New to Forum and Desperate for Direction

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MyGoosesMom, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. MyGoosesMom

    MyGoosesMom New Member

    Wow - so cool to find this place. I already don't feel so alone and I have just registered.
    We are the proud parents of a wonderful 9yo boy that I will call Goose on this forum. Our son has ODD/ADD
    I am the sister of an ODD adult.
    My son's behavior manifested in Kindergarten. He has been kicked out of a private K, suspended 2.5 days from public K, and most recently been suspended 6 days and served 15 days of a 30 day sentence at the Alternative Education Placement Center (he got out for good behavior).
    We have finally convinced our school district that ODD is real and we have finally been granted a meeting to work on an education plan for him...previous to that, we were told 504s don't apply to ODD.
    I am dealing with an AP that loves my son and is truly trying to help. I have a P that seems to think we aren't doing enough.
    We have been told to provide the school with info on ODD as the district has limited information and understanding of what ODD.
    I am sure I am not the first one here that can say that most people look at me as if I were on crack when I try and explain ODD.
    My son is a wonderful person...he makes us laugh, he makes us cry...and we often feel powerless to help.
    His ODD is prevelent at school; less so at home.
    I am looking for suggestions on how to explain to teachers that he isn't doing this because he wants to.
    I am looking for ways to teach my son that he can ask for help and that it is OK to need it.
    I am looking for someone to help me not go crazy with all of this.
    2nd grade was awesome. He had a teacher who could see things start and redirect him EVERY time...he didn't go to the office EVER in 2nd grade.
    I have gone to both psychologists and psychiatrists and both have asked me the same thing "what do you want me to do?" -- I want someone to help me understand what to do!!! And so far, no one has helped us much.
    We have control at home...there is no control at school.
    Goose is on 20mg Adderall and 15mg. generic Remeron. ~1 mth ago he had been on Concerta and we have seen some improvement with the Adderall.
    He has great days, then really BAD days. Today is a bad day. I have already had one call from the Principal.
    Thank you for your time.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome. I'm glad you found us.

    Sorry for all the questions, but your answers will help us help you:
    What kind of doctor diagnosed your son with ADD/ODD? What kind of doctor is currently treating him?
    What does the ODD behavior look like at home and at school? Why do you think he does better at home than at school?
    How does he get along with peers?
    Does he have any sensory issues (sensitivity to food or clothing textures, loud noises, etc)?
    Any developmental or speech delays?
    Any mood issues or substance abuse in the family tree?

    Again, welcome. You will find a lot of support here.

  3. MyGoosesMom

    MyGoosesMom New Member

    Answers to questions:
    What kind of doctor diagnosed your son with ADD/ODD?
    We took him to a psychologist and submitted family survery/teacher survey. Computer testing given by the psychologist.

    What kind of doctor is currently treating him?
    We currently only have our pedi as we were so frustrated with the lack of help we were getting. The psychologist closed his practice and moved north with his family; the psychiatrist only wrote the Rx (if I got them backwards, please forgive me...I am FOREVER mixing them up)

    What does the ODD behavior look like at home and at school?
    At school - throwing things, stabbing papers, yelling, banging his head with his fists, jumping up and down. No anger ever directed at others unless they corner him...then he wants to get away. Restraining him makes it worse.
    At home - I guess we see it starting, are more aware, and we can knock it down pretty quick. At home it is more the jumping up and down and crying...then stomping off. The cool down at home is pretty quick.

    Why do you think he does better at home than at school?
    I think it is because we are more aware of it and we also have the ability to ignore certain things the school currently feels they can't.

    How does he get along with peers?
    Very well. He has a number of friends at school. only a few that we socialize with outside of school, but that is my fault, not his. I am not good about setting up play dates. he does have 2 cousins that are 7 & 5 and they spend a lot of time together.

    Does he have any sensory issues (sensitivity to food or clothing textures, loud noises, etc)?
    Was sensitive to loud noises as a child, more so right after he got his tubes put in his ears. Not so much now. He likes to smell things before he does anything with them. Will eat anything you offer him.

    Any developmental or speech delays? None

    Any mood issues or substance abuse in the family tree? Yes - brother in law (2) - alcoholic/binge drinkers; My B - alcoholic; my Paternal Grandfather - alcoholic; my mom - severe depression (has been hospitalized); my father committed suicide in 2002 - he was on high doses of prednisone and he developed cushing syndrome...can make you "crazy"; my nephew has Asperger's and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD); I have been depressed in the past (post-partum)

    I have applied for a program at Texas Children's Hospital...just have to wait for them to call back...

