Hi everyone

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by bipolarmum, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. bipolarmum

    bipolarmum Guest

    I have never posted on a forum before so apologies in advance :redface:

    I am 29 with a 6 year old boy who has ADHD and ODD. I was diagnosed with bipolar when he was 2 years old and i cannot cope at all with his behaviour. I feel that my mood depends on his and vice versa. I feel like a complete failure as a mother as i have no control over my child. He is such a loving child and is very bright but has such trouble controlling his emotions and is a very angry boy most of the time. We (myself and husband) first noticed strange behaviour when he started at nursery age 3. The teacher would always have negative comments for us at the end of each day and from there it has progressivley gotten worse. I guess i am looking to hopefully make some friends who understand the difficulties of having a challenging child, and can help with words of advice and encouragement as not a lot of my friends understand they just think he is naughty.

  2. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! Welcome to the crowd! I'm glad you found us...there's a ton of experience here and a lot of people who've been through the same stuff that you're experiencing.

    Here are a couple of questions:

    1. does your son have any particular habits while playing or eating such as lining up toys, not letting his food touch each other, acting like he's "all knowing" on certain subjects (like trains, cars, animals, etc)?

    2. how is his eye contact with people he may know, but doesn't necessarily encounter on a daily basis (like the Principal at school, the butcher, the grocer, etc.)

    3. is he sensitive to certain sounds, smells, textures (ie: itchy tags, certain fabrics)?

    There are several of us on this site that feel like quite often in younger kids adhd and/or ODD can be symptoms of other issues.

    I don't know what they call them in the UK, but here in the States we suggest that people get a neuropsychologist exam. This is done by a neuropsychologist that tests for several hours (outpatient) over the course of a few days. The then have more info. to come up with a realistic diagnosis.

    Gotta go, the Weeble is wiggling around in her crib and I still have to get laundry put away.

    Again, welcome to the crowd! It really is a fantastic group of people!

  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Beth, it would be a neuropsychologist in the UK too.

    BPMum, don't feel bad if you find you're struggling to cope. The reason sites like this exist, is you're not alone. Nobody here will judge you, we understand about problem kids.

    You have also been very observant to note that your mood is having an impact on him and vice versa. You don't need to have bipolar for this to be a common finding!

    Your health system is probably more like our Aussie one, than the US. There is help available for you with him, your starting point is your GP. Your mum-sense has noted problems. Please don't get too hooked in by the ODD label, that seems to a lot of us to be merely a consequence of a kid with another underlying problem, simply trying to find his own way of coping independently of his parents/teachers. A book that helps a lot of us is The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. If you go to the Early Childhood forum, look at the stickies there that discuss this book. Good stuff and won't cost you anything. I tend to get books out of the library, rather than just go off and buy everything recommended.

    Getting your son assessed in detail (and not merely by school counsellors - they tend to generalise and therefore miss both the extreme highs and the extreme lows in sub-scores in psychometric testing, but merely average it all out.

    Whatever you're dealing with, people here do understand.


  4. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Everything you described...been there done that, as so many here have. difficult child probably started about age 2. He is now 15. Been a roller coaster ride. I've learned to not care what others think. If they had to walk in your shoes for just ONE day...it would be a different story.

    Set limits and expectations in advance. For me, it is a lesser fight when he knows what the consequences will be prior. Even if he has appointments, I need to tell him in advance to avoid a fight.

    School - get an IEP. Due to anger and frustration, the biggest help with the IEP is that difficult child has a "cool off pass" When he feels anger or frustration building he is able to use the pass and go to a supervised area (designated before hand). He goes and regroups then rejoins class. This helps him recognize the signs of anger and frustration, it helps him NOT to explode in the classroom and keeps the class from being disrupted. (not to mention keeps the suspensions down). What difficult child figured out was he uses this pass and spends an hour re-grouping. LOL...they put an end to that. He has 10 - 15 minutes to cool down, re-group and re-enter the class.

