New to the forum and need support!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ktllc, May 18, 2011.

  1. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    I'm new here and desperatly need to find a support system. DS2 was diagnose with ODD recently. He will be 4 years old next week and I'm just exhausted from him... It's like he drained me from all my patience. I just have none anymore. He will start therapy next week but I would really like to have a full diagnosis. Not only is he defiant and very oppositional with meltdowns for what appears insinificant frustrations. I also find myself repeating the same thing over and over and over: he still forgets and acts like it's all new to him. He will also ask the same questions 100 times a day. It is driving me bunkers!!! His behiavor recently started invading preschool. Before that, he was completly withdrawn and in his own world for most of the preschool day. To top it off, my parents are in complete denial and judge my parenting like if I was creating the problem. I know I'm not (my other son is just fine and doctors assured me it was neither my husband or me, but difficult child that has a disorder and we need to help him... time won't help and things won't get better on their own). I'm so glad I found a group of people that can understand.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Who diagnosed him?
    Does he have any speech problems or problems relating to people (yes, I know he's young, but if he has these problems, you can probably already tell). Any quirks or repetitive movements? Any sensitivities?
    The parent problem is common. It is best just to tell them that "We are better off not discussing Child's diagnosis and issues. If you do, I will have to remove myself from the room (or gently hang up the phone) etc." Don't let them get you down. This is not a parenting issue. He is wired differently than other children and you have a harder time because of this.
    Is he living with two parents? Any siblings?
    Welcome to the board but sorry you have to be here.
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    Hi. I'm very new here too, but can already tell you if you're looking for a support system, you came to the right place. Ppl here are amazing, and their strength and solidarity just have me in awe.

    in my opinion any parent who proactively searches for ways to help their child is certainly NOT the problem. Problem parents don't 'see' problems until they are pointed out by outsiders.

    Empirically speaking you'd have to to an awful lot of REALLY BAD parenting to have 'created' ODD by age 4 - Seriously I don't think it's possible to do.

    These days I am extremely careful of what I discuss with which family member. Even my "supportive" sisters don't always understand everything, and find "fixes" that they insist I must try, but refuse to listen when I tell them I've been there and done that, but thanks, anyway.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi - and welcome.

    Glad you found us, sorry you need to!

    I think you'll find out fairly quickly that, around here, ODD as a diagnosis (diagnosis) isn't a stand-alone thing - that is, ODD describes a behavior problem but doesn't tell you why - and therefore, doesn't give you anything to go on in figuring out what to change. But it does make a good red flag that there are problems going on...

    Agree - its not a parenting problem - or at the absolute most, parenting will be WAY down the list of causes. (been there done that - we had to change our parenting style - but only as part of a bigger picture of other things!)

    SO... Most around here are going to want to know who you've seen for specialists, over what period of time, and what their various 'answers' have been. And you'll get questions from others looking for clues that they can relate to...

    While we're at it - look at the resources page for some good info on starting a parent report - you're likely in this for the long haul, and it pays to start documenting as early as possible.
  5. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Hi ekirsch, and welcome. What type of specialist gave this diagnosis, and how much time did they spend with him and/or with you?

    As was mentioned already, ODD as a standalone diagnosis isn't a place you'll want to stop.

    Keep doing your homework and seeking out specialists who can get to the bottom of this. If he hasn't had a full speech/language assessment and a hearing test, I agree that those need to be done.

