At the end of my rope

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by NeedsANap, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. NeedsANap

    NeedsANap New Member

    Hi. I'm new here - my first time. I have a 5 yo son who I believe has ODD. He has met with three counselors - none have said as much except the last who told us he had a "defiant" personality. We are meeting again to discuss having him observed in his classroom.

    I am at my wits end. I am exhausted, short tempered, and feel like I don't even like him. Who says this about their child?? He has meltdowns screaming "I hate you!" hits, kicks, spits at me, my husband, teachers and classmates.

    We are trying to employ the tools given to us by the therapists to do the "parental intervention" and nothing seems to be working. Has anyone dealt with this? Any and all advice is much appreciated...HELP!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome to the board.
    If you please, it would help us A LOT if you did a signature like I did below. It gives us an overview of your family.

    I have a few questions that may be able to help us help you. ODD rarely stands by itself as a diagnosis and therapists, unfortunately, aren't very thorough or even good diagnosticians.

    1/Are there any psychiatric problems or substance abuse issues on either side of your child's biological family tree? Often certain disorders are inherited and in child they show differently than in adults.

    2/Here comes the developmental issues: Did he have any delays in speech? How was his early cuddling and eye contact both with you and strangers? Does he understand how to interact with kids his age (I know he's young, but kids DO interact young). Can he transition from one activity to another without ragings? Is he sensitive to light, noise, certain textures, certain materials, too much stimulation? Does he have an odd behaviors such as lining toys or flapping his arms or smacking his lips or making high pitched throat noises that are annoying to you? Does he ever seem like he's in his own little world then, at other times, seem very "with it." Does he respond to traditional discipine?

    I think he should have an intensive evaluation. He's old enough. I prefer NeuroPsychs. They test for all areas and tend to nail things better than other professionals. Something is going on and it's not that he wakes up every day to make you miserable and it's NOT NOT NOT your parenting. He's wired differently and you need to dig up the mystery of what is wrong.

    Glad you found us. Lots of nice people here.
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Hi there & welcome - I think your name says a lot! I agree with MWM about a thorough evaluation. I came here not long ago at the end of someone ELSE's rope and now at least I have a harness!

    When difficult child 1 was very small and raged they gave husband and biomom "intervention tools" to use. Guess what? It didn't work. Only recently have we been able to address the issues. I feel certain that your difficult child is not coming from the same place as mine, and each child is different and unique, so what works for one may not work for another.

    We finally have out neuropsychologist appointment for difficult child 2 - in JUNE. It was made weeks ago. You may have to travel and make arrangements (to be off work, etc.), but once you know what's really going on, then at least you have a starting point and can learn how to cope and teach him coping tools too.

    Again - WELCOME! - and we are with you 100%!
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Welcome to the site.

    What sort of strategies were recommended to you?

    Sometimes the techniques which you wqould expect would work wonders, or which you may recall working like a charm on you when you were young, can only make some kids worse. It all comes down to WHY the child is being like he is, and sometimes it's not always the obvious answer.

    It's far too easy for observers to say, "He's just a naughty, defiant child." It's silly, really, because as a general rule, children WANT their parents' approval, they want to be seen as good kids. So why would a child choose to be defiant? it's not generally a path of first choice or even secondchoice. It's more likely to be a path of last resort, at least in the early stages. However, if we continue trying to control bad behaviour by asserting our own strict control, and the problem for the child is actually one where they feel they need to be in control of things themselves, then it becomes a struggle for control, a tug of war between you and the child, a competition to the nth degree. And the child, despite being only achild, can focus a lot more of his capacity on the struggle thsn you can, because he has fewer other responsibilities to get in his way. As a result when it becomes a competition, the child generally will win (if the child is intensely determined).

    Why is the child so intensely determined? There can be all sorts of reasons, a number of different disorders which can at least superficially seem similar. That is why some books can help, even where the underlying disorder is different.

    A book a lot of us swear by is "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. There is a sticky on this particular forum, check it out. Get the book out of the library, if you would prefer to read first, buy it later only if you like it. But it's the sort of help you can put in place fairly quickly, while you're still asking experts for their help and trying to get a diagnosis.

    Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) the book, see how closely (or not) it gels with the parenting advice you've been given.

    When it comes Occupational Therapist (OT) discippline, the most important test is - does it work for your child? Can you make it work?

    because if you can't make it work, then it's better to not try, than to try and fail. because if you try to discipline your child and you fial, then it sets you up for even worse failure with that child.

    There are options, there are things that can work. Read the book.

    Help is here, and the more we know and understand, the more we can put our thinking power into the problems for you.