Hi from a newbie

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by happy, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. happy

    happy Guest

    Just had a big long post that I lost :(

    I was trying to find some info on ODD

  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Happy! Sorry your post got lost. You have really found a supportive, soft place to land.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    As far as a lot of us are concerned, ODD is a label thrown at kids who are a challenge to manage, for all sorts of different reasons. I do not believe in one distinct disease entity called ODD. I do believe you get it as a consequence of some other underlying disorder. Treat the underlying disorder and you begin to change the ODD stuff. A book we recommend here is "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. There is a lot written about the book on this site, so search for it and read up on the tips. Get a copy from the library. Because another facet of whatever the underlying disorder is - often the child feels they need to control the world in some way, because to them it seems too confusing and chaotic. And as parents, we tend to struggle to take control back. This sets up a pattern of development of oppositional behaviour - we as parents, in trying to assert control, model the opposition to our kids. They then dish it back. So like letting go of the rope in a tug of war, let go of your need to be the boss, and instead become your child's facilitator. That does not mean being a doormat, but it does mean letting go of some stuff for a while, and working towards management a few pieces at a time.

    Suggestion for future posts you're composing - compose them in a text file somewhere, then copy and paste. Or, before you click "post", copy the post first so it's in your buffer.

    It happens to us, too! My link drops out, and suddenly I find half an hour's typing is gone forever.

  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Why don't you tell us more about your child...when you're up to it again :)

    Welcome to the board :)
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome! Tell us more about your situation.
  6. happy

    happy Guest

    Thanks for the welcomes :)

    Going to make this short as possible.
    my son is 7, been very energictic all his life and has 2 younger siblings. 5 & 3.
    Seems to not listen well, talks back to me, argues a lot and has to get the last word in every single time!
    We butt heads and I hate it. I've tried time outs, taken away things like Wii, friends house, tv time, whatever, he doesn't seem to care. Tried reward charts and (bribs) to get get good behavior, doesn't work over time. Read the book 1,2,3 Magic, didn't work for all that long. As the months have gone by, the arguing is getting worse, the tantums are too. I know he is jealous of his siblings because he tells me and my husband.
    I've asked for a couple years if he has ADHD from the pediatricians, his teachers, they don't think so. Took him to see a therapist over the summer because I don't like the fact that him and I butt heads. I love him so much and it hurts so bad.
    So I take him in when he was 6 y/o, she , after the 2nd session, says there is no need for him to come back. He thinks like a 9 or 10 y/o , and knows how to "challenge" you. I use manipulate, she used challenge. He's smart. We think he's going to be a great lawyer or business salesman. Ok great.
    So last month I go to PTC at the school and his 2nd grade teacher tells me that he is brillant. Wow, great!! He gets it, it's simple for him the work, tests, everything. Except, the silence in the room.........his work habits are poor, his listening skills and following directions are poor. :dissapointed: She doesn't know how he's going to make it into the 3rd grade. He doesn't hang his coat when he comes in from recess, throws it on his desk. Has a messy desk, doesn't focus, looks out the windows all the time, doesn't pay attention and so on. I wanted to crawl under the desk. I couldn't believe it. I asked for advice and didn't really recieve any help. Can't send him off to Special Education because he gets A's for everything. She uses play $ in the class and said she would pay him $1 a day if he kept his desk clean. My son said he didn't want her $ and would try to keep it neat.
    So this has been really bothering me, crying at night, asking what are we going to do, blah, blah, blah.
    So the holidays come up and I'm at dinner with family and friends and my sisters friend is a teacher and she teaches Special Education kids and I tell her a bit about what is going on and she tells me to look into ODD, so that's what I have been doing for the last couple days.
  7. happy

    happy Guest

    I thought I would make a couple posts so I don't lose that much.

    So I put a call into the peds 2 days ago and he got back to me yesterday. I have been a major wreck for the last couple of days and think, what happen, what did I do wrong, how did this happen and so on. The bullet points for ODD match up to about half of how my son acts.
    The peds called me yesterday and I explained things, he did ask how counseling went because they thought that was a first step during the summer to try with my son.
    He doesn't think that my son has ODD, he said maybe slight ADHD, but also he is a 7 y/o kid. He is so well behaved at other ppls homes, and family members, why is he arguementive with me so much??? I don't get it???? So the doctor thinks I should try another counselor, maybe behavioral and try that.
    Well, my 7 y/o has his buddy over for a sleepover for the very first time and I must say that my child is an angel compared to this kid~ LOL

    Advice please and thank you
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    OK, two suggestions (quickly, because I've got to head for bed, it's after 1 am!)

    First - read up on Explosive CHild.

    Second - go check out the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire on www.childbrain.com. It would explain a lot and also give you a sense of direction. I would consider a working hypothesis of Asperger's. The ADHD, if it's there also, can be connected. It's all manageable, if that's what it is.

