I have a child who has been diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, and Generalized Anxiety

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by bluebird36, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. bluebird36

    bluebird36 New Member

    I have a 5 yr old who was recently diagnosed with Adhd Odd and generalized anxiety disorder. He is very disruptive to the whole house and has high jacked my whole life causing me to not be able to function properly. I need all of the help I can get as I am a single parent unemployed with no hopes of getting employment anytime soon due to his special needs. Is there anyone in SC that has any idea what I can do to help myself get through this alive to a point to where I am not struggling to make ends meet financially and emotionally.
  2. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Hi! Welcome.

    Lots of us have money problems because of our difficult children. It is a full time job raising them. Is he on disability? Some one else might know more about that than I do. Are you on every gov't program you can be and still keep your sanity?

    There will be lots of questions about your child as others come on and try to help. This is a great and caring group of people. Could you give us some more info?

    Like who did the diagnosis?
    Does he have an IEP?
    What kind of testing was done?
    What medications is he on?
    Are there other children in the home?
  3. bluebird36

    bluebird36 New Member

    No he is not on disability I wasn't aware that he could be put on it. I have another child who is 2 she is wonderful a breath of fresh air and sunshine. He does have an IEP and so far being home bound until we can get a behavioral plan set up for him. He was diagnosed at the Halls institute. I believe his counselor is talking about sensory integration classes for him because he seems to have a lot of sensory problems. He is prone to exploding when he cannot get his way which is often since I refuse to let him have his way. It's just frustrating when you are a single parent and need to work but he takes a lot of time and energy. He was on Tenex and Ritalin but the Ritalin put him in the ICU. So they are trying adderal now.
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    That's the diagnosis's mine started out with, so be on the lookout for possible others to get added on as he's better able to express himself and more is expected from him. Has anyone recommended Ross Greene's The Explosive Child to you yet?
  5. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hello bluebird and welcome. Sorry you are having such a hard time with your son. I TOTALLY understand what you say here. Of course you want to refuse him having his own way and becoming a spoiled child who cannot understand boundaries or respect others... However.... Since I have been there done that, I can tell you that I now focus far more on defusing conflict and avoiding meltdowns with my son. Refusing him what he wants - which is where I was about six months ago or so - didn't lead to him stopping having meltdowns. It just added conflict, tension and hostility to our relationship (I too am on my own with him). I have learnt how to manage him better and as a consequence we have a more constructive relationship and I am less tense and despairing. Practical tips I can give you, without any guarantee they will work for your son, of course. I just know they worked for mine:

    - I don't now let him have all that he asks for. But I present things in a positive rather than negative way. The word "no" is usually incendiary with these children and so I try to avoid using it. So if he can't have something, I will offer him two things he can have and he can choose - two rather than one because that way he feels he has some control.
    - To the extent possible I avoid taking him into potentially explosive situations - we don't go into a shop just before suppertime, for example, because he will want a chocolate bar and will explode when I refuse.
    - I try to avoid battles of wills. We are not in a power struggle and I do not have to "win" against him. This, for me at any rate, was a very important breakthrough. As I'm human I sometimes get really irritated when I want him to do something and he says "no". However it is not nearly as much as I used to when it used to really make me furious sometimes and I would shout or get angry - then he would escalate his tantrum and rage, locking us into a lovely and ever-increasing negative cycle...
    - I try to explore options and discuss problems with him. If we want opposing things, I will sometimes present the conflict to him and ask whether he has any ideas for solutions about how we can resolve these conflicting interests. It may not always "work" but it sure works better than a heated slanging match...
    - Humour is a big saviour for us. Oftentimes, if I tickle J or somehow make him laugh as he is about to go into an explosion, it is defused - he will laugh, the moment is passed and forgotten.
    - Wherever possible, I speak to him in a friendly, respectful tone of voice. This makes him respond in the same tone, I have noticed.
    - Wherever possible, I praise and encourage him. This has also made a big difference in our relationship and in his behaviour. We have a "gold sticker" chart and he likes to get those without seeming particularly worried about the "prize" at the end of it.
    - I am as affectionate as I can be with him, including lots of hugs, pats on the shoulder, kisses, etc. If your son is anything like mine, he is INCREDIBLY responsive to mood and emotion. Affection seems to make him feel less anxious and more secure and therefore less defiant and oppositional.
    - I have often found it works if I explain to him (briefly) why I am asking him to do something or why he can't do something. Small example: this morning he said he wanted to choose his clothes to get dressed. Fine, but he came down (it is beginning to be a cold October) dressed in tiny football shorts and winter boots! I said he had to change them - he started crying, protesting and refusing. Then I explained that it is very cold and that his legs would be too cold and the teacher would send him home again. He immediately accepted this and took them off.