    Thank you,
  4. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    Welcome aboard, it is amazing how wonderful a year can go when you get a teacher that can work with your son. Third grade is alot harder then the earlier grades, has your son been tested for learning disabilities? With my son his opposition is related do the school enviorment stressing the areas where he is weakest at and a teacher that wasn't understanding (she is finally getting it.)I have no idea if this is a problem for your son but I would look into it if there is any chance.

    I'm sure others with more knowledge will come along. Hang in there.
  5. Loris

    Loris New Member

    Welcome. It can be hard to get the schools and teachers to understand what our kids go through. I hope thet finally get it.
  6. MyGoosesMom

    MyGoosesMom New Member

    It is so nice to be talking to people!

    He has not been tested for disabilities, but he does have 2 uncles - my Bro and my husband's Bro - with dyslexia.

    He has a high IQ, but thinks school is stupid.

    I agree that 3rd is much harder than before...he has always been one of those kids that things have come easy to and when you have to put some effort into it, it gets frustrating.

    He spells his spelling words backwards at home because it is something fun to do.

    I can 100% relate to the teacher that doesn't get it...and we are looking at a possible teacher move again (he is on his 2nd for the year).

    The school district has finally agreed to test him, but they now have 90 days to complete the process...or so they told me. And we have a meeting set-up for next week.

    He is a really great kid...I just wish the world could see that side of him.
  7. needabreak

    needabreak New Member

    remember no one can advocate for your son better then dont give up and fight for the services your son needs.also check on the laws,i dont know how they are intexas but here i know they have certain rights.
  8. oceans

    oceans New Member

    What did you sign up for at Texas Children's hospital? Was it a multi evaluation? It sounds to me like that would be my next step. Often times kids who are diagnosed with ODD are actually Bipolar, or have some other diagnosis. Sometimes if the right medications or supports are put into place then the ODD behaviors will subside.

    For son has oppositional behaviors, but 2 of the psychiatrists who evaluated him felt that the ODD behavior was secondary to the Major Depressive Disorder which medications don't seem to help. I think there is something else going on with the diagnoses and he needs a different medication, but that is another story. They both feel that if we found a medication to help his mood, then the ODD behaviors would subside.
  9. oceans

    oceans New Member

    Oh- and many people found the book- the explosive child by Ross Green very helpful. It seemed to help us some.
  10. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I agree with Oceans. What you are looking for is a multidisciplinary evaluation at Texas Children's. It sounds as if you may be looking at more than ADD. ODD behaviors generally don't travel alone, but when the underlying disorder fueling the ODD is treated with the proper interventions (medications, therapy, school-based, etc), the ODD behaviors typically subside. Your job at this point is to find the right professionals (hopefully at Texas Children's) to diagnosis your son accurately and then help you put the proper interventions into place.
  11. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Adding my welcome too! I'm glad you were able to find us for support.

    Goose sounds like a great kiddo. I'm sorry you're struggling with him so.

    It doesn't surprise me much that you're having a hard time with the ODD diagnosis. Although there are some people here on the board that have a child that is ODD alone, most have a diagnosis of ODD comorbid with other things. The ODD behaviors can stem from other disorders, hence making it look like ODD, when it is actually something else.

    My son, Dylan, is a perfect example. Head banging. Raging. Out of control behaviors, emotions. Destruction of property. Crying, screaming. Calls from the school. Impulsive. 17 medication trials, 7 psychiatrists, countless psychologists, TSS's, mobile therapists, counselors, etc.

    Once diagnosed ADHD and "severe" ODD.

    Some of his ODD stuff was because of my poor parenting skills (and NOT implying at all that is the case here). Some of his ODD stuff was because he was not medicated properly (stimulants, antipsychotics alone, etc), and/or we were just working with the wrong diagnosis.

    Interesting, once we had him diagnosed right, medicated right, in conjunction with the right diagnosis'es, the right medications, the right interventions in school, my better parenting skills, etc, his ODD went away. It took a long time, alot of work, patience, persistence, etc.

    I guess my little bit of advice would be A) keep a journal of daily behaviors, positive and negative, and any problems in school B) make sure you're consistent with discipline and C) find a good, board certified MD psychiatrist, not psychologist to observe your difficult child. The multidisciplinary evaluation could be great, too, although I have never gone that route. We did do the neuropsychologist evaluation, but that is because Dylan is on the Autism Spectrum.

    Good luck to you.

  12. MyGoosesMom

    MyGoosesMom New Member

    He has been referred to TX Children's Hospitals Learning Support Center - "the learning support center provides neuropsychological and psychological services for children who experience emotional, cognitive, behavioral, social or educational difficulties within their daily living environments".

    I filled out 30 pages of information, had the teacher and AP complete a survery, too, and now we wait. I was amazed that these questionnaires go back to prenatal.

    Elliott usually has one bad day out of 7...maybe the rest of the week will be good...a mom can only dream.

