New ODD diagnosis

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by vampwix, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. vampwix

    vampwix New Member

    Hello everyone. Found this site from Google. My son is 4 1/2 and has been newly diagnosed with ODD. He yells, screams, hits, kicks, lies, and deliberately does things that are against the rules. I don't know what to do anymore. We're currently in therapy (MSW #2 now...) and we don't seem to be getting any where. We're supposed to be ignoring bad behaviors, but I simply can't allow that. He hits and kicks his 2 year old sister. He STOMPS up stairs, and he can't be allowed to throw those kinds of fits because the neighbors complain to management. I haven't wanted to be around my 4 year old in a long time. I feel like a horribe mother for not wanting to be around my son, but it is what it is. I need some help because I am at my wits end.
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    HELLO!!!! I would LOL if it was not so serious, not because of you or your situation!!!! Because to say to ignore the behaivor, really is absurd. (yes, there are some things that this can help, in a very specific way... to ignore just the behavior like if they make a noise and you fuss about it and then it increases due to the attention it gets... TOTALLY different thing and safety is never an ignorable issue)

    Our home program psychologist who is stellar by the way, says the reason ignoring does not work is because the very act of ignoring is PAYING ATTENTION to a behavior. They know it is not normal to ignore such things. so unless they are in a very controlled environment where not one person would even turn their head, no baby to scream about it etc... it is impossible to really ignore a behavior completely.

    Plus it flies in the face of the function of the behavior. You pick an intervention based on why the child is doing the behavior. To assume your young child is doing all of that just for attention is probably silly. Does it go on longer at times due Occupational Therapist (OT) attention??? maybe. But probably doesnt kick off due to that soley. Usually it is because of a lack of other skills/options. The child does not have the ability to inhibit impulses, or to communicate frustration and calm down appropriately, etc.

    Let me tell you a secret, many of us go thru times when we dont want to be around, or even like our kids. Yes it feels shameful. My son stomps on stairs too, makes me nuts becasue we live in a multi-family town home unit.

    I would suggest you shop around for a different therapist if possible becasue this one sounds out of his/her league.

    Most importantly, you will soon find that ODD, in the opion of many of us really does not help much. It is nearly always just a description of a behavior and it falls under the bigger problem that has yet to be identified. A mental health issue, a pervasive developmental issue, learning issues, procesing issues, sensory issues, etc.

    SOOO , if you have not yet done so, my opinion, and many here, (and what I have acutally done several times) is to get a complete, overall, developmental assessment done by a neuropsychologist or a developmental pediatrician. A neuropsychologist looks at how the brain and behavior are connected. Their evaluations take hours, sometimes days to complete and that includes many questionairres for you to fill out. In addition I would get a good private Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation and a Speech/Language Pathology evaluation. If his speech/language seems normal, still do it... they can look at social communication, and language processing too...

    Occupational Therapist (OT) (occupational therapy) will look at fine motor development, integration of infantile reflexes, motor planning, and sensory integration.
    DOes he have any problems with touch, etc. The stomping can come from needing deep sensory input. Does he do things too hard in general?? Big clue to get this checked out. How is his eating? is he picky, does he shove food in? does he only like certain textures or smells. Does he avoid textures or smells? is he fussy about clothes? does he like to be dirty and doesnt even notice....or does he avoid all dirt and anything touching his hands, feet etc?

    How does he do with other kds? How is his language development, imaginative play (does he do fantasy play or just repetitive play or lining things up etc.)

    Does he have things that he is obsessed about like trains, or balls, or cars/wheels, or certain tv characters and shows that he talks about all of the time?

    Does he go from happy to sad easily? how does he do with transitions from one thing to another? Do you have an mental health issues in your family?
    did he have any upsets early on (premature birth, reflux that was not able to be treated well or any other pain??? colic??) Did you get ill during his first three years for any reason that maybe interrupted his bonding ????

    There is no judgement in any of this, just gives us some insight into things so we can let you know our experiences too. Hopefully it will help. Even if not, you have found a group of people who I really have found to be a huge support so I hope that is true for you too. I am sure others will come along with additional quesitons and ideas so I will stop at this.... I know it is overwhelming.

    Go easy on yourself. tehre is a TON of hope.

    OH one more thing, sorry... is he in preschool?? how is that going?
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome to the board, but sorry you have to be here.Still, it's a nice place to get layman's advice. If you can answer a few questions, that would give us more insight and better answers.

    1. Who diagnosed him and did he have intensive testing? Has he ever seen a neuropsychologist? Many of us feel ODD is a rather useless diagnosis and it rarely stands alone. Another disorder is actually the usual cause of defiance and I like neuropsychs...they do 6-10 hours of testing in all areas and can really nail things that other professionals miss.

    2.Are there any psychiatric problems on either side of his genetic family tree? Any substance abuse?

