im and New here........

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by goinnutz, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. goinnutz

    goinnutz New Member

    Hi. I am new to this whole thing. My son (who will be 6 in 2 weeks) hasn't even been diagnosed yet - with anything! It's been a long, slow road - we are still trying to find a decent Dr. for him and the closest one will be 3 hours away and having insurance issues.........anyway that's not the point. What I want to know from you experienced moms and dads is (just your opinion) if my son sounds like a child with ODD. My personal diagnoses is ADHD/ODD. Anyway here's just an example of the behavior that has us at the end of our rope: He is mean! He has physically attacked me more than once. And it's always over something small but, it turns into a huge argument because I'm convinced he likes to argue, get us upset and see our reaction. It's almost like a game for him! So, we will send him to his room (after "counting" like it says in the book 1-2-3 Magic we just read)- which of course isn't that easy. We usually end up carrying/dragging him there while he is hitting/kicking/biting/screaming and anything else he can think of. If we don't hold his door closed I WILL get attacked. So, now that we are not being beat he will rage in his room for 45 minutes or longer. He has kicked 2 holes in his door, put about 100 dents in the wall from throwing things, taken everybook off his bookshelf (we're talking hundreds!) and taken all the sheets etc off his bed. All this is on 2 or 3 seperate occasions, not all at once. And all the while he is sort of singing to himself, nice and calm and methodical. I can handle the not listening, the sassy mouth, the :censored2: attitude. But the violence and rages is not something I can handle! It's gotten to the point where this is happening about 3 times a week. It seems like we can't disipline him or this is what we get. But that's not the only thing that sets him off - there doesn't seem to be a pattern. But, this isn't just ADHD - is it? Opinions? Comments? Support? Something? PLEASE HELP!
     
  2. christina_martin

    christina_martin New Member

    Hi my son who is 8 has ADHD and ODD along with depression and sibling rivraly. Yes my son has some major issues with anger. He is always and has always hurt his sister she is 4 even when she was a baby. We have couciled him and he knows what to do when he gets angry but chooses not to or does not think before he acts. To answer your question yes it sounds like ADHD and ODD. It sounds more ODD than anything with the anger fits. It still sounds like something else is going on. Are you saying he is calm when he does this? Just remember consistancy is the answer. Even though nothing seems to help. Nothing helps discipline wise with my son. not even taking his prize possesions away hell forget.
     
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome! I'm glad you found us.

    I would highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It has helped many of us on this board parent our extra-challenging children.

    To me, your son's violent and aggressive behavior sounds as if it goes beyond ADHD/ODD, but we don't diagnose here, and I personally wouldn't get stuck on a label until your son has gone through a thorough evaluation by a trained professional. We highly recommend either a multidisciplinary evaluation, a neuropsychological evaluation or an evaluation by a developmental pediatrician. All can be found at university and children's hospitals and are trained to look at a wide range of possible diagnoses behind the challenging behavior you're experiencing.

    Again, welcome and good luck.
     
  4. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    Hi goinnutz :smile: It does sound like your difficult child has a lot going on. Being parents, not professionals, we don't diagnosis as smallworld said. But I agree that you need to get in to have an evaluation done. Hope you can get the issues you mentioned straightened out to get him in soon. You might want to check out the FAQ/Board Help forum, and read The Chandler Papers and the article etc. on ODD. This may give you an idea of where you might be headed, and bring up some thoughts to mention to the psychiatrist or neuro psychiatric once you get in. Also a good read is on how to do a Parent Report. This can be helpful once you get to the appointment. It lets you get everything written down beforehand, so you're not struggling to remember this or that when asked by the doctor and reminds you of things you want to discuss. There are also some reading suggestions there, The Explosive Child being one that helped us as well.

    Again, welcome, and hope you find the help you need.
    :flower:
     
  5. oceans

    oceans New Member

    It sounds like a lot more going on than ADD/ODD to me, but you do need to get an evaluation as other people have mentioned. It sounds like it might possibly be a mood disorder. Could you get an evaluation out of town, and would the insurance cover it since there is nothing in network for you? I know some people on here have had to travel in order to get an evaluation done. I'm so sorry that you are going through this!
     
