Can an O.D.D child turn out ok?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by overwhelmedandneedhelp, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. Can an O.D.D child turn out ok? I'm really scared right now.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome to the board, although sorry you had to be here.

    Most of us do not believe that ODD is a stand alone or useful diagnosis. Basically it means "defiant child" but it doesn't tell us why. Usually the diagnosis, at least if you live in the US, is given us by less educated mental health professionals such as therapists, counselors and social workers. The higher level/educated medical professionals rarely use it. I am talking about the psychiatrists (with the MD) and neuropsychologists (with a couple PhDs). Some of the kids who brought us to this board have turned out ok. Some still have challenges but are doing well. Some aren't. We would need to know more about your child and what kind of treatment he is getting and what type of professional both diagnosed him and is treating him.

    If you want to give us a history of his infancy until where he is now, it would greatly help us help you. If you live somewhere other than the US, it would also be helpful to tell us where because treatment and diagnosing is handled differently in each country.

    Let us know about your family and if the child suffered any early losses in a caregiver, was adopted, or suffered or saw any abuse. Tell us about his/her milestones. Any violence going on? Can he relate to his same age peers? If old enough, how is he doing in school? There is a big difference between answering a question about a five year old and about a sixteen year old. A signature, like I did below, gives us a quick reference to the family dynamics, which is important. Don't use real names.

    Glad you found us :) Whatever it is, we've heard it before and probably many of us have lived it.
  3. If any questions about timing please ask. I was typing but don't have time to go back and organize time line right now.

    Birth was complicated but still vaginal. 10.5lb and prior to birth nobody believed me that it was a huge baby. I asked several times for a C section but my husband insisted on a vaginal birth. They ended up using a vacuum to get him out. Other than the vacuum everything seemed fine after that in terms of newborn health. He did have the skin under his tongue clipped because he couldn't nurse. He also had torticollis form being so big and crammed inside.

    As a newborn he was aweful. Never slept, required to be held all of the time. Screamed at the top of his lungs if he wasn't being held. Never slept in his crib one night, his dad would sit on the chair and let him fall asleep on his shoulder I physically could not do it as the delivery was so bad and it took months for me to heal. Husband took over care giving and resented me for it, still does. I probably had ppd but was not treated. Husband was not supportive in that respect and I guess when you're living it you don't understand you need help so I never asked for help.

    We got through early childhood years ok although he was always a little difficult, nothing seemed out of the ordinary then other than the sleep issue where he never would sleep on his own. When he was three, I suspected something was going on with reading ability. One day he would learn letters, the next day it was like he had never seen them before - ever. Husband took his sisters advice over mine and said "My sister says all kids are like this and he's only 3". Keep in mind his sister is single at 50+and never had kids. He brushed my concerns aside.

    Refusal to go to school started in 1st grade and that's when he was informally diagnosed with dyslexia, I probably have dyslexia but have not been diagnosed. He started throwing fits when getting ready for school in the morning and again, I couldn't physically handle him so his dad had to step in and man handle him to get his clothes on. Pin him down while the shirt was forcefully removed, etc.. I wanted to get help but my husband resorted to his sister for advice again. sigh.... Husband picked him up from school and before they got home they would have a full fast food meal. every day. So when I tried cooking, neither was hungry and everything would end up in the refrigerator never eaten. I stopped cooking despite my concern over the fast food diet husband had allowed.

    1st-3rd he was tutored for dyslexia and his reading improved. He was still very frustrated and would come home and knock over chairs, etc... so we got an educational physiological evaluation and he was formally diagnosed with dyslexia, word retrieval, mixed expressive receptive disorder. Average - above average IQ. Private school refused to teach him as they were fast paced school and he couldn't keep up reading wise. 4th grade he went to a public school and seemed to do very well. He was pulled out for reading and math, he has a 504 plan so gets extra time on tests. Passed the end of year tests and was really excited he did.

    We were transferred due to a job move this summer and the move has not gone well. He started at a day care and when we tried to drop him off he kicked and punched his dad. I've never seen anything like it before. We tried several day cares/summer programs but son wanted to do something with computers so it took several tries to get him into the right program. He would come home and yell, cry, basically make our life miserable. Things were good when we found a place that allowed computers. All went well again.

