Newbie that desperately needs help

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by loves_rainy_days, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. loves_rainy_days

    loves_rainy_days New Member

    Hi! New here and in desperate need of help. My 9yr old has ADHD and possible Oppositional Defiance Disorder. His behavior is getting out of control and my boyfriend and I have tried everything under the sun to help him understand what behavior is acceptable and what isn't. He is a sweet kid but when he wants something and doesn't get it or things don't go his way, watch out, he either screams, throws things, hits, breaks things or does all of the above. You tell him to be quiet or use his indoor voice, he continues in the level he was before, you tell him to clean up his mess, he tells you that he didn't make it and refuses to do it, you tell him Stop or No and he acts like he doesn't understand what those words mean. We have tried stickers chart, earning time on the X-Box (he has completely lost that privilege), reward box full of little toys and things he wants, and I have a little plastic trash can that I picked up at the dollar tree, filled it with candy and put a sign on it that says "The can of Good Behavior ~Don't give me ****, I don't want it. **** belongs in the trash so please throw yours away!" Nothing works. Then there is the issue of his personal hygiene. I have just now gotten to where I can get him in the tub without screaming or a fight and if I don't drag him in there, he won't take a bath or change clothes for however long we let him go. Won't brush his teeth, will not pee in the toilet, he'll stand in front of it but will pee on the floor, the wall or the cabinet, so I make him sit down to pee (which seems to be the only success that I have had). When we discuss this with his doctors, we get nowhere. Getting him on the right dose of ADHD medications is a battle within itself. When I first got into the relationship, he was on such a high dose that he looked like a zombie all the time and absolutely miserable, we've gotten the dose lowered, some days he still looks like a zombie and other days it's like the medicine didn't work at all. He has no friends at home or school because of the way he acts, he snarls or growls at people, yells or screams if they do something he don't like or that annoys him and does the same thing if they don't do what he wants. The kids at school shy away from him and the kids in the neighborhood say they are scared of him or that he freaks them out so the only friend he has is my 11yr old and that started out rocky (he had to go pee so he peed on my son at my parents house). "Dill" loves "Creature" like a real brother and even though "Creature" won't admit it, he loves him too. He is always telling me "Mom, I'm trying to teach that boy but he just won't listen, I don't know what to do." "Gentle Giant", "Dill's" dad doesn't know what to do anymore because nothing works. I am the only person that "Gentle Giant" has had a relationship with that "Dill" has had a connection to, responded to, interacts with, and has shown any type of emotion with. "Dill" told me that he knew I was going to be his mother the minute he met me and I have told him that I have felt like and have loved him like he was my own child from the beginning. He knows that I love him no matter what and that I accept him for who he is, and that nothing he can do or say will scare me or make me leave. I want the best for him and to be able to be on his own without any assistance. I want him to have friends and sleep overs, I want him to be happy, accept himself for who he is, that he is perfect no matter what. We just don't know what to do to help him or where to go to get the help he needs or at least get someone to listen to us.

    Thank You for letting me vent or talk about this. Most of the time we feel like we are all alone in this.

    "J" crazy mom of 2, adopted mom of 1. ~Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Bi-polar Disorder, PTSD~ (Zoloft)
    "Gentle Giant" Supportive & Loving Boyfriend (Fiancee) ~ADHD, PTSD, Migraine Suffer~ (Zoloft, Vyvance, Seroquel)
    easy child "TAG" 19yrs old, my mini me. ~Learning Disability (LD)~
    easy child "Creature" 11yrs old almost 12, my lil story teller. ~Epilepsy, 10yr Brain Tumor Survivor, Learning Disability (LD)~ (Carbatrol)
    difficult child "Dill" 9yrs old, "Gentle Giant's" son and my son in every way except I didn't give birth to him. My lil Hugger. ~ADHD, possible Oppositional Defiant Disorder, possible Autism/Aspergers, bio-mom avid meth user entire pregnancy, abuse and severe neglect after birth.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    First, welcome. Glad you found us, sorry you had to.

    You'll get lots of questions first... we're all just parents, but between us we've seen lots and been down many roads.

    Who did the diagnosis of ADHD and when?
    Is ODD actually a diagnosis? or somebody's "comment"?
    Who is adjusting the medications? what is he on? since when?

