Just found this site

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Marnie1978, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. Marnie1978

    Marnie1978 New Member

    Hi all :D
    My son, 4 and a half, has just been diagnosed with ODD with Aspergers tendencies. I'm having a hard time with accepting that label. My son has always been difficult, prone to tantrums and incredibly persistant (3 hour screaming fit anyone?!), and recently has begun soiling himself. We went to see the school nurse, and she recommended an assessment. I'm always aware that when I describe my sons behaviour, other people seem to think there is a problem. I've always felt that it takes twice the time and effort to parent him compared to my eldest son :pouting:. He shows no bad behaviour in school, apart from the odd soiling incident and screaming when I leave him etc. In fact, he is doing very well at school, in the top group and ahead a stage with his reading. My problem with the label is that I don't think my son has a 'disorder', I just think he has a difficult personality. Of course, I want to get advice on parenting him because I want to make his life (and ours) easier in the long term, but it feels like all the doctor's want to do is put him in a certain box. To us, he is just himself, and I don't want a label on his record which will follow him through life. Our family seems to think he just needs a firmer hand, but how much firmer than smacking a child and leaving a hand print can you get? If I shout, he just shouts louder. If I put him in his room, he just runs out. I put him upstairs earlier, and he nearly pushed me down the stairs. It wasn't deliberate, but his fury is unbelievable. When I read the list for ODD, I can say he ticks all the boxes. BUT, so has every other child I've ever met at some point. How does the psychiatrist know that it isn't a parenting issue? Sorry for the ramble, but my thoughts are in freefall.
  2. Lulu

    Lulu New Member

    Hi, Marnie. I am new too, with a son exactly the age of yours. Although my son hasn't been evaluated, I think he'd match up with your son closely. I'm all new at this, so don't have any technical expertise or experience to offer, but just wanted to let you know I know EXACTLY what you have been going through raising him. The regular list members are going to have some wise things to say to you, I am sure. Hang in there!
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I know that on this board, the parents here mostly believe (as do I) that ODD is NOT a stand alone diagnosis, nor a useful one. It means the child is defiant, but it doesn't say why. That doesn't help. I'd say that the Aspergers is more important and may be causing him to be so frustrated that he is oppositional. I have a Spectrum child who is fourteen. Is your child able to communicate well? What sets him off? Transitions? Changes? Being around certain high power stimuli like loud noise or crowds or flurescent lights? I don't know how this works in England, but Spectrum kids in the US get special supports/help in school for free. How does it work there? (Really, I"d disregard the ODD and concentrate on the Aspergers/spectrum help). Spectrum kids don't respond to regular parenting methods. I highly recommend reading all the books by Tony Atwood. He has a site. Just put his name in the search engine. Welcome :)
  4. Marnie1978

    Marnie1978 New Member

    That's the thing. The Aspergers tendencies the doctor is referring too could also just be signs of insecurity ( a mother's gut instinct). He doesn't like surprises, and likes to know what's coming next. He is controlling about what he'll have for meals. BUT, he has no social problems with his peers. He makes, and keeps, friends. He is a 'loner', and quite introverted, but quite capable of empathy and emotional attatchments. He displays no other symptoms apart from the violent and sustained temper tantrums. There are no obvious triggers, and we seem to have days of hell, then peace reigns for a while.
  5. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    My experience, and that of many parents who have been in your shoes, is that when you first step into this possibility, a label seems like a MAJOR issue. Check with the same parents a few years down the road and the label issue is often a non-issue. At age 4 you should consider any label to be a working diagnosis. Live with it for awhile, research it, rub shoulders with other parents and adults with the same labels. If it truly doesn't fit in a year or so, go back and look at it again.

    I was in your same shoes with a child who had borderline Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) traits at age 5, anxiety, some speech and sensory issues, more social than most kids with that cluster of issues. The diagnostician opted not to give an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) label since he was borderline clinically and atypical in that he was far more social than most kids on/near the spectrum. At first I was relieved he wouldn't have the "dreaded label". Then I was nervous because it made getting school services much more difficult. When he hit a brick wall in first grade I actually pushed to have the school give him an educational label of Autism instead of speech/language because it helped to communicate his issues to staff better. Our district has done an awesome job in Autism training for their staff so qhen they read that word they have an automatic connection with issues the child might face and ways they might be helped. And finally, I was just approached by difficult child's case manager to discuss what we were going to do about next year because he's reached the point where his issues now have reached the point of "no educational impact". In nearly every way, he's just like his typical peers at school. In two years when his next triennial review comes up if things continue, the label will likely be dropped.

    My whole thinking process on labels changed because I saw their useful side and stopped focusing on the negative "going to be labeled for life" thoughts. Think about it as going on a trip.

    A label is like a road sign pointing people in a direction to give your child help. It helps you as a parent research information and link up with other parents. It helps teachers and school staff to know or learn classroom strategies to help them succeed. Having a road sign always helps people see where they need to go.

    A label is like a ticket. With this ticket you are more likely to be able to buy the things you may need for your child on this trip: early intervention, therapies, insurance coverage, school services, etc. It's not that you couldn't perhaps get some of those things without the label, but it will be more difficult and likely more costly.

    And finally, a label is not always forever. Some kids do continue on the trip and continue to have issues throughout their life, and need to keep the label. Others respond well to interventions, good parenting, understanding teachers, and their issues fade away and then the label can be thrown away because it's no longer needed. It's a myth that schools want to slap a label on your kid and keep it there for life--in fact it's just the opposite. Most parents here have to fight to get schools to give their kids appropriate educational labels because it obligates the school to provide appropriate services.