    School started well this year. Got through the first week ok. He went Tuesday after labor day and all seemed well. Wednesday he said he was sick and couldn't go. We forced the issue knowing he wasn't sick but was probably anxious about it. He then refused to let husband leave the house. Once husband got into the car, son wouldn't let him back out of the driveway. (stood behind the car). He stayed home W,Th, Friday. Th on the way to school he had a full blown panic attack and husband was afraid he was going to jump out of the car. Being new to the area I didn't know who to call so I called the hospital and signed him up for a outpatient counseling program. Monday he refused school again so Tues he went to outpatient. Well... he started kicking, punching, etc.. husband and the hospital admitted him for being violent. So he was inpatient for a week and is currently in the outpatient program. They diagnosed him with anxiety and separation anxiety. The counselor yesterday said O.D.D although that's not an official diagnosis.

    As to home my opinion my husband is passive aggressive toward me. Strangely enough I'm just now seeing this after 11 years of marriage. My husband wanted son to play baseball and they did.. but then husband seemed to get stars in his eyes after seeing how "good" he was at baseball so then then came travel team and this is where our marriage seemed to fall apart. I didn't want him on a travel team due to the intensity and number of games. Husband went against my wishes and signed him up anyway. We're talking 60 games in 2-3 month time. They were never home. I complained I never got to see my son and was told if I wanted to see him I could see him at the ballgames. ??????? I tried to explain no... I wanted to spend time with my son alone, not with a team of kids. I hated everything about the ball games. It was hot at 105 for some games and they were forcing my son to stand in long polyester pants when he didn't want to play. This wasn't one ballgame a day.. it could be three or four in a single day starting at 8am and due to the travel aspect they wouldn't get home until midnight in some cases. I was being told where and when my kid had to be somewhere by the team "mom". My husband totally took away my parenting ability. And he didn't care. Then I found out about his 'emotional' affair he was having with a single mom of another baseball player. Phone records proved it. So we started counseling, he told me it was done, but it was not as I found out a few months later when I took his cell phone one night and drove to a local parking lot where I could go through his phone without him there. Our son saw me storm out of the house then. I ended up on Lexapro for two months and that helped.

    So as to 'abuse' and home life... husband and I are never physically abusive toward each other. But emotionally.. looking back my husband definitely was passive aggressive to me. And still is. The most recent event last week was laundry related. I do not know what I did to have him act like this but one day he decided to do laundry.. ok.. fine. Well he only did his clothes and our sons clothes not mine but didn't tell me this. So here I'm thinking he did laundry so when it came time for me to go to work the following Monday I had no clean clothes. When I asked, he said.. I found the hampers (they had been packed) so we went back to the old way of laundry. Problem is... he never informed me 'we went back to the old way'. He Never said a word about it but had the "we went back to the old way with three hampers". as if I should have known it. I didn't even know he found the hampers. So that's how he operates. You don't know he 'got you' for something until you figure it out later. If that makes any sense.

    My husband is the feeler in the family, I'm not. I'm the matter of fact type.. you do this you get this. Husband is overly huggy and wants to hug our son for anything good he does. Yesterday husband wanted me to give our son a hug for getting off the computer. ?????huh?????
    That's over the top to me.
    so official diagnosis: Mixed Receptive Expressive disorder, learning disability (dyslexia) word retrieval, anxiety, separation anxiety, and started on Zoloft last week while in the hospital.
  4. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    I was about to log out when I saw your thread. Quickly, don't have much time right now, just want to welcome you, let you know I'm glad you found us but sorry you had to. This is the best site, lots of knowledgeable, caring, wonderful people here. MWM has given you some great advice and I don't have anything to add to it right now.

    From personal experience, the short answer to your question is Yes! Of course, as MWM has already explained, ODD really isn't a useful diagnosis and isn't used by the most knowledgeable professionals. There are many different diagnoses and just as many reasons why a child might be labeled as defiant. However, in difficult child 1's case, he managed to turn his life around, while not perfect, in general, is doing very, very well. Wish I had more time this morning but really have to get going.