    What other kinds of problems does he have...
    - learning issues (reading, writing, math)
    - motor skills issues (gross or fine)
    - sleep issues

    What about family history - what kinds of issues exist on both bio sides?
    Has he bounced between homes much? or more stable?

    You'll find that most of us around here don't put much stock in an ODD diagnosis. It does describe behaviors, but doesn't provide any useful info beyond that. Usually, there is some other reason for the behavior, and you have to find the reason(s) - usually multiple - in order to make progress.

    Meanwhile have you ever seen "The Explosive Child"? (by Green). This approach seems to have a fairly good success rate with may of our kids around here - but no solution solves every kids problems!
    If you can get your hands on a copy, it might be worth the read.

    Others will be along... with more questions!
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome to our board, although I'm sorry you have to be here.

    Who diagnosed your son? It seems to me that more may be going on than ADHD. Did he have any speech delays or is he a quirky kid who maybe doesn't make good eye contact with strangers and doesn't play appropriately with toys? Is he sensitive to noise, certain foods, certain clothing? Can he transition well and easily from one activity to another or does that make him rage? Any obsessive interests?

    I would have a second opinion done and I would take him to a neuropsychologist. they test very intensively and you can find them at university and children's hospitals. With the intensive testing that shows all areas of function, neuropsychs are able to give better assessments than regular pediatricians and even some psychiatrists. The psychiatrists come after the assessment.

    Now the other questions. Does he see his biological mom and what is the environment like there? How were his early years as far as stability? Are there any psychiatric issues with either your boyfriend or this child's biol. mother? Substance abuse? May she have drank or used drugs (or both) during her pregnancy with him? This can affect later behavior and even learning. Was he ever abused that you know of? The more you tell us, the more we can help. You may want to do a signature of your family like I did below.

    Good luck!
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    Welcome to the board! You've found a great place for support, insights and guidance.

    When you get the chance, create a signature for your account. It's under the Settings tab at the top right. (I love your pet names, but got confused as to who is who.) A sig will help others to get to know you and reduce the need to re-explain relationships, dxes and medications on subsequent posts.

    A few questions, first. Who made the diagnosis? How are things at school? Does he have an IEP? Is he in any kind of therapy?

    in my opinion ODD is not a real diagnosis. Yeah, it's in the DSM, but more often than not there is something else going on. Specifically in your son's case I'm certain of it. Why? because ODD is directed at AUTHORITY figures and you have clearly stated that his behavior is directed at peers as well. And no, ADHD alone does not cause that type of behavior.

    If he's not already under the care of a psychiatrist (psychiatrist) I suggest taking him in for an evaluation. Also the medication he is currently on for the ADHD obviously isn't working so you probably want that changed as well. Putting up with the "zombie" side effects is so 1990's. There are many more medications out there that have proven to be helpful with fewer side effects. by the way that ADHD behavior could also be driven by something else and he may not really have ADHD (always possible for more than one diagnosis at the same time, but something to consider)