    3. How was his early development in all areas? Was his speech on time? Did he cuddle and make good eye contact with you and others? How does he relate to his same age peers? Does he have any strange quirks or obsessions? Does he play normally with toys? How are his motor skills?

    4. Did he have chaos or separation from caregivers in his very early years? What are the family dynamics? Who does he live with? Any bio. father there? Siblings? Others?
  4. vampwix

    vampwix New Member

    Bingo. Not to mention, the behavior escalates until I have no choice but to intervene. I've tried to get T to use his words, but he doesn't understand the concept. He can tell me that he's mad (no, really? I had no idea!) but if I ask him why, he'll be mad for a totally unrelated and off-the-wall reason.

    Agreed. We've seen Kevin twice now, and while he's a nice guy, I don't think he has what it takes to get through to T.

    the only diagnoses he has are ODD and ADHD. Other than that, I'm flying blind. I psychiatrist gave him the ODD diagnosis; the pediatrician gave him the ADHD diagnosis. We were slated for a pediatric developmental specialist at the Children's Hospital nearby. It was supposed to be 8 hours of testing and observation wtih several different doctors. It got canceled because two of the doctors quit, and they have a wait list 8 months long while they look for new doctors to fill the spaces. We FINALLY got the Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation done about 3 weeks ago. Medicaid just approved his Occupational Therapist (OT), so we'll go once a week. We're working on fine motor skills, mostly. He can't color properly or even hold a pencil without gripping it with his fist. T was slow to speak clearly... he was about 3 before he was using words clearly and speaking in sentences. T's general personality is GO GO GOGOGOGOGOGOGO 100% all day long. He was on Adderall, we're trying Intuniv now because it's supposed to target the aggressive s/s of ADHD. It's.... better than the Adderall. He's not on the full dosage yet, as we're still tapering him up, but I've seen some improvement.

    T has preferences of food, but if they're abnormal, I don't know. He loves carbs, soup (chicken noodle- homemade is best), and chicken. It's common for him to ask for chicken and rice AND potatoes for dinner. If it looks weird, he hasn't had it in a while, or if it's brand new, forget it. He's not going to eat it without a fight. In the house, we have no thank you bites, and typically when he takes one, gagging is involved. After the bite, 90% of the time he'll say he likes it and might eat 50% of it. But gagging, always gagging with new foods. If the food is messy, he hates to touch it. He eats cupcakes with his hands behind his back.

    Clothes... he has a pair of pajamas that has a split seam. No big deal, I gotta find a needle and thread. It's not big and the jammies would have done their job. He refused to wear them, point blank. I have a Pirates of the Caribbean blanket that has a hole in it because it's like 10 years old. He refuses to use it because of the hole.

    I haven't really seen T interact with other kids, I'm sorry to say. I'm a single mom in school and I work approx 100 hours a week as a nurse. I know he has one or two kids he's fond of in day care. Language seems appropriate at this time. It used to be delayed but I think he caught up pretty well. He does a fair bit of imaginitive play.... Woody is rescued by Spiderman by his pull string, most recently. He really likes his train sets. Assemble, play, disassemble, reassemble. My daughter is really into imaginitive play right now. She plays mommy with her dolls. T never did anything remotely like that.

    Hmmm. T has rotating obsessions. Loves trains, talks about them all the time. Recently afraid of train *sounds* though, but only at our new house. Even MSW #2 is perplexed by this. T really loves Nick Jr, which is fine because it's the only channel I've found that doesn't have character violence of any kind. He prefers Ni Hao Ki-Lan, Dino Dan, and Fresh Beat Band. Yo Gabba Gabba can hold his attention as long as there is crazy movements or dancing to be done.

    Mood swings, yes, sometimes. Depends on the situation, and level of fatigue. Tonight, T was very tired, got upset about something, and had a total meltdown in 2 seconds flat. Transitions from one activity to another tend to be sudden. He'll play with his trains forever until suddenly, he doesn't want to even look at the trains anymore. Mental health... I suffer from depression and anxiety. His father (not around, not interested) is a drug addict... and I suspect T takes after him with his behaviors. He reminds me so much of his father, it's scary.

    I have a hard time with physical affection. I can't stand to be touched unless it's by certain people. My own mother didn't hug or touch me often unless i was getting punished. I breastfed T, but in hindsight, I think I should have supplemented with formula because I don't think his nutrition was good enough until he started table foods. I don't think I let him feed long enough, but at the same time, my nutrition was poor enough that I didn't produce enough milk. We co-slept for almost 2 years. He still likes sleeping in my bed, but he sleeps on the opposite side of the bed. He seems to like being near me.

