HELP (with a capital H) !

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by GMaNebraska, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. GMaNebraska

    GMaNebraska New Member

    Oh, where can I begin....3-1/2 yr old grandson, has classic ODD characteristics. Living with us (grandparents) his 2yr old sib for 6wks now. Parents in another state...they have substance abuse issues, personality disorders, PTSD, depression, you name it. Obviously this is the cause of the behavior problems. We are seeing a child psychologist for the first time next week. Is 3 too young to have ODD ? I am quickly becoming worn out and frustrated with dealing with this little guy. By the way, he attends daycare 1-1/2 days a week...loves it, and is well behaved there. He is consistently extremely hard to handle otherwise. We had the kids for a month in Oct., he was not a behavior problem then, but has always been sort of hyper. Any wisdom you might share?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi. So sorry you are having problems. I am guessing he had a very chaotic infancy and toddlerhood and if so he could have attachment disorder, which is very common with kids who had no stability in their first three years. Also, if bio. mom took drugs or drank while pregnant, that could cause behavior problems, learning problems and more. I recommend getting him a complete evaluation that covers all areas of his development.

    This board is not much of a fan of the diagnosis of ODD. It is very unhelpful with no treatment and is usually caused by a bigger umbrella issue, such as reactive attachment disorder, autistic spectrum, ADHD, fetal alcohol problems, almost anything. In of itself, ODD just means the child is defiant and difficult, but it does not explain the reason for it nor does it offer any good solutions. I would skip the ODD and look for bigger issues, ESPECIALLY if he had crazy very early years and drug exposure in utero. Those can cause real problems and require different sorts of treatment.

    You're a good grandma to take him in. Gentle hugs.
  3. GMaNebraska

    GMaNebraska New Member

    Ok, thank you. Another thing I find odd, neither child has cried or seemed upset about not being with their parents...which makes sense in terms of disrupted attachment. I will ask the psychologist for referral to a developmental center near us that can do an assessment. I will do anything to help this child have a happy life. Interestingly, little sister (different temperament and was the favored child) seems completely fine right now. She is also younger, which probably makes a difference. Thanks for your help!
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Start your own research, find out as much as you can. Most of us have found that WE have to become the experts on our own kids... the "experts" might take several rounds to "get" it.

    I'd be inclinded to handle both of them as though they have disrupted attachment. There are many flavors of this... they may just be different presentations of the same problem. They are young enough that you may still have time to make a difference in the outcome.
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Be prepared to be very insistent about evaluations. Many docs want to not upset you our rush to judgment.

    Problem is, early help works best. And they can never truly understand the big picture you see. Especially with disputed attachment.....only work with specialists. Read about attachment disorders. Therapy is very different from other child therapy. I had to fire several who tried to separate us in therapy and could not even discuss common issues in attachment.
  6. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    No experience in kids like yours, but one thing I have learned while raising difficult children: be as active as possible in the treatment plan. Don't just rely on the experts, ask questions until you feel confortable with the answers, keep a critical eye and a critical mind, read on the topics they tell you about (the "experts" tell you about syndrom xz, read books about xz, and then come to the forum to ask parents of children with xz).
    You want to be and become and equal partner in yours kids treatment plan.
    One of the reason your 3 year old is doing good at daycare: structure. Lots of kids thrive on structured environment. You might try to think about ways to structure your home a bit more. I am not saying it is not structured, but try to do it more. Structure rarely hurts!
    And don't forget the famous "pick your battles". When it comes to raising difficult children, it is all about taking baby steps. It is a slow process and one that can rarely be rushed. Pick one or 2 most urgent issues, it is usually useless and exhausting for all concerned to fight about everything at once (even if in the bigger picture all those battles will have to be tackled in order for your child to be a well ajusted civilized person).
    One step at a time, one day at a time.