    This book should help you:
    What Your Explosive Child Is Trying to Tell You: Discovering the Pathway from Symptoms to Solutions by Dr. Douglas Riley
  6. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    First of all, thanks for your support!
    We saw a developpmental and behavioral pediatrician. We probably talked for 90 minutes and we had filled out a lenghty questionaire prior to the evaluation (the preschool teacher as well). The doctor. said that neurological testing would not help in our case. He did mention genetic testing to understand the cause of his behavior. husband and I don't really see the point since we mainly seek help for managing the problem. difficult child is what he is and I don't want to put him through testings that won't really help him. The doctor respected our choice. He also mentioned the use of medications to try to block the brain from having negative first reponses. We decided to try therapy first. medications would be last resort if things really get out of control. Right now, we can controll him, but it is like playing chest: always have to think 2 or 3 steps ahead and constantly changing strategies. It is exhausting. He lives with both me and husband (his father) and an older brother and baby sister. He is very loving with both, but will constently annoy his brother. We actually had to put them in seperate rooms. He is conscious of the pb to a certain level. He tells me he wants to be good but he can't, he really wants to see the lady that will help him (the therapist). Makes me sad.
    Last, about ODD and other disorders (not confirmed yet): the doctor said that they would be comorbid issues with no cause/consequence relation between them. I don't know if he meant that for my son specifically or in general...?
  7. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    You raise a lot of interesting issues. I don't feel that ODD by itself is a useful diagnosis, as everyone says - it just means "your child is difficult". But you knew that already... Until a few months ago, I was thinking of my son as ODD (having recently discovered the term and read about it) because our communication was systematically conflicted, heated, unpleasant, with frequent tantrums on his part and sometimes rages in which he would kick things, slap me on the arm, etc. He would frequently point blank refuse to do things I asked him to. I sometimes felt like I detested him, even fantasised about asking my ex-husband and his family to take him... Then I started reading, researching. I changed my parenting style with him. Began giving him lots of encouragement, praise and affection. Stopped hooking into arguments with him or issuing commands. Our relationship has improved greatly, as has his behaviour, and although we certainly still have incidents and problems, on the whole things between us are much more "normal". I no longer think of him as having ODD. And so, I do not believe that this is some kind of "set in stone" condition... Am also rather surprised that this psychiatrist is offering it as the sole diagnosis...
    On the other hand, my son has ADHD. There seems to be a phenomenon on the forum where one "sees" in other children what one's own children have - and so, of course, I wonder whether your child does not have ADHD! Are you going to continue seeing the pyschiatrist for him to give a diagnosis/make evaluations? ADHD children are on the whole very emotional, affectionate and loving - I have found this the best way to modify my son's behaviour. It sounds as if, from what you say, your son also has this very loving side and I think you have to find ways to maximise and exploit that to everyone's advantage and for the sake of peace.
    It is interesting that your son feels there is something wrong with him and wants the doctor to help him... My son has never said anything like that - yet self-esteem and anxiety are almost always issues for these children, I think. And four is VERY young to be talking about medicating! I do wonder whether we aren't playing with fire with all these medications so freely given to developing brains (which is NOT to say they do not have their place). I think you are wise to hold off for the moment.
    What is your next step?
  8. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    My next step is the psychiatric. evaluation to understand if there are any learning impairment or simply a lack of interest on his part. He simply won't learn anything in school or at home. I actually gave on academics right now. The fact that he does know his alphabet or such does not worry me on its own. He is barely 4. But he ask me to do it with him, and it's like teaching a wall... Very frustrating for the both of us. He is very good with his motor skills though. He is actually suprisingly good, which is one of the reason the doctor was unsure of any other disabilities. The doctor did not rule it out by any means, just said that we need more time and evaluations to really know. Personally, I think they will find ADD (without the hyperactivity). He is extremely disorganized, can't remember what he is supposed to do, can't focus on anything unless he is REALLY interested in the task. I'm hoping for a diagnosis really soon so we can start applying methods that will help him. And knowing it before Kindergarten would allow us to have an IEP and for him not to fall behind.
    A note on medications: I think there is a place for them, but for now I want my son to embrass who he is and learn how to work with it. In our case, the whole family needs to be educated about his disorders and teach him that everyone is different and that he can have a happy and productive life. He needs to discover his strenghs even if there are not part of the traditional model( ie: school). Our doctor was actually very good about highlighting that.
  9. Confused

    Confused Guest

    Hi ekirsch,
    I understand about your sons behavior, except at preschool, my son has never acted out at this year in pre-kinder. I am drained as well and have been told it is my fault even though my daughter is fine.(recently acting up due to less attention because of focus on my son). They say that at 4/5 years old is still young to diagnose so, maybe after some therapy , you will be able to know more on what else ,if any, other issues are there. Im glad that he starts therapy next week. Good luck!
  10. seriously

    seriously New Member

    Did this doctor actually spend time with your son at all? or just talk to you and husband?