    Hang in there. You are going to have to change what you do, because this kid is just a kid, he can't change. But he's bright, and he can behave for others. A good sign. Other people don't try to control him the way you do (because you're a parent trying to discipline, other people work differently).

    You can do it. It will get better. And I'll be back in about 18 hours.

  9. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Has he been allergy tested? Certain food allergies show up in behavior. My daughter and I butt heads because we're so much alike (and have many of the same issues as well). Get as much testing done as possible before you start a medicating route, because the wrong medication can make things sooo much worse.
  10. happy

    happy Guest

    Thanks Marg, I looked at the web addy you provided, doesn't seem to fit him.

    Thanks HaoZi. I haven't had him tested for allergies, he doesn't seem to be allergic to anything that I know of. Where would I start? I heard juice can be bad and Red dyes. My children never drank juice until they went into preschool. I do think my son and I are alike. We like the same foods, are very caring ppl and like the same things, football and soccer. lol He is sensitive to feelings and has never said that he hates me or anything ever bad. My daughter-5 has and so has my 3 y/o son. We butt heads the most. My daughter has routine and doesn't need to be asked to do things over and over again.
  11. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    A gluten allergy I think is the most common to show up as behavior problems, and it helps to remember that gluten is not only found in wheat or products with wheat, but other grains also have it (not all of them). It's something I had my daughter tested for before I allowed any medication (she's not gluten sensitive). There are other digestive issues, like IBS, PK something or other (someone will chime in with the correction) and Crohn's that can also exhibit as behavior at first because they're too young to express the problem in a more socially acceptable way. The fact that he lashes at you more than anyone could also be that he is comfortable expressing his anxieties and frustrations more with you (backwards compliment, I know).
  12. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Does your son's school have a gifted/talented program? Maybe he needs more intellectual stimulation at school or a way to show what he knows in a different way than is taught in his classroom.
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Without Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in the equation, I still think you need to use similar techniques to manage him. My reasons for this:

    1) He is very bright, from what you say and what his teachers say. Bright kids can have a lot of the POSITIVE aspects of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) without so many of the handicaps. One shining example - bright kids, plus Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids, tend to have a very strongly developed sense of justice and fair play, almost to extremes. I speak from my own experience plus what I observed in all four of my kids. If you try to control such a kid by dictating, you will clash. It virtually creates ODD for you. When I was a kid, I did not become oppositional because my mother's methods of control were too manipulative. She engaged my sense of justice to follow her rules.

    2) A bright kid can also be more successfully engaged with logic and reason.

    Think about your ultimate goal as a parent. You want your kids to be happy, productive, effective, capable members of society, to be working in a job they love at the top of their capability. Most of all you want your kids to be independent of you. Of course you also want your kids to want to spend time with you and to still have you in their lives, but we often forget that we need our kids to learn to be capable yet independent.

    When our kids are so young, we don't think in terms of their ultimate independence. But a bright kid is one who is constantly, actively trying to improve himself. Hey, not just the bright ones. But you notice it more with them. Example - my BFF's daughter, at age 2 (a very bright kid) spent half an hour bent over double, trying to do up her sandals. Every time her mother went near to her to help her, she was stopped by the little girl shrieking at her, "No, ME do it!"

    Explosive Child methods work on normal kids too. I've even used them on school meetings. It's also called collaborative problem solving, and it is very effective at helping you get what you want form a situation, without the other party feeling unheard or ignored. At first it looks like you're giving way and letting the child rule the roost. But it's a lot more subtle than that. There is some pre-planning involved and that is an ongoing process, but because you involve the child in making choices, you are also teaching the child to make those choices wisely and in conjunction with your supervision. This actually can fast-track the child to a position of personal responsibility - a vital element in eventual independence.

    A hypothetical now - what does your son say he wants to be when he grows up? Let's say he says he wants to be a doctor. at 7, he is still well able to change direction. But in some kids, this strong sense of purpose could still be apparent at 7. Let's say he has memorised the first aid books, has nicked a copy of Gray's Anatomy (the book, not the TV series) from a doctor relative and is memorising that too. It makes it fairly apparent that this child has a strong determination to go this direction. To try to change such a strong sense of purpose and push the child into getting a job in a bank, or considering becoming a plumber, would cause conflict. No, it makes more sense to support the child's interests but also teach some balance. For example, one does not discuss detailed dissection or bodily fluids at the dinner table.
    Continuing the hypothetical - let's say your son is determined to study medicine, but you want him to be a lawyer. First - is it right to impose your values on your child? You might want him to enter the family law firm (to carry on the name) but would he make a good lawyer if he always felt he had missed his true calling? You could also get an even better lawyer, especially one specialising in medico-legal, if he studied medicine first and then went back to uni for a law degree. A classmate of husband's did exactly that. If he had been pushed in one direction only, he would never have been as good in that profession while he wondered if he should have done something else. Instead, he covered what he wanted to cover academically, then found himself a niche that used the lot. He now works in a law firm defending doctors from malpractice suits.

