Newbie...does this sound like ODD?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Pinkmum81, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. Pinkmum81

    Pinkmum81 New Member

    My DS2 has always been a handful, as a toddler he used to smash his head into the floor and walls when he was angry and upset, he was also a late talker but gradually his speech improved and the head butting stopped.

    Since then however, he has become increasingly aggressive. He will scream and shout, throwing things at others and breakable objects. He doesn't listen to anything I say, it almost seems as though he does the opposite just for the heck of it. He hurts his siblings and will always blame his actions on everyone else, accusing us all of swearing or hitting him to justify his behaviour. He bullies his 2yo sister all the time as they are home alone together more often but he will lash out at everyone. He has a tendency to deliberately wind her up, taking things she is playing with for example just to upset her.

    He thinks all toys/possessions of the other kids are his and will not accept they are not. He runs in the road when out if he gets angry about things. He gets into such a rage that nothing gets through to him, you have to lliterally wait for him to calm down as he cannot be reasoned with at all. He always seems to be angry about something, the smallest thing can trigger him from my not having the right cereal to being told he has to wait two mins for me to do something before catering to his need.

    It goes so much further than using acting out, he has broken windows, smashed tvs and given his siblings bloody noses/lips, my 2yo even has a scar from where he threw a toy at her face!

    I have looked up a lot of different things but ODD seemed to come the closest. Do you think I am right?
  2. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    It sounds like ODD is right on, but now what?? The ODD diagnosis doesn't tell you much more than "there is a real issue here". It is descriptive.
    You need to find out why he is acting up. That is not an easy task, but only diagnosis that explain the "why" will be helpful to your family.
    For us to help you, we would need a bit more info.
    How old is your son? What is your family structure? What were his early year(s) like?
    Have you had any kind of formal assessment yet, through doctors or school?
    Welcome to the board.
    A lot more people will come and help you untangle things.
  3. Pinkmum81

    Pinkmum81 New Member

    Thanks for the reply.

    He turns 4 yo next month. I have 6 children in total but only one other son (almost 7) who has also had behavioural issues but at both school and home - nothing to the extent of ds2 however. DS1 is suspected on the autistic spectrum but it has been a long road trying to get him diagnosed as they were reluctant to label him before the age of 6, i am hoping this will come in the next few months as he is due more assessments. My daughters are all 'fine', no issues at all.

    DS2 has had no formal assessments other than being referred to Speech and language for his delays which wasnt very helpful tbh. Although I have been concerned about him for years I was hoping he would just grow out of his behaviour, I guess I was hoping it was simply immaturity and he wouldn't need intervention.

    He was a difficult baby, really bad sleeper, good eater but very clingy. He always had tempers but like I said, they were directed inward at first. He refused naps in the day even though I knew he was tired so he would often just pass out on the sofa or floor through exhaustion during the day. He was the hardest to potty train and it took me till he was over 3 to get him out of nappies, even when I did he refused to do a no.2 anywhere but in a nappy, it's only been the past few months I have managed to get him to use the toilet properly for this. He feeds himself but is very messy, often uses his fingers, shoves food in too fast and will not try to use knife and fork, only a spoon and fork - my 2yo makes less mess at mealtimes!

    He obsesses about things, if his favourite programmes are not on tv due to schedule changes he will simply not accept that they are not coming on and gets angry with me and shouts at me to put it on even though I explain I cannot control the tv schedule. This can go on for hours, he likes to control everything especially the tv, he tries to make me only put on things he wants to watch and will get angry if I put on things he doesn't like. He has to know in advance what he is having at mealtimes, he will ask over and over and over again what is for dinner no matter how many times I have told him. He doesn't like people walking near him in the street, he says they are following him or looking at him. Even if people try to be friendly he glares at them and wont talk or be friendly.

    I could go on and on but think I've bored you all enough. any other questions just ask.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You haven't bored us at all. We've all been there. Do you live in Canada?

    ODD applies to almost every single one of our kids, however ODD is not seen by many of us as a useful diagnosis. It basically is diagnosed when the child is defiant, but the professional isn't sure why, and rarely stands alone. Kids are defiant for various reasons, and most kids are not doing it in purpose just to make you miserable :)

    You may want to take this little online test to see if it fits your son. People on an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)/Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) site that I post on feel it is pretty accurate if the parent is totally honest about the answers. May as well see if it rings a bell. In my extremely layperson opinion he has a lot of markers and red flags for high functioning autism. The obessessing is classic. My son not only watched certain shows with fascination; he could and did recite them almost verbatim after he saw them. He did not have the normal variety of childhood interests. These kids also are socially clueless. Some are friendly, but put other kids off by being too "in your face" and not listening when the other child speaks. Some just shrink away from other people. My son was in the first category. He was very popular until friendship became a matter which included give-and-take play/conversation. He also had horrific tantrums at times, but was more often very defiant. He also liked to pick up everything and take it apart. Fun! For him, a lack of sleep made everything worse, yet he couldn't sleep well (so neither did we...haha!) I don't know if this is your child, but I'd give it a look.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Well, I'm another one that doesn't put much stock in an ODD diagnosis. It works well as a "placeholder" diagnosis... for when the docs recognize there definitely is a problem but they really don't know what is going on. But... it doesn't tell you anything other than that the behaviors are not normal.

    There is definitely something else going on. Given that Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is already in the family, I'd be pushing for a comprehensive evaluation. It might or might not be Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)... but there is something significant going on, and you need to know what that is.
  6. Pinkmum81

    Pinkmum81 New Member

    I am in the UK but looking for help/support wherever I can :)

    I definitely was leaning towards the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) when he was younger but from what I have experienced with his older brother because he can play imaginatively and make eye contact they have a tendency to say the child can't possibly be autistic. I think even professionals have a very rigid idea of what autism is and dont always accept how varying it can be.

