New to it all!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JLady, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. JLady

    JLady A ship lost in the night

    Hello. I just knew there had to be some sort of parent support group out here on the web. I've been searching for weeks! :anxious:

    I have a 6 (almost 7) year old son that has been diagnoised with ADHD and ODD. I'm new to all of this and I've read just enough to confuse myself beyond restoration. There is almost too much information on these topics on the web. It appears to me that all the information is contradicting.

    My son has me at the end of my rope. After complaints from all directions, the school, people at church, in the neighborhood, on the bus, his siblings, and everyone my son would come in contact with, I decided something had to be done.

    I took him to a pediatrician with whom I'm not too impressed. He started him on Vyvanse and recommends that he see a psychatrist. I don't understand what is going on. Each time I call the pediatrician to ask questions he tells me to take my son to a psychatrist. Why can't he just answer my questions?

    Since starting the medications my son is better in school. Actually the last three weeks have been a dream in comparison to what they were. However, he is extremely emotional. When he gets upset you can't even consule him. I have read a lot about ADHD and some on ODD. ODD is the thing that confuses me. From what I've read, all kids have ODD. And someone please tell me how a doctor can diagnois all of this from paperwork the school filled out.

    I'm so glad to have found a group. Please help me if you can.

  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    A pediatrician does not have that extra training in childhood disorders. I wouldn't trust the diagnosis of a pediatrician. And, frankly, I prefer NeuroPsychs over Psychiatrists myself. There is no way to reliably diagnose a child the way your pediatrician did, but it seems that something is going on with your child if everyone is complaining. So he should be evaluated. in my opinion NeuroPsychs do the best, most intensive testing and give you the most accurate results.

    I'm glad you found us and have a few questions that will help us help you. First of all, you may want to do a signature on the bottom of the page like I did.

    1/Are there any mood disorders or other psychiatric problems on either side of the family tree? Any substance abuse? Does your son rage? Have nightmares? Does he have an phobias?

    2/How was your son's early development in:
    eye contact with strangers
    large and fine motor skills
    how did and does he interact with his peers
    Is he socially appropriate?
    Does he have issues with textures, flavors, light, loud noise, etc.
    How is he doing academically?
    Did he play normally with toys? How is his imaginative play?
    Did he ever copy and recite cartoons on television or television shows?
    Any obsessive interests?

    Others will come along.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi JLady, welcome.
    Your son is being treated with-o a diagnosis, in my humble opinion.
    The drug is working, as you can see, but since you haven't gotten to the root of the problem, you will forever be hopscotching from one medication to another until the correcct diagnosis is made.
    It can be made by a psychiatrist or a neuropsychiatrist. I would suggest a series of tests that incl educational tests, to check for PDDs and LDs, which can contribute to anxiety and depression, and also do "regular" psychological testing. Some of the tests are as simple as having your child draw pictures. Some are verbal exchanges. And some are written like test questions.
    We just had a slew of tests done and it was very useful.

    I had to chuckle at your comment about all kids having ODD. At certain points, yes, they can seem like that. In fact, when kids go through the Terrible Twos, they act more like bipolar patients than whatever a "regular" kid might be!
    It's when the "stage" isn't a stage and it's constant, prolonged, irrational behavior and overreaction that it's a problem.

    We all have to beware of doctors who jump the gun and overdx The Disease of The Year.
    But I'd rather take the chance than to not do anything at all.

    Sheesh. Don't know if that helps or confuses you more!
    Anyway, I'm sending sympathy and support.

    by the way, pick up The Manipulative Child by Swiheart and Cotter, and The Explosive Child by Ross Greene.
    They'll give you some great ideas while you're waiting for all the dr appts. :)
  4. Jena

    Jena New Member

    I'm jumping in to welcome you as well!! you have found a great, and support place! :)

    I agree with the others as far as the non diagnosis right now. I was advised through this group when I first started to get a neuropyshc evaluation done as well. It was a great and very informative evaluation to have done for my difficult child (gift from god).

    I strongly suggest that as well, and speaking to a pyschdoc who handles children's disorders specifically, or at least has a great amount of experience in it.

    I am glad that the medication is helping, yet as someone else stated without a clear up diagnosis it will be hard to know the root of the problem.

    Welcome again!!!

  5. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    Having computer issues here. 4th try. First of all....welcome!!! The knowledge from the group here is amazing & you have already received beneficial responses that are very important. Just want to repeat the comments of not going with the Pediatrician as your first & final diagnosis. I've learned so much the past few years from going further.....Pediatrician to Family doctor...wouldn't "touch the situation"...they both knew there was something going on that wasn't something they could do anything about. We continued on & are finally getting the pieces put together.