    A bright child still can have problems. It is possible to be bright, plus learning-disabled. We found this with difficult child 1. At his first school (our local one which I have often been vitriolic about for many reasons) they had a lot of trouble with him. The biggest problem was non-compliance and daydreaming. He would simply sit in class and zone out. He would not follow instructions and would respond to discipline by curling up in a ball and withdrawing totally.
    I transferred him to a new school in the city. I warned them of his problems and they said, "It will be OK. We have experience with problem kids." But when they met him and had him in their classes, they all said to me, "There's nothing wrong with this kid. Who said he was a problem? He's bright, he's engaging, he's polite - we love him to bits!" They saw him in such a positive light, that he responded positively and began to engage more than he had back at the local school, where he was always scared of being yelled at. However, they were wrong when they said he didn't have any problems. He had a diagnosis at the time of severe ADHD which only partly responded to medications. But the teachers almost instinctively made accommodations (such as putting instructions in writing; sitting him at the front) so he was coping. They also commented on how bright he was. He made friends easily, especially the principal's son who was a bit of an odd kid. A few other boys joined their group, but nobody was excluded.
    It was about 4 years later before difficult child 1 was diagnosed with Asperger's. He had been assessed earlier but not in enough detail. Despite being bright, the schoolwork reached a level of social complexity beyond difficult child 1's ability to function at that time (they get there, they just take longer). That's when academically he seemed to hit the wall and went form top marks to failing, in a matter of months.

    I'm hoping that your son is 'merely' a bright child who is feeling over-controlled and resents his ability being ignored in your interactions. He may feel he should be given considerably more autonomy; you might feel (probably rightly) that he simply isn't old enough for such a high level of personal responsibility. But the way to get to consensus with hi is not through control or imposition of your will. With these kids you cannot say, "Because I said so and I'm the parent!" Instead, you ned to demonstrate your suitability in your role. Often it's easier to simply say, "You have choices. I can help you make those choices. It's my job to be here as a support for you."

    It really can be as simple as that, and the changes can be profound. No charts, no stickers (although you can use them if you like). Just ongoing communication, shared. Milk and cookies time used to good effect. Avoid blame. Avoid judgement. Instead, teach self-analysis. Ask questions. Instead of blame, look at consequences. So you hit your friend because he didn't want to play with you any more? Did hitting him make him want to play? So how did that work for you?

    He has a brain. It's time to get him to use it, and instead of you telling him, you ask him leading questions.

    The golden rule - pull back from whatever you're doing before he gets angry. You can take him close to the edge, but stop before he explodes. He will quickly learn that you are trying to help him be in control himself, and also trying to help him make his own responsible decisions. You are his helper. As he realises tis, your battles will ease.

    This will work for other children too. You don't need different parenting methods for all kids. But it will function differently for different kids at the same time in the same household. However, this is as it should be - all kids are different and a lot of their resentment comes from being treated the same as younger siblings. "How come I have to go to bed at the same time she does? I'm older?"

    It does get better. Something we found in Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) which you will find still in your son - they go through a really angry phase when they really want to do something, but don't yet have the capability. If your son already wants to be a rocket scientist but can't yet get an explosives licence, it will frustrate him. If he wants to go ride a bike after dark andf you won't let him, it frustrates him. He needs to learn to use his brain to find the right way to solve a problem. And teaching him this skill is the best thing you can do for him as a parent, because it sets him on the path to a good adulthood.

    OK, I'll shut up now. I'm beginning to repeat myself.

    Read the book. Or read info on this site about the book. Get a library copy if you're wary of spending money on it. There are multiple editions and I found considerable differences (all good) between each one. One talks about baskets, another talks about plans. I personally prefer the baskets - it's easier to mentally visualise. But as you get better at it, the plans perhaps are easier to think of.

  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I actually think the best place to start, rather than guessing, is to have him tested by a NeuroPsychologist (they do very intensive testing and can often figure out disorders that other professionals miss). Teachers are not diagnosticians (although some think they are :) ). ODD is kind of a throwaway diagnosis. Doesn't tell you WHY the child is unable to behave.A pediatrician doesn't learn much about neurological or psychiatric problems. I wouldn't count of him. Based on what you've said, I'm not even sure I could guess what is wrong with him. Does he socialize normally with his same age peers? Are there any psychiatric disorders on either side of his genetic family tree (this is a big clue ALWAYS).

    I don't think you'll get any answers or help unless you go to somebody with more training than teachers, plain talk therapists or your pediatrician. On our long journey, we found that it's best to start at the top.
    Good luck, whichever path you decide to take.
  15. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    You've gotten some really good advice here - it's a really great group that's been through the wringer that you're going through right now.