    Originally they said my eldest had ADHD traits but have since moved more towards the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) as he has gotten older especially as he has sensory issues (always has to have socks on, doesn't like loud noises/crowds ,used to complain it was too bright).

    DS2 can play and interact with other children and can seem so 'normal' it can hard for people to understand that he has issues in the home.

    Sleep is still an problem, he will sleep at night now but either wakes really early or he wakes in the night saying he has seen things or just talking out loud and I have to tell him it's night and he has to go back to sleep.

    I will definitely look at the questionnaire. I have an appointment with my family doctor on Wednesday to talk about DS2 to get things in motion.
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi there and welcome! Great question. Here are clues in your post that stuck out to me...
    1. he had a speech/lang delay
    2. difficult baby
    3. head banging

    4. and the types of sentences that you wrote above. I personally think ODD lends a tone of the child could do better but is choosing to do the opposite just for the sake of doing the opposite. I think the history and examples you are giving do not strike me as fully that (not that he can't have "naughty"moments... especially if he is a frustrated kid).

    It sounds to me like he is actually wired differently and that there are some underlying issues (as many of my board family have thought too). I am always careful when I make a judgement like "Just to Upset Her".... because while that IS the result it does not mean that he did it thinking...HMMM How can I upset my sister??? OH I know, I will take her toy or poke her or whatever.... a HUGE clue is that you say that he thinks all possessions are his. He sounds like he does not have the ability to fully take other's perspectives...ownership, feelings etc. It is all about him which is not to say he is a selfish child or has some kind of scary mental illness...just saying that he may not fully have those skills yet and indeed may not be able to ever fully take on that perspective depending on what is going on underneath all of this.

    He sounds like predicting consequences of his actions is really not something he can do yet. Do not assume that he is doing it for a reaction just because it GETS a reaction. It is likely he is not thinking before he does these things and he is just being impulsive and/or reactive to whatever is going on inside of him.

    The things you mention from when he is a baby/toddler.... again clues to this... this started along ago and he did not do those things on purpose... he didn't hold off on his speech/language to get attention or cause problems. ( I know you know this, just tying it all together) So the more recent behaviors may be really under the same bigger umbrella.

    This is just what hit me when I read your post. While ODD may be what his behaviors LOOK like right now, as you can see from most of us, it really does not help much.

    I agree that a full neuropsychologist evaluation, and an Occupational Therapist (OT) and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) (with someone who works with kids who have "pragmatic" communication issues which is their word for social communication....make sure they have experience in this area because they are ALL trained in it to some degree just like, say, a dr. is trained in all medication areas a little bit ....but in the end everyone WORKS in their chosen specialty.) This way you will get a much better picture of what is really driving this. It sounds like he may have issues with impulse control, predicting consequences, taking perspectives, understanding the world around him, and the world around him may actually be uncomfortable if he has problems integrating sensory signals like sound, touch, smell, sights, and taste.

    Understanding these things is KEY to the treatment and parenting. Say for example a child who is deaf just grabs things, screams, pushes people out of the way to correct what he sees as wrong... punishing those behaviors is not going to help him get better. Though it would get him lots of attention and he may even like the attention, it is not what caused it. Once the hearing loss is found, and the child is given a way to communicate, then progress can be made.

    I hope that makes sense. It is such a HUGE puzzle to wade through and when you are living day to day with a child who is SOO challenging it can be really super frustrating. Even KNOWING what is driving things with my son I certainly do not handle things well all of the time. But we soldier on. You will too! You have many here who understand how hard this is and I am so glad you found us.

    I agree with all those who have offered ideas here for searching for answers... let us know how things are going and for sure come to share your frustrations. It really does help.

    EDIT: I added this after coming back from my rushed first response...had to get medications and breakfast so hadn't read thru everyone's responses much, sorry....

    given this, in my humble opinion (and I did know of my son's bio brother having a diagnosis of autism too) I would TREAT it as autism given that will not hurt him, it will support his areas of weakness and not assume that he is in control of the behaviors. I would use very direct teaching methods, not assume he can pick things up...sure we can often stop our kids with a consequence or even get them to do something with a reward, but if we don't directly teach the skills and practice them they will not improve and in fact as you are seeing they will likely get worse in areas as they become more and more frustrated. I would use schedules, have routines, help him negotiate social things, honor his special interests and use them to teach, etc.. things you are probably already doing with your older Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) son. again, just MHO as you are going thru the diagnosis process.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
  8. Pinkmum81

    Pinkmum81 New Member

    Thanks buddy,

    I think the more I look back on him the more I am leaning towards the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), I think the ODD is probably just part of It. The issue I have is that the tactics I use with my elder son don't work with DS2 because of his aggression. One wrong word or action sends him into meltdown.

    I agree that sometimes I find it hard to see his actions as anything other than deliberate. It's hard when they are so confrontational all the time.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    As you work with him, as you find the interventions, accommodations, approaches (maybe medications) that WORK, the ODD part of it will go down. Really... its been that way for most of us. The ODD stuff is just red-flagging major OTHER issues.

  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    What you may find interesting, though, is that things that work for your difficult child... may well work for your other son too. PCs and near-PCs seem to be able to adapt well to a range of parenting... difficult children need a particular type of parenting. So, you may not have to parent them differently... but you will need to change your parenting. If that makes sense...