5 year old son has ODD

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Rbjinfo7, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. Rbjinfo7

    Rbjinfo7 New Member

    I am brand new to this forum. I have three adopted children and all three have some type of emotional issues. My 5 year old son (I have had since birth) is showing very strong signs of ODD. He is already under the care of a psychologist and psychiatrist (all three children are). He is well behaved at kindergarden but very aggressive with me and his siblings. He hits, spits, and kicks when he does not get his way. He will also do it for no appartent reason. This behavior can occur at home, chuch, Walmart, and while driving down the road.

    I have tried behavior charts, spanking, rewards, loss of privileges and so on and nothing seems to work. His psychologist is already talking about he might eventually have to go into a placement home. He is extremely disruptive in the home the majority of the time. There are still some good moments.

    How can one get a child to stop the hitting and kicking? I am not talking about one or two hits then he stops. He can keep on and on relentlessly, and sometimes I have to hold him down on the floor. He is becoming stronger and his hits and kicks are becoming more painful. It is only a matter of time before I will have to make some tought decisions regarding this issue. This summer he also started showing some signs of aggression towards cats and dogs that he knows. Since school has started that behavior has tapered off, but his psychologist is still very concerned about this.

    He has also been diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified and Adjustment disorder. He has a "rule out" for ODD, Anxiety disorder and depression. He also has epilepsy and asthma. Almost every issue my children have can be traced back to the birth mother's side of the family. All three kids are on medication for behavioral issues.

    If any one has any ideas on how to stop the hitting and kicking, I would greatly appreciate any information or advice. I am a single-parent, and I love all three of my children. I just need to know if there is any hope or way to stop such aggressive behavior towards me and my other two children.

  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If he has Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified that's probably where the ODD behavior is coming from. Does he get any interventions for that? Who diagnosed him? Do you know anything about Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified?

    Were your kids exposed to substances in utero? I have a sixteen year old we adopted out of foster care who was exposed to drugs/alcohol before birth. He is doing really well, but he got a lot of help and, mercifully, does not have alcohol syndrome, which can also figure in whenever a child is exposed to alcohol during the birthmother's pregnancy. The best way I know to stop the behavior is to get him into intensive interventions so that his frustration level cools down, and learn how to parent a child on the autism spectrum. My son was a wild toddler, but he's a very calm and loving teen. Again, he got tons of early intervetion and was fortunate enough to not have gotten fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
  3. nuone

    nuone New Member

    Hi - welcome to the board. I can identify with you very strongly. Also single mom of 2 adopted children. Eldest is easy child - now out earning a living and youngest difficult child - 16 and still in school. I adopted him at the age of 1 day old and have had 16 hard years with him. During all his assessments Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) was never addressed but strongly suspected by myself - in hindsight of course - (story on another post on the board). He was in a number of pre-schools due to his behavioural problems. Has been on behavioural medications from about the age of 7, and is still there.

    Found that the busier that I kept him the better. Physical things were the only thing that helped. I also put up a punching bag for him and for a while it did help with his aggression. Took it down when he started destroying it. One thing that I have learned over all time is that the more you show your emotions, frustrations and reactions to their behaviour, the more they feed off you and continue with theirs - not that it has been a magical fix, but when you can control yourself, they seem to give up a little quicker. Having said that, I do still battle with it. I had to grow a really thick skin when out with my little one - screaming, tantrums and performances at the mall and a mom with a straight face, continuing about her business gave me many, many remarks that hurt and left me crying myself to sleep at night. But, I too loved my difficult child - I think that as an adopted mom, you feel an added pressure or responsibility in bringing up these children.

    Hang in there and keep us posted. A big hug, cos you are special.
  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Hi, welcome to our forum. I'm sorry things are so tough for you right now. A lot of moms here can relate.

    A few questions:
    1) Have all the assessment bases been covered--neurologist visit plus MRI to rule out other problems, occupational therapy for sensory issues and motor skills, speech/language?
    2) What is being done for him in terms of school, special services, and therapy?
    3) What medication(s) is he on? Have other medications been tried? medications can actually make things worse for some children so it's important to get this part right.
    4) Specifically could you give an example of what kind of event usually triggers the hitting tantrums?

    If the team of specialists you have now isn't helping him then it might be time to shop around for someone else.

    I'd suggest that you pick up a copy of the book The Explosive Child by Ross Greene and read the thread at the top of this board about adapting it to young children.