    Welcome again :notalone:
  5. loves_rainy_days

    loves_rainy_days New Member

    InsaneCdn & Midwest Mom
    He was diagnosed when he was about 4 or 5 by his Pediatrician. Then by his Psychologist and Psychiatrist this year. I have no doubts that he has ADHD. The both psychiatric's have brought up ODD and the pediatrician was the one that brought up Autism when he was diagnosis with ADHD. He takes Concerta. Was on 72mg but now is on 45mg. The psychiatrist is the one that is adjusting the medications now before it was the pediatrician.
    No learning issues. Smart and tests above average in intelligence. No fine or gross motor skill issues. Goes to bed ok but can lay there and listen to me and his dad or butt in on our conversations til we go to bed. Sometimes gets up during the night to play with his toys, eat or sit on the couch. Up as soon as the sun rises.
    Mom was an avid Meth user even during her pregnancy with "Dill", has psychological issues also but "Gentle Giant" doesn't know what they were. "Gentle Giant" divorced her before "Dill" was born. He had finally accept the signs that it wasn't a healthy relationship. "Gentle Giant" has ADHD and PTSD (Due to his job he had in the Air Force) and can't sleep without the help of Seroquel and even then he is lucky if he sleeps through the night. The first 8mths of "Dill's" life he wasn't bounced around, lived with his mom and his dad flew to see him just about every month. At 8mths he was taken out of her care and placed in a foster home due to abuse and neglect. Had a broken leg at 8mths that could only be caused by a twisting motion, x-rays showed he had had multiple fractures all over during his 8mths of life. Stayed in foster care for a few days then went to live with the mother's parents because they didn't want to keep the boys separated (he has a half brother who is now 13). Grandparents decided they didn't want him so he was once again placed in foster care. "Gentle Giant" quit his job and he and his mom flew out there and spent the next several months fighting to get him. Finally got Full Custody when he was almost 18mths old. His mother has only seen him twice in the almost 8yrs that "Gentle Giant" has had him. "Dill" doesn't remember his mom, doesn't remember her name and when he does, he says he hates her and doesn't want to talk to her. He doesn't talk about her or anything. He has had a rough start from the beginning, and his dad has done the best he could and just doesn't know who to turn to for help. He has improved in some areas since I came in the picture. I must tell you though that I have only been in the picture physically almost 9mths now before that it was about a year online or by phone. He has eye contact with people and will talk to people when we are out running errands, without his medicine he is very social, talkative and will interact with people. When on his medicine, there is no social interaction, no eye contact, and barely will talk. Mostly he destroys his toys or will sit there and tap or smack them with his fingers and rock back and forth when he does that. Also when he is doing that he either talks or yells at the toy he has in his hand, usually some jibberish that we can only catch a few understandable words in. This is the only part that I would say he might have Autism but I am still not convinced. Is very sensitive to noise and screams when there are loud noises, like me running the vacuum cleaner but yet he is so loud that me and his dad have to go outside to have a conversation because we can't hear each other over him or when he has the sound on the TV blaring. No real issues with clothes except he has to wear socks all the time and wants a sweatjacket on no matter what the weather is like. Oh and he refuses to dress and bathe himself. Doesn't transition well at school from one activity to another, doesn't want to participate, pushes desks, throws papers and books on the floor when he gets annoyed or angry, breaks pencils and rips things. The only obsessive interest that I can think of is the X-box and he always wants to play the more mature, aggressive fighting games, but that has totally been taken away, I took away those types of games when I got here and 3 weeks ago he lost the X-box completely, probably never to get it back til he moves out on his own and then if he wants it, he has to buy his own. Another obsessive thing I noticed and almost forgot to mention is this excessive drinking and eating. If me and his dad don't watch him like a hawk when he goes into the kitchen, he will drink and eat everything. Not kidding at all...His dad and I took a 30 minute nap one time and he drank a pack of juice boxes (I think 8 come in a pack) and ate a whole box of Hostess Cupcakes, and a whole box of fruit roll ups. Now if we need a nap, we take turns. We also believe he is getting up during the night and eating because I am finding food wrappers and food on the floor when I go to clean and he is not allowed to eat in his room. Where he holds all that I have no idea. I am 5'3, the top of his head is almost to my nose, and he only ways 65lbs, nothing but skin and bones. I figured with my cooking (I am from the south if that tells you anything lol) that he would put on weight and would not be asking to eat 5mins after we have had dinner. He always has 2nds and I give him big servings and he still wants to eat again 5mins after I get everything cleaned up. He is a character lol I hope that gives you more of an idea and I probably could write more but if I don't get ready for work, I will be late lol

    Thank You all for your help and ask anything you can think of. I need all the advice and help I can get :)

    "J" crazy mom of 2, adopted mom of 1. ~Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Bi-polar Disorder, PTSD~ (Zoloft)
    "Gentle Giant" Supportive & Loving Boyfriend (Fiancee) ~ADHD, PTSD, Migraine Suffer~ (Zoloft, Vyvance, Seroquel)
    easy child "TAG" 19yrs old, my mini me. ~Learning Disability (LD)~
    easy child "Creature" 11yrs old almost 12, my lil story teller. ~Epilepsy, 10yr Brain Tumor Survivor, Learning Disability (LD)~ (Carbatrol)
    difficult child "Dill" 9yrs old, "Gentle Giant's" son and my son in every way except I didn't give birth to him. My lil Hugger. ~ADHD, possible Oppositional Defiant Disorder, possible Autism/Aspergers, bio-mom avid meth user entire pregnancy, abuse and severe neglect after birth. (Concerta)
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'm hoping I'm wrong on this - but it could be attachment disorder - when a child fails to form trusting relationships with a stable caregiver in the first two years of life...
    Try looking it up... I'm not a specialist on it by any means, but parts of it might fit... and it would still only be part of the picture.
  7. keista

    keista New Member

    Yes, this behavior may seem Autistic, but if it's only when he's on his medications, then it's more likely a medication side effect. Autism, like many other disorders, doesn't come and go.

