medications and school accomodations, and it's been fairly typical (mostly in my opinion anyway LOL) for us since. Check into further, more in-depth, evaluations if you can, and the books Susie mentioned helped me too.

    Don't forget to check out the FAQ/Board Help forum. It'll help you with making a signature so we always remember something of your situation, and there's reading suggestions and about abbreviations that are used by posters, also how to do a parent report which is helpful when going to various docs and appointments etc.

    Again, welcome to the site. :flowers: Hope you find the advice and ear to vent to that you need.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Dmcaly, welcome.

    I agree, you need more evaluations. You don't know what you're dealing with-and why.

    The parts about where he is mean, and then turns around and wants a hug, sound VERY familiar to me! Just like my difficult child! He doesn't "get it."

    Again, welcome.