    Once again, welcome :)
  6. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Welcome, I really think ADHD is diagnosis way too fast by peds and family docs. I have even heard a few years ago there was a class of kids in town that the majority of kids were on Ritalin because the teacher would suggest it to the parents that their child needs to be taken to the doctor for behaviors. I would not want her as my child's teacher - when she asks that all her kids are medicated that shows she is not a good teacher. Whatever medications ADHD is treated with seems to help in some behaviors but it just masks the real issues.

    I agree with others that you need to take this further even if the medications seem to help.

    I also think the ODD comes when a child is overwhelmed and can not handle even the smallest of requirements. It is that child's way of shutting down. Yes, there are some kids who just refuse to do anything required but many times there is a reason behind that that goes beyond discipline issues. Respecting the child and trying to find out why he or she is behaving that way is very helpful. Is it by will or inability? Sometimes it really is hard to determine.

    Looking forward to learning more about you and your family.
  7. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Welcome JLady,

    Take heart!
    A lot of us begin with a diagnosis of ADHD/ODD and then start wandering down the diagnostic path from there. When doctors see hoofprints, they assume they're dealing with horses rather than zebras. Unfortunately many of our children are zebras. The hoofprints look the same, but they're caused by a totally different animal, if you get my drift.

    To put it in plain English...
    ODD rarely stands alone. It is often a symptom of an underlying disorder that doesn't yet have the right interventions and accommodations.

    As for ADHD, several other childhood disorders (including Autism Spectrum Disorders, mood disorders and other conditions) display behaviour that is a lookalike to ADHD behaviour. Hyperactivity, inattentiveness, inability to be still or focus...blah, blah, blah. The trick is to determine what is the disorder that's causing the behaviour. One big clue is that stimulants (which work well for true ADHD) don't work. They seem to make your child's behaviour worse, or he still seems unstable even with an increased ability to focus, etc.

    I am not a doctor, and none of us here can diagnose, but it smells like you have something more than just ADHD/ODD going on. Like the others, I highly recommend a neuropsychologist evaluation that will help you start teasing apart the different strands until you have the correct diagnosis for your son.

    It can be a long hard road, but it is worth it in order to find the right interventions.

    You've found a great place. This really is a soft place to land, and the women and men of the board have saved my sanity more than once.

    So glad you found us, but sorry you had to.

  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, JLady!
  9. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I would applaud a pediatrician who told you to take your son to a psychiatrist. There are many disorders that mimic ADHD, and it can be hard to sort out. Your pediatrician is just trying to steer you in the right direction and does not want to delve into territory that he is not familiar enough for. You have gotten good advice from the other members that I don't want to repeat. Sometimes books are better than the web. I would make an appointment with a child psychiatrist, and get some book recomendations from him/her.

    medication wise, it can take a while to find the right medication. If the side effects (emotional lability) are too much to handle, tell the doctor and try another medication. Hang in there.
  10. luvmyottb

    luvmyottb Guest

    Welcome to the board. You will find lots of support and good advice.

    Go for a neuropsychologist evaluation. The evaluation will hopefully get to the root of what is going on with your child and the psychiatrist can accurately prescribe medications if needed.

    Good luck. We have all been in your shoes. It's just the beginning of your journey.
  11. JLady

    JLady A ship lost in the night

    Wow! Thanks for all the replies. I wish I had logged back in last night. I didn't expect such a response. I have never heard of a neuropyhc and will have to investigate that. We are going to a child physcologist this afternoon and then have a child psychiatrist appointment on the 17th.

    As far as family history goes... the child's father is an angry, abusive person whom I am glad to have out of our lives. I often then my son has somehow received some of his behaviors genetically.

    Personally, I suffer from anxiety and depression. I didn't know this until a few years ago but now see where I've had the issues all my life. It took forever for me to accept the problems and then even longer to seek help. I'm happy to say that I've found the right medications and function quite nicely these days. Even with the issues with my son.

    Yes, my son gets very angry. I have 2 children from a previous marriage ages 21 and 15. They seem to be his biggest nightmare. My daughter (21) mothers him and my son (15) seems to bully him a lot. It's a constant battle. The other 2 don't understand why he doesn't behave and why I don't kill him like I would have them. (their words)

    Gosh! I don't even know where to begin. I'm so overwhelmed with all of this.
  12. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    Hi and welcome! sounds like you've been given a great jumping off point - I would agree to follow thru with a thourough evaluation to find the "root" cause of your child's behavior. Good luck with your journey. Hope to see you around :)
  13. JLady

    JLady A ship lost in the night

    Well we saw the child Psychologist. He didn't say what I wanted to hear. I wanted him to tell me that ADHD was the problem and the medicine was the answer and we all live happily ever after. Guess I still believe in fairy tales.

