I have always known that our third son was challenging. We have referred to him as "contrary," or "strong-willed," or a "spitfire." But today at the doctor's office, she called him ODD. It surprised me. I guess having taught for 10 years I always thought that I would see the difference between just difficult and abnormally difficult. But as I was struggling to keep my son in the exam room after having allowed the nurse to prick his finger, I wonder if I have just grown accustomed to the abnormality I call my life. My son throws fits...angry outbursts where he throws things, screams names at everyone, hits anyone close by, and absolutely refuses to comply with any kind of behavior management. This happens when he deems that he has been crossed. It happens about once every two to three days. Some times its worse than others. I remember trying to put him in a time out once and spending 45 minutes returning him to it until I finally gave up and swatted his bottom instead. It's always worse if you try to stop him. And even the threat of another swat won't stop him most of the time. This is not a new thing for him either. He has always been this way. When he was two I remember my father telling me that I was just not firm enough with him. But it's not a matter of being firm. And its not a matter of too little praise either. I always try to find things that my boys are doing well and praise them. I don't know. Part of me feels like knowing that this isn't normal makes it easier to understand. Part of me feels like knowing that this isn't normal makes it worse.