    No preschool yet. School corp here has preschool all day for kids 4 or older by Aug. 1. He was 4 Aug 15th and they wouldn't make an exeption. We're applying for next year provided we can get his behaviors under control. Only other preschool option is 2 hours a day, 2 days a week and $60 a week. That's a lot of money for me and is not an option.

    I was a stay at home mom until he was approx 15 months, then I went back to school for nursing. We lived with my Dad and his wife at the time. I was kicked out when I got pregnant with Piper. He was yelled at a lot at my dad's house because he would try to touch things that my step mother didn't want touched. He lives with me (his mother) and his younger sister P, who's two. I yell at him a lot too. :( Bio father isn't in the picture, hasn't been around for approx 4 years.
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I am thrilled you have the complete assessment planned. OK, I am going to say something now, but if it doesn't fit that is FINE. I think you should call the district early childhood special education department. I would ask them for a complete evaluation too. Do not mention the ODD or even the ADHD...just the Occupational Therapist (OT) and delays. (you can eventually tell them) MANY children are first diagnosed ADHD/ODD who really have Autism Spectrum Disorders of some kind. Lang delay (but caught up), fine motor, imaginative play, specific/restricted interests...and even the classic train interest....take apart and put together types of htings,the sensory (maybe sensory integration issues) things like food issues, gaging, textures of clothes, nothing new, tantrums, likes kids but maybe not really fully interacting or playing like your daughter does, touching things, not able to follow directions, the adhd, the "odd" which is really likely that he CANT behave yet because his world is processed differently than others.

    Certainly we can't see each other over the internet. And I could be 100% wrong. But one thing I do know, early intervention is very very important so it is best to rule this in or out. Doctors very very often miss this even today. they look for the one end of the spectrum where kids never make eye contact, spin things, etc... They will say no way because they are too social...UMMM most kids with autism WANT to be social, generally their lack of skills makes them have a really hard time doing so though. They tend to look like htey can't pay attention and are distractable and hyper because they can not process information or follow language typically. It is important to know because the treatment, while some things can overlap, will generally be very different. These kids can NOT be "fixed" with ignoring, rewards, punishments, etc. They need direct teaching, Occupational Therapist (OT), visual schedules, visual rules, picture directions, etc..... It is really specialized and I promise you, it makes a HUGE difference to know.

    I really don't see autism around every corner, but I do have a lot of experience including personal experience with this. I denied it until my son was five. I am so glad I found out though. It is worth checking into. And the preschool is then FREE including transportation with car seats! That would happen if they qualify him as general developmental delay too.

    when you call ask how to schedule an ECSE complete evaluation. If they hesitate in any way put your request in writing and send it by certified mail , return receipt which will start a federal time clock for them to evaluate your son. He should be evaluated in your natural setting at his age. Ask them to come to your home to evaluate. (at four it can go either way, but you can ask).

    No matter what you decide, I hope you believe I am just offering ideas and help and you know your son best. We are here for you and I will be happy to llsten to vents and any questions at any time... HUGS, Dee (buddy)
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Did the Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation cover sensory integration testing? There are multiple tests that an Occupational Therapist (OT) can do, and not all of them do all of the classes of testing. But... sensory issues seem to be one more possible factor.
  7. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Ditto!! Ditto!! Ditto!!
    Yep. That was us too.

    Yep. Us again.

    They tried to tell me something was wrong when difficult child 1 was a toddler but he always hit his milestones, although 2-6 months later than "normal". WE didn't find out until difficult child 1 was almost 13.....AFTER everyone (school district was the worst) did more damage by treating him like he had ODD when he didn't (punishing a LOT). Do the free evaluation NOW. If it isn't, it isn't. If it is, start interventions through the school so they are in place for an IEP when he gets to kindergarten and you don't have to fight for what I have been fighting for for WAY too long.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I agree with the autism spectrum disorder, or at least looking into it and the best person for that is still a neuropsychologist. It is often missed until the child is older and didn't get the early help. If he isn't diagnosed with it, neuropsychs still do better testing than other professionals. It's a win/win.

    Just because biological father is not in the picture at all doesn't mean he isn't very important. 50% of your son's DNA belongs to biological father. If he was mentally ill or has mentally ill relatives, that matters. You will need to tell whoever is testing him the genetic history on both sides of the family as they are equally relevant.

    Wishing you luck. Keep posting :)
  9. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I agree with the others to look into Autistic Spectrum Disorder. His pediatrician should have been all over those speech problems months ago.

    A good book on Sensory Processing for you to check out is The Out of Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz.

    I would suggest backing down on the no thank you bites--and anything else that falls in the realm of sensory stimuli-- until you know what's going on in this area. If you can think of a food or odor that elicited an automatic gag reflex in you (like green beans did for me when I was pregnant) that's what it's like for kids with sensory processing problems. Food tastes, textures, and odors can be excruciating, and can make the problems worse. I'd offer good healthy foods and not push it.