    Just want to let you know I'm thinking about you this morning, hoping today turns out to be a good one for you and your difficult child... SFR
  5. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    What grade (5th?) and how old is he?

    Are you and your husband committed to staying together? It sounds like marriage counseling might be a good idea.

    What was the hospital's recommendation after he was released? Is your son seeing a therapist?
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would actually not listen to husband and have him tested by a neuropsychologist. This is not your normal, average kid and he needs more help than just school. There is no way I'd let him go basically undiagnosed and untreated for whatever is wrong with him. If necessary, I'd do it without even telling husband. His sister, who had her first child at 47?????, is hardly an expert and can't help you or your child. I'd be pretty angry at husband. He sounds kind of like not a very nice man. Are you thinking of leaving him? I don't know if he'd ever be willing to go to therapy and he and you desperately need it to have any sort of happiness. He sounds like somebody who maybe thinks nothing is wrong with him or his son.

    Good luck and keep us posted :)
  7. He has been diagnosis'd with Anxiety Disorder, Separation Disorder (last week's diagnosis), Dyslexia, Mixed Receptive Expressive Disorder, Word Retreival. 125 IQ. (this was last year's diagnosis). Anxiety makes total sense looking back to past events but we never saw full blown anxiety attacks until we moved.

    He spent a week in the hospital last week where he was diagnosis'd with Anxiety with ODD characteristics. The refusal to go to school and aniety got him there. It was They had group therapy and individual therapy practically all day long and it did help. He is now in the out patient program where he receives counseling all day long for two weeks.

    Yes, as to the husband, I was thinking about leaving but honestly I can not handle our son alone. And I didn't want to turn him over for husband to raise either as I think husband takes the majority of the blame for this. Husband takes the easy road and avoids conflict so when son acted out... husband did what ever he could do to stop son and never would take the tiem or allow me to take the time to teach lessons. So a lot of these issues are bad habits that husband created. I've always been a believer in raising a child to be as independent as possible.. but that doesn't seem to jive with husband's view. Son says jump, dad asks how high. And yes... he never wanted to go to counseling. I fiiiinnnally managed to get him convinced son needed counseling for after the dyslexia and MERD diagnosis since that psychologist recommended it. We were able to work some marriage tips/parenting tips into these sessions.

    I do agree WE need marriage counseling as well but of course he doesn't. But I'm going to sign up for that and see where that goes.

    As to what we're doing now with our son.. we have changed everything about home life. We have a set schedule and require everyone to sit down at the table for a home cooked meal. No more fast food for dinner in the car for the son.

    People have no idea how little control I had/have???? (as I'm still on the fence how long this cooperative parenting will last from husbands perspective).

    My parents always barked orders to me as they saw what was happening as well... .. you need to do this, you need to do that, tell husband this tell him that... etc..... What they didn't understand is that I had for years tried to get change in the house and the husband would always do the opposite (gee doesn't that sound familiar), tell me something and never carry through, etc.... so yea I tried and when you're always put off like this you tend to give up. I quit fighting and let things be because nothing I suggested mattered and fighting in front of son wasn't a good idea. My parents don't live in the same state so all they saw was quick weekend visits and never saw the full household dynamic.

    Even now I'm getting push back.. happened again tonight. Counselor told us to let son pick his own clothes. So I suggested to son he pick his own clothes... husband says... we'll get there. I'm like... okayyyyyyyyyy...???? So before son goes to bed he'll be picking clothes for tomorrow. In my mind, we have to set the tone now of how it's going to be. Its' not like picking clothes is a difficult thing for a boy right? It's a "this is life, this is how you act in life".

    As to age.. son is 10.

    And his sister is in her late 40's, never married, never had kids. But apparently knows more about raising boys that me.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Guess you've never met my difficult child...

    It's better now, and I have a really great husband and we've co-parented through all of this "stuff" together. But... it is SO easy to look at a task through your own experience and skills, and call it easy. At this point, you really have no idea if it's easy or not easy.

    1) how many choices does he have? If he has a full closet and can pick anything or must pick from "school" items... trying to make that decision might be more than he can handle. Some kids can't handle choosing between TWO items (red shirt or blue shirt)...

