New here, son with ADHD and likely ODD

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lbc123, May 20, 2010.

  1. lbc123

    lbc123 Guest

    Hello! I'm here because I often don't get a chance to talk at all about how it is to be a single mama to my son. It's the everyday stuff that gets me down. It's not that he's not amazing. He totally is. We have a great time together, especially if there's nothing critical or time-sensitive to do. We ride bikes together. Do science experiments. Play tickle and I'm-gonna-get-you-games. Have family movie night together with popcorn and even maybe a soda or ice cream.

    It's the "have to do" stuff that's hard. Like getting ready for school in the mornings. And it's dealing with the fall-out from unsuccessful arrangements outside our home. For instance, he started a new after-school program recently, about a month and a half ago, maybe. The teachers are nice but often really rigid and don't really understand the whys of what goes wrong with my son. They think he's manipulative or aggressive or just plain troublemaking. They don't see that he's going through a lot, that there are things going on under their radar, like older kids doing things that may seem small to another child but to him are HUGE. Like name-calling and teasing. Then he gets going on giving them trouble (although he won't admit this part), and then they end up telling on him (or the teachers see him) and it's downhill from there.

    This week he got suspended from the program. He was "running away"--something would happen, often something that the teachers didn't see or didn't understand in the same way he did, and he's out the door and onto the closed-off playground or a tree and won't come down. Of course this causes a ruckus and is really annoying for the teachers. But suspending him? Really? That's the solution they come up with? It just means that my son gets what he really wants--to not have to go there! And it means all the consequences fall on MY head. I can't go to class or see clients if I don't have childcare!

    I'm meeting with their "guidance counselor" today. I have no idea what his qualifications are or if he's another one of those "if you just discipline him he'll fall in line" kind of people. I hope he's a little more nuanced and understanding and we can work something out. Unfortunately, this situation is pretty severe for me... I can't find another affordable childcare solution. I'm in grad school AND I've been unemployed since November 2008 (stupid economy!). I'm fighting my own unmedicated ADHD (no more health insurance!) and a huge load of stress, most of it from the nonstop excitement of dealing with these kinds of incidents.

    I wish I could enjoy my son more and deal with this kind of huge stress less. I imagine that's wishful thinking.

    Thanks for listening/reading. It's just so freaking hard to bear on my own. It helps to talk to others who "get it."
  2. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    check and on CPS , collaborative problem solving approach
    The message is kids do well if they can , and not kids do well if they want to. Kids want to be successful and do well , if they are not it means that they are missing the skills that are demanded to ensure their success. Instead of ' doing to ' kids with reward , punishment and consequences it is better to build trust so they see the teacher as a help in learning how to cope better and acquire skills. For learning to take place there must be relationship ,attachment and trust.

    print out the the thinking skills inventory brief 10-09.pdf . Your kid not looking good , looking bad under certain circumstances is due to the lacking skills , and the interventions needed is to promote the skills and trust.

    Motivational strategies undermine intrinsic motivation , relationship and trust and raise anxiety levels

    I hope this helps
    check the book
  3. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    a lot of what you described was my son at your difficult child's age. The only difference is that my son came directly home after school.

    A big piece for my boy was getting help at school, a good supportive IEP resulted after complete testing and teachers who I was able to communicate with and were receptive. A school admin willing to work with a child who had behavior issues but not academic issues. A really, really good therapist. The correct meeds. Behavior mod at home with absolute consistency and patience, patience, patience!!!

    Who diagnosis'd your son with ADHD? Is he on a split dose of adderall to get him through aftercare rather than one strong dose in the am?

    When my son was your son's age, he did really well one on one. A trustworthy high school girl might be a better option for after school care than an environment where he is surrounded by noise and temptation and older kids......Often it's a case of just too much for our kids - they get to a point where the stress and stimulation of the day leads them to make those impulsive decisions. Perhaps your school schedule lessens this summer so you can be there a little more?

    How does he do in school? Any behavior issues there? Does he have friends who come over to play or does he go to other boy's homes to play?

    Have you read The Explosive Child or Lost in School - both by Ross Greene? They are both fabulous books for those of us that deal with challenging kids.

    It certainly sounds like you have your hands full there. Glad you found your way here. We totally understand. I too love my son beyond words and enjoy spending time with him, talking with him, etc. He is creative and caring, funny and intelligent. It has always been a dream that others would see him for who he is inside. I get it.

  4. lbc123

    lbc123 Guest

    Thanks for the thoughtful and kind replies. :)

    Allan, thanks for the rec's. I met with the guidance counselor, who thankfully really listened to what I had to say and had a supportive approach (mostly) rather than a punishment approach. I think it comes down to the "teachers" being very unskilled/untrained, which really isn't their fault, per se. They're probably paid 8 bucks/hour and just don't have the experience to deal with "special" needs, as they say.

    LDM, he's on the split dose to help him get through the day and because my former insurance didn't cover the name-brand XR. With Healthy Families, though, I'm hoping that will change. I've got an appointment with the pediatrician. psychiatrist coming up to look at medications, since I was working with my family doctor (who I love) until I lost my health coverage. Things are kind of heating up under less than ideal circumstances in bigger ways that they used to, so I'm moving into a new world, it seems. We have Section 504 accomodations that just got put into place, and the school psychologist and counselor are great to work with. We put in a lot of language to hopefully support adults treating him with respect and remembering to look at him as a person and not a problem. Because lord knows he FEELS it when people treat him like a problem! (Plus it's just not okay!)

    His teacher, who is marvelous, has really helped him adjust to school life. With her and the school psychiatric and school counselor's help, things are really starting to come together for him in school. He had so much anxiety about being picked on and not liked (he was new to the school) and that has subsided a lot (with a lot of work on everybody's part). The other day he was peacefully playing kickball with the other kids at recess and it just felt like a miracle, you know?

    When I initially started talking with the s-psychiatric and s-counselor, we thought nothing was significant to warrant an IEP. I don't really know if there's any benefit to it at the moment? The 504 seems like it will help, and once I figure out how the heck to find a good afterschool solution with no money to speak of, then hopefully we'll be much more on track. We'll see.

    Thanks so much. It's nice to talk about it and do some collaborative thinking about what might work. :)