    We still have days where it feels like he is running the show because husband and I are just too tired to oppose him. Like walking on egg shells never knowing what may set him off. He needs to be approached in a particular way. If you approach him accusingly he will react very angry. Once teachers and others realize it is all in the approach it is a much smoother ride. That is what works for us. You will find what works for you.

    There are so many wonderful parents here. All have great advice. I know others will follow with excellent advice.
  5. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Hello and welcome. It's a brave new world when your child does not fit the pattern of an average child. The best suggestion I have is learn as much as you can about how your child works, what are his triggers and what you can do to help him attain self control. It's a bit of a marathon in helping our children but education is a must.
    We hope to share our experiences and what worked and what didn't and maybe offer some support and understanding. Hugs. It's a tough thing to face day in and day out when you hear all the negative and live with some of his negative behaviors but as you say, he is a bright sweet loving child. Start with what is right with the boy and try to help him with his negative behaviors.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, BPMum.
    Good catch, that you recognize that your moods affect one another. Get yourself some therapy and medications and exercise and it will help with-your stability and parenting. Also, do you have a good babysitter or friend you can trust so you can have time away from your difficult child? It is very important!
    Don't worry about being the world's best parent. These kids are hard to parent by anyone's standards.
    I agree with-the others, that ODD is just an extra label. You're probably going to go through a lot of diagnosis's b4 it's all over.
    Glad you found us, but sorry you had to.
  7. joneshockey

    joneshockey Guest

    You have found a wonderful, supportive group of parents that totally "gets" what it is like to raise a difficult child. I have only been part of this group for a month, but have really learned a lot from others here. Your situation sounds very familiar to mine where my son also had many difficulties in preschool. I know how you must've felt hearing negatives from his teacher all the time - My B2 had a year similar to that last school year. As for your friends, you will quickly discover who your "real" friends are and those who think your child is "naughty" or that it is caused by your parenting, etc. are NOT worth your time or effort... I have found that even close friends that I have known since middle school (15+ yrs.) don't even "get" it, so I have turned to this group of parents to lean on instead. I hope things for you get better soon!
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    As for your friends, you will quickly discover who your "real" friends are and those who think your child is "naughty" or that it is caused by your parenting, etc. are NOT worth your time or effort... I have found that even close friends that I have known since middle school (15+ yrs.) don't even "get" it, so I have turned to this group of parents to lean on instead.

    Joneshockey, have you read the thread about having any real life friends? Sounds just like what we are talking about. We're in good company!
  9. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member


    I wanted to reinforce what Terry said that your own mental health has got to come first. Anyone who gives you this advice is speaking from experience -- has learned the hard way (by falling apart or coming close). Don't go that way -- it's time-consuming! I found I had to do whatever it took to get some mental and physical stability or all I could do after awhile was scream and scream and scream.

    Also regarding your being a failure as a parent --- NOT NOT NOT. I know that's easy to say, and we have all felt that way, but if you look closely at your parenting you will see you're not, and haven't been, a failure. You're doing the best you can with a hard situation.

    Best of luck, keep posting for support.
  10. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member


    Barneysmom & others are right. We love our kids so deeply, we will do anything for them. But dealing with a difficult child can drain the life right out of you. You can deplete all of your emotional resources, and he will still be a difficult child. been there done that.

    Please take care of yourself and set healthy boundaries. And come here often. Even though I don't post about my difficult child that much, I draw great strength from this group of parents who understand, even when it seems that no one else does.

  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Are you coming back? We've been thinking about you.
  12. bipolarmum

    bipolarmum Guest

    hi guys

    Sorry i haven't replied to your comments sooner my laptop was broken :(. Well i'd just like to say a big thanks to you all for making me so welcome! I'm so greatful for all your kind words and advice, it's really given me a boost. I havent been feeling too well as my medications have recently changed, but just to see that there are people who care and are going through a tough time also but are fighting on makes me feel so much better. Thanks again :D