Help... Tell me what I need to know.

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by tjkram, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. tjkram

    tjkram New Member

    My son, 12, just (3wks ago)started treatment for ODD. He is a shoestring away from being expelled from school. He's in honors classed but his behavior has landed him in ISS more days than allowed. His grades have suffered. He will not bring home homework assignments and his teachers will not post them online so I can make him do it. My Ex (an Attny who thinks he just needs more discipline) and I have a meeting next week with all his teachers, principal and GC to discuss our options. The teachers are fed up with the behavior and are pushing for the expulsion. They have over crowded classes and don't need the distraction. What can I do? What are my options? Any advise would be appreciated.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome.

    First... most of us around here see ODD as a bit of a place-holder diagnosis, rather than "the" diagnosis...
    Yes, the behaviors fit the ODD description.
    Yes, the behaviors are absolutely unacceptable.

    BUT... an ODD diagnosis does NOT give any clue or guildelines as to what the solutions should be.
    AND... most of the time, there is a REASON for the behavior.

    If you can find the reason(s), and find solutions at that level, then most of the behavior problems go away (what's left is habit etc. and can be changed too...)

    Can you give us a little more history?
    When did the behavior start?
    Who did the diagnosis? When?
    Any family history of challenges or dxes of any sort?
    When did you separate from his Dad?
    What other events were going on in his life when the behaviors started?
    Do you see the behavior at home as well as at school? or just at school?
    Family dynamics? (who does he live with... sibs/steps/ etc.)

    Any info you can give us, helps the rest of us "relate" to the situation.
    We're all "just" parents... but the range of experience on this board is pretty amazing...
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Hi tjkram!!!

    I agree with IC... "ODD" describes behaviors that are likely caused by something else.

    She asked all the questions I would have, so I will limit this to - WELCOME! I'm glad you found us, and sorry you needed to.

    Let us know more. We all have different situations, so a conglomeration of our ideas may help.
  4. tjkram

    tjkram New Member

    Hi InsaneCdn,

    Until 2 months ago, I refused to believe he had an issue, other than being disobedient.

    I took him to 2 Psychiatrists, they both stated, Impulse Control Disorder, some signs of ADHD and possible Bipolar. Last visit 3 wks ago. Trying medications (Tenex). Behavior Modification as recommended by first Dr. isn't helping. I know it takes time, but the school won't wait. Was told to tell the school ODD to buy some time.

    Divorced when he was 6 mos. Lives with me and stepfather. He's been there since his 1st b-day. Father re-married same year. He has 3 children (wife's) he adopted plus 2 of their own. They live 1 mile from us. He see them weekly. Alot of sibling rivalry, kids are the same ages. Father has NO paternal feelings for my son.

    History: Behavior noticed around 4yrs, stubborn, fits of rage, bored at school. Worked a grade level ahead. I thought it was still the terrible two's. As he got older his behavior became worse. In the past year, he's chased his sitter with a knife, caught the kitchen on fire and threw a metal broomstick into is brothers calf. Brother (16) moved in with his father shortly after. He is described as a disruptive class clown at school, wanting everyone's attention. Complete disregard for classroom rules.

    Complete disrespect for adults, other than his father. From him he craves approval. But fears him as well. Father has anger management issues that he has been treated for in the past. Older brother also has anger management issues, in counseling. Paternal Grandmother, swears he is just like his father.

    I really feel like I'm guessing where he is concerned. How much do I tell the school? What assistance can I ask for from the teachers? Can I keep him from being expelled? Can he remain in his current classes?
  5. keista

    keista New Member

    From what you describe, in my "I'm not a professional, just and observant mom" opinion sounds right.
    Just like ODD, in my opinion discussions and treatment of "anger management" are pretty pointless as well, but more of an indicator that there is something else wrong. "Normal" ppl don't have issues with anger, why do these ppl? I'm not saying intervention doesn't work, it certainly does, I've seen it work, BUT the ppl I have seen it work on still have very deep rooted issues that have not been addressed.

    If he has a diagnosis, he has a disability, if the disability is affecting his school work (in any way, including behavior) then he is eligible for an IEP or the very least a 504 plan.

    How much you tell the school is up to you, but if they just think of him as a "discipline case" you will not get any help from them. Even with a disability diagnosis, overburdened schools go to great lengths to NOT create IEPs and 504 even though, by law, they are required to. in my opinion "possible bipolar" will buy you more time than ODD

    Has he been seeing a therapist? If so, will the therapist go to the meeting with you? Psychiatrist maybe? Start searching for an advocate in your area. Here we have one that is funded by the State education department. There are also advocates you can hire.

    Good Luck, and Welcome to the board!
  6. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    To maybe hold them off a little, put a request in writing for "a full evaluation for Special Education services including academic, psychological, Occupational Therapist (OT) and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluations". Send it Registered mail with Return Receipt Requested as soon as possible (like yesterday). Just this simple step could hold them off because legally, they have to do the assessments (or put in writing to you WHY they can't) in s certain timeframe and they can't do that if he isn't there.

    At the same time, you might want to look into further diagostics from a neuropsychologist for a more accurate diagnosis. An ODD diagnosis, to some schools (like mine), means they play even harder ball. To me, ODD is a catch-all from docs that really means "there is something wrong but I don't know what it is and I don't have time to figure it out so I'll just call it this". In our situation, that diagnosis made everything 1000% worse when it came to the school. In our case, it was a definite MISdiagnosis and trying to get the school to change their mindset was impossible and ended up hurting difficult child 1 int he end.

    Good luck and {{{(((HUGS)))}}}}
  7. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    This also will put him under the protections of federal law. Technically, as soon as you told him that he was diagnosis with ODD those protections should have started but by sending it registered mail, you have proof. (Actually, this assumes you are in the USA.)

    Minimally, he needs a Functional Behavior Analysis done by a trained behavior specialist or school pyschologist. I'd also push for a full cognitive assessment (both IQ and achievement to test for hidden LDs....he can be both gifted and Learning Disability (LD) and that can manifest as behavior issues).
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Double-ditto on that one. Absolutely. And school will so often try to stonewall you on this... claim that it isn't possible.

    Not only is it possible... it is almost impossible to be highly gifted and NOT have a major issue in some other area. Its part of the insanity of genius...
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I agree here, if you start the formal process for evaluation for special education (in your case, probably they will look at an Emotional/Behavior kind of classification, but you will have to wait and see), this will ensure him legal rights in the schools (he is in public school right? if not, different ball game). I am shocked (others in other areas are I am sure not shocked and probably even feel this is the norm for their area) because any kid with that much trouble would have been brought to child study team in our schools (any district I have worked in anyway). But different parts of the country (If you are in USA) follow the laws differently. Take care and do this ASAP so that it halts their "expulsion" process for now. You can view or Writeslaw for information on evaluations, educational rights, etc. and of course you can always ask here.