Public Displays

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by prescottsunshine, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. prescottsunshine

    prescottsunshine prescottsunshine

    Ok. I need some advice. My 13 year old son with ODD was at the library today after school. He was going to walk home with friends (that was the plan) but his dad, who works next door, found out that he had gotten into trouble at school. Dad marched over to the library and told our son to come with him to his office because he had been suspended from school for yelling at a teacher (obviously unacceptable). Well, my son, when confronted with his dad, told him he wasn't going to his office, that it was his time with his mom (me) and that his dad did not have the right to tell him what to do when he was in his mom's care. Apparently his did did not like this response and he grabbed his arm when he turned to go away. As my son is extremely defensive and has severe tactile issues, this did not go over well. It became a huge physical event with my son trying to break free and trying to hit his dad to get away and my ex trying to contain my son and prevent him from hitting. At one point I was told he had my son around the neck and up against the wall. I was not there so I don't know how it happened exactly, but a stranger approached the scene and yelled at my ex and told him he was going to call the police. Another stranger who apparently has experience with ODD and Conduct disorder, came to my ex's rescue and told this guy to go to H*ll. I am not sure how it all ended but my son walked home and my ex went back to his office. Now I am dealing with my son who is in his room and grounded for the rest of the week and also dealing with my ex who is crying on the phone about how unfair life is. Honestly, I want to kick both of them for being so stupid! Why would my ex, who knows about how difficult it is for my son to accept change of any kind, go over to the library and cause such a scene and make it physical in public and why would my son not listen to his dad and escalate the situation?

    The situation is complicated by the fact that his case manager at school won't listen to me and won't provide the level of service that I am pushing for and his dad has been pussyfooting around with our psychiatric with getting the new medication for our son (cymbalta). ARRRGGGG!!!!

    Now his dad is saying that he doesn't want him this week. But he wants our 'normal' son. Personally, my feeling about that is that if I am going to raise my one son by myself, then i am going to raise them both by myself and move closer to my family. He doesn't get to pick and choose.

    Am I being irrational? I hate days like today!
  2. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Um....Cymbalta??? I'd think twice, then again about giving an SSRI/SNRI antidepressant to a child that age.

    Now that that's off my chest, your ex made the choice to make a scene when decided to go to the library and confront your son in public. He got more than he bargained for.

    Gee, he wants things to be normal. Like you and your son don't.

    Why didn't your son listen to his dad? Because he has a disorder of some sort that skews his thinking and decision making. That's why he goes to a doctor and that's why he takes medication.

    Sorry if I sound rather cynical or brusk. been there done that and discovered I could cope with my son far easier when my then-husband wasn't around. Something about fathers and sons at that age when the kid is normal, but stir in some sort of condition that makes the kid oppositional with a father who thinks that might-makes-right and you have a real problem.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Why is your son grounded? I hope it's not for his reaction to anything that someone else did wrong to begin with.

    Similarly, I'd be wanting to know more about the "yelling at a teacher" problem. Again, I keep saying - suspending a kid with behaviour issues seems crazy to me - kids like this often are happy to be able to skip school. Why reward them?

    Surely it is a more effective (and less pleasant) punishment, to make the child write a letter of apology?

    Maybe get dad to apologise also, and hopefully BOTH will learn something from this?

  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'll put my two cents in and then grrrrrrrr tell you how I feel about your ex further down.

    I doubt your son just has ODD. I would get your son re-evaluated. If he has severe tactile issues and can't make transitions sounds like more than just ODD to me. ODD rarely stands alone. I'd take him to a neuropsychologist because this will happen over and over again as long as your son has these issues and as long as you and ex are being told he just has ODD and that's why it's happening. Again I'd see a neuropsychologist--they do awesome, very intensive testing--you probably never had anything like it before.

    I agree with Sara--the medications could also be making him 10x worse. I think he needs a re-evaluation more than anything.
    Your ex is acting like a jerk and if this were me, he'd take both boys or neither of them and he'd learn to grow up. You aren't responsible for making ex feel better when he loses control and then cries about it.
    I hope you do decide on a neuropsychologist evaluation. I think a lot more is going on with your son than you know--ODD applies to all our kids. It's WHY they have ODD symptoms that usually gets our kids on the right track. Good luck :)
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What a day. Your ex definitely made a mistake so I agree with Marg I hope that isn't why he is grounded. You are not being irrational. I'm not divorced but if I were I wouldn't let an ex choose which kids he wanted to see and which he didn't.

    Sending gentle hugs your way.
  6. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hey! I'd get a neuropsychologist and then go to the school and fight like hell for the services you need. Has he had all of the educational evaluations. that he would need for services? Does he have an IEP?

    I'd send a certified letter requesting tests for any of the services that you want him to receive, and get a neuropsychologist done for backup of your suspicions as far as what's going on with him.

    I agree that it sounds like way more is going on here than just ODD.

  7. prescottsunshine

    prescottsunshine prescottsunshine

    Thank you for all your advice. Actually, I am in the process of getting a referral for a neuropsychologist evaluation. We never have had our son in to see one although he has had some of the best psychiatric's available in Arizona (was with Dr. M of the M center for 4 years and is currently being treated by Dr. S-one of the premier child psychiatrists in AZ). The reason I am getting him to a neuropsychologist is because the school psychiatric is in the middle of an evaluation and she mentioned NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). After researching it, I feel it is probably an appropriate diagnosis because of all the comorbid symptoms he has in addition to ODD symptoms.

    I had him grounded this week for a few days as a result of him telling his teacher "This is ****ing stupid", not as a result of his problem with his dad.

    Hmm...I know I have read a few posts about the bad reactions with Cymbalta and other medications. He is currently completely off medications but they have played a very important part of his life since 3rd grade (he is in 8th grade now). He was on Risperdal and Wellbutrin for 4 years and I truly believe they saved his life. He was at risk for having to be hospitilized before being placed on medications and was completely disfunctional to the extent he didn't go to school until 3rd grade. Seeing how he is off medications, I realize his anxiety and irritibility is extreme enough to warrant the use of a medication. The psychiatric wanted to put him on Abilify but I was unwilling to start with a heavy medication like that before trying a less risky drug that I have had personal experience with (my good friend started it and it changed her life). I hope he does not react badly and that it has a positive effect on his life. I don't go this route lightly...

    Thank you for all your advice and kind words!
    Lasted edited by : Aug 31, 2008
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    hi. What a day!
    I'd be ticked with-my ex, for sure.
    Wow, interesting that your difficult child didn't go to school until 3rd gr. Did you homeschool?
    I agree that he's got something way beyond ODD. That's just a symptom.
    I can't add more than what's been said here, except that I agree.
    Sending support and {{hugs}}.
  9. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Cymbalta is as risky a drug as Abilify. SNRI/SSRI combo drugs like Effexor and Cymbalta are heavy duty drugs with very serious side effect profiles.