    2) how much info does he have to base his decision on? is someone looking ahead to weather, tomorrow's activities at school, etc.? He might be "frozen" in fear that he'll choose wrong, but can't articulate all the things that can go wrong with such a simple choice.

    3) Are there other issues with clothes - such as sensory issues, or motor skills issues - that might be hiding behind this challenge? He might be scared of "pinching" himself with a zipper, or of getting buttons lined up wrong, or of ending up with a scratchy tag.

    That's just a few that I can think of off the top of my head. We REALLY had to change our whole understanding of where he was coming from. It's so easy to think that they "can" when in reality they "can't"... or can't do it consistently. It isn't necessarily that he doesn't want to...

    Have you ever read The Explosive Child by Ross Greene?
  9. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    Finally had some time to read what you've written. You certainly have lots of "garbage" going on!!! I can relate to some of what you're saying. I'm going to throw in my two cents, take whatever you want, toss the rest.

    You have two separate issues that both need addressing in order for positive change to occur. First, in order for you to effectively be able to help your difficult child, you and your husband need to be on the same page as far as parenting goes. As long as your difficult child sees your husband acting passive aggressively towards you while seeing his father act as the "good guy," the one who "fixes" things for him, your difficult child will not respect you, will not see you as an effective role model no matter how hard you try.

    While I was going through the worst times, my husband, (definitely no "D" in front of the "H" then!) couldn't stand the constant "meltdowns," tension, stress, in our household. He effectively shut down, always taking the easy way out, preferring to give into the demands of our children in order to have a bit of peace and quiet, never stopping to think about the consequences of this. He refused to believe that our oldest, difficult child 1 had issues (looking back I just think it broke his heart too much at the time), and as a result, blamed me for just about everything that happened that caused difficult child 1 to explode.

    It wasn't until quite some time later, after difficult child 1 was hospitalized, finished three weeks of outpatient daily therapy, was finally back in school, when husband and I attended counseling sessions with him, that we were fortunate enough that difficult child 1's therapist saw what was happening. He was able to make husband realize that it wasn't my parenting that was the problem, it was his lack of respect for me, that difficult child 1 saw on a constant basis, the inconsistent parenting styles, husband's always doing anything to avoid confrontation with difficult child 1, that was causing the most problems in our household, making effective positive changes impossible. Once husband realized this, and husband and I began following difficult child 1's therapist's advice, life with difficult child 1 gradually improved. husband and I gradually grew closer together again, able to forgive each other and move forward. Of course, this is a super simplified version of what really happened! Still, I can't stress enough that you and your H need to both agree to counseling, following the advice given, parenting as a unit rather than as two separate entities.

    Parenting as two separate entities gives your difficult child too much power. At this moment, your difficult child has no reason to change his behaviors. He probably sees you as the problem. After hearing your husband constantly undermine your parenting decisions in favor of what your difficult child probably wants to happen, he has no real reason to listen to anything you tell him. This creates a vicious cycle. difficult child does something that needs to be addressed, you address it, husband disagrees in front of difficult child, husband helps difficult child, you look like the "bad guy," while husband comes across as the "good guy," etc., etc., etc...

    When I was going through the darkest times, I used to think that there was no way I could raise my difficult children alone and felt helpless, powerless to change my situation, get out of what at the time, I believed was a marriage that should end in divorce. I fooled myself into thinking that husband and I could raise our children, then I could divorce later, have a happy life. WRONG! The bottom line is you need to work on your relationship with your husband now. If this is impossible, you need to either separate temporarily or permanently. I really wish I had understood this back then!

    The second issue is finding the best possible help for difficult child. Others have already given you some excellent advice, and from reading what you wrote, I believe you will make this happen. Once you have the tools you need - The appropriate interventions and consistency, your difficult child will have what he needs in order to have the best possible chance of becoming a happy, productive, independent (with or without supports in place), contributing member of society.