    These are just a few things that come to mind. These children are hard work - and I do not also have a two year old to look after. Some people might say that taking all these "special measures" does not teach a child how to be in the "real world", that others will not accommodate them like this, etc. I disagree. I think the more security and self-esteem we can give a child when young (and engaging in constant and daily conflict is not good for self-esteem), the more we can teach them about problem solving in ways other than violence and aggression, the better able they will be to survive in the world later. Don't know if anyone has suggested it yet but you should read books by Dr Ross Greene who understands these explosive children.

    It's so difficult. You're doing great. Take a deep breath - tomorrow is another day and there really IS light at the end of the tunnel...
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would get a neuropsychologist evaluation to see if they come up with anything else. He has a laundry list of diagnosis. that probably are all pointing to another diagnosis and there is help if your child gets the labels. Yes, it's a pain, but it's true.

    How was your child's early development? Did he speak on time? Any speech issues? Does he use toys for imaginative play? Does he know how to relate to his same age peers without driving them crazy? Does he have any unusual quirks such as lip smacking or hand flapping or turning lights on and off? Any obsessive interests or lining up of toys? How does he transition from one activity to another?

    Are there any neurological or psychiatric problems on either side of his genetic family tree? This includes biological dad, even if your child has never met him. He is still 50% of his DNA!

    Now about YOU because you matter too. If you're not in good shape, you won't be able to help anybody else. Do you see anyone for stress? Any medications? Do you have any relatives or friends who help you? Are you on social security? You need to find a way to take care of yourself and get breaks, even if it's just a bubblebath with a good book (my favorite) :) You MUST be good to yourself every chance you have.
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi! Welcome. I am single and had to stop work due to difficult child issues too. It is a constant battle. Mine is certified as disabled. Call your county and ask for a childhood disability caseworker (or similar sounding words, every county is different-some with more options some with less but you can call and find out at least). These are not child protection workers or anything like that. They have resources to monies like family grants and other options for kids with disabilities. Some are income related, some are not. I would suggest you look up ARC online and see if there is a local chapter. Even if not, their national chapter has lots of info on applying for ssi for kids with disabilities. They are great advocates to use for many issues including school.

    I love Malika's post. I do nearly all of what she is doing and since mine is now 14 I have done lots of others and we have in-home supports hired too. All paid by his insurance thank heaven. (he is on MA and has a disability waiver) If you can get your hand on the books mentioned, please do so. They really do help. I re-read them over the years because you use the tools from the perspective of where your difficult child is at that time.

    It is overwhelming at times, and I am so happy to be here and hope you find the same kind of comfort. Please check in often, Buddy
  8. bluebird36

    bluebird36 New Member

    As far as development he was on time with most things, but he still can't do somethings he cant grasp me explaining how to tie his shoes and when he plays with his toys he gets very irritated if they dont make a noise or have batteries. When told that he has to use his imagination he gets angry. Legos have been a life saver for me so far until he gets angry and starts throwing them everywhere. I have read the explosive child wonderful book, I think my problem is when he turns me into the explosive parent. I do find my self yelling a lot sometimes I cant even hear a normal tone of voice anymore. I know he is like me if you dont make him look you into the eye when you are talking to him he cant hear anything you have told him. He doesn't play to well with other kids his age such as his sister or cousin since they are the only ones I allow him to be around really. When he goes to school he acts out and absolutely tells you he will not have anything to do with the children there they are not his friends and he doesnt like them. If I buy him new clothes they have to be washed ten times then placed in the draw for at least 2 months before he will even look at them. If I buy him new shoes I have to make sure I throw away his other shoes before we ever leave the house otherwise I am wasting my time taking him. As of Sunday morning I am thinking I need to get rid of all of his clothes except for a certain kind of pants or color same with socks and underwear so that he has no choice at all and I wont have to have three hour fights anymore about getting dressed. If there are tags he wont wear the shirt of the socks touch his ankles and do not go over them well then he wont wear them and if his underwear is not cutting of his circulation lol he wont wear them either. Here lately I have noticed him taking his toys out of his toy box which consist of a plastic rubber maid container and laying in that box to watch cartoons. I have discovered that I may have let him watch a little to much animal planet, history, discovery, and natgeo. He so smart he retains a lot of that knowledge and empowers himself with it big time. He knows the difference between right and wrong but cannot process cause and effect. He def doesnt understand when someone is not being nice to him he still thinks they are playing with him. I have found that on some occasions when he is so hyper the only way to stop him is to restrain him and let him fight against you till he gets tired or complies. This works with getting his attention and stopping the repeated behavior for at least four hours, but if he can punch you bite you or kick you he will so its a do it at your own risk kind of thing.

