Help! My son is OBSESSED with weather (rain)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MaineMom, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. MaineMom

    MaineMom New Member

    This is the first time I have posted on here. Can someone tell me if they have ever heard of this.

    My ten year old son who has ADHD and ODD is completey obsessed with the weather, especially rain. If it is raining, he refuses to go outside. If is is not raining, he is constantly asking questions about when it might rain. Like "Is it going to rain today" or, "look at those clouds, it might rain".

    He does this several times a day. It is getting to the point of paranoia with him. He plays on the 3rd / 4th grade football team in our town, and as most football teams, they play in all weather. Last week at the beginning of the game, it started to sprinkle. He got so worked up, he got sick and had the dry heaves, saying his stomach hurt. We went home, and as expected, as soon as he was in the house for a few minutes, he was fine.

    I am just worried that this may get worse and he will become a shut-in.

    Help! Thanks.

  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator


    Sorry for all the questions, but your answers will help us point you in the right direction.
    Has he always had this obsession with rain, or did it start after he began to take Adderall?
    What kind of doctor diagnosed him? Has he ever been evaluated by a neuropsychologist or child psychiatrist?
    Has any doctor mentioned anxiety as a diagnosis for him?
    Does he have any other quirky obsessions?
    Any speech or developmental delays?
    How does he do at school, both academically and with peers?
    Any mental health issues or substance abuse in the family tree?

    Again, welcome. You will find a lot of support here.
  3. MaineMom

    MaineMom New Member

    He was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD when he was six, after lengthy visits to the child pyschiatrist, various tests, and interviews with his teachers. We tried behavioral therapy for a while; didn't really help longer than an hour at a time. He started taking the medications about 3 years ago. The Adderall helps for sure. The days he is with his bio dad, and doesn't get the medicine, I can tell immediately.

    He has not been diagnosed with anything else. I would say he does have anxiety, but not really about anything else in particular. The rain is the most obvious thing. I guess his obsession with rain and the weather started a couple years ago, but has gotten much worse over the last year.

    No speech or phsycial delays. He is very fit and active. He is extremely bright; top of his class and always does his work as assigned, and usually correctly.

    His teachers always complain that he has an "attitude" and can be disrespectful. ( tell me about it! I say) He has a couple of friends, but none really close and would not be considered a popular kid. When kids do come over to the house, I find that he is bossy and rude to them, no matter how much I try to talk to him and reason with him, to not treat people that way.

    As far as mental health issues in the family; His bio dad has issues undiagnosed. I say he is bi-polar, but I am not a psychologist, just his EX. (hehehe) But he certainly has his own "issues" and yes, substance abuse does run on his side of family. Also, his dad's mom (my son's paternal grand-mother) has bi-polar, manic/depression, etc. He doesn't have any contact with her, but I always wonder what is genetic.

    Thank you for your direction and support!
  4. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I would make sure he is properly informed about rain. He could have a misconception that is causing the fear. If you have never gotten a good reason for the fear, perhaps sharing more info could make it worse. So, I guess you have to feel it out a bit. But, a lot of times, kids have overheard something that is not accurate - they heard bits and pieces. It creates a false story in their mind.

    I would also look into Cognitive Behavior Therapy. They will target this specific problem.
  5. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Hi Michelle,

    My young difficult child (now 18) has ALWAYS been obsessed with the weather. I mean who ever heard of a 10 year old who's favorite channel to wake up to in the morning is The Weather Channel! And boy did he gets excited when a storm was coming!!!

    Many here from the board suggested he may be on the Autistic Spectrum somewhere but when I pursued questioning this with a psychiatrist they told me he was too social to be AS.

    Mine will likely always have a fascination with the weather. I know it's one of his quirks. When he was little he also was very involved with Lego's and you would see him on the floor of our livingroom playing alone, building while my oldest difficult child entertained the neighborhood at our house.
    My young difficult child was also very detached when it came to Team Sports. He often would not have any clue what was going on with the team because he would be on the sidelines pulling grass and looking at the sky instead of watching the game. He knew how to make a bee line and knock down the guy he was supposed to though, lol.

    Anyway, I can relate with the weather fascination.
    Who knows maybe your difficult child is meant to go into the meteorology dept someday. That's what I've always thought about my young difficult child.

  6. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    It sounds like a phobia of some kind, but it could be lots of things or maybe nothing major. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) comes to mind.

    Bipolar disorder and other neurological disorders tend to be genetic.

