Tell me about your ODD difficult child (please)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by still_struggling, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. We're being visited at least once a month by a representative at a behavioral health facility here in the area. It was suggested that ODS could possibly have ODD based on his behaviors.

    ODS has never been conclusively evaluated.

    I'm looking for stories to see how they compare to our situation. He's currently being treated for ADHD problems, but the behavior at school and home is still disruptive, explosive, and well ... sometimes just downright intolerable. :sad-very:
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Welcome. My difficult child is really a great kid, but very resistant to parenting. She hasn't been diagnosis'd with any behavior disorders other than ODD and, at this point, we're fairly successful at treating her medical conditions to control the ODD. Most of us have found that successfully treating an underlying condition is the key to helping our kids learn to function despite their ODD.
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi Still! Yours is about the same age as mine. If you feel like you don't have a full diagnosis, why not get a neuropsychologist done? They do them at teaching or childrens hospitals so I guess that's where I'd start my "quest".

    Tiredmommy is right about most of us have found out that there's an underlying condition "fueling the odd behavior". Here are a couple of questions:

    How was his early development? Milestones?
    Does he react to different sounds, smells, tastes, consistancies in foods or drinks, itchy tags in shirts?
    Does he seem to be an authority on everything, but is truly fixated on one particular thing?

    I'm sorry if these have been "asked and answered". It's been nuts around here and it's tough to backtrack!

  4. jal

    jal Member

    Hi Still - I will give a small overview of our difficult child. He presented with ODD around the age of 2. All of the sudden he begn running from the daycare room (flight vs. fight), he would have MAJOR tantrums, he could and did destroy classrooms, push kids and kick teachers. He learned early on to kick a teacher and say "go home now?" He's been through 5 daycares. Everytime the behaviors became too much for them to handle. I lost a job of 9.5 years due to his inability to function in daycare. We had been through a top of his field, published ADHD specialist who said difficult child had ADHD. Trialed him on his first stimulant @ 4 yrs old (it was that bad). Didn't work, sent difficult child off the deep end. So specialist said he was BiPolar (BP). Went to another psychiatrist who said he was ADHD, trialed stims again to no avail. Got with-another psychiatrist who said difficult child was BiPolar (BP) and ADHD. Trailed every medication under the sun for 1.5 yrs and nothing worked. Just recently (1.5 m onths ago) got 2 new psychiatrists on board who concur with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-Aspergers, a slight medication change and our world he really flipped upside down (in a good way).

    We had difficult child evaluated by school district before he went into Kindergarten and was told he didn't need support. Although we knew they were wrong we stayed in touch and were granted and IEP as he presented as soon as he started school. He received a para and a sensory diet. He had a 3 week stay in psychiatric hospital in Aug 08 as we were doing a medication wash and he became unsafe. He went back to school and couldn't function safely there. We agreed to place him in a therapeutic school and he was doing OK. Recently, like I mentioned with our recent diagnosis and medication tweak he has flourished. He also has been diagnosis'd with Sensory Processing Disorder. Loving school, being safe and learning like crazy. Our difficult child is only 6 so this had been a huge g*dsend for us as at least at this early age he is enjoying school and academics and hasn't been soured against it becasue of negative experiences.

    Our difficult child would tantrum at the drop of a hat, throw things, break things. As a toddler he ripped apart books and loved to bang and make loud noises. He has no door to his room as he has broken it, has no closet doors, as he has broken them. Special items of ours have been broken. His room, that we furnished and designed before he was born, has been extensively damaged through the years of tantrums. He has no percepction of being cold. Likes to immediately take off socks and shoes and shirts when he gets home.

    On the other hand through all we've been through, he is eerily smart, funny and loveable. He's a cute kid with great athletic ability (albeit he is mostly clumsy in regular life) and people do really like him. He has just recently gained self confidence and is doing really well. We also have support of in home intensive therapy.

    I would recommend a neuropsychologist evaluation.

