Another newbie here...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ca_girls, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. ca_girls

    ca_girls New Member


    I've been perusing everyone's posts and am so impressed with the level of support and camaraderie. This is definitely where I need to be!

    My 10 yr daughter was just diagnosed with ODD. I'd never even heard of it before, but all the info I've since researched describes my daughter exactly... need of total control, tries to be the parent, hurtful, disrespectful, constant temper tantrums, completely focused on her needs, has no idea how her behavior affects others, etc.

    We have always attributed her behavior to just being a spirited child and more recently, hormones. But in the past few months, it has all gotten dramatically worse and I realized it was more than just personality. It was chemical. Recently she's taken to hurting her little sister, grabbing her arms and bruising her, shoving her, grabbing her cheeks/chin and wrenching them.

    When I took her to her pediatrician, I was looking for anti-anxiety medication. Her pediatrician refused, instead recommending therapy. I think therapy is totally valid and necessary, but I don't think it will help until her brain chemistry is regulated. I have another call in to the pediatrician, but of course, she's out till the end of the week. Hopefully another dr will call back tmro.

    I'm glad to have a diagnosis and to know that there is help coming. I'm scared to death knowing that if she doesn't get help or if it doesn't work, the consequences will be dire. My heart is breaking for her and I want to fix it all, but at the same time, I emotionally exhausted and can't take any more. Fortunately, my husband and I have a very strong marriage and totally lean on each other in dealing with all this.

    Can anyone give me info on possible medications? Would it be better to contact a pshychiatrist for medications rather than her pediatrician?

    Thanks so much and I look forward to getting to know everyone better!

  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Kate,
    Glad you found us-you have truly found a soft place to land!

    I have some questions that will help us be able to point you in some directions.

    Who made the initial ODD diagnosis?

    Has she seen a neuro-psychologist or child psychiatrist?

    I would probably want an evaluation done by both of the above!

    Again-glad you found us!
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Kate, welcome.
    My son is 11, too.
    I've read your note twice and can't figure out whether it was the pediatrician who diagnosis'd ODD.
    I would rather have a psychologist, psychiatrist, or neuropsychologist diagnosis that sort of thing. Sometimes pediatricians are in on the whole therapy and sometimes they're not, and you have to change doctors.
    Your daughter definitely needs therapy, as does her sister (anger mgmt for the one, and the ability to stand up for herself and/or walk away for the other--I don't know all the dynamics you have going on).
    I understand the need for medications, too. Our son didn't really "get" what we were trying to explain to him about diet, routine, behavior, etc until after he was on Adderal and then all of a sudden, he sat down and spoke in complete sentences instead of just screaming all the time.
    Is your daughter ADHD, too? Would the pediatrician go for a stimulant? Was an anti-anxiety medication the only thing you discussed? Did the dr have any other ideas?
    How does she behave in school? What do the teachers say are her strengths and weaknesses? Did they suggest the testing?
    Sorry for so many questions.
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Kate, welcome! I'm glad you found us.

    What kind of doctor gave you the diagnosis of ODD?
    Any mental health issues or substance abuse in the family tree?

    In general, ODD rarely stands alone. ODD behaviors are typically fueled by an underlying condition (anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, Autistic Spectrum Disorders, etc). When the underlying condition is identified and treated, the oppositional behaviors tend to improve.

    Yes, I would have your daughter evaluated by a child psychiatrist if you suspect mood issues. Pediatricians are not trained to rx psychotropic medications (our pediatrician automatically refers to a child psychiatrist when the question comes up).

    I would also encourage you to have your daughter evaluated by a neuropsychologist, who will do extensive testing to assess her cognitive and psychological funcitioning. Neuropsychs can be found at university and children's hospitals.

    While you're waiting for all these evaluations, I recommend getting your hands on a copy of The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It has helped many of us here parent our extra-challenging children.

    Again, welcome.
  5. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Hi and welcome.

    ODD isn't chemical, it's behavioral. If it was the pediatrician who diagnosis'd, I would want a child psychiatrist (psychiatrist) evaluate her, as well. These things are just out of the realm of the pediatrician's area of expertise. So many symptoms overlap and you need an expert to differentiate.