    If you haven't read the mulidiscplinary evaluation information on the FAQ/Board Help forum, you might want to review the info.

    Glad you found us.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I would weigh in on Aspergers also. Have you ever read about
    that syndrome? It's quite interesting although challenging to live with, for sure. DDD
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree with-Busywend about Cognitive Therapy. Also, does he watch videos or cartoons? Maybe you could find one where rain is good ... I've seen several movies where farmers pray for rain, or Indians pray for rain, and of course there are lots of Disney movies with-birds playing in the rain, chasing one another.
    You're going to have to expose him to it one way or another because becoming a shut in is NOT an option.
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm also thinking Asperger's should be considered. And I have a very sociable autistic kid. He also seems bossy and disrespectful - there are two main reasons for this. First, he is intensely focussed on rules being followed (because this is the only way he can understand human behaviour, is to mentally ascribe it to a set of rules he is developing in his own head). Any more formal rules (school rules; rules to a game; the law) he will INSIST on being followed, loudly. As if the world depends on it.
    And the disrespect - they give back what they get. A teacher who tells kids, "Go into the classroom and sit down NOW," will get the same attitude back that she has just modelled.
    "Miss Z, I told you I wanted the BLUE book, and you gave me the red one. Weren't you listening to me?"
    This actually is NOT disrespect. He has instead used the teacher as a role model. This can also seem to be that he is mocking her, but he is not. Her behaviour, seen through his eyes, is what he must emulate - she IS his teacher after all. And a kid like this MUST learn social interaction in this way, they don't pick it up by osmosis the way everyone else does.

    Autism is NOT about being socially withdrawn, necessarily - it is about being socially inappropriate, or some other social dysfunction. Not being able to (or apparently willing to) carry on a conversation unless it's on HIS favourite topic - another example of social dysfunction. difficult child 1 and difficult child 3 will happily chat to total strangers about the things they enjoy, or about whatever is interesting them at the moment. They can seem VERY social - but try and switch the subject to something the child is less familiar with, and you see the social inadequacy. A confident autistic child may still try to keep up, especially if they feel safe with that person, but many will not, they will withdraw, walk away or get angry.

    Check out the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire on It's not official, it's just something to think about. And this is a diagnosis which can often be delayed, especially if you've been thoroughly assured previously without it really being seriously considered. I first raised the question of difficult child 1 being autistic in some way, when he was 6. I asked his psychologist, who was experienced in working with autism, and he was very emphatic about difficult child 1 NOT having any form of autism, because he interacted so well on a one-to-one basis.

    But they often do - they feel safer, one-to-one. So it took until difficult child 1 was 15 for a more thorough assessment.

    easy child 2/difficult child 2, if she IS Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), is only borderline. We're convinced of it, so is she. Her doctor is not. Her counsellor at college, is.

    For us, it's been a good working hypothesis. If she is having difficulty with social situations or anxiety, we remember she is going to need to learn this in a different way. it's changed our expectations to a more realistic level and changed how we teach her some things. As a result, we're now making headway.

    If this is Asperger's, encourage him to inform himself about the weather. We have a radar site we access which shows the satellite image of the weather coming in, we can look at it and predict what will happen weather-wise in the next five minutes, or the next two hours. If a storm is on the way, we can see if there is hail in it, how heavy the rain is and if we watch we can even see how fast it is moving.

    Especially in Asperger's, knowledge is empowering.

  10. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    In addition to agreeing with the need for a thorough evaluation (I recommend a neuropsychologist, found at university and children's hospitals), I would also ask the psychiatrist about whether the Adderall could be making his anxiety/phobia worse. Stimulants like Adderall are known to exacerbate pre-existing anxiety.
  11. sameold sameold

    sameold sameold New Member

    Hi and welcome fellow Mainer,

    I would have to agree with others, further testing should be done. Sounds alot like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). And I don't think adderall helps with obsessive behaviors. I know Luvox does, my son was on that medication in his younger years and it did help for his obessive compulsive behaviors.
    Good luck to you and your son, ten was an incredibly hard year for mine.
  12. MaineMom

    MaineMom New Member

    Thank you all so much for your words of support! And hello to my "Maine" friends. It seems great to talk to other people with similar issues.

    I love him to pieces but boy, is he a handful! He definately tries my patience!

    He has a medication-check appointment with his physician next month, and I think I will push for a more detailed evaluation, since it has been four years or so since he has had a real detailed review.