My husband only one not on board!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by odd&adhd-family, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. My husband is also has AD/HD and ODD, which makes him feel like he can completely understand my AD/HD & ODD difficult child (he is the step-dad though, not bio. dad). husband's methods have worked to a point in the past couple of years, but in the last few months the ODD has surfaced BIG TIME and his methods just don't cut it anymore. Now he refuses to be part of any new roads I am trying to take for my difficult child.

    I just started therapy for difficult child a month ago and the psychologist has now recommended medications. Now, let me say first that when the diagnosis of AD/HD and ODD was first made back in Kindergarden I was totally against medications. I was determined to try behavioral therapy at home first and see where that got us. Now my difficult child is in 2nd grade, for the past week now. I have already been called to an emergency parent-teacher conference yesterday for his completely defiant behavior all day long. At open house, I had already given the teacher a letter about his AD/HD and ODD, told her what to look for, how to handle him, etc. Problem #1 is that in 2nd grade he gets less one-on-one attention and the issues are surfacing without the attention he was able to receive last year. I am trying to communicate with the teacher openly about his behavior and treatment both at home and at school so we can work together.

    But here's case and point - husband's methods still aren't working with only behavioral intervention. In one week of school thus far, difficult child has had only 2 good days at school, and on those 2 good school days the time at home was full blown battle. There have been NO good days overall in a long time.

    So, now I have spoken to the psychologist, along with difficult child's bio. father and fiance (also a school counselor) and we are all on board with difficult child seeing a psychologist and trying medications. BUT, my own husband will not support me in my decisions! Our marriage is suffering as well since my difficult child's ODD has gotten so out of hand, and without the support of my husband I feel we are all falling apart.

    Searching for some peace, somewhere, somehow.....:sad-very:
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This is just my opinion.

    The child is yours and d-ex's. Your hub doesn't really have any say-so in how you treat him. Ex could force the issue. If you hub is also showing defiant symptoms maybe he should go to a therapist himself. Also, word of warning...ADHD/ODD is often a first diagnosis, but rarely the last one. More may be going on. ADHD medications may not help him. They may make him worse.

    I would put my son first and do what I felt was best for him.

    Good luck, whatever you decide :)
  3. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Hello, I commend your husband for working so hard to help difficult child. He thinks that your difficult child is just like him which is a bit unfair.
    I know I suffered with medication as an alternative but I had to ask myself "what does my son need?" My job as his parent is to find
    the best way to help him have a chance at a life.
    When someone digs their heels into one way to help a difficult child you have to ask "who does it serve?".
    This isn't about husband proving he is right or knows best but looking at the boy and helping him to find a way to succeed.

    Now, having said that, if you do medications, you have to understand it will not cure difficult child. It, like behavioral modification and intervention are tools to help your son
    find the self control for appropriate behavior. The best chance your son has to finding a way to learn appropriate behavior is all of the tools out there. Behavior modification, supportive educational tools or IEP, medications, therapy, physical exercise(sports or just keeping physically active), structured sleep and eating as well as family conversations or meetings(over the dinner table was our way) are all the tools that help difficult child grow the behaviors that you want to see in a child.

    Don't give up. What you see now, isn't what you will see in the future. You will have some good days and you will see some dark days with medications or without. Just ask yourself "what does my son need?".
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I hear you!

    Tell husband that if you keep doing the same thing, you're going to get the same results.

    Can you just put difficult child on medications anyway?
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    As your husband is the stepdad, he had no real input, not legally. Please do not let him keep you from trying medications now that you have come to a point where more than behavioral methods are needed. Your son likely needs these medications to have even a chance to be successful.

    Is your husband possibly looking at the new choices as you rejecting him? He may think that his way was doing fine, and that since what helped him is no longer resulting in good/passable/tolerable behavior from difficult child, then difficult child is telling him he is not "good enough" or that he values/cares for/respects/loves his step dad. husband may think that since you want to change how you handle things, that you also are rejecting him or have stopped loving him or want to try a new man in your life.

    Men don't think the way we do. There may be something else going on, but he may be thinking what I suggested. It is worth exploring, at any rate.

    When it comes to your son, you and your ex need to do the parenting and make the decisions. Input from the step parents/partners is a good thing, but decisions must be made by you and ex. Somehow your husband needs to learn that just because you are doing something different in terms of managing your son and his problems, it is not rejection of him, or saying he is wrong or not valued. It is simply trying to handle what is.

    You and husband may need to go to couples therapy, and he may also need a therapist. I strongly recommend that you go ahead with what you and exh agreed to, and that you make an appointment for counseling for you and husband.

    I am sorry it is so rough.

    MWM has a very valuable point. I think most of us started with a diagnosis of adhd and/or ODD. ODD is useless because it gives no treatment direction or help - it just tells you there is an untreated problem causing problems. MANY experts are now thinking that ADHD is on the spectrum that is autism somewhere. Regardless, it is very likely that your child will have other diagnosis's in the future - largely because new things are apparent as a child grows and faces new challenges and expectations.

    PLEASE have your son evaluated for sensory integration disorder by a PRIVATE Occupational Therapist (OT). MANY adhd kids have Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) (sensory input isn't handled in the usual way by the brain) and treatment for Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) can make a world of difference - best of all it involves NO drugs! School has Occupational Therapist (OT)'s and can evaluate for Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), but they will ONLY look for ways it impacts academics. Our school Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) missed an enormous number of things that impacted school that the private Occupational Therapist (OT) had already reported. A private Occupational Therapist (OT) will give you a complete evaluation, teach you the various types of therapy and help you help your son. Most commonly the therapy involves brushing the body in a certain order with a very soft brush, either over or under clothing (makes no difference). It must be done on certain areas, avoiding others completely, and is followed by a series of gentle joint compressions. It MUST be taught by an Occupational Therapist (OT) because if done incorrectly it can cause a whole lot of problems. Once taught, you will be able to easily teach your husband, ex, etc... It is quite easy and the entire routine can be done in two or three minutes. Many children find it very pleasant (all three of mine would have let me brush them for days if I wanted, LOL - and even the most touch resistant child I have ever met allowed her mother to do it with little fussing once she learned that it would always be the same) and some even seek it out.

    It might even provide a way for your husband to accept the new things you are doing to help your difficult child. He may be very invested in "difficult child is like me, we are two of a kind, a family of choice because we know what each other is going through" so that now that his methods are not controlling difficult child's behavior, your husband is feeling very upset. Having this new diagnosis could let him say, "well, we are similar, but difficult child also has other things, so we are a family of choice even though he needs more than I do".

    Regardless of if that is how husband is feeling/thinking, difficult child still could likely benefit a lot from an evaluation for sensory integration disorder, in my opinion.
  6. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member


    Medication is just one part of a big plan . I am not sure about the other interventions , husband's methods - what are they , what is the underlying philosophy. If he is lacking coping skills to behave adaptively , medications don't teach skills , for some kids it may help them be responsive to our teaching - go through the check lists - thinking skills inventory or ALSUP - assessed lagging skills and unsolved problems -see the 2 CPS collaborative problem solving sites