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The others are right, you need an evaluation to get a better idea of what is going on in his head.

    You also need to read "The Explosive Child" ASAP. There is some discussion on this book in Early Childhood - read through that.

    I don't think he is doing this with malice aforethought, as the lawyers would say. This doesn't sound calculated, with a secretive eye out to see how upset he can get you. He is not doing this for amusement. If that is what you think he is doing, that is what you will see. But if instead you see an anxious, frustrated child who is misunderstanding what you want and what he wants to do, you will no longer see him as the enemy. He is once more your precious child whom you want to help.

    He sounds frustrated. VERY frustrated. And I know, from my own son, (and to a certain extent, the others) that frustration will do this sort of damage to doors, bedrooms and parents. You can get ANY kid so riled they'll lash out like this. It takes a lot more to upset a easy child to this extent, though.

    I'm NOT saying it's your fault, though. Only that with whatever he has going on, he is much more easily tipped over into frustration and rage than a easy child. It IS something you're doing, but it's not necessarily the wrong thing. There may be an alternative you could try that is more right, however. (That's why I urge you to read the book, or a description of the book).

    I suspect you are trying to handle this with strict, firm, consistent discipline. And this would be exactly right, if you were dealing with a easy child. But you are not. This is a child with problems as yet unidentified. The usual, ideal methods not only don't work here, they can make the problem far, far worse.

    The alternative, however, is NOT to spoil the child, it is to find another way to show him that you want to work with him, not be seen as an obstacle to what he wants. It does involve some compromise but it also involves giving him control where that control doesn't matter to you. If he makes a bad choice which provides natural consequences, YOU haven't inflicted it on him. An example - he wants to go outside to play after school and wants to wear his favourite red sweater. But it's a hot day, you know he will feel too hot in it, you try to tell him to not wear the sweater. But he is about to tip over into a rage if you insist, so you back off. let him wear it.
    Consequence - he feels hot, he takes it off, he forgets to pick it up again and it gets chewed by a dog.
    YOU didn't chew the sweater. He KNOWS he was responsible for that decision, and he may even know he chose to do it against your advice. You don't NEED to say, "I told you so," because this isn't about blame. it's about consequences.
    Now he wants a new red sweater. But he will have to wait until you can afford to buy more clothes. Or maybe he can help pay for a new one if he wants one sooner. He could do extra chores (of his choice, from a list you give him) to help pay it off.

    Some kids need time to 'change task', even if what they're doing is something they dislike. This is often a surprising, hidden problem in difficult behaviours. If he's reading a book or playing a computer game, and you want him to have his bath, sometimes it's easier (less fighting, and he gets to the bath sooner) if you ask, "How long before you're ready to do what I ask?"
    You then set the timer and when it goes, you remind him, "Have you finished yet? Because the bath is waiting for you." If he's forgotten and moved on to another game or another chapter, he will only have himself to blame. And if he insists on finishing THAT one, t hen he will find his bath is cold. Consequence. No punishment needed. If he wants to warm up the bath, he can boil the kettle to do so. it takes a long time and is tedious. He will hopefully remember next time that you DID try to help, it's not your fault.

    Another aspect of this is to treat him as you want him to treat you. If he shouts at you, don't shout back. Keep your voice and language calm and controlled. Did you see Meryl Streep in "The Devil Wears Prada"? Her character is a vicious control freak and she COULD have played it as a shrill harpie, but instead she chose movements and voice that are subtle and quiet. The end result - it is all the more effective because people shut up and strain to hear what she is saying, so they don't miss something vital and then lose their job (or worse). I've known teachers who get through to a class more effectively by simply standing still and saying nothing until the class is quiet enough, rather than shouting them down.

    To make this work you need everyone in the house who is applying discipline to be in agreement and on the same page.