    Best of luck to you.
  5. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    My ODD son is 13. His normal personality is very fun and loving. He is kind and supportive, plays the flute and harp and enjoys helping people, works hard and gets good grades. However: He can not manage frustrations, changes in expectations or any perception that something is not fair. Once this conflict in his brain starts going he has no ability to stop regardless of the consequence. He likes to be in control of others, and gets very jealous if any attention is given to his brothers. We have many stories that I prefer not to remember.

    What we find the most successful in supporting him is:

    - Remaining calm at all times. This is very difficult but the less I respond to his out breaks the smaller they seem to be. Sometimes I need to leave.

    - Remove other siblings.

    - If we can identify what might set him off, reflecting (technique to repeat and confirm his feelings), setting the problem on the table, and cooperative solution.

    - Reward/ Punishments systems don't seem to help much. They just become something else to argue about. He knows right from wrong, he just needs to learn the control.

    Earlier this week he was frustrated because he was having troubles with his math homework. He asked if we could stop working on it, because if we kept working he would soon get mad. We developed a study plan for the rest of the week. I was proud. This was the first time he was ever able to identify a building explosion and develop a plan to avoid it!!!!!

    Also you should know that ODD is a general label that is applied to all kinds of different reasons for defiant behavior. To get the diagnose all the child really needs is defiant behavior that is outside of "normal", and may not respond to traditional discipline techniques. Where my son's ODD tends to be manageable through techniques, proper response, and understanding of why he triggers, others do not and need different approaches.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hi Still--

    As far as I'm concerned--a diagnosis of ODD means "We don't we're labelling your child ODD. Next patient please...". It is an EXTREMELY UNHELPFUL diagnosis.

    My daughter...."classic ODD" now medicated--but before medication she was ANGRY. Just ANGRY. At everything....all the time. Chores--ANGRY. School--ANGRY. Chocolate ice cream--ANGRY. There was NO pleasing entertaining distracting "letting her cool off"....she was just an angry, irritable, miserable child...and mostly at ME.

    Naturally, since I was the target for most of her aggressive behaviors--therapists all figured that I must be the problem. I must have done something to cause her terrible rage. I was counseled to "be more loving" with my daughter and "do special things" with her. They didn't realize that there was nothing I could do with her that could be "loving"--even simple things like reading a story book. I vividly remember her refusing to sit in my lap and instead sitting on the floor alternating between kicking my shins and throwing blocks at my head while I tried to read her the story of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears". I can't tell you how many times I cried myself to sleep at night....

    I hope you can find the right therapist or psychiatrist that can help you uncover what is troubling your child.

    In the meantime...((((Hugs)))) and support.

  7. I've never been able to get him evaluated because I didn't know where to begin setting that up, I don't know what our insurance "allows" and I don't know what specific sort of doctor I need to ask to see. :confused: So many questions ... I'm sure you guys are sick of me by now. lol!

    ODS sounds exactly like jal's DS. Same behaviors that started at around 18 months of age. By the time ODS had entered kindergarten, he had been "removed" (that equals being kicked out) of 13 different daycare centers due largely to the danger he was to the other kids. I can vividly remember once center in particular where he lasted ONE DAY. I dropped him off that morning, and when I came that afternoon to get him, they told me he wasn't allowed to come back. :surprise:

    Some of the behaviors that he presented back then were: biting, kicking, punching (he was almost charged with assault at the age of 6 because he punched a teacher in the face), and destroying personal property. He is no longer AS physical as he was, but he is ALWAYS angry - at everything. And he argues with everyone constantly. If I were to tell him that the sky was blue, he would argue until his dying breath that the sky is red - even if the truth is staring him right in the face.

