Diagnosing ODD

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Lucky1, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. Lucky1

    Lucky1 New Member

    This is my first post, but I have been reading some of the board for few weeks.

    Our son is 13 and from the info I can get my hands on, I believe is textbook ODD. We've done off and on counseling the past 5 years. Last year, we were seeing a psychotherapist that we really liked. After 7 months of visits, I brought up the possibility of ODD qualities in our son. Right away, the psychotherapist dismissed it as another label, like ADD/ADHD. I can't disagree more. We were at the end of our visits with this therapist as he said there wasn't any more he could do for us but refer to a psychiatrist.

    Currently, we are having a good day. However, as anyone knows with kids like this, that can change in a moment's notice.

    I would appreciate anyone's advice and suggestions!

  2. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Hello Lucky1, and welcome,

    Others with lots more experience will be along soon to weigh in with their advice, but here are my thoughts...

    ODD doesn't usually stand alone. Often there are other issues, and they manifest as ODD. I would take the referral to the psychiatrist, but also try to get your son in for a neuropsychologist evaluation.

    Many of the board members have had good luck with them, as they spend a lot of time and have tests that can really pinpoint a diagnosis.

    You have found a great forum here. I can't tell you how much this board has helped me.

    All the best,
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I also have found that ODD rarely stands alone. We have been through the mill of professionals and, if you want to cut your losses, in my opinion I'd have a neuropsychologist exam. They are detailed, intensive and ours lasted for twelve hours (in two hour increments). The kids are tested every way and in every area of function and behavior. This is the most intensive and accurate evaluation that you'll get in my opinion (if you get a good neuropsychologist--ask around). That's where I'd start.
  4. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    While you're waiting to see the neuropsychologist, I recommend reading the book The Explosive Child. It really allowed me to understand a little more how my difficult child thinks. And it gave me permission to pick my battles by focusing on more serious behaviors first.

    If you let us know some specific behavioral issues you're having, we may be able to give you different ideas on how to handle them. How's he doing in school?

    Welcome to the board!

  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Our daughter has ODD and I too found many people tried to pass it off as ADD/ADHD. She began counseling at about age 7 with many different therapists and none of them helped much. Although she is still defiant it has gotten better at times.

    I believe my difficult child will always have a problem with rules and there are days, actually months really, where I count down to when she is 18 and can go out on her own so our home can be peaceful again. Then she has a good day/week and I wish it could be like this all the time.

  6. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What kind of therapist can't help anymore? That just seems so wrong. Like if I were at work and didn't know how to get the info for my boss, I would just say I didn't know how to get it? Yeah, I would not be working for long, huh?!?!?

    Find someone new. I suggest seeing a neuropsychologist. If you can not get in, see if that office will recommend a therapist for your difficult child to talk to. Frankly, I feel like I wasted a ton of money on talk therapy. It did nothing but eventually validate me with a counselor that wanted to try everything I had already tried.
  7. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I don't understand..."it's just a label like ADD/ADHD"? What does that mean? Does he not believe in those 'labels'? If he doesn't like labels, what is he expecting the psychiatrist (psychiatrist) to treat?

    It sounds to me like this therapist doesn't know how to help your son and rather than saying it's out of his league or he isn't connecting with your child, he's saying there's nothing more he can do. And saying it with the implication that there is nothing more that can be done. I've seen it happen.

    I would find someone new. I would meet with this new professional alone the first time and explain that your son is difficult, explain the history and see if this new professional feels he's up to the task.

    To borrow from another member, Nancy, ODD the disorder is much different from ODD behaviors. ODD behaviors can be seen in many, many other disorders/illness (bipolar, depression, anxiety, autism spectrum to name a few), but once those disorders/illnesses are treated, the ODD behaviors dissipate. ODD the disorder isn't so easy to treat.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    From what many of us here have seen, ODD tends to be part of a diagnosis, RARELY the entire problem. The only docs of any kind who tried to give us this label alone also told us that if we used a belt on areas that clothing would cover the ODD would vanish.

    Well, for my son, as for many others, we could have beaten him bloody on an hourly basis with-o changing his behavior.

    We had to find out what was causing the problems. The underlying behavior. It took lots of testing, therapy and even various trials on various medications to get to something workable for my son.

    By workable I mean he probably isn't on a pathway to jail, he isn't beating someone up routinely, he isn't trying to kill himself, and he is making friends and coping in school (though if I had ever brought home grades like that I would not have left the house for weeks!)

    Anyway, I encourage you to find a diff psychologist to work with you and a psychiatrist and other docs. No one doctor should be all or nothing. An honest doctor will help you work with other docs. You wouldn't want a gynecologist to take out your tonsils, would you??? All the docs have to work together, at least a bit.


  9. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    It's interesting that the therapist indicated a psychiatrist is needed, yet he didn't even give a hint as to what type medication might be required. (These days most psychiatrists manage psychiatric medications and do not provide therapy.)

    I agree with the others that a comprehensive evaluation is needed.

    Welcome. :smile:
  10. Lucky1

    Lucky1 New Member

    Thanks to all of you for your kind suggestions. It's nice to know there are others to commiserate with when needed :smile:

    I had just ordered the book, The Explosive Child, and it should arrive today.

    Just to clarify my above info, we did attend two sessions with a psychiatrist, following our end visits with the psychotherapist. The psychiatrist recommended our son be rx'd with Lexapro or Prozac. My hubby completely disagrees that medications should be given to our son. Part of that, I blame on the media and the mention of a child being on an antidepressant and then commiting suicide. I know the percentage of that is extremely low, but we also don't want our son to be part of that.

    As for school, child does pretty good. Currently he is all B's and kind of does what he needs to get by. He has ALWAYS had good conferences with teachers and they never have problems with him. He's compliant at school, but generally treats us like dirt.

    However, one concern I have is that he's not very social at his own level. He will play with much younger children so he can control and dominate everything. When it comes to kids his own age, he's not as eager to partake. I don't get it!! I practically forced him to take Track just so he could enjoy the commeraderie of team sports.

    Lastly, one of our biggest concerns is how this son interacts with our other son, age 6.5 . Older son would be just giddy if younger one fell off the face of the earth. Older son goes out of his way to be cruel and demeaning to his brother 95% of the time. If the four of us are out, say at a mall, the older son feels like he's in charge of younger one and CONSTANTLY tells him what he's doing wrong and that he's such a pain.

    I never dreamed parenting was going to be this hard!
  11. EnoughisEnough

    EnoughisEnough New Member

    I have the same problems with my 9 year old son. We have seen counselor after counselor. We are doing after school group therapy. We have seen an Occupation Therapy. I just don't know what to do. No one wants to give my son a diganosis. I'm waiting for his school to get back to me on any learn disablities. They are testing him but they said it could take up to a month because the teachers have to do paper work and each paperwork is 2 weeks long or something like that. I just don't know what to do. It sounds bad but I just want him to be diagnosed with this so we can move on to treatment for him. I know that he will probably never be cured but at least with some sort of treatment he will get better.
    He is so disrespectful to me and my husband (his step-dad), he doesn't listen, he talks back, he argues with us on everything.
    Yet he is so good in school. Never have any problems with him there except finishing homework and concentrating/focusing on work. He never causes problems. So I don't know what to do. Enough is Enough though.. I want answers and I want help!