    I think any kid who is having these issues needs neurological and psychological assessment. And I would do a speech assessment too. Not for articulation problems (how he pronounces his words) but for language processing issues.

    Going from withdrawn to combative at preschool is kind of unusual. Withdrawing is usually thought of as internalizing behavior where as combative is externalizing. I think he is trying to tell you he's in growing distress and he's give up withdrawing and turned to defending himself against what ever is tormenting him.

    Have you checked his hearing recently? That is very important too.

    I'd be interested in hearing if anyone else on the board thinks there could be some autism issues here.
  11. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    The doctor talked to us: husband and myself. difficult child was next to us all the while but refused to say a word. He just looked at the doctor when he was trying to ask him questions. That is pretty typical though: difficult child is very reserved with strangers. We did not have evaluated for speech, but I really don't have any concerns about that. My oldest son had a severe delay in speech and difficult child has really no signs of speech pb. He is actually very verbal and plays with words/meaning a lot. Not necessarly in a good way, but he uses language very good. He is bilingual and that never delayed him at all. He could talk in several words sentences by age 1.
    His hearing was tested 2 years ago (when he had tubes placed) and it was good.
    We had a couple playdates with one of his classmates (first kid he ever talked to after 2 years of preschool, though 7 months in that preschool). He is a difficult child (do they relate?), but it really shoked me what triggers difficult child and what triggers his friend. Like his friend is going to throw a fit because it is time to go home or because he can't go on the caroussel... difficult child will have a meltdown if he gets the wrong cup color, does not do the bedtime routine in a specific order, don't get to close the door a special way, etc... Now that I'm writing, it seams like he worries about the "form" and not the "content or "purpose of the action". And you never know what's going to matter or not. If you ask his classmate why he is having fit, he will give you a logical explanation such as " I don't want to go", "you made me mas that's why I'm punching you". If you ask difficult child, he will just say "I don't know" "I can't stop" "I want to be good but I can't".
    As far as autism, I really don't think so. I don't know much about autistic kids but difficult child looks absolutely normal to the untrained eye. In a new environment, he will actually be shy and just observe. At home, he is quite outgoing.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think you should see a neuropsychologist. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids can seem very normal at home. The problems begin with strangers and different environments. Inability to express himself, and being anal about the order things are done are other clues. Nobody can test him without interacting with him and administering certain tests. A good neuropsychologist knows how to engage even a very withdrawn child. This does not mean your child is withdrawn, but if he will not speak to this psychologist, then the psychologist can not see for himself what your child is like to assess him. If there are Learning Disability (LD) problems, a neuropsychologist will find them! Also, there is a computer test, the TOVA test, for ADD/ADHD. I took the test once. It is interesting and in my opinion a very good tool for evaluating for ADD/ADHD. The kids think it's a fun game, but it tells the tester A LOT. A neuropsychologist will do the TOVA test. Good luck :)

    Keep us posted.
  13. keista

    keista New Member

    ekirsch, to the untrained and even trained eye, ppl with high functioning autism and Aspergers can and do look totally normal. Before my son was diagnosis'ed (before I even had a clue there was a problem)I had a short chat with a parent of a girl in my son's class, and she was telling me that this child was autistic. "Yeah, right, OK lady , if you say so." was pretty much my response. I "knew" what autism was and there was a boy in the class that had it, but certainly not that, bright bubbly girl I was seeing. Boy did I have it all wrong.

    in my opinion From what you wrote, autism is something you should really explore. It sounds like the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)-like behavior of autism. That said, the more important fact is that you've recognized at least one of your child's triggers, and now you can work with him, and even use it to your advantage at times.