    Now, aside from the anger and arguing, he also doesn't sleep consistently through the night. When he wakes up (at all hours), he binges on food - it doesn't matter what it is, he'll eat it. He also does not take care of his own hygiene. His nails are dirty and black, he prefers to wear dirty clothes, and he doesn't wipe himself (or flush) after using the bathroom. I used to babysit my nephew (who is only 4), but I had to stop when ODS told teachers at school that he was going to kill him and throw his body in a dumpster. :sad-very: I worry about what will happen when YDS grows up to be "annoying" to ODS - what will he say about him? I already can't leave the two of them alone together at all. period. He also REFUSES to do his homework. He went from being an A/B student in kindergarten and 1st grade to now because grades. Not horribly bad, but they're slipping only because he will NOT do homework. It doesn't matter how long I make him sit at the table, he just will not do it. No one will babysit him long enough for my husband and I to even go out to eat. He's a nuisance to the other kids in the neighborhood - no one knocks on our door asking for him to play with them, no one calls the house for him, no friends invite him to parties or anything. He's bossy, controlling, and jealous of everything. Yesterday, he told the in-home counselor that he wished we (his parents) would get in a car accident and die because we "annoy" him about doing chores.

    I just feel like I can't do it anymore. If I'm nice to him, or if I'm mean to him - the behavior doesn't change. He's not affectionate to us, doesn't hug us, doesn't even look us in the eye when we talk to him ... it's like he lives in his own little world and we're just another couple of people that he wants to see dead. :whiteflag:

    So ...

    If anyone has any idea what sort of doctor I should be looking for, or what I should ask for specifically when I call our health insurance looking for referrals, I would LOVE to hear your recommendations. I'm hanging on by a thread here and I feel like I'm drowning.
  8. cupcake

    cupcake New Member

    welcome to stillstruggling, I am new to this forum too but already finding it useful even though I am in the uk and procedures are different here but the symptoms are the same.

    I found the posts from aeroeng so enlightening, it sounds such good advice, also the post from daisyface sad as it is so like my daughter and how angry she is at me, we have just had a similar experience with a doctor who said it was just a communication problem between us.

    Is there any way of changing their logic that adults are the enemy and its never their fault. I feel that is a good part of the problem with this. My daughter gets unreasonably jealous of her brother, and even obsessively counts everything they get (including potatoes on their dinner plates).

    I wish you good luck.
  9. jal

    jal Member

    Still- You want to ask for a neuropsychologist to do neuropsychological testing on your child. They can many times pinpoint what is going on rather than a psychiatrist or a psychologist. My difficult child too, was very angry just like DaisyFaces child. Everything was a fight, a tantrum, a hit or a kick. My difficult child too has been through a ton of different medication trials with-no positive results. I will tell you that once our Aspergers diagnosis was given and we added prozac to the mood stablizer he takes the anger went away and a new child emerged. Not to say that this is the answer for your child, but we have noticed a HUGE decrease in anger and a higher level of tolerance on his part.

    How does your difficult child perform in school? Does he exhibit these behaviors there or does he hold it together and then unleash at home? Does you child have an IEP and/or has the school ever evaluated him?

    Hang in there.
  10. Stella

    Stella New Member

    Hi Still. Welcome to the board. You have found a wonderful, supportive place where you will learn a lot. I second Jal's opinion to get an evaluation from a Neuropsychologist. I am currently looking in to getting on for my own difficult child. Apparently they are the best at pinpointing a diagnosis for your child. Have you read a book called The Explosive Child by Ross Greene - I highly recommened it for teaching strategies in how to deal with your child. Your son's behaviour sounds very extreme and I know how heartbreaking it is to have a child who rejects you and will not allow himself to receive any love from you.. It's seems like an impossible situation. I think once you get a correct diagnosis and begin the correct treatment and medications that you will see a big difference. Unfortunately this can sometimes be a slow process. Keet at it though, and try and stay strong. ((Hugs)).
  11. earthprowler