    Have you had his thyroid checked? That kind of eating should put on some weight. Not sure if Concerta is a weight adder or reducer? Does his eating change with and without medications as well? Thyroid problems have been known to cause mental illness/behavior type symptoms. Simple blood test can rule it in or out.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    For the record - Concerta (and everything else in the Ritalin family) is considered an appetite-suppressant - at least, its one of the possible/probably side effects, might not affect every kid that way, but the MDs keep a close eye on weight in case they aren't eating enough - no record of these medications increasing appetite.
  9. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    Usually Concerta suppresses there appetite. But, most kids then make up for it by eating a lot when it wears off. It sounds like his medication is still not adjusted correctly. It should never zone him out like a zombie. It should only help him pay attention better. He still should have his own personality. You may wish to try something different.

    I would be concerned about the eating and not gaining weight. Unless he is very very energetic that does not sound good. It could be he is not digesting his food properly.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Sleep issues affect metabolic rate - its one more on a long list of things to check out, like thyroid etc.
  11. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Hello and welcome. I agree with most of what has been posted to you already and strongly second the recommendation of having him seen by a pediatric neuro-psychiatrist for a new evaluation - have them start from scratch. Smaller children who are diagnosed with ADHD are often MIS-diagnosed and it isn't until pre teen years or teen years that a thorough analysis and a correct diagnosis found. So many of these brain disorders have behaviors that cross over or mimic one another. In smaller children, imagine how difficult it is for a Dr to figure out which is the right diagnosis. As the child grows and develops, the analysis and diagnosing becomes only slightly better, but it does usually get easier as behaviors change or become more pronounced or constant or wax and wane. For example, my difficult child had some of the behaviors you describe but not all - she was diagnosis'd with ADHD at age 7...later as her behaviors changed another diagnosis was added - Tourette Syndrome...and later still, another diagnosis of bipolar. Over the course of 8 years, she received three diagnoses, primarily because although some behaviors remained the same, many changed or morphed into different manifestations.

    If you haven't already done so, I suggest you begin keeping a daily record of your son's schedule, interactions, responses and behaviors, including meals and bedtimes. This may be useful information to have when you meet with any new specialist. Sending lots of hugs and thoughts your way - I hope some others come along who've had similar issues with their children and can offer more information.
  12. loves_rainy_days

    loves_rainy_days New Member

    Thank You all for your Welcomes and advice :) I never thought about thyroid issues but "Gentle Giant" was the same way with weight as a child, very skinny and has been skinny til he met me lol When he takes his Concerta, he doesn't eat at all until it wears off but I haven't given him his Concerta while on Summer Vacation because I love to see him smile, laugh and interact with us. School will start in 2weeks and we will have to give it to him again but it usually wears off around dinner time. He is very very energetic, constantly moving, and constantly talking, doesn't stop at all during the day.
    Yes, attachment disorder has been brought up. He didn't bond with his bio mother and she admits to this. Said that all she did was feed him and change his diaper and that sometimes she doesn't even remember doing those things. The psychiatrist did say that he believes that the ADHD is the main issue that it could be because of some underlying issue that hasn't been diagnosed yet.
    Could a thyroid issue also effect height? The reason I ask is "Dill" is above average on the height chart. "Gentle Giant" is 6'7 and no one else in his family is close to being that tall.

    "J" crazy mom of 2, adopted mom of 1. ~Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Bi-polar Disorder, PTSD~ (Zoloft)
    "Gentle Giant" Supportive & Loving Boyfriend (Fiancee) ~ADHD, PTSD, Migraine Suffer~ (Zoloft, Vyvance, Seroquel)
    easy child "TAG" 19yrs old, my mini me. ~Learning Disability (LD)~
    easy child "Creature" 11yrs old almost 12, my lil story teller. ~Epilepsy, 10yr Brain Tumor Survivor, Learning Disability (LD)~ (Carbatrol)
    difficult child "Dill" 9yrs old, "Gentle Giant's" son and my son in every way except I didn't give birth to him. My lil Hugger. ~ADHD, possible Oppositional
    Defiant Disorder, possible Autism/Aspergers, bio-mom avid meth user entire pregnancy, abuse and severe neglect after birth. (Concerta)