    During all of the research that I went through with my kids, I came across something that you may want to take a look at also. It's called NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD)).

    What Non Verbal Learning Disorder Looks Like

    NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) is something that develops in early childhood and is likely to continue to worsen over time. However, it looks very different on the outside between younger and older years. When the child is young, many of the symptoms of NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) will be physical. Poor motor skills, a lack of balance and coordination, and any sort of sensual sensitivity (such as sensitivity to loud sounds or certain tastes) are signs of NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). Behavioral signs include acting out in a manner similar to a child who has ADHD or ODD.

    As the child enters school, it becomes more apparent that there are also going to be problems with learning that stem from NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). The child with this condition will have trouble with spatial relations and visual recall which will become apparent when doing certain tasks in a classroom setting. Mathematics will be another area of difficulty.

    When the child enters pre-adolescence ("the tweens") the outward signs of NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) will begin to look a lot different. In most cases, the child will have learned to compensate a lot for the physical problems and may have less trouble with balance and coordination. Schoolwork will continue to suffer and behavior problems may continue. However there will also be a definitive shift in demeanor as the child begins to internalize the problems that he or she is dealing with.

    I agree with a neuropsychologist exam. It really helped figure things out for me.

    Welcome to the crowd...it's a really good caring group of people!

  16. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Some kids just need different parenting techniques. Have you asked him how he feels about the butting heads alot? Maybe just simply asking him how he thinks the two of you can find a way to not butt heads anymore and you come up with some suggestions as well. For both of you.
  17. happy

    happy Guest

    Wow, a lot to take in here. Thanks for the responses.

    I'm so confused and don't know which way to turn.

    My son wanted to play Wii this morning and all I said was." Today I want your laundry" and he grabbed his hair and made a mean face and was pulling his hair. WTH?? He said,"It's going to take all day to do my laundry" ready to cry.
    I told him to stop. I said," You didn't even listen to what I had to say and your pulling your hair? stop now. Today you just need to put your folded laundry away and write your 10 sentences for school." I said it in a calm fashion. He got his Wii and was fine. Is he over dramatic? I always think that but to react that way-I don't know?

    My son would like to be a Monster Truck Driver for Grave Digger. He would also like to be a Marine and in the last week wants to be a quauterback in football now. We love playing/watching and he's really good at flag football. His passion is soccer - a great player but is wanting to try tackle football. I don't think he's ready for that at age 7. Also it's a commitment of 4 days of practice which we just don't have the time for right now. He's in cub scouts and soccer will start back up in 3 months and he loves it. He's been wanting to be a driver and a Marine for about 4 years now. The lawyer part is what my husband and I think, lol I don't think he has an interest, in my opinion I think he would be good at it but I'm not pushing him in that direction just because of the arguing factor.

    busywend~he gets upset at the fact we butt heads. He's very emotional when it comes to that. He loves me very much and tells me all the time. I do ask why he treats me the way he does and he used tol respond with My bad brian is taking over my good brain and I just need to punch it out. He would hit his head a couple of times and say ok, good brian is back. :confused: He doesn't do that anymore, just says he doesn't know.
    I do know that he is VERY jealous of his baby sister and brother. He was 19 months old when his sister came around. He was still a baby. My daughter was born with a couple of eye problems that have devasted me (she had 2 surgerys one at 4 wks old and 1 at 11 months old) she only has sight in 1 eye. I know I blamed myself and was depressed and crying a lot but tried NOT showing it infront of them but it's a big part of our lives. Doctors and hospital visits/eye specialists and care and so on. She wears a prosthetic in her eye. He's always just rolled with the flow. And he has a baby brother that is 3. He's a smarty pants too. My daughter & son get along the best and play soccer together and play and so on but in the past few months the fighting with each other is getting more and more. Sible rivalry is all I think it is. I don't know. AM I parinoid and just not letting the kid be a kid?? Is there something that is wrong that I don't know? Is this how kids are?? I don't know
  18. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Mine is an only child and acts like that. We're still awaiting testing but I think mine leans heavily in the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) areas (Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is pretty well established). Some of these kids cope okay until their lives get more complex, until society expects more complexity from them, etc. Mine was a happy-go-lucky little one, but man has that ever changed!
  19. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    With the example you gave about the Wii, it sounded like he had his mind set on something and you 'interrupted' his plan with a demand (not a bad thing), but maybe those requests/shifts in thinking are overwhelming to him at the moment and he needs to learn a few coping skills. He actually sounds typical to me with maybe a bit of anxiety/transitioning issues.
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I've raised five kids and, no, I don't think he is acting like a normal kid. in my opinion he should be evaluated. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to treat him when it finally gets out of control.
    good luck :)