New Parent to ODD

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Yvette, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. Yvette

    Yvette New Member


    Our son has been difficult for a while now, but I put that down to teenage hormones (he is nearly 13), but after pressure from his school, we sent him to an educaitonal psychologist who diagnosed him to have Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress and borderline Bi- Polar.

    All very worrying and we are seeking counselling now, but I would like to hear from parents on techniques as we end up screaming at each other daily... his anger is towards me mainly and I can't get through to him. His school work is really suffering as well.
  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hello Yvette and welcome.
    The educational psychologist you saw diagnosed a lot of things. Does the PTSD make sense to you? Did something happen to your son or perhaps to you as a family? And the bi-polar - others will be far more familiar with this, but is it normal to diagnose that after just one meeting?
    In any event, whatever the diagnoses, life with your son is difficult at the moment. And he is hitting adolescence, which of course makes it all twice as intense. I would recommend you read Ross Greene's "The Explosive Child", which is a good introduction to a different way of being with and seeing these children that makes life less conflictual and more manageable. You have to find a different way to approach disagreements than through open conflict.
    My son would probably be called ODD if one wanted to pursue such a diagnosis for him - I can certainly diagnose him that at times, let alone a psychiatrist! - and I've had to learn how to avoid the "red zone" of conflict as much as possible, because these kids are ever-ready for a fight. This obviously doesn't mean giving in to what the child wants but more about being willing to reach agreement through negotiation and discussion of various solutions rather than expecting that the child will just do what you ask... this mostly doesn't happen, right? My son can be surprisingly co-operative and mature if I explain things and appeal to his better nature. I feel it's also about avoiding negative cycles where the child's defiance increases our hostility and anger, which increases their defiance, and on and on.
    It kind of means throwing everything out and starting again from zero, I think. The old ways don't work... so what does?
    Just a couple of ideas. I know how hard it is or can be, but I think there is some hope and some light at the end of the tunnel.
  3. Yvette

    Yvette New Member

    Thanks for your email!

    We were separated for 4 years when I moved abroad. He came across with his grandparents, then came to live with me, then we moved to a different town abroad, away from his grandparents, new school etc.. the psychologist spent 4 sessions with him and also I had to have a meeting with her and fill out a questionnaire etc.

    You're right, whatever method I think I am using now isn't working.. rewards aren't working as he doesn't want it enough to try.. he has nothing left for me to take away either and he is normally the one who will negotiate whether or not he is going to do as I ask... more often than not he will negotiate, I will accept and he still wont do it, then I check and I am moaning at him, when I check he hasn't done it, lied that he had, after negotiating that he would in the first place! This is but a speck of an example and not one of the crackers!! I will get that book though and start reading it to see if I can get some inspiration from there as well...
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi Yvette, I think I remember your first post, glad you came back to add. Are you in the USA now? I agree with malika, please do get the Explosive Child. Of the diagnosis. you got, two describe underlying problems and one just tells you about symptoms. If the bi-polar and PTSD are treated, and adapted for, you may see a huge improvement in ODD. Often schools and therapists will focus on the behaviors and you have perfectly explained the problem with a behavior/reward/consequence approach. Just does not work well for many difficult child's. Do you feel that the diagnosis's you received apply? Are you planning on seeing a psychiatrist given the medical issues? How is school handling things?

    Depending where you live we can give you more specific help. There are members here from all over the USA, Canada, and several other countries so if you are comfortable, you can list a general location and people will likely be able to chime in. If you can create a signature under settings it will help people to follow you and offer support more readily too.

    Truly sorry for your son's suffering and I am so glad you found your way here so you dont have to go through this alone. It is a really hard time which we all understand here. many hugs and lots of support, Buddy
  5. Yvette

    Yvette New Member

    Buddy, I am actually based in Cyprus! just trawling the web for support as over here it is hard to find. Alot of what she wrote in her report made sense... he is bright across the board with no educational weaknesses. I do believe that some kind of different parenting approach is going to help and counselling. Over here I dont know how many qualified english speaking psychiatrists we can get to, but I think I want to introduce him gently to counseling as if I even mention the word psychiatrist I dont think it will have a positive impact on him. I work 2 jobs so dont have alot of time to spend with him and I think that has affected him as well, so its something I need to look at but very hard as the extra counselling costs need to be covered and if I quit my 2nd job how can I pay for it? adult worries that sometimes get deflected onto my son. He is also very good with computers, way above his age and now has a fascination with viruses and knows how to send them etc... very unhealthy and hard to control...
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Oh wow, please dont let him find out about this board! (tee hee, dont want any viruses thru this site, smile!)

    Yes, I bet that is a really tricky thing, to find someone who can treat him. If things in the end become severe, especially if he is bipolar, you may not have a choice. That is not a behavioral condition I am sure you know, it is a medical condition and he will likely need medication (not all do but most do) to keep himself safe, (and maybe others eventually) including to keep himself from getting in trouble with the law (speaking to your saying he has a fascination with viruses etc.) At my house I can easily turn off/disconnect out internet. I can access it thru password wirelessly. Can you make sure, even though he is a computer wiz, that he is supervised, that you are using parent controls and that he can only use computer when you are home? At least only be on the internet when you are home. That probably means controlling phone internet usage and gaming systems.

    You have your hands full. If you can't find medical care for him, are you willing to relocate or to travel far for care? I just can't imagine being in that spot because as you say, you must have income to support him and have a home/food/pay for medical care and treatment.... I just really feel for you. I am sure others with kids who have bipolar and other diagnosis you received will chime in here. Glad you were able to find someone who could point you in a good starting direction though.

    Check in often, I am sure others are coming... {{hugs}}
  7. Keeping it Real

    Keeping it Real New Member

    Hi Yvette, (this is my first post & new as of today) our son will be 15 in a few mths. He has always been demanding, sensitive and defiant with out burst. However w hormones it became so much worse wo any break. His frustration was pointed at me also.

    It took me several mths to find the right person for our son. We started counseling sessions in august and it has helped so much! For the longest time he has said we didn't understand and he was right. And now we are starting to understand. Things are far from perfect but I am learning that we have to deal w each tangle separately and it takes time.

    My son was so angry and full of resentment and sure that we didn't love him. Now he know I love him and we are working together.

    The hardest part is not to be pulled in to his need to argue and to act like I am not being worn down. And he does pick the times I am at my most vulnerable. However through therapy, I am understanding how he works and what feeds his ODD. This has been so helpful. Because for 6 mths prior to his sessions, he wouldn't hug me or say he loved me. Now I get hugs and I love you's once again.

    I hope this gives you something to look forward too...he is still as difficult as hell, but I don't feel so powerless and I feel like I have support to help us all.