  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi, me again, has he been evaluated for Autism Spectrum Disorder? I know lots of us here say this but it is not a bandwagon, it is because we have been through the being diagnosed with ALL of the things you mentioned, and then to add the social and sensory issues, he sure sounds like he is on the spectrum. These kids can be very smart, even if they are not Asperger's kids. It does not have to have anything to do with intelligence. That diagnosis or not, you will find that many who do have kids with this diagnosis will be able to relate to so much of what you are saying and will understand the upsets, frustrations , etc. and will have ideas for you that might apply well. I am an Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and have had many many kids who are on the spectrum but were not diagnosed with that until later. The usual first diagnoses are ADHD and Anxiety. Many then also with behavioral diagnoses and sensory issues. All of these fall under the big Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) umbrella.
    And mommy to mommy, even though I work super hard to do the right mommy things for my difficult child, I have yelling moments. We all have not so proud mommy times. Just as long as we keep trying to improve and do the right thing a mistake like that wont end it all.
  10. bluebird36

    bluebird36 New Member

    No he hasnt I have often asked about that but they keep telling me that if he was he wouldnt be able to socialize at all, but I can tell it has crossed my mind on more than one occasion. That and the fact that he was on Albuterol, Xopanex, Pulimicort, predinisone, and claratin since he first came home from the hospital. I strongly feel no mater what they say that putting these kids on these types of drugs at a young age has a lot to do with it, not to mention all of the defoliant from the cotton field across the street from where we use to live. Thank god for my mother because without her I dont know how we would survive or me anyway.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Who are "they"?
    Because... no, maybe he doesn't have AUTISM - the original, classical, extreme form.
    But... Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is a whole range of symptoms, and then there's Asperger's (which may be being rolled back into Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) as a mild form...)

    On top of that... there's a raft of OTHER possibilities.

    Ever had a comprehensive evaluation?
    If not, that's what to push for - someone who can get to the bottom of this, whatever it happens to be.

    For a minimum:
    - definitely some social issues
    - absolutely has sensory issues
    - probably has some motor skills issues
    - things like learning disabilities won't even hit the radar yet.
  12. bluebird36

    bluebird36 New Member

    Thanks I will be speaking to them about these things tomorrow, because I actually thought about having him hospitalized again this weekend at least till the docotors come up with medications that work to help me or get to the bottom of whats going on because the head banging when he gets in trouble or the attacking himself is wearing my patience down. He thinks I am kidding about making him wear a helmet but if he doesnt stop I will show him I am not a liar.. I tried the saying that you shouldn't do that because it only hurts you and nobody else but it doesnt work to deter him from it. There is so much I just kind of skip around on everything but I am so glad to of found all of you guys you really have no idea up till today and last night I thought I was at my end. I learned to keep a journal with him though. I hope he gets to read it one day and say I sure am glad I had you for a mom.

  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Highly agree with testing him for autistic spectrum disorder. See a neuropsychologist. in my opinion they do the best testing :) . Talk therapist, school, even regular psychologists do not do the right kinds of testing for this.