    ODD can and does stand alone, but I believe it's the new ADHD - commonly over-diagnosed when the reality is often an underlying disorder causing the behaviors. My daughter has definite ODD behaviors stemming from her underlying issues, but no one has ever diagnosis'd her with ODD. Although, for years before we had a firm diagnosis, I did call it the PITA Syndrome. :tongue:

    I also recommend The Explosive Child.
  6. Pookybear66

    Pookybear66 New Member

    Kate-Welcome! I just joined a few days ago. My ds is 8 1/2 with learning issues diagnosis by school. We have not yet done the psychiatric evaluation. He also has major frustration issues and I also got the recommendation from this board to read "The Explosive Child". I am about 1/2 way through and so far it is wonderful. Basically it says that the difficult child CANNOT rather than will not change their behavior/way of thinking. They get deadlocked into being frustrated. I am finding it easier to deal with ds's frustration/screaming if I consider it his coping mechanism.

    I don't really have any other advice to offer on the docs or medications route as we have not done this. Mostly wanted to say hang in there. There is always room for one more on this boat!
  7. ca_girls

    ca_girls New Member

    Thanks for the replies! I'll try to answer all those questions!

    Her pediatrician diagnosed her with ODD three weeks ago and didn't even want to discuss medications. She wanted to err on the safe side and see if therapy would work on its own. At that point, I still wasn't sure what, if anything, was going on with daughter. But I knew that her behavior was not normal.

    I suffer from depression and anxiety as do several members of my immediate family. daughter is severely anxious which in turn makes her depressed. Another huge thing is that she's incredibly touch sensitive. The softest seam is painful to her. Sometimes I think it's a control thing. Sometimes I think she's faking. Sometimes I think it's really true. She's also painfully shy -- can't even look most adults in the eye.

    No substance abuse at all in the immediate or extended family. (How blessed are we?)

    She is definitely not ADHD. She concentrates well, gets straight A's, is a very talented musician (piano and trumpet), will read for hours on end, participates in class and has friends. Her teachers right now (she just started middle school) have no idea what's going on. I'm still trying to process it and get things under control before I share with them. Besides, I don't want her to be labeled. All her elem. school teachers were always shocked when I told them what daughter was like at home. She's the polar opposite at school.

    So far, she hasn't seen a neuro-psychologist or child psychiatrist. I am planning to call our insurance tmro to find out what the protocal is for those visits.

    I'll keep you all posted on what happens!
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    How is her early development? Speech? Potty training? Can she transition well from one activity to another? Does she know how to socialize appropriately with her peers? Any obsessive interests?
    The sensitivity is probably Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), which often goes along with other disorders. I'd want her tested by a neuropsychologist.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2008
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Welcome! I'm glad you plan to seek out a neuropsychologist and/or child psychiatrist. It sounds like mood disorders (depression and anxiety, etc) run in your family so I think you are taking the best route. This is our case, too. If it turns out to be something other than a mood disorder, these two professionals should be able to find it, especially if you can find them both working in the same office and working collaboratively. A children's hospital is a great place to find them. Insurance might not cover all the testing cost, but it will be well-worth any out-of-pocket expense. It's also a great "back-up" for getting any accommodations made at school.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Kate, her sensitivity to touch and her inability to look others in the eye give you some clues.
    I'd get a book on sensory integration disorder, and make a psychiatric appointment pronto.
    Best of luck.
  11. ca_girls

    ca_girls New Member

    I was shocked to call three different psychiatrists yesterday to find that none of them could see daughter before late January! How is that acceptable to anyone at all?

    Fourth call was a charm, though. She was able to squeeze me in next Wed. She just wants to me at first, to get a background/history on daughter. I'm working hard on filling out that Parent Assessment form I found on this forum.

    I'll be writing down the many thoughts/suggestions you all so kindly took time to share with me so I can talk to the psychiatric and get more info.

    This afternoon was fairly rough, but I held my cool. I found something that really helps me cope. Her therapist asked me to write down exactly what happens when daughter gets into one of her rages. So while she is raging away, I'm busy processing everything she's saying and doing so I can remember it. Then I immediately type it out. It's a weird kind of catharthis!

    Hope you're all having a great week so far!
  12. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Kate! Glad you could find a psychiatrist that was willing to fit you in.
  13. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    welcome Kate!
  14. Pookybear66

    Pookybear66 New Member

    Kate-the book says these kids have low frustration tolerance (LFT i'll do for short). Watch her rages and explosions. Are there triggers? What exactly is the pattern for this and her LFT? Is there a sensory pattern or when you demand her to do something, etc. As you type this all out daily maybe there are certain times of day she has meltdowns-hungry or tired? I think you are getting on the right track. Good luck with the dr.