12 Year old with ADHD and now suspected ODD?


New Member
Hi all.
I am new on this website but not new in this subject. I would appreciate any advice given, so please feel free to comment
My son is 12 years old and is living with me, my daughter (15) and my Fiancee.
Since he was a toddler, he has had a history of bad tempers, even so far as to holding his breath so long as to pass out (sometimes in the bath!!)
When my son was around 8 yo, his Mum and I got a Divorce. Subsequent to that, both our children moved away from Home to live with Mum. This lasted 5 months, as living conditions were not ideal and the children felt neglected by their Mum (she was out having a good time most weekends, while the little ones where stuck at hme living with Granny and Grandpa)
They then decided to come and live with me. That was, for the best part, touching on 4 years.
I managed, with the help of my parents, to raise both of our children, albeit with difficulties. Money was tight(i received little or no fin assistance from there mother) and I was still coping with the difficult task of being single again after 13 years as well as being Mom and Dad all in one.
Times were tough, I had several failed relationships (i wasnt ready for commitment and my children where my focus point mostly) so it was a most challenging 4 years to say the least. Due to my frustrations of all and sundry, I had good and bad moments with my children (shouting, frustration etc..) but over and above all of that, they always felt loved and cared for. I provided everything, food, clothing, medical care and safety. Their Mum got remarried, had a baby, and then settled down into her 2nd marriage. Before long, puberty struck (my daughter) and she felt a longing need to be with her Mother. Initially, I objected as I felt neither of our children would have the same type of support system that they had with me. My parents were on hand 100% of the time in my abscence, my ex wife was isolated from nearly all her family (either through location or through dispute)
They eventually left and 2 years later, my son, yet again, returned to me. He was not getting the right sort of attention from his step father and wanted to live with me. By this time, I had settled down and gotten engaged to the most amazing woman (no children of her own)
My son and daughter accepted her and felt comfortable with her.
2 years from then (last year) my daughter moved down (against her own will, mind you)
Mother had since had an affair, moved out the house and applied for a divorce. Her new carreer, which involved considerable travelling, was affecting our daughter, and had placed tremendous pressure on her school life as well as interupted home life. Daughter failed her year miserably and has since (present) moved down to us and is repeating.

Appologies for giving everyone a condensed family history, but it should provide you with insight, hopefully giving you better understanding of our current problem.

My Son is now (and has been for the last year) been showing signs of ODD.
He is on concerta 1 x 54mg in the morning, and has been coping relatively well for a few years now.
We work hard on his school work and despite his condition, he regularily returns a 55% mark every term/year.
The problem is not academic. Its his behavioral issues. In short, these are the symptoms off the top of my head:
1. Argumentative against adults and peers.
2. Crafty and deceitful of late. I / we have caught him surfing PORN sites on smart phones 5 times. Once on the very same Tablet that Im using to type this essay!!
I have used tact and diplomacy here, promising not to embarress him (boys ARE curious, and with modern technology bringing everyhting to the fingertips, its become so easy to access this sort of material) Taking this into consideration, I have warned him NOT to do it again. He has since ignored this 4 more tiimes, and now other children have become exposed to this habit.
My Father (73) accidently left his phone in the house (my father lives next door - widower) and my son decided, against my request to return said phone to his Grandfather, but to rather stick it in his bed side drawer overnight. We only dicovered the phone when the alarm went off. On waking that very morning, my son appeared at our bedroom door BEGGING to take the day off(he sounded awful, but not sick enough to miss school) I told him to get dressed. This is when the phone turned up.
Was he deliberately holding onto the phone, and hoping to have the day off?
Whe I caught him on my Tablet, he was lyiing in the back seat of my car, pretending to sleep (we were at a New Years party and it wass getting late)
Deceitfull or just being a Boy??
3. Very easlily disrupted (adhd i know) and reacts aggressively to provocation.
4. Easily agitated and battles to regain composure.
5. Very bad temper and has "chucky" moments, especially when I am away on business.
6. Despite being told NOT to do certain things, like leave a mess in the house (if at home sick) or to eat all the treats in one sitting, he cannot help himself. He is like the proverbial drug addict who needs his fix. Will lie and cheat to get what he wants, despite the punsihment thereafter.
I caught him taking his PSP (portable playstation) to school last year. Had been doing it for a few MONTHS. He had been given permission on 2 occasions to take it with (as he had to stay after hours - school play) but decided that it would be ok to keep taking it to school.
Despiite it being against normal school rules, and against mine, he went ahead anyway. I subsequently banned it for 2 months. Based on good behavior, I gave it back to him and reinforced the rules as mentioned above. 3 days later, i caught him in school aftercare (where homework period is supposed to be done) playing on his games. His teacher told him to put it away, but was flatly ignored.
I was so enraged by this incident that I snapped the divice in half as soon as we returned to my car.
I am not proud of what I did, but under the circumstances, I think every parent reaches a point like I did.
7. He constantly argues and lies about simple matters. Even when its something small, he will automatically lie first and then caugh up the truth. I have told (and demonstrated) to him that if caught lieing over ANYTHING, he will be punished. If he has done something naughty / silly etc.. And instantly tells the, remedial action will instead take place. He will aknowledge that he has done wrong, accept a much "watered"down form of punishment, and then will applauded for his honesty.