    And, yep, some of us have been through it and can pretty much figure out when a kid will probably end up with that diagnosis.
  14. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Absolutely, and not only as a parent of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) but as an evaluator who has helped in decisions placing kids on the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) spectrum (in schools it is a label for school placement, in the medical setting it is a diagnosis---same professionals, same training in the case of the Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and Occupational Therapist (OT) and sometimes the psychiatric--just in case people say different things to you), I can tell you (not giving individual advice here, just the general scoop) kids absolutely do have some social skills, some actually are very engaging and kind and help others and have jobs etc. Many want to be social desperately, try and just can't keep and maintain friendships. Each child has their own road blocks. Even the kids I have worked with who are non-verbal and do a lot of self stimulant looking like the "classic" autism we have seen in movies, can play chase games, give toys to other kids, laugh at what others do, etc.
    Also, he would not need a medical diagnosis to qualify for educational placement in Autism Spectrum Disorder category. In fact, while a medical evaluation can be (and should be) considered if it is done, it does not guarantee Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) placement. The school has to complete the checklist of behaviors and document standardized testing to have a child qualify and there are many kids who are not medically diagnosed but ARE educated under that category in the schools. Personally, and now I am talking mommy speak here, I have a child who had one medical diagnosis and one no. But solidly qualifys in the schools. This is important for him because the door to services after Kindergarten opens much wider than many labels. It is often easier to get Occupational Therapist (OT) and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) because it is frequently assumed that Occupational Therapist (OT) and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) will be related services for kids on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) IEP's. You may have to ask and they may be provided in different ways like consultative or group but it usually is available to some degree. Behavioral management usually considers a wider range of issues too (but as we all know there are still challenges, smile)

    Now, if you really find it doesn't fit I am NOT pushing anything....just that the things you have listed so far seem very much to fit in this category of disability. You may have to switch from who you are seeing because they dont seem to understand the spectrum(from very mild to very involved) nature of Autism Spectrum Disorders. I know it is exhausting to keep looking around, and there are other disabilities that would cover these symptoms too so it is worth getting a complete neuropsychologist evaluation with Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluations as people suggested before.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    High functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids can be social. They can WANT to be social. The problem is, they are so inappropriate with other kids that they turn them off, which leaves them sad and frustrated. This problem becomes more obvious as the kids get older and they lack the skills to have a long give-and-take conversation. Most monologue at others or just answer "yes" or "no" or go off on tangents and have no idea about social cues. My Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) son was popular in kindergarten because he was high energy and would run around and laugh when others ran with him. As he grew older and kids would get into groups to talk about things like basesball, he found he could not fit in. Nor did he have any interest in what they were talking about. He has since learned to at least communicate enough in a conversation about his interests when others share the same few...lol. But he is pretty bored with kids who don't share his interests and would prefer being alone than being with somebody who doesn't share his love of videogames :)
    We were also told he had ADHD/ODD/bipolar, etc. etc. etc. He did not. He had Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

    Headbanging is common in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). My son did it too. He liked the peaceful rocking motion and would do it when stressed or when going to sleep. He'd fall asleep sitting up after rocking himself to sleep.
  16. bluebird36

    bluebird36 New Member

    Ok so I had his appointment today and they agree that he needs to be tested for it. So I called arc they gave me a number to call and have them come out and screen him they said that it would def open the door up for some help. I had a phone call with his father tonight though that has me so disturbed, but we will see I def dont think there will be much help coming out of that corner but at least he let me in his child hood and what he did and felt which sounds like my kid to a point. The behavioral counselor ended up getting a meeting with the school and was a little put off this afternoon by the fact that the school never notified me about this school meeting tomorrow morning. Now I have to say I think I might have one of those not so nice mommy moments because by law they are supposed to notify me!
  17. buddy

    buddy New Member

    yup. Sounds like you are on a path so we are here to hold your hand!
  18. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I'll say that reading The Explosive Child helps me be a less Explosive Parent. :) Check your library for a copy before you put out the money if you're not certain of it.
  19. DS3

    DS3 New Member

    Hi! And welcome! I have a difficult child with the ADHD and ODD diagnosis as well. I may not be single, but I am a military spouse and the hubby is constantly away (like right now...). So I feel your pain. I don't have much to offer in advice, as it seems everyone else has already gotten you down a good path. (The people here are great!). Just wanted to give a warm hello to you!

  20. bluebird36

    bluebird36 New Member

    thanks !!! I am sure you will see me vent on here lol because the children cant read yet and cant hear me type when I am frustrated. We should right a book about what we experience day to day with our children and the trouble we have to go through to get screenings and help for them. There should not be so much tape to cut through or hoops to jump through in order to get these kids functioning enough for us to survive as parents.