    Trying to get a school to understand that no medication exists to truly treat the ODD is a very difficult task.

    I think the hardest ones for his teacher to follow: Avoid power struggles with this student and Always listen to this student. And if he could learn quietly and nicely ask my Goose if he needs time to cool down, that would be a bonus.

    I am educated on the ODD thing, just not on dealing with the stupid school (that was rude)...and their lack of understanding.

    OK - thanks for listening! ...
  13. oceans

    oceans New Member

    With all the paper work you filled out, it sounds like they might do a new evaluation. I hope that they do. First diagnoses by psychologists are not always the ones that will hold over the years...especially in a nine year old. Good luck!
  14. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Just wanted to pop in to welcome you & wish you luck in the upcoming evaluation.

    Keep us updated on your difficult child & the results of the evaluation.

    Again - welcome :flower:
  15. MyGoosesMom

    MyGoosesMom New Member

    Thanks everyone for the warm welcome.

    My Goose truly is my difficult child...he makes my heart smile...but he also makes it cry.

    Today was a really bad day for him. The teacher and the Principal really take his misbehavior personally...I am working to get the to understand it isn't a personal vendetta...

    He was taken to the "Time Out" room in school today because he became aggitated in computer class...and when the P came to talk to him, he ran down the hall to art and behaved fine for the rest of the day. so, in their mind "he won". I suggested they wait until he was calm and then called him back up to the office to talk about what happened, what was appropriate, what wasn't, and how the situation could have been handled better. Don't think they did fact, the P and I got into it a little because she really seems to think it is all related to parenting...some of it certainly can be, but I know it isn't all our fault.

    He is a little boy that doesn't even understand what's happening himself...UGH!

  16. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Gosh I can understand all you are going through completely! It is so hard, but never stop fighting for him and his rights. We spent many years in the Texas Special Education system, and if I remember correctly he does not need a learning disorder to get special services and an IEP. If he has any type of emotional problems, which ODD certainly is, than he can be classified as E.D. and receive special services. This will then enable him to receive more help, and exclude him from going to an alternative school or be suspended if you can show that his behaviors are due to his illness.

    When my son was that age his story sounded exactly like yours - good teacher, good school year - bad teacher, bad school year. As he grew however, more negative behaviors manifested, and the diagnosis was finally added of bi-polar. This, I believe was what was going on all along, because once the right medicine was in place he did much better. Stimulants and anti-depressants though, the combo your son is on, made his behavior MUCH worse - much! Often ODD is only a co-existing disorder along with another significant mental illness. So I would suggest definitely getting a workup at an excellent fascility - Childrens in Dallas is one of the best in the country if you can get in there.
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. This is my advice after being through the mill with wrong diagnosis. with my son. Now that he is diagnosed right he is doing well. First of all ODD rarely stands alone. Secondly, I wouldn't try a plain psychologist to diagnose anything. Your family history shows he is at risk for both mood disorders and forms of autism--both are hereditary and require very different treatments and both cause kids to have ODD behaviors. I'd take him to a neuropsychologist rather than have MDE, but MDE is much better than just a psycologist (no MD, no knowledge of neurological disorders, prone to treat things with behavioral therapy), and pediatricians (best at strep throat, not childhood disorders). How does he socialize? Did he meet his milestones on time? Suicide in the family is a huge red flag for bipolar disorder, but that doesn't mean he has it. You really do need to get a total evaluation. Then you will have a "working diagnosis." The diagnosis often changes with time because as the kids get older you can see more, but you can get interventions now and see if they work. I would take a Psychiatrist (with the MD) over a Psycologist anyday. For my son, he saw both a Psychiatrist and a neuropsychologist. We didn't want to leave any stone unturned. Yet we still didn't get the right diagnosis. until he was 11, so it can take time and persistence. Hugs to you.
  18. oceans

    oceans New Member

    I was thinking that too about the IEP. I don't know if he has one or not, but that can be helpful in getting services in place that might help.

    Schools don't ever understand a child leaving a place he is asked to go, and ending up someplace on his own. We have been there and done that already. The IEP will give him some legal advantages when it comes to suspensions for not following rules too.
  19. MyGoosesMom

    MyGoosesMom New Member

    We have a meeting scheduled for next Thursday to discuss the IEP - it's been a long time coming for us to even schedule the it is progress.

    My husband and I are starting to get on the same page when it comes to advocating for my Goose, so that is a new bonus.

    It has taken a lllooooooooooooooooonnnng time for my husband to even admit that ODD existed and is a true and definite disorder.

    There is no doubt my son as ODD; it is finding the right people to teach us and him how to manage it.

    Thank you so much to everyone. I plan on leaning on you as resources and sounding boards.

  20. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just wanted to add my welcome-glad you found us-you will definitely find much support here. Hugs.