This has all but reversed and he is back to being deceicful, but with added problems.

I understand that he is 12 going on 13, and his hormones as kicking in, but surely this behaviour is in a different league of its own. Its causing massive anxiety in our home and I am on anti-anxiety tablets to control my stress. I cannot allow the rest of my family to suffer.

Since the last case broke out (yesterday) I hhave taken the following steps
1. Made an appointment 2 days from now for him to visit his Paedeatrician ( to view his medications and get his opinion on tha matter)
2. Consulted 2 schoold that deal with children of same problems.
3. Will be meeting with the school councellor and teachers to review his behaviour at school.
4. Will be meeting with a Psychologist (child) to gain better advice on going forward.

Please assist with any advice. i love my son deeply and want to help him, help himself.

Thank you



CD Hall of Fame
It sounds like you have your hands full and that your son has had a very tumultuous life. Personally, I do not put much stock in the ODD diagnosis. All it says is that a person is oppositional and defiant but does not address WHY and besides, there are no medications or successful treatments for such a diagnosis.

First, you need to get the book The Explosive Child be Ross Greene. Your son may not be explosive but the things Dr Greene talks about and the methods he describes will help you figure out the WHY of your son's behavior.

Second, skip a pediatrician and go to a neuropsychologist or child PSYCHIATRIST. I would not trust a simple, general medical doctor to diagnose or treat a psychological issue. They just do not have the extensive specialized training that is necessary. Certain medications work for certain issues and there is no way a pediatrician can have that kind of knowledge. Some medications can actually make some symptoms SO much worse.

As for the porn, yea, my kids have done that to but stopped when they got busted. It could be that his curiosity has been peaked but that kind of behavior can also be a part of a more severe mental health issue. There is no way I would allow a pediatrician handle that one either. To determine "why" he seems obsessed with these sights, you need to read that book, use the strategies described in it, and get the help of a MENTAL health professional. Beware of psychologists that are not open-minded or seem to "know it all".

Welcome to our little corner of the world. Keep us posted.


CD Hall of Fame
You're likely going to need a full team on this - ODD is kind of a catch-all, and most of us believe the docs stick it on there when they don't really have answers, but it doesn't get you any help. Anything could be going on, from bi-polar to Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) (considering all the back-and-forth and mum not paying much attention in his youth, etc). Until he gets a full evaluation from a neuropsychologist and/or multidisciplinary team, you won't really know. Don't forget to check into things like wheat allergies, etc., too. Those can also show up as behavior problems (or increase existing ones).

Living with him also places additional stress on you and your daughter, so also check into family therapy as well as therapy for your son. Does he have an IEP for school? If not, start the ball rolling to get him one by requesting it in writing, through the mail, return receipt requested. This puts them on a federal deadline to evaluate him for services, and while that's happening make sure you get an experienced advocated for the IEP meeting (many schools will try to get by with the least amount of help possible if you don't have one).

Don't be afraid to call your local child protective services and ask them for help and resources - they have a lot available, often including in-home help that you don't know about if you don't ask.