    earthprowler New Member

    when my difficult child started getting in trouble at school in the first grade they suggested i take him to counseling, that didn't work and his regular doctor suggested a psychiatrist. some how i made the mistake (at the time i thought, but it wasn't) i took him to our local neurology center. best first step i could have made. commorbidy, meaning multiple things going on. they tested him, i had to take a two hour test to give them some insight on what he was like at certain times. it's perfect, you can then take your report to the psychiatrist of your choice or you can continue with the neurologist. the results give you something to show psychiatrists or whomever you may take your difficult child too so they don't have to try and figure it out on their own, it's already done.
    when my difficult child was 2 wks old his dad and i watched him get so angry about being put on his stomach that it literally took him 20 minutes to turn him self over to his back. we would keep him in his car seat in the house (or jumper, switch back and forth ya know?) he could wiggle out of that at two months, we'd have to strap him in because he was starting to figure out how to move around already. i never noticed too much of the anger before two, around that time it started showing it's ugly roaring face. he would bite, throw things, little things at the time. hes destructive, you take your eyes off of him for a minute and he can take down a room, he would throw the kitchen chairs at his sister by age 5, chase her with butcher knives, threaten to throw him self out the car door as we were moving down the street, have melt downs that lasted from an hour to two days leaving us all exhausted. we're still exhasted.
    you never know what temperment you're gonna get with difficult child. one day he's easy going and willing to do what ever you want and would give away the shirt off his back, the next look out because what ever you own is going to be destroyed, he'll say evil things and go after whom ever he considers the weakest link, human or animal. if he even thinks his older sister said something about him he would cuss her out like a sailor in his prime. and once he knows he's got your button pushed, he'll go for hours until you think you're the one with something wrong with you. he's been expelled/transfered from school so he can be in a smaller class with one on one with the teacher because he can't handle being in a regular class with all the noise and distractions, he gets annoyed so easily and it sets him off. he refused to to work, would sit and stare at the teacher when she told him to do work, he would pick on the other kids in class, call names, cuss at them, steal their work and put his name on it. big trouble last fall, he exposed him self, then said something vulgar to three girls that got him transferred. it goes on and on and i cringe during the school year when my phone rings at work.
  12. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Hello Still_struggling, and welcome! Others have already given you some great advice, and I strongly agree that a neuropsychologist evaluation might put you on the path to getting some clear answers that will help you put the right interventions in place for your son.

    ADHD and ODD are often the first diagnoses that many of us receive for our children. So many of the symptoms are the same, and a lot of docs, tdocs etc. go for the simplest one first. Sort of like, if you see hoofprints you assume there were horses, not zebras. Well, a lot of our kids are the zebras.

    Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Bipolar and other disorders can present with symptoms that are near identical to those for ADHD and ODD. It's important to tease apart the different threads to find out what is really going on with your ODS, so that you can get the right supports in place.

    I'm not a doctor and in no way qualified to diagnose, but what you're describing smells awfully "spectrum-ish" to me.

    This comment of yours struck me in particular. A lot of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) children have sensory integration issues. A lot do not like to touch or be touched. Poor eye contact is another marker for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), as is the lack of expressed emotion and an inappropriate level of response to the degree of annoyance or anger

    (For example, "you're bugging me, I wish you were dead", rather than "you're bugging me, I wish you'd leave me alone for 5 minutes")

    It's not truly a wish that you were dead, more like a difficulty in processing emotions and a lack of understanding of degrees of emotion, i.e. how strongly am I supposed to feel about this?

    A neuropsychologist evaluation might help you pinpoint whether your ODS is on the Autism spectrum. There are lots of tools, supports and services available.

    So glad you found us. This is a great forum, and the reason that I'm still sane.

  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome.
    I agree that ODD means "We don't know." ODD applies to defiant behavior, but that happens because of other disorders and ODD rarely, if ever, stands alone. I would go the neuropsychologist route and not waste time. That way you know all of what you re dealing with and how best to help your child. I agree that he has A LOT of symptoms of high functioning autism. My son is on the spectrum and exhibited a lot of ODD behavior before he was helped appropriately. Many Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids are misdiagnosed and given the wrong treatment. These kids don't respond to traditional methods of discipine and need interventions far more than medication (although sometimes medications help--our son is medication free at this time). He's doing great, no more ODD!
    Welcome again :)