    The psychologist agreed with the ADHD/ODD diagnosis. He pointed out the ODD issues and said that there isn't medication to help with that disorder (I guess you call it a disorder). For some reason, in my mind I see ADHD as something that can't be helped and isn't anyone's fault. But I don't see ODD as that. ODD seems like a bad parenting thing to me for some reason and feels like I'm a failure in some way.

    I asked how we "fix" my son. He said we don't "fix" him. We teach him. I'm so lost.
  14. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    JLady, ODD is not a result of bad parenting. You have done nothing to cause this. Do not feel guilty. Each child is an individual. Kids are people with their own way of thinking. They have their own personalities, their own way of thinking. If kids were even close to their parent's in their feelings of how things should work, there would never be a problem.

    ODD often is attached to something. I think that is because ODD is a result of not feeling right with the world. I believe when a child is refusing something or doing the opposite of what you ask, they are hurting inside and trying to find help. You can give them all the right information but for some reason, they just don't "get it". In order to stay in control of their own world, they often refuse to allow anything in. They can only process so much in a certain amount of time so when they say "No", they really mean, "I can't think of that - don't give me more info to process".

    If there were easy answers for these kids, there would not be a need for this board. What works for one will not work for the next. We still search for answers and ways to deal with our difficult children. We are hopeful because there are success stories, so we hold the course and fight the good fight because we are warrior parents whose top priority is to make life easier for our children.

    So, do not feel guilty. You are doing a great job in going through the process of acknowledging there is an issue, looking for a solution, and working out the answer.

    One suggestion - (and maybe you already do this) - use the most positive instructions whenever possible. For example, instead of "Get up and get ready for school." try "It is time to get up. Breakfast is on the table when you are ready." or instead of "Get your shoes on and meet me in the car." try "We need to leave in 5 minutes, do you have everything you need?" The more positive you are, the less confrontal your son will feel. If you can instill that these are everyday things to do without him thinking you are giving too many orders, he may be less defiant. Make it a clock issue and not you personally telling him what to do. I hope this makes sense.
  15. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    The psychologist is right in that you're not going to fix him, you're going to teach him. There is no cure for ADHD. There is no cure for any of the disorders our kids have. Our kids have to be taught how to cope with them. And we have to learn how to re-parent, so to speak. We have to learn how to parent specifically to our child.

    The ODD behaviors your son is exhibiting is most likely a manifestation of his inability to cope with his ADHD. Once he learns how to cope, and with the right medications if needed, the behaviors should subside.

    My daughter exhibits strong ODD behavior, yet not one therapist, psychologist, social worker, neuropsychologist or psychiatrist in the 8 years we've been at this has ever suggested she has ODD. A couple of her tdocs have called it a 'garbage-bin diagnosis'. It does exist. It's just extremely over-diagnosed.
  16. JLady

    JLady A ship lost in the night

    Your explainations really help. The comments about learning how to re-parent and parent our children is so spot on. I've been a mom for over 21 years now and this last child seems to want to hit on everything the other missed. He's a good kid. When trying to describe him (within the family unit) we all agree that he isn't bad. We say he's just him. It's who he is. I guess that is as good of an explaination as any. I want him to be a successful person. I hope we can help make that happen for him.
  17. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    One of K's psychiatrist's took her ODD diagnosis away because he thought it was BS as well. It is just a symptom.
    Well if you have BiPolar (BP) you are definitely going to be Oppositional! If you are ADHD most likely as well.
    Even a lot of kids on the Autism Spectrum are Oppositional.
    Some feel a child can really have ODD as a diagnosis, but for us it was more of a symptom of her other issues.

    A good Doctor will look at the whole picture.
    The good kid thing is pretty funny, we get so many comments about how K and N are good kids. "How could they have issues?"
    "But they are such good kids"
    People expect kids like ours to be bad, or to be bad all of the time... which is sad.
    My daughter K is such a good girl, she just has a messed up little head and needs help learning how get through the chaos.
    It takes a MUCH different approach than what would have been taught in most Parenting 101 books! LOL
  18. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    my difficult child has processing issues and gets defiant when her anxiety is high, yet she's never been diagnosis'd as ODD. Course, I haven't really gotten ANY diagnosis because she's so atypical. And she's been to about 12 different psychiatrists, tdocs and counselors! Get a second opinion if you think there's something more than ODD. It certainly couldn't hurt any. I'm still trying.....
  19. JLady

    JLady A ship lost in the night

    I've noticed that since medication my son has been very whiney. He seems depressed to me. I suffer from depression and I think I would rather have him out of control. When he is like this I can't stand it. He's in his nobody loves me mood and nothing pacifies him. I just told him to go lay down and rest for a while. I don't know how to make him feel better. Everything I try is met with such sadness. I want my happy son back. Could this mean he isn't on the right medications or that there is something else wrong?