    Thinking of you today... Hugs... SFR

    P.S. I hope what I've written doesn't sound too harsh. No matter what you decide is right for you, I'm behind you. Obviously, I don't "know" you very well. Plus, I know my personal experiences have lots to do with my feelings. This is just my two cents. Take what you want, leave the rest...
  10. Searching for Rainbows... this is EXACTLY what I've come to understand these past few weeks. Separating/divorcing is out of the question - financially. I also think that would cause more problems with son (what does difficult child stand for? I won't use it until I know what that means). So we HAVE to work this out and get on the same page.

    What I don't understand is how "husband", doesn't get it" in terms of what a parent should do. One thing happened last night. It would be funny if it weren't so stupid.
    I told son to take a shower. He said no. I said he needed to take one every single day. He gets up and walks toward his bedroom. ( He's 10, he'll be maturing and getting the stink to him sooner rather than later. he needs to get into the habit now. )
    What I didn't know what that 'husband' was back there and son came up with a shower plan where he would only take a shower on certain days. PE days or game days. husband thought the part of him coming up with a plan was great and said ok. Of course I'm furious when I hear this but we've been told not to argue in front of son so I say nothing. Son seemingly gets his way at the time, husband has no conflict with son, so what's my problem. rolling my eyes.

    So today we have a counseling session. She asks if we have anything we need to talk about, husband has nothing but glowing report. Me on the other hand tell the shower story above. She confirms that son does need a shower/bath every day. But get this... husband says he never knew I told son anything and he thought it was great he was solving a problem. LOL Then he tells the counselor that our schedule is too tightly packed for son to take a shower every day. Then I get into the.. well if we weren't' arguing with him for an hour we would have time. All he has to do is get in and do it. Counselor told us son was "splitting" and dividing and conquering us. He was affecting our marriage and adding tension. I really hope husband understands that's the exact truth.

    I don't understand why he enables our son to be like this. and that's exactly what it is. He can't step up and be the parent this child needs. He's soft so son always runs to him and is always allowed to take the easy way out. and yes, I'm the bad guy here. Always have been.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    An awful lot of "traits" and "challenges" tend to run in families.
    What are the chances that... whatever real diagnosis(es) affect your difficult child, also affect your husband?
    For example, it isn't unusual for a kid on the Autism Spectrum to have a parent (more often it's the dad but not always) who is also on the spectrum. Ditto... ADHD, MI, etc.
    Maybe your husband really just doesn't clue in... maybe HE is wired differently, sees the world differently...

    Oh, and difficult child means "challenging child"... at least that's the "official" definition. Way, way back, a long time ago when this whole support network started, someone coined the phrase difficult child as a short-form for "Gift From God"... and it stuck.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Not all kids shower every day. Not all adults do. I actually don't think husband came up with a bad solution, at least not for a balky kid who doesn't want to shower AT ALL. But your wishes and desires are important as well. I think your biggest problem is that you are not on the same page and that you both feel your way is the right way and that you both view difficult child very differently. Also, you both are dealing with a very different child in different ways. I disagree that your son is trying to control you on purpose or to get his own way for the reasons that you think. I think he is a typical differently wired kid and they don't see social norms the way other people do. He probably has no idea why you are so adamant about the showering. I have a twenty year old autistic son and he does not understand why he should shower every day and at his age he can choose not to and there is nothing anyone can do. He doesn't always, yet he is very high functioning and doing very well. I really think it's mega-important for you and husband to find a way to pick your battles and compromise. If you want to stay as a couple, there is NO WAY you are going to CHANGE your husband and what he feels is important. There is only one person on earth you can change and that is yourself.

    I do think you need to work on compromising...both of you. He needs to be willing to listen to you and your point of view and you need to listen to him and, although neither of you will be 100% happy with the results, you in my opinion need to parent difficult child together, with both of you making certain compromises. Since you are both coming from two very different places, this will be hard. Hub and you both need to give up your ideas of how to raise him. But if you don't, this scenario is going to play out over and over again until son is too old to parent and he will not listen to either of you...he will do what he feels is best for himself, even if one or both of you disagree.