    Physical violence is out. If he begins to hurt you, remove yourself. Put yourself in your room, rather than him in his. Or put him outside. He can come in when he is ready to apologise for hurting you.

    difficult child 3 has never hurt me (except by accident) but difficult child 1 would get violent out of frustration. he would then get guilty and depressed afterwards, very angry with himself. But it would take a long time for him to calm down and get to that point. I probably didn't handle it well - I would literally fight him off, but I'd still keep it to self-defence only. I never tried to manhandle him to a place he didn't want to go, or anything like that. I WOULD order him outside, to go for a walk to cool down. But he was in his teens by then. Often he would go no further than the nearest tree. I didn't care - as long as he was somewhere he could calm himself down and where he couldn't hurt anybody, that was fine by me. We discussed it only after he had calmed down. NEVER try to reason with an angry, out of control child. It's like trying to argue with fire.

    The biggest thing of all - don't try to fix too much at once. Some behaviours - don't even try. If you're correcting absolutely EVERYTHING, he simply can't cope and will not even try.
    Another example: we're currently working on difficult child 3's table manners. Our current main aim is to get him to use cutlery. He keeps using his fingers when he thinks we're not looking. But that is our main focus. We don't chide him for putting too much in his mouth - that's for later on. For now, it's using cutlery (and napkin) appropriately. We have to stop other family members chiding him for filling his mouth too full - it only confuses him and makes it harder for him to stay on task with knife and fork.
    And it's working. Especially the napkin. I'm finding far less food stains on his clothes these days.

    It doesn't matter what his diagnosis is, for this stuff to be attempted. It does help to have some understanding, but you can begin without a diagnosis. If you KNOW, for example, that he has a short fuse and is easily frustrated, you do your best to guide him without letting him get frustrated. You support, not control. If he has a mild language disorder (and he may have, you may not know it) this can lead to communication problems. "You promised me I could go to the park when I finished my homework!" when you may have meant he could go TOMORROW. He's not being manipulative, he simply misunderstood and is now convinced you're lying). We often put things in writing, to help understanding and to avoid this sort of problem. If there are chores to be done, we write them up on a blackboard. It is very satisfying to tick them off or rub them out when they're done. it can be made into a game. And if he objects, then write up your own list of chores and show him that you're following the same procedure - kids like this often seem to think that mothers do this sort of stuff because we love it, it is our life (difficult child 1 said this to me once - he got a shock at my reaction!). And if he REALLY objects, offer to swap a chore or two. Does he want to cook dinner instead? He has to use the ingredients available, he can't just decide to order takeaway. But get him to start first - don't do all his chores in exchange for him cooking dinner, only to find he chickens out when he realises it's a bigger task than he thought.

    This all may sound difficult, but once you get the mindset, I think it's actually easier. You will need to adapt for what YOU can handle, and what you see works for HIM. This is very much a personal fit. And with other kids in the house - even for PCs, this method works too. It even works on other adults in your life - they won't even know you're doing it! And you will get what YOU want, more often than you ever thought possible. You just have to be sure of what you really do want, and how badly you want it. And why.

    Just be adaptable. And he will learn to be adaptable. Give things time, don't expect perfection. Read the book. And get him assessed ASAP.

    Have courage. And learn to practice self-calm. It's still a rocky road, but there are reflectors on the bends now.

    Marg
     
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Just wanted to add my warm welcome. :biggrin:
     
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Welcome. I personally think it's more than ADHD/ODD too. Often that ADHD plus ODD behavior turns out to be a mood disorder and stims would only make it worse. Sometimes it can be high functioning autism. I'd see a neuropsychologist and not tell him what you think your child has. Let him have a clear slate and do the testing. His violence is sort of over-the-top for ADHD/ODD.
     
  9. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Popping in to offer you my welcome. :flower:
     
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome,
    Reading your post brought memories back to me of my son when he was six. I'm glad you found us. You will find much support here. I hope you are able to find some time to take care of you. Hugs.
     
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