    Always make sure he gets the right cup color - if it's the same color he wants all the time, then give him that color, but put out another color in plain view as a transition to the fact that other colors can be good too. Do the bed time routine in the same order ALL the time. Might be a PITA to start from scratch if you missed something, but a do over is easier than a meltdown. Let him close the door the special way - what's the big deal? The point is to accommodate, accommodate, accommodate. Get into you kid's world. You have your perspective and he has his. Once he feels "safe", meltdowns and conflicts are quickly diffused or avoided, then slowly he can start to learn that it can't ALWAYS be his way. With luck and work, he will start "choosing" his battles just like parents do. "Well, mom and dad let me do this, this and that MY way all the time, what they're asking me ISN'T really important to me, I do see everyone else doing it that way, so maybe I'll do this new thing THEIR way"

    Ex. At age 3 my son started calling a fan a wind blower. After many arguments, I stopped and wondered what the big deal was. He knew it was a fan, if someone asked him to go turn on/off the fan, he would, so really, what was the big deal? So we ALL started calling it a wind blower. Subsequently, on more important issues, he became more compliant. I often used this as a suggestions for teachers to minimize conflict with him. If they are willing to 'get into his world', see things his way, then he is more apt to check out "their world". Ultimately it comes down to the general parenting standard of "pick your battles", but if it turns out your your son is on the AS or even just Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the habit of identifying and acommodating will be in place and help everyone in the long run.
  14. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    I'm open to exploring anything to help my little boy. My questions are: would Aspies exhibit oppositional behaviors? difficult child is very good with his fine and gross motor skill (which actually was one thing the doctor mentioned on the side line as being a sign that no clear diagnosis could be given at this time and therefor go for a psychiatric evaluation). Third, all his teacher never and still don't see much wrong (even when he is withdrawn:confused:?).
  15. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    It sounds as if you're boy is very bright - speaking in two, three word sentences at 1 is pretty advanced, I would say... From the little I know, Asperger's children often are precociously intelligent and very verbal. Getting hung up on things being done in a certain, inviolable way does seem another clue. As does being very reserved and withdrawn with strangers. But we none of us here know for sure, of course. It's something to check out.
    As for people at school thinking there is nothing wrong, alas that is no clue at all... Every teacher my son has had has said they don't think he is hyperactive or has ADHD. But he is certainly the former and almost certainly the latter... So I think teachers' views are sometimes not so well-informed.
  16. keista

    keista New Member

    Sorry, but you might have to get used to that kind of response in the educational system. If they admit they see something wrong, then they have to deal with it.

    When my son started school, he had a language delay and that's why he was placed in the Special Education pre-k (South Carolina by the way). They kept alluding to other 'issues' but wouldn't give me any decent hints as to which direction to pursue. They were less than helpful, and for a first time mom who thought her son was 'perfect' and a 'budding genius', it was crazy frustrating.

    Aspies can definitely have oppositional behaviors. If you look at ppl's signatures here, you will see a lot of Aspies, or AS or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) followed by ODD. My son never displayed as such for 2 reasons. 1. He's probably not wired that way
    2. When I became a mom, those things that others think are oddities were normal for me and I just naturally responded in a positive way for him. Turns out my Dad is also an Aspie. My mom died when I was five, so this Aspie Dad raised 3 girls on his own. Even now, as my kids get older I consider my son my "easiest" child, and the one I understand the most.

    Also, while fine and gross motor skills are very often delayed on the AS, they don't have to be. They could also be "incomplete" like my son's. He could do buttons, zippers, snaps, belt buckles, transformers etc. Lots of great functioning in his fine motors, but he could not, and would not, color or draw. UNLESS is was one of those really big fat oversized (not the normal thick ones) permanent markers, and then it was only on the wall. Back then, not knowing, and not really paying attention that much, when the Dr asked if he colors, I said OH YEAH! All over the walls.