    I cringe sometimes at my son's hygiene habits, but they work for him and he's moving out next year. We have no control over how often he showers or brushes his teeth any longer. I guess we are grateful he is working, a happy young adult, well liked (he does have lots of buddies where he works) and is not in any legal trouble. When he wants to, he takes a shower. Having a best friend who showers every night (he often stays over at his friend's apartment) has had a good influence on him.

    A really good rule of thumb when you are parenting your son is to throw out the rule book about "If he doesn't do it right now, he never will." That is really not true with these differently wired kids. Often they mature late and learn soscial skills/norms late. There is no way to know how your son will be at twenty just because he doesn't "get it" at ten. He may be socially age five. And he will mature in his own time. That doesn't mean he will choose to be the way you dreamed he'd be the day he was born or that he'll do everything according to social norms. But he can live a rich and fruitful life that makes him happy and productive. And you never know. He may turn into the exact opposite of what he is now, hygiene-wise, and shower twice a day!! One thing I've found out by raising a differently wired child is that they surprise!!!!

    I hope you can resolve this with your husband and come to compromises that both of you can live with. Even if you stay together, your son knows you are not getting along and that isn't good for him either.

    I am sorry you are going through this tough journey that none of us asked for, but that all of us have had to walk. We all understand your frustration. And, remember, you can not control or change your husband in any way just as he can not control or change YOU. Be sure to be good to yourself and take care of and love yourself and take the pressure off of yourself by telling yourself that you have no control over what anybody else does, including your husband. The little prayer below applies to everything in life, not just alcoholism, and if you don't have a God, you can leave Him out and start on the second word.

    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change,
    the courage to change the things I can,
    And the wisdom to know the difference.
  13. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Funny - I was going to say a lot of what MWM said, this morning but then didn't, for lack of time.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Malika (wink). We both know how useless it is to freak out when atypically neurologically wired kids don't care about social norms. It is a lesson we all learn eventually!!! If we have ideas about how to raise these kids, it is not always easy to throw out the rule book, especially if family, friends and enemies make us feel like "bad" parents for parenting them differently. "Spoiled" is the most common, misused word they use when they see how we treat our kids.

    (Sigh). I hope the new school goes very well for J!!!! I think he just needs to find the right place that will work with him. He has so much potential.

    P, I think "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene would be an awesome book for you to read. Lots of us use that as a guideline.
  15. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    "Counselor told us son was "splitting" and dividing and conquering us. He was affecting our marriage and adding tension. I really hope husband understands that's the exact truth."

    While living in this seemingly unending HE77, I used to think that difficult child 1 was doing this because he hated me. Having had the luxury of time and distance to look back at the situation, I now know that difficult child 1 didn't do this out of any great hatred for me, but rather because it worked! It was that simple - Throw a fit, work self up into a rage, blame the entire mess on mom, dad will rescue me.

    I thought I hated my husband as much as I thought difficult child 1 hated me. husband gave into difficult child 1's demands. Immediate peace followed. A bit of silence, calm, in an otherwise out of control world... Immediate gratification... But, this immediate calm came at a huge price - It not only almost cost me my marriage but also my oldest, difficult child 1. Yes, as hard as this is for me to admit, even now, there was a long period of time where I thought I hated difficult child 1 too... Another time, another story..

    Getting back on track, I really hope your H not only understands and realizes that what the counselor said is true, but is able to do the hard work necessary for change. Once you and your H are on the same page, your difficult child will slowly begin to realize that he can no longer control the situation by manipulating you and your H. Your difficult child will still be able to make choices but the consequences of these choices, either bad or good, will be dependent upon whether or not he follows the guidelines and rules you and husband clearly outline for him.

    Typically, at least from what difficult child 1's therapist told us and from what we heard from others going through similar situations, things will get worse before they get better. When difficult child 1 first began to realize that he could no longer manipulate us, difficult child 1 fought back as hard as he could. His fits of rage intensified. husband began questioning what we were doing. There were times husband slipped, giving into difficult child 1, making difficult child 1 falsely think that if he kept raging long and hard enough, eventually things would go back to the way they were. It was a long, rocky, road to peace but it did happen. It can happen for you too!

    Thinking of you, hoping today goes smoothly... SFR

    P.S. One of the best pieces of advice difficult child 1's therapist gave us was that during the worst moments, when difficult child 1 is actively looking for conflict, if we need to talk to difficult child 1, keep our sentences short, four or five words max, talk in an even calm emotionless voice, end all conversation as soon as possible. Ignore difficult child 1's behavior (if possible.) We were told that if difficult child 1 listens to what is being said, he'll only pick up the first four or five words before totally tuning out. Bottom line, when dealing with an angry, upset difficult child, the least contact, the better.
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    "The Explosive Child" is a really valuable book in a wide range of situaitons when dealing with a challenging child. You can use the techniques on "normal" children too, so you don't have to use different methods. The advantage of these techniques is that you become the child's facilitator and helper, not the obstacle to their wishes. Any consequences are purely natural ones resulting from their own actions. So it's not you punishing them, they've done it to themselves. So you could implement this yourself, and if your husband does thingsa differently, HE will be the one to get kicked and bitten more than you.
    An example I've given before - it's snowing and cold outside and your kid wants to rush out and play in it. You could stand in the doorway blocking his path and say, "You are not going outside without putting on your jacket!"
    Chances are the kid would knock you over and ignore your injunction.

    Or you could say, "Do you want your blue jacket, or your red one?" and offer it. If the child still rushes outside with no jacket, have the jacket handy near the door because (especially if you haven't made a big deal out of it) he WILL be back when he feels cold. Your are there to speed up his return to the snow outside, so you have just helped. He has also learned that your first suggestion about which jacket, was an assumption (borne out) that he would need a jacket out there and you knew and wanted to help.

    Wrestling him into and out of his clothes is not going to work much longer and is not the way to move forward. Instead, you can take him to school in his pyjamas. If you can't get him onto the bus or in the car, then let him deal with the school for his tardiness or inattendance. Don't cut him any slack, but let the school handle that one. And if he comes back at you and says, "You made me miss school," CALMLY point out that you asked him to get dressed and he did not do it. Ask him what he would like you to do, to help him get dressed in time. Point out that it's really not dignified to have to force him physically, he deserves respect.

    The thing is, by showing him respect (even if you don't think he deserves it) he will learn that respect feels good, and that he should show respect in turn.

    This also works sometimes on wayward husbands. Only one person playing a passive aggressive game won't succeed if you don't engage in it. If he's 'seducing' your son - well, he's not doing it in everything, if he feels he has to physically force him into his clothes. And if dad is making him go to ball games when the kid doesn't enjoy it, that kid will remember that his wishes were not respected. As for the emotional affair - the kid will notice that dad is not really focussed on HIM. Kids work things out. Sometimes they come to the wrong conclusions, but we're talking about respect here. Once your son learns about respect (and he won't get it right for a long time, but a start is good) he will see that your husband does not do the R thing.

    So read the book. Get it out of the library. Read the summaries and descriptions of how others on this site have used it.

    There are also other books. They do work.

    Good luck.

    And the diagnosis - it sounds like an alphabet soup to me, a whole lot of labels that are descriptive, not really diagnostic. You will get answers and these are a start, but you have a way to go down the diagnostic path as well.

    For example, my son with Autism (Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) - high-functioning) also has been given labels of anxiety, Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), ODD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), ADHD, hyperlexia (opposite of dyslexia but coupled with lack of understanding for what he can read - he still reads baby books at 19, won't read anything age appropriate) and a few other things I've forgotten because it is ALL covered, in his case, by the all-encompassing Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    And really? The labels can help point us towards useful educational/therapy paths, but hje's still the same kid who has been different from Day 1. We love him to pieces and he's turning into an amazing (although at times still challenging) young man.

  17. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Marg's advice is excellent. Natural consequences are always the best teachers. It is important to pick and choose your battles wisely, to allow your difficult child to feel like he has control over his life, that he is respected...

    We used guidelines, rules and consequences we implemented when it came to dealing with safety issues and abusive behavior towards others, whether emotional or physical. Maybe we could have used natural consequences to teach these lessons too, but even to this day, I'm not sure how, without sacrificing the potential safety of my kids or my sanity...

    At any rate